Les Miles will return to coach LSU next season, but his staff may not remain intact beyond the team’s bowl game.
Miles will likely make some changes to his coaching staff this offseason. In fact, it would be a surprise if the staff remained the same for 2016, according to ESPN’s David Ching.
Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron may be the coach most likely to be replaced. Cameron’s offense has struggled mightily during the past month, and quarterback Brandon Harris has shown marginal improvement this season. LSU’s offense is predicated on a strong running game led by star running back Leonard Fournette, but LSU’s offensive line was dominated during its three-game losing streak and the running game was stymied.
Miles has been inconsistent when speaking about the offense. He said after LSU’s 19-7 win over Texas A&M that making drastic changes would be an exaggeration.
“A serious overhaul of the offense, does that include Leonard Fournette? Are we taking the running game out of the offense? Oh, OK, so then basically there’s not a serious overhaul because the motor seems to be pretty stinking strong,” Miles said, according to Ching. “Offensive line, protection-wise, was tremendous tonight. Do you want to consider change? You betcha. I think ‘serious overhaul’ is appropriate, but would be a little much.”
Many fans and insiders want Miles to shift to more of a spread offense in the future. The Tigers have a dual-threat quarterback in Harris, but he has rushed only 64 times for 185 yards and three touchdowns.
First-year defensive coordinator Kevin Steele has been a downgrade from John Chavis, who left for Texas A&M. The Tigers rank 25th in total defense and 45th in scoring defense. The unit has been susceptible to numerous coverage gaffes and surrendered plenty of big plays in the passing game. He has only one year left on his contract, according to Ching.
Another coach who could be in trouble is special teams coordinator Bradley Dale Peveto. LSU’s kick and punt coverage units have been particularly atrocious. The Tigers rank 73rd in the country in kickoff coverage and 127th in punt coverage. Punter Jamie Keehn has been unreliable and has averaged 40.9 yards per punt.
Miles may be safe beyond the 2015 season, but he will likely need to make the right changes to his staff if he hopes to stick around beyond 2016.