BATON ROUGE, La. — One thing is clear about Steve Ensminger: He doesn’t give a damn what you think about his hire as LSU offensive coordinator.
Though he claims not to pay attention to any form of media, it seems clear that Ensminger realizes no one in the LSU fan base is throwing a parade for his promotion from tight ends coach. And he made it clear in his own folksy, not-quite-safe-for-work way.
“A guy called me and said, ‘Did you read this in the paper?'” Ensminger said during his introductory press conference. “Hell no, I haven’t read the paper in 20 years. I don’t read Twitter. I don’t go on Facebook. I can’t let any outside influence say you’re not good enough. Bullshit. I’ll do it.”
Even if he doesn’t specifically know what most fans are saying, he’s aware of what they’re talking about. That’s easy enough to decipher. Ensminger has called eight games in the last 20 years. That’s a glaring gap on any résumé.
“You never expect it,” he said of his promotion. “Hell, I’m 59 years old.”
Those eight games also marked the only time since 2003 that Ensminger coached the position that he played in college — quarterback. He’ll be asked to do it again, and that ultimately figures to be the element that makes or breaks his tenure. But if you think he’s concerned about whether he’s up to the task, you’d be wrong.
“It’s like riding a bike,” he said. “You don’t forget the 3-step drop, the 5-step drop. You don’t forget a damn out route or a curl route. That’s just part of being a quarterback. And I look forward to showing these guys how to do it.”
According to Ensminger, the only challenge to his promotion will be making sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to offensive terminology.
“Last year I was hesitant because it wasn’t my offense,” he said. “But I have a year now. It’s my offense. It’s my terminology. It’s my direction. I coordinated for 18 years. It’s not the biggest challenge. The biggest challenge is the terminology. I understand this team and the talent and what we have to do to be successful on this team.”
But even as he insisted that outside noise didn’t matter, there was one moment in the press conference where Ensminger tipped his hand. He does care quite a bit about what you think, as realized through a viewing of the movie “Miracle” on Wednesday night.
“Before the big game, the coach said, ‘Great moments are born out of great opportunity,'” Ensminger said. “This is my opportunity. I promise that we will make the state proud.”