HOOVER, AL (WAFB) - The Southeastern Conference held the first of its four-day media pilgrimage on Monday from Hoover, Alabama at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham-Wynfrey Hotel.
LSU's head coach, Ed Orgeron talked about the ongoing starting quarterback storyline, Heisman trophy candidate Derrius Guice, and what it takes to beat the SEC-dominating Alabama Crimson Tide.
Prior to getting on the podium at the SEC Media Days, Orgeron told reporters that defensive end/linebacker Arden Key would not be ready for the start of fall camp as he rehabs from his shoulder injury.
"This is gonna be a rehab that's gonna take some time," Orgeron said. "We don't have a time limit on it, but as far as everything we're hearing, it's going to be fine. I don't know when he'll be back, what time he'll be back."
Key's surgery was announced on June 4.
The 6-foot-6, 238-pound Key was a standout as a sophomore for LSU and set a program record with 12 sacks in the 2016 season, being named a first-team All-SEC selection.
Orgeron prefaced his comments at the SEC Media Days by sending his best wishes for a speedy recovery to Louisiana Representative Steve Scalise, saying "we know he'll fight like a tiger."
After going through a list of his coaches and assistants, Orgeron started fielding questions.
The starting quarterback position was a hot debate towards the tail end of the 2016 season and leading into the 2017 season, and Coach O did not dismiss the fact that the position is still highly under competition.
"There's still a quarterback competition going into fall camp, but right now, if we were to play, Danny [Etling] would be our starter," said Orgeron.
He also said that he expects a more balanced offense under new offensive coordinator Matt Canada.
Orgeron also touched on the value of having star running back Derrius Guice.
Coach Orgeron spoke about how he's changed since his days at Ole Miss, and what it takes to beat Alabama.
"I understand that the head coach at LSU must beat Alabama," Orgeron said. "Last year we weren't far off."
Orgeron said the way to beat Alabama is to recruit on their level, but that the gap isn't that large. Last year the two played to a 10 – 0 Alabama win.
"Last year was a tight game. It was 0-0 going into the third quarter. Their quarterback made two plays. We didn't," Orgeron said. "I don't know if it's that big of a gap. I think we need to play our football."
Watch the raw footage from Ed Orgeron's podium talk