BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - LSU head coach Ed Orgeron offered a preview on Tuesday, March 4 of spring football practice for the Tigers.
He said the team has been working hard and he is excited about the new coaching staff.
Rewind the clock a year ago and try to remember what your expectations were for the LSU football team. And be honest with yourself ... 10-3? 11-2? Maybe an outside shot at the college football playoff??
The truth is no one could have foreseen what happened this past season with the Tigers. And because of all the success, human nature tells us that there is a natural urge to let off the gas pedal ever so slightly and a tendency sets in to lean on previous accomplishments. Of course, the 2020 Bayou Bengals will be looking to avoid such a lull.
“It starts with me; I made a vow to myself that I’m going to work harder this year,” said Orgeron. “More attention to the detail and people need to see that from the leader. I think the culture that we have built is fantastic but we need to keep that standard up and I do believe that it would be a fault to keep on talking about last year. We’ve got to turn the page. This is a new team.”
Indeed it is but there are familiar faces around. On the player side, guys like Derek Stingley Jr. and Ty Davis-Price are still Tigers. On the coaching side of things, lots of familiar faces also took new opportunities this offseason. Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda is now the head coach at Baylor and passing game coordinator Joe Brady left LSU after just one season for an NFL offensive coordinator job with the Carolina Panthers. And that’s just to name a couple. Because of the vacancies, Coach O has been a busy man filling the positions on his staff. Scott Linehan comes from the NFL to be the new passing game coordinator and former defensive coordinator Bo Pelini has returned to Baton Rouge from Youngstown State to reclaim his previous role with the Tigers.
The high turnover is just a reality of college football in the year 2020. Previewing spring football earlier, Coach O talked about what it means for the program when coaches leave and new coaches have to be brought in.
“We want our guys to go out and have success. Dennis Johnson was a graduate assistant for us and now, I think he’s the fifth highest-paid defensive line coach in the country. So, those things are going to happen. We want these guys to prosper. People are going to want to come to championship programs and they want to get the answers. They want to see what we’ve been doing. I think it’s a plus and I think it’s a plus to keep on moving, keep on changing, and continue to do that,” Orgeron explained.
During his media conference, Orgeron highlighted a few of the key positions. He said Myles Brennan has been doing phenomenal in fourth quarter drills. He will compete against Max Johnson, TJ Finley, and Peter Parrish at quarterback. Orgeron said the Tigers are very thin on the offensive line, so lots of guys will be rotating. When talking about the wide receivers, he noted it’s time for Trey Palmer to show his stuff.
When asked about Brennan, Orgeron said he thinks the quarterback is “ready to explode.” He added Brennan has become more of a vocal leader and has competed well on the reps he has taken.
"When you back up the Heisman winner, you kind of keep your mouth shut, that’s what you do. He has led this team in the fourth quarter program. He’s competed at every rep, just like Joe (Burrow) did, to win every rep. I’m not going to say he has won every rep, but I was watching him compete to win every rep. He’s been more vocal at the end. We go to eight stations, on the eight station we put up the balls, when we put up the balls he’s the one doing it. I’ve heard him talk to guys when we have to go back, ‘Come on man, get this done.’ He’s been more of a vocal leader. I’ve seen him in the office watching more film than he ever has. I know this. I know the Brennan family very well - they’ve been very patient. They’ve been waiting for this time. I expect Myles to explode. I expect him to do all the things that he needs to do to be a great quarterback. Whatever deficiencies he has, like we all have, I know that he and his family are going to work on them. What I mean by that is, more experience, working on his throwing motion, going to quarterback guru’s camps. Whatever it may be, I know that this guy is dedicated to do that. I think we are going to have one heck of a player. I’ve always believed in Myles, I believe he is a championship quarterback. I believe he is going to be great for us,” Orgeron noted.
According to Orgeron, Dare Rosenthal, the front runner for offensive tackle, has left school for personal reasons but he added the staff expects him back in the summer and ready to go. He said Tory Carter, Soni Fonua, Arik Gilbert, and Todd Harris are OUT for spring practice but Harris might get a couple of plays. He added Neil Farrell will be back in two weeks. He also said cornerback Elias Ricks will be limited in spring practice but will compete for a starting job.
Orgeron also talked about safety Maurice Hampton Jr., who is also a member of the LSU baseball team. Coach O said Hampton will only focus on baseball during the spring. Coach O said former Amite wide receiver and defensive back Devonta Lee will move to linebacker.
“On defense, I do believe this is one of the most talented defenses we’ve had since we’ve been here. There’s a lot of speed out there, there’s a lot of new faces. But I do believe that this 4-3 attacking defense fits our personnel better than it’s ever been," Orgeron explained.
Spring practice will begin on Saturday, March 7. The Tigers will hold 15 practices.
The annual spring game will take place on Saturday, April 18 at A.W. Mumford Stadium.
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