Oct. 2 Ed Orgeron Press Conference
LSU Sports Interactive
LSU COACH ED ORGERON PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT – Florida week
COACH ORGERON: Welcome, guys. We spent the last two days finding the fixable problems and starting to fix them. And obviously we're disappointed in our play.
Here's some of the things that we found on offense. Ball security, four turnovers. Third down execution, 0 of 8, whether it be protection, route running, passes, combination of all of them. Must-finish drives. Overall execution, had critical mistakes by all units at different times that were pivotal.
On defense, get off the field on third down. They were 10 of 18. We need to fit the run better. There were a couple of miss-fits there for some long runs. Fit perimeter screens on special team, improve our field goal kicking and eliminate the two penalties.
Positive for the game - I thought Christian LaCouture played his best game. He had two sacks, several tackles, was all over the field. Fifth year of eligibility, a senior, meant a lot to him. And also Greg Gilmore.
Moving on, very important week for the LSU Tigers. I know our guys are going to be fired up, ready to go to work today after we go through 24-hour rule.
Traveling on to the swamp, Florida Gators, 4-1, 3-0 on the SEC. Offense they're pro style. Offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, several returning starters, averaging about 360 yards a game, 146 yards rushing, 212 passing.
Top player is Tyrie Cleveland, Malik Davis and Martez Ivey. Very good offensive line. Three good running backs. Number 20 is probably their best one, the freshman.
Defensive breakdown, very familiar with their defense because I coached with Randy Shannon.
Randy played with us when I was at Miami. He was my graduate assistant coach. We remain friends throughout the years. He's running 4-3, cover 4 under a cover 1, a lot of the things we did at Miami back in the day, wolf (phonetic) pressure.
Six returning starters. He's giving up an average of 381 yards a game, 26 points per game and they pour zero fumbles inside five interceptions.
Top players are David Reese, middle linebacker, Nick Washington, senior, safety, Cece Jefferson, a guy I was highly involved in recruiting. He's very explosive. He's a good pass rusher and plays with a high motor.
On special teams, their kickoff is number one in the nation, they have zero returns. They're very, very capable of returning kicks and punts, with all the speed they have at Florida. Any questions?
Q. What are the problems on offense that you see? Is it in the coaching staff? Do you guys need to figure out kind of how to get on the same page? Seems like you might be fighting each other there.
COACH ORGERON: You know, execution. Obviously this is Matt's offense. And he brought in -- he implemented every play, everything. I did step in last week for the first time.
I wanted to simplify only the shifts in motions. I knew we were going to start two freshmen linemen, so I wanted the guys to be in place so we knew how to block them.
That's all I've ever done. This is Matt's offense. He runs it. He calls it. He scripts the plays. This is his offense.
Q. Reflecting back on the film, do you feel like your team is giving maximum energy and effort out there on the field?
COACH ORGERON: A lot of people ask me that question. It does look like we're playing flat sometimes. We feel that we are practicing with energy. There was a lot of energy in the locker room.
But I think that -- we have a saying: Big plays fuel emotion. We go out there, we fumble the play on the first snap. And they score a touchdown, I think it took the air out of us. That's my job. That's one of my strengths.
I think you'll see a team very fired up to play this week, and hopefully we can continue to do that and continue to improve in that area.
Q. And is there anything going on with Derrius besides an injury that's preventing him from getting on the field, playing, contributing to the team?
COACH ORGERON: Nope.
Q. We saw kind of different offenses out there in the first half than the second, more simplified with less shifts in the first half. Where do you go from here with the offense and which one do you kind of use?
COACH ORGERON: That's totally up to Matt. And I'm going to leave that totally up to him. And, again, I will say this, I stepped in last time for the first time. And I wanted to simplify things in order for us to have less penalties, better execution.
At halftime he felt like he needed to shift and motion more, which he did. And that's totally his option. This is totally his offense.
Q. You mentioned after the game-play calling, how do you improve in that area as a coaching staff in general?
COACH ORGERON: You know, we've got to look at what the defense is giving us. Take what they're giving us. We have to look at what the offense is doing. We've got to be able to stop it. That's an overall area of improvement. And that's every week in football.
Q. What was Coach Canada's reaction whenever you did step in last week?
COACH ORGERON: All fine. I'm the head coach.
Q. How do you plan to use the quarterbacks this week?
COACH ORGERON: Danny is our starter. And he's our starter. Hopefully we can go four quarters with him in a very big football game. We've never planned to play Myles in one of the SEC games to just throw him in there. We're just preparing Myles in case Danny got hurt, that he has some snaps and can perform. And I think he has performed pretty well.
Q. I guess some of the early criticism has been about both sides of the ball on the line not playing very physical. You even mentioned that. What's the problem there? Are they not in shape? Is it the fundamentals? What's going on there? Because people are shoving you all around. And obviously to get better you have to hit more. But you can't hit more because you don't have the depth.
COACH ORGERON: I think that you bring up a good point. We're not playing the way we want to on both sides of the line of scrimmage. That's one of the reasons I wanted to quit shift in motion, be more physical at the point of attack. But you know you're playing two freshmen there. The guys are moving and they're challenging our two freshmen.
On defense, our best player is out, Rashard Lawrence. We don't have Ed Alexander out there. We don't have Frank Herron out there. So we have the guys that are doing the best they can. But Glen Logan was a redshirt freshman and played almost every snap at right end.
It was kind of difficult to hold the point. We wish we could have rotated him but we couldn't. And we think that we can have some help with Rashard Lawrence this week, and Ed Alexander and Frank Herron against Auburn.
Q. How do you block out the noise from that room of everything that's going on and people talking about wanting you fired or doing this, how do you block that noise out?
COACH ORGERON: I hadn't heard that. Thanks for telling me. I go to work, show up at 6:00 in the morning, say my prayers, drink my coffee, watch film. I stay in the office all day, call my wife two or three times a day, text my boys. Go to practice. Go watch film. Go home and I put my head on the pillow and go to bed.
I don't listen to the news. I don't listen to none of that. That's out of my control.
Q. Your guys talked a lot about communication trouble last time you went on the road to Mississippi State. How do you clean it up this week?
COACH ORGERON: We have to. Crowd noise. Simplify the things we can do, silent snap count, all that stuff. It's part of playing in the SEC. Fixing to go on some big road games, so we'd better get used to it.
Q. We've seen more and more receivers getting involved in the passing game. And you've expressed concerns about therapy experience and ability levels before. Have you seen their progression at a rate that you're comfortable with?
COACH ORGERON: With Stephen? Yes. Drake, he's coming. Still, the other receivers have a ways to go. But we like our first three receivers. We think they're very solid. Like the way the tight ends caught the ball last week. We like to throw the ball to the tight ends more, get our backs involved more, spread the ball around a little bit more.
Q. On the 74-yard run, it looked like two guys had a real chance to make that tackle. And for whatever -- they didn't see them or they didn't engage. It wasn't a good look. What was your take on that?
COACH ORGERON: It was a counter. And we had too many guys outside. We had the first guy splattered, what we call splatter, we used to call a spill. Next guy should have splattered, sent it to the safety.
We had one safety that was supposed to be up. The next safety was a little too tight. He's supposed to be back, what we call fox in the post. And he had cleanup duty. He came up. We had three guys overrun it and we had a seam and he hit it.
So it was a matter of execution on the defense and fits. And, by the way, they ran that play three times later and we crushed it. Just a bad fit that play.
Q. You mentioned Ed Alexander and Rashard, we could see them coming back this week. How about some offensive guys, Toby and J.D. and of course Derrius?
COACH ORGERON: Those guys are still questionable.
Q. Talk Florida a little bit. Does it help knowing a little bit with Del Rio out, looks like Feleipe will be the guy as far as defensive planning?
COACH ORGERON: I think it helps a little bit. But obviously they're good coaches. And I just watched that offensive line all morning. And it doesn't affect them at all. Maybe they can run the ball more. They've got three good backs, very talented. Tremendous challenge for us up front.
Q. Their ground game?
COACH ORGERON: I can see them doing it. They have good backs -- last year we had problems stopping their run, their power game. And they were very, very physical at the line of scrimmage. That's going to be a challenge for us this week.
Q. Austin Deculus enrolled early, highly touted tackle. Why haven't we seen more of him, and how close are we to seeing that?
COACH ORGERON: Just not there yet. Just not there yet. He does a lot of good things, not ready to step in be a starter yet. He's a very physical man, smart young man. Great young man. Works hard. But he's just not ready to go in there and take the snaps that we feel that --
Q. How do you and Matt get together and decide when to put in the other quarterback and when to take him out, how does that happen?
COACH ORGERON: We talk about it before the game, one week before the game. We talk about the game plan and then we talk about the quarterback play and say let's find a time for Danny to go in; you let me know what you think and I'll let you know what I think.
I do converse with him throughout the game: What do you think now? Now one more series with Danny. There's a couple of things I want to get done. And now is the right time to put in Miles. And we decide on it and do it.
Q. The field goal kicking, is it back open, how do you approach it this week?
COACH ORGERON: We'll discuss it a little bit later. We don't have any other choices. That's what we have. Hopefully we can get the guys better. I will say this about Jack, I sat behind him at practice on Thursday. He was 5 of 5 of field goals, he was perfect, right down the middle. Just went out there and didn't do a good job.
Q. How important is it for the coaches and the players to have the right mindset moving forward into the season?
COACH ORGERON: Yes, I think that's my job. One of my strengths. Today is 24-hour rule. We'll get going. We'll make improvements. I'll be very positive with this football team, believe in them. Expect them to get better.
We had a meeting on Saturday night. They had a players-only meeting on Saturday night. I'm meeting with the leaders at 1:30. We will foster leadership like we always do. But even foster it more, expect some guys to step up.
And we're going to battle. I mean you put our backs to the wall, we just know how to battle. That's all we're going to do.
Q. Was that meeting after the game?
COACH ORGERON: There was one, yeah, after I met with them. Darrel Williams, I believe, brought them up and guys started talking and stuff like that, which is good.
Q. That's gotta give you positive encouragement, right?
COACH ORGERON: It's good. We need leadership. We need guys to step up. We all need to do better.
Q. The saying goes "heavy is the head that wears the crown." You're a guy that is fighting for a job full of energy and now you have a lot more responsibility. Have you second guessed anything that you've done? Are you any different in ways that you can notice and maybe get back to?
COACH ORGERON: Yeah, well, you know, let me say this to you: I've remained the same coach I was as an interim coach. I have the same responsibilities. I do the same things every day. Obviously the load's a little bit heavier now, now that I'm a full-time coach. I understand the pressures out there. I understand LSU.
Look, I was born and raised like just you all here. I've been on that side; I get it. But you know what, it doesn't faze me at all. And the reason it doesn't faze me because I'm strong enough mentally to attack work every day, focus in on the task at hand and do what's best for this football team. And that's what I do.
Q. Could it perhaps be a positive to have to go on the road to a place like the Swamp where you're against the odds and the guys are going to have to rally and play together to have success there?
COACH ORGERON: You think? (Laughter) I love Tiger Stadium. But we're going to turn it into a positive.
Anytime you play Florida, whether you're home or away, guys are going to get revved up with. And there's some things we need to do better than we did last year. I'm going to mention that them to today. And it's a heated rival. We understand. That's the way college football is. But we need to behave in some situations a little bit better than we did last year.
Q. A lot was made of the practice regimen last year in the interim, do you maybe change that with the performance of your team and with the opponents coming up?
COACH ORGERON: You know, as a young coach, I would have. That was the wrong thing to do. Today I'd have them out in full pads, scrimmaging.
But I'm not going to change the practice routine. That's not it. This is a practice routine that's worked where we've played well. And so that's no reason for that. I think it's about fundamentals and details and the film room.
I asked the coaches today: Let's put together a list of things that we didn't do well. Let's make sure that we drilled it. Let's make sure that we worked it. Let's make sure that we gave them exact picture in practice for them to perform that skill. And if we didn't, let's do a better job this week. That's football. That's planning.
Q. You touched on you shouldering the leadership. Would you admit there's been a void when you lose guys like Beckwith and Adams and people and maybe it took a while to find those guys?
COACH ORGERON: Yeah, you know, you have five -- I think five players that are starting in the NFL, and those guys were leaders for us.
But those guys were also good players. I think there's a combination. You know, I think to be a great leader you have to be a great player or a good player.
You need to lead by example on the field. Then people are going to listen to you. If you're trying to lead and you're not making plays it's very hard. Very hard. So that's the combination we're looking for.
Q. More of a tactical question. Looks like Florida could be without wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland. But anyway, could you talk about what makes him so good and what they'll be missing if they don't have him?
COACH ORGERON: Speed, ability, deep ball ability. Beat one-on-ones. Charge after the catch. Very good player.
Q. There's been such a drastic change in the number of penalties y'all have had over the last couple of weeks. Do you still run the team for the penalties?
COACH ORGERON: Yeah.
Q. Or was that just a one week thing?
COACH ORGERON: Yeah, five of them. We had five penalties. Guys are going to run today. It will be addressed. They're going to run today. We will continue the same penalty policy.
The problem our team has improved in that area. I asked them to do it. But the one thing about this team, most of the things I've asked them to do they've done. So I expect them to step up this week, leadership, step up, play better, the coaching staff coach better, all of us together, one team, one heartbeat.
And hopefully most of them are not reading the newspaper. I hope they're staying focused. Hopefully the coaching staff is staying focused and believing in the task at hand that's what I'm doing.
Q. Improvement there to that (indiscernible)?
COACH ORGERON: I think it's having the referees at practice. Detail on everything that we're doing. Going over every penalty after practice. Punishment. Then each position coach goes into his position meeting with a goal of having no penalties. And they take pride in that.
Q. You touched on the fixable mistakes that you can identify. Those long-term problems, whether it be roster or depth or health or whatever. Is there anything that you and the coaches get together to talk about there? Is that an after-the-season thing?
COACH ORGERON: No, that's me in recruiting, had a recruiting meeting this morning. We need a JC lineman. We need a JC tackle. We need two JC offense linemen and two JC defensive tackles. We're looking for those guys.
I'm always looking for holes on the roster to fix. And we feel, with this recruiting class, we have some young freshmen that could come in and help us.
We have some JC needs that we need to go out and get. We don't have them yet. But those are the things that I address daily.
Q. Toby sort of displayed some, I guess, understandable frustration on social media yesterday. Did you talk to him about that? Is that something you have to address to guys be careful what they post?
COACH ORGERON: First time I'm hearing about it. But I will address it. Guys are going to be frustrated. But let's don't take it out on social media, better ways of taking that out.
Q. Arden, is it just hard, once you're in season, to get a guy in shape and practice and how can you guys get some more out of him?
COACH ORGERON: He's finally getting in game shape. And I think he's down to under 260 now. Maybe closer to 255. He played better this week. I know he didn't make a lot of plays. But technically he played better. He did make some mistakes.
I think it's just geared to practice. You don't practice in eight months. It's hard to come back and play a game full speed when you haven't been practicing. Everybody else has been training. Spring ball, summer training, camp.
Q. You mentioned the team meeting and meeting with the leaders. Have new leaders stepped up with guys off the field, Lawrence off the field recently. Has anyone, I guess, going back to offseason, stepped up that you didn't expect or just who are the leaders of this team now?
COACH ORGERON: Well, you know, Christian LaCouture, and J.D. Moore, give him 18. Danny. Those guys. But one guy that's clearly a team leader is Rashard Lawrence. Clearly. I mean, the two games we lost, he's not in there. And he makes a difference, not only his playmaking ability but the way he leads, his heart, his want to do good for Louisiana. He's a 4.0 grade point average. He does -- I mean, you couldn't ask for a better kid. He does everything right and he plays. And so he's one of our leaders.
Q. You talked about needing possibly two JC offensive linemen, two JC defensive linemen in that '18 recruiting class. You already have 19 commits. How do you kind of work those numbers to make sure you still get what you need to get?
COACH ORGERON: Hope and pray. Thank you, guys.