Abell Images - 2019 Peach Bowl
LSU head coach Ed Orgeron spoke with reporters on Thursday morning at the Peach Bowl Media Day ahead of Saturday's game vs. Oklahoma. Here's part 2 of what he had to say:

Q. I guess that's a growing trend, they all come from up the street and benefit LSU.
ED ORGERON: Sure does. And it helps us in recruiting. It helps the parents to know that those guys can come from Buford, from Atlanta, come to LSU and have success.

Q. Coach, a lot of people talk about each coach has his own different philosophy on how they coach the team. You hear a lot of people say it's Coach O's way. Explain that to us.
ED ORGERON: Say it again.

Q. A lot of coaches say they have a factor or a way of coaching. A lot of players say it's Coach O's way. Explain that to us.
ED ORGERON: I've been very fortunate to be under some great coaches, Jimmy Johnson, Paul Pasqualoni, Dennis Erickson, and Pete Carroll. A combination more of what we did at Miami, what we did at USC, combine both of them.

Obviously, you've got to give your own flavor, be your own person. That's just the way we do things.

Q. Ed, you talked last year about the need to get more analysts, and you got a bunch and you added some more. Is it any coincidence that you guys have done better program-wise the last two years?
ED ORGERON: Good point. I think it's a direct result of our success. We were so far behind, and I knew it, and I didn't think we was giving our team a fair advantage.

Now we have the power, we have the knowledge, we have advanced scouting. We have analysts that are breaking down everything we're doing, breaking down our opponent. We have answers for our players.

Our coaches are able to get more information a lot quicker and put the game plan in a lot quicker. These guys have made all the difference in the world.

Think about the analysts we have. We have NFL coordinators, big college coordinators. We have guys who have been in the NFL. Just a tremendous amount of knowledge.

Q. And if I can ask specifically about Jorge Munoz. You brought him in from Lafayette. And Joe invited him to the Heisman ceremony. His role and what he's meant.
ED ORGERON: Jorge does a great job of setting up what we call our winning edge. Obviously, he can't coach it on the field, but he does a lot of game management stuff for me.

Also is involved in cut-off, also is involved in recruiting, also involved in setting up the daily meetings, setting up the drills for a coach without coaching on the football field.

He is very knowledgeable. He's like having an extra offensive coordinator in the room with thoughts. I know he breaks down protection with Coach Cregg. I think I get there on Tuesday morning at 6:00. They've been there since 4:00 figuring stuff out. Tireless worker.

Q. Ed, as part of juggling the bowl excitement and the business of winning this game, I know you've had this approach. You identified that pretty early, we need to focus in.
ED ORGERON: We started early. Listen, we're not going to the bowl. We're going to win a playoff game. I've got to give it to the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. They understand that too.

There's not been a required amount of time, too much required amount of time. But our kids had a couple of events. They had a Family Feud the other night, which was very interesting. And then last night, they had a little -- right before Christmas dinner, they had a basketball shoot-off contest.

So these guys have been great. I think it's been a nice combination of letting us have our meeting time, great accommodations, practicing in the Dome, focus in and then they've had about a half hour or so of events each night, which has been good.

Our guys, we've had 100 percent curfew every night. Everybody in for curfew. The focus has been tremendous. They totally get that this is a playoff game.

Q. You guys had a chance to play on this turf, and I remember the championship game and stuff like that, they were slipping a little bit. Did you switch cleats?
ED ORGERON: We had to change cleats during the week. We had guys, especially on Tuesday, when we had a tough practice. Linemen were slipping, outside linebackers were slipping.

So we continued to change the right cleats. Every guy needs a different cleat, different footing. So I think we've got it pretty good right now. It was an advantage this week of practicing on that turf.

Q. Coach, how have you evaluated the Oklahoma defense this week? A lot of people say they didn't really have a chance to stop the LSU offense because Georgia couldn't stop LSU's offense. In my opinion, Oklahoma is built for this type of spread.
ED ORGERON: Yes. They play the spread every day. They play the spread in their conference. They know what they're doing. The biggest accomplishment to me, for Oklahoma's defense, is allowing only 24 points per game in that league where guys are scoring 50 all the time. What a tremendous accomplishment.

But the middle linebacker is one of the best guys we've seen, obviously. He can run down, make plays in space. Their defensive line is very quick and agile, and what they do, they stunt almost every down.

So you got to pick up those stunts. If you don't, they're negative plays. I think a combination of that and outstanding coverage makes them a very, very good defense.

Q. Have you done anything differently to prepare your offensive line for the speed of that defensive front?
ED ORGERON: Sure, yeah. We have what we called our cheetah package, where we have four fast guys in there and we're going against -- I've brought them down there with Coach Cregg and I run the cord and we run the different stunts. Those guys try to pick it up to simulate the speed of game.

Q. How have you guys handled the bulls eye so far? You've played so many good teams. There's hype and talk about Joe Burrow and the Heisman, the good team you're playing. How do you handle the bulls eye?
ED ORGERON: We block out the noise. It's about focusing on the task at hand. It's about fundamentals. When we get in the meeting room, it's Tell the Truth Monday. It's Competition Tuesday. It's Turnover Wednesday. Today is No Repeat Thursday.

It's about focusing on the task at hand. We don't talk in our room about individual accomplishments. We don't talk about trophies. We don't talk about nothing but fundamentals and when the team does well and what the team needs to get better.

Q. Have you been able to enjoy this? 15 years ago, you're in the S.E.C., it doesn't go too well. You're back, you're the number one team in America. How does it feel?
ED ORGERON: Feels good. I'm happy for our team, happy for the state of Louisiana. You've got to win this game. There's no time to relax. There's no time to sit back. During recruiting, we had one week to focus on recruiting.

This is not our final destination. This is a big game for us, and we're here to win it.

Q. Ed, you talk a lot about (no microphone). What is it that makes guys pop like that?
ED ORGERON: We feel like Chris has come along. I really like his ball security. When we put him in there, in the games, he ran tough. He ran with an attitude. We think we're going to need some physicality in this game.

The thing that Chris does, along with John and Tyrion, they do a combination of everything that Clyde does. So we'll have to use all three of them.

Q. Does that help spread the ball around as well?
ED ORGERON: Yes, it does. They stay fresh, they stay hungry. They want to go in there and prove themselves. All three of them are good backs so they're going to be hungry to play. Obviously a big game in a big setting.

The number one thing for us is ball security.

Q. You talk aboutthe leadership on the team. Almost like a coach's dream.
ED ORGERON: I go to bed, I don't even worry about it. I know the next day they're going to tell me 100 percent curfew. I see the guys. I watch them. I see them in the morning. I know they're getting rest. They're like my children. You can tell when your children ain't doing right.

When they're doing right, I have no complaints about the way these guys have acted.

Q. Get back to the trust that everybody seems to have.
ED ORGERON: I believe that one team, one heart beat. I think that has been developed. I think that's a culture. I do believe that everyone knows the task at hand, whether it be a third string guy, a second string guy, or the top guys. I think everybody has a vested interest in what we got to get done here. One team, one heartbeat, and you can feel it.

Q. Coach, LSU has always had loads of talent at the skill positions and they've have had talent at quarterbacks, but they've kind of managed the game throughout the years and fallen into the fold.
Now you have a quarterback like Joe Burrow, who you can say, go out and win the game for me. He's set record numbers this year. What's it like having a guy that's not just a game manager, but you can put everything on his back and say win the game?

ED ORGERON: Obviously, it's a big advantage. What we always wanted at LSU, having a great back. The thing that's made our offense go is the play of our offensive line. I mean, those guys have been the MVP. Obviously, Joe's an outstanding player. We have outstanding athletes on the perimeter. But the offensive line has done a really good job this year. And then Stevens (indiscernible) and Joe Brady. I mean, the type of offense we're running is exactly what fits our skill set.

Q. Joe said that defensively on the back end, Oklahoma is a little similar to what Texas does in the secondary. What up front have you seen from Oklahoma that they do a little bit different than everybody else?
ED ORGERON: Stunt every down. I mean, every down is a stunt. They do a good job of it. Sometimes, when you stunt, you get out of your gaps and you get gashed on the run. Think about this. These guys have only given 24 points a game. They're very solid, know what they're doing, very quick.

Q. Joe has taken on the larger-than-life personality on and off the field. Does your experience back in the day with the Leinhart years, have they achieved similar status?
ED ORGERON: Very similar, and it's very similar, helped me to see the way Coach Carroll handled it. Coach Carroll let everybody be themselves. Obviously, when it comes down to practice, we focus on the task at hand.

You can always tell when your team is focused. You can always tell when your team is distracted. I think we've been the most focused this week as we've been all year.
Filed Under: LSU Football


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