Abell Images - 2019 Peach Bowl
CHICK-FIL-A PEACH BOWL: LSU VS OKLAHOMA

December 26, 2019

K'Lavon Chaisson

Atlanta, Georgia


Q. Even with all the other stuff they throw in on you guys at a bowl, you all still manage to --
K'LAVON CHAISSON: Still manage. I mean, you practice on Christmas Day, I think that should tell you now.

Q. Was it difficult at all, after the Alabama game, to kind of hit the reset button and say we've got to move on to the next goal? It seemed like that had been a big focus.
K'LAVON CHAISSON: Maybe a big focus for the outside, not a big focus on the inside.

I mean, it was great to win that game. I feel like it was good for the state. It was good for the city of Baton Rouge, but it was a regular game. I feel like with the confidence level we have on this team and so much we have in the offense and the offense has in us, we went into that game knowing we were going to win. We were prepared for it. So it wasn't really just a reset. But it was more so like we need to keep it moving. We don't need to start slacking and going down.

Q. Name your position and one fun thing you like about Bowl Week so far.
K'LAVON CHAISSON: Hey y'all, this is K'Lavon Chaisson, Number 18, outside linebacker at LSU. Everything is going great. We're in the big College Football Hall of Fame, you know. This is great. Glad to click in with y'all at the Peach Bowl. See y'all Saturday.

Q. The game plan for Jalen, is it one of those deals where you want to rush him enough to not get him outside the pocket and make sure -- kind of keep eyes on him?
K'LAVON CHAISSON: Yeah, a lot. It's one of them. It's more so of a lot of his plays is not really too much of a quick game. It's more letting things develop, probably a play action or a looky passing thing.

So it's about rushing him, keeping consistent pressure him all game but don't rush past the quarterback and create open wide lanes. Going into the game with the mindset -- going into the Texas game and kind of took the wrong approach and tried to keep him in the pocket. He beat us with his arm all game.

We're going in with our approach and we'll make something out of it.

Q. Is it rush to the level? What do you call it?
K'LAVON CHAISSON: Just level rush, that's it. Don't slow your rush down. Don't bull or anything. But keeping conscious and keep in mind don't rush past the quarterback and give him a wide lane to run the ball. We trust our defensive backs enough, where they're going to make him hold the ball long enough. They have one great receiver. Other than that, we have four great defensive backs that many can't handle.

Q. You're right, he'll run receivers out. That's what he does.
K'LAVON CHAISSON: Exactly.

Q. So it's kind of knowing that going in, do you have to have that patience, I guess?
K'LAVON CHAISSON: Especially as a pass rusher, something that you kind of don't want to think about going against. It's like, man, I got to worry about him running the ball. I'd rather he sit in the pocket like a duck and let me grab you.

It's something great on his part. He knows that. He knows as a team that plays a lot of man that we trust our defensive backs against any receiver in the country. He's going to get sometimes in the open field and make something out of.

With people manned up, with their backs turned to the quarterback, that's his time to shine.

Q. Coach Aranda called a triple option. I thought that was interesting. You really have to read your keys.
K'LAVON CHAISSON: Exactly. We all know the Ole Miss game, when he just did it. He just has a better arm than the Ole Miss quarterback. It's something you have to watch. 255 yards rushing for a quarterback is not common.

Q. What about this team? I was talking to Coach O and he was talking about the leadership. For me, it clicked in my head, trust is what the team is built on. You trust each other to make the plays. They trust you to be business-like. And you trust them to put you in the right spot. Is that what you've been successful?
K'LAVON CHAISSON: Of course, this team is more player driven than anything. Go with the simple fact that a lot of players, we want this ourselves. We know this is a special year for us. We knew from the get-go it would be a special year. It's all about how the players approach the game.

In the past, I've been part of teams where it's more so thinking about the next level and not right now. So, man, I say everybody -- especially on this defense and this offense and the special teams players -- all clicked and they all bought in. It's all about the team and nobody has any individual goals.

Q. I think it's interesting that you knew it early. We didn't know it. We didn't know the offense would be as good as it was. Everybody we talked to was like, yeah, we knew this team had this potential. Why?
K'LAVON CHAISSON: We're the ones in this program so we know. I mean, a lot of people, they caught -- so it's like man, you go get a quarterback who doesn't even play at Ohio State and you try everything that works. So we knew -- from the get-go, we knew how good it would be, seeing Coach Brady come in and help in the spring, changed a lot of things up.

As especially a defense, we win most of our scrimmages in the spring and fall on campus. When the offense wins scrimmages, you're like whoa, wait a minute. You start thinking are we just terrible or is the offense just great? The offense is great. That's what it is.

Q. The last four or five games, you've really turned it on. I mean, it's been incredible. Is it just something within you, or is it something with the people around you that have kind of helped you? Less people double-teaming you? What's been the difference in the stretch for you?
K'LAVON CHAISSON: Personally, it's been good getting in a groove, getting healthier, getting your knowledge on the game. You only get better as your experience gets more -- as your experience gets older. So I feel like that's coming around, getting my experience up and getting my knowledge going with the game.

Playing with great defensive linemen doing their jobs, I can count on them to make my job easier. I feel like just with the help of others and getting my knowledge of the game up and my experience, that's what's making me keep on going.

Q. The defense has really responded to the challenge. After the Ole Miss game, they responded. When you got knocked down to Number 2 in the standings, the defense took that as a personal affront.
Talk about the last two games. What happened with the defense? Was it a matter of people getting healthy or a matter of, all right, we've got all this talent. Let's play like we have the talent.

K'LAVON CHAISSON: Both. I feel like it's more of a 90 percent healthy and 10 percent play like it. That's been intentional from the get-go. We never wanted to slack off.

As a defense, we're not going to keep getting disrespected. LSU has never been disrespected for the defense. Always the offense. When the defense started getting disrespected, people started talking to us. I get DMs and text messages daily talking about the defense.

It's not speaking on the defense's mindset. It's getting people healthy. A lot of people weren't healthy. We know we're not going to be 100 percent healthy. You play in a tough conference like that, you got to be at least 80 or 85. You're going against NFL talent every week.

Q. Does this defense in a sense still kind of feel disrespected going into the game, in the sense when you hear people talk about Jalen Hurts, they say look what happened with LSU against Ole Miss. They discounted everything that's happened between that game and do you feel like every game, you've got togo out and prove something?
K'LAVON CHAISSON: Yeah, every game. Even if people ranked us the Number 1 defense, you'd still have something to prove. We're not taking anything for granted. We're not taking anybody lightly, man. Everybody got to get the work that we're given.

So, I mean, as a defense -- man, we know as an offense, their expectations and they're receiving so much praise. The defense wants the same. It's kind of so much a competition if you ask me.

So the defense, we take it personally. Every day, we're talking about something we can work on. Come Saturday, we can put it on the field.

Q. I'm kind of doing a sad story here. I know you guys know Ed Aschoff, who passed, right? I was talking to Grant about him. He ate with you guys in the cafeteria. Do you have any memories, anything that pops up?
K'LAVON CHAISSON: Yeah, that's the first thing when we speak about him. He said we was going to lose -- was it 'Bama and Florida. Or A&M. It was one of them three teams. I was like man, what? Are you serious? I really think he said something about A&M. That's what got me the most. I was like, Bro, you work for who?

He was a cool dude overall. Honestly, I didn't know nothing about that, man. That's what kind of threw me off. To see it was his birthday, that kind of hurt me as well, Bro. Me and Grant talked about it, and he was such a positive person, always smiling. So it kind of threw me off. You would never expect him to have anything. It's true when you say you never know what people is going through outside of stuff.

He didn't bring anything down, no negative energy from anybody from the time I was with him. So it was a sad case, man. I hope his family is taking it well and getting better and grieving at the right pace.

But in my opinion, I feel like he was such a great dude. Everybody -- God has a plan for everybody. Hopefully, this comes out for the better, helping his family out with a new situation.

Q. I want to ask you about Stingley. How quickly did you guys know he would make this kind of an impact?
K'LAVON CHAISSON: The first day he got here, when he was working with the defensive backs, was working with Grant, working with Greedy, working with Kristian, he was clicking. I used to watch him all the time with his dad work out.

I feel like that comes with being part of this program, this tremendous program. You get the help of Coach Raymond, who is one of the best defensive back coaches in the country. If anybody don't know that, that's just the truth of it. Check his resum? and you should probably do an article on that. He's one of the top dogs and that goes along with this great program.

Q. Physically, what has allowed him to adjust so quickly?
K'LAVON CHAISSON: I feel like he's a great athlete. I mean, from -- speed-wise. In the weight room, he gets after it too. Like I said, overall, I don't want to put too much praise on him, because it's not only about him. I know you're asking about him, but this is something that goes with being a part of DBU, the tremendous university of defensive backs. This is something that was expected out of him that Grant put the pressure on him, that Kristian put the pressure on him, Greedy, every defensive back in the past, Carey puts the pressure on, the expectations that he needs to achieve and he's done it so far.
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