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January 14, 2015

Kevin Steele

COACH MILES:  Pleased to announce the hiring of Kevin Steele as our defensive coordinator and Ed Orgeron as our defensive line coach.  Coach Steele, a veteran of coaching and certainly a veteran of our conference, participated in both the NFL and college.  Head coach at Baylor, coached alongside very, very quality coaches in Tom Osborne, Bobby Bowden, Dom Capers in the NFL, and Nick Saban in the SEC.
Really we've communicated often and in terms of professional development I've wanted to hire him for some time, to be honest.  But who he is as a person, his ability to create and maintain relationships, his familiarity with the league, his wide knowledge base of defensive football, he's one of the best recruiters in college.  He is an advocate of our style of defense and very pleased that he joins our staff.
Ed Orgeron, I think I met Ed really several times, but when we played Ole Miss, his teams played so hard.  He was defensive line coach at the University of Miami, Tennessee, New Orleans Saints, been the head coach at USC.  The one thing about Ed Orgeron is his great enthusiasm for the State of Louisiana.  He has a passion for football and the players that he coaches.  He's a great recruiter.  Has a number of relationships in this State and that played a very important part in the hiring of him.
But both of these men will have a great impact on our defense and we really are very thrilled to welcome them both.  So I think you want to bring up Steele first.
KEVIN STEELE:  Thanks, Coach Miles.  It's a great day to be an LSU Tiger.  My family and I are extremely, extremely excited to be part of the LSU football program, and we want to thank Coach Miles for affording us this opportunity.  I know this program pretty well in that my son was a graduate assistant for three years for Coach Miles, Gordon.  And of course Caroline and Linda came down often to the games here.
I would go into the stadium and coach the game and drive home by myself because mom and sister were at LSU watching Gordon coach as a graduate assistant, so you know the pecking order in our family.  They're very excited about coming back and being an LSU Tiger.
As far as the journey getting here, this is an amazing opportunity, and the reason being is that I firmly believe that without question that the LSU defensive football is and always has been something in this league and across the nation that says relentless pursuit, great effort, and just a dominating attacking style defense.  That is just what LSU football was built on.  That's what it is, and that's what it's continued to be under Coach Miles.
We'll absolutely keep that philosophy and keep it rolling and create an environment where we can put the best players on the field to have fun and go be successful, give them opportunities to lineup in the ways you have to lineup with modern day football in this conference.  And six, seven years ago, you went and you lined up against the I‑Backs and everybody hammered it, a little bit of play action pass and then it was like the NFL third down pass.  Now, obviously, you guys cover this.  It's not that way anymore.  It's uniquely different.
So you have to be creative with the ways that you generate pass rush, that you generate big plays or negative plays for offenses and prevent big plays, and we'll be relentless in our pursuit to do that.
But I was sitting here thinking, Ed and I have talked ball already a little bit today and some recruiting.  And Ed, I'm not sure if we had a funeral for you and I today that this many people would show up, so it's kind of amazing.  With that, I'll open it up for questions.

Q.  Coach, is it more important to kind of adapt to what these players or personnel does to your style or are you going to try to do what LSU has done in terms of scheme?
KEVIN STEELE:  Well, I believe it will be a mix.  We'll get in the room and watch all the tape.  Obviously, I'm familiar with what the scheme is here.  We'll watch all the tape and collectively we'll put together, with Coach Miles and the defensive staff, what style gives us the best way to affect offenses in this league.  So it won't just be taking a playbook out, dusting it off and throwing it on and saying this is what we're doing.  We have to adapt things to the talent on the field, because I promise you this, I cannot tackle.

Q.  Coach, Kevin, you're looking at 3‑4 or 4‑3?  And secondly, what do you think in your opinion is the key to stopping up the hurry‑up, no‑huddle offense now?
KEVIN STEELE:  Let's take them one at a time, and I'll ask you to readdress the second question, because I didn't hear the last part of it very well.
In terms of 4‑3, 3‑4, again, that goes back to the original statement and that we will put together philosophically.  You're going to have to use it all in this league.  You're going to have to have some odd‑front stuff particularly against the spread offense that much of the West is running, so to get those two edge guys out there.  But there also is a place for the other, so we'll have to mix that.
The other part of your question is?

Q.  The key to stopping the hurry‑up, no‑huddle offense right now?
KEVIN STEELE:  I think I could give you an answer and you could type really fast, and it would probably be something people would read.  But the truth is I don't think anybody's dissected it to the very minute point that they're going to dump it and go like the wishbone, where one day everybody said enough of that.  Everybody knows what they're doing.  I think it's still a work in progress.
But I think the thing that probably when you break it down in its totality and you just say, and this is a pretty simple answer to a complicated question, is when you really break it down in its totality, you have to create negative plays and get them behind the sticks early in the downs.  Then the big plays in this league have gone up tremendously in terms of the big explosive plays for the offense.  You have to eliminate that.  You can't survive if you don't eliminate the big play, which is pretty prevalent in the league right now, when you start talking about those style offenses and put them behind the sticks in first down.

Q.  Kevin, you talked about being familiar with this program.  Could you talk about getting Orgeron with you and what that means, how familiar you are with his work.  And secondly, just the resources that you have here at this school and defensively especially, being able to coach those kinds of guys?
KEVIN STEELE:  Well, as far as Coach Orgeron, obviously his resume speaks for itself.  In fact, just riding over here today one of the former NFL linebackers that I coached in the NFL sent me a text, "Congratulations.  You'll do great.  Coach Orgeron, greatest hire ever; you'll love him."  So I mean that's just from a guy who played in the National Football League for ten years.  I mean, his record speaks for itself in terms of producing players.
But not only that, when people talk about Ed, it's the relationship he has with his players and fellow coaches and the energy he brings.  So we're pretty excited about that.
Second part of your question was?

Q.  Just the players and the assets that LSU has been able to put into the league and get your hands on.  How exciting is that?
KEVIN STEELE:  It's pretty exciting.  It's a pretty talented group of people.  And that is because there is tremendous high school football and development of players in this state.  This is a place that if you walk into a school to recruit a young man, you have an opportunity because of the letters on your shirt.  Not because you're a great recruiter and not because you're a great coach, but because you represent the LSU Tigers, you're in the door.  That gives you a chance.  Then if you can persuade enough mothers to lend you their son for a little bit, then you get a collective group of defensive players that are hard to move the ball against.

Q.  You and Coach O have been described as a dynamite recruiting tandem, or could be at least.  Can you talk about hitting the ground running on Thursday.  And how much can you guys move up in the recruiting rankings before early February?
KEVIN STEELE:  We'll hit the ground tonight, and then of course live contact starts tomorrow.  So we've just got a meeting with Coach Miles of planning, actually, where we'll be the next three weeks.  So we've got a pretty proactive plan to implement.
The second part was what now?

Q.  How many guys do you think you can possibly flip, and how much gain can you make before February?
KEVIN STEELE:  Well, gain is valued in terms of, and don't take this wrong.  There is a difference in a staff meeting talking recruiting and then reading the internet talking recruiting in terms of the rankings and this guy is this, and this guy is that.  It's totally different in a staff room and you're evaluating film and trying to find the best fit for what you do.  Obviously, I don't think any video that I've watched on a recruit, I don't ever remember seeing how many stars he had pop up and say, oh, okay, we can't take this guy.  He's a two star.  It's truly evaluating his factors.  His critical factors at his position.
So moving up to us is quite different than moving up elsewhere, if that makes sense.

Q.  You just touched on recruiting a bit, but Alabama has put together back‑to‑back good classes while you've been there.  How would you best describe your role on that staff recruiting‑wise?  Because you've been billed as a guy who kind of helps organize things top to bottom.
KEVIN STEELE:  I'm at LSU now, so I don't know anything about what's going on there in terms of that.  But I know what you're saying.  I know what you're saying.
The role was no different than Frank Wilson here or Ed Orgeron's role.  The thing about recruiting is it's not one guy.  Now the head coach has a critical factor in that, obviously.  But as far as assistants go, it's a team effort.  It's no different than Ed coaching the defensive line and he coaches the linebackers and Corey coaching the defensive backs.  At the end of the day, we're all involved in the defense.  Recruiting is the same way.  It's multiple visits, different people connecting with different people, and it takes a complete family of coaches to create a family for them here and to recruit them here.      

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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