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September 25, 2017

Ed Orgeron

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

ED ORGERON: Welcome everybody. We're pleased with our victory on Saturday night. Brings us to 3-1 on the season. Looking forward to looking at the film today, improving on the things we need to improve on. We have a 24-hour rule and then it's on to Troy.

Positives on offense, some of the positives, no penalties. By the way, we only had three penalties in the ballgame, which we're proud of our young men for making improvements. They worked very hard all week on it. We still don't want three penalties. They're going to run through the penalties today, but obviously that's a marked improvement and we're proud of our young men and coaching staff.

Red zone offense three and three. 8 out of 14 on third down. We had five explosive plays over 20 yards. Defensive positive to stop the run. We improved our potential in the things we wanted to improve on, which was attempting to get the ball, and we thought we played with good effort. On special teams, our kickoff coverage, proud of Cam Gamble, the way he kicked the football. Punt coverage, zero return yards on five total punts which is exactly what we want.

Field goal protection is good, with five out of five PATs. Offense, proven ball security, we don't want to give up any turnovers, execution, pass protection, want to finish blocks and overall communication.

Defensive improvements: On third down, get off on third down, we didn't do it. We didn't contain the quarterback well enough. We lost contain many times. The quarterback went on edge and made some plays. The reversals got outside of us. We want to get lined up for pace tempo. Lot of times we weren't lined up properly in our gaps, and we'll still continue to improve on eye discipline and pass coverage on special teams.

On special teams: On punt return we had 57 yards lost and hidden yardage. We need to make better decisions with our punt returner. Me and the coaches met on it today, and we're going to coach our returner a little bit different. I've got to put that on us. We didn't coach them well enough there.

Kickoff return, we had 12 yards lost on hidden yardage, and we've got to do a better job on our blocks.

Okay. On to Troy. This is a very well-coached football team. This is a proud program that's won a lot of games. We're very familiar, a lot of our coaches are familiar with this staff and this program. We have the utmost respect for them. Obviously, they're 3-1, 1-0 in the Sunbelt Conference. Coach Neal Brown spent some time at Kentucky and Texas Tech. Their turnover margin is even with plus three. We need to take advantage of that.

On offense, the offensive coordinator is Kenny Edenfield. Kenny Edenfield is a friend of mine. We coached together at Nicholls State. He's been there for eight seasons and he's doing a tremendous job. They're a spread team, up-tempo, zone scheme, like to stretch in the zone read. The quarterback gets the ball out fast and will challenge the defense vertically just like we saw last week, so mostly the same offense.

They have ten returning starters from the 2016 team. They averaged almost 500 yards a game, 24 points per game. They've got good running backs. They've got three running backs back there that can play football. But the leading quarterback, Jordan Chung, No. 3, very versatile. 60 rushes, almost 300 yards and does catch the ball out of the back field and leads the team with five touchdowns. DeAndre Douglas, wide receiver with 19 receptions.

Brandon Silvers, No. 12, senior quarterback. He's completed 65% of his passes over 1,000 yards, two T.D.s and two interceptions. On defense, 3-4, defensive coordinator, Vic Koenning, Vic has been at Clemson, Kansas State, and North Carolina, a guy that we know well. He's a good football coach, six returning starters from 2016. They've given up an average of only 317 yards per game. 14 in the SEC, in the NCAA, allowing 18 points per game.

Troy defense has forced two fumbles, and three interceptions on the season. Top players are Rokard, Folsom and Russell. Special teams punt returners averaged 13 yards per return. 27 in the nation. Kickoff almost 25, 28th in the nation. Very solid on special teams.

Okay, that's my deal for the day.

Q. We saw Ed Paris in that heavy knee brace. Any idea on him?
ED ORGERON: Yeah, Ed's going to be out for the season. Just went through an operation, and hopefully we can red-shirt him and get him back for next year.

Q. How is Derius feeling?
ED ORGERON: Derius is out. I don't know if he's going to practice this week, and I don't know if he's going to play. We'll see how he goes on a day-to-day basis, but he's hurt a little bit right now.

Q. On the Ed Paris note, who are you expecting to fill that rotation?
ED ORGERON: Eric Monroe, John Battle who is currently out for today. Lot of young guys we have to check out out there. But Eric Monroe would be the guy right now?

Q. What about John's status?
ED ORGERON: John is out right now, but I think he's going to play this week. So we have to see as the week goes by. But I think he's going to be fine.

Q. Any thought to putting Cushenberry at center and Clapp at guard? What is the down side to maybe a move like that?
ED ORGERON: That has not been discussed. We'll stay with the same group we have.

Q. (Indiscernible)?
ED ORGERON: Yeah, we talked to Ed, and we think there are some things that we're going to get better at with Ed there. We're going to work on some things with him. It's not all him now. We just didn't play well up front. So he's a freshman. But we expect all the guys to play better. Obviously he's going to make some mistakes, and he did. But the rest of the guys did also.

Q. Is JaCoby an option at safety?
ED ORGERON: Yeah, he could be, but he's doing so well on offense that we're not going to do that right now. Obviously, that would be an emergency, but we're not ready to go there yet.

Q. Coach, I know you focused a lot on cleaning up penalties last week in practice. What is your main focus this week for practice?
ED ORGERON: Well, execution, starting fast, playing better on offense. Not making the mistakes that we did in protections. Being able to run the football, getting back to LSU style, being physical on defense, getting off the field on third down, finishing games.

It seems like we started slow on offense this week, and we started very fast on defense and ended up slow. We need to play a complete game, especially this week.

Q. Coach, I know it's an old topic, but it seems to be lingering a little bit. How much were you blind-sided from losing Teuhema in the season before and how is it hurting the offensive line at this point?
ED ORGERON: It's something we dealt with. Obviously it was a bolt to us. But I think our guys have done a good job dealing with it and not talking about it. But anytime you have that, it's a blow to your offense. These guys would be second team right now. He would be starting and they'd be getting very few reps, but they're in the fire. You know, they're good players, and I believe in them and they're going to get better.

Q. You plan on continuing to get Myles reps in a close game?

Q. What did you see from him last week?
ED ORGERON: He was four out of five, did fantastic. He missed one. The one he threw an out route was almost a pick. I think it was DJ that was open right behind him. That's going to be expected. They're going to make mistakes. I thought he threw the ball very well, great release, made great decisions. Dumped the ball to Darrel, and went for 30-something yards down against the blitz. That was a perfect read.

The interception that he threw was between him and the receiver. The receiver moved out a little bit, and it could have gone either way. No blame on anybody else. It could have been executed better. I thought he did fantastic for us first time they were under fire.

Q. We saw you make a change at punter and go with Zach later on in the game. Is that competition open at this point?
ED ORGERON: Sure, I think Zach's going to be our punter until he gets beat out. Obviously both of those guys have done a good job, but we weren't pleased with the inconsistency, and Zach has shown that he can punt during the week. Wanted to give him a chance. Think he had a 45 and 55 yarder. He did a very good job for us.

Q. We saw that four-wide set, first time we've seen it this season. Are you getting a little more comfortable there? Do you think we will see that a little more moving forward?
ED ORGERON: I think we get Sullivan, Davis, Stevens. Maybe a guy like Anderson would come around and he's been injured a bunch. And get the young Jefferson up to speed and go for a while. But we're not ready to make a living out of that. We're not well-versed in it. We haven't practiced it a bunch, and we feel like we can have a lot of success in four wides right now.

Q. (Indiscernible)?
ED ORGERON: I think it's more experience and better receivers. More receivers with experience, get better receivers that can play those positions, and we think we have a couple guys, but a couple of them are not eligible right now.

Q. Coach, you said that Troy has the same kind of fast-paced offense that Syracuse had. What are some keys for your defense to make sure they don't get warn out early?
ED ORGERON: We need to rotate better, and obviously we're very thin. I don't think Rashard Lawrence is going to play this week. He does give us a big boost when he plays. I thought he plays fantastic. We're very thin, but we have to learn how to rotate our guys earlier in the first and second quarter so they're not worn out in the third and the fourth. I think you'll see an improvement in that this week.

Q. On Rashard Lawrence, his ankle, he said he tweaked one and had his treatment on Sunday, I guess. Just your D-line, how different is it when he's out there? How important is he?
ED ORGERON: Night and day. He's a tremendous leader. He seems like he does everything right. He's getting everybody else lined up. He makes plays. He has the heart of a tiger. I knew that in recruiting. I knew Rashard would be the team captain of our team one day and lead us to many victories, and he did it at Neville, and he's going to do it again here. But he will not play this week, and hopefully we can have him by next week against Florida.

Q. Coach, you put Nick Brossette in a big spot the other night and he came through. Can you talk about that? Is that a message to everybody on the sideline to be awake, you never know when you're going to get called on?
ED ORGERON: No question. You never can tell. We put 11 men on the field and we fight like Tigers. His name was called upon and Tommie believed in him and he did it. Nick's going to be a good back for us. He's got to get his reps and his turn.

Q. You talked a little bit about Myles. Would you like to see more extend him for longer? How do you guys approach that with the room in the week building up. Is there a discussion you have?
ED ORGERON: I have our starting quarterback. I handle that. The team knows that. I'll tell them that today, and they'll understand. I told Myles the day we signed him, I said, be ready. I'm going to put you in. And I think it's unfair to him the drive and the interception. But what I didn't want to do is put the pressure on him to go win the football game. Because Danny is our starting quarterback and that's why we put him back in. I'm grateful that drive is beneficial to us, and we did the right thing there.

Q. Have you thought about putting Donte, or did you believe you needed to get the message to DJ in a different way?
ED ORGERON: I know it's going to be DJ. I think he's just got to get coached better. For instance, it's a rugby punt. We had their signal. We knew it was going to be a rugby punt, but we didn't relay it to him in time. If he had been relayed it, he would have moved over to the side of the rugby punt, which would have been to his left, then the ball wouldn't have been down on the 1-yard line.

So there were also technical areas that we did. We're going to back him up. We had him at ten yards and we're going to back him up to eight so he may be able to field some of the punts going behind his head but we will not back up behind eight yards.

But the punts that land in front of us when our feet are flat, we want to be aggressive and go get him. That's where the hidden yardage came from.

Q. Syracuse had that dropped touchdown. You said there are some busted coverages. When you go back and look at that on the film, how much do you stress like other teams can beat you, they're going to catch that ball in SEC play?
ED ORGERON: No question.

Q. How much more pressure does it put on these defensive backs when a guy like Donte is only getting five or six looks in the season so far?
ED ORGERON: No question.

Number one, we've always been great at LSU in man-to-man coverage. We take pride in playing bump coverage and we want to get better. Syracuse has some good receivers, but as you said, we're going to play a lot better receivers. So we're working on them. We're doing some things. We're not a two-high safety defense. We are an old cover two where you have help all the time. We don't believe in that. We believe in we let our corners play. Every once in a wile we give them help, but most of the time we have one on ones out there. And we believe in them. We believe that we can cover most people, so we expect them to do that.

What was what was the last part of your question?

Q. How much pressure does it put on guys when Donte's only getting maybe five or six looks, they're not throwing the ball at him and it puts pressure on these younger guys, right?
ED ORGERON: Well, it does. He's got three nice interceptions and one for touchdown. So they're going to throw away from Donte, it's a good corner. He can't fall asleep there. People are going to test them. We like the way Greedy's playing. Kevin came in and did some good things. We need to get better reps out of them mean some more consistency out of him, but he's a young player, a red-shirt freshman, and we think he's doing pretty well.

Q. Adrian Magee, I think you're going to leave him there at right guard?
ED ORGERON: We haven't discussed that yet. We think that he's a right guard right now. But we're glad that Adrian can come in and get some reps there.

Q. What did you see from him on film?
ED ORGERON: He did well. He did well. He was assignment sound. He got turned a little bit on his technique because he hadn't played a lot of rush on his technique, but I thought his assignments were good. They had a little blitz we called gut cross. He did a good job of picking it up. Did a good job of getting to the second level. Gave us some stability there. But he had a couple of technical errors that I know Coach Grimes is going to fix.

Q. Donavaughn Campbell is a guy we've seen in and out of practice. What is his status right now?
ED ORGERON: Yeah, he's out right now. He may end up getting red-shirted this year. I don't know that yet for sure.

Q. You reopened the field goal competition, but haven't had a chance to kick any field goals the last couple of games. How's that going? Would you like to maybe kick a couple before you go to SEC play again?
ED ORGERON: He sure looks good on extra points, five of five. But he's doing good in practice. He has secured that spot right now. He's our field goal kicker. But obviously we didn't see him do it in the game, but I think he can do it.

Q. We're a third of the way through the season. I know you talked about it after the game, evaluating where your team is at. Do you and the coaches sit down, I know it's tell-the-truth Monday, but this is who we are, and this is how we need to progress?
ED ORGERON: Well, we're 3-1. Obviously we'd like to be 4-0. We played well in spots. We're strong in some areas. We're young in a lot of areas. We're going to continue to get better one week at a time. We're going to focus in on Troy, and we want to play a complete game. That's our focus. We take it one day at a time, one week at a time. Obviously, we're pleased with the win at Syracuse. There were a lot of spots we didn't play well. We all know that. Those are the things we're focusing in on.

Q. Coach, how would you evaluate how Ardene has been in his first two weeks back? Do you think he's still easing back in?
ED ORGERON: No question, rusty. Rusty, very rusty. But you know what? He's his hardest critic. He's down to 260 now, and we want to lose some more weight, but he's not in football shape. I said that to him coming out. He's not superman, and he knows it. He wants to do great. He missed three sacks. He was all over the quarterback. He could have come out with three sacks in that game like that. He was just one step away of an elusive quarterback. Could have had a great game, he didn't have it.

He missed a couple assignments. He did some things well. I talked to him yesterday on the phone. He was in good spirits. He's going to come in today and work very hard. Maybe I can convince him to stay for another year and get better.

Q. Coach, your guys have done a great job at spreading the ball around so far this season. How are you going to continue to keep that up?
ED ORGERON: We're going to continue to give the ball to as many guys that can catch it. They can't catch it, we're not throwing it to them. They know that. We want to spread the ball around. I talked to Matt about it this morning. He has a great plan. JaCoby sees him touching the football. The backside of the back field. He's doing a tremendous job of spreading the ball around. We want to continue to do that. Drake Davis showed, Stephen Sullivan showed.

Hopefully we can get Dee Anderson in the mix, and continue to use our talent on our football team.

Q. This is just something that we're trying to figure out the differences when Danny was in the game versus when Myles was in the game. It seemed like the plays got off faster or they developed faster. A lot of the early stuff was the backside pursuit catching a back or whatever it was. Is there truth to that? Did you see that on film?
ED ORGERON: Well, they're two different quarterbacks, obviously. Danny has a lot of experience. There are some things that Danny does better than Myles right now because of experience. There are some things that Myles does better than Danny because of the quarterback that he is. Myles has a very quick release. That's what you're seeing right there. He can see the field very fast and make decisions. He does that very well.

Also, Danny has had an excellent year, in our opinion, for us. He's missed a couple balls, but he's ran the offense exactly like we want him to.

Obviously, there is a package that we can do with Myles. There is an expanded package that we can do with Danny because he knows all of the offense. I think that's the difference.

Q. Had when you and Coach Grimes look at the O-line films, specifically the pass block, what is it? What are the struggles? Is it physicality, communication? Where do you see the struggles specifically?
ED ORGERON: Technique, a lot of technique. I thought their D-line had some good technique and we didn't. We didn't play with great technique. I don't think we understatement him because Coach Grimes told me about the talent they had at Syracuse, and I looked at them, and we evaluate them as a staff. But we've got to win them on blocks. If you start chipping them back to help the left tackle, and you start keeping the tight end to help the right tackle, then you've only got three receivers in the route and you're limited.

So we need to do better jobs on one-on-ones. We need to blitz the inside linebackers there were a couple of miscommunications in our protection. But the ones we're most disappointed on are the techniques and the one-on-ones.

Q. We saw the defensive package with the one down lineman and the five linebackers, Ardene and Caleb on the field at the same time. How do you think those guys did?
ED ORGERON: It was good. The thing that limited us a little bit was the speed in which they were running the plays. A lot of things we do are predicated on the strength of where the field is at, where the boundary is at. The strength of the formation, away from the strength of the formation. There is a lot of communication that has to go on there. And they didn't give us enough time to get that done. When we do have time, I think you'll see an expanded package.

Q. You talk about communication on the offensive line, is there any discussion of maybe simplifying things, less shifts, changing anything?
ED ORGERON: Were you in our meeting this morning?

Q. Say that again?
ED ORGERON: Were you in our meeting this morning?

Q. No.
ED ORGERON: We've had that discussion. I've simplified things. First thing Matt came up to me and said, Coach, we have too much in. First thing he told me this morning. We need to simplify, and we're going to.

We are going to streamline what we're doing, do what our players do best, and play LSU football. Everybody good? Thank you, guys. Have a great day.

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