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January 11, 2020

Steve Ensminger

New Orleans, Louisiana

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: I'd just like to say this, okay? I'm here to talk about football, okay? I will take no questions about my family. I appreciate all the support that Tiger fans and everybody in this country that has given to my family, trust me.

But we're here for football. Any questions you might have to ask, I'd like to talk about football, okay?

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: I think the biggest key is, you look at this game right here, I think it's the two best quarterbacks in the country. I think the key to winning it, you have to have a support system and everything else. We have a great support system.

But the key is the quarterback. You're fixing to see the two best quarterbacks in the country, no doubt in my mind.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: I do think it's the way it's going to be. The defenses are so sophisticated nowadays and everything, with the blitzes, with the unconventional blitz packages and everything else, your quarterback has to understand it.

For you to win it, I think it's the quarterback. Look, I've coached for a long time. Just like you said, hey, you played great defense, you run the football, play-action pass, evening else. The game has changed. I'm just excited to have Joe Burrow (laughter).

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: The thing I recall about those days is the coaching staff, Tommy West and Reggie Herring and Rich Bisaccia, they're all in pro ball right now. It was a great coaching staff. It's a great town to live in. We had a great time. We won a bunch of ballgames. I enjoyed my three years there.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: It is. The quarterback coach, Brandon Streeter, who I coached at Clemson. He's a sweetheart, he is. I love him to death. He's a great person. Brandon has reached out to me more than once. We've stayed in touch.

What they have done is amazing. Look, don't get me wrong, I've watched every game they've had on offense. I think they do a great job on offense. Heck, I'm studying what they're doing. It's fun to watch.

Q. How have you evolved as a coach? Same coach you were back then or...
STEVE ENSMINGER: Well, I have. Joe Brady evolved me, he really did. I mean, when I was back at Clemson, everything else, just like I was talking about, we had a great defense. We had great running backs. We ran the football, play-action passed, evening else. The game has changed. We changed with it.

Coach O brought this to us, Coach Brady brought this to us. I'm excited about what we're doing.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: Well, the only thing that we're not concerned about, hey, do we go with a different cadence, do we go with a clap. We've done it every week, and Joe Burrow decides it. I asked him, Hey, can we go with a cadence, do we have to go to the clap?

We'll decide. We'll go in there deciding how we're going to approach it. As the game goes, I'll talk to Joe and we'll adjust it.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: I don't know that. I mean, in '11, I thought we had a great game plan. I think we got what we wanted to see. They just outplayed us, that's all there is to it.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: Our guys don't blink. I'm so proud of them because the moment's not too big for them. I think it comes from Joe Burrow, his confidence and his composure and everything else. Our guys don't blink. If they have to make a play, they make a play. I have not seen any flinch out of any receiver, running back, quarterback, anything. I have not seen any of that.

They just, Hey, here is the moment, here is my play, let's go.

I don't know why. That's just who they are.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: After the Florida game, the last minute or whatever, we were up by seven, something like that, we hit Ja'Marr on a big route down the sideline; after that, never worried about it. That's a fact. I knew the stage wasn't too big for him.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: Here is our procedure. As you're calling plays and everything else, when they come off the field, Joe Brady, he talks to the quarterback. He discusses what went on that series. I'm getting ready for the next series. It's been perfect, I promise you.

I'm highlighting plays that I want to call in the next series while Joe is talking to Joe Burrow, telling him what went on with that series, here is what you can expect, here is what they did.

Both Joes understand it very well. It's been a good match, really has.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: Yes, no doubt about it. I don't have to sit there and talk to Joe Burrow and tell him that this is what you got the last five plays, eight plays. Coach Brady did that. Here is the coverage you're getting, what did you see, evening else, while I'm planning the next series. It keeps us ahead, it does.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: Tell Brandon he was a great kid, a horrible quarterback (laughter). No, I'm kidding about that.

The biggest thing I remember about Brandon is Brandon got hurt, I think he had knee surgery -- I just don't remember. I don't know if I should say this, because it's probably illegal, because his family was out of town, we went and picked him up at the hospital and brought him to my house. He slept at my house for two days or three days until his family got down. My wife took care of him, everything else. A great kid. I love him to death, I do.

Q. Do you have fond memories of that time?
STEVE ENSMINGER: I do. That coaching staff. Tommy West, love Tommy West. He gave me the opportunity to come there and everything else. But he's a lot like that guy over there. I mean, he's just a down-to-earth person that cares about everybody. My family and I just had a great time at Clemson.

Q. (Question about Coach Venables.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: It is a challenge, I'll tell you. Look, their scheme is outstanding. Their scheme is unpredictable. Their scheme, it's going to be a challenge, there's no doubt about it. He's that good a coach.

But in the last five games, maybe six games or whatever, we've seen defenses that don't play conventional defenses. Our whole deal as a staff, I'm lucky to have Coach Brady and our analysts and GAs and everything up in the press box with me.

I give you an example. Georgia was as good as there is. They ran an unconventional defense. They hadn't shown that defense. We're lucky to have Joe Burrow because I told Coach Brady, I said, Hey, look, figure this crap out because I'm going to keep throwing it till we figure it out.

I don't know what they're going to do. They're a dime package, a penny package, a nickel package. We have to know who is in the game all the time. I'm sure he's going to throw some stuff at us that we haven't seen and we've got to make the adjustments.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: Yeah, uh-huh. Well, when we got fired at Auburn, everything else, I talked to Coach Tuberville. He said, I'm going to get back in and you're coming with me.

I said, Hell, I'll just stay here and I'll coach high school. A very good friend of mine offered me a job at Smiths Station. I went with him. After that, the next year, Tommy got the Texas Tech job. I went with him. After that, the LSU job came open and Les hired me.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: Hell, you never feel like you'll get back to a moment like this. It is special to get to a moment like this. There's 115 1A teams that want to be here. We're fortunate we have a special team with special talent and we got back here.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: I have a bed in my office, I do. From Sunday to Wednesday, I sleep in my office. I go home on Thursdays, and we have family night. All my kids and grandkids come over. That's what we do. It's a routine.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: I'm not a very smart person (laughter). But do I understand football. I love football. I study football. That's all I can do.

I remember it was after Clemson, my son was going to be a seventh grader. I told my wife, I'm done, I'm going to go coach my son. I haven't seen him grow up, haven't seen him play football. I came back to Baton Rouge, went back to Central High School. Spent every day with my son, teaching him to be a quarterback.

Coach Tuberville called me and said, Hey, would you like to get back in? I did.

I've had great high school coaches, great college coaches -- Coach McClenic, Coach Sonny Jackson, John McCann (indiscernible). I had great coaches. I saw their passion in the game, everything else. That's what I wanted to be.

I was at the Philadelphia Eagles for one year. I got cut. I went and talked to coach Dick Vermeil. I said, Coach, I know what I want to do. I want to coach.

He allowed me to stay for an extra month just to sit in meetings and watch them game plan and watch them. That was the best experience of my life, I'm going to tell you.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: He let me. He actually paid for me to stay there and let me go to meetings and everything else to learn football.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: I actually went to the game, yes. Exactly what you're saying. I went to the ballgame, actually spent the first quarter on the sideline, then went back up in the stands. That's all to Coach Vermeil, I'll tell you. Special person.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: I got notebooks, I'm talking about books, everything that Dick Vermeil said. It was a special time because Dick Vermeil was there, Ed Hughes was offensive coordinator, and Sid Gillman was a consultant. I'm just sitting there soaking it all up. I'm doing nothing but writing notes.

The knowledge in that room right there was special.

Q. Where are those notebooks now?
STEVE ENSMINGER: To be honest with you, I lost them in the '16 flood. I did. I had four or five notebooks. '16 flood I lost them.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: Yes, I do. We have great receivers. We're fortunate this year because we have talent around him. We have great receivers. We had great running backs. Clemson has great receivers, great running backs.

But the difference in the game is the quarterback. They make the plays. You go watch the Oklahoma game. Joe Burrow made some throws, some back shoulder throws, that people don't make. You have to have that. I mean, that doesn't happen every year.

Like I said before, two weeks ago, that game, the best four quarterbacks in my opinion was in the Playoff. The best two quarterbacks are in the national championship game. I believe that.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: Because you spread the field. You put great athletes in space, and the quarterback has to understand he has to get the ball to them, then you get your one-on-one matchups.

To do that, they have to understand the whole scheme. Defenses are so much more complicated, so much more sophisticated that they're going to pressure you from both sides. The quarterback has to understand where the pressure is coming from and where to get the ball out.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: I'll say this. Joe Burrow is a hell of a lot smarter than I am, okay? That's a fact. He does stuff that I'm like, Why in the heck did you do that?

Well, I saw this guy doing this.

He's better than I am, okay? It's just fun to have Joe Burrow on our side.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: There's no doubt in my mind it is. I mean, his dad is sitting over there telling him how we're going to defend you. He's sitting there, this is how I'm going to beat your butt. I believe that wholeheartedly.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: I came from a great family. But wasn't a -- we didn't have a lot of money. When I got into high school, we would go out and we couldn't buy tickets. I remember me and my buddies, we'd go out to the game and we'd hold up 'need two tickets.' You could get tickets like $20. My dad give me $20, we could get in the ballgame. That's it.

But I just was amazed. Look, just walking around that stadium, seeing the people there and everything else, actually get a ticket and walk in the ballgame, it was exciting for me.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: I grew up in the '60s. I remember the '69 team, which I think it was '69, '70 team was a great team. Listened to it on radio. Our whole family would be in the living room with the radio on listening to LSU football. That's just the way it was.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: Brandon Streeter up until today was a very intelligent quarterback. I mean, knew what to do with the football when the time came. Very talented kid. Could throw the football and everything else.

We left before Brandon had a chance to play. Like I said, just a great kid. Loved that kid. I do, still today. Was a great leader. He was a very confident kid, very good quarterback, everything else. I didn't have a chance to coach him when he was playing.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: No, not at all. His success, what he's done, doesn't surprise me at all. I mean, he's a lot like me. He just wanted to learn football. He just wanted to be in the meeting room and evening else, learn football.

Hell, he's texted me and we've talked back and forth, everything else. It doesn't shock me where he's at, that's a fact. He's a guy that develops quarterbacks. He's a guy that believes in fundamentals. He's a guy that works on footwork, works on the reads, everything else. He's a great coach.

Q. (Question about Coach Venables.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: I think he's the best. That's my opinion. We go into every game and wondering what they're going to do every week. Wondering how they're going to approach it. Are they going to be nickel, dime, penny. They have a blitz package out of every package.

It's our job to adjust to what he's doing. We got to figure out what he's going to do, what's his flavor of the day, figure out how to attack it.

No, he's good. Best I've seen, I'm telling you.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: It's a fact. And if you remember, I don't know if it was a play-action pass, the last play of the game -- the last play of our series on offense, Coach (indiscernible) called a play-action pass. It was wide open. They knocked the pass down. Gave the ball back to them, they went and beat us.

Time's changed. It's not play-action pass anymore. It's like where is the risk coming from, how are you going to get it out.

Q. He said he didn't even know who the receivers were.
STEVE ENSMINGER: Which is the only defensive coordinator during that year that ever said that, I promise you. Everybody knew who Odell and George was. Hey, the last thing I remember about that game is fourth and 18 or something like that, they converted, went down and kicked a field goal.

I do remember the last series, it was George or Odell, one of them. Play-action pass, wide open. They knocked the pass down. If we complete that pass, the game's over.

Q. (Question about the 2011 team.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: This team is special, it is. This team don't blink. Whether it's the quarterback, the running back, the wide receivers, the tackles, they don't blink. We talk every night before the game, and I tell them, Fellas, there's going to be some adjustments. We got to figure out how they do in this, but we'll make the adjustments.

It doesn't faze them. I mean, these guys, whether it's Ja'Marr, whether it's Justin, whether it's Terrace, Clyde, Thad, the offensive line. I say, Look, trust me, we will make this adjustment, we will get this fixed. They believe in it and they don't blink.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: This team, it's his personality. This team is everything about Coach O, it really is. This team is a tough team. We practice hard. We don't do scout team stuff. We do one-on-one, best against best. Our offense and defense, they face best against best every day.

They understand what physicality is. They understand what it takes to win this game. They respect on him because they don't blink.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: That's the biggest series there is. Like I said, Georgia, Kirby, heck, I was at Georgia when Kirby was there, good friend of mine, for them to show us a total different defense, they're the No. 2 defense in the country at the time. He'll never change. I said, Look, I know Kirby, he'll never change, that's who they are.

For them to come out and play a different defense, obviously we're doing something right. But it all comes back to we got No. 9 at quarterback. That's the whole deal.

Q. How much easier does it make having Joe being able to adjust?
STEVE ENSMINGER: The first thing when he gets off the field, he talks to Joe Brady. I love Joe Brady. He's sitting there explaining to him what he saw the last series. I'm sitting there trying to get ready for the next series.

But he's so smart. What did you see on this play? Coach Brady is telling him, Hey, this is what we got. Joe Burrow is telling him, I saw this, everything else.

There's very few times in your career you get a chance to coach a quarterback like that, that he comes off the field, he saw it all. I'll be honest, when you're calling a play, you feel comfortable with it, you see the coverage, you see the blitz, what's going on, and I don't blink either because I know he sees it and is going to make the right decision.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: He will find it. Coach O puts a picture up in our team room of an eagle that's focused, and it says: If you chase two rabbits, you get none. I told my best friend, Bill Johnson, at his house the other night, When I see that eagle's eyes, I see Joe Burrow. That's how focused he is.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: No. When I was at Georgia, I had Eric Zeier, and Eric Zeier broke a bunch of SEC records. He was the same way. You could call a play and feel comfortable that he'll make the right read and go with it. Don't get me wrong, I think Joe Burrow is better than Eric. Hell, I'll tell Eric that (laughter).

But when you're calling plays and evening else, you're so comfortable with your quarterback, you just feel like you can call anything you want, he'll make it right.

Q. (Question about receivers.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: He is. You go into every game, you see before he had the injury, missed a couple games, they were trying to double Ja'Marr, trying to double Clyde, trying to double Justin. All of a sudden he pops up.

The beauty of our receivers and our team, to be honest with you, is they're unselfish. They understand, Hey, okay, this is how they do it. He's going to get it. I'm not going to get it.

I remember earlier in the year, I don't remember what game it was, but we were in two-minute mode, everything else. We threw Terrace a touchdown pass. Well, because we were in two minutes, Terrace (indiscernible) Ja'Marr was to the field, and it should have been Ja'Marr's touchdown. You could see it on film. When he caught that pass, Ja'Marr was like, It should have been mine (smiling).

They're so excited about it and they're excited for everybody else.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: Well, I don't know. I'll be honest with you. Get over the hump, beat Alabama. All Louisiana knows, hey, you got to beat Alabama. They set the standard. This team did it.

I don't know. We walked in that game as we walked into every game, with a lot of confidence, knowing who we are, just knowing who we are. You know what, like I said, on Friday nights before the game, whatever, it's like, Hey, fellas, they're going to do something different, we'll make the adjustments, they'll adjust. Again, they don't blink.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: Everything. Look, the last game against Oklahoma, they were doubling Ja'Marr. Terrace caught four touchdown passes. Ja'Marr was excited for him. I think he caught one pass in the first half.

It didn't bother him a bit, you know, because our team was winning. But each one of them, Ja'Marr is a physical, physical receiver that teams who press him don't have a lot of success because he's that good.

Justin is a shake and bake guy. You get one an one, you shake and bake, he gets open.

Terrace brings speed to the field. Terrace brings length to the red zone.

However they want to play it, they all bring their own stuff. When we call a play, it's like, okay, I know this is going to Terrace, inside the red zone, whatever. It just depends on how the teams want to play it.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: Clyde is special. I mean, defenses play us differently because of Clyde. Defenses have tried to put linebackers on him, they can't cover him. There are games where defenses have walked a free safety down and say, We're going to cover you, they can't cover him. He's a weapon that they have to pay attention to. When we figure out up top they're doubling Ja'Marr, they're doubling Clyde, we got to get the ball over here.

He's a difference maker. I'm curious to see how they're going to play us to cover Clyde.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: The last six games, for sure. Auburn was the first one to do it. Kevin Steele is a good friend of mine. They're a four-man front team. They went to a dime package, three down linemen, seven defensive backs. It was difficult, yeah. It was the closest game we had.

There were four times in the red zone we didn't score. It could have been different. That's my fault. But as we're going through the first couple of series, we're seeing how they're playing. Who are they going to double? They're going to double Ja'Marr, Clyde.

One game this year, I won't mention who it is, one of their best players was a linebacker, wasn't on the field because they didn't think they could cover Clyde. It changed our game plan.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: Yes, yes. The beauty of it, like I said, is we have No. 9 at quarterback. It was the Georgia game where they line up in a drop eight deal and evening else. I told Coach Brady, I said, Look, figure out what the hell they doing because I'm going to keep throwing it until we figure it out.

Because you have 9 at quarterback, you can do that.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: It is, because, I'll be honest with you, we have smart players. We have Clyde and Ja'Marr and Justin. We have smart players. We make adjustments during the course of the game. It happens like that (snapping fingers).

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: As I say, Coach Brady is on his set with Joe Burrow. They're discussing what they saw. Coach Craig is on the Ohio State. We're asking, Hey, what did Lloyd see. Lloyd Cushenberry is my MVP, I'm going to tell you. He makes probably 99% of the calls, and Joe has his chance to check it. As far as being around those guys and everything else, they're very seldom wrong.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: LSU is special. I'm going to tell you, because the whole state is passionate about LSU. I know the Saints are here. The whole state loves the Saints. If you give them a choice between the Saints and LSU, LSU Tigers. I believe that. I don't know that. I don't watch sports channels, ESPN, none of that. But this whole state loves LSU.

On the bus ride down here yesterday, they're on the side of the road. The cops will pull them aside, they're getting out of their cars cheering. Just special.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: We work on it every Monday and every Thursday. My days are screwed up (laughter). But today is a red zone day, yes.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: Well, we remind our team, our offense, every night before the game, touchdowns and red zone. I really believe this. I think it will be the difference in the game. When we get to the red zone, you can't kick field goals. You got to score seven. They're probably saying the same thing.

Yes, they are very good in the red zone.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: I don't know. I can't answer that. I don't know that, I'll be honest with you. I feel good about our red zone package. They've been so good in it, they mix up their coverage, they mix up their blitzes. They're a drop eight team down there a lot.

I don't know that. I'll be honest with you. But I do know what our goal is, and the goal is down there to get seven.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: Look, I have a game plan that's sitting right here. I'll be honest with you here. When we get in the red zone, 12 in, that's Joe Brady. Unless I want to run a play-action, go fast, we'll go. When we get inside the 12, I tell Joe, It's yours and he calls it.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: Sky's the limit. Sky's the limit, no doubt about it. I've told him. He's a hell of a lot smarter than I am, okay? But I told him, Hey, you remind me of me. When I was 30 years old, I was passing game coordinator at Georgia calling the plays. He walked in, he has brought so much to this offense. I'm proud of him because he's a humble guy just like I am.

Every credential and every award he has achieved he deserves. But he's so humble about it, I appreciate him.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: Yeah, but I won't discuss it. I have told him that, yes.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: The only thing I do know about Coach O, I've known him for a long time, is he's a tough son of a bitch. I'm not allowed to say that, am I (laughter)? I knew it when he got the job. I knew it driving back from A&M. I called him and I said, This is your job. He said, I don't think I'm going to get it. I said, Well, go fight for it. I said, You deserve it.

Q. (No microphone.)

Q. Have you ever thought about putting a long snapper at tight end?
STEVE ENSMINGER: No. In my 30 something years of coaching, I've never talked to the snapper, except for you and your brother, or the kicker. I don't talk to kickers. Hey, just kick the son of a gun, get it through, let's go (laughter).

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: I can't. I can't. I'll be honest. Some of the stuff he does is amazing to me, I'll be honest. There's some plays that we called in the last game that he trusted the receives, he made the throw, back shoulder throw, whatever. Some of them were double coverage. He just trusted it. He put it in the right spot.

I haven't been around a quarterback like that. He puts it in the right spot.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: It's him. It really is. It's him. It's his understanding of the game. I've said this before. I don't know if we could have run this offense last year. If you look at us last year, we wasn't as good up front. We wasn't a five-man protection. We had to leave the tight end to Chip, had to lead the running backs into Chip. I just didn't think we could have run this offense last year.

Went into the spring and fall saying, Hey, get 'em out. He's comfortable with it. He's that darn smart. So it's all him, it is.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: It's 80/20. It is. Everybody talks about 50/50. With his accuracy and back shoulders and everything else, heck, it's 80/20. In the last game, you look at Terrace Marshall, What made you think you could make this throw? There's a safety coming here, a safety here, and he put it on the back shoulder of Terrace on a route, and he went up and got it. He has confidence in those guys to do it. He throws the ball in the right spot.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: Hell, I don't remember 2018 (laughter).

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: Well, same thing. Alabama, of course, they have great talent and everything else. During the course of spring and summer, everything else, we kind of research every team, Alabama. We researched Oklahoma's counter game, everything.

We research everybody. If you try to max protect Alabama, they're going to give you one more than you can get, get them out. We go fast.

The one thing I think we've done really good is teams that want to blitz you, we've gone fast. We say, Okay, see if they can call their blitz, see if they can get it in, and let's go. Because all the confidence in our quarterback that he'll take care of it.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: It was fun, don't get me wrong. What we did in the first half, especially towards the end of the first half, but that's a great coaching staff. I'm going to tell you, they made an adjustment in the third quarter trying to put us on our heels in the third quarter.

At the end of the game, our kids, Clyde Edwards especially, kind of put it on his shoulders to win the damn game. We didn't do a whole lot different. We did have to change in the third quarter, but we put the ball in the hands of the right people, and they made plays.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: The first day of August practice, something that I can't say. They put in a zero blitz package. Don't tape this. I said, You got to be shitting me. The first day of practice, you put in a zero package. We're just trying to get our runs in and evening else.

There's nothing we haven't seen this year that he hadn't showed us during two-a-days. As mad as I was about it, it's made us better, no doubt.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: I don't give myself any. Well, I knew we had to change. Coach O said, Hey, let's do this. I said, let's go.

It's not about me. It really is not. It's about LSU. I played there, I went to school there, I love that school. Whatever we could do to make LSU great, I'm in. I appreciate Joe Brady, I promise you. He's brought a lot to the table. I couldn't be more happy for him.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: We talked about it before the game. I tell him, I know what my strengths are and I know what my weaknesses are. Joe is better with our compact packages. Joe is better at our empty package than I am. So I tell him, we talk about it before the game, Look, when I want to go empty, be ready. If it's third and whatever, and I have a call, I make it. If not, I tell him. He has it all highlighted. I'm like, Take it.

We can go to empty right now. I said, Joe, I'm going empty. Take it, he's ready for it.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: Compact meaning our bunch packages, a condensed formation, stuff like that. He's better at that than I am. I know it. I tell him, Hey, I want to go whatever it is, bunch, pack 'em all in here. I said, Call it. He's ready for it.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: I think he's going to be at LSU. That's my opinion (laughter).

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: I haven't. It's kind of like this morning, all I've done is watch film. It's the next game. I think Coach O has done a great job explaining to our team, Don't make this moment too big, okay? It's just the next game.

You go do what we do, we'll be fine.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: Hell, I hadn't thought about it. Win the game, whether it's by 30 or whether it's by 1. Win the game, that's all it is.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: No. Like I said, they support each other. They cheer each other. They're excited.

Look, Ja'Marr won whatever award that is. Justin catches four touchdown passes last week. Ja'Marr is just excited for him. I'm telling you, it's a special unit, it really is.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: I guess. Look, I remember back in 2011, I think we lost eight juniors on defense after the national championship game. You know what, kids come to LSU for that reason, in my opinion. We're going to develop them, we're going to make them better, develop them to that level. I think kids come there for that.

So you know what, we got to make an adjustment every year. Don't know who is leaving, why they're leaving. Support every one of them that does leave. When they do, replace them.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: It is. Like I said, Joe Brady talks to Joe Burrow as much as I do. Putting in this passing system and everything else, like I said, when Joe comes off the field, he's on the phone with Brady because I'm preparing for the next series. They're going through the last series.

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: I think that relationship between both of them is outstanding. Like I tell Joe Burrow, Go to hell, this is what we're doing, so...

Q. (No microphone.)
STEVE ENSMINGER: No, no. The only thing that changed was our offense. No doubt in my mind he could run it. There's no way in my mind last year I felt like, because of our personnel and everything else, that we could do what we're doing this year. We came in spring, we did it.

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