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Translating CoachSpeak: Steve Ensminger’s Introductory Press Conference

Ensminger tells everyone who is in charge.

NCAA Football: SEC Media Days
What he said
Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes, it’s hard to cut through the impenetrable nature of Coachspeak. Luckily, I have an extra babelfish to stick in my ear, I can helpfully translate their seemingly meaningless gobbledygook into plain English.

Let’s turn to Ed Orgeron’s comments first, introducing his new offensive coordinator:

What a great day for our LSU football team. I am so proud of Steve Ensminger, our next offensive coordinator. Steve is a Tiger through and through. He’s dedicated his life to football as a player here at LSU and a coach all over the country. He’s a great family man. His family is here today. We are so proud that they are all here. He’s a Baton Rouge native. He’s 100 percent committed to LSU. I know that from working with him on a daily basis. I’ve been knowing him for a long period of time.

This is a nepotism hire, but come on, this is Louisiana!

He’s not just one of our own, he is also the best coach to lead LSU’s offense in the next coming years. I do believe that with all of my heart. I am 100 percent convinced of that from what I’ve seen this man do on a daily basis. When he took over our offense, how he leads our offense, how he coaches, how our players respond to him. Steve Ensminger is no doubt in my mind the best guy to be our offensive coordinator.

Besides, it’ll probably work out. I actually like working with this guy. And there’s now a reduced chance one of our players is going to murder their coach.

At LSU, we must and we will develop championship quarterbacks to be a championship caliber team. We have three outstanding quarterbacks coming back. They all have different skill sets. Steve is equipped and his offensive staff is equipped to run the offense, to utilize their skill sets. You may ask what offense we are going to run. We are going to adapt to our players the best way that we can.

We have no idea what kind of offense we are going to run.

We are going to put our players in space, put the ball in their hands and let them make plays like Steve did when he took over last year. We will have quarterback runs. We have two guys that are excellent runners at quarterbacks. We will run from a spread offense with those guys, the quarterback runs. We have an excellent, and in my opinion, one of the best pure passers coming out of football in a while that we signed here at LSU in Myles Brennan. We have to have a short, quick, controlled passing game, slants, levels, sticks, throw the ball to the tight end, take shots, throw the ball deep and utilize what he does best.

#EightHeismans. Our offense will run plays. Our quarterback will run, and not just because every damn offensive lineman seems to be bolting the program right now. But seriously, please LSU Jesus, let Myles Brennan pan out. My job depends on it.

In my research, there’s no one better than Steve Ensminger to be able to do this along with the staff that we are going to provide him.

I did no research.

He’s a top recruiter, and I can tell you our recruits and their families are really, really happy about this hire. In fact, they always wanted Steve to be the coordinator.

Did I mention recruiting? Recruiting, recruiting, recruiting. It’s the thing we still do at a top notch level, so I’m going to need to bring that up a few more times. He can recruit. Have I mentioned how good of a recruiter I am?

Our players love him. When I introduced him yesterday, our players stood up and cheered. I want you to think about 2016 in the middle of the season when he took over with no time to prepare, he put together one of the top offenses LSU ever had. We averaged 426 yards per game and 32 points per game.

I have 1.6 million reasons why I can’t talk about Matt Canada, but hoo boy, did his offense suck. Remember how good the offense was when I got hired? I basically owe my job to Steve. He was awesome that year. And then I hired some hot shot name, and he drove the offense into a cliff. I should’ve stuck with my boy. See, family hires aren’t all bad. Sorry, Steve, I sort of screwed you over. My bad.

Check this out: We were 89 percent in the red zone with Steve Ensminger. We had a great rushing attack. We had multiple individual and team records set on offense during that time.

Did I mention how bad Matt Canada’s red zone offense was? I mean, I can’t. But if I could…. Hooo boy. It was like a day old possum on the side of the road. Mr. Three Million Dollars didn’t set any records. Know who did? Good ol’ Stevie Boy. Jesus, Matt couldn’t even run the ball that well and he had Derrius Guice. Know what Steve did when he had Derrius Guice? He set records, that’s what.

Case closed. I’m sticking with my boy.

I remember asking him after our first game at the time, I said, ‘Steve, do you know we set an SEC record in your first game?’ And he said, ‘Man, all I know is that we won.’ That tells me a lot about Steve Ensminger. He brings confidence. He brings poise and he brings excitement to our offense. I know he’s going to do it again.

If we don’t win, we’re getting fired. Please, Steve. Do it again. I don’t want to go back to coaching defensive lines.

I want to thank President (F. King) Alexander, our board and most of all (Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics) Joe Alleva who has been with me 100 percent of the way. He has made every resource available to me to build my staff and to build a championship program.

Just remember Joe… if I go down, we all go down.

Now, the man of the hour, Steve Ensminger:

I’m so excited about this opportunity. It’s a tremendous honor to be named the offensive coordinator at LSU. It’s a job that I have worked my entire career. I’m looking forward to it. It’s been offered before, and it didn’t work out for me. My time being back here and everything else coaching the tight ends has been special. I’ve spent my entire career thinking about this opportunity.

I never wanted this job. I was happy toiling in anonymity and cashing checks, coaching the tight ends. I mean, come on… the tight ends? When’s the last time anyone designed a play for the tight ends around here? My job basically consisted of hanging out with the guys and trying to decipher Kanye lyrics. Now I have to do things.

Playing quarterback right there across the street in Tiger Stadium for Charlie Mac (Charles McClendon), I tell you it’s … I knew that was going to happen.

Hey, remember when your parents treated Cholly Mack like garbage and drove him off? Help Mack Pack? Yeah, I was on that team, you jackals. I knew y’all were gonna screw over O, just like you turned on Les. And just like then, I’m here to save the day.

That’s why I chose this profession. I want to make a difference in young people’s lives. In 2016 working as offensive coordinator under Coach O right there, I’m going to tell you right now it was the best experience of my life. Walking on that field, watching these players win, the excitement that we had walking off of that field and seeing how happy we were spreading the football around and the tight ends and the fullbacks and the receivers and the quarterbacks, it was the best time in my life. I’m going to tell you that right now. That’s what makes coaching special. We are going to do that again. I can promise you that.

Did I mention how awesome I was in 2016? Saving LSU’s season was awesome. So was getting O the head coach job. But let’s remember who did that? Me. And here I am, ready to save the day again. Because I’m Steve F’n Ensminger.

Twenty years in the SEC has taught me how to prepare for the SEC. I’ve been doing this for a long time in the SEC. I’m ready for this. OK? Getting to work and developing the quarterbacks, I look forward to it. It’s kind of like riding a bike. You don’t forget how to be a quarterback. You don’t forget the three-step drop. You don’t forget how to throw an out-route or a curl route or anything else.

I’m old. But I can still kick your ass. And, does anyone have a book on coaching quarterbacks? It really has been a while. Are three step drops still a thing?

That’s just part of being a quarterback. I look forward to showing these guys how to do it. We have a great group of quarterbacks. We have three outstanding quarterbacks, and they all bring something to the table. It’s my job to develop them. It’s my job to take what’s best for each one of them. It’s my job if they are in the ballgame and we are preparing them to win for us, I’m going to do what’s best for them and put them in that position right there.

Ed’s right. Myles Brennan is the franchise, and we need him to save our skins. I’m giving that kid the ball and hoping he’s Fran Tarkenton. What? Is that reference too old? Ask your parents, you Millennial losers.

Coach O has put a great staff together. It’s the first time, yesterday, we as an offensive staff sat down and talked about our personnel and our philosophy and everything else. I haven’t done that, and we haven’t had a chance to do that in a long time. I walked out of that meeting excited about it. I worked all of my life to have this opportunity. I look forward to it. I want to thank Coach O and the rest of the coaching staff for believing in me to lead this group, and I will do that.

We all hated Matt Canada’s ever-livin’ guts.

When Coach O and I talked about this. People said, ‘Was there any hesitation?’ No there wasn’t. I’m the one guy who knows these players. I’m the one guy who knows those players. I’m the one guy who knows our receivers, our quarterbacks, our offensive line. I’ve been around them as long as they’ve been here. I’m the one guy to lead them. They love LSU. They want nothing more than to win championships for LSU. We had a big, big meeting yesterday, and we talked about it. It’s all about trust. It’s all about me believing in them and them believing in me. That’s what’s going to happen. I can tell you that right now.

I’m awesome. We’ve got some great players, but that’s because I recruited them. We’re going to win, and we’re going to win because of me.

I want to thank our leadership, President Alexander and Joe Alleva for putting the trust in me to lead this team right here.

Obligatory nod to the bosses. I don’t care. I was here before you, and let’s face it, I’ll be here after you. My name is gonna be in the record book forever because I actually played here.

The last thing I’ll say is this, you never expect it. I’m 59 years old. I’ve had a great career. I’ve enjoyed the hell out of it. My family has enjoyed it. Just imagine growing up as kids and all you did was go to college football games. They’ve had a great career. I was laying in bed last night, and we were just kind of talking about this moment right here. I was flipping through the channels and everything else, and the movie Miracle was on. Everybody’s seen that movie, right? Before the big game, the coach said this, ‘Great moments are born on great opportunities’. This is my opportunity. I embrace it. I look forward to it, and I promise you, we will make this state proud.

This is my last stop. After this, I’m retiring. You ever hear from Herb Brooks again? I’m going to save the day and ride off into the sunset. Like a boss.

Last year I was hesitant because it wasn’t my offense. I understood the offense, don’t get me wrong. I understood it. We had been running it for three years and everything else, and I knew I could call it. I just had to tweak some things. I was really hesitant to do it. I have a year now. It’s my offense. This is my offense. It’s my terminology. It’s my direction. I’ve coordinated for 18 years.

We really, really hated Matt Canada. But I can’t say that. But everything that went wrong is his fault. Not mine.

I don’t know that, but I can say this, when I played under Coach Mac, I didn’t understand it. I’ll be honest with you. He taught me how to understand it. I accepted it, and it was better for the team. OK? If we have to play two quarterbacks, I guess we will play two quarterbacks.

I still curse David Woodley’s name. I hate playing two quarterbacks. Myles Brennan is the truth, but I’m not dumb enough to say that out loud, because I want to keep Narcisse from transferring. We’re only playing the second QB just enough to keep him on the roster.

The thing that I do realize is that we have very talented receivers. The strength of our offense right now is our receivers. We have depth at receivers, which we haven’t had in the last couple of years. I think you watch the game, you look at our talent. I think we have to put three or four wide receivers on the field. I think we have to be an RPO team. We have to be a more fastball team. We have to go no huddle. That’s the direction we are going. I still think that there’s reasons to huddle, then get out of the huddle and go fast again.

We have no stud running back next year.

I had a guy call me last night and say have you seen this in the paper? I said, ‘Hell no, I haven’t read the paper in 20 years.’ … I don’t read the damn paper. I don’t read Twitter. I don’t go on Facebook. I tell my family to stay off of it. All I can do is what I can do. I can’t let any outside influence say hey, well you’re not good enough. You can’t do this. … I’ll do it.

I read obsessively read everything that is written about me, and I’m writing your names down. Even you message board losers. There will be a Reckoning.

We had more RPOs in there. We got into sets where we had a tight end and a fullback in a game. Then all of sudden, we put our tight end and our fullback over here and Missouri had a corner covering a fullback. We had two receivers over here, and we had a linebacker covering our wide receivers. That’s the kind of stuff that we need to do. We can be in three wides and everything else, and we can still run the football. You have to be able to do it all with everything. In my opinion, you can be three wide, but you better still be able to be physical and run the football and play-action off of it and RPO hit that guy right there and still throw the ball deep. Every formation we get in and every personnel we get in, I plan on being able to throw the quick game. I plan on being able to do the RPOs, to throw the intermediate pass routes, to throw trick plays and everything else. It’s a fine line. Here’s our formations and here’s everything else. You have to be able to do it all out of that personnel. If you are just saying with these personnel all we are going to do is throw the ball and with these personnel, all we are going to do is run the football, with these personnel all we are going to do is that, defenses are too good nowadays. It doesn’t matter what personnel is in. We are going to have to throw the football, throw the quick game, we are going to do RPOs and we are going to throw the football over the head.

We will run plays. We will run from multiple sets. And for the love of God, we will throw the football or so help me…

I want our staff to be involved with it so we’re all on the same page and we learn together. And you know what, they can make suggestions instead of me just telling them here is, ok, learn it and let’s go. I want them to have a part of it. Yesterday’s all day long meeting with the staff was amazing to me. I had suggestions come from Tommy Robinson and Mickey Joseph and from coach James Cregg and everybody else which was great. I look forward to putting this together with them because, hey, it is my offense I will call the plays and I will lead this thing, but you know what, it is our offense and they need to be a part of it.

Matt Canada was a tyrant, and I hated working for him.

By the way, I hate every person in this room and I never want to talk to any of you ever again.