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The Coaches Speak to the Media Before the Fiesta Bowl

Coach O and Coach E drop some knowledge

LSU v Alabama
Time to talk tortilla chips
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Well, we’re getting closer and closer to the game. You know that the game is imminent because we’re now getting to everyone’s favorite part of bowl preparations: press conferences!

Ed Orgeron held an impromptu press conference as the team got off the plane in Phoenix, detailing all of the new entries on to the ever growing list of Players Who will Miss the Game. Orgeron added Kelvin Joseph, Dare Rosenthal, and Travez Moore to the list, as they did not make the trip.

He also spoke briefly about Kary Vincent and his father as well as Clyde Edwards-Helaire and his shooting incident. Both will be available for the game, but it is just another distraction in what has seem liked a week full of them. In their case, some things are bigger than football and we’ll see how they play in the game.

There’s been no decision on who will take Jacob Phillips spot for the first half, but the defensive tackle position will be manned by a four-man rotation. Which inspires a lot of confidence in me, I’ll tell you. Most interestingly, Orgeron only mentioned Kary Vincent and Jontre Kirkland as the corners who need to step up. We will see what that means for the beleaguered Terrence Alexander or if it was just an oversight.

This morning we got a nice surprise as Steve Ensminger gave his first public press conference since he was hired. He came out firing and in his opening statement, told the media, “With so many questions going into the season, you know, like I said during the course of the year, and people don’t like to hear, we’re a young offense… So we answered a lot of questions. We got better during the course of the year.”

That’s not a popular sentiment, but it’s probably an accurate one. He’s right that the offense had a ton of holes to fill and the team had more questions than answers early. He’s also probably right that the team eventually figured itself out and the offense did play better in its last few games.

He did admit that the team played to its strengths, which was the defense, but that the offense did show improvement over the final month of the season except for one game. He did not need to mention what that game was.

Ensminger praised the job Joe Burrow did and then also revealed that they did not always allow him to check out of plays not due to a problem with Burrow, but because one unit couldn’t handle the audibles. Again, which unit that was is left unsaid, though later in his press conference he elaborated at length on the difficulties of the offensive line’s communication.

He revealed that he wished to be more versatile with personnel, but injuries limited what he could do this season. Not only that, the team’s general inexperience at every position limited what sort of packages he could install and plays he could run, hinting that about a third of the offense was left on the cutting room floor.

I’m sure those comments will go over great with the LSU fanbase.