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Brady Ball? LSU Coaches Talk Summer, New Schemes

LSU’s coaches meet with the media on the tail end of the summer Tiger Tour.

LSU/Chris Parent

LSU’s annual summer Tiger Tour wrapped up earlier this week in Metairie, with several coaches meeting with the media, including new passing game coordinator/receivers coach Joe Brady, who had his first significant availability, with quite a lot discussed.

Tiger Rag’s James Moran posted a transcript here. A few choice cuts:

Why did you leave a job with the New Orleans Saints to join LSU?

“I know this might not be the right terminology, but I’ve always been one where my head is always where my butt is. I’m never looking for the next job. What I mean by that is, if you take care of where you are, everything else will take care of itself.

“I saw LSU as an elite opportunity. I know LSU is an elite program. The receiver unit at LSU is… it’s hard to find a better unit to coach, both from a historic standpoint and the group I’m coaching right now. So I thought having an opportunity to put a stamp on the offense to help take LSU to the next level from an offensive perspective was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”

It was a lot of the talk that we heard for most of the spring — and to be fair, did see in action in the spring game. Spread formations, faster tempo, with an emphasis on getting the ball into space.

Do you do anything different when working with receivers than perhaps previous LSU teams?

“At the end of the day, receivers at LSU have always stood out and had success. I think it’s important for a receiver to have fun playing football. I played wide receiver and I was very… black and white. I think the game of football is very gray. We’re paying attention to detail in the things that we do, but at the same time we’re not going to coach the athletes out of our football players. We’re going to allow them to have fun. We’re going to allow them to do what they do best. From that standpoint, we go out to practice, sometimes the drills we do are unconventional. But we’re trying to bring that athletic ability out of our guys.”

Last season receivers essentially stuck to their position exclusively. How will that change moving forward?

“We don’t want any of our guys learning a position. They’re learning concepts. We can move everybody around the field. And ideally the type of receiver that we’re recruiting can play all three or four positions. So they’re learning concepts, not necessarily ‘this is what I do on this play,’ so I have the ability to move a guy from the boundary to the slot, from the slot to the field. So at the end of the day, his job doesn’t change. He just knows the scheme. We’re not teaching guys to be strictly X or Z receivers. If people know exactly where guys are going to be, defenses can do what they want to do and take guys out of the game. If we can move guys around and get them into positions that they want to get into to attack the people in the coverages in areas where we’ll have the advantage, we’ll know exactly where our guys are and we’re in the advantage.”

What will this offense look like? How would you describe it?

“You’re going to see an up-tempo offense that’s going to get our speed in space. That is different than things I’ve seen in the past. When you’re an up-tempo offense that gets your speed in space, good things are going to happen. You can get the best players on the field with the ball in their hands, I think then you’re sitting back and enjoying what you’re watching. So when I say get your popcorn ready, when you’re sitting there enjoying a movie and everything’s good, I think that’s what you’re going to be doing when you see our offense this fall.”

Offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger was also on hand:

It was a lot of the same talk — but some of the interactions with Brady stand out. And it matches what I had been told about the two at the time of the hire. Ensminger and Brady hit it off in the summer of ‘18 as the LSU and Saints’ staff did some work together, and that led to the push to bring the young assistant in.

And of course, Dave Aranda and Ed Orgeron met with media as well...

Some other outtakes from the session:

  • Brady specifically mentioned the offense no longer huddling, although Ensminger did indicate that the team isn’t completely abandoning 12 and 21 personnel groupings, and still change tempos at times.
  • No talk of Ed Ingram yet, but Chasen Hines and Adrian Magee were hinted as the main competition for the open left guard spot on the offensive line.
  • Still seems like Stephen Sullivan will be the lead tight end, but both Brady and Ensminger mentioned rotating players as needed.
  • Apu Ika weighs in at 350 pounds right now, with hopes that he’ll drop another 10 by the season. Tyler Shelvin is around 340, which is a good 40 pounds under what he weighed a year ago.
  • Michael Divinity will mostly play inside, but may still play on the edge in some pass-rush situations.
  • Jacoby Stevens will return to the “Quarter” linebacker/DB position, but may see more time on the field with that position used in more sub-packages. Freshman Marcel Brooks may also get some looks there.
  • Sophomore Terrace Marshall drew some praise from Orgeron, along with freshmen Tyrion Davis-Price and Trey Palmer.