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Brian Kelly Talks Accountability, Year One in the SEC

Kelly continues to see tremendous growth with the Tigers, gives his thoughts about conference play.
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When Brian Kelly took over the position as head coach for LSU, he stressed his pillars of success from the jump. One of his keys to building a champion was accountability while holding each player to the same standard.

In this, Kelly has seen his players grow as leaders and the buy-in of the program happen at a rapid pace. On Monday, the Tigers’ decision-maker harped on the leadership component of this team and his thoughts on year one in the SEC.

Here are a few takeaways from Monday’s press conference:

Accountability and Leadership

Kelly has seen even his youngsters step up to the plate and become vocal leaders in this LSU locker room. It’s rare to see freshmen become such relied upon components to an SEC teams’ success, but that’s precisely the case for the Tigers this season. Kelly detailed what he’s seen from not only his freshmen, but the entire team from a leadership perspective.

“I like that it has come from all levels,” Kelly said. “From freshmen, sophomores, juniors, for example, some of our great leaders have been Mekhi Wingo, who is a transfer from Missouri who is just a sophomore, but we’ve gotten great leadership from veteran seniors as well in Mike Jones, who is not even in a starting position right now, but means a lot to our football team.”

“So I think it’s important that everybody serves some kind of leadership role to get through accountability across the board. So that’s kind of been for me how you build that accountability and discipline, that personal discipline when you share it throughout the entire football program. And in each class as well.”

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It takes a village to see success in such a brutal conference, and with the buy-in of this program from day one, immediate success is the result of accountability and discipline.

Thoughts on the SEC

Every week is a battle in the SEC no matter the opponent. There are simply no weeks off in this conference and Kelly provided his thoughts on year one and his major takeaways from this year as we reach the final game of the regular season.

“I think it lived up to what I had thought,” Kelly said. “I mean, it’s difficult. Each and every week is a challenge. And you look at the Arkansas game. You know, we played a team that you saw what they did this past weekend to Ole Miss. You have to play well.”

“A lot of people looked at our 13-10 game and said, what’s wrong with them? There’s nothing wrong with our team. It’s each and every week the challenges that you get in this conference, you better be ready to play. There’s no week off, and that’s exhausting. That’s tiring.”

It’s certainly an adjustment when taking your talent to the SEC, and after a year where the Tigers have done the improbable, it’s safe to say Kelly transformed rather quickly.