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Matt House Encouraged by Growth, Development of LSU Defense

How House attacks practice, some of the early standouts in spring camp

Defensive coordinator Matt House brings a different element to the Tigers elite coaching staff Brian Kelly has assembled. 

Getting the most out of his players with tremendous energy and communicative personality on the sidelines, House’s coaching ways differ than others on this staff.

Starting his practices with tempo to set the tone, it’s had a rippling effect on how each day goes for the Tigers. With limited days to install plays and get a look at what each player brings to this defense, he starts and ends practices with high-intensity drills.

"We try to set the tempo with two things that are really, really important. The ability to run and the ability to tackle," House said. "So that's the whole point with starting practice with those two things. Just pursuing the football and finishing off the football."

Though just still spring, House and his defensive staff are laying the foundation for what’s to come over the course of the next few months. Getting his players accustomed to his coaching style is the main message.

"The building part of the process is fun," House said. "And right now, we're at the ground level of that process and we're just trying to establish everyday habits that grow into traits."

With much of the secondary being fresh faces for the Tigers, this defensive unit is still trying to find their leaders on the field. Landing Greg Brooks, a three-year starter at Arkansas, from the transfer portal, he’s given them a major boost in holding this group to a high standard.

Along with Brooks, House has seen a number of veterans step up in the locker room to make this defense understand the expectations. To hold each player accountable and get on the same page is what will have this squad so successful.

“There’s some guys that have stepped up as an accountable guy, and to me, the first step of being a leader is you got to be accountable,” House said. “Greg Brooks has done a great job. He’s stepped in. He’s been solid. Done a great job. I think you see him improve every day.”

Though just a small sample size through 11 spring practices, House has been very complimentary of the growth his group has made. Whether it’s second-year Tiger Mike Jones or a few of the youngsters, it’s been a productive camp to this point.

“Mike Jones is improved. We got a lot of guys improving,” House said. “And as they show improvement, they become more comfortable and you see those personalities come out. We are building through that and I think that is a process as a unit.”

With the Tigers spring game right around the corner, House feels he’s understanding the way his players learn after just a few weeks. From installing a new system to getting better as a defense, his coaching style has been effective.

As House puts the finishing touches on spring camp, the development and growth of this LSU unit has been a major takeaway. Instilling habits into his players to get the most out of each is the No. 1 priority as the first phase of this offseason winds down. 

“There’s a bunch of different learning styles,” House said. “And if you expect them to get it out on the field, you can’t just verbally talk about it. You can’t just write it on the board. You can’t just have a repetition back and forth. You can’t just show it on the field. You got to walk it, chalk it, drill it and do it again. That part doesn’t change.”