LSU Coach Ed Orgeron Reaffirms Tigers Will Play Aggressive, Attacking Style of Defense
For months LSU fans have had to wonder exactly how aggressive the defense will be in 2020 under new defensive coordinator Bo Pelini. The 4-3 is a system that coach Ed Orgeron has wanted to gravitate towards for years and it's now just 10 days away from coming to fruition.
Based on Orgeron’s recent comments, it sounds like the unit is coming together quite well in fall camp.
“We are so much better on defense right now than any part of the season last year. I feel with Bo Pelini has come in and brought a new energy, a new excitement. Dave Aranda did a tremendous job for us, but I’m glad we’ve moved to the 4-3," Orgeron said on Tuesday.
The defense is predicated on putting more pressure on the quarterback by rushing four defensive linemen. But it's not just the men up front who will be chasing after the quarterback on gamedays.
Orgeron said to expect pressure at all levels of the defense throughout the course of a game, including linebacker and out of the secondary as well.
"We’re more of an attacking style of defense. We’re blitzing. We’ve got every blitz known to man. We’re playing base, but we’re bringing our linebackers, we’re bringing our corners," Orgeron said. "They (the opposing offense) are going to have to account for everybody. Bo is a very good game-caller. He knows what to do against offenses. Two scrimmages ago, we had more sacks than we did for half of last season.”
Why does LSU feel so confident in sending pressure from all over the field? The answer is quite simple, speed.
Orgeron believes the speed and athleticism possessed by linebackers like Jabril Cox, Damone Clark and Micah Baskerville as well as defensive backs like Derek Stingley and Jacoby Stevens allows the defense to be more aggressive.
"I do believe we have more speed on defense this year, more than we've ever had since I've been here and we're using it," Orgeron said. "The addition of Jabril Cox has been phenomenal, he's one of the best players on our football team. Damone Clark is playing well, the defensive line is solid but not great yet though I think we can be."
Baskerville was the topic of conversation as the third linebacker option behind Cox and Clark. Orgeron admitted on Tuesday that the Tigers would be in nickel 80-90% of the time, which means that three cornerbacks would be on the field, allowing for only two linebackers on the field.
"The 4-3 defense has helped Micah run around and make plays. Bo's done a great job of putting him in great position. He’s big, he’s instinctual, he’s physical. He’s very smart and he has a great attitude.
"I'm really pleased with Cordale Flott, I think he's come along and had a tremendous camp, Elias Ricks has done a great job, Jay Ward has done a great job. We play nickel about 80-90% of the time so we have three corners in the game most of the time."
All along Orgeron and Pelini have said the Tigers will be multiple in the way they sub players in and out. That includes finding the right personnel for the right packages.
While all of these players will likely get their shots throughout the course of a game, the only statement we know for sure is true is that LSU will be dialing up the pressure.
"We have some packages where we have our speed people in there and it's hard to go against," Orgeron said. "Using our talent, attacking the quarterback, making plays in the backfield let's you know we're not going to play base defense, we're gonna attack."