Updated: Jul 29
BY ADRIAN PERKINS
(GUEST CONTRIBUTOR, FRIEND & LSU ADVENTURER)
What up Tiger family? Its me again, A.D. giving you another glimpse into my football obsessed mind.
When a team like the 2019-2020 LSU Fighting Tigers accomplishes the feats and goals that it did, it's hard to envision how the program can get better.
After having the greatest season in the history of college football, with an all time great offense and a clutch defense, you would think that it would be the ultimate mic it wont get any better in Baton Rouge. But that is not the case with this Tiger adminstration led by Coach O and his staff. The LSU Standard of Performance is about always raising the bar and getting better from day 1 until the cycle starts all over again. With that being said I will attempt to deliver a wishlist of things I want to see happen with this 2020-2021 version of our LSU Tigers.
Bring It Back:
That Good Ole LSU Defense
Personally, when Coach O reached into his magic bag of coaching contacts to bring back Coach Bo (Beaux) Pelini to run the defense after Dave Aranda left for the Baylor head coaching gig, I was overjoyed; one of my biggest wishes was answered.
I loved what Coach Aranda brought to and did for LSU and Tiger nation will forever be grateful but anyone could see Coach Aranda and LSU were like a set of perpetually mismatched socks.
What Coach Aranda's defense calls for in personnel and philosophy called for never meshed in his 4 years in Baton Rouge and LSU still produced great defenses and great defensive players. So when Coach Pelini came back to his second home, we knew the stats, like 38 sacks a season, 3 straight years of being top 3 in total defense in the nation and forcing 71 turnovers.
But the biggest thing that Coach Beaux is bringing back, and probably the biggest thing missing under Coach Aranda, is the attitude.
LSU's defense during the first Pelini run was known for being aggressive, mean, disrespectful and down right nasty. Defensive lineman applied pressure play after play, linebackers stuffed runs and decimated people over the middle, the safties made sure you remembered they were there with every hit and the corners grounded more aerial attacks that no fly zones.
The LSU defense was stifling and they enjoyed the absolute terror they caused against any and every opponent. Bringing back the LSU defense that punched teams in the mouth, kicked them in the balls, spit in their faces and they walked away laughing about is something I am so ready to see and experience again.
Renewing a Legacy: The D-Line
Whenever you bring up the defenses of this golden era of LSU football, from the Saban era to the Miles era, they all start with great defensive lines. We LSU fans know the names like they are our own family; Marcus Spears, Marquise Hill, Chad Lavalais, Glenn Dorsey, Tyson Jackson, Arden Key, Danielle Hunter, Sam Montgomery and so many more that I know that I'm forgetting.
Over the past few seasons, in Coach Aranda's scheme, the defensive line play has been great but not dominant. Guys like Rashard Lawrence, Breiden Fehoko, Tyler Shelvin, Neil Farrell and the crew were asked to be block eaters to let our great linebackers like Devin White, Patrick Queen, Jacob Phillips and K'Lavon Chaisson make all of plays.
Our d-line did that job to exceptional level the last 4 years, but if we're bringing the classic LSU defense back, our defensive ends and defensive tackles have to go back to being the stars that we all know they can.
The return of supreme defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin to lead this crew along with veterans like Neil Farrell and Glen Logan, along with new comers Jacobian Guillory, Jacquelin Roy, and B.J. Ojulari will ensure that LSU's DLU top notch reputation is reestablished. I can see this defense averaging 3 sacks a game and destroying offenses all over college football.
The Next Step: Continuing Evolution
Last season when Coach Steve "Footbawl" Ensminger & Coach Joe Brady evolutionized LSU's offense, almost a decade of prayers were answered for LSU fans.
The scheme, the pace and the use of our athletes were all things we LSU faithful have been begging for. So now Joey B. is gone, so is CEH, Jets Jefferson, Thad Moss and most of the starting offensive line.
Joe Brady took his talents to the Carolina Panthers, taking DJ Mangus with him and Jorge Munoz joined Baylor as the passing game coordinator. With so many of the people widely credited with LSU's offensive evolution gone on to greener pastures, how do the Bayou Bengals keep evolving?
Number 1, the true architect of LSU's record obliterating offense, Slinger Ensminger, is still there and with all the offensive mental wizardry we lost, Coach O replaced it with just as much. Scott Linehan, a man who was at the forefront of playing in the spread at Idaho as a quarterback and bringing it to the NFL with the Detroit Lions, is replacing the wonder boy Brady as passing game coordinator. Along with Linehan, Coach O has brought in a plethora of analysts, like former Samford OC Russ Callaway as an offensive analyst and Coach Slinger's right hand man.
Also joining the Tigers is Carter Sheridan, former Saints (Who Dat!!!) assistant, Tyler Tettleton, Derek Shay and Mark Hutson. All of these analysts bring varying degrees of experience and perspective to the offensive side of the for our Tigers. So the unreasonable fear of going back to the 3 yards and a cloud of dust style offense of the Miles era can be put to bed. Coach O has gone out and put together a staff that will allow the Fighting Tiger offense to continue destroying the minds of defensive coordinators and on the necks of opposing defenses for years to come.
Another item on my must do list had to do with our special teams:
Last season the all-world, robbed of SEC freshmen of the year cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. was the primary punt returner the team. This is something I would end immediately. This is not about ability, Sting is an athlete that LSU probably has not seen at the cornerback position ever.
My wish has more to do with importance of position. Sting has the ability to be a shutdown corner in the Deion Sanders/Darrelle Revis mold, a true eliminator of one side of the field for the defense.
I know he has the skill to do any and everything on the football field he desires but if you ask any defensive coach, having a true shutdown corner, especially in modern football, is invaluable and those corners are worth their weight in platinum, diamonds and gold to a defensive coordinator and defense.
I would hate to lose Sting on a punt return, when there are plenty of other options for explosive returners on this roster, Trey Palmer, Kayshon Boutte and Kevontre Bradford to name a few.
Another reason is if the LSU offense is clicking like I believe they will, the punt returner's biggest responsiblity will be to make sure he secures the possession.
I'm excited to see anything Derek Stingley Jr. does on the football at anytime, playing cornerback or wide reciever and, yes, even returning punts.
But Sting's other worldly ability at the cornerback spot makes him so much more valuable there than anywhere else on the field but hey, I could be wrong.
There it is Tiger family, my wishlist for our 2020-2021 LSU Fighting Tigers.
Do you agree or disagree with the list?
What would you like added?
Or what would you like to see our Tigers do this season?
Let me know on twitter @aperkins2113 or @lonnphillips and lets talk about.
Once again this I'm A.D. and thank you for hopping on the Brandwagon!
Shoutouts to my Tiger family, Jamer the homie, my #ftte Kort, Harold, the greatest athletic director in the world "Tony", Chase Hoyt, Chase the shadow master, Ace the unfortunate Falcons fan, Cap the unfortunate Ole P*ss fan, Sam who doesnt know what a good drink is, Clay who knows all to well what a good drink is, the queen bad lady Ms. Peggy, the Florida kid Anthony, the hilarious MK and if I forgot you blame it on my mind not my heart. Last and certainly not least, my partner in crime and CEO of the Odyssey Lonn (simmer down Sullivan)
BY ADRIAN PERKINS
(LSU Odyssey Guest Contributor)