by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
With word of Saints' D-Line coach Ryan Nielsen accepting the LSU defensive coordinator position (not withstanding some contract issues), it finally appears after Marcus Freeman's Notre Dame runaround, Zach Arnett's inability to fit in at LSU & whispers / rumors about everyone from Wisconsin's Jim Leonard to Alabama's Charlie Strong or Pete Golding.....LSU may finally have their man.
Saints' D-Line leader & Coach Orgeron protege Ryan Nielsen looks to have the job at LSU, unless Notre Dame somehow interrupts with a 10 million dollar offer....(I'm only half kidding). If you need to brush up on the nuances of Ryan Nielsen and why he'll be a great hire for LSU, read our Nielsen profile here .
The Broyles semi-finalist joined the Saints after his work at NCState caught national attention, hired not only due to his overall improvement of the unit (1st Round NFL pick Bradley Chubb) or the amount of wins this revamped D-Line generated, but because of Nielsen's fantastic teaching ability, his fiery energy as well as his football history.
Nielsen makes sense for an LSU defense stacked full of gems, studs and potential defenders of the year, loaded with superstar playmakers such as Eli Ricks, Derek Stingley, B.J Ojulari, Ali Gaye, Jay Ward, Mo Hampton, Cordale Flott joined by steely veterans like Neil Farrell Jr, Todd Harris, Damone Clark (looking for a big bounce back year, much like Flott, Hampton & Harris)...these young men need an energizer they can relate to...and Coach Orgeron believes, based on his past experiences, that Ryan Nielsen is definitely that people person who's ready to lead his defensive squad into an intense 2021 campaign.
This is only a matter of time...Ryan should be signing as soon as Sean Peyton's every whim is satisfied, though the point I'd like to make is.... LSU are moving quick....and from there, they move to their other needs on defense.
Orgeron told everyone, "we'll hire our other vacant spots based on who we hire for the defensive coordinator job", which makes sense: now you don't need to hire a D-Line coach, because you're about to sign the best D-Line impresario in the NFL as your defensive coordinator / D-Line coach. That's his expertise and the lens he'll view the LSU defense through, that's how he's built...and perhaps that's why Coach Orgeron is hiring him.
So now you wipe out the D-Line Coach as a need....LSU need to hire a LBs coach and a safeties coach....replacing Bo Pelini (who was a DC/LBs coach last year) & the much-loved Urban Meyer friend Mr. Bill Busch.
The Rams' well-respected and liked LB coach Joe Barry is a name bandied about for good reason: he's the architect of that hell-bent-for-leather Tampa Bay linebacking corps of the early 2000s, winning a Super Bowl during his time (2001-2006) as the coach for Hall of Famers such as Derrick Brooks.
After Barry's stint as Detroit Lions' defensive coordinator went awry throughout his 2008-2009 tenure, he resurfaced again at his alma mater USC, coaching LBs in 2010 under Coach Ed Orgeron (the current Tigers' head coach was then a defensive assistant / D-Line / recruiting coordinator under Kiffin).
From 2011-2014, Joe Barry went to San Diego and helped develop Melvin Ingram, Shaun Phillips, Takeo Spikes and others in their linebacking corps.
In 2015, Barry was once again given the headset for Washington, taking the defensive coordinator role among a star-studded assistants crew that included future Rams Head Coach Sean McVay as OC....
Though Barry's defenses in D.C were far from strong units during his short tenure, he rebounded in 2017 when McVay accepted the Rams job and hired him on as his linebackers coach, coaching his LBs to the top 10 in many NFL categories and a narrow Super Bowl defeat to New England. Former Bama LB Mark Barron, UGA LB Alec Ogletree (only one strong season under Barry), Cory Littleton and Samson Ebukam (among others) excelled under Barry's coaching, although we'd be remiss if we didn't point out the exodus of one big time LB after another throughout his tenure, from Ogletree (who flamed out) to Littleton.
I can definitely see Barry joining the LSU staff as Orgeron's new Linebackers Coach...not only is he one of the most well-liked people within the Rams' building, according to a top NFL reporting friend, at 50 years old Barry may be older, yet he has a laid back mentality which will endear him to LSU's youthful defense if he's hired.
I'm hearing some strong indications Barry is a high target, not only due to his familiarity with Coach Orgeron and Offensive Line Coach James Cregg, but the questions which hounded Arnett about being a "proper fit" for LSU are the same which set the stage for Barry to take the linebackers job.
Another candidate I would like to see given a chance is Pelini's assistant LBs coach last year, Alec Osbourne, a top recruiter who was instrumental in bringing Raesjon Davis aboard the Tigers' program. Once Pelini and Osbourne were out, Raesjon decommitted from LSU...but is there a chance LSU kill two birds with one stone here? Hiring a great LBs Coach candidate as well as retaining the #1 LB in America while doing so?
That all depends on how well Orgeron felt Osbourne did his job alongside Pelini last year, or if he's capable of coaching LSU's linebackers back to the level they were before 2020...
Concerning safeties coach, LSU had a big name in Travaris Robinson already head to Miami, now coaching the Hurricanes' DBs.
Ok, well now who else is out there?
Michigan's Bob Shoop looks set to leave Ann Arbor after only a single season: the experienced assistant has actually been coaching from the shadows since September. We don't know what reasons, although we're sure this was a Covid-19-related situation which should have no bearing on his future.
There exists a guy who's capture / ascendancy could be possible and would set the LSU coaching staff on fire (in a good way)???
ORGERON HIRING BRANDON TAYLOR AS SAFETIES COACH??
Or, here's some more names I've heard from LSU sources:
CHRIS PARTRIDGE...although will LSU want to pay anything north of $650,000 (Partridge's current yearly salary) for a safeties coach? Or would the move to LSU from Ole Miss be fine for a guy who left Michigan for a $0 raise once?
Or, what about LSUODYSSEY.COM's Chief Consultant Adrian Perkins reporting Notre Dame's Terry Joseph (brother of Tigers' WRs Coach Mickey Joseph) is being looked at by Coach Orgeron for the vacant safeties coach position?
LSU ODYSSEY will be keeping you updated at all times from here and on our twitter account @LonnPhillips, join us .
I will also be making an appearance on the Mark Rogers show tomorrow, which will be posted and available here.
THANK YOU! PEACE, LOVE & GEAUX TIGERS!!!
BLACK LIVES MATTER
by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
Copyright 2021 Uninterrupted Writings Inc LLC
SHOUTOUTS: MLK Day is the day to remember WHY life matters....it's about people...every person....treating them as you want to be treated...taking care of one another, being a great neighbor...extinguishing racism at any and all cost...