In Ed Orgeron’s first season as permanent head coach his Tigers finished the regular season 9-3 with SEC wins over Florida, Auburn, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas A&M. However, the Tigers also lost at Mississippi State and Alabama and suffered a surprising home loss vs Troy. During the season Orgeron saw enough he didn’t like that he knew he was going to make changes.
Out went Matt Canada & in came a number of new “analysts” to support the staff and promoted offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger. Regarding the offense, Coach O told Ross Dellenger of The Advocate, “Last year, we weren’t clicking on all cylinders. I knew that, knew that in the office. I felt the flow wasn’t the same. So we changed some things. I knew I had to give my team a better chance by getting them more information, by running an offense I felt comfortable running with and people agreed with me.”
In addressing why Orgeron felt the need to double the number of analysts on staff, Coach O told Dellenger:
When I watch the coaches work, I saw coaches still gathering information (about the opponent) on Tuesday and Wednesday — information that should have been covered in the summer, could have been given to them on Sunday night.
To me, on Sunday night in the NFL, we have a meeting and everything is done. It is done. I’m talking about breakdowns, fit drills (plans). All the manual work that needs to be done is given to the coordinators, and they go over it. Instead of that, we’re just starting on the next opponent. By the time we get there, it’s Wednesday night. It’s too late.
The manpower that we have now to generate the information to give to the coordinators on Sunday is night and day.
I want the information given to these guys (by analysts). Again, you look at some of the teams that play us. They work on us all summer. I need the manpower while our guys are out recruiting. I need the manpower to be evaluating what we’re doing here, researching and also be ready to give me the information on other teams.
Dellenger’s article goes into significantly more detail about why O wanted more experienced coaches around the players and more about the staffs Spring and Summer plans as well.
I found it interesting that Coach O mentions his staff plans to visit 4 NFL staffs this offseason; but no other college programs. My read there is O is comfortable with the culture aspect of his program; but wants to improve scheme and staff workflow.
Read more from Ross Dellenger here on The Advocate’s website.
[The featured image above has no bearing on this article; but darn it I liked it. Source is here.]