If you’re not reading the great LSU blog
As And The Valley Shook as a general rule, you should be. And right now, with the new hire at defensive coordinator, it’s an especially interesting read if you’ve been a Georgia fan over the past six years.
LSU has gone from a very traditional 4-3 guy in John Chavis to a coach in Kevin Steele who plays multiple fronts. Sound familiar? It ought to. Take this analysis of the 3-4 for starters.
It’s important to lay out the scheme before addressing the question of whether or not LSU can fit these looks. People commonly assume the 3-4 is only what Saban runs, in style and personnel, when that’s far from the truth. There are many variations and possibilities. When Steele tells Lamar Louis they may incorporate 3-4 looks, that may be an easier way of him talking about the 4-3 under, in terms of roles/responsibilities. Louis has played both Sam and Will (weakside) during his time at LSU. Perhaps Steele thinks he may be best deployed as a will in the 4-3 Under, to take advantage of his athleticism. In that sense, he would function much more like a 3-4 inside ‘backer than a true 4-3 Will.
All that talk about 4-3 under, 4-3 over and personnel matches could come straight out of a half-dozen posts pretty much every Georgia blogger was writing about Grantham’s schemes when he showed up to relieve Willie Martinez. Best get ready for that learning curve, Tigers fans.
Then, how familiar does this sound?
The primary knock on Steele comes from the heat of the moment in gameday situations — when it’s easy for emotions to boil over.
“He’s gotten caught up in the emotions of the game,” said Detillier. “You can lose focus and let one play affect how you call the next one. A coordinator has to have a level head there.”
Dr. B, formerly of the Clemson site Shakin’ the Southland, now available here, echoes those sentiments and says that Steele struggled to teach and translate all his knowledge to players.
“I think that Steele’s overly complex NFL-style set of adjustments led to his downfall,” said Dr. B. “He didn’t simplify his system. He just can’t pare his stuff back enough to communicate it to a player. I really thought that our defense had too many checks and adjustments to be made on every play, and we suffered paralysis by analysis in every game.”
That’s discouraging to hear when a lot of the talk going around is of adjusting LSU’s current defensive scheme and being “multiple.” As important as simplicity can be on offense it is paramount on defense, where players are already forced into reacting to what the offense is trying to do.
Hey, it’s déjà vu all over again!
Steele and Orgeron are better recruiters than Grantham and his staff were, so it’s not a totally fair comparison, but this has all the makings of an interesting case study for us to follow for the next couple of seasons. We’ll see how it goes in Red Stick.