Ed Orgeron discusses his decision to hire Bo Pelini as LSU's defensive coordinator: 'I think we got a great hire'
Bo Pelini may not have been a popular name on many defensive coordinator hot boards this offseason but the former Youngstown State and Nebraska head coach was the name at the very top of Ed Orgeron’s list.
According to Orgeron, he’s not the only notable coach that’s high on LSU’s new defensive coordinator, as Coach O’s mentor Pete Carroll has always been a fan of Pelini’s work. The endorsement from Carroll likely went a long way to helping Orgeron make the decision to bring Pelini back to Baton Rouge.
During a recent appearance on ESPN Baton Rouge 104.5 FM radio show “Off The Bench,” Orgeron explained why he felt Pelini was the best coach to replace former LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, who left to take over the Baylor football program following the Tigers’ national championship run.
“I’ve known Bo a long time. Obviously, with Coach Aranda, I knew one day he would get a head job and I was happy for him,” Orgeron said during his appearance on the show. “I thought Bo was the best choice of LSU. When he came here, he had some great defenses, one of the top defenses in the nation.
“I’ve known Bo for a long time, he and I have a great passion for the game and with the coaches we have on our staff, this is an excellent choice, it’s the best choice, I feel, for LSU. I always want to bring the best to LSU, I think we got a great hire.”
One note many have picked up on following Pelini’s hire at LSU is the fact he has an intense personality and coaching style that could not be much different than the calm and reserved Aranda.
How will LSU’s defenders respond to the new style of coaching they are likely to receive from Pelini?
“I think they’re gonna love it,” Orgeron commented. “Obviously, there’s several ways to coach and everyone has to coach with their own demeanor. I love the way he coaches. You know, Coach Carroll is a mentor of Bo Pelini and I, I talked at length about Bo to coach Carroll, he said he’s one of the best defensive minds, he’s ever been around.”
While Pelini was arguably the SEC’s best defensive coordinator during his previous stint with LSU back in 2005-2007, there’s no doubt the league has drastically changed since that time. With some SEC offenses now lighting up scoreboards on a weekly basis, has Pelini adapted his system to stop the ever-evolving spread offenses in college football?
“I think he had a good taste of it being at Nebraska, being in (the Big 12), he saw those offenses,” Orgeron noted. “I’m sure he saw some at Youngstown State… We went and talked to him about playing the spread when we was at USC. So, he knows how to play (against) the spread. He’s been in the NFL, he can defend anything, he’s a brilliant mind.”
Lastly, when it comes to the style of defense LSU plans to run under Pelini, Orgeron was asked if the Tigers will run a 4-3 or a 3-4 defense in 2020.
“I think he knows how to do both, it’s going to be his decision on which way he wants to go and we will follow his lead,” Coach O said.