Philosophical differences with Orgeron doom Canada at LSU
The LSU Tigers recovered after the loss to Troy, but offensive coordinator Matt Canada never did.
Canada’s tenure at LSU has been on the clock ever since head coach Ed Orgeron admitted to reporters that he told Canada to curtail his offense before a 24-21 loss to the Sun Belt’s Trojans.
Telling Canada to eliminate motions and shifts, and then saying it publicly, was the ultimate slap in the face to the LSU play caller.
That night in the press conference, Orgeron was telling the world and his offensive coordinator that he was the boss.
So, there was Canada, at a press conference Friday in Orlando, saying all the right things.
Coached up, he was.
Canada said he “had the greatest job in the world” and he would “love” to be at LSU next season.
The only thing missing was subliminal man from Saturday Night Live standing next to Canada, speaking the real truth.
The truth is, Canada is going to keep his mouth shut and grab his cash on the way out of Baton Rouge.
Canada will land work, and Orgeron will move on to what he really wanted to do last year – give the OC job to trusted lieutenant Steve Ensminger.
But the optics were bad at the time.
Orgeron, the interim coach just promoted to the permanent position, had to make a splash, so he brought in the offensive coordinator who was largely responsible for giving eventual national champion Clemson its only loss of the 2016 season.
Canada did a solid job with the Tigers. With a young offensive line, one playmaker at wide receiver, and running back Derrius Guice hobbled with a bad ankle for much of the year, LSU was more than respectable on offense.
The Tigers had only eight turnovers, tied for fewest in the history of the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Danny Etling’s yards per pass attempt rose dramatically, from 7.09 yards to 9.23 yards per attempt.
Three times the Tigers scored 40 points or more in a game. Six times LSU scored 30 or more points in a game.
At Alabama, head coach Nick Saban has had six offensive coordinators since he arrived in 2007. The Saban philosophy of running the football behind a talented offensive line has been tweaked to incorporate more spread principles.
But the philosophy has always been the same is Tuscaloosa. Run the ball, and then make big plays in the passing game off play action.
Orgeron plans to do much of the same, and revealed his plan when he signed two mammoth, talented junior college offensive lineman in the early period.
Run the ball, play defense and make big plays in the passing game has always been LSU’s offensive calling card since the turn of the century
But the problem is, the passing game has been mostly lackluster ever since Matt Flynn threw his last toss in the January 2008 BCS championship against Ohio State.
With two talented but young signal callers on the roster in Myles Brennan and Lowell Narcisse, Orgeron feels he has the decade-long LSU quarterback riddle solved.
In the meantime, being an offensive coordinator in big time college football is a nomadic existence.
There one day, get paid extravagantly, gone the next.
At Auburn, former coach Tommy Tuberville went through offensive coordinators at a brisk pace. When he hired Tony Franklin, Tuberville went against what he believed.
Franklin was a spread, no-huddle guy. Tubby had won a lot of games at Auburn with a power run game, good defense and an excellent kicking game.
Franklin lasted seven games, and Tuberville was out at the end of that 2008 season.
Ed Orgeron and Matt Canada were just not a good mix.
The head coach wants to run the ball down the opponents throat.
The offensive coordinator loves to trick ’em.
And as Canada knows, the boss is always right.
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WGNO Sports Director/WGSO 990am
Ed is a New Orleans native, born at Baptist Hospital. He graduated Rummel High School, class of 1975, and subsequently graduated from Loyola University. Ed started in TV in 1977 as first sports intern at WVUE Channel 8. He became Sports Director at KPLC TV Channel 7 in Lake Charles in 1980. In 1982 he was hired as sports reporter…