(Chris Landry is a veteran NFL scout who has worked for the Cleveland Browns and the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans. Previously, he ran the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis and served as an assistant coach at LSU. Landry is a consultant for multiple NFL teams and major college programs.)
When LSU athletic director Joe Alleva called a closed-door meeting with coach Ed Orgeron, offensive coordinator Matt Canada and defensive coordinator Dave Aranda following the team’s loss to Troy, it was inevitable that details of the meeting would trickle out. Chris Landry shared those details on his latest podcast.
“The coordinators told fellow coaching buddies about what happened in that meeting … (Coaching is) a very close-knit community,” Landry said. “There’s been no shyness about explaining what went on in that meeting.”
First, some background.
“Joe Alleva has taken to going in to the office every Sunday and watching film with Ed (Orgeron), and that’s been widely not popularly received by the assistant coaches there,” Landry said. “From what I understand, Joe was the one that suggested (to Orgeron), ‘Why don’t we get the coordinators coming in here?’ Most athletic directors would never do this because they’re not football people.”
How unusual is this type of situtaion?
“This (kind of meeting) doesn’t happen for a reason. You usurp the head coach; it shows the lack of respect for the head coach to handle this himself,” Landry said. “The proper way to do it is have a meeting with the head coach if you feel, as athletic director, that things are wrong, that communication is not going well. It’s your right as the boss to pull him in and say, ‘Look, I think we need to look at this,’ and then to separately pull the coordinators aside if you feel you need to and have a meeting.”
So, what happened during the meeting?
“The assistants, the coordinators were affirmed that it’s their call to do what they want to do,” Landry said he was told. “People will look at it (as), ‘All is fine with the Tigers, LSU beat Florida, the meeting worked.’ That’s short-sighted. What happens when other problems take place — who do they look to, the head coach or the AD?”
Landry explained why it was felt the meeting was necessary.
“It was clear there was a difference in how the offense was being run,” Landry said. “Ed felt like with the youth of the offensive line that it would be better not to do as much scheme and movement pre-snap because it was too confusing for the offensive line. Well, Matt Canada’s belief was just the opposite — that it wasn’t the pre-snap motions that were confusing the offensive line.”
Back to the meeting.
“What went on in the meeting, as I am told second-hand, the coordinators were empowered to run the offense and defense as they saw fit,” Landry said. “(The coordinators) wanted to communicate things with the head coach, which is proper, but that it was explained in so many words by the athletic director that, look, the coordinators were hired to run the offense and defense and it is a different structure than in some cases where the head coach is the head coach and he has power over the team. In this instance, the coordinators are empowered to (control the offense and defense), which is something that kind of feeds the ego of the coordinators or certainly gives them a comfort level, but it can be taken a couple of ways.
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“I think there’s a lot of pressure and there was a lot of pressure after the Troy game on the head coach, certainly on the athletic director, certainly on the coordinators. Everybody’s reputation is at stake here. They’ve got to perform, they’ve got to produce, and if that doesn’t happen, they’re all going to pay for it.”
Coming out of the meeting, there is no question as to who’s running the offense and defense.