LSU Football: New defensive assistant giving players freedom to play fast

LSU football vs Missouri Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
LSU football vs Missouri Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /

LSU football‘s defense is going to look a lot different in 2021 than it did in 2020.

That’s because the Tigers have three new defensive assistants this season.

Defensive coordinator Daronte Jones, linebackers coach Blake Baker, and defensive line coach Andre Carter are all new to Baton Rouge.

And they’re expected to bring a different type of energy to LSU’s coaching staff.

New LSU football assistant will allow players to play faster

Baker, who most recently served as the defensive coordinator at Miami, spoke at the Coaches Caravan this week and explained some of his coaching philosophies

The thing that stood out the most was Baker’s insistence that LSU’s linebackers play fast and not worry about making mistakes.

Baker said he’s told his linebackers to not be afraid to make a mistake, while also noting that mistakes are made, they’ll be fixed on film (via Brooks Kubena).

I think this is a tremendous approach. If players are constantly worried about making mistakes, they’ll play tense instead of free and fast. And that’s when more mistakes are likely to happen. Or blown coverages.

Working on the details during practice, and then focusing on simply playing fast on game day, is absolutely the right approach by Baker.

Get it right in practice so it becomes second nature. And then when mistakes inevitably happen, fix them on film.

It’s a simple philosophy, but it’s one that I think a lot of coaches avoid, mostly because they’re so focused on being “perfect”.

Baker’s approach is part of the “different vibe” that Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron is seeing in Baton Rouge.

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I don’t know what LSU’s defense will look like in 2021, but I have a feeling we’re going to see a defense that’s aggressive, fast, and ready to get offenses off-schedule.

What more could you ask for in a defense?