Get ready for the 3-4.
Changes are coming to LSU’s defense in the form of the front seven, one player said Friday. The Tigers are expected to play more 3-4 under new defensive coordinator Kevin Steele.
“We’ll have a 3-4 package. We’ll have a 4-3 package. I think we’re going to be multiple,” linebacker Lamar Louis said. “Coach (Les) Miles wants to move more to a multiple defense, and that’s something I’m all for.”
LSU rarely used more than three linebackers on the field at the same time under former defensive coordinator John Chavis. His scheme used more of the defensive back position rather than linebackers.
Steele, known as a linebacker guru of sorts, is expected to give the linebackers more of a share in the workload. Four could be on the field at one time, and they may rotate among positions, Louis said.
Under Chavis, LSU often played a nickel package — five defensive backs and two linebackers — and he was known for his Mustang package that included six DBs.
Louis’ goal is to play more middle linebacker, along with Kendell Beckwith, in a 3-4 scheme. That means adding weight.
“Get back in the middle. Get my hands dirty, you know,” Louis said. “(I’ll) put on about 10 more pounds in that 3-4. I love it, running that scheme.”
Louis is one of a few players who has met with Steele, and Miles said it has made an “impact” on him.
Louis had met Steele during a 2012 film session. Out of a job that season, Steele spent time at the LSU facility. They had a meeting this week after Steele’s hiring.
“After I talked to him, I feel like he’s a straight-up guy,” Louis said. “Very nice person.”
Chatting with ‘Chief’
Defensive back Jalen Mills has no “hard feeling” for Chavis, he said. In fact, the two still often talk — mostly about hunting and fishing.
Chavis left for Texas A&M after LSU lost the Music City Bowl to Notre Dame on Dec. 30, but Mills said he accepts the reason for Chavis’ departure. Which was?
“It was a business decision,” he said, suggesting Chavis’ departure was contract-related. “You have to respect it. This is a business. … He has a family. He has to take care of his family.”
Sources told The Advocate that Chavis left LSU for contractual reasons, mainly because of a clause in his new contract stipulating that, if Miles were no longer the head coach, Chavis would be given just six months of pay. A source close to Chavis and a separate high-level source at LSU confirmed this with The Advocate.
LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva refutes that being the reason for Chavis’ departure.
Fullback Melvin Jones’ status is “not certain,” Miles said Friday.
Jones, the backup who had a banner day in the win over Florida this season, did not travel to LSU’s bowl game. Miles said that was because of academics.
Asked whether Jones is returning to the team this spring, Miles said, “I’m not certain.”
Jones is a sophomore from Lake Charles. He was the No. 2 fullback behind starter Connor Neighbors, who was a senior.
Team spokesman Michael Bonnette said LSU is continuing its investigation regarding a player who allegedly sold game-worn gear on eBay — which resulted in a store owner being jailed.
It is against NCAA rules for players to sell official team equipment.
Police arrested Fletcher Sanders, 25, on Wednesday after he would not reveal the LSU player who gave him cleats and gloves to sell online. An investigation revealed that he was the seller.
Sanders told police that he sold the gear for an LSU football player. But when an investigator asked Sanders to name the player, Sanders clammed up, according to the report.
Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter @DellengerAdv.