LSU’s two coordinators entered Friday’s speeches at the annual coaches clinic with a two-pronged approach.
New defensive coordinator Kevin Steele hit the Louisiana high school coaches in attendance with the fundamentals, while offensive coordinator Cam Cameron used a more emotional approach at the podium.
Both combined to conclude the evening with roaring applause.
Steele, who was hired by LSU back in January to replace former defensive coordinator John Chavis, has quite the coaching résumé.
Whether it was from Bobby Bowden, Tom Osborne, Nick Saban, Dom Capers or Johnny Majors, Steele has received plenty of advice over his 35-year coaching career. But after so many seasons in the business, Steele said he wasn’t looking to be a head coach.
LSU had been on Steele’s radar, and after being a linebackers coach at six different schools (not counting his stint as a linebackers coach for the Carolina Panthers), the Dillon, South Carolina, native knew what a premier defense looked like.
“When you go back through the years, what you know about LSU is that traditionally and historically, year-in and year-out, (LSU) has some of the best defensive football players in the country assembled on this campus,” Steele said. “And that’s not just one year. That’s many years.”
He saw an opportunity in Baton Rouge, and he jumped on it.
“I was thinking about this job and coaching in Tiger Stadium and coaching that kind of talent, and it was pretty easy to say that I wanted to be a part of that,” Steele said.
Steele has used the lessons he has gathered on his current players, and he shared these same teachings with the coaches in attendance on Friday evening. He stressed fundamentals such as eye movement and stance, and he also shared a number of defensive drills he still uses today.
Cameron followed with a different approach.
The Tigers’ offensive coordinator’s PowerPoint presentation wasn’t filled with play designs or practice videos.
Each slide showed a new name — a name of an individual who motivated and inspired Cameron throughout his 31-year coaching career.
Lee Corso, Roger Staubach, Ray Lewis, Bobby Knight and even Ed Orgeron were all listed, among many others.
Cameron also shared one name that has influenced more than one member of the LSU coaching staff.
“You want to know where Les (Miles) gets some of his stuff? One place: (former Michigan coach) Bo Schembechler,” Cameron said. “Nobody ever saw this side of Bo, though. When you see Les cutting up, it’s because the old man cut up with us.”
And then Cameron turned his attention to his current squad.
“Here’s why I believe we win: because we care,” Cameron said. “I work for a man, and we work for a man, who cares.”
Cameron showed one video clip before ending his presentation. It was a replay of the final minutes of LSU’s upset victory against then-No. 3 Ole Miss in Tiger Stadium last season, a win that came one night after the death of Miles’ mother, Martha Miles.
He concluded with a story from a team meeting that occurred that game day.
“If you were in that room, you’d know why we win,” Cameron said. “(Miles) cares about his players, he cares about his coaches, and we care about him. We love him. That’s what this program has in it.”
LSU will cap a busy week of football activity on Saturday when the Tigers go through their second scrimmage of the spring at Tiger Stadium.