Ed Orgeron defended his position as LSU’s football coach and praised his boss, athletic director Joe Alleva, amid heavy criticism during the coach’s weekly radio show on Wednesday from TJ Ribs restaurant in Baton Rouge.
“I earned the job, (was) given the interim job and I earned it, whether you like it or not,” Orgeron fired back at a critical caller to a round of applause from those present at the live airing of the show.
Orgeron’s Tigers dropped to 3-2 after losing 24-21 last weekend to Troy, the first nonconference home loss in 17 years. The defeat – along with a 30-point loss at Mississippi State Sept. 16 – has sent a surge of criticism at Orgeron and Alleva.
The coach is aware of the heat he’s already taking, just five games into his first full season as coach.
“I know there's a lot of negative stuff out there, especially about me,” Orgeron said.
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The coach defended Alleva during one segment, calling him the “best athletic director” he’s worked for and a man who’s supplied him with anything he’s asked.
“He’s been great to me. Listen, the man gave me a chance to come here at LSU. Big supporter of mine while I as an assistant, gave me the interim job, gave me a chance to earn it, coached me up every day,” Orgeron said.
“He’s been very, very instrumental in our success,” he continued. “He’s given me every tool I need to be successful. He’s been supporting, never backed away. He’s the best athletic director I’ve ever worked for.”
Orgeron’s show opened with a prank caller, a sign of things to come. The coach took a multiple of calls, several of them criticizing a team that started in the top 15 in the preseason polls.
One caller referenced a YahooSports! story that published Sunday that cited anonymous college coaches chiding Orgeron and the Tigers. One of the anonymous coaches referred to the Tigers as “soft.”
LSU has tweaked its practice schedule this week to add more physicality, the coach suggested. Orgeron made sweeping changes to practice last season in taking over for Les Miles, shortening them and decreasing the level of hitting.
“I will say this,” Orgeron said to the caller, “I do think some parts of practice I can be a little tougher on and we were this week.”
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