Blake Baker, Andre Carter

Miami defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Blake Baker (left), former New York Jets defensive line coach Andre Carter (right)

Days after hiring former Minnesota Vikings defensive backs coach Daronte Jones as LSU's new defensive coordinator, Tigers coach Ed Orgeron is getting close to filling his final two remaining assistant coach staff positions.

LSU officially has hired Miami defensive coordinator Blake Baker as linebackers coach, LSU announced Thursday, and former New York Jets defensive line coach Andre Carter will fill the same role in Baton Rouge, according to The Athletic.

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Once both deals are finalized, Orgeron will have completed a staff overhaul that began when he parted ways with former defensive coordinator Bo Pelini and passing-game coordinator Scott Linehan after just one season. Former offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger and defensive line coach Bill Johnson both retired from on-field coaching and are now analysts on LSU's staff.

Orgeron has trended toward hiring young coaches who have NFL ties as replacements. He swiftly hired offensive coordinator Jake Peetz, 37, and passing-game coordinator DJ Mangas, 31, who both worked under former LSU passing-game coordinator Joe Brady as assistants with the Carolina Panthers.

Jones, 41, spent five seasons as an assistant coach in the NFL, mostly working with the secondary in stints with the Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals and the Minnesota Vikings.

Carter, 41, coached with Jones with the Miami Dolphins as an assistant defensive line coach. The former All-American defensive end at California played 13 seasons for five NFL teams, including the New England Patriots, where Carter made his only Pro Bowl and set the franchise's single-game record for sacks (four).

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Carter began his coaching career with the Dolphins in 2017 and 2018, and then spent the past two seasons as the defensive line coach with the Jets, who have undergone a staff overhaul upon the firing of head coach Adam Gase.

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Baker, a 38-year-old Texas native, has been Miami's defensive coordinator for the past two seasons, and he was a linebacker at Tulane from 2000 to 2004. A return to Louisiana as a position coach would be interesting for Baker, who has been a defensive coordinator since leading Louisiana Tech's defense from 2015 to 2018.

Miami's defense was sturdy and disruptive in Baker's first season, ranking No. 13 nationally in total defense (309.8 yards allowed per game), No. 23 in scoring defense (20.2 points allowed per game), sixth in tackles for loss (108) and seventh in sacks (46).

The Hurricanes defense mostly regressed in 2020, ranking No. 53 nationally in total defense (393.7), No. 51 in scoring defense (27), No. 17 in sacks (30) and fourth in tackles for loss (95).

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Once the defensive staff is finalized, LSU will begin finalizing the defensive schemes it'll use for the 2021 season. Orgeron has been leading the defensive meetings with Corey Raymond, the only remaining defensive assistant from last season, since LSU's players began their offseason "football school" on Jan. 19.

Orgeron said upon his offensive staff hires that he would be patient with the defensive staff openings. Now the search appears nearly over.

"I knew that I could wait and get the right guys on defense, and I know we're going to get them," Orgeron said then. "I have a good idea of who that is going to be; we just have to be patient, wait until the right time. But I know I can help on defense gives me some security, knowing we could wait and get the right guys."

LSU expected to hire Vikings DB coach Daronte Jones as defensive coordinator: source

Email Brooks Kubena at bkubena@theadvocate.com.