LSU coach Ed Orgeron smiled confidently when he told reporters Monday "We're a step ahead" of other schools in pursuit of first-year passing game coordinator Joe Brady.
On Tuesday morning, Orgeron shared insight into why he was confident: LSU athletic director Scott Woodward was prepared to battle for Brady.
"I got to give credit to our athletic director," Orgeron said in an interview on 104.5 ESPN's "Off the Bench." "Scott Woodward came up with a plan two months ago. He had the vision to see what was gonna go on, so we had to put a plan together and that plan is being put in place right now, and I feel good about it."
Two months ago, LSU was 4-0 with an offense that was already breaking records. Joe Burrow had just broken the school's single-game record for most passing touchdowns, tossing six in LSU's 66-38 win over Vanderbilt, and the offense had flexed its strength in a 45-38 win over then-No. 9 Texas on Sept. 7.
The offensive success vaulted Brady into the spotlight, and the 30-year-old coach who was in his first major college football job started to become an attractive asset.
Today, LSU ranks second nationally, scoring 48.7 points per game — more than two touchdowns more than what the Tigers averaged in 2018 (32.4).
LSU ranks second nationally in total offense (560.4 yards per game) and second in yards per play (7.9), and Burrow is a front-runner to win the program's first Heisman Trophy since Billy Cannon in 1959.
Brady was named one of five finalists for the Broyles Award for nation's top assistant coach on Monday.
No. 2 LSU (12-0, 8-0 SEC) will play No. 4 Georgia (11-1, 7-1) in the SEC Championship Game on Saturday in Atlanta.
Orgeron did not detail exactly what Woodward's plan is to keep Brady, but he said that "we have a plan in place. I think we're in good shape."
Brady signed a three-year contract Feb. 3 with LSU. The deal pays him $410,000 per year in his first year, $435,000 in his second and $460,000 in his final season until the contract expires March 31, 2022.
Any new contract would need approval from the LSU Board of Supervisors, which next meets Dec. 6.
Brady is the seventh-highest-paid assistant on Orgeron's staff, which includes 10 coaches. Brady's current annual salary ranks outside the top 200 assistants nationally, according to USA Today's collected data of 2018 salaries.
Aranda's $2.5 million per year ranks first nationally among assistant coaches, and in May, Ensminger signed a two-year, $800,000-per-year contract with LSU that expires March 31, 2021.