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LSU head coach Ed Orgeron looks to the video board for clarification on whether or not LSU recovered a fumble or if Alabama scored in the first half between the Tigers and the Crimson Tide, Dec. 5, at LSU's Tiger Stadium.

Ed Orgeron said LSU will keep its 4-3 base defense under new coordinator Daronte Jones, but the Tigers intend to use multiple looks as they try “getting back to playing LSU defense” after one of the worst seasons in school history.

As he looked for a new defensive coordinator over the last month, Orgeron said some candidates wanted to run a 3-4 base. Orgeron believed LSU needed to use the 4-3 scheme to highlight its current personnel, particularly the defensive ends. Jones matched his thought process.

“One of the reasons I hired Daronte is because of the defensive ends that we’ve got coming back,” Orgeron said Tuesday morning during the introductory press conferences for LSU’s new defensive coaches. “I didn’t want Ali Gaye to run a 4-technique. There were a couple of great candidates. They wanted to run a 3-4 defense.

“I thought that our personnel right now is suited more to a 4-3 defense, with BJ Ojulari, Andre Anthony coming back. And I do believe we have some good young inside guys, some older inside guys coming back. So that was a big decision in hiring Daronte.”

Jones agreed, saying LSU has “some studs on the outside” who would be more effective in the 4-3 look, which uses two traditional defensive ends and two defensive tackles. LSU switched to the 4-3 base last season after playing a 3-4 under former defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, who recommended Jones to Orgeron.

“We want to utilize their talents where they can be on the edge, play half a man and disrupt the passing game,” Jones said. “Also leaning into that, be very physical in the run game. The biggest thing we want to do is do everything as violent as possible. That's the aggressive mindset we want to set going forward.”

Orgeron originally wanted the 4-3 scheme so LSU could play a defense that attacked upfield and pressured quarterbacks, but in one season under coordinator Bo Pelini, the Tigers allowed 34.9 points per game, ranking 97th nationally. They struggled with coverage busts, missed assignments and miscommunication.

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Jones harped on the importance of communication Tuesday. He often said he wants to “over-communicate” to minimize mental errors, allowing LSU to play fast and confident instead of timid and stressed.

“That's the first thing we want to focus on is minimizing mistakes and minimizing mental errors, so everyone's on the same page,” Jones said. “When everyone's on the same page and you're not thinking as much, then you can play fast and let your athleticism show.”

And though LSU will use the 4-3, Jones emphasized proper fundamentals, technique and preparation over the scheme.

“Players first. Scheme second,” Jones said. “We want to put our guys in the best position to make plays.”

Orgeron wants to see LSU return to the defense he watched growing up, one with every player rallying to the ball. He acknowledged college football has changed, saying it’s more reasonable to hold opposing teams under 30 points instead of 13, but he still expects LSU to be physical and limit explosive plays.

“I grew up watching LSU defense, getting 11 hats to the ball, being physical, being tough, not giving up big plays and making it tough to score,” Orgeron said. “That’s the type of defense that we want.”

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