Steve Ensminger was unveiled as LSU's new offensive coordinator at a press conference Thursday. Head Coach Ed Orgeron has received some backlash for the decision, but stood by his man at the presser.
"Steve Ensminger, no doubt in my mind, is the best guy to be our offensive coordinator," Orgeron said.
Ensminger was LSU's interim offensive coordinator when Orgeron became the team's interim head coach in the 2016 season. At the time, Ensminger said he did not want to become the team's offensive coordinator because the communication was challenging, and it wasn't going to be his offense he would've been tasked with operating. However, the Baton Rouge-native also says his time as interim head coach was a highlight of his career.
"2016, working as offensive coordinator under Coach O, I'll tell you right now was the best experience of my life. Walking on that field, watching these players win, the excitement they had, walking off that field, and seeing how happy they were, spreading the football around...it was the best time of my life."
Choking up a few times during his introductory presser, the former LSU quarterback also remembered his time playing under Charles McClendon, and he says he knew this opportunity was going to happen. Moreover, Ensminger does not just ignore criticism. He is unaware of it.
"I had a guy call me last night, and he said 'Did you read this in the paper?' I said 'Hell no. I ain't read the paper in 20 years.'"
Ensminger is taking over for the vacancy Matt Canada created after he and Coach Orgeron parted ways at the end of the 2017 season. Coach Orgeron says he remembered his statement to find the best offensive coordinator in the country when he became LSU's head coach last season.
"I went out and I did all I could to do the things that I promised the fans, and all the while, I knew I had Steve Ensminger there."
The Tigers must now focus on grooming a quarterback under a new system, and both Coach Orgeron and Offensive Coordinator Ensminger believe they have excellent quarterbacks on the roster.
"In my opinion, we have one of the best pure passers coming out here in Myles Brennan," Coach Orgeron said, and Ensminger believes grooming the quarterbacks with less pressure on them will be better for the long term.
"I think going into the spring, we're going to put the pressure on the quarterback right now and see what he can handle, and then, as we go into the season, we're going to see what he can't handle and what he handles correctly."