It appears you're just going to have to trust Ed Orgeron on this one.

LSU fans have been spoiled the last five months, so it's understandable.

And a year ago the term "passing game coordinator" did not even exist in the LSU football office.

But in the perfect storm that was the national championship blitzkrieg that coaching position became the buzz word for LSU's offensive awakening and the sudden must-have piece to keep the merry-go-round going.

But Joe Brady, whose hiring a year ago for this newfound position was met with "Who's he?" and "Does he shave yet?" had to be replaced.

You might as well get used to that part of the equation.

If Orgeron's master plan works, this figures to be an annual affair — success doesn't happen in a vacuum and other schools will be snooping around Tiger Stadium trying to kidnap some of LSU's assistants' for their own instant turnarounds.

Granted, Brady is a special case, getting enough of the credit for last season to parlay his first year as a bona fide assistant into an NFL offensive coordinator's job with the Panthers.

But the Tigers were probably lucky to hold on to defensive coordinator Dave Aranda for as long as they did before he got the Baylor head coaching job at the beginning of the year.

In an odd twist, replacing him with Bo Pelini seemed to get better reviews in Louisiana than elsewhere. Pelini, who directed the LSU 2007 national championship defense before leaving for a stormy run as Nebraska's head coach, was probably the Tigers' best and most popular defensive coordinator until Aranda arrived. If he gets an unsportsmanlike penalty or so a game, well, that's just Bo being Bo and the price you pay.

But the big ticket now is this passing game coordinator, and the all-important social media reaction has been nonplussed.

You'd think landing a former NFL head coach would be quite a get.

Yet no sooner had The Athletic's Bruce Feldman broken the news Monday that Scott Linehan would be LSU's new passing game coordinator than fans' frantic Google searches began and most of the results came back "fired from …"

Fill in the blank. True, Linehan's last three employers gave him a pink slip, most recently the Dallas Cowboys, where he was offensive coordinator from 2014-2018 before sitting out last year unemployed. Before that the Detroit Lions let him go. And before that he was head coach of the St. Louis Rams (8-8 in 2006 before slipping to 3-13 the following year), from whence he was canned after an 0-4 start in 2008.

But he did enough as offensive coordinator with the Vikings and Dolphins (the latter under Nick Saban) to get hired as an NFL head coach, which is still a pretty select fraternity.

I'm not sure what the fandom wanted for this job.

Maybe they wanted Orgeron to stick to the familiar plan and hire another total unknown like Brady was a year ago. It's possible, however, you could milk that gag once too often.

And, just as a reminder, Linehan is not the offensive coordinator at LSU now anymore than Brady was.

That job still belongs to Steve Ensminger — who isn't going anywhere ­— and who only toward the end of last season got anything close to the credit he deserved.

Orgeron said all along that he was leaning toward filling the job with NFL experience.

He even left the door open to, "We're looking for different ideas … things that can add to our already great offense."

Don't hold against Lineham that he has decades of NFL experience when the blueprint says you go with a (then) 29-year-old with basically none.

The key with Lineham isn't what new wrinkles he can bring to a near-perfect offense (that would be hard to duplicate). It's how he can mesh with Ensminger, whose chemistry with Brady (and lack of ego) was probably the biggest coaching key for last year's jaw-dropping success.

When asked on a Baton Rouge radio show Tuesday about what attracted him to Lineham, Orgeron said, "I think his expertise on third down and in the red zone."

That was basically the division of labor between Ensminger and Brady.

"Let's face it, we have a great package here," Orgeron said. "We're going to continue to do the things that we know how to do here. I think Steve Ensminger has done a great job on running this offense.

"He and Ensminger are going to fit along great together. He brought exactly what we wanted to our program."

It doesn't appear that Orgeron rushed into it or "settled" for anything.

He had time before spring practice begins to keep looking around.

And keep this in mind, hard as it is to remember now: the hiring of Orgeron wasn't exactly met with dancing in the bayous.

Scooter Hobbs covers LSU athletics. Email him at

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