HOOVER, Ala. — There had been rumors.
But if one wanted to really get excited about LSU's upcoming football season, SEC Media Days was the place to be Monday.
Never mind that head coach Ed Orgeron was embracing some high expectations.
LSU has had them before.
Never mind that the Tigers' offense has plans to join the current century.
LSU fans have certainly heard that one before — year after year, mostly in preseason.
But this time it's not an idle threat. Orgeron really, really means it this time.
"We're going to run the spread offense," Orgeron said. "It's in. It's in the playbook. So it's not a threat. I promise you that. We're going to run it."
Orgeron is all in — no-huddle, hurry-up, five wideouts, all of it.
It's why he went out and hired a young offensive guru, Joe Brady, away from the Saints to join veteran offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger as something called passing game coordinator.
Brady's name kept coming up when Orgeron was consulting with Saints' staff on the Tigers' red-zone woes last year.
"Joe has been a game changer for our staff," Orgeron said. " He and Steve Ensminger work together wonderful ... I expect those two to run a very prolific offense."
It will have the RPOs, a common acronym for most offenses' run-pass-option, but one that LSU fans may need to know means Run Pass Option.
Orgeron knows he has the quarterback to run it — Joe Burrow, the transfer from Ohio State, ran it virtually all of his quarterbacking life before taking snaps under center for the first time last season.
"This is Joe's type of offense," Orgeron said. "Joe is a dual-threat quarterback. We could not run Joe as much as we wanted to last year."
Unbeknownst to the public, backup Myles Brennan was injured much of last season, thus the kids' gloves with Burrow and the caution light on his running attempts.
"I do believe that Joe, if we let him, would run into a brick wall no matter what it took," Orgeron said. "He's that tough as — he has a linebacker mentality.
"We are going to use him on quarterback runs, quarterback draws ... it does add another element to our offense."
"We're kind of building this whole thing together," Burrow said. "We have ideas and we kind of throw them out there, see what sticks. We try it in practice. If it looks good, we run with it. If not, throw it out and don't come back to it."
It will certainly be different.
Meanwhile, Orgeron said he things he has "best group of defensive backs I've ever coached — 35 years of coaching," with the "best player in the country coming back on defense" in safety Grant Delpit.
But LSU wouldn't be the first team to embrace a sleeker offense to the detriment of its defense, which tends to spend more time on the field.
"Good point," Orgeron admitted. "There's some physicality that you lose from going two tight ends and two backs and running the power game that your defense has to practice against."
But, "When we have to get physical to run the football in short yardage situations we will ... so our defense can still see that.
"We still want to be physical. We have physical backs. LSU is always going to be physical.
Orgeron said he will be taking more of hands-on approach to making sure of that.
Lack of depth complicated by some injuries left LSU thin in the defensive front a year ago, when the Tigers gave up 167 yards per game rushing.
"That's not LSU football," Orgeron said. "There's no question we need to get better ... we need to put pressure on the quarterback with a four-man rush. It was not good last year. Theyhad to do a lot of different things that really shouldn't have to do at LSU.
"We'll (be an) attacking defensive line. We are going to be more of a four-man defensive line ... we are going to make some slight adjustments on how we play with the guys, but it will be more of a freestyle attack, getting in back field making plays. I think you'll see that with those guys."