BATON ROUGE, La. — Matt Canada was never going to be long for LSU. That was apparent from Day One.
“Coach O is the head coach. Whatever he tells me to do, I’m going to do,” Canada proclaimed when he was introduced as LSU’s offensive coordinator last December. “I’m a chain-of-command coach person. I believe in it to the end. But I do believe if you have too many things going on, it’s very hard to have success at anything in life. Too many cooks in the kitchen, it’s hard.”
With that truth laid bare, it should be no surprise that Canada went searching for the exit as soon as Ed Orgeron barged into Canada’s kitchen before LSU’s stunning loss to Troy on Sept. 30.
Canada was lured to LSU from Pitt under the premise that this was his offense, and he would experience a unique amount of autonomy.
“[Pitt] was a special place with Coach [Pat] Narduzzi,” Canada said at his introductory news conference. “He allowed us the freedom to do our job, and Coach O certainly said that [he would too].”
Now, all of that feels like a broken promise — on both ends. Orgeron’s promise not to meddle in his offensive coordinator’s plans, part of his undoing as head coach at Ole Miss, was not fulfilled.
“I’m the head coach,” Orgeron said this Wednesday. “And we’re going to do what I want to do.”
If Canada was the chain-of-command loyalist that he claimed to be at his opening press conference, things might not have boiled over when Orgeron reminded him that he was merely a sous chef. Instead, that promise was also broken.
So here we are, headed for a split that seems inevitable in retrospect — and it doesn’t reflect well on Orgeron or Canada.
This is the fourth time Canada has been a one-year offensive coordinator, though to be fair, two of his moves were upward — from Northern Illinois to Wisconsin in 2012 and Pitt to LSU last season.
But Orgeron likely comes out looking much worse in the court of public opinion.
There’s no guarantee that Canada will be able to land an offensive coordinator job for next season. There’s a good chance he’ll swallow his pride and become the 10th assistant at some other program next month, because apparently even that would be better than working for Orgeron in his mind.
LSU has to hope the Orgeron-Canada split doesn’t hurt the appeal of being offensive coordinator in Baton Rouge. Due to Canada’s increasingly transient path, perhaps it won’t. Still, the pressure is on Orgeron to be who he said he would be at his own opening news conference.
“When I went to USC, I delegated authority. I got guys that were very experienced in what they did, but I played to my strengths,”
Orgeron said the day he became the interim replacement for the fired Les Miles. “I got that team to play the way I got my
defensive lines to play. So I played to my strengths, allowed guys to coach, gave the team some freedom to be themselves,
express themselves, have some team leadership, and we won football games. I plan to do the same.”
If he finds an offensive coordinator that meshes better with his philosophy and personality, maybe Orgeron could become the hands-off guy that he promised to be. But if this divorce is a harbinger of things to come, then Orgeron’s failure at LSU is as inevitable as the split with Canada.
And the writing will have been on the wall since Day One.
The post Split with Matt Canada feels like broken vow by Ed Orgeron appeared first on SEC Country.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. AJC.com. Atlanta. News. Now.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.