Ed Orgeron is known for being one of the most enthusiastic coaches in the country, and his antics have left many LSU football players with stories to tell for the rest of their lives. One that keeps popping up involves Coach O decking himself in the face.
Michael Casagrande of AL.com caught up with several former Tigers players who are adjusting to life in the NFL, and he asked them to share some of their fondest memories from playing for Orgeron. Offensive lineman K.J. Malone, who retired over the weekend after signing with the Texans as an undrafted free agent, recalled a time Orgeron went to great lengths to get himself amped up for an 11 a.m. kickoff.
“He walked in there and said it’s time to set your jaw,” Malone said. “And started punching himself in the jaw. … He was punching. I tried to do it. I thought, dang.”
Saints rookie center Will Clapp and Eagles tackle Toby Weathersby vouched for Malone’s story.
“Punch yourself in the face in the morning if you’re not ready,” Clapp recalled Orgeron telling the team.
“It’s a real serious punch,” Weathersby said. “Then he’ll look at us and start growling. He’ll give us a growl and you know what time it means. It’s time to go win a ball game.”
While it may sound insane, there are dozens of stories like that floating around about Ed O. Former Tigers quarterback Danny Etling, who was drafted by the Patriots, once watched Orgeron pummel himself in the face with an energy drink can before using his own fist.
“Before one of the games, he’ll come down and drink a whole Red Bull, smashes it on his head, lifts off his shirt and he’s punching himself in the jaw getting us ready, pumped up to play,” Etling said. “That’s Coach O for you.”
If you remember what Orgeron once said about how much he loves energy drinks, that story is not all that hard to believe.
For what it’s worth, all of the players spoke very highly of Oregeron. They loved playing for him, and you can understand why when you hear about how unpredictable the 56-year-old can be.