The pickin's are getting a
little slim at offensive tackle for
They will go where
the trends are currently as opposed to making huge risks and trying to buck
trends. Why did
like results, not promises. They go
for the tangibles. I don't expect
I really thought that last year's most surprising play came from the offensive line position. I thought that a lot of players stepped it up and played big. It's only a matter of time and development before we are back on top there.
Justin: I think that some of the
In the 90's
Getting kids to come
So to sum things up, I feel Coach Callahan and Coach Wagner need to prove that their system of coaching offensive lineman is helpful in getting into the league. I have faith it will, but it might be a few years down the road.
Steve: Part if it has to do with the increased recruiting success of programs close to Nebraska like Iowa, but more than anything, just as the offensive line performance drops off with one bad recruiting year, the recruiting itself can drop off if the line is suspect, something Nebraska's not been in decades.
Tim Green, Chris
Loos, M.J. Flaum. Those are three names that will go down in the annals of
Husker history, simply because, at least for me, they signify the reason why
Those three were thought to be at the very worst, two-deep regulars, but each was thought to be a starter and in the case of Flaum and Loos, possible stars. They never saw the field and you add into that the early departures of Dominic Raiola and Toniu Fonoti, that was the recipe for the eventual demise of the pipeline as we have come to know it.
Also, with the
change in offensive philosophy,
Also, when one year
is dramatically hit as far as depth, that trickles down and forces the team into
a rather precarious position. When not even ten years ago,
No depth means no luxury in being able to do that, so it forces you into a position of having to recruit guys that can get on the field right away.
Tom Osborne once said that he didn't have to recruit great linemen because he could make them. Well, maybe Dennis Wagner can make them himself, but not right now.
Has the fullback position become obsolete in the Callahan era?
For some reason I can't help but think about Jon Ritchie. Does anyone else remember this guy? The guy whose forehead would split open every game? Yeah, that guy.
Anyway, he was VERY productive in the WCO and that is because he was as
equal of running threat as receiving threat. Over 5 years of being in
The problem is he wasn't productive as we have come to love our fullbacks for. While Ritchie may have made 26 receptions per year he averaged under three carries and 10 yards….per season rushing. The position hasn't become obsolete it has just changed and there is a need to get a special type of player there.
Justin: I don't think
the fullback position has become obselete in the Callahan era. I think things
have just changed a lot with that position like many other positions have. The fullback is used much differently
I think when the staff gets a few at the position that they feel comfortable with, you will see a few carries here and there, along with passes to that position. I do feel that Dane Todd is a fairly good fullback for the west coast offense and should see a few passes his way this season. Even Steve Kriewald caught two touchdown passes the past season. The position will always have its role, just not as prominent in the running game as we are used to.
Steve: You do what
you can with what you have and honestly,
How will the staff adjust week to week to meet the requirements of the team we face?
What the players need to do is be flexible. If there was one game strategy from last year that I think was a bad idea that had to be at the coaches' level I would say never run the 30-stack defense ever again. This is the infamous defense that puts in 3 defensive linemen, 3 linebackers and 5 guys in the secondary. This was the defense that allowed Texas Tech to just get a way from us.
It's up to the player as much as the coach to know the opponent. Game planning starts by watching film. Doing situational planning and studying the teams' tendencies. This is where week to week must start.
Justin: I feel like this season will be a complete turnaround from last year. Everyone is much more comfortable and I honestly believe this season the average fan will be able to tell that during different games their will be totally different gameplans.
This was one of the greatest strengths of Bo Pelini and his defense in that he could adjust a totally new defense to meet the strengths and weaknesses of the opponent that week. I think especially with our defensive schemes this season, fans will be able to tell a new passion from the defense as they will be able to play football a lot more and do less thinking.
The coaching staff has adjusted to their new roles and even allowing Coach Elmo to focus on just cb's with Coach Busch to focus on just safeties will allow for scheme improvements in my opinion.
Steve: This staff has shown that it can do something, particularly on the offensive side of the ball: game plan. I have really liked what I have seen from an offensive standpoint and I can't think of one game or even one full quarter of any game last year, where I being the arm chair QB that I am, thought that the play-calling was just so-so.
It's been better than that and the excuses for why the defense went awry was definitely applicable on the offense, execution being the one major key.
On defense, we'll see as I don't know how an entire year of being on your heels can really show what people have in store for them in the future. I think more time was spent just trying to get through to players than actually coaching them, that the defense we saw was not even close to the one that you are going to see this time around.
I've seen what I consider to be great adjustments at times from one half to the next and others, not so much. But, with all the inner-problems this team had, none of which any would admit to actually existing, I am not entirely sure what to expect.
It's safe to say, though, that with all the big twelve north quarterbacks returning and Pitt's Tyler Palko coming to town, along with a rematch with Texas Tech, you will have a ton of opportunities to see for yourself whether or not this staff is getting things figured out.