Corn Flakes, 9th Edition
BIG RED BREAKFAST
Today’s Coach – Barney Cotton – O Line Coach
Recruiting Report – Sean Callahan
Big recruiting week last week with Nebraska – with the way the game finished it was great for NU. Five official visitors were here. Davonte Bonds – high priority – looks like he’s 30 yo already – December grad. Down to NU and Oklahoma. JUCO singing day is in December. We put our best foot forward on him. Another JUCO guy here was Robert Lockhart – we have had injuries at this position so they are going to try to get a JCO WR in here if it is the right fit. Nick Gates – from Vegas was here, was also here at summer camp. Wil take two more visits later on. Javion Walton from New Orleans – LB type player – Bo and Terry have watched him play during first bye week. Mich St will be a big weekend as well.
Great to be in Omaha at 6:50 a.m. Ha! Actually got here last night to speak to another group.
Last week – everybody knows about the play. Last drive was really something. To sit up in the box and be a fan – it goes so fast. As the thing unfolded and we had the 4th and 14, the way Ameer caught that ball and turned 6 yds and turned it into 15.5 yds, it wouldn’t have happened without that one. Burtch – caught two balls – did anyone see that play, what he did to get out of bounds – they were tackling him in bounds – he had the wherewithal to reach out and tap that ball on the sideline – to reach out like an NLF guy to tap the ball and stop the clock……….To watch Ronnie run around back there and watch it unfold, it’s like it happened in slow motion. It lined up just perfectly, we had guys right where they were supposed to be. There was no one covering Jordan, the ball tips up, he catches it. Northwestern had there entire defense at the tip ball point. That was really a mistake on their part. You’d like to say it was lucky, but they really executed something that is very hard to practice and execute – I can only require it happening 3 times in my lifetime and I am 57 yo. You should have seen the pressbox, there are 5 of us up there. They were acting as crazy as Ron Kellogg – Ron took off and ran the wrong way. We actually timed him from the 20 yd line to the other 40 – he still can’t break 6 flat in the 40….haha. It’s been a crazy week. One other side note – if you know Sirles, he got claustrophobia in the dogpile – he was at the bottom of about 50 guys. He’s having a total anxiety situation where he can’t breathe, they had to cut his jersey off of him and he was breathing in a paper bag in the locker room, he didn’t look very good. We don’t ever talk about injuries but at the end of that game, we were without 6 starters on the offense. So proud of the way our guys had that next man up mentality – they’ve been that way all year. Some of those guys we will get back and some we wont. We’ve had the best Tues/Wed of practice all year.
Electronic playbooks – helps our prep so much. All our players have an iPad. Entire playbook and scouting report are on iPad. Starting on Mon they start receiving info from us. I bet most of our guys watch film before they get to practice. They can get their coaching notes from their coach the night before. Communication happens much earlier than they used to. Meetings are really review sessions rather than seeing the info for the first time. They take their iPads on the road, to every meeting.
Defense – sitting up in the box, I watched the difference between how we played in the first half to how we played in the second half – was really an amazing effort and turnaround. Best we’ve played defense in last two years. Up front was a battle. We are a little beat up. I am a dad and a coach. To see my son laying on the ground with a knee injury – he had tears – he was really upset that he would have to go through what he did a year ago – but Jake will be okay – will be a 2-4 week thing, not what he had last time. Spencer out for year. Taylor out. Turner and Bell have been out.
Michigan – they are a really good team. They played their archrival and didn’t score much. We will be going to a beast. They are a lot like us. They have a new QB, really good O-line. Defense – key to victory for us will be how we do on third down. Their coach was with the Ravens for a few years. One of the most extensive third down packages of anyone. We need ot recognize what kind of coverage we are getting. Need to stay away from 3 and 7+’s. Our guys are excited.
Game is 2:30 CST. How many of you are liking the 11:00 kicks? Not many do. When you play late or night games, you get up and go right back to work, so coaches like the early games, they get a little time off. Great week of prep. 105,000 people up there. Not as many NU fans, they fill it up, up there. When you see half the stands wearing red, it means a lot to our players, a tribute to the fans and we thank you for that.
Can we make football safer? We do everything we can to teach the proper techniques and things like that. The other thing that is going on at NU is the concussion testing and performance testing lab. We have our own MRI now. The 5th generation helmet will probably come out of the research being done at Nebraska. Rules have made big jump with targeting issue. The biggest thing is the launching thing, you don’t have a chance to aim. Some injuries you can’t prevent very easily. I can’t remember a time when two people were taken off the field on the John Deere in the first quarter.
With all injuries on O-line, who will be playing where tomorrow/ We started the year with a fair amount of depth. The fortunate thing is that we play two centers. Rodriguez has guard experience. Moudy will go back to left. Sterup has had a great fall and a good 8 wks of game prep + two byes.
Speak to relationship between Armstrong and Kellogg. Ron is interesting guy, he’s like an extra coach in the room, he helps prepare. Tommy is in on Sunday, trying to prepare. Very good match, do the extra things necessary to be the best they can be. Tommy is the starter but Ron will play, it will be a rotation, may stay with hot hand. They are not only competitors but they have such a team attitude, they play for each other and cheer each other on.
Talk about TEs. That’s another place we’ve been banged up – Long has been out with pulled hamstring, he has started practicing, not sure if he can give us a whole game. Hope he can finish year and do some nice things. Cethan Carter – never expect a FR TE to play like he’s played. He is raw but has great hands. TE is really an O-lineman but has to have same knowledge as receivers. Always plays the Y. Sam Cotton has been third TE and really our backup – he’s the Y when it’s his rotation. When Cethan comes in, Sam moves to the A. Ben Cotton was a pretty physical guy on the edge. We are missing that great block on the edge like we had with Ben – we will keep getting better and better as young guys mature.
Zach Sterup will be a tackle. WE don’t even have a set rotation yet. Pensick will help us at guard.
What is our line split philosophies? Stanford and Minnesota run more powers. There is always a double team at the point of attack over the guard. We are in between, we do more zone blocking.
Special teams – media has been commenting they have had trouble? I think it’s gone pretty well. People are wondering, where are all the big punt returns The first thing you do, you have to CATCH it. Jordan has been doing a good job. PR game has changed – you can leave with the snap of the ball. In the past, only 2 guys could go down the field an tackle – now there are 7 bullets going down the field. If college game would adopt pro rules, that would lead to more punt returns. Our kickoff return has done well. We missed a field goal the other day which isn’t good, also had a delay of game on a filed goal which is totally unacceptable.
Younger O-linemen. Matt Finnin, Chongo Kondolo – don’t want to burn his redshirt. David Knevel from Canada is a behemoth – he can bend, dip and rip – kind of neat. Duane Johnson out of Houston – tackle prospect who also plays center – will have to figure out best fit. Between Thurston, Finnin, Johnson and Chongo – probably two of them will change position to center.
Update on Cotton boys. Ben has come back home with us – working out five days a week. Hoping that someone gives him a chance. Every punt that San Diego did for 4 weeks, he was a personal protector just like he was at NU. I get to see him play every week as we watch game film from last year – has put off finding a real job. Has been nice to have the big lug around. He still gets involved in Diabetes stuff, he has Type 1.
Corey Whitaker – had devastating knee injury – when he came back last spring, he didn’t have a great spring or a great camp. But all of a sudden, he is back to being the guy we recruited. Watched some of his old high school games film – he realized that he can still play. Has gone from being kind of tentative to now where he is turning it loose again. Maybe could be a center. Sometimes it takes over 13 months to get well, it’s also a mental thing too. We are excited about him.
What keeps Ryne Reese from hitting the field? When we recruited him, he was one of best pass protectors. He still has this in him. We still expect good things from him, he may be in the rotation this weekend against Michigan. Has ability to play center or guard. Has a couple of years left. We need him to hit ground for us now and in winter and spring Still a good player, development rate hasn’t been the same as Long, Moudy, etc. If you can get on the field for 2 years as an O-lineman, that is a good career. Hard to get on the field as a sophomore.
During 2nd half of last 3-4 games, our offense has struggled, why? One thing that would help us is that we ran option more in first half against Minnesota than in 2nd half. Sticks in my craw. At Purdue, we played better in 2nd half. Last game – more that we were stopping ourselves. We played one of our better games up front offensively, I know the score doesn’t reflect that. I don’t think we’ve played as fast in the 2nd half. We can improve, get plays off quicker. We did have 92 plays last week, which is a lot of plays, We had a hold, a chop and a hold during series when we were making it down to the Red Zone I can’t comment on penalties……..unfortunate. Had 3 quality drives stopped by penalties.
Any aspirations to be a head coach? I always thought I wanted to be a Div 1 or IIA head coach. Aspirations changed when boys went to NU – that was my aspiration to be with them as long as possible. I’m not going to be a Div I head coach, I’m too old. My wife is always asking me, what is Plan B? I’m not very good at that.
Will your son be back for the bowl game? Jake very well could be back before then. He strained the inside of his knee, 2-4 week injury. Hopefully probable for last two this year. Make sure he is living in the training room with his books. HAHA
GO BIG RED!! Beat those WOLVERINES in the BIG House!!!!
"I'm a firm believer in the theory that people only do their best at things they truly enjoy. It is difficult to excel at something you don't enjoy." – Jack Nicklaus
'Yes, my guard stood hard when abstract threats
Too noble to neglect
Deceived me into thinking
I had something to protect
Good and bad, I define these terms
Quite clear, no doubt, somehow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I'm younger than that now.'
Electronic playbooks – helps our prep so much. All our players have an iPad. Entire playbook and scouting report are on iPad. Starting on Mon they start receiving info from us. I bet most of our guys watch film before they get to practice. They can get their coaching notes from their coach the night before. Communication happens much earlier than they used to. Meetings are really review sessions rather than seeing the info for the first time. They take their iPads on the road, to every meeting....................................
GO BIG RED!! Beat those WOLVERINES in the BIG House!!!!
Didn't Suh donate the money for the Electronic Playbooks from his signing bonus????
(Maybe I can get him to teach me how to use the I-Pad? )