My feeling is the new coach will have the same problems as Bill if they can not get this team to play as a TEAM. What I saw this year was Players trying to make a mark for themselves at the cost of team at times. Thoughts and comments.
Whatever coach may come in he needs to be able to sell his system to the players first.(that being offensive and defensively). In order to form a "team" the coach needs to not spend so much time in his office (like BC) becuase he was never really interacting with the players outside of football, which i think is key to having a team gel together. My guess the next guy will be Pelini, that said I think he will make these players feel comfortable on and off the field.
I agree with both of you. A new coach is going to have to sell his system to the players and get out and interact with these kids. Bill and his staff only wanted these kids to look out for number one (themselves). If nebraska football is going to what it was before Callahan a new coach has a lot of work to do. I think the previous staff was trying to bring the nfl to a college team and we had four disapppointing years of football here at nebraska.
Nobody outside of the program knows for sure what went on in or out of the locker room. From all accounts that I have heard from players, BC was a good guy on and off the field. The only concern that I have had for the last 4 seasons is the demonstration of what was supposed to be coaching on the field. Someone can be a great person, but not have anybody believe in their ability to lead them.
BC was a great IDEA guy, but in practice was found lacking. BC was soft on his players. They rarely practiced in full pads and hardly ever had a full contact day of practice, until TO was given the AD job. By then it was too late to save the season. The players were not in football shape, at least not like we are used to seeing at NU.
A good COACH will be able to get the team to play for him. Look at what TO did for all of those years. He is a soft spoken person who doesn't need a lot of fire to get people to follow him. He has the confidence and demeanor to lead. Turner is a lot like TO, doesn't get too crazy on the sidelines, is confident in what he wants done and can TEACH the guys how to do it right. Pelini gets a little crazy on the sidelines, but that can be a motivating force for young kids who need a strong role model. He is perfect for a defensive powerhouse team.
We don't need someone who's sole purpose is getting kids used to playing in an NFL style offense. If they play well enough in the system that they are in, they can be taught the system when they get to the Pro's. We've had players have lots of success at the next level playing what we have always played, Smashmouth Football, on both sides of the ball.
Never underestimate the power of a real coach, a motivator of men, a true leader. Turner Gill and Bo Pelini both fit this mold, in different ways. Shayne has done a good job of defining this already.
Let's take a minute and look at the flaws of Bill Callahan. Sure he took a group of players to the Super Bowl, but was that his team? No, Jon Gruden had two teams in the Super Bowl that year. The one he built (Oakland), and the one he took over (Tampa Bay). The year following the Super Bowl, Oakland looked a lot like this year's Huskers. The veterans on that team did not like his policies. It's hard to know whether the fault lies with the coach or the players. Now we know. To me it's not Oakland's record the next year that concerns me, it's the breakdown of the team that season. Veteran players publicly speaking out against the head coach, players not playing hard (sound familiar?). Enough about Callahan.
Can the next coach unite the team? Of course he can. One thing that destroys a team's chemistry is a coach that is not consistent in his decisions or making false promises. When a coach gives playing time to undeserving players, yet grants playing time to some who don't deserve it. Now I don't know what went on in practice, none of us do. The truth may or may not come out. But I do know that this team underachieved, lacked chemistry and that is the fault of the coaches.
The next coach must come in with no preconceived notions. All positions will be open, and let the competition begin. Any prima donnas will likely transfer, but the team will be much better off because of it. If the next coach comes in, is honest with the players and opens up the competition, it won't matter what system he implements, the players will buy in. Of course as I've posted before, a good coach will determine what system to implement depending on the skills of the players (unlike Callahan).
It is also important to note, the next coach will implement a very physical style of play, whether that be the spread option, pro set, or any other variation. The defense will also be more physical, attacking the line of scrimmage similar to the latter years of McBride, and our one year with Pelini. I believe that is going to be a directive from TO.
I like everyone's view point and not that much to add other than recruiting. Dr. Tom has already went back to the one thing that was seriously missing.... our young men that want to go to UNL to play for Nebraska. Not as a step up the ladder to the NFL. The players that made us the proudest were the guys who were "walk ons" and just wanted to play. Never underestimate the young, thick farm boy!
I think BC got too caught in recruiting players on the solice of them moving on to the NFL. Nebraska has sent quite a few players to the pros under the former coaches. How many have been drafted that played for BC?
A good coach is like a Army General, what he says goes and those who don't like it are not going to play. Now that said, a good coach also is a master of using the talents of others to the best advantage of the whole team, you don't have to be a dictator to get kids to play for you but you do have to let them know that you are in command of the team and anyone not willing/able to play at the level expected is going to be replaced. If I remember correctly TO used to have the policy of players competing each week for their starting positions, stands to reason that those who practice the best during the week are going to play the best on game day. I beleive you are right in your assessment that some players were playing for themselves and not the team, I don't care how good a player is, if he doesn't play completely for the team you are much better off putting him on the bench. It is amazing how a little time on the bench motivates some players to embrace the program. When players are not giving their best it must be dealt with quickly and positivily - I think this was a cancer that ate at our defense all year and the coach did not know how to deal with it. I would rather see 2nd and 3rd/4th team players on the field playing their hearts out that any so called blue chips doing as they damned well please. I do beleive that the players are in for a real rude awakening with the new coach coming in, TO wants the old NE smashmouth type of play reresumed, that doesn't mean you can't run a sofisticated offense/defense but whatever is run had better be with guts and enthusiasm. I wouldn't be surprised if NE defense next year will be ranked in the top 15 of the country, there is talent there it just has to be channeled in the right direction. Just my opinion.
You Guys are taking some time to really think this through. I too believe that the right coach can change things if he can get the players not the fans behind him. There is talent at NU and we have seen sparks in the last few years.
I will be watching closely to see what takes place.
I am glad I have found a place to hear good, honest, open conversation on Husker Football.
I hate having to listen to my son-in-law a Texas AM fan brag about his team. But I ask you keep him in your thoughts as he is serving us in the Navy over seas. He too hopes NU can turn it around he said its no fun beating a us the way we have been playing.
Coach Bill Callahan was lax in his ability to create a spirit and motivaion in his players. Any new coach will face that very same problem. A coach whom has a passion and a desire to motivate and does can make an immediate impression on team players. I don't think there is any question that a coach can have an immediate and very positive change in players desire and committment.