Salutations. How's everyone doing? I'm here.
OK, guys, sorry, some technical difficulties there. But hopefully we're off and running.
Pipeline, Your question about optimism about building a two deep is a fair one. The way Riley has put it in the past is he hopes to have 10 deep one day on his O-line. I don't know that I've heard him flat say, 'We've got the guys to be 10 deep this year.' He's always said in a tone that maybe, just maybe, one day they can build to that. I think there is probably a higher degree of hope they truly have more depth on that O-line this year. I've always felt you need about 8 you feel good about, knowing there will be injuries of some sort. I don't even have a problem if a coach only plays about six guys when the games are close. I think a lot of teams do that. But there's no question the gap between the second group and first group needs to become more narrow. To do that this year, young guys like Boe Wilson, Raridon, Jalin Barnett and Christian Gaylord have to do more climbing over these next five months.
Greg, It's tough to say any which way the defense is going just yet. It's the question of the hour, no doubt, but the media has only seen one practice in pads. I do really like Bob Elliott. I can see why he was hired. I like the way he talks through the game and think his voice is a good one for that staff and those young guys at safety.
As for your question about quarterbacks, Greg, I believe Tanner Lee is the favorite and have for a few months. I think, however, they are giving both guys fair opportunities to get better and those equal reps are of great value considering QB is a position where you often need the backup at some point in the fall. Also, I like that they are grading every play. When the competition is all said and done, guys should understand well why it ended the way it did.
Troy, Thanks for the question. I do like to get away from Husker stuff at home, yes. You can't always because you're always kind of keeping one eye on something or another. But I don't talk about NU football with my wife at all, or most of my friends. I very much like what I do, so don't get this wrong, but if I weren't in this job, I would probably not be the type to follow every single tweet about the team. I am glad for my job's sake though that there are people that do! My latest getaway has been House of Cards. I'm late to the show but have been mowing down about three or four episodes a night.
Newport Red asked about Fuller and Horne. The Fuller move makes sense. The Horne one, in my opinion, shouldn't just be greeted with a shoulder shrug. To simplify: This team needs shooters and he could shoot it. I know his defense needed work but this is a guy from Overland Park, Kansas, who had more than 2,000 points in HS potentially leaving your program after one year. I think it's a loss, and I don't like when guys leave who can play and people try to sugarcoat it. If someone else decides to leave, oh man...
Zadi, I was OK with the decision to bring Miles back, but I think the last couple of the weeks of the season were so bad it makes it hard to be forceful in a debate with anyone with an alternate viewpoint. I know he's got a couple dudes he's pumped about coming in, and sometimes just a couple of dudes in basketball can change the whole picture. But as someone who has followed Nebraska basketball for 30 years, I understand why so many think they already knows how this particular story ends. Skepticism is deserved right now.
Jim NE, Good point about Bob Elliott in 2003. That K-State game was supposedly the night Steve Pederson told some donors in the box this would not stand! A new era was coming. Perhaps Husker fans can hope Bob Elliott was the one man who could turn the key to get everything right again. :)
Sorry, I'm not answering directly after each question. My computer at home for some reason isn't showing the questions so a couple of my pals at the LJS are feeding them to me as we go.
FightInTheDog asked about Reggie Davis/RB talent. I might argue it was lack of blocking as much as anything that NU didn't get more from the RB position last year. Now, do they have Ameer waking around over there? Nope. Not at all. But think of some of those October/November games last season. There wasn't much room for those guys to operate either. I'm not going to say NU has a great RB right now, but I think they have at least a couple solid ones. And if you give some solid ones some good O-line play, that thing looks better in a hurry.
Ricky, I think there's probably a good percentage of fans of Big Ten schools that would be OK if Rutgers were not in their conference. There's nothing complicated about it, really. Delany knew adding Rutgers/Maryland significantly expanded the TV money deal. And from a pure dollars and cents standpoint, it's a winning idea. But, no, Rutgers doesn't seem to fit. Never has seemed that way to me. I think NU officials would have been as surprised as anyone if back in 2010 you had told them, oh yeah, in a few years you'll be playing league games in Piscataway, N.J.
Newport Red mentioned Burkhead and the Patriots. Perhaps it is the bias of having watched Rex up close for many years, but I'd say he was underused by the Bengals (when he did touch the ball, things tended to happen). And now he is going to a place that specializes in making household names out of guys who other teams didn't use right. So, yeah, I'd be whistling while I walk today if I were Rex Burkhead. I mean, he probably does that anyway, right? Because he's Rex.