Thursday, April 12, 2007

Shades of Super Demorrio: Octavien at Rush End?

In 2003, one of the more intriguing changes Bo Pelini made was to play linebacker Demorrio Williams at defensive end in passing situations. It started almost as an accident, but it became very potent as Williams was able to blow past tackles on his way to the quarterback. So when the Journal Star reported that Kevin Cosgrove is experimenting with Steve Octavien at rush end in similar situations, it brought a smile to my face. Every so often, Cosgrove shows a little creativity. Just wish we'd see a little more of it.

Cody Glenn is back practicing after missing the final three games of last season due to a foot injury. That doesn't mean that he's fact, far from it. The fear seems to be that Glenn may never fully recover from his foot problem, which would be a shame. Last year, I felt he was the best back last spring and the #1 or #2 back most of last season. His injury situation makes Marlon Lucky's improvement even more important as we move into 2007.

Tomorrow is supposed to be the dueling golf outings, though both are probably in danger due to the weather forecast. Local weather forecasts are still calling for rain and cold tomorrow, and even some snow overnight, though it may clear out by the time the spring game kicks off. The chill in relations between the athletic department administration and former players doesn't show any signs of clearing as former players arrive in town for the weekend. Tommie Frazier, Vershan Jackson, Correll Buckhalter, and Carlos Polk talked to KXSP-590's Matt Perrault about the growing divide between former Huskers and the administration in an interview available in a podcast. Frazier's criticism is especially stinging, as he mentions how he doesn't feel welcome and doesn't think supporters are being treated well. Frazier brings an interesting perspective as he was hired by Pederson to help raise funds for the Osborne Complex in 2003.

Frazier also has a few words about the fans who criticize the former players, saying that they simply "don't get it." It's easy to dismiss the former players as simply being offended that they are out of the limelight, but that's way too simplistic. Listening to these players, it's becoming increasingly clear that what means the most to these players is the sense of family that was fostered in the program. Correll Buckhalter and Carlos Polk talked about players doing everything together. That sense of family seems to be gone, and now legends like Tom Osborne aren't welcome around this new program.

Critics of the former players need to keep one thing in mind...the criticism is aimed at the administration, not the current players, and not the current coaches. They still are former Huskers, proud of their teammates and their school. It would do this administration well to straighten this mess out once and for all. Some of the players are commenting that there are no reunion plans for the 1997 National Champions. I'm sure that Steve Pederson has something planned, as he did something for the 1994 and 1995 champions. But by that same token, he needs to involve those former players in the plans. Maybe scheduling it during the football season isn't a good idea, since many of them are involved in other football programs, either playing in the NFL or coaching.

This family feud has gone on long enough.


Rocket said...

Correll Buckhalter is so worried about the Cornhusker program and links to the past that he only found out about Doak a couple days before the golf outing????? And please, don't excuse it by saying that he was probably busy with his career obligations. Plenty of other ex-Huskers in the NFL were aware of the firing when it happened. And then only finding out about Doaks firing the day before, Correll quickly gathered info from both sides and then and only then made an informed decision about where he stood. Right.......

Rocket said...

Hey Mike, I see you didn't allow my post about Tommie Frazier and his comments on the football program. Don't like the ones that counter the agenda of you and others?

Husker Mike said...

I never got it. Perhaps you didn't enter the verification code (keeps the Viagara ads away) correctly. I let most comments go through except the offensive ones and the ones that don't offer anything other than "you suck".

Tommie Frazier wasn't 100% right in his statements, but then again, nobody is. And I already shot down one of Vershan Jackson's points as well. You made a good point about Buckhalter as well.

Rocket said...

Fair enough Mike! My apologies. My point about Tommie was this. He bemoaned the fact that the Cornhuskers got away from tradition and that the program was changed too quickly and no longer followed the "Nebraska" way. And yet look at what he did in Doane! He decimated that program and tried to put his "stamp" on it. What about those kids who wanted to play football at that level? Tommie wanted things done like they were at NEBRASKA. But those kids weren't of that caliber. How many of those kids voiced their displeasure or quit? Tommie is living in the past. As for him not caring what fans might think of him and his comments. That's not surprising. Tommie has offended alot of people in the Lincoln/Omaha areas!