Overall, it was a pretty good interview. Although I disagree with some of Callahan's answers, he was forthcoming and the interview is a good start towards healing the divisions in Husker Nation.
"We need more depth. We have more competition, across the board. I respected what Frank (Solich) did, what Tom (Osborne) did. I have great admiration for what they achieved. But when you have a different system, everybody has a profile for what they want in their system. I’m not critical of that. I’m just trying to go out and find the players who can fit what we do. If we don’t, we try to work around it. That’s coaching."
"The players wouldn’t need you if they were that good. I remember sitting in a draft room, and we were saying this guy can’t do this, he can’t do that. Al Davis turned around and said, “Well why do we need you then? Why did we hire you?”
Q. How comfortable are you as a college coach at Nebraska?
A. On a scale of 1 to 10? Ten. I enjoy it. I have a passion for this. I take that as a great responsibility every day I wake up. Right next to my mirror in the bathroom, I have (a photo) that Big 12 championship trophy looking at me right in the eye.
Q. What does your wife think about that?
A. She’s fine with it. I don’t know if she looks at it or not. But I look at it.
Q. Some people assume you have a burning desire to get back to the NFL. True?
A. I’m trying to stay here. I think that’s a general perception. Just because you come from that league, people automatically assume that you want to go back. I get a chuckle out of it as I watch Pete Carroll go through this. I can’t tell you how many times people have him going to the NFL, and there he is, he’s still sitting there, in Southern California. It’s natural, if you win big.
I’m happy. I hope this is it. I want to be here. I said that from day one, I’d like to finish my career at Nebraska. I hope we have the good fortune to do that. But in order to do that, you have to produce. It’s a production business, let’s face it.
One answer did disappoint me greatly:
Q. How often do you talk to Coach Osborne? He’s at Creighton now. Would you like to have him here?You don't have your secretary write Tom Osborne a letter. You personally call him, and personally ask him to come in and ask him for his input. That doesn't mean that you have to do everything that Tom Osborne thinks you should do, but you should actively seek out his opinion on things and use him as a sounding board.
A. I wrote him shortly after recruiting and corresponded that he is always welcome to come here, to a practice, to come upstairs and visit. We want the door open to him and the former players. I’ve done a lot to open the avenues to our former players. You know, it’s amazing to me, a guy is on the radio one day (blasting Callahan), and the next day he’s touring our facility.
The former players aren't dumb; they recognize the half-hearted attempt.
More interesting news this week is the chance of the Big XII basketball tournament coming to Omaha in a future year. Likely? Probably not. While Omaha's facilities are probably acceptable, I think there won't be the political capital in the Big XII to bring the tournament to Omaha outside of Lincoln and maybe Ames.
The bad part of this bid is that it might conflict with the UNO Mavericks during the CCHA playoffs, which might force the Mavs on the road if they make the 2nd round. Perhaps there is a way to tweak the schedule to fit the games in around the Big XII tournament; playing in the morning or early afternoon on Saturday at the Civic, Sunday evening at the Civic or Qwest Center, and then a 3rd game on Monday. Probably not good for UNO hockey fans, but getting Big XII basketball would be a great get for Omaha.
Speaking of the Mavs, they are announcing new plans for season tickets for next hockey season, featuring a $99 season ticket for some seats. That's downright cheap, and a great value for families. Props to whomever came up with this plan. I'm excited about the possibilities for next season.