I freely admit it; I'm not on the "Fire Shawn Watson" bandwagon like a lot of people are. I do accept the excuses (injuries, lack of depth) that are offered up as a rebuttal to the "get rid of Watson" campaign that many wage. I'm not totally dismissing the arguments against Watson. He doesn't appear to have the ideal background for Bo Pelini's vision for the offense, and his results have been spotty at times. But for whatever reason, I think that Bo Pelini (and Tom Osborne, for what it's worth) don't seem to in a hurry to dump Watson. And frankly, those are the two gentlemen who have the most skin involved in this decision. They also likely have forgotten more about football than any of us will ever know.
I don't view the fact that Watson remains on the staff is any sort of indication of a lack of caring, a lack of concern, or a lack of backbone on the part of either of those men. If they really thought Watson was the issue, he wouldn't be on the staff anymore. That being said, I think Watson's candidacy for so many jobs this offseason is a sign that Watson is looking to move on, and yes, that might be at the encouragement of Pelini.
So will Watson be around by the time next fall rolls around? It's pure speculation on my part, and I don't have a solid feel for it, but I lean towards not. The one thing we know of is that Watson has been searching for other jobs, and at some point, one will open up. When Joe Moglia was announced as the next Omaha Nighthawks coach, I thought that this might be the opening for an amicable departure for Watson. But Moglia indicated that he's looking for pro experience in an interview with the Omaha World-Herald. Moglia's answer doesn't eliminate Watson, but it does make it doubtful he'd move up I-80.
I'm not bothered that Watson could return in 2011; I don't believe that's considering the results of the final month to be acceptable. And those results were just downright awful, no excuses. But there were some pretty good offensive performances in September and October. I sense from some fans that they simply want someone to be punished for what happened to the offense. I don't want someone punished, I want whatever went haywire to get resolved. Maybe that's work in the training room. Maybe that's increased competition at certain positions, such as quarterback and possibly offensive tackle. Maybe it's just hitting the reset button and just starting over to reinstall this offensive system.
And yes, maybe in the end, it also means a new offensive coordinator for the Huskers.