Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tuesday Night Beer: Husker Depth Chart

Many Husker fans are treating Tyler Moore's departure from Lincoln as an indictment of assistant head coach Barney Cotton. Of course, almost all of them already had a negative opinion of Cotton.  I understand why; the offensive line has been inconsistent while he's been at Nebraska.  He could blame some of that on his predecessors originally, but now we're in year five.  The statute of limitations on blaming Bill Callahan and his staff has passed.

But when you read Brian Moore's comments to the Lincoln Journal-Star, this situation might actually give Cotton some job security:
"But I will say this, he loves Bo (Pelini) and he loves Coach (Tim) Beck, and we're still in regular contact with Bo and Coach Beck trying to work through this whole thing.”
It doesn't take much to read behind the lines...and that's the rub. Ideally, the Moores and the Nebraska coaching staff can resolve any issues and Moore returns to Lincoln int he spring.  But what if the problem is, in fact, his position coaches?  (Barney Cotton haters need to remember that John Garrison and Brendan Stai also coach the offensive linemen.)  Would Bo Pelini dismiss his assistants because a highly recruited player didn't like him?

Of course not. That would be an incentive for any player who has an issue with his assistant coach to threaten to leave in an attempt to force the coach out of a job.  No player should have that power - especially in college, where recruiting has led many players to have a sense of entitlement.  And thus, Moore's public comments only give Pelini more reason to keep his assistants instead of changing his staff.

That being said, if there are true issues with the assistant coaches, Pelini will need to act.  But pressure from players cannot be a factor in that decision.

In any event, it sounds like Brent Qvale was certainly pushing Tyler Moore, and may have actually passed Moore on the depth chart in the early part of preseason practice.  We'll see if that's a good sign or not next month.  No matter what you think about Cotton, Nebraska's offensive line needs to make a jump forward this fall.

Speaking of the depth chart, it seems that true freshman Tommy Armstrong is pushing Brion Carnes to be the backup this fall.  That's a good news situation, because it's always good to have depth...especially at quarterback when you are asking a quarterback to run the ball a lot.  But what does that say about Carnes, who supposedly turned the corner this spring?  The fact that Armstrong is doing this after just one week of practice is not a good sign for Carnes.  Maybe this is a sign that the distance between Taylor Martinez and Carnes is even greater than we thought.

And if that's the case, that makes last season's call for Martinez to be benched even more absurd.  Somewhere in central Nebraska, there's a city missing it's idiot.  Not that he cares, he's positive he's a smart guy !

Of course, this could all be coach speak to give Armstrong some confidence and push Carnes. We won't really know until we see them both in a game.  And that might not be until Idaho State...and even then, maybe not. Should Armstrong play in some garbage time or redshirt this season. The answer might depend on how healthy the coaches think Martinez will be this season, and how solid the coaches think Johnny Stanton is committed to the Huskers.

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