Thursday, January 16, 2014

If Charlton Warren Lands at Nebraska, Misperceptions of Pelini Are Destroyed

By most accounts, Nebraska will be announcing that Air Force defensive coordinator Charlton Warren will become Nebraska's newest secondary coach in the next few days, replacing Terry Joseph, who's now at Texas A&M. Sad to see Joseph go, who was a definite upgrade over Corey Raymond. Hopefully it was a case where Joseph wanted to be back in the SEC, as opposed to a money situation.  You'd like to think that Nebraska has the funds to properly compensate a coach like Joseph.

Warren is an unknown in these parts; he's not a big name. That certainly disappoints people who wanted a "splashy" hire.  (Not sure who would be a "splashy" hire, other than maybe Ron Zook.) His background as a secondary coach is pretty good, considering the unique characteristics of service academies. In 2010, the Falcons finished second in pass defense in division 1-A; in 2011, third.  Granted, that's against Mountain West competition, but that's a decent track record.

Some people hate the hire.  That's fine, though I believe it's impossible to really evaluate the hire at this time. The proof will come in the fall, not now.  That doesn't stop people from firing their criticism.  "Nebraska didn't make a splashy hire."  Fine.  "Nebraska settled for Warren because Pelini couldn't hire anybody better."  Maybe.  "Nebraska couldn't hire anybody better because of all of the uncertainty over Pelini's future."

Stop right there. Warren left his alma mater after NINE seasons for a job where he's likely out of a job in less than a year?  Is that your point?  Better try again...

Has Warren struggled as a defensive coordinator?  It kind of looks that way.  He might not be cut out to be a defensive playcaller. Nothing wrong with that. Bill Callahan, by all accounts, might be one of the best offensive line coaches in football today. Not so good as an offensive coordinator.  (And we won't go into the clusterfools of his head coaching career.) So he steps back into a role that it appears that he excels at - and at a school where he can coach better athletes.

Up to now, people have criticized Bo Pelini because he "only hires his buddies".  Well, that narrative gets bombed by this hire. There's no lineage between Pelini, Youngstown, and Warren. This hire is outside the box that people have tried to frame Pelini with.

On KOZN-1620 AM this morning, Gary Sharp and Damon Benning interviewed an Air Force beat writer about Warren.  He said that Warren has had opportunities to leave before for better jobs, but hasn't done so until now. That seems to speak of the opportunity at Nebraska.
I think this is an intriguing hire. Not saying it's great.  It doesn't look bad, though.  We'll have to wait and see, though.

And the critics are going to have to come up with some new material.  Maybe they'll revert back to Pellllini, which seems to be their tired and tested formula.

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