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"Let me count the ways"

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1 minute ago, runningblind said:

Dang.  How long did that take to type?

I know that many people, particularly millennials, won't bother reading and will simply TL;DR.

But I needed to channel my enthusiasm for tomorrow night's game SOMEHOW and this was it. :)


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20 minutes ago, cheekygeek said:

I know that many people, particularly millennials, won't bother reading and will simply TL;DR.

But I needed to channel my enthusiasm for tomorrow night's game SOMEHOW and this was it. :)


Ok boomer

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56 minutes ago, cheekygeek said:

I feel pretty confident that the team we see and the effort we see on the field on 8/31 will be promising (to say the least).

I have a hard time thinking of ANYTHING that Matt Rhule has done since being named Head Coach that has not resonated with me (and most Nebraskans). This is not just Kool-aid. This is a list of the tangible things that Rhule has already made SOLID IMPROVEMENTs in.
Let me count the ways:

  1. He has a Masters degree in Educational Psychology. If you don't think that means anything, I think it explains why he is such a great motivational speaker/leader. For those that don't remember: Osborne earned a Master's degree in educational psychology in 1963 and completed his doctorate in 1965. Osborne used to preach the importance of the first drive out of the locker room in the 2nd half, for affecting the opponent psychologically. Similarly, Rhule has spoken many times about his emphasis on the "middle 8" (last 4 minute of the 1st half & first 4 minutes of the second half).
  2. The staff that he has built (assistant coaches and beyond). I believe he is truly the first CEO type of Head Coach we have had at Nebraska. He delegates responsibility, holds people responsible (including himself), and yet makes the final decisions on just about everything. I think this is important, especially with how huge an operation a big-time college football program has become in this era of N.I.L. and transfer portal.
  3. Breaking down that staff: In general, he has high energy assistant coaches, and a lot of them have NFL experience. I believe that coaches who have played in the NFL and/or coached in the NFL are not going to have to convince players to listen to them, if they want to know what it takes to make it to the NFL. This is important in recruiting and in getting players to "buy in".
  4. He's brought back a serious and scientific nutrition program to Nebraska football, and seems intent on enforcing it. He understands that nutrition is not just "fuel" but is important in reshaping the body in the off-season and the recovery process during camp & the season. Kristin Coggins was a major get as Head of the Performance Nutrition Department and she has an impressive staff. Scroll down the page to see all of the people and their roles in that department. https://huskers.com/performance-nutrition In my opinion, we will look back at Kristin Coggins being as important to the Cornhusker football turnaround, as Boyd Epley was with his Strength & Conditioning program to the Huskers in the 70's.
  5. Speaking of Strength and Conditioning, I feel there may be no more single important change (besides head coach) in the program than Rhule's hire of Corey Campbell. It is very clear that, combined with the performance nutrition program, he is literally reshaping Husker players to fit Rhule's mold - and Rhule's mold is what those position players look like in the NFL. His emphasis on flexibility, with an eye towards preserving speed, seems to be more multi-faceted than the simple "lift big weights/get big muscles" approach of yesteryear. He certainly LOOKS like he practices what he preaches, and that is a radical change from what Zach Duval looked like.
  6. With regard to points 4 & 5: It is worth remembering that one of Rhule's first official acts as the new head coach was the removal of Zach Duval from Strength and Conditioning, and Dave Ellis from Director of Performance Nutrition (on 11/28/22). I think it is pretty clear that Rhule identified both programs as needing an overhaul, if the Cornhuskers were going to build a new foundation. He announced Corey Campbell that same day and the hiring of Kristin Coggins was announced on Jan. 30, 2023.
  7. He's all about process. He reminds me a lot of Saban in this regard. He knows you have to focus on the present, over and over again, in order to reach your desired destination. He has shown a mindfulness towards a process in almost everything he has done - from sending Foley out on a State High School tour in his first weeks, to building a team brotherhood - sometimes in out-of-the-box ways (like the 2 weeks in the dorms, as just one example). The end result of process is culture.
  8. He seems to have a staff of people who are always recruiting (within the rules of the game). If I have to give examples, you just aren't paying attention - so probably aren't reading this far. :)
  9. His practices definitely seem aimed at building toughness. It doesn't seem to me that he is being reckless about it, but there seems to be an abundance of live tackling. I seem to recall a lot of astonishment when it was revealed that Frost like to teach tackling without tackling. (An exaggeration perhaps, but the Huskers recent national ranking on the defensive side of the ball has been embarrassing. Rhule seems determined to change the trajectory.)
  10. He understands the importance of Husker Fans. Whether this is at Alberts' direction or not, Rhule is vocal with appreciation for the fan base, like few coaches I remember. I think he knows that, like players, the fans will live up or down to your expectations for them & he is reinforcing both the ticket buyers and the casual fans, both here and across the nation, to root for the team and respect it's brand.
  11. He values the Cornhusker BRAND. Let's face it, this is a blueblood brand, if not (in several years) deserving of being called a blueblood program. I don't think he's just giving lip service to that. I think he truly appreciates (and has long looked up to) the N as one of the nations top BRANDS.
  12. He is attentive to learning from others about what worked (and why). Tom Osborne may be the most obvious one that he has listened to (and queried) but he also has done it with Solich, and Pelini (and probably a lot that we don't know about.) His philosophy clearly aligns with Trev Alberts' regarding building a winning program and winning football games, but bringing back things that we once took for granted, like being the team that's dominance was asserted in the 4th Quarter & bringing back the Fullback, as just two examples.
  13. He himself is a worker. He's clearly not a leader who preaches "Do as I say, not as I do." He's out front when it comes to standards and nose to the grindstone. I don't think the team can help but be molded by their head coach and position coaches (to follow their example). If we have players dedicated to outworking the opposition again, we will have a team that make the state proud again.


I'll stop now, but I could probably name more - like how good he is in front of a microphone, or how he's like a motivational speaker on a day-to-day basis. I'd love to hear his locker room speeches. EDIT: Dang, I also forgot a biggie: His return to recruiting players from the state of Nebraska (and players returning to Nebraska, like blocking FB Barret Liebentritt who wanted to play for the Huskers out of high school but was not recruited and ended up a Notre Dame.) We have two Nebraska WRs as freshman that may take the tops off defenses when necessary this season.


Postscript: I think it is a big ask for a new staff to take on a Big Ten opponent as solid as Minnesota, on the road, for their Game One. I expect a low scoring game, what with the wind and the expected emphasis on the run game by both teams. But given all of the "little things" (many of which are MAJOR things) are just about guaranteed to bring a team with more effort (and hopefully discipline) than we have seen in a long while. I also would not be surprised to see The Husker's Special Teams make a splash play or three. Rhule's philosophy on using starters and even single digits on Special Teams & not fair catching (or at least fair catching SMARTLY) will definitely be more entertaining - and you miss 100% of the shots you don't take. I'm hoping we get the WIND in the 4th Quarter and would not be surprised if Alvano is called upon to make a game winner in his first game as a Husker. I'm calling it:
NU 23
MN 20

Spot on! 

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1 hour ago, cheekygeek said:

I know that many people, particularly millennials, won't bother reading and will simply TL;DR.

But I needed to channel my enthusiasm for tomorrow night's game SOMEHOW and this was it. :)


I like it. :thumbs

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Appreciate all that.


In addition, like the way they're conducting practices and how recovery is being emphasized. The importance of maximizing repetitions and the whole group gaining  a breadth of experience to having a broad range of available contributors. Plus, Rhule how is prioritizing relationships and a true culture of togetherness. There's an authenticity about it. He and the staff while having the highest expectations genuinely care. 


The only way to elevate a ship sailing is to raise the "water level". Everything on the spectrum is examined and improvements implemented to enrich the environment for excelling whereupon everyone discovers their best. And, that "best" is actualized on a continuum. We can call that "yield".


Ambitiousness and accountability produces dividends. Coach's leadership will realize a cohesive, functioning unit that achieves it's objectives.  

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