Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Huskers reshape offensive vision with Beck
By Adam Rittenberg
It wasn't exactly a big secret in Husker country, but Nebraska coach Bo Pelini has confirmed several staff changes.
The biggest one is the promotion of running backs coach Tim Beck to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Pelini also tabbed Corey Raymond as secondary coach, Ross Els as linebackers coach and Rich Fisher as wide receivers coach. Veteran Nebraska assistant Ron Brown moves from tight ends coach to running backs coach.
UPDATE: Pelini also has confirmed the promotion of John Garrison to full-time assistant. Garrison will work with Barney Cotton and coach the offensive linemen.
Departing the program are offensive coordinator Shawn Watson and receivers coach Ted Gilmore. Nebraska announced the resignation of secondary coach Marvin Sanders two weeks ago.
The staff makeover means Nebraska will have a new look on offense as it transitions to its new league. Although the Huskers made two changes to their defensive staff, we know what to expect from the Pelini brothers on that side of the ball.
What does this mean for Nebraska's offense? Beck hasn't been a play-caller at the college level but served as Kansas' passing game coordinator during the Jayhawks' breakthrough season in 2007. He's a terrific recruiter and did an excellent job with the Huskers' running backs. Beck also has a strong bond with Pelini that should help them going forward.
It's safe to assume he'll stick with a spread system, but what type of spread? Will we see shades of Oregon's offense in Lincoln next fall? How will the system suit Taylor Martinez and the other quarterbacks?
To clear up any confusion, the spread can work in the Big Ten. We've seen it work at places like Purdue, Northwestern, Michigan and Penn State. But Nebraska's execution must be sharp against what I believe will be a superior group of defenses than it saw in the Big 12.
I'm looking forward to talking with Beck about his vision.
It's hard to fault Nebraska for changing things up on offense. After a blistering start to 2010, the unit took a nosedive in mid-November and didn't produce nearly enough in losses to Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Washington.
So change isn't a bad thing. But Nebraska has to know who it is on offense. Spring practice will be huge for the Huskers to figure out their identity and who leads the charge this fall.