Quantcast

 

Big Red Breakfast
9/17/04

I’m sorry this is so late, but the Sidetrack band with Paul and Joyce was playing tonight at Donahue’s Bar in Omaha and we just couldn’t resist seeing them. What a good time it is hanging with Paul and Joyce, but we always seem to have a few too many beers. Anyway, on with the breakfast notes…

Tim Cassidy, the associate athletic director, was the guest speaker at today’s breakfast. Tim is an Omaha native that was at Texas A&M for 19 years, but had always dreamt of returning to Nebraska. He commented on how he had other job offers over the years but that we would only leave A&M for a job at UNL. When he got the job last year it was a dream come true. TC got his masters degree at A&M, worked at Florida in 97, and in 98 he coached Pederson as a recruiting coordinator. He mentioned on several occasions that he and Pederson bumped into one another and that they had become good friends over the years. Cassidy’s long term goal is to become A.D. someday. TC actually applied to be a coaching assistant and offered to work for free, but Tom Osborne didn’t hire him because he wanted former players. Then in 1994, TO called him and asked him to come to Lincoln to interview for the recruiting coordinator position. He was excited when he found out there were only 2 possible candidates, until he found out the other candidate was Steve Pederson. TC called Pederson and they talked for some time, and as Cassidy put it, “Steve got the job and I was out again”. But the third time was the charm and TC got hired last year and the rest is history.

When TC arrived for the interview Blake and Cosgrove were already here and they were working long hours with Callahan when Cassidy was interviewing. TC joked about how he thought one of them would give him a ride back to the hotel, but after some time he realized that they might not ever quit working. TC then decided to just walk back to his hotel and along the way his wife called him just as an ambulance went buzzing down the street. She asked what was going on and he told her he didn’t think things were going as well as expected, especially since he had to walk back to his hotel.

Cassidy has the highest praise for Pederson and said he did a great job hiring Callahan. He said that he never would have uprooted his family and moved here if he didn’t have tons of faith in the current staff. TC stated that he is VERY sensitive to changes, and that the coaching staff wants to add to the great things that NU has done over the years. He also talked about how the coaches are like father figures to the players for 4 years of their life, and that for some of these kids, they are the only father figures. This is why he thinks it is important to build a family atmosphere. He also mentioned that if you haven’t visited www.coachcallahan.com yet, that you should check it out.

About team building
The coaches took 135 football players bowling this year. It was quite a logistic feat to organize that many players at the bowling alley at once, but it was worth it. When they called the bowling alley and told them of their plans, the owner asked for shoe sizes (they range from 8 to 19), and the owner had to special order shoes from Arizona to accommodate them all. They did a boogie bowl, the music wasn’t Cassidy’s favorite, but the kids had fun. There were two main rules during the bowling night. 1 – No talk of academics. 2 – No football talk. TC said that they wanted this to be a complete time away from the normal routine. The bowling scores ranged from 69 to 270. The player that got the 270 is no longer on the team, so he may have left for a bowling career. He didn’t mention the player name… They also played a softball game, NFL Football 2005, and next year there is talk of fishing and maybe golf.

School activities
Last summer TC organized the Football 101 camp for ladies. This was a great experience for 1050 ladies. Some of the women had several beers before they arrived at 2 PM, and many of them were having a REALLY good time. Dave Kennedy was holding work-outs so the locker room was off limits while the players were showering, but some persistent women snuck in the locker rooms to sneak a peek. He even said that there was an incident involving some gals trying to yank towels off the players. The ladies got to do the tunnel walk among other things and it sounds like it was a big hit. This event raised about $135,000. TC commented that only in Nebraska could you get the newspaper on the day that the Democratic presidential nominee was named and see the Huskers on the front page instead.

The walk/run for juvenile diabetes was also a big hit. About 800 people showed for this event and then got to see a closed football practice. Next year TC is going to offer a Friday, Saturday, Sunday fantasy camp for men. He said this was a good chance for the women to send their husbands off for the weekend. It won’t be cheap, but it will be a great experience for Husker fans. Save your Christmas and birthday money.

The little Huskers camp will be a fun experience for the kids to spend 3 days with the coaches. They will get to live and eat in the dorms and experience what it is like to be a Husker.

The Walk
This is a new experience that let’s the Husker fans cheer on the players before they arrive at the stadium. This is not like the NFL where BC would bring the busses in from the back. TC told coach that the busses should stop outside and let the players walk in, in front of the fans. When the players put the helmets (with the N’s on them) on, it’s the fans that lift them up. Callahan is so anxious to get to the stadium that he is the first one on the bus before the game. He’s so hyper that he makes the bus leave early before the game and last week that might have caused the team to get to the stadium so early that the fans were not all there yet. TC is going to try and slow BC down a little so that doesn’t happen again.

About the team
It was a disappointing loss last week and they don’t discount the loss, but many good things did come out of the game. No one works harder than Callahan and he is really in tune with our feelings. Cory Ross is doing a really nice job. Tierre is fun to watch, he’s averaging 9.9 yards per carry now. Southern Miss is a good team and they beat other good teams like Alabama. Southern Miss is not intimidated to play in our house, their motto is any place, any time, any where. Our guys are young and they will make mistakes, but if you turn on the TV on Sundays you can watch guys who make millions of dollars and they make mistakes too. Our kids have done everything we’ve asked of them and we’re proud of them. Last week during the game our guys never talked badly of each other. There was no finger pointing or defense blaming the offense, etc. The players were encouraging each other right to the end.

On recruiting
We will work very hard to bring in GOOD hard working young men. However from time to time young men will make mistakes. BC and SP will make the best decision for these men and you might not know all the information surrounding these decisions, but Callahan and Pederson will. (I got the feeling he was talking about Incognito). We start in Nebraska and work outward. Our population doesn’t produce hundreds of players, (was spoiled in Florida and Texas because of their huge populations) but the great respect for the program at NU and the great fans really help us out.

Cassidy brought a tape with last week’s highlights and some footage of Pittsburgh. When he started the tape the room cleared like there was a fire or something. These are some of Cassidy’s comments during the tape viewing:
Cory Ross, love the way he runs. He had a 52 yard run and it shows how much speed Southern Miss has on defense when they caught up to him.
Matt Herian, he has a chance to be excellent.
Kriewald is working on his masters degree, good looking young man.
Tierre is a potential break away guy.
Field goals got a lot of attention this week, I promise you.
Callahan added 5 guys from the walk on program to scholarships this year.
How would you like to be that long snapper, bent over with a 300 lb guy talking about your mother and breathing down your neck?
Barrett Ruud, he’s 34 tackles away from being the all time leading tackler at NU.

About Pittsburgh
Cassidy has some experience with Pitt, and Pederson has a lot of experience with them. Pitt beat Ohio 24 – 10 last week. The have a very athletic quarterback. They have gutty guys, we’ll be playing on a grass surface and we’re anticipating rain. We expect it to be a rough situation there. Any time you play in a place that has professional sports you have to be prepared for the NFL mentality of the fans. It could be a hostile environment.

After the tape, Cassidy had a few minutes for some questions. He prefaced by telling us that he is restricted in what he can say about recruiting so he won’t be able to discuss much regarding recruiting.
• Can the players recruit other players any time?
It is not unusual for players to call other players and try to surround themselves with the top talent. It’s not a problem unless we get involved and start organizing their calls.
• Do you feel like John Blake will stay here a long time?
I certainly hope so, I love Blake. Pederson hit the big time when he made that hire. All our coaches are outstanding recruiters but Blake is a BIG TIME recruiter.
• What about Willy Amos?
He suffered a groin pull but he’ll be ready to play Saturday. He really gives you that deep threat.
• What about Carriker?
He won’t be making the trip to Pitt. He has a bad ankle sprain from that trip (very dirty play) and sometimes those sprains can be worse than a break.

Submitted by Husker Freak