I am not ready to abort the entire Pelini tenure, yet, but things do need to change at Nebraska. The first thing that needs to change is the offensive philosophy, and unfortunately I think that means the end of Shawn Watson’s time as Offensive Coordinator.
While he has done a lot of good during his time at Nebraska I think it is time for a change, as I feel he is not the best person for the job anymore. Since Bo Pellini has such a stranglehold on the defense, you need an offensive coordinator who can act like a head coach and I don’t think that Shawn Watson has it in him.
Who else is out there? I have no idea, maybe, you could hire a coach who has been fired or maybe you could hire a hotshot QB coach or something, but a change in philosophy definitely needs to happen.
Taylor Martinez? Gone. He needs to either be benched or he needs to leave the team because he just doesn’t fit. I know he moved the ball well the first part of the year, but look at the competition he faced and look at how well he did in the second part of the year. I think anyone would have been able to just as well against those teams, the MAJOR red flag that I saw and no one else did was the South Dakota State game where he made bad decision after bad decision to the extent that he had to be benched. It was at that point when I realized that this wasn’t his team and that he wasn’t meant to be a starter.
I know that I tweeted that I will go to my grave saying that Cody Green should have been the starter from the beginning but it is more than that, he had more of a command of the offense during the season than Taylor Martinez did, even our beloved King of the Sun Belt played better. Could he have been rattled by the constant benching against various teams throughout the year? Yes, but that also showed that the coaching staff didn’t have the utmost faith in him as the starter in big games. It is also a mechanics issue, and it is obvious he can’t really go down field, he telegraphs all of his throws, his eyes stick to one receiver making it clear who he is going to, and he really doesn’t get anything on the ball. All these things change as you get older and more mature, but he should have better instincts being a quarterback already, and he simply doesn’t have those. I think it is time for Nebraska to just move on because I don’t know if it will ever work out there for him.
So who do you go to instead of Taylor Martinez? Cody Green should be the guy for the next two years I think since he has been in the system, and even if you do switch Offensive Coordinators he seems more adapt to change than anyone else right now. After that I think that Brion Carnes would be the guy simply because of his pedigree (Tommie Frazier is his cousin) and hope that lightning strikes twice. He lets the game come to him and doesn’t try to do everything himself as good of an athlete as he might be he actually looks like a Quarterback out there and doesn’t rely on only his athletic ability which Taylor Martinez is a victim of doing. The two things that worry me about him are the fact that, really, only Western Kentucky and USF had a better shot of landing him and I know recruiting isn’t the biggest deal ever, but that does send a flag saying, “If he was so good why didn’t anyone else of note try to recruit him?” The other thing that worries me is the fact that a lot of pressure (even from me) will be put on him to play well simply because he is Tommie Frazier’s cousin.
So after saying all that I have do I consider the season a failure? No. I did expect way too much of them from the beginning I think and set my expectations way too high for my own good. It would have been nice to see the interaction between Don Beebe and Tom Osborne on the podium, but one Big 12 Championship doth not a season make. Nebraska still has a bowl game to go out and win, and after that it begins time to focus on making a dent in the Big 10 and, well, that is a different story entirely.