July 20, 2011

Where are they now: Adam Treu

After playing on two national championship teams at Nebraska, offensive lineman Adam Treu went on to play 10 seasons in the NFL, including starting at center for the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl 37. Needless to say, he knows a thing or two about success on the football field.

HuskerOnline.com caught up with Treu in this week's edition of Where are they now? to get his thoughts and memories from his football career both as a Husker and in the NFL, as well as his takes on NU's past two head coaches.

When you look back at your time as a Husker, is there any play or game that stands out as your favorite moment?

"I guess the first one that comes to mind is when we beat Miami in the Orange Bowl for the championship. Growing up in Lincoln, like every Nebraskan I suffered the heartache of the '84 Orange Bowl game. Then getting to play Miami again and overcoming all of those obstacles and winning, that pretty memorable. But you know, shoot, my dad was a carpenter there at the university, and at a young age I got to go to the stadium with him on game days. I'd help him and his coworkers from the maintenance department set up around the stadium and then watch the games with them. Those were always pretty special moments for me."

You had to wait four years before you finally earned a starting job as a senior. Do you ever look back and shake your head at how many great linemen played along side you during your era at Nebraska?

"It was quite a special thing to be a part of. You realized more and more how good we really were when you go to an NFL team that didn't really have a lot of success. Just wishing we could get to what it was like in college. It didn't seem all that hard in my mind. You get people that do the right things for the right reasons, and you all have one goal. I don't mean to get all philosophical and mushy, but at Nebraska, we could always put all the distractions aside and focus on the one main goal and take care of their own little part. It's pretty amazing what can be accomplished when you do that. Those years back at Nebraska were evidence of that."

How much did being a part of those lines at Nebraska help you transition into the NFL and allow to play a decade in the league?

"I think it helped a lot. The coaches we had at Nebraska had been together for a lot of years. That was very beneficial. I learned a lot. I mean, I had six coaches in 10 years in the NFL. Guys in and out, and staffs didn't have that cohesiveness they had at Nebraska. They had been together for so long they knew what worked and didn't work, and that consistency helped out a lot. When I look back at team pictures I have from Oakland, there were a handful of guys, less than five I think, who were with me for seven out of those 10 years. There's so much turnover. I have to credit playing at Nebraska and experiencing what I did there for my preparation for the NFL. It played a big role in my ability to stick through it all."

Where are they now?
Player: Adam Treu, 1992-96

Current city: Bend, Ore.

Family:Wife: Tracy; Children: Olivia (9), Kemper (6), Finley (4).

Current profession: Since retiring from the NFL in 2007, Treu spends the majority of his time taking care of his daughter and two sons, which he says doesn't leave a lot of time for much else. When he does find some spare time, Treu is a volunteer football and basketball coach at Bend High School.

Professional career: Treu was drafted by the Oakland Raiders with the 72nd overall pick in the third round of the 1997 NFL Draft. He went on to spend the next 10 seasons with the Raiders, playing both at center and long snapper. He served as a backup center for his first six seasons, but he got the biggest break of his career in Super Bowl 37 when starting center Barrett Robbins was a no-show for the game, giving Treu the start. Coincidentally, his head coach in Oakland from 2002-04 was future Nebraska head coach Bill Callahan.

NU career accomplishments: It took all the way until his senior season for Treu to crack the starting offensive line at Nebraska, but he definitely made the most out of his opportunity when he replaced Chris Dishman at left tackle in 1996. Treu totaled 94 pancakes as a senior, averaging 7.8 per game and reaching double-digit totals three times that season. He was also the sixth man on NU's o-line rotation during the 1995 national title season and played in four games on the '94 championship team.

Obviously one of your head coaches in Oakland for two years was Bill Callahan. What was your reaction when he got the job at Nebraska and what did you think of that whole era?

"I was disappointed like everybody. I had spoken to him prior to him moving there and while he was there, and I said 'make sure you hit all the little towns and hit the Legion Clubs and VFW's and get to know the state.' He said 'yeah, I'll try.' I was hoping that him having coached with Barry Alvarez at Wisconsin would have clued him into that, because Nebraska football runs deep there. It's just unfortunate it didn't work out for either the program or for Coach Callahan. I was just sad about it like everybody else."

Did you maintain much contact with him or ever try to reach out to Callahan when things were getting bad and offer him any advice?

"I haven't talked to him but maybe once or twice since he left Oakland. I did try to get in touch with him, as I'm sure a number of other people were trying to get in touch with him. He was a great o-line coach in Oakland, and when he was the head coach in Oakland we went to the Super Bowl, even though everyone said he did it with John Gruden's players. The next year after that we didn't have a lot of success, but a lot of the character people who were fortunate enough to play at a program like Nebraska or Florida or other successful programs, they got hurt. Without those team leaders, it was a tough go for him. I felt for him as a human being. I know he's with the Jets now and the linemen there are having success with him."

What were your thoughts when Bo Pelini replaced Callahan and how would you evaluate the job he's done the past three seasons?

"I think he's done a really good job. That's a another I told Bill, I said 'you've got the best guy to go to for advice just two floors above you (in Tom Osborne).' When Coach Osborne came back, I'm sure the whole state took a big sigh of relief, and so did I. From what I gather, Bo isn't too proud and understands that he can't do it on his own. He's doing all the right things and he's doing things the right way. You got all this stuff coming out in college football now, whether it's Ohio State or Oregon and their recruiting, but nothing that's come out has been about Nebraska. They continue to stay in compliance and everything has been on the up and up. I think Bo is equally mindful of that and football."

Lastly, having played in both the Big Eight and the Big 12 Conference, what are your feelings on Nebraska joining the Big Ten this season?

"I guess I was a little sad to see the Big Eight drying up just because that's where I spent all that time as kid following the Big Eight. But you have to take change for what it is, and I'm sure it's going to benefit everybody involved. Also, if Coach Osborne didn't think it was a wise choice then he wouldn't have done it. It'll be interesting, I guess. I don't have a feeling either way. It'll be fun to play against the Michigans and the Ohio States."

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