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March 8, 2011

Husker Buzz: Beck wants to keep it simple

Tim Beck said on Tuesday he wants to keep his offense "simple."

Beck wants to implement an offensive system in which NU's players don't have to think as much and one where they can "just play."

It will be a system that can make adjustments easier on the fly, instead of what we saw the last two seasons where NU struggled in that department.

If everything goes to plan, this will be an offense in which younger players will be able to step on the field early in their careers.

Too many times under Shawn Watson and Ted Gilmore we saw young players with ability held back because of how complicated the offense was to learn.

Under Beck you get the impression with talented skill players like Jamal Turner, Bubba Starling, Aaron Green and Braylon Heard coming into the mix next season, he really wants to find ways to develop a system the younger players can get comfortable with in a hurry.

The best way to describe Beck's style is it will be similar to head coach Bo Pelini's on defense. Beck wants to be aggressive and attack people's weaknesses.

There's no other way to say it than this change was needed and you have to like what Beck brought to the table on Tuesday meeting with the media for the first time as the offensive coordinator.

Beck has seen what's worked and what hasn't worked the previous three years under Watson and he's been a part of a very successful offense at Kansas.

This spring we obviously won't know everything Beck wants to do with the offense, but we should get a good blue print of what this thing is going to look like heading into the Big Ten.

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The one common theme with the staff changes Pelini made over the off season is they are all guys that have worked closely with him before and people he has a lot of trust in.

I think that's the one thing we've learned about Pelini when it comes to putting a staff together. Pelini isn't necessarily after the flashiest hire or the guy with the best résumé, but instead the best fits.

I also liked Beck's response about why they decided to move Ron Brown over to coach the running backs.

Beck said with Brown's knowledge of the great running back tradition at Nebraska, who better to have coach them next fall?...Hard to argue that.

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Most of the talk on Tuesday about quarterback Taylor Martinez revolved more around his leadership skills than his ability as a football player.

Multiple different people talked about Martinez on Tuesday and said he's really stepped it up in the leadership department this off-season.

Brandon Kinnie said Martinez has been more vocal in workouts and meetings. I thought Beck said it best about Martinez in that before last season he was working as a scout team wide receiver and became the starting quarterback overnight.

It was asking an awful lot of Martinez to step in on day one at quarterback and lead the football team like a veteran during his redshirt freshman year. It sounds like he's starting to improve in this area. Hopefully it shows up this spring.

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So many people get caught up in the Peso defense NU ran a year ago, but in all reality the scheme existed because of Eric Hagg.

The whole point of the Peso was to keep Hagg on the field at all times. Hagg has the ability to play like a linebacker in the box and also flex out like a corner in the nickel. That was the Peso in a nutshell. It featured Hagg's versatility more than anything and kept him on the field for every play.

So to ask if we'll see a Peso look from NU this year heading into the Big Ten is a little premature. Defensive coordinator Carl Pelini said "the puzzle is still coming together" for NU.

The goal as always will be to put the best 11 players on the field. If another player with Hagg's versatility shows up this spring than maybe we'll see more Peso in 2011. I for one think we'll see more three linebacker sets featuring Lavonte David, Will Compton and Sean Fisher on the field together at the same time.

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The only injuries of note for spring ball are with sophomore offensive lineman Jeremiah Sirles and junior defensive end Cameron Meredith. Senior center Mike Caputo had off-season knee surgery, but he has been fully cleared for spring ball, as has Fisher.

With Meredith out we'll get a good look at sophomore Jason Ankrah and juniors Josh Williams and Eric Martin at defensive end. With Sirles being out Jermarcus Hardrick should get plenty of reps at tackle.

In redshirt news, Jake Cotton has moved from defensive tackle to offensive tackle this spring. Some other redshirt players to watch closely this spring on offense are wide receivers Kenny Bell and Stanley Jean-Baptiste, who Kinnie called two of the faster players on the entire roster.

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This past Saturday Huskeronline.com broke the news that former NFL tight end Vince Marrow was joining the NU staff in an intern coaching role.

During Tuesday's press conference Caputo said another former NFL player in offensive lineman Brenden Stai will be joining the staff to work as an intern under Barney Cotton. Stai had previously been doing pre and post game show work on the Husker Sports Network.

Adding names like former NFL players Marrow and Stai to the staff make the hires Pelini made this off-season that much more impressive. I can't imagine very many teams in the country have former NFL players working on their staff in intern roles.


Sean Callahan can be reached at sean@Huskeronline.com and he can be heard each day at 6:50 am and 4:50 pm on Big Red Radio 1110 KFAB in Omaha. He can also be seen on WOWT TV in Omaha four nights per week during the fall and each week he appears on NET's Big Red Wrap Tuesday's at 7 pm.


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