Riley holds court on first coaches radio show
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[rl]Nebraska head coach Mike Riley held his first coaches' radio show of the season on Thursday night on the Huskers Sports Network. Here is a quick recap of what the first-year NU coach had to say…
***One of the more newsworthy nuggets to come out of Riley's one-hour call-in show was that apparently Nebraska is putting serious thought into having offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf call games from the sideline as opposed to the coaches' box.
"We've experimented with calling the plays from down on the sidelines, and here's the pluses and minuses to it: Just being in a controlled environment in the press box is a good thing with everything laid out in front of you," Riley said. "The sideline gives you an advantage to really be able to, when the players come off, to see them and talk to them face-to-face.
"So that interaction part of it is also important, especially being new with a new quarterback, the ability to not only talk with the quarterback but with the whole offense. So we are considering strongly that Danny will be on the field for calling the games."
***Riley was also asked for an update on when the Blackshirts would be handed out. He wouldn't give a specific day, but hinted they would likely be issued sometime next week leading up to the Huskers' season opener against BYU on Sept. 5.
"It's going to be soon," Riley said. "I was going to wait, because I haven't even told the players when it's coming yet, so I'm not going to say it yet, but it's soon, believe me. We've got the names. We're all ready with the names. We're all ready to go. We know who's going to get them. We just want to time it up and make sure they know it's coming."
***When asked about the running back competition, Riley said junior Terrell Newby and Imani Cross were two of the leaders of the group because of their consistency in practice and their live game experience, something the rest of the backs all lack.
"There's nothing like playing in the games, and those two have probably been, if not the two most consistent, they're near the top in the running back guild as far as the consistency in camp," Riley said. "I'm really proud of Imani, because he got in great shape for this fall camp. He lost some weight, which is better for his legs, and he has been very consistent and has been very durable in camp. So that's a very good sign.
"Newby is exciting. He's got some stuff, and he's played in the games. With those guys, we kind of know what we're going to get with them."
***Earlier this fall Riley talked about having quarterback Tommy Armstrong give his input on what Nebraska's offense would look like this season, as the staff wanted to game plan around the things he felt the most comfortable with and would execute at the highest level. Another aspect Armstrong has helped with is giving the coaches a base of what the offense was already familiar with so they could build upon that.
***Riley said defensive end Jack Gangwish was voted by his teammates as the best weight lifter of summer conditioning, which was just one indication of his status in NU's locker room.
"He's well respected in our world here in our football program," Riley said.
***Riley was asked his philosophy of handling his team when things start to go bad during games. He said the coaching staff needs to give players concrete evidence for corrections and adjustments that will make them better.
"They don't want to make mistakes," Riley said. "They've practiced and done a lot of stuff to get ready to play in the game, and if it's not going well, I think it's the coaches' job to have something for them to help them when they go back on the field."
***Asked how he makes sure his team is just as focused for an unranked opponent as it is with a ranked foe, Riley's answer was simple: "Every game in college football to me is a playoff game. That's the beauty of it."
***The first question out of the gate was whether Nebraska would use receiver Jamal Turner on reverse passes to the tight ends: "Am I telling this to you or to BYU?" he asked back.
***Towards the end of the show, Riley was asked what has been the most surprising thing for him since moving to Lincoln.
"I think we all that have moved here have been so impressed with just the genuine warmth and welcoming," he said. "I think what you notice right off the bat is the tremendous pride that people have in their home and their home state. Of course, all of that energy flows into the university for all the sporting events. So I think it's really special how people feel about it, how they care about it."
***Lastly, Riley said there were exactly 136 players on Nebraska's current roster.
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