Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Callahan on Bill Walsh

Nebraska football coach Bill Callahan is just one of the many disciples of the West Coast offense, which was created by former Stanford and San Francisco 49ers coach Bill Walsh. On Monday, Walsh died at the age of 75 after a long battle with leukemia.

Here are Callahan's comments about Walsh:

"I was deeply saddened to learn of Coach Walsh's passing," Callahan said in a statement. "He had a profound impact on the game of football. He is truly one of the greatest coaches in the history of the game, and was a mentor to many who have followed him in this profession.

"Coach Walsh was incredibly creative and innovative, and he played a vital role in developing and modernizing the West Coast offense as we know it today. A lot of the successes I have enjoyed in the profession can be attributed to Coach Walsh and his principles of coaching and leadership. His legacy will continue to prosper well into the future."

I personally had an opportunity to interview Walsh once in the early 1990s when I was a sports writer for the Hastings Tribune. Then in his second stint as Stanford's head coach, he gave a speech at Hastings College and, if memory serves me correctly, slipped over to Wood River to visit a potential recruit named Scott Frost.

While I can't recall what the angle of my story was, I remember coming away incredibly impressed with Walsh's intelligence and his explanations for why he was sometimes willing to go against the grain of conventional football thinking. Certainly, it's difficult to argue with three Super Bowl titles.

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Tuesday, July 31, 2007 || 0 comments

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Josh Freeman coming to Lincoln

SAN ANTONIO -- No, Josh Freeman hasn't flip-flopped and decided to transfer to Nebraska. However, he will be coming to Lincoln this fall as the Kansas State quarterback and his squad play the Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium on Nov. 10.

As most Nebraska fans recall, Freeman was the highly touted quarterback recruit who gave his verbal commitment to the Huskers, but then reversed field and opted to sign with the Wildcats and coach Ron Prince.

Freeman, speaking during an interview Wednesday morning at Big 12 Conference media days, said he has a pretty good idea that he'll hear it from the Big Red faithful when he comes to play in Lincoln

“I’m sure their fans still hold something against me, but I think everybody else is pretty much over it,” Freeman said. “What really matters and decides the game is what happens between the white lines, so everything else, I don’t really worry about it.”

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Wednesday, July 25, 2007 || 0 comments

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Big 12 football media daze

SAN ANTONIO -- The annual three-day crash course for members of the media on Big 12 Conference football began Monday with the league's annual media days at the "historic" St. Anthony hotel. Built in 1909, several of my fish hack brethren have come up for several other names for the facility, but since John Wayne once slept here, it can't be all bad.

Nebraska coach Bill Callahan and senior players J.B. Phillips, Terrence Nunn and Bo Ruud made their appearance at the event's opening day. As expected, the one-game suspension of Cornhuskers' wide receiver Maurice Purify and the fact that NU came up second to Missouri in the North Division preseason media poll were the topics of the day.

An interesting note: Phillips wore his Big 12 championship game watch to the event. He said that every time he looks at it, he's reminded that Nebraska had a good season in 2006, but hasn't quite arrived yet. The Huskers won the North for the first time since 1999 last year, but suffered a 21-7 loss to Oklahoma in the league title game.

The players all said they were pleased to have Purify back with the team. All said they hoped the star receiver would make the most of his second -- make that third -- chance.

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Tuesday, July 24, 2007 || 0 comments

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