Kevin Cosgrove speaks about Nebraska's 2007 defense in an interview done with Gopherhole.com, a site that looks at the sugar-coated side of Minnesota Golden Gopher football, something that's pretty hard to do.
The saddest thing about this interview is that this was a chance for Kevin Cosgrove to give his side of the story about what happened to our defense and Bill Callahan's staff in 2007.
The unfortunate truth is that coaches rarely give their side of the story because they may need their buddies to hire them into another position somewhere else after things all come apart like they did for Bill Callahan at Nebraska. Given the volatility of the profession, perhaps that's understandable.
However, what he says about himself speaks volumes about what happened in 2007:
GH: As far as the research goes, what kind of things did you learn?
KC: I did a lot of studying on the latest trends of the read, the zone read and zone option game. Those are the number one things I felt I needed to improve as a coordinator, so that’s where I spent a lot of time.
Can I get an Amen, Brother?
It was pretty darned clear Cosgrove had not a clue as to how to defend against Big 12 teams running those offensive schemes. It was one of the biggest reasons for the demise of the Callahan era.
Having lived in Minnesota for 20-some years now, all I can say is good luck to Gopher fans. Cosgrove IS a controversial hire because he's not a very good hire when Tim Brewster has had some pretty decent results, at least in recruiting some athletes. Minnesota fans are looking for something good to happen.
GH: What would you say to your critics? Would you take websites like firecosgrove.com almost as a form of flattery, because you are so well-known?
KC: When I was at Wisconsin, working for Barry (Alvarez) we never even knew that stuff existed. I never saw anything negative; the only thing I ever saw was positive. Then I went to Nebraska, and I started looking at the negative stuff, and that was probably the worst thing I ever did. It was the worst thing our team ever did, because our players started reading it. They were not only beating up me, but the players, and that’s a bad thing when that happens. That’s their team, they’re beating up the kids, and that’s not right. As a coach, I can take it. Everybody has their opinions, and god bless them, but I’m moving on, and I’m excited to be a Minnesota Gopher right now.
If you're a Husker fan, you want to defend this statement - that we're the "greatest fans in college football", that this stuff happens in other places, blah blah blah. Don't bother with those excuses, because they're rationalization of some pretty nasty things that happened to Cosgrove while he was at Nebraska.
Instead, look at it this way. If it's his job to look out for the mindset of his players, isn't he basically admitting that he failed in this area ? His perspective seems to be - things are fine when everything's positive, but when they're not, well, things are going to fall apart.
If that's the case, he's going to have a helluva time being succesful in Minnesota because he'll have a hard time finding a lot of positive things about the Gopher football team in the Twin Cities media.
I've said this before - the positive thing about this hire for Minnesota is that Cosgrove isn't going to go anywhere and Minnesota has had problems retaining defensive coordinators. At least he can provide some consistency to the program.
At least Kevin Cosgrove and I can agree on something. I'm excited that he's a Golden Gopher too.