Lots to cover.
In the words of Kevin Kugler:
"This is an odd presser in a decade filled with odd pressers in Lincoln."
Indeed. I'll explain further below.
It started off about like you would expect, Bo apologizing for the performance on Saturday, saying it was his fault the guys weren't having any fun, and saying perhaps he has created a culture that doesn't allow for the players to have success. He also stated that he's so driven and task oriented, that you lose sight of the other things that need to be a part of it and that this is a unique place and it can consume him.
Basically it amounted to damage control. And from that context, what can you expect really?
It sounded "self-reflective."
During the question and answer session, someone asked him about Tommie Frazier's comments.
And then it got...well, you guys be the judge:
"If he feels that way, so be it. We don't need him." -- Bo Pelini on weekend tweet by Tommie Frazier.— Brian Rosenthal (@HuskerExtraBR) September 16, 2013
This prompted responses by several members of the national media, including some on SBNation:
Good luck with that, Bo. RT @HuskerExtraBR: "If he feels that way, so be it. We don’t need him." Pelini on tweet by Tommie Frazier.— Andy Staples (@Andy_Staples) September 16, 2013
Cuz that's what Bo Pelini needs to do right now. Insult Tommie Frazier. For his next move he'll light Tom Osborne on fire.— Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) September 16, 2013
Pretty much exactly RT @TomahawkNation Pelini calling out Frazier would be like Muschamp, with his career 19-9 record at UF, blasting Tebow.— Jason Kirk (@JasonKirkSBN) September 16, 2013
Pelini would have been better off going to Nebraskans' homes and kicking their dogs than to disrespect Tommie Frazier.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) September 16, 2013
Wow. RT @ESPN_BigTen: Pelini, on Tommie Frazier's call for defensive firings: "If he feels like that so be it. We don't need him"— Jeremy Crabtree ESPN (@jeremycrabtree) September 16, 2013
Not a good move RT @ESPN_BigTen: Pelini, on Tommie Frazier's call for defensive firings: "If he feels like that so be it. We don't need him"— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) September 16, 2013
Here's the full quote in context
"I didn't read what he had to say, I kind of heard about it. I can say this, we have a staff of players, people, administration, everybody here who is busting their butt to do what they can and win football games and do everything they can for these student athletes," Pelini said. "Since I've came back here, I've embraced the former players. And if he feels like that, then so be it, we don't need him. That's a shame.
"Until you've sat in this seat and done it, anybody can have an opinion. Anybody can do that. But like I said, it's easy to point fingers and stand outside and throw stones. I take it for what it is."
Readers can take from that what they will.
Is it fair that the national press took that quote and ran with it? Some people have argued that the quote was taken entirely out of context. They state how can Tommie Frazier, a former coach at Doane with a 3-19 record, who basically had the entire team quit on him, take shots at Bo Pelini?
However, it isn't just Tommie Frazier. Remember Ralph Brown? Who came out a few weeks ago with his statements after the Wyoming game where he was standing up for Bo? Here's what he tweeted during Bo's presser:
Listening to Bo Pelini presser now. He doesn't speak with conviction in knowing how to fix the problem.— Ralph D. Brown II (@RalphDBrown) September 16, 2013
He doesn't get it!!!— Ralph D. Brown II (@RalphDBrown) September 16, 2013
There is more from Brown, but you get the idea.
Ralph made these statements after Bo was kicking around the idea of rearranging practice and having different days off. Bo stated that he's trying to examine everything that may help the team. Obviously he and the staff are searching for anything and everything to try and spark...something in the team.
Other points from Pelini's Monday's press conference:
- Gave the team Monday off. Said they need a chance to get away.
- Pelini stated that "If he's not enjoying his job, how can he expect the players to enjoy it?"
- Stated that "He has to continue to grow or he's not going to get any better. He has to grow for his players to get better."
- At the time of the press conference, the team hadn't yet found out about the new practice schedule. Bo stated he would talk to them in the afternoon.
- Stated that his thinks his team captains are "doing a good job and he believes in them."
- Bo said that he thought that Taylor looked healthy going in, but that he did play hesitant and that he needs to play better and that he wasn't hurt.
- Believes there has to be a "narrower focus" on offense and said that there will be one going forward. Left too much on the field, although he likes what the offense brings and what they can do. Discussed with Tim Beck about "pairing it down."
- Stated that he and JP make the defensive calls together and that he doesn't think he needs to step away from anything.
- Stated that there were too many mental breakdowns in the second half where the players "didn't execute."
- Said that they did play "not to lose" in a lot of situations.
- Complimented Josh Banderas for his play and trying to take command, but said that guys were trying to do too much in the second half.
- Said that SDSU is a "good, quality football team" and "they're well coached."
- Taariq Allen is about 80% and you'll see more of Alonzo Moore, but he's been limited in practice due to shoulder issues.
- Said there were too many drops by the wide receivers on Saturday.
- Said Jamal Turner's role may be more limited. Bo Pelini thought his confidence might be shaken so they're going to give him a break. Expect to see more of Westerkamp and Newby.
At the end of the day, Pelini and his staff are left, yet again, searching for answers. He stated that he and his staff have a plan going forward and that they still have a chance "to be a very good football team."
Well, they certainly have a chance to regroup. With a game this weekend against FCS squad SDSU and then a bye week before they play their first conference game at home against Illinois, it may be the perfect time for the team to gather its wits about them and push forward.