We know that Shawn Watson will remain as a Nebraska offensive coach, most likely the offensive coordinator. As Bo Pelini said a short while ago:
Speaking during an interview on Jim Rome's radio program, Pelini said that Nebraska won't be making a lot of changes offensively.
"We're tweaking a little bit here and there and Coach Watson will put his flavor on it, but they have moved the football and that's a real positive, and we have a lot of guys returning on offense," Pelini told Rome. "We have some building to do on defense, but I believe that I can get that done. I'm looking forward to that challenge."
All indications are that the Cornhuskers will continue to run a form of the West Coast Offense. There's been some talk about switching to the spread, the offense du jour. What that really means adding the zone read play to the Nebraska offense, the idea being that the quarterback is an active participant in the running game.
Is the West Coast Offense the one you want for Nebraska? People tend to remember only the last few games of the season with Ganz at quarterback, and us doing a decent job of scoring and moving the ball. Few are commenting on the fact that we couldn't run the ball, and the offense wasn't that great earlier in the season when we really needed them, i.e., against Mizzou. Maybe it's easier to blame Sam Keller for the offensive problems and move on. Maybe a little too easy.
I didn't hate Bill Callahan's offense, but it seems that it's biggest problem was the complexity, that it took at least a year to learn. It placed an inherent limit on the contributions provided by young players, especially quarterbacks and wide receivers. Perhaps part of Watson's "tweaking" is to remove the complexity. As evidence we saw very few shifts last year compared to the previous years, but that may have had to do with clock rule changes as much as a dumbing down of the offense.
I don't have a problem with the spread offense. It forces defenses to cover all 11 men on the offense, something that isn't required as much when you're facing a pocket passer. The long term question with the spread is - with a whole gob of teams running the spread, is Nebraska going to be able to beat out everyone else for kind of quarterback we need to run the spread offense? Is the next Vince Young going to want to play at Nebraska? (If you're wearing your red glasses, I'm sure your answer is "Tom Osborne is here, people will flock to the program!")
Or would Nebraska be better off long-term sticking with something similar to USC's West Coast Offense where a pocket passer and a great set of receivers could flourish????