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Shawn Watson Opens Up About the 2009 Offense - Conclusion: The 2010 Version Will Be Much Better

Tom Shatel sits down with Shawn Watson and conducts a pretty decent interview.... which is something different for Shatel. I don't recall him doing a lot of interviews, but, hey I'll give him credit where it's due for this one.

Depth and injuries are standard fallback positions - never mind that everyone suffers from the same issues. Stop to think about Zac Lee's injury for a minute. The coaches knew but didn't tell anyone as to not give the opponent any more information. That's understandable, but it ought to give you the impression that the credentialed media doesn't have any clue as to what's happening with this team any more than we do (or at least if they do, they're not allowed to talk about it).

Other than Watson knowing about Zac Lee's injury early in the season, there isn't a lot in this article that we didn't already know. Husker Mike gave Watson credit for re-vamping his offense mid-season, while I made the case for retaining Watson and Barney Cotton. If the interview accomplished something (besides selling newspapers), it's that it gave Watson the chance to tell his side of the story.

The references to talking with Tom Osborne and Milt Tenopir make everyone feel good that Osborne is involved in the offense because the prevailing attitude towards Osborne is that whatever he touches turns to gooey-goodness that resembles championship-winning football. Watson has mentioned Osborne's influence before, but when Watson does it, he's walking a fine line. Too many Osborne references and it'll present the impression he can't handle this stuff on his own, despite being the highest paid assistant coach on the current staff.

Then there's this bit:

    Q: Will Bo be more involved in the offense? There's a perception out there that he's leaning on you, he's forcing you to run the ball ...

    A: You got to stop reading the Internet. Bo's been great. Bo is always involved and always has been, as in this is what hurts us defensively. Bo sits with us in our scheme evaluation and offers up suggestions on what he sees. We're on the same page, man.

Stop reading the internet? Wow, other than being the end-all scapegoat, what's the internet got to do with anything?  Anyone get the impression that the internet was the one telling Shatel that Bo was forcing him to do anything? Give us some comments and a reference, please.

Bottom line - the offense should be better next season because we have more depth and at least one experienced quarterback. Rex Burkhead showed that he was ready to play at a Big 12 level, and Dontraveyous Robinson showed that he could handle being the third back behind Roy Helu and Burkhead. 

Nebraska will enter 2010 with much more potential on the offensive line. Jermarcus Hendrick, Brent Qvale, Nick Ash, and Jesse Coffey will provide more depth, and possibly some of the mean attitude that was missing this past season.  The receiving corp looks a lot better with Brandon Kinnie and Khiry Cooper showed that they were more capable of stepping up than the receivers who were starting ahead of them at the beginning of the season.

If at the end of the 2010 season the offense isn't significantly better, then we can all start talking about the need for Watson to be replaced.

The one question I wish Shatel had asked is - "Where was Mike McNeill". While McNeill finished 2009 as the second-leading receiver, he finished with less receptions and far less yardage (442 vs 259) than he did the previous season despite being the leading returning receiver.

Oh, and stop reading the internet, dammit. I'm not sure what you're supposed to read given the dying nature of printed media, but, hey, the more ignorant you are, the better off you are. Isn't that what your Mom always said?