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Is Terry Joseph an Upgrade for the Huskers' Coaching Staff?

It certainly didn't take long for Bo Pelini to replace Corey Raymond with Tennessee safeties coach Terry Joseph after Raymond left Lincoln after just one year for his alma mater. Raymond left with a mixed record in Lincoln; a disappointing performance by his players, but some inroads in recruiting for the future. In that light, I'm not as disappointed that Raymond only spent one year in Lincoln as others might be.

Pelini has a history of hiring coaches he's familiar with, and Joseph fits that modus better than probably just about any other candidate. In 2006, Joseph was a graduate assistant working at LSU under Pelini as well as John Papuchis, who was a defensive intern at that time. But he's also spent much more time in his coaching career away from Pelini; three years at Louisiana Tech, then two more at Tennessee.

Last season, Tennessee ranked twelfth nationally in pass defense, with opponents completing 58% of their passes for 14 touchdowns against 9 interceptions. Certainly better numbers than the Blackshirts put up. And according to the Omaha World-Herald, Joseph was having to shuffle his lineup frequently due to injuries. This season, Joseph's workload would have been reduced as he was going to concentrate on only the safeties rather than the entire secondary. That was in addition to his responsibilities as Tennessee's recruiting coordinator.

The recruiting aspect of the Joseph hire may be almost as important as the on-the-field coaching. Joseph has a similar background as Raymond as a former Louisiana high school coach, so he has those same, if not stronger, connections. This is one area where the Joseph hire is an upgrade; he's been recruiting for years, and has a track record of identifying and signing highly regarded players. In 2008, he was named the number four recruiter not at a BCS program by Rivals. That might help keep commits like Tre'vell Dixon Dixon in the fold as the spring, summer, and fall unfold. (Granted, look for LSU and Raymond to be interested here as well...)

Joseph will need a higher salary than Raymond did, but even so, it looks to be definitely worth the investment. Joseph looks like a solid hire, and probably should be considered an upgrade on the coaching staff. He's simply got a better resume than Raymond, and considering the lackluster 2011 season on defense, certainly worth the investment.