Today at 11:30 a.m. was Mickey Joseph’s first press conference as the Interim-Head Coach at Nebraska.
Below I paraphrased many of his comments and left the actual video of the press conference at the bottom.
Opening statement from Interim-Head Coach Mickey Joseph
“Right now my number one focus is the boys. It’s the players. That we make sure that they are okay. I appreciate Trev and the administration for showing faith in me to lead the program. This is about Nebraska football. It’s bigger than me and anyone else. I want you all to understand that. It’s bigger than me and anyone else. I want to thank the fans for continuing to support us to ride with us and stay with us through thick and thing.
“I want you to know it’s a great opportunity for me and my family. We understand that. We are here to represent the University of Nebraska to the fullest.”
Changes to the day-to-day operation? The practice schedule is going to change. The off day is going to be Monday instead of Sunday. Everything else will stay the same.
What the message you wanted to get across to the players when you met with them the first time? He said that he knew they were hurting. Frost was like a brother to him. He gave him the opportunity to come here and coach at his alma mater. He will always love and appreciate Scott Frost. But at the end of the day Oklahoma is coming here on Saturday.
Being the first African-American coach at Nebraska: Mickey said he hasn’t really had a chance to think about it because he’s been a black football coach all of his life. He’s more concerned about getting the boys to play on Saturday.
How to address the issues on defense: He met with Coach Chinander. They are going to play faster. They are going to tackle in practice. How are they going to Going to play faster. Going to tackle in practice. Going to make the kids hold themselves accountable. We are going to fix the problems.
How have they handled the last 48-hours: Like champs. The guy that recruited them is no longer here. They didn’t sign to play for a coach. They signed to play at Nebraska. It’s time to move on and it’s time to get ready for the Oklahoma game.
Who is going to take over as the full-time wide receiver coach: Mike Casano will step in and take over the position full-time. Joseph will still be involved but Casano will handle the day-to-day operations.
Number on issue the last three weeks: Haven’t played well in the three phases of the game. Have to get better on offense, defense and special teams. You can’t put it on one thing. That’s what they will continue to talk to the team about that. Everybody has to pull on the same side of the rope.
As an offensive coach what can you do about the defense: It’s football. There are either 3 down lineman or 4 down lineman. It’s either one safety high or two safeties high.
Regarding the season going forward: We have nine opportunities going forward. We can say we are trying to win nine games but what we are really tring to do is take one week at a time. After these nine games then we will see where we are at.
Does he want to be the head coach: When you accept the interim head coach position that is always something you are working for. We know what this is all about. It’s about wins and losses. That’s what it’s going to depend on.
Changes on the defensive side of the ball: Erik Chinander was already working with the nickels. is going to give more focus to the safeties. All teams in college and the NFL have two coaches for the secondary. Might be the only team that had one defensive back coach. Coach Fisher has only two eyes and it’s hard to watch four players so Erik Chinander is going to help.
About giving up the big run plays: anytime there are long runs, it’s about gap integrity.
On Ochaun Mathis’s comments that there is a losing culture: We haven’t been winning but there isn’t a losing culture here. Losing cultures are when the kids don’t show up and play hard. That’s not what’s happening here. These kids have never been blown out. We need to teach them to get over the hump. I also need to do a better job of coaching these kids so they don’t make comments like that in interviews.
With the sixth ranked team coming into Lincoln: This is a welcomed opportunity. We are going to prepare for Oklahoma. We respect everything they do. It’s a big opportunity for the kids and they are excited.
Changing how the defensive players tackle: I thought we tackled well . His brother (Vance Joseph, Defensive Coordinator of the Arizona Cardinals) said that when he gets college defensive backs the can’t process information very well and they can’t tackle well. It’s like muscle memory. The only way to get better at tackling is to practice tackling.
Health of Nick Henrich and Travis Vokolek: Both are day-to-day.
How to guide Casey Thompson going forward: Casey is a really smart kid. Comes from a really good family. Coach Whipple will continue to guide him.
Looking back at his career path, what moments have prepared him for this moment: If you look at his resume - he has coached at every level. NAIA, D-2, Group of five. Power five. Been under a lot of good coaches. It prepares you for this moment. At the end of the day you have to be yourself. He tells the kids that he’s going to be truthful with them. That’s how I’ve survived in this profession.
Football team takes the personality of head coach: I’m going to be detailed. I'm going to bring the energy. I expect the kids to leave it all out on the field. I thought that today at practice they did that.