No opening statement from Matt Rhule but he did have a somewhat freshly shaved face when he met with the media today to talk about this past season as well as going forward.
Probably the biggest elephant in the Nebraska Football room is the quarterback position and where they go from here when it comes to that position group. When asked if he plans on addressing the position through the transfer portal, Matt Rhule made a couple interesting points.
To Rhule when going to the portal (regardless of position) he wants to find guys who have multiple years of experience who can be an instant impact upgrade and who can make a difference.
The big interesting piece of info he dropped is that a big time quarterback in the portal is going for $1 million to $2 million, “just so we are on the same page” he added at the end of his answer. “There are some teams with 6 or 7 million dollar players playing for them.”
That answer and the way he said it surely makes it appear that Nebraska is not one of those programs and probably does not appear to be working in that direction.
While there are a lot of negative things to say about the quarterbacks currently at Nebraska and how they played, there are actually a lot of positives as well. Regarding Chubba Purdy, Rhule was extremely pleased with him and you wonder how much more he would have improved if he had more experience leading up to the end of the season. He believes that Chubba has a high ceiling.
As far as Heinrich Haarberg goes, he said that Haarberg was not even allowed to go to the quarterback meetings last year.
Yeah, that is an insane thought and it makes some sense since last year’s Offensive Coordinator Mark Whipple laughed at the idea that Haarberg could be a power five quarterback. Yeah, it is hard to think he could be a power five quarterback when he isn’t even allowed into the position meetings. Insane. Not enough chairs?
Rhule added after his comment about Haarberg and not being allowed in the quarterback meetings, “I’m really proud of him. And I just think with further development those guys (Haarberg and Purdy) have two years left. I think they are going to be good players.”
With that all said, he is still going to do his due diligence with the portal and if he thinks they can get an impact player then they will try and do so.
In that long answer about the quarterbacks he never mentioned Jeff Sims.
So the subsequent question was about Jeff Sims.
“To be clear, I will never say anything that sounds disrespectful towards a player. I think Jeff is an amazing amazing young man a human who was there for his teammates every step of the way. Had we started off with a couple of layup games and he got some confidence maybe things would have gone better. You know he is really talented. Can run. Dynamic. Can make all the throws. But just turned the ball over too much. But I love who he is. Love the person he is.
“So in terms of what’s the lesson from it (Jeff Sims’s portal recruitment) I remember a lesson I learned....(from a former NFL GM)...they are all fourth round picks. When you bring players in with this expectation that they are all fourth round picks and they need time. When looking at the quarterbacks who have had a ton of success like Michael Penix and Bo Nix, they have been there for awhile. A couple years and development in that system. So there are a lot of things to it. So I do not regret taking Jeff. He has been an amazing teammate and I love having him here. I wish we would have done better by him in some ways to help him more.”
What about Marcus Satterfield, the current offensive coordinator who has been under fire from fans and some members of the media. What is Rhule’s plan going forward?
Well we learned that the original plan was to have Satterfield coach the tight ends (and be offensive coordinator) and then have another coach coach the quarterbacks but “that didn’t work out.”
Rhule thought that a lot of the coaches had some of their best years coaching but with that said Rhule still plans on going through the process of evaluating the coaches and going from there. He is hoping that the rules surrounding analysts will be loosened so he can bring in some who can help with the on-field coaching so that would give Nebraska more freedom.
So it surely appears like Rhule likes Purdy and his high ceiling. When it comes to Haarberg - he is intrigued because he received so little development prior to Rhule and the staff getting here.
But what about the portal? It looks like they will do their homework but they will not take just anybody. Also if they do take a guy in the portal then there is going to be a big check written in order to make it happen.