The NFL postseason didn’t last quite as long as Zac Taylor would have liked. It only ever lasts as long as two teams hope, but the former Husker quarterback and current Los Angeles Rams quarterback coach helped the franchise to its first NFC West title since 2003 before the Rams lost in the first round of the playoffs to Atlanta.
Taylor, who has been coaching in college and the NFL for a decade now, joined Chris Schmidt on Hail Varsity Radio on Thursday to talk about the Rams’ season, but he also took a few minutes to talk about Nebraska’s new coaches, a staff with which he shares multiple connections.
“I’m really excited for Scott,” Taylor said. “Scott has always treated me well going to back to my playing days when he was a GA at Kansas State. He always kind of went out of his way to get to know me and was always fun to be around.”
Aside from those early interactions with Frost, Taylor also played or coached with two other members of Nebraska’s staff. As a graduate assistant at Texas A&M, Taylor overlapped with offensive coordinator Troy Walters for two years while Walters was the Aggies’ wide receivers coach.
“He’s one of the all-time greats as well,” Taylor said. “He’s just a great person, a great coach. Players will play hard for him. He’s got a great, high football IQ.
“People probably don’t realize just how great of a communicator he is. [He’s] a guy that could probably still go out there and play, and still take a couple to the house if he was a punt returner right now. I’ve seen him run around and that guy can fly, still to this day.”
Taylor is also well acquainted with offensive line coach Greg Austin. Both were seniors at Nebraska in 2006, and Taylor called Austin “one of my all-time favorite Huskers.”
“[Greg has] been there done that. He knows what it takes to be a great offensive lineman at Nebraska, he knows what it’s like to play through injuries, injuries you probably shouldn’t play through,” Taylor said. “He’ll bring that toughness, he knows the expectations, he knows what a great offensive lineman at Nebraska looks like. He’s been around plenty of them. I think it’s important for someone like that to be in that room and show those guys the way.”
Listen to full interview with Taylor here.
Fast Not Frivolous
So this post requires some parsing, but there’s a lot here. It’s basically a list of notes from UCF’s coaches clinic last March. If you’re looking for context behind these ideas you’ll have to find it on your own, but the sheer mass of thoughts here can give you a pretty good look inside the UCF offense, particularly how they practice.
In fact, the post sort of functions as a football Rorschach test: What do you see here? These were some of the bullet points that jumped out to me:
- “We don’t want our fast to become frivolous.”
- On practice: Competition – can't do every day–gets too heated: 2-3 fights
- On terminology: When you go to McDonald’s, you say, “I want a #2,” not “I want a Quarter Pounder, Fries, and a Coke.”
- On QB play: When the feet are right, the ball is right.
- On WR play: Attitude – “No Block, No Rock”
- On tempo: Oregon vs Tennessee in 2010 – had 8 Tempo plays – when they first started getting good at Oregon (Chip Kelly’s second year).
- Playcaller – get vanilla looks with No-Huddle
Lot to process here, and well worth a look. That last note on play calling reminds of a tweet I saw recently and haven’t stopped thinking about of late:
From studying ridiculous amount of film and data, we are convinced that there is nothing harder in college football than playcalling. Such a fascinating blend of art, science, gut, and intuition. Talent solves a lot of the equation but still leaves a lot to the one calling plays.
— SportSource Analytics (@SportSourceA) January 9, 2018
The Grab Bag
- Things got a little testy between USC and Colorado basketball and it stems from comments about the FBI investigation into the Trojans.
- Buckle up for a 2018 that's going to be a lot about Jim Harbaugh and Michigan football.
- Really interesting read from Bill Connelly on searching for a better way to measure football talent and how it impacts play calling.
- ICYMI: Here are wrestling and basketball previews for tonight's Nebraska matchups. Also, Jacob Padilla shares what he's learned about Jordy Tshimanga's future with the program. (Premium)
Today's Song of Today
Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity’s first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.