Photo Credit: John S. Peterson.

Mickey Joseph Helms Remaining Season With ‘Confidence and Belief’

September 13, 2022

After a “little weird” first few days as interim Nebraska head football coach, Mickey Joseph finally took to the podium.

Joseph was named interim coach by athletic director Trev Alberts on Sunday in the same announcement that former head coach Scott Frost had been let go. That move culminated 30 years of work.

Joseph quarterbacked Nebraska from 1988-91. Injuries, including one suffered on a late hit against Oklahoma during a game in Norman, Oklahoma. After his playing career he jumped into coaching. He’s been a coach, in some capacity, from the NAIA level upward. This opportunity, to lead his alma mater, is his largest to date. He thanked Alberts for that opportunity.

He spoke for 18 minutes on Tuesday, making the first official comments since Alberts’ press conference on Sunday. Here are the takeaways:

>> Joseph said he, and his staff, are focused on the players. He spoke with them after the announcement on Sunday. Players were understandably shaken up after Frost spoke with them. Joseph said they all were beat up but had to shift their focus to Saturday’s game against Oklahoma. Kickoff was coming regardless.

“This is about Nebraska football,” Joseph said. “It’s bigger than me. It’s bigger than anyone else.”

>> During his opening comments, Joseph thanked the fans for their support. He appreciated them for sticking with the program. And he hoped to represent the university to the fullest.

>> Joseph said the biggest shift under his leadership is the practice schedule. He wants to bring players in on Sundays after games and give them a day off on Mondays. “But everything else will stay the same,” he said.

>> Alberts said on Sunday the move was made to give the remaining players a fresh start. Joseph echoed that on Tuesday, saying the team can start from scratch right now. They want to take one game at a time for the remaining nine games.

“We have nine more opportunities and we’re capable of winning games,” Joseph said. “The first opportunity is this weekend against OU. A really good opponent, a really good football team.”

>> Joseph said the team needs to improve in all three phases of the game. He looks forward to working with offensive players to help them on their improvements. On defense, he wants to address gap integrity. He also wants to see the Huskers play faster and said “we’re going to tackle in practice.” He wanted to make sure the players held themselves accountable and, together, they’d fix the problems impacting this team.

>> Some of the ways Joseph aims to turn the team’s fortunes around revolve around confidence and belief. He wants to help players block out the noise and negativity while instilling belief in them. Belief that they can get the job done without any self-doubt. “Come to the building every day prepared to win at practice,” he said.

>> Joseph’s extensive, noted history as a recruiter could play a role in his pitch to the players. The interim coach said recruiting and coaching, and everything else, come back to relationships. He has a good relationship with the majority of the team. He’s gotten the chance to build more relationships in the hours since being named interim head coach.

>> Joseph and former head coach Tom Osborne met on Monday. The interim head coach said he’d continue to seek Osborne’s advice weekly.

>> Addressing comments made earlier in the week, Joseph said the team hasn’t been winning but Nebraska doesn’t have a losing culture.

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