Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

New OC Marcus Satterfield Promises to Bring Huddles and Fullbacks Back to Nebraska’s Offense

January 06, 2023

Nebraska’s new offensive coordinator is on a personal crusade.

You can expect to see a very different style of offensive football when the Huskers take the field next season, and it all starts with the huddle.

“We’re going to be a pro-style offense,” Marcus Satterfiled said on Friday as he spoke with the assembled Nebraska media for the first time. “We actually get in a huddle, which is kind of taboo these days. We’re going to get in a huddle and call football plays and we’re going to use tight ends and we’re going to use a fullback and we’re going to run the football.”

The huddle is something Satterfield is passionate about, and he warned those in the room that they didn’t want to go down that path when asked a follow-up.

“I’m on a crusade about the huddle,” Satterfield said. “The huddle is is the heart and soul of football. You cannot teach the leadership moments, you can’t script the leadership moments that happen in a huddle. If you talk to any football player that played in a huddle, they’re always going to talk about funny things that happen in the huddle — this guy was puking in the huddle, this guy ripped my you-know-what in the huddle, Joe Montana goes in the huddle and says ‘Hey, we’re getting ready to go down 75 yards and win this game.’ So there are all these moments that happen in a huddle, and then I think how do you ask your quarterback to be a leader if he never talks? 

“Today’s football has become clapping my hands for a snap count and the coach is signaling plays on cue cards, and then they complain about the quarterback not being a vocal leader. Well, when does he have a chance to lead? I think in a huddle and the way that we play football, it gives our quarterbacks a chance to be a vocal leader on our offense.”

The 46-year-old Satterfield said that crusade was probably born from his stubbornness and old-school nature.

“It’s not offensive, but I just get so tired of teams trying to run 100 plays, signaling plays on the cue card, clapping their hands,” Satterfield said. “I don’t know, I just think football is meant to be played a certain way and the huddle keeps us there and keeps us aligned.”

Satterfield admits his bias against the way most teams seem to play these days, but thinks his preferred version of football is exactly what Nebraska needs in the Big Ten.

“I think it’s perfect, to be honest with you, just from a standpoint of we are a little bit old-school,” Satterfield said. “We are going to run the football. Everything’s going to start with winning the line of scrimmage and running the ball. All the different throws and play-actions and stuff come off of running the football. So I think in order to win in this league, you’ve got to be tough, you’ve got to be blue-collar and you’ve got to run the football and you’ve got to win the line of scrimmage, and that’s where our offense starts.”

While Satterfield is passionate about the huddle, the line about using a fullback is likely what resonated with most Nebraska fans. Scott Frost phased Nebraskans’ favorite position out of the program during his tenure in Lincoln, but the new staff appears poised to bring it back. Satterfield said he’s heard the buzz about it.

“It’s interesting, I coached at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, and we opened up against Nebraska in 2011,” Satterfield said. “And so if you want to do something fun, go look at the first play that I called that day, and I think it was the first play of the season for us, here at Memorial Stadium.”

The play was a handoff to fullback Taharin Tyson, who drove the pile forward for a gain of 4 yards.

“We understand to be successful in the Big Ten you’ve got to be able to run the football because you’re going to play late in the season in some interesting weather games and you can’t just throw the ball all over the field,” Satterfield said. “I see that, we’re starting from a standpoint of just the physicality and playing good, clean football and I think that we’re off to a good start with our recruiting.”

The 2023 class doesn’t currently include a fullback, nor does the returning roster. Who fills that role has yet to be determined, but Satterfield’s promise of a return of the fullback likely hit home for many Nebraska fans as hard as anything else he said on Friday.

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