Nebraska coach Scott Frost has taken on a new role this offseason. That new role is a more global, CEO approach in his day-to-day.
Frost spoke last month about having the ability to spend more time with the defense as a result of that new approach. Taking steps toward overseeing more of the entire program required changes to the program. New assistant coaches on offense bring a fresh set of eyes to the program. Frost explained at the start of spring practice that doesn’t mean the transition to a well-oiled machine on offense is quick.
“I think it is a work in progress. It has been great sitting in a room with smart guys that see the game a little different and have some different ideas, but it is amazing how much you have to go through to make sure you are on the same page with everything,” Frost said. “The name of every blitz and pressure that you bring. The name of every front and what we call the coverages and what we call concepts and what the signal is for the concepts and how we handle certain things in protection. To marry things together is a lot of work and we have been putting in a lot of work, but I am sure there are some stones unturned that we will get to through spring.”
The new assistant coaches each bring very different styles to Nebraska. Most are in direct contrast to the coaches they are replacing. That can be a good thing for a program in need of a jolt.
Something that Frost said last November caught quite a bit of attention. He wanted the ability to hand the offense over to someone when he made changes last season. That was met with some understandable skepticism.
Frost’s meteoric rise in coaching was fueled by his ability to help produce top offenses. Oregon never ranked lower than eighth nationally in scoring offense during Frost’s seven seasons on staff. The Ducks led the nation in scoring in 2010 and scored 681 points in 2014 which was the second-highest total in NCAA history. During Frost’s second season at Central Florida, the 2017 Knights led the nation in scoring at 48.2 points per game.
Handing over control of the offense to anyone or tweaking the Huskers’ attack seemed far-fetched until offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mark Whipple was hired. The veteran coach appears to be the type of sounding board that Frost can trust. That was on display following Nebraska’s first practice of spring football. When asked who took the first snap at quarterback, Frost said he didn’t know.
“I cannot tell you for sure because I have not watched it yet, and I was with the twos today with the young guys when we split so I do not need know for sure,” Frost said.
That may have been coach speak. It also could have been an early sign that Frost is stepping into more of that CEO role that he spoke about in November. Frost gave an update during the second week of spring practice on how things are working in practice so far this spring, especially with Whipple now leading the offense.
“You’ve been in football and coached as many places as he has, you know what you’re doing,” Frost said of Whipple. “He’s definitely got that command presence. Things run smooth whether I’m there or not there. Doesn’t matter. Whip’s got it, and the rest of those coaches help him. That’s been really positive. Just having somebody else that’s been a head coach, that’s run offenses that much, it’s going to help me out a bunch.”
Those differences are catching the attention of recruits too. A few prospects have mentioned that Frost was able to spend more time with them on a recent Junior Day. Current players can also see the difference. Sophomore quarterback Logan Smothers is entering his third season at Nebraska. He knows what it looked like pre-Whipple and how things are operating now.
“He lets Whipple do his thing, I’ll say that,” Smothers said about Frost’s role. “But he’s still around, he still communicates with us, he tells us what he wants, so love to hear that from him. He [Whipple] runs the offense. He tells us what he wants. Of course, Frost has his comments and we all listen to that.”
There are four new assistant coaches on Nebraska’s staff, including Bill Busch who transitioned into a full-time role this spring. There are also 16 new players on campus this semester. That kind of change can bring a number of bumps in the road to any team.
“I don’t know if we’re settled in yet,” Frost said. “There’s a ton of energy from new guys, coaches and players alike. There’s a lot of guys learning and a lot of exciting things to see out there. I’ve loved the energy and the attitude and the leadership. I think I’ve mentioned that before. We’ve got a good team that wants to be good, and that’s the first step in being good. They’re working hard to get there. There’s still a lot we need to clean up and figure out, but it’s been a good first [five] days.”
All of this is a work in progress for the Huskers right now. It’s new to Frost to take on more of a CEO role but the hope is that it pays off come fall.
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.