Nebraska Football

They Said It: Spring Football Press Conference

March 1, 2017
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Notable quotes from Nebraska's spring football press conference.

Coach Mike Riley on making a new quarterback and changing the defense:

“I didn’t do any of this to have a setback. I am doing it hopefully to get better. I am doing it hopefully to get better. So I’m not looking for any of that. I think that what happens naturally is you lose a quarterback who graduates, you need to be prepared. And if you’re not then it’s on you. That’s the way it always will be. When you change defenses, I didn’t do that to start over in development, it’s going to take some extra work. There is a transition in learning. But we are doing this in the picture to be better in 2017, that’s what we want to do. "

On the transition:

“It’s a really important time for a lot of reasons for this team. There’s two big reasons right at the top of that. The installation of the new defense with three new defensive coaches … It’s kind of a big time transition time in that way for sure. And then of course on the other side of the ball it’s the transitioning of quarterbacking.”

Defensive lineman Mick Stoltenberg on Coach Diaco:


“He’s just a really fired up guy, I’m sure you can tell when you guys do press conferences. He’s just kind of preaches that effort is the ultimate eraser. If you screw something up, you’re assignment is 100 percent correct if you throw in some really fired up effort and fly with the ball and do the right thing there. That can definitely help you out and set you apart from other teams. He’s preached a few things to us but that’s one thing that sticks out to me.”

On finding out the new positions:


“When Coach Diaco first got hired, he talked to all of us individually about a few spots where he kind of thought we might fit. After he discussed things with Coach Parrella, they kind of just decided where people would start out at. Things aren’t really set in stone right now, but I think I have a general framework of where I think people are going to play right now.”

On Coach John Parrella’s advice:

“Just basically told me when he was in the NFL, the one thing that set him apart from the others. A lot of guys came out of college only knowing how to do the traditional 4-3, it obviously helps if you know both. So playing zero nose and playing two eye nose, if you know all three that can definitely be a big help.”

Fullback Luke McNitt on having a new quarterback:


“You can definitely expect to see a few changes. First off you probably won’t see as much QB runs as we did last year. Last year with Tommy [Armstrong], he’s got those legs so you want to use them as much as you can. These guys have a different skill set so you might see less QB runs and more of those runs going to all those different backs we have and a few more passing schemes to offset that.”

On quarterback Tanner Lee:

“[Lee] showing up when he did and then being voted one of the 10 captains in lifting this off season, I think that says a lot right there. I don’t really need to say much but he’s been able to get in there and make that good of an impression, I think that speaks a lot of them right there.”

Wide receiver De’Mornay Pierson-El on the quarterbacks:

“They’re [Tanner Lee and Patrick O’Brien] both good. They’re both great at what they do. They’re kind of similar, just one throws a little bit quicker. At the end of the day, and they both get the job done so it doesn’t matter as long as they throw the ball.”

On the wide receivers:

“The receiver corps is hungry. I think everyone is eager to show what they can do. We have players that have played and we have a lot of players that haven’t but they’ve practiced and they understand what to do and what not to do. We have young guys that are coming in that might be able to step up but at the end of the day, we are all in this together. We are as strong as our weakest link. We’re going to be fine. Stan [Stanley Morgan Jr.], Keyan [William], [JD Spielman], Conor Young, [Brady] Pelzer and Gabe [Rahn], all those guys know what is going on and what to do. We feel comfortable with what we are going to bring to Spring Ball.”

Running back Devine Ozigbo on the offensive line:

“I feel really good. We had really good seniors leave last year but I feel like the guys coming in are going to be able to step in. They’ve made a pretty big impact pretty early so we’ll see what they have. We also have a bunch of guys returning. So the line is going to be one of our strong points this season.”

On the expectations of the quarterbacks:


“I expect them [quarterbacks] to be leaders on this team. I feel like they command the field. We go out there and do little player throwing sessions. Both of them [Tanner Lee and Patrick O’Brien] take the bunch pretty confidently and they understand everybody respects them. So they have the team’s respect and the team behind them. So I expect them to be pretty good leaders and they are going to throw the rock because they do it every day.”
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