The tone of Nebraska football sounded much different on Friday morning at Big Ten Media Days in Chicago. New head coach and “nice guy” Mike Riley humbly considered the challenges of transitioning to a new job and how he must be careful to implement a new offensive style in a program that has traditionally relied on running the ball. His focus will be on “blending” the offense, he said. His “nice guy” persona was also a topic of discussion and he succeeded at maintaining this status.
What Riley said:
On moving to a new job and new conference:
"I haven’t transitioned in a long time so I forgot what newness was like. … The transition part is not easy, but it’s also exciting. I’m personally excited about being in a new conference. … [My wife and I] had one more big adventure in our life so here we are and I’m at the Big Ten media day in Chicago and I’m here [wearing] a new tie."
On transitioning his offensive style of play to Nebraska:
"You have to be very careful, particularly in this situation. … We want to be selective about what we’ve done in our past that would fit well here. … We just have to be really careful in what we select to do and practice it like crazy so it becomes our identity."
Preseason Big Ten players to watch: Maliek Collins, DT, Nebraska; De’Mornay Pierson-El, WR, Nebraska
Amway coaches poll ranking: Received Votes, No. 33
Last year: 9-4 overall record, 5-3 Big Ten. Lost in the Holiday Bowl, 45-42, against Southern California.
Interesting tidbit: Mike Riley had become known as the “nice guy” of the Pac-12 and he lived up to that billing on Friday. Here’s what he had to say about being labeled as such:
“I don’t know about all that with the ‘nice guy’ thing. I’ve always said ‘I just hope people see a guy that loves what he does.’ … My dad just always taught me, just be yourself.”