Nebraska Football: Scott Frost and his verbal gaffe problem

Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)
Steven Branscombe/Getty Images) /

Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Nebraska football head coach Scott Frost had to walk back comments on Tuesday that he made a few days earlier that generated quite a few headlines.

No, this time the comments weren’t talking about how many times an offensive lineman puked in practice. It also wasn’t talking about how a certain game was more winnable for the Huskers than another.

In fact, his latest comments might be some of his most ill-thought-out yet. On Saturday, directly after the Nebraska football team lost to the Northwestern Wildcats thanks to a porous defense and an incredibly dumb decision to kick an onside kick despite being up by 11, Frost called out his offensive coordinator.

“I think our offensive staff has to learn you’ve got to be a little more creative in this league,” Frost said in the post-game press conference. That offensive staff, it should be pointed out, have coached exactly one game for the Cornhuskers.

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The offensive coordinator is here because Frost was decidedly un-creative when it came to playcalling in the redzone, especially. So here the Huskers were, fresh off their first game of what was supposed to be a fresh start, and it appeared that the head coach and offensive coordinator were already on the outs.

Not so fast, said Frost on Tuesday.

During the press conference, the Nebraska football head coach that he “didn’t mean” to disparage Whipple. He then went on to basically say that he stood by his comments on Saturday and that he wanted the offensive staff to “spice up” the run game.

“It’s hard to just turn around and hand it to a back and be real consistent,” he said.

That kinda sounds like he’s disparaging the game plan his offensive coordinator came up doesn’t it?

This is really nothing new for the approach Frost takes with the media. He makes a comment, the media runs with the comment verbatim and then he comes back a few days later and pretends it was the media that got it wrong because he “didn’t really mean it”

It happened when he called the Purdue game in his first year more “winnable,” and then the Huskers went out and lost, thanks in no small part – according to the Boilermakers – to his bulletin board-level comments disparaging them.

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It happened just a few weeks ago with his comments about his players puking 15-20 times a game. That time he was “just exaggerating a little.”

Legions of fans often jump to his rescue during these little fits of “mispeaking” When it came to the vomiting comments, more than a few people were willing to write it off as “not literal” without realizing that didn’t actually make the comments any less poorly thought out.

On Tuesday, the headlines were all about how he didn’t really mean to throw Whipple under the bus. As noted, his actual comments at the presser indicate he absolutely did; he just wished he hadn’t in front of cameras.

Nebraska football head coach and his verbal gaffes

Quite frankly, the “what did he say?” game that gets played a couple of times a year, if not a couple of times a month, is getting a bit tiring at this point. His verbal gaffes, his unforced errors are one of the reasons why many in the national media are so quick to dismiss him as someone who is on the way out.

It’s also a bit of a problem that there’s almost a giddiness among some to see what head-shakingly bad comment he’s going to make next.

When that next comment comes, at least one of the defenses for his behavior will be that he’s still a young head coach who hasn’t “learned” how to speak to the media yet.

There’s just one problem with that excuse. Scott Frost is in his fifth season as the head coach of the Nebraska football team and his seventh as a head coach overall. He may not be a grizzled veteran like Nick Saban or even Jim Harbaugh, but he’s not a rookie either.

If he’s unable to stop himself from making these kinds of comments to the media as often as he has, then maybe its time to hire yet another coach for his staff, a public relations coach.