Published Friday, September 28, 2012 AT 9:32 AM / Updated at 9:46 AM
Talk is irrelevant, NU’s Cotton says
Rich Kaipust Omaha World-Herald

Barney Cotton drew chuckles Friday at the Big Red Breakfast when the Nebraska assistant coach acted as if he hadn’t heard some of the comments coming out of the Wisconsin camp this week.

Among them, Badgers defensive end David Gilbert said in an interview that NU quarterback Taylor Martinez “still can’t throw” and “looks like he’s skipping rocks out there.” Gilbert also said the key will be hitting Martinez “and hitting him often.”

Wisconsin linebacker Mike Taylor also said that the Badgers haven’t forgotten Martinez having words for UW linebacker Chris Borland after scoring a first-quarter touchdown a year ago.

So Cotton was asked how Husker players might react to it all Saturday night.

“They had a player say something about some of our players?” Cotton said. “I didn’t know that.”

Cotton, a veteran of 27 coaching seasons, went on to say that most of that stuff goes out the window a few minutes into a game. And as far as his own NU offensive linemen, it’s best that they don’t go looking for the Badgers that said something.

“The game is much more complex than to try to get after one specific guy,” he said.

Some other Cotton comments at the Ramada Plaza Omaha Hotel and Convention Center:

>> Cotton said NU wore the black helmets that will be part of its alternate uniforms on Saturday night during a practice last week to get a feel for them.

>> Husker offensive tackle Zach Sterup was 260 pounds when he arrived, and is now 310. Cotton said he could see the 6-foot-8¼ redshirt freshman being a 330- or 340-pounder down the line.

>> Cotton said he had “a feeling in my gut” that he should attend the impromptu meeting Wednesday morning that ended up being Athletic Director Tom Osborne telling staffers that he would be stepping down Jan. 1. Cotton said he had tears in his eyes as he listened.

“He may be the classiest, smartest, (man of integrity) I’ve ever met in my life,” Cotton said.

>> During a brief pause in questions, Cotton said: “You guys are easier today than a couple of weeks ago when a friend of mine was here,” referencing NU defensive coordinator John Papuchis getting testy with a breakfast patron questioning the Huskers’ goals for the season.

About Rich Kaipust

Rich Kaipust is a staff writer for The Omaha World-Herald and covers Nebraska football. You can follow Rich on Twitter (@RKaipustOWH) or email him at


  1. Richard says:

    I’m releaved to hear the Line coach talk about having some guys that tow a bit more beef as being an “good” thing. That’s something I’ve been waiting to actually hear. That’s music to my ears! Go Huskers!

  2. NUCORNDEVIL says:

    Barney will prolly end up replacing Pelini, and rightfully so………Thanks for your dedication Barney, and sticking around to weather the Pelini storm.

  3. NUCORNDEVIL says:

    Thanks Harvey, i rest my case………Big Ten football appears to be on the decline. Steven M. Sipple has a theory for why that might be:

  4. Wilson Blattert says:

    I haven’t seen Barney coach “anyone up” in the past years. An endless litany of excuses as to why the OLine isn’t performing. If Barney replaces Pilini (perish the thought) the Huskers just as well move down to Division II or III, as that is the limit of Barney’s expertise.

    1. NUCORNDEVIL says:

      And i think Barney is the one holding it all together, once the current starting QB is replaced, there will be much improvement in O-Line production.

      1. Joey says:

        CD?? 25-30 sacks a season. Not even Payton Manning or Joe Montana can do anything, except get injured. Lack of 4 star, BLUE CHIP OL, is that TM fault? The fact all Barney has done is recruit his own kids rather than REAL talent, is that TM fault? The fact our OL woes are continous, is that TM fault? The fact TM IS our QB, and not replaced with a MUCH BETTER QB, is that TM fault? The fact that NU and their OL allows so many sacks, is that TM fault? NO it’s not. A player is ONLY as good as he is coached to be. Barney and BO and his love fest with John P, is the MAJOR set back of NU football. BO could have chose Mike Stoops, instead, NU gets Poops. Then BO keeps Barney, why?? It’s NOT like he hasn’t had thee to improve our OL. It IS the OL coach’s JOB to teach our OL different blocking techniques. All BARNEY has done is clap his hands together and tell the players to get it done. Hell CD, I can EASILY get paid to do the same thing. He’s useless. Just like the 2 great QB recruits NU got, that even I salute. What good can they be with a OL that allows 25-30 sacks a season? As well as Butterfingered WRs. Your hate towards 1 player is blocking your vision. “There is NO such thing as a bad player, just bad coaching.”…Barry Switzer. Look at it honestly. NU has a “Has Beens, Never Was” coaching staff. That IS NU fb’s downfall. I’m not saying BO is a bad choice like alot of posts ASSUME. I just think his choices leave something to be desired in a LIGIT coaching staff. Referring to BARNEY, and JOHN P. I just hope, and pray BO, doesn’t try to make Stanton the next Rex. NU needs a QB, not another power back. NU needs RB’s with grease lightning speed!! NU hasn’t had that since Helu left. I understand you don’t like TM. But isn’t it a coincidence (not), that TM becomes the starter, about the same time “CORN FED” happened?? So your anger needs to be pointed at POLITICS, not TM, Bo, TO. Get my point? ;)

        1. NUCORNDEVIL says:

          O-Linemen with real talent follow Div 1 QB’s, they don’t end up in Lincoln anymore, TO and Milt are gone.
          Barney is doing the best he can with what little he gets, especially using that ‘Thud Up’ system where nobody really hits anymore, foot in a bucket, stepping around cones, in the film room all day……….

      2. A Fan says:

        Disagree. There have been failures, especially in recruiting and developing talent, with the OL since Cotton got here. The UCLA game gives us insight on the OL. First half… good performance. Second half… UCLA adjusts their defense, and the Cornhusker OL turns into a sieve. Martinez didn’t have time to really do anything for all of the 2nd half (and he has enough issues when he has adequate time to figure things out).

        1. NUCORNDEVIL says:

          Barney Cotton is not the OC.
          There is only so much he can do in this ‘Thud Up’ system.

    2. Joey says:

      Wilson? If BO goes to AD? I can guarantee you, BO is not picking Barney as the next HC. But he will pick his love fest friend JOHN P. Think about it? Who did he promote to a DC, even though he failed as a DL? Who has BO worked with alot? YUP..John P, So if John P takes over? I suggest ol Harvey switch us to Conference USA. Beings the Huskers will never be in a division title with him as a HC.

  5. I EAT BADGER says:

    you guys are all in la la land

  6. NUCORNDEVIL says:

    I know Cottons style of football, he is smashmouth, assignment football.
    Barney Cotton is the reason we beat OSU last year when he took control of the play calling from Beck and switched the OL blocking scheme from zone to hat on hat(assignment) blocking.
    Barney knows more about OL development and blocking schemes than all of the people associated with football in Lincoln.
    Barney is not calling the shots, its not his practice system, and its clearly not any offense he would run.
    Barney has been the fall guy for Pelini, ever since Pelini became HC.
    Yes Barney has a personal investment in Lincoln, he LOVES Husker Football, and has the opportunity for his children to attend the institution he holds dear to his heart, every one of you would do the very same thing.
    Barney Cotton would bring SMASHMOUTH Football back to Lincoln, a take what we want kind of offense, and i can assure you all, if Barney or anyone else replaces Pelini, T-Mart would become a slot receiver the very next day.