LINCOLN — Nebraska offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf is aware how high expectations are for NU quarterback Tanner Lee, who has yet to start a game for the Huskers. He's leery of the hype, even as NFL scouts have rolled through town to watch Lee and he's been praised by national and local media alike.
"I would say cool your jets a little bit," Langsdorf said. "I'm not being negative on that. It's a lot more than just Tanner. He's going to have to play well, but football being the ultimate team sport, there's ten other guys on that offense. He can't do everything — nor do we ask him to. It's going to be critical that everybody plays well. He'll be the benefit of everybody playing well, for sure.
"But I think that the overhype is dangerous. Just laying in the weeds and being even-keel is a much better way to live and not riding the wave of the highs and lows. We have high expectations for him, but to say, 'He's a (NFL draft) first-rounder, he's a for-sure thing,' I think that's kind of silly until he plays some games for the Huskers."
Langsdorf said he's "excited" to see what Lee can do, especially as it pertains to getting Nebraska out of bad plays and into better ones, but he expects some "rookie" mistakes from Lee, too. Lee hasn't played a college football game in roughly 20 months since transferring from Tulane.
As a result, Langsdorf said, he wants NU's whole offense to "really play efficiently" in Saturday's season-opener against the Red Wolves.
"We want to have a good pace and good tempo," Langsdorf said. "We want to have a good pace and take care of the ball. All of the things that help win games. We want to be clicking on all cylinders. We don't want to have to take a timeout because we lined up in the wrong formation."
Fast. Sharp. Great pace. Langsdorf said it more than once.
More quick notes:
>> Arkansas State has a strong pass rush, and Langsdorf said NU's screen game and pass protection schemes will be important to slowing down the Red Wolves. One defensive player to watch will be Ja'Von Rolland-Jones, a hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker who can rush from various spots all over the field.
Langsdorf said Nebraska has to do a "good job" of knowing where Rolland-Jones is on the field.
>> Running backs coach Reggie Davis said Nebraska decided on its official starting running back last week, but the coaching staff won't announce it until Saturday. Davis said all three backs will play.
>> Offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh said true freshman left tackle Brenden Jaimes will most likely play this season.
>> Langsdorf said he's excited to start the season after a long camp.
"The butterflies are flying around pretty good," Langsdorf said.