Nebraska Football: A Scott Frost-Mark Helfrich Reunion in Lincoln Just Makes Sense

Frost's former boss at Oregon is a free agent after his dismissal as the Chicago Bears' offensive coordinator

Scott Frost hasn't had the greatest two-year start to his Nebraska head coaching tenure with a 9-15 record. But he has given the Cornhuskers a valuable asset they've not seen in a long time: staff continuity. We saw his initial commitment to this when he brought his entire staff with him from UCF to Lincoln.

 

There's been griping among some fans about a defensive strategy still trying to find the success it had Orlando. Special teams work was severely lacking in 2019 as well. Still, Frost has remained resolute in keeping the band together. His belief in family and his process has been unwavering.

 

The lone staff replacement he's made as a college football head coach came when then-defensive line coach Mike Dawson left Nebraska to coach outside linebackers for the New York Giants. This resulted in bringing in former California Golden Bears defensive line coach Tony Tuioti who seems to have integrated himself into the culture almost seamlessly.

 

But some NFL staff unrest may afford Frost the opportunity to bring another familiar face into the fold.

 

A season that saw the Chicago Bears finish third in the NFC North prompted head coach Matt Nagy to fire four assistants, including offensive coordinator and former Oregon Ducks head coach Mark Helfrich. This is the same man that gave Frost an opportunity to make his mark as an innovator by handing him the reins to the Quack Attack's offense.

 

Helfrich won't be without a job long. If nothing else, he's a tantalizing hire for a school looking for a quality offensive coordinator of their own. But Nebraska finds itself in a unique position. The Huskers continue to make moves to compete with the biggest and best programs of the sport. An announcement of a soon-to-be-constructed massive athletic complex to rival the likes of Alabama's and Clemson's is the latest.

 

The next step is to hoard the best coaches on the market and the Big Red has the resources to do this. Being a member of one of the richest conferences in the nation, Nebraska doesn't have to dismiss anyone to add Helfrich to the roster. The Crimson Tide have perfected the art of bringing on skilled tacticians like him on in analyst roles.

 

Frost is committed to Mario Verduzco as quarterbacks coach and there've been no indications he's ready to let the cigar aficionado with a signal-caller recruiting siren song go anytime soon. Nebraska offensive coordinator Troy Walters seems to be comfortable in his role as well. Even if he did depart, running backs coach Ryan Held already gives Frost an in-house replacement option that would fit well.

 

During the three-year stretch that saw Helfrich as head coach with Frost as his offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Oregon finished third, fourth and fifth nationally in scoring offense. This isn't to suggest that Nebraska would immediately hit or exceed Frost's desired 31-point goal every game during the 2020 season with such an addition, though.

 

But it's hard to think that a reunion with his old boss couldn't immediately help address some of the sputtering nature of last year's offense. Perhaps Helfrich could even assist Adrian Martinez in taking significant steps to get back to his true freshman form. Let's not forget how Noah Vedral, Luke McCaffrey, and incoming recruit Logan Smothers could benefit from such a pair of offensive minds.

 

The connections are already in place. Adding Helfrich to the mix gives Nebraska another powerful tool for the efforts to provide Frost the Pac-12-esque offensive numbers he craves.

 

— Written by Brandon Cavanaugh, FWAA member and part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Be sure to follow him on Twitter (@eightlaces) and Facebook. To contact him, click here.

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