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Tom's Takes: On Scott Frost's loyalty to Adrian Martinez, and handling the hot seat
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Tom's Takes: On Scott Frost's loyalty to Adrian Martinez, and handling the hot seat

Tom and Sam talk Frost's job security and Ohio State

Okay, another "Tom's Press Pass" is done (check it out at the top of the page). Now let's type.

A couple of takes from the Monday press conference:

1. I'd say a majority of the many emails and takes from fans I received since Saturday echo the same sentiment: They want Scott Frost to remain head coach, but they want a new quarterback.

I expect the head coach and quarterback to be tethered at least through the end of this season.

I get it. There's fatigue when a player is around four years, especially a high-profile player like a quarterback. Especially when there aren't many wins.

Adrian Martinez has played better this season. Much better in some games. He hasn't been that guy who threw four interceptions on Saturday.

When a quarterback is clearly having an off day, completing less than half of his attempts and throwing four picks, fans have every right to expect the backup to get a shot.

I thought Logan Smothers should have been put in the game Saturday. That doesn't mean he has to start the next game. But when the starter is struggling, and the game is within reach, you go to the bullpen. Unless there's no confidence in the backup.

That was certainly one of the takeaways from Saturday, that Smothers isn't ready for that situation. In which case you wonder what kind of quarterback development is going on at Memorial Stadium.

But there's another possibility in this case, and it was underscored by something Frost said Monday.

The coach is extremely loyal to his starting quarterback. Frost is pulling hard for Martinez to have a positive signature moment, a victory, something he can take away from his experience at NU.

I don't think it's Frost being stubborn and trying to show he was right. I think it's what the coach said Monday, "I really want him to have the experience where he comes through and wins us a big game."

Frost also used the word "redemption" with Martinez. And when Frost heard those boos Saturday, I'm sure he flashed back to 1997, when the crowd showered the team with boos and wanted backup Frankie London to replace Frost. I'm sure that memory hit Frost right in the heart.

He's got a soft spot for Martinez. He's going to let the fourth-year quarterback finish it out. And he's hoping like heck he can get something done in the next three games.

So you can hope for another quarterback in this offense. But until then, you might as well root for Martinez to get that moment. Because he's going to get every chance the next three games.

2. I don't know if you'd call it a Freudian slip. Or the subconscious spilling out of a college football coach.

On Monday Frost fielded questions about his job status, or "speculation about his job status." That's how we the media bring up the topic. We ask about the speculation. Most coaches get it. Frost got it.

I thought the coach handled himself well. He didn't snap at the media or stomp off. He took the topic straight on.

He talked a lot about young players and being close and all that. You're going to hear a lot of that the last month. That's what coaches on the perceived hot seat talk about — the future and how much better things are going to be if they can just get more time.

Anyway, Frost was asked how much longer it should take for NU to get where he wants it. In his answer he said, "I'm really excited about next year. I hope we get it. I think we should."

Asked to clarify if by "it" he meant he hoped to get a fifth year, Frost said he meant "wins."

Looking back at the quote, I think he meant the fifth year. If he did indeed mean wins, I think we can all assume Frost thinks he should get another year and hopes he gets it.

Welcome to the rest of this season. There will be more questions and Frost will pop up on "hot seat" lists and the coach has shown it's not going to freak him out. That, in turn, will help his team. Players feed off of the vibes from their head coach.

I'll have more on Frost and the future later this week. Thanks for reading (and watching "Press Pass").


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