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Things I know, and things I think I know:

Please don't read this column as "get off my lawn guy" hankering for the good ol' days.

My wife handles our lawn care, bless her heart.

I'm simply interested in how different coaches approach their jobs.

You'll often hear Scott Frost get compared to Tom Osborne in terms of style and demeanor. There probably are similarities. But the two men are different in at least one way: Frost doesn't hesitate to offer praise of his younger players, which is something Osborne hardly ever did, particularly during the late stages of his time as Husker head coach (1973-97).

"I don't know that I ever deliberately withheld a lot of praise, but I think sometimes too much, too early is counterproductive," Osborne, who holds a doctorate in educational psychology, said Saturday.

Frost, the first-year Nebraska head coach, had Husker fans' imaginations running wild last week when he said freshman running back Maurice Washington has made a dozen spectacular plays in preseason camp and "definitely is opening some eyes" and "is going to be a pretty special player.”

If Osborne had made such remarks in the 1990s, our little Husker world would've stopped on its axis.

Thing is, Frost probably skews toward the norm in the way he answers media questions about players. Bo Pelini usually wasn't hesitant to offer up praise for his players, nor was Mike Riley. I appreciate it when it happens. It stirs excitement and interest.

Bottom line, Osborne probably was a bit of an anomaly in this regard. And let's be clear: He wasn't being critical of Frost's comments about Washington. I'm guessing Osborne didn't even know about Frost's comments when I dialed him up Saturday morning.

I had long been curious why Osborne was so hesitant to praise his players in the media.

"Sometimes a player may have ability, but I think the test of time is really a true measure of a player's productivity," he said. "Sometimes a player can come in with a world of ability and be heavily advertised, but for whatever reason — it may be perseverance, it may be work ethic — he doesn't really have the career he could've had.

"I think it's more of a matter of wait and see. I certainly acknowledge talent and ability. But you also want to make sure that that person has the perseverance and staying power to put it all together over a period of time."

He added: "It doesn't mean it's wrong to come out and praise someone a great deal early on. But sometimes if a player gets a lot of early attention, and then it doesn't work out for him to be a starter or contribute a lot, people always will say, 'What happened?'

"It does put a little more pressure on the player."

There was another reason why Osborne was stingy with praise.

"It was a function of personality," he said. "By nature, I'm a little bit reserved."

Hadn't noticed that.

* Washington opening some eyes in preseason camp? Well, perhaps you saw the Hudl practice video making the rounds on social media. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound athlete executes a spin move in tight quarters that Ahman Green would appreciate.

Mercy. Get on my lawn.

"He has a knack for staying on his feet," Husker quarterback Noah Vedral said. "He's a good off-balance mover. He's a hard guy to bring down for not being the biggest body. I'm sure coach (Zach) Duval will put some weight on him and make it even harder."

* Meanwhile, as the young Nebraska quarterbacks continue to compete for the starting job, their maturity becomes increasingly apparent. Tristan Gebbia, Adrian Martinez and Andrew Bunch all show poise and class in media sessions.

When asked last week how he knows he had a good practice, Martinez, the freshman from Fresno, California, gave an answer that belies his youth.

"I kind of judge my standard off how our team practices," he said. "Because when coach Frost says, 'Hey, we got better today,' I feel good."

If Frost says the team needs to turn it up, Martinez said, he feels personally responsible.

Sounds like a leader in the making.

* Being Frost and trying to lead a "normal" life in Lincoln would be, um, interesting. Perhaps a bit exhausting.

Nebraska running backs coach Ryan Held gave us a glimpse last week of how Frost operates.

"He just has to be creative and find different ways of how he can still live his life with his wife and kid and go out and do some things a normal person can do," Held said. "But he understands what the job entails."

As for creativity, Held said, "Him and I met one place, and I sneaked him through the back door. We were in a corner and ate wings and kind of blocked him in so he could be a normal person and not have 150 people come up and ask for his autograph — which I don't blame people for doing. I would, too, if I were a fan.

"But for his family, it would be nice to be able to go out and eat and not have people on him all the time."

* Speaking of dudes who attract attention, the world watched Sunday as Tiger made shot after shot.

Talk about supreme mental toughness. Golf is difficult enough without millions watching your every move. Tiger seems to embrace it, saying he appreciated the positive vibe from the roaring PGA Championship crowds.

He'll get No. 15 eventually. But I hope it takes awhile. Tiger on the chase is gripping theater.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7440 or ssipple@journalstar.com. On Twitter @HuskerExtraSip.

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Husker columnist

Steven, a lifelong Nebraskan, newspaper enthusiast and UNL grad, joined the Journal Star in 1990 and has covered NU football since 1995.

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