Michael Philipp, the younger brother of Nebraska strength coach Mark Philipp, is in his second season on the Nebraska football staff. He is an assistant for the Husker offense, working directly with the offensive line under assistant coach Mike Cavanaugh. Michael Philipp was a standout lineman for Cavanaugh at Oregon State, where he was a freshman All-American in 2009. He spent a short time in the NFL, playing for the Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers.
Which guy on the team does the best Mike Cavanaugh impression?
"The best Cav impression would have to be Mike Decker. Cav will throw a random one out during meetings — 'Deck, do an impersonation of me' and Deck is good. He's on call."
You played for these coaches at Oregon State. Now you're working with them at Nebraska. What's the biggest difference between player and coach?
"I think if anything, it's just my mental game. They're (the staff) kind of the same. When you switch over from the player side to the coaching side, you see what goes into it, and you just kind of appreciate it more. You take it more seriously when you see how much work gets put into it."
What's it like working here with your brother?
"I love it. You know, he's got good energy. It's really effective on the players and on the staff."
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What was it like getting the chance to play in the NFL?
"It's a blessing. I had fun and I learned a lot. I was with three different teams for a short while, but I was able to just, now that I'm on the coaching side, I'm able to pick and choose different parts of their philosophies. Coach Cav, that's where I learned my foundation as far as being an offensive line coach, then I could pick and choose from the three teams I was with."
You've been all over the country, but what is the biggest difference between going to school and living there and now coaching at Nebraska and living here?
"It's not a real big difference, to be honest, it's all football."
You have an impressive beard on a team full of them. So who grows the best beard on the team?
"Best beard on the team?" (Philipp begins stroking his beard.) "For the staff, it would be my brother."
Wait, it's not you?
"Oh, no. It's definitely my brother."
— Chris Basnett
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