LINCOLN, Neb. – The players on Nebraska's offense still get an earful from Tim Beck when they make mistakes. Lately, it comes in a hushed tone.
The Cornhuskers' 47-year-old offensive coordinator is in the second month of his recovery from surgery to alleviate sleep apnea. His jaw was broken in four places and reset to improve his airway.
The operation and the soft diet he's been on in the seven weeks since have caused him to lose 15 pounds, and getting through long days of meetings and practices has been a bit of a challenge.
"At the end of the day, I'm sore and worn out a little bit," Beck said. "You get out there and get going... the medicine helps. Sometimes when you're out there, you don't feel it."
Nebraska has a veteran offense, which is a blessing for Beck. Most of the starters have been in the system since he took over as coordinator in 2011.
"If this was two years ago, whew, it would be hard," he said. "But having those veteran guys with me, it's been pretty good. I appreciate their patience."
Beck said he can raise his voice a little when he needs to emphasize a point.
"I try to get closer to them so I sound louder," he said.
He has another way to show displeasure.
"Throw my (practice) script at them," he said with a smile. "They usually know by throwing it on the ground I'm not happy."
Sleep issues had plagued Beck for years. Tests revealed sleep apnea, a disorder in which a person's breathing stops multiple times an hour during sleep. The pauses disrupt the sleep pattern, leaving the person fatigued during the day.
At first he tried a CPAP machine, which is worn over the nose and mouth to help unobstructed breathing. He didn't like it, though, and opted for surgery.
Beck said he's sleeping better the past month. Of course, returning fourth-year starting quarterback Taylor Martinez and most of the other key players from the nation's No. 8 offense helps him rest easier, too.
Beck isn't the only Nebraska assistant recovering from offseason surgery. Running backs coach Ron Brown, 56, had reconstructive surgery on his left knee.
"I think I could probably beat him in a race," Beck said, "but he can eat more than me."