With so many new coaches, so many new ways of doing things, expectations across the board have been tempered , at least for a while. Fans, players and even coaches don't look at this as a time to think about being the best, simply to be better than they were the practice before. In that, Nebraska has done just that. "We're getting better." coach Pelini stated. "We're improving. We got good work in here today."
The "here" referring to Cook Pavillion as a snow-covered Tom Osborne field prompted the move indoors.
Following Nebraska's first scrimmage, there seemed to be a fairly consistent sentiment as to what the team did and has yet to do with the limited time left. "We've seen the same things we have seen in practice up to this point." Pelini said of their critique of the scrimmage. "I don't take that any different than the practices. We're heading in the right direction."
"They're playing hard, they are playing aggressive and they are understanding the schemes better."
One thing that has been more prevalent than in recent years is the "attitude" of players. A belief amongst defensive players that there is a newfound freedom not had before this time has especially affected the mind-set of those on the defensive side of the ball. "Playing defense is a mind-set." Pelini stated. "It's a culture we are trying to build around and they are starting to do that."
One of the players that seems to be making a bit of a name for himself is RE, Adam Carriker. Fresh into his redshirt freshman year, Carriker hasn't had the experiences to draw on, so it's been a matter of sheer effort, effort that has coaches taking a second look. "He's an impressive player." D-line coach, Jeff Jamrog said. "He looks like what a rush end should look like."
To get an idea of the kind of impression Carriker has made in his brief time at the spot, the early projection by Jamrog is that Adam sits as a solid number two on the right side. "Nothing is solidified, but the way he played Saturday and how he has this Spring, he's a solid back-up on the right side." Adam is looking to back up Trevor Johnson, while Jeff McBride is looked at to back Carriker up and to the left side, Benard Thomas has the one-spot at this time, followed by Titus Adams and Jay Moore.
Regarding Chad Sievers who was working out at the rush end position, he has been moved to the ‘BUCK' linebacker position. "He can always come back and play some end and picked up things very well, but we wanted to try him out there to see if he could try for some time there." coach Jamrog stated.
Defensive tackle, Brandon Greeson practiced in pads today, his first day back. "He did some good things today." Jamrog said. "He's sharp and picks things up well, but obviously, he has a lot of work to do now and in the off-season to catch back up."
Jermaine Leslie's status is still questionable as to whether he will see any time with the team this Spring or not. "We're hoping he will get some Spring in, but has not yet." coach Solich stated.
The Huskers' next practice will be on Wednesday-Friday, followed by their second full scrimmage on Saturday.
Steve Ryan can be reached at email@example.com or 402-730-5619