90 percent not good enough

It's the last week of practices as the Huskers get ready to close out the Spring session with the annual Red/White Game. But as football and those who coach it often remind their players, just because the time is drawing to a close, the expectations won't.

it was a post-practice probably not to the liking of anyone on the offensive side.

It was running, and a lot of it. Sprints, sideline-to-sideline, over and over again.

No, this wasn't part of the original plan. It became one though.

" I think today was just battling through. They're sore, they're tired. They've just got to keep pushing themselves. The effort was good 90 percent of the time, and the 10 percent wasn't very good," said Offensive Coordinator Tim Beck. "I'm a perfectionist. I want it to be perfect. I'm going to keep pushing the guys until we get it."

While there isn't even a handful of practices left, Beck said that they as a staff are still working on things, throwing things in and trying new stuff - which perhaps contributed a bit today to the lack of focus that led to some unwanted mistakes. " We threw in some wrinkles today. That was the mental aspect - when you change some pieces, there was probably some confusion," he said. "That's part of practice, but we have to fix those things. It's not OK to put the ball on the ground. It's not OK to jump off sides."

Even in the most vanilla of practices, if you have enough of them, some players are going to stand out. While we are certainly used to the fact that this staff doesn't pick players out all that often, when it came to a couple of players, Beck said that he is pleased with their progress thus far. "I have been really pleased with Jake. He's a very aggressive physical guy. I love the way he plays on the offensive line," Beck said of freshman Jake Cotton, who moved over to the right tackle spot on offense from playing defensive line. "He's been able to learn. He's got a good coach in his dad. He does a great job. He's just been able to get what we are doing. And he plays hard. He plays hard, and he plays fast. I like that in him."

Another player is Brion Carnes, who now goes into his redshirt year with the program and is looked at as a very similar player to both Taylor Martinez and Cody Green, but obviously without the actual game experience. " He's made a tremendous amount of improvement. I have been real pleased with what he's been doing. He's made tremendous games, no question about it," said Beck, who also offered the obligatory 'he still has a long ways to go'. "I am real proud of him and real pleased with where he is at right now."

Today was an interesting day as post practices go, as the media was finally able to talk to two of the new assistant coaches, both of these on the offensive side. First there was Rich Fisher, who came to Nebraska from being a head coach at the prep ranks, and John Garrison, who moved from his position of intern to coaching some on the line as well as the tight ends. Beck sees both as welcome and valuable additions to the crew.

On Fisher: " I see a lot of myself in him. I was kind of the same way. I was coaching high school and got an opportunity to go into college. He's able to deal with these kids and relate to them. He believes in what we are doing, and expects perfection as well."

On Garrison: "I love John's eagerness and aggressiveness. He's a young guy striving to be his best. He works hard. He's a smart guy. I think guys that care about kids are the guys you want. They will learn the football you need them to learn. I am really happy with those guys. "

The Huskers will go two more practices before the third and final practice which is the Spring Scrimmage on the 16th. When asked if the players are starting to see the light at the tunnel following another very physical Spring, Beck said that today the players probably didn't see much at all. "I don't think today they saw the light at the end of the tunnel. I think eventually they will. I want them to keep working," he said. "The goal isn't the Spring Game. The goal is to get better every single day."

Note: Junior quarterback Kody Spano sat out of practice today, and Beck said that Spano had seen a doctor, but he was unaware of the prognosis. But he did say that it wasn't a knee, which is probably good news for Husker fans who didn't want to watch Spano potentially go through another knee rehab, as he has been through two already, which both ended two consecutive years for the Husker QB.

Stay tuned as we will have video coming up with Rich Fisher and John Garrison, two of the new assistants with the team.

Click the following link for the full audio with Tim Beck today.

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