In the spring, former Indiana head coach and now Big Ten Network analyst Gerry DiNardo stated he thought Nebraska's offensive line looked very athletic. The former coach was on his tour of seeing at least one practice for every team in the conference.
Fast forward to yesterday and the Big Ten Network is once again on their tour, taking in the Huskers' last two sessions.
"My impression hasn't changed. They all move well, they have good depth there," said DiNardo to Big Red Report on Thursday night. "The only thing that was different today than compared in the spring was they just finished their 6th practice in a row and that's a grind. I think they are a little tired, which is totally understandable and totally expected. They are using their kids talents creatively up front. They look really good.
"I didn't think their practice was drastically different than anyone else. It was well run, it was well organized, and it was long. Now a days with only one practice, with the rules the way they are, you go long in practice. When you have the kids go year long, they are in pretty good shape. In the old days, you had to work the kids into shape. You don't have to do that anymore."
DiNardo admits he hasn't studied tape from last year's Nebraska squad. It's understandable why, with now twelve teams in the conference, he's got enough on his plate. He's focused on the Nebraska now and not the Nebraska of the Big 12.
"I don't know what they did last year a whole lot. I can't really compare the two. So I would label their offense if I could – physical, downhill, and they would certainly have the ability to run, it's their point of emphasis," said the also former Colorado assistant. "Their quarterbacks are built to beat you with their legs and hopefully hurt you with their arms."
After David, is Nebraska weakness on defense their linebacker crew? (Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE)
On the defensive end, much has been made about Nebraska's move to get more linebackers on the field – going from one to three. It's an area DiNardo noticed.
"Depth would be an issue. When I say an issue, I meaning on an elite level, a championship level. It's not like they aren't any good, but I do think they have depth issues at linebacker," said DiNardo. "They don't have talent issues, but they are going to need game reps for some of their guys.
So far DiNardo has seen Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and will visit Iowa today. In a post spring Big Ten special, DiNardo tabbed Nebraska his favorite to win the legends division. After yesterday, the Huskers did nothing to change his mind.
"I have only seen one other team in the division so far. The only other team that I saw in the Legends was Minnesota. Obviously you have to look at Michigan State before you answer that question. Because I think Michigan State is one of the other contenders," said DiNardo. (But) Nebraska didn't do anything on their end that would change my mind."
Tweets made by DiNardo after Nebraska's practice
*Neb.Prac D Line very good,deep & talented.The best programs have this kind of talent & depth in D Line.Most likely they'll play 8 in games.
*Neb. Practice - Secondary - talented - have to settle on starting 4 but will most likely play 7 guys. Like the way they practice back there
*Neb. Practice - WR much like secondary - they have talent - and much like the LB they need game reps
*Neb. Practice - TB position has plenty of talent & that position will be given enough opportunities they can talk Heisman to future TB recruits
*Neb Practice - Like D.Stafford at Saf, Abdulah is the real deal, J. Turner could have huge year, E. Martin great move to DE, Compton on the rise