Huskers begin spring practices

The Nebraska football field started spring practices today in Lincoln in front of the media. There are new faces on the coaching staff and an important newcomer on defense who was making his debut today as well.

Nebraska kicked off spring practice Saturday morning, and for the first time in the Bo Pelini era, media members were allowed to stay for an entire practice. There was a lot to keep an eye on, and here are some of the highlights from the first of 14 practices before the Spring Game.

*There were a few coaching changes in the offseason, most notably John Papuchis taking over for Carl Pelini at defensive coordinator, which led to the addition of Rick Kaczenski as a defensive line coach. And of course Terry Joseph is the most recent addition to the staff, being added a week ago, following Corey Raymond's departure to LSU. Coach Pelini said that it didn't take much for the new guys to fit in: "They've hit the ground running… It's like there haven't been any changes at all." All of the coaches in new roles seemed comfortable and fit right in during the first practice of the spring.

*Speaking of newcomers, Mohammad Seisay, a junior college transfer, had a strong first practice according to Pelini: "I thought Seisay looked pretty physical out there". He said that there are "a lot of options at the defensive back spot" and should be deeper at the position, "more like where we were two or three years ago."

*A couple of other players that Pelini highlighted were Dijon Washington - getting a strong look at safety: "he can bring some special qualities" to the position – Courtney Osborne – healthy and playing well going into his senior season – and Alonzo Whaley – who according to Pelini isn't the same as Lavonte David, but has his own strengths. "He's bigger and more physical… he'll be a real good player for us." He also said that Whaley having experience at all three linebacker spots will help him as well.

* Pelini also said that Taylor Martinez has made a marked improvement in his quarterback mechanics and overall attitude. He mentioned that Brion Carnes looks comfortable as well. The quarterbacks were wearing cameras on their helmet for a few of the passing drills during practice. Pelini said that they were experimenting with them so that they could see where their quarterbacks' eyes were. Both quarterbacks put in a lot of work on their own in the offseason according to Pelini.

Note: Pelini highlighted the fact that New England Patriots head coach, Bill Belichick, came and spoke yesterday at the team's coaches clinic.

{Bryan Munson}

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