A changing team

Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini had a message for his players this offseason. If they wanted to get better, things had to change.

After last year, the Nebraska Cornhuskers footbal team as a whole, from coaches to players, realized that something had to change if they were going to succeed.

"Bo told us if we want to take it to the next level we need to change and do something different because obviously what we were doing wasn't working," said offensive lineman Spencer Long. "We aren't shooting for nine and four, we are shooting for wins every time, obviously we want that Big Ten Championship, and we want that National Championship."

There has been a range of things that the team has been working on. They are trying to become more consistent, work harder during practice, eat healthier, and one big thing is to get closer as a team.

They want to be like a family and be there for each other in every situation. They feel if that happens, it will get them to play harder. If they feel like the guys next to them are like their brothers, they will try a whole lot harder than if it was just some teammate.

"It's football, there are times you are going to be hurt, you're going to be mentally drained, you are going to be tired of this place," said senior tight end Ben Cotton. "Its up to each other, not the coaches, not the strength staff, nobody is kicking you in the butt to go. It's your teammates, your brothers, that are getting you amped up everyday so we can get better, and I think that's been changing around here."

Doing something for the team is what they are trying to hold as a standard this year. Not to do stuff for yourself, the fans, or to get into the NFL, but for the guys on the field with you.

"You look at guys like Rex (Burkhead)," said Cotton. "And the stuff that he goes through, guys like Marcel Jones last year, guys that really put themselves through pain just for the betterment of the team, it touches you at heart."

The players have noticed that there has been a big change in the locker room mentally, everyone is there for each other, even if its not football related.

"We are meeting every week as a team," explained Cotton. "Not to talk about football, but talk about things that are away from football. Talk about issues, like if someone is have problems in class, or with a girlfriend, stuff like that. We are trying to do things that will make this team so tight you won't be able to pull it apart.

"I think we have done a good job at making people realize there is a certain way we things around here, we are going to be a family, we are going to be good teammates to each other and play for each other, and if you're going to be an individual this is not the right place for you."

- Josh Harvey -

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