Lincoln, NE - No spring practice – no problem.
Sophomore defensive tackle Chase Rome might have missed the 15 practices this offseason with a shoulder injury, but it hasn't kept him from likely being one of the Huskers starting defensive tackles in next week's opener against Southern Miss.
The Missouri native used his time off the field to put in extra work on the mental side of the game, spending extra time in the classrom and keeping his nose in a playbook.
"It's really tough, I like to think of myself a team guy, and hate to see other person work when I'm standing there," said Rome. "It did give me a chance to relearn the playbook, almost from the outside perspective. It was something that I didn't have a chance to really do when I was a younger guy. I was really sort of grateful for that."
Rome has actually only been cleared for a couple weeks, but when teammates are asked of his play, they don't see a rusty player.
"It was something we sort of eased into. During the summer we incorporated my shoulder a little more and a little more," said Rome. "It was probably a couple weeks before fall camp that I really was 100 percent ready to go. We have been working on getting the strength back into it. I'm feeling really good right now."
While Rome was hesistant to get into too many details, on Tuesday the third-year defensive lineman shared the major differences he's seeing from new defensive line coach Rick Kaczenski in 2012, compared to John Papuchis last season.
"I always thought that if you were in the same scheme, a different position coach wouldn't make that much of a difference. I was dead wrong," said Rome. "We are learning some new stuff...It's a lot more aggressive. I feel like we're letting our athletes be athletes a little bit more...I think that's what any football player loves to hear. Just be a football player. Just go. Stop worrying about this or that. Just go play football. That was something definitely really exciting to hear.
Rome played in ten contests last year - starting two. He recorded a total of 13 tackles and one sack.