A "get after it" type of spring

Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini says the Huskers will have a "get after it" type of spring. Practices open up on Saturday.

LINCOLN, Neb. - The Nebraska Cornhuskers will open up spring practices on Saturday, marking an earlier start than in previous years under head coach Bo Pelini.

Appearing on Nebraska Sports Nightly Wednesday night, Pelini said the new schedule fits better with the university's academic calendar.

"The reason I wanted to move it up is so we could do half of the practices before spring break and half after," said Pelini during the radio show. "I think that will be good for us. I think our guys will be a little more fresh and it will give us a little more time to train on the back-end before the summer months, when guys go home for a couple weeks."

Looking to replace eight starters on defense, the Huskers will use the spring to heavily evaluate younger talent at multiple positions. Because of this, the players will see an increase in their total scrimmage time during their 15 practices.

"For the most part we are going to get after it. The more competition and the more physical it is, the better we are going to be as a football team," said Pelini. "We are going to do some scrimmaging everyday we in are pads, which we haven't always done. But we have a young group defensively and guys we need to find some things about before we can make some decisions. The only way is to roll it out there and play some live football."

Pelini was asked if the coaching staff, especially on defense, was looking to make the system easier for the younger players expected to contribute heavily this spring.

"To a certain extent. Our system is multiple, but simple. We are not dialing back at all," said Pelini. "We are going to put guys through the ringer. We will do some things differently to make it a little more user-friendly for younger guys, especially at the start, to see what they can handle. But at the end of the day, we are going to make adjustments on how we've done things defensively and how we've done it. We're going to let their athleticism come out, let them play football.

"One of the worst things we did a year ago, there were times our guys were trying to be so perfect at times, they didn't just go make a play instead of worrying about where you fit. You have to play disciplined football don't get me wrong, but there are time you have to just make a play. There are times we didn't do that. These young guys are a group of guys who at some respects maybe don't know any better and sometimes that can be a good thing."

Switching to the offensive side of the football, Pelini is hopeful the Huskers offensive production continues the trend upward.

"We have to keep getting better. We have to continue to work towards being efficient and eliminate some of the turnovers which have killed us," said Pelini. "We have to continue build depth at all positions. We have some good young talent, younger guys who will maybe surprise some people."

Look for the Big Red Report's first full practice report on Saturday afternoon.

Josh Harvey has covered college football and recruiting for Fox Sports & Scout.com since 2008. He is now the Publisher of Big Red Report, covering Nebraska athletics.
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