Joseph likes the depth in the secondary

While Nebraska most replace two safeties, who helped a secondary rank fourth in the country last year in pass defense, the Huskers will likely be even stronger in the defensive backfield in 2013.

LINCOLN, Neb. - While Nebraska most replace two safeties, who helped a secondary rank fourth in the country last year in pass defense, the Huskers will likely be even stronger in the defensive backfield in 2013.

"The one thing is we have a lot of guys who we feel could go into the game and help us play winning football," said secondary coach Terry Joseph. " As a coach, you feel comfortable and confident you have a lot of guys to pick from. It really helps with the competition to. A guy can't take a play off, because the guys behind are so close.

"The good things about the kids is they have been mature and are helping each other out, despite competing against each other."

According to Joseph, the Huskers are looking for the "right mix" at the moment. With many spread teams on the schedule, especially early, the second-year assistant says the coaching staff is just looking for the best five-to-six defensive backs – emphasis being on versatility.

"The more versatility you have, the better chances you have to get out there," said Joseph.

A prime example would be Andrew Green, a former senior cornerback moving to the safety position. Defensive coordinator John Papuchis says Green could play cornerback still in a pinch, with little to no reps at the position, but because he's play a lot of football for Nebraska the learning curve to safety should be easier.

"It's a dog eat world at safety," said Joseph. "(Corey) Cooper and Harvey (Jackson) obviously finished at the top of the depth chart after spring, but Charles (Jackson) has come a long way. Andrew Green is really adjusting well the first couple days of practice and the young guys are doing good to."

On Thursday, Joseph was asked if he had talked with safeties about some of the consistencies the position showed last year.

"I haven't talked about last year, it's a different team," said the assistant. "Guys like Nathan Gerry (freshman) don't know anything about last year, it's about all looking forward and thing we can do. Everyday we are preaching the little things right over and over again and over time it will win out."

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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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