Spring Practice Report - Day One

Day one - Spring Practice. Too easy to call it the beginning of a new era. Rather, let's call it the beginning of yet another new season. A season in which this Nebraska team will undergo changes not seen since perhaps the day Bob Devaney took the reins in starting a pretty impressive era of his own. It's Day-One in your Spring Practice coverage.

Nebraska took the field today for it's first practice of the Spring. As the questions mount as to what everyone should expect this season, the Huskers took the field today to try and sort out some of the early answers.

Amidst what was close to perfect weather, the Nebraska Cornhuskers took the field today for their first official Spring practice.

While the weather was perfect, the team was expectedly not, head coach, Bill Callahan noting the obvious growing pains this team will have to endure. "We did not have a lot of work in the off-season relative to the scheme, techniques and fundamentals

Head Coach, Bill Callahan oversees the first Spring practice of the year

Head coach, Bill Callahan oversees the
first Spring Practice of the year

that we were working on today." he said. "We were a little rusty, we have a long ways to go, but I am encouraged by our effort and our energy and our tempo today on the practice field."

The tempo seemed to be a theme for the team today, all the way up to the coaching staff, Callaham stating that all of the persons involved today exhibited some good early signs of the energy he was looking for. "We are looking for guys that move between drills and give us full-speed effort on every snap." he said. "That have the ability and effort to hustle back to the huddle, get realigned, refocus, reconcentrate on the next play. So, I was pleased with that, but we can always get better in that respect."

"(But) Overall in the first day, it was an impressive tempo."

While the weather was nice, the players were not in pads, but Callahan stated that the lack of pads would in no way slow the learning process down for the Huskers as they try to cram in as much of the new system as they can, day to day. "The mental and the assignment aspect of what to do and how to do it is vital." Callahan stated. "You can get so much accomplished

Spring Football
Huskers stretching, preparing for their practice.
The QBs (In Green), Joe Dailey, Garth Glissman,
Mike Stuntz and Zach Miller will all be competing
for a spot on the two-deep while trying to learn a
new system at the same time.
when you are in shorts."

"This is a perfect setting. It was a great atmosphere today with the weather and it's a great opportunity to come out and teach some of the fundamentals of what we are trying to get accomplished."

The accomplishment itself for Callahan and company would be just that. The implementation of different philosophies to a certain extent on defense, but on the offensive side, the basics of a complete facelift, going from the traditional option attack to the sexier, more pro-style West Coast attack, a system used widely in the NFL.

It's a task or challenge that Callahan was chomping at the bit to take on. "I was looking forward to this for a long time." Callahan said of the opportunity at Nebraska. "I wanted to see how this system would work and I wanted to see how it would be received by the players."

"I thought our players worked hard and I thought by and large, our kids grasped the system as they moved on. They were a little bit tentative, a little anxious to begin with, so it was a little bit tough for some of the guys, but once they settled down and relaxed, they understood the concept a little better."

A couple players that were expected to find themselves behind from the outset, not expected to see the first parts of practice were offensive linemen, Jake Andersen and Mike Erickson. Erickson was the one most questionable, the guard still nursing an injured hip, but he did see limited action today. "Jake had a few reps and Mike is fighting through that hip injury pretty hard." he said. "I thought that both those guys were giving a good effort and we'll try to blend them in as they get healthier."

Spring Football
New QB coach and co-offensive coordinator, Jay Norvell begins the long
process of implementing Nebraska's quarterbacks to the pro-style of
playing. Dailey, Stuntz, Miller and Glissman will be joined by Beau
, Joe Ganz and Jordan Adams, all of which have already played
in systems similar to the new offense Nebraska will run this year.










There were a host of players however that didn't see action today due to either short-term problems or situations expected to keep them out the entire Spring.

WR, Andy Birkel - Mono - expected back in apprx. a week

FS, Ben Eisenhart - Mono - expected back in apprx. a week

OL, Greg Austin - Knee - time-line indefinite

WR, Mike McLaughlin - Abdominal injury - time-line indefinite

OL, Jake Chalupsky - right knee - time-line indefinite

WR, Brandon Biodrowski - low back - time-line indefinite

TE, Chris Septak - shoulder and will undergo surgery - Out for entire Spring.

After day-one of Spring practices, what you know is probably what everyone knows right now. Not a lot. Early-practice jitters, uneasiness or just plain rust had the team looking like a team that hasn't practiced in awhile and a team that was practicing something entirely new.

It was expected, but as coach Callahan stated, this is where it starts and where it goes from here is what matters in the end. "This is an opportunity this Spring to see where we are at as a team." Callahan stated. "To really examine roles that players will be put forth in, in the Fall, so again, we are trying to mold our team and build our chemistry this Spring."

Steve Ryan can be reached at huskerconnection@neb.rr.com or 402-730-5619

Big Red Report Top Stories