Defense still dominating - Spring Practice; Day 6

Day six and the second straight practice of mini-scrimmages for the Nebraska Cornhuskers. This time it was goal-line and unfortunately for the offense, the theme from the last scrimmage remained constant. Defense, defense and more defense as Nebraska struggled mightily to move the ball. It's a theme not unexpected, Callahan stating as he addressed the media after yesterday's practice.

The theme for Spring that has been and will be until this session is over is the defense dominating while the offense is simply trying to learn.

The curve for doing that is obviously very different, the defense often executing simple read and react, while the offense is just trying to remember. That suits starting defensive tackle, LeKevin Smith just fine as last week he didn't mind at all the current disparity in what has to be learned. "The offense can learn their 32 plays and we'll learn our three." he stated jokingly. "You don't let up at all when you are out there, no matter how much of an advantage you have."

It's an advantage that head coach, Bill Callahan concedes will be there, probably for some time. "I knew it would be slow." Callahan stated of the offensive development. "Everybody hears west coast offense and they think you are going to sprinkle magic dust over the offense and you are going to have 400 or 500 yards, but it's been a work in progress."

"The guys have worked hard. They've studied, worked on the field and they've done everything we have asked them to do and we still have a long ways to go. We just have a limited offense from what I am accustomed to, but it's a lot for a college football player."

That continuing, but slow absorption of the new offensive style has the offense learning, while the defense is teeing off on them as they are doing it. That had much to do with today's practice, that didn't reach the expectations for today. "We didn't have the practice that we wanted to." Callahan stated. "We kind of plateaued I thought (and) we're going to have to come back on Friday and do a much better job."

While many positions such as receiver find themselves still reeling somewhat from the acclimation to the new way of doing things, Callahan stated that the newness for the quarterbacks should be gone at this point of Spring practices. "We've gone over the same things the last several practices." he said. "I think they are starting to get into a groove and get comfortable."

"There is still some verbiage that they still have problems with, but for the most part, they have a good idea of what we're asking. Their execution can always improve and get better."

That's just what they and the entire offense will try to do as practice resumes on Friday followed by the first full scrimmage this coming Saturday.


    • Offensive tackle, Darren DeLone did not practice today. Bill Callahan citing the reason being illness. There's no time frame as to his return.

    • Wide Receiver, Isaiah Fluellen did not practice today following a pulled hamstring during special team drills on Monday. Callahan called the injury a "low pull" and was hopeful for his return during the Spring, but could not be definite as to the time frame, stating that it was a "day to day" evaluation.

Steve Ryan can be reached at or 402-730-5619

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