In the grand scheme of things, it was only forty minutes of playing time. Looking at it a little more specifically however, this was a big day for both offensive and defensive units. The first real opportunity to try and move the ball and stop the ball from moving in "legit" live action. It was a bag of mixed results. "I thought we accomplished quite a bit in terms of scrimmaging, in terms of the offense being able to function on their own." Callahan stated. "We still have a long ways to go though. We are still trying to do a better job in our pass-protection and our pressure pick-up."
Much of the chagrin felt from the relentless pressure was obviously the unit laying it on. The defense, hardly giving the offense any breathing room at all set the tone on the day. "I thought we did an excellent job playing the run and obviously attacking the ball."
Added to that was the aforementioned issue of overall protection for Dailey, who spent much of his team running either out of orchestration or desperation. "It's always a concern." Callahan said of the pass-protection issues. "When you mix and match offensive and defensive linemen where we took three guys over to the offensive side of the ball, it's not so much a concern as much as it is a development."
"That development continues and we have had some good snaps and we have had some bad snaps we would like to have back. But, the guys are working hard and coach Wagner is putting in a lot of extra time to make sure we rectify the problems that we do have."
As anticipated, much of the concentration on offense was to the QB taking almost all of the snaps during the scrimmage, Joe Dailey. Proving him mobility and elusiveness consistently, Callahan talked about the sophomore doing well with the situation he was given. "Overall, he made some great plays in 7 on 7 today." he said. "I really felt his rhythm come alive a little bit better during that particular drill."
"In the team (the actual scrimmage), I think some of his progress get hindered because of the protection. We would like to see the protection get shored up so he can get into a rhythm a little better."
One offensive player who excelled despite the lack of consistent protection was running back, Cory Ross. Callahan talked about Ross coming into his own and just how impressed he's been with him since he got to see the I-back firsthand. "He's been a real pleasant surprise." he said. "I watched his development early on and we talked about Cory's ability to be complete."
"He makes plays out of the backfield and in the passing game. He is a threat as a receiver. It's the little things that he does that's very impressive."
"He's the most complete guy that I have seen in awhile, on this level."
With the annual Red/White game looming just a week away, one has to wonder if today's scrimmage will be an indication of what an expectedly large crowd will see. Could NU fans view a defensively dominant performance or will the offense find some rhythm in the last four practices before the game arrives? "We're going to continue to work like we've been working." Callahan said of the practices. "We won't lay off of what we've been doing."
"We are going to try and maximize every practice we have this Spring. We won't hold off or level off of what we plan on doing and hopefully we can work that right into the Spring game."
Nebraska will resume practice on Monday following Easter weekend, practice again Wednesday and finish up Friday before suiting up at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday for the game.
Coach Callahan reported that WR, Ross Pilkington suffered a right hamstring pull and the seriousness of the injury will not be determined until later today. RB, Tierre Green suffered a "stinger", but was able to finish practice. DE, Tony Sullivan suffered a high ankle sprain, but was likewise able to finish practice.
- Along with media, a large crowd of alumni,
supporters and former players were in attendance. Amongst the former
players viewing the action were: Dominic Raiola, Tommie Frazier, Damon
Benning and Demorrio Williams. Volleyball head
coach, John Cook stopped in for a look-see as well.
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Steve Ryan can be reached at email@example.com 402-730-5619