Nebraska in action: Spring practice, Day 1

Droves of media turned out for the first day of spring practice at the University of Nebraska. It would seem that the tales of the demise of the interest in the program has been greatly exaggerated. So, Nebraska took the field for day one as for the next few weeks, the new Nebraska takes shape….again.

During the course of practice, it didn't take long for all eyes to focus on an individual that most eyes were focusing in on already. But, after a few snaps and throws, Zac Taylor's debut as a Husker, at least on the practice field, he had begun.

 

It went about as expected.

 

"I thought it went pretty good," Callahan said of Zac's debut. "His timing is a little bit off, because of the speed of the game. He's got to be able to adjust and I am certain that he will."

 

"(but) I was really pleased with the way he came out and managed the team in the huddle and called the plays. He didn't stutter one bit in terms of calling these plays, so I was pleased with his performance."

 

Another quarterback that pleased or perhaps we should say THE other QB was as you would expect, Joe Dailey. Following a year that he would probably just as soon forget, Callahan said that his first day back went well. "I thought Joe showed a completeness in terms of understanding the offense," he said. "We had great flow in terms of coming out, being prepared and not wasting reps and knowing the progressions and the reads."

 

"There's a couple things that we've got to correct on film, but I thought overall, he had a nice day."

 

The day wasn't confined to just the quarterbacks, of course, and Callahan said that overall, one of the things that stood out about this first practice of the spring was overall mind-set of the team. "The thing that satisfied me was that our players came out with a looseness," he said. "There was no tentativeness in their play and that's familiarity, a year under your belt."

 

"It's good to have that type of continuity when you come on the field and your players know what to expect."

 

They did, but didn't, as Callahan pointed out in his pre-spring press conference that this would be a markedly different type of practice than last year.

 

No starting from scratch, Callahan commented that the overall structure was obviously different. "It was totally different and again, we did change the format," Callahan said. "We put the emphasis on our kickoff cover and the way that we cover the ball. We tried to really segment that phase of our coverage to put that emphasis that we need to win on that particular unit. And, of course, we worked our punt team."

 

"Normally, we never worked two special teams in one day, but now we are starting to work two units a day to get more reps and more emphasis."

 

The special teams seemingly had its own spotlight since last year, when Nebraska finished as one of the worst overall units in the conference and country.

 

The negatives and last year were washed away a bit today, though, as Callahan said that with all there is yet to do, he was glad to be back at it on the field. "It feels great to be back," he said. "There's nothing like it. We are all fortunate to be part of this great game and everyday is a blessing to be out there and working with these young kids."

 

Nebraska will resume practice on Friday afternoon.

 

NOTES:

 

Missing in Action:

 

            TE – Matt Herian (leg)

            OL – Lydon Murtha (hamstring)

            DB – Donald DeFrand (suffered a mid-foot sprain during today's practice)

            DE – Wali Muhammad (academics)

 

JUCO REVIEW:

 

After one day, the initial impressions are in for the five junior college players that transferred. (see Zac Taylor above) "I thought Dontrell Moore had a nice day," Callahan said. "Steve (Octavien) showed a real naturalness at the position and Barry Cryer and Ola Dagundoro just showed a real naturalness inside."

 

"That was very pleasing. The mid-year transfers that came in here, I really believe will help this football team."

 

THE FUTURE:

Harrison Beck was in attendance for today's practice and as expected, spent most of the time hanging around the quarterbacks

 

THE PROSPECTS

 

Rome high school linebacker, Toryan Smith was also in attendance and we'll have a full update on his impressions of Nebraska's practice and his visit later on this evening.


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