The install process is complete, but the evaluation process is on-going, seemingly only having a conclusion when the first game arrives on the 4th of Sep. when the Huskers host Western Kentucky. But in regard to WKU which makes their first ever trip to Lincoln, Pelini said that they are just getting into the game planning. "We just had a small little introduction to Western Kentucky today, but most of it was good-on-good," Pelini said.
With a brand new staff, WKU is going to present some unique challenges for the Big Red. "Some of it is guess work as to what kind of offense, what kind of defense they are going to run – kind of looking at some of the things their coordinators have done, so don't have a lot to add there right now," he said.
Pelini said that they will start backing the team down a bit come the weekend in regard to tempering the scrimmages conducted, but said that they would go through "another hard one tomorrow, and then start backing them down Saturday."
Pelini on sophomore running back Dontrayevous Robinson coming back after his tragic Summer: "You wouldn't know that for everything that he went through, you wouldn't know that anything happened. He's a tough kid, a tough-minded kid, he's practiced well and I think he's going to be a good football player for us this Fall. Real happy with "Tray" Right now."
Pelini on Freshman offensive lineman Andrew Rodriguez potentially playing this year: "It's always yet to be decided, but he's repping with the varsity guys. We'll see how it goes. It's too early to tell. He's going to be a good player though.
Pelini on junior linebacker Lavonte David: "He's right in the mix. He's playing some good football. He's doing some good things. He's right there. He's an intelligent guy. Obviously he's not the finished product. He's got a lot to learn, but he's doing OK."
Defensive Coordinator Carl Pelini
On being a D.C. more than just a DL coach: "I think I am more involved with the other defensive coaches. Much more and J.P. (Defensive Line Coach John Papuchis) has a lot more responsibility with the D-Line. It's hard to let go of the position you coach, so I always have an eye over there and sneaking into the meeting rooms and stuff. (I) Probably drive J.P. crazy.
I just think that year-three that all four of us are on the same page. I know what Marvin (Secondary Coach Marvin Sanders) is teaching. I know what "Eck" (Linebacker Coach Mike Eckeler) is teaching. Our vocabulary is the same. I don't mind jumping in and talking to one of their guys, because I know the terminology they are using. Again, it's just the comfort level being in the third year that allows me to let go a little bit of the D-Line."
On Lavonte David: "He's a very natural football player. He really gets the game. Not perfect, it's not an easy system to learn, but he's very instinctive with it and I think has given him an opportunity to progress rapidly. Some guys aren't instinctive. Lavonte is, so we have been able to throw a lot at him and he's really absorbed it well."
On Chase Rome playing early: "I would consider it. He hasn't earned it yet. He's got to continue to earn it, but he's in the mix. We are going to keep coaching him and keep repping him and see how it works out."
Any other freshman linemen playing in first year: "You never know. Defensively, probably most of them will redshirt. But you never know how it's going to play out and how fast they are going to progress, but we are going to play the best player whether they are true freshman or seniors. Doesn't matter to us.
On offense now versus a year ago: "They are well ahead of a year ago. I think they got their swagger back. I think they are a more balanced team and they are healthy. They are deeper over there. I felt like injuries really affected our offense a year ago. And now I think we're healthier. We have more guys to roll in. If one guy is nicked up and we have another guy coming in that is doing really well. I think they have their swagger back."
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Carl Pelini -