Huskers Conduct First two-a-day of Fall Camp
BY TODD NEELEY
OK, this is full of generalities and not much in the way of news, but here it is — a Nebraska release on the first day of two-a-day practices for the Huskers:
The Nebraska football team kicked off its first two-a-day session of fall camp with a two-hour practice inside the Hawks Championship Center on Friday morning. The team will practice again on Friday afternoon before wrapping up the first week of camp on Saturday.
Defensive Coordinator Carl Pelini met with the media following the morning practice and talked about the staff’s plans for the first two-a-day of fall camp.
“We had a physical practice,” he said. “It’s our first two-a-day and guys came out ready to go. We had a real physical day. It won’t be quite as physical, more assignment-oriented this afternoon. We’ll lighten up on their legs a little bit in the afternoon – still go hard, but maybe not quite as physical in terms of how we approach it.”
Pelini also talked about how the defense is progressing and how much of the defensive playbook has been installed.
“We’ve got our whole package in,” Pelini said. “In different days, (we’re) trying to focus on different aspects of it, maybe lean toward a certain place, but it’s all in and just honing it up now. We’re probably a week ahead of where we’ve ever been at this point. But the guys, they know the system better, they’re more experienced with it and they picked it up fast and they’re handling it pretty well. (There are) still some busts out there, but we’d rather correct it full speed than teach it on the chalkboard.”
Pelini credited the fast progression to the work the players put in over the summer, particularly the veterans among the group.
“It was amazing just day one how advanced we were just from the summer drills and the veterans coaching the young guys through those drills and the knowledge of our coverages and our blitz packages,” he said. “They were very advanced for a first day.”
With the defensive system already in place less than a week into camp, Pelini says that frees up time to work on specific details that usually aren’t addressed until the week of the first game.
“You get the whole defense in, then you have time to get into your checks and your special stuff that you typically don’t get into before game week,” Pelini said. “We’re already into some of our checks and some of our adjustments that in the past we hadn’t gotten to until the week of the first game.”
While the veterans have played a pivotal role in the defense being ahead of the curve, the newcomers have also done an excellent job of picking up the system, according to Pelini. When asked specifically about Daimion Stafford, a newcomer at safety, Pelini was complimentary of the transfer from Chaffey College in California.
“He’s picking it up really fast,” Pelini said of Stafford’s understanding of the Huskers’ defensive system. “It’s amazing how well he’s playing and how much he does understand. I knew that when I was recruiting him that what they did at (Chaffey College) coverage-wise was not the same, but conceptually pretty advanced for a junior college. He came in with a lot of background knowledge, and it’s just applying it to how we do it.”