LINCOLN – The Nebraska football team practiced for a little over two hours on Thursday inside the Hawks Championship Center, working out in full pads.
Defensive Coordinator Erik Chinander spoke to the media after practice to give a progress report on the Husker defense.
“It went pretty well today,” Chinander said. “We had a competition day the last time we were out on the field. I thought the energy was a little better on Tuesday. The kids need to understand that it doesn’t matter if it’s competition, scrimmage, it doesn’t matter what is going on… it’s always on the line every time we walk on the field.”
Chinander went on to talk about the high amount of reps that are involved for each player at practice and how it works to benefit the team.
“We’re repping everybody right now,” Chinander said. “The beautiful thing about the way Coach Frost practices is I think we’re rolling at 120 team reps or something, so there’s plenty of reps for everyone. So we’re getting a good evaluation on everybody from No. 50 on defense to No. 1 on defense.”
When asked about his thought process behind tackling technique, Chinander reaffirmed Head Coach Scott Frost‘s words about tackling through the player.
“I believe what he believes,” Chinander said. “If I didn’t believe what he believed, then I would either fall in line or I would go somewhere else, but fortunately we’re aligned perfectly. He has a great passion for tackling because he learned how to do it in the NFL. We believe in not breaking down at the ball carrier, we believe in running to and through the ball carrier. Like he always says with everything, we’re not afraid to fail. If we miss tackles, we’re going to miss them at 100 miles an hour with proper leverage, bouncing that thing around and the rest of the dogs are going to hunt.”
Chinander went on to say the team is beginning to buy in to the new tackling technique.
“They’re slowly starting to shoot their guns,” Chinander said. “They’re slowly starting to run to and through ball carriers. They’re slowly starting to take their shots and not be afraid to miss a tackle going 100 miles an hour… so it’s coming. It’s not there yet, I’m not going to say we are the ’85 Bears yet, but it’s coming.”
The Huskers will return to spring practice on Saturday. Nebraska’s annual Red-White Spring Game presented by First National Bank is set for Saturday, April 21 at Memorial Stadium.