LINCOLN — The Nebraska football team practiced in full pads to begin the second full week of fall camp on Tuesday, working out for just over two hours while splitting time inside the Hawks Championship Center and outside on the Ed and Joanne Gass practice fields.
Defensive Coordinator Erik Chinander spoke to the media after the conclusion of the practice and started off talking about the full team scrimmage held over the weekend.
“My big takeaway from the scrimmage was kind of an overall theme for the defense,” Chinander said. “When we had busts, assignment errors or communication errors, the offense was very productive. When we were all on the same page and everybody, all 11 guys were playing one defense, we were pretty salty. The offense came out with a really good tempo I thought that day and us being able to adjust to that tempo is going to be the tale of the story here. I thought the first group tackled well, the second and third groups need to get a little better. I thought we were physical when we needed to be, and we saw a lot of guys do a lot of good things, so it was great for us.”
Chinander then spoke about the improvement of cornerback Cam Taylor and how he can be utilized for multiple situations.
“Cam’s a really dynamic player,” Chinander said. “He can take reps at corner, he can take reps at safety. He can replace JoJo (Domann) at outside backer against ‘11’ personnel teams when we need him to, so having a guy like him that knows the whole defense and every position and is physical enough to play down low and is good enough on the edge to play coverage is pretty exceptional.”
Chinander went back to the scrimmage and talked about how the defense started off on the wrong foot, but was able to quickly respond.
“Like I said, it looked good,” Chinander said. “That first series, the offense came out and punched us in the mouth and had some big plays. Then after that, especially the first group, they tightened it down and really played some good football. It was good and bad. Would I like to just go and shut the whole thing down every series? Absolutely, but then I’ve got a whole new bag of problems because then it’s feeling good and trying to reel them back in. I liked how it went because we got knocked down right away and we came back and did our job, so there’s a little bit of butt-chewing I can do, but we aren’t quite there yet. I liked where it was at.”
Chinander finished off with the leadership mentality that is starting to be implemented with the Huskers.
“I think there’s vertical leadership and horizontal leadership,” Chinander said. “Sometimes when the leaders go vertical down to the rest of the team or from me to them down, the others guys need to go horizontal so everybody understands the message, and I think that’s starting to happen. Once the leaders and the coaches say something now, everybody is spreading the word and reeling everybody else back in, so it’s been good.”
The Huskers will continue fall camp with practice on Wednesday, with the first game taking place at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 31 against South Alabama at 11 a.m.