For Nebraska fans clamoring for some shakeup on the Huskers’ defense, it appears the NU coaching staff is one step ahead. Check out the full story here.
“We want to get a little bit faster,” defensive coordinator John Papuchis said. “Team speed is something that’s been lacking over the first couple games so we’re going to try to get some of our faster guys on the field and see how that works this week. Everybody’s in the equation right now. If we have to work 24 hours a day for the next seven days and really for the next three months to figure it out, we’re going to figure it out.”
After playing virtually no snaps in the first two games, linebackers Zaire Anderson and David Santos moved up to the No. 1 unit Monday at the Will spot, working alongside middle linebacker Will Compton. Expect both to play, linebackers coach Ross Els said.
“These guys are much more progressed in understanding how we play the game and what we need to do,” Els said. “They’ll see playing time.”
Anderson, a junior college star who talked to reporters for the first time Monday night, said he’s been working one-on-one with head coach Bo Pelini to get up to speed on NU’s complex, check-heavy defense. Anderson got the practice promotion — it’ll only last if he handles the reps well, Els said — because the “defense wasn’t going good the last two weeks.”
“I was expecting to play,” Anderson said. “I’m just trying to get better myself. I’m not really down or upset that I wasn’t playing. I just want to get the mental part down. I think I got speed. And I always want to find the ball.”
Els was frank after practice about the play of his position group.
“We’re not very dynamic,” he said. “We didn’t make plays in the open field like we needed to, but we needed to have that eraser mentality at linebacker … we’re a little cautious right now. And maybe lacking a little confidence. You’re not going to gain a lot of confidence until you make plays in a game. And we haven’t.”
In the secondary, look for junior college corner Mo Seisay to play Saturday, as well. Defensive backs coach Terry Joseph said he made a personal decision not to play Seisay vs. UCLA — though he was healthy and ready to go — because “we were in a dogfight.”
On the defensive line, Rick Kaczenski wants his ends to stop thinking quite as much and more push overall. Look for Kevin Williams and Aaron Curry to get more playing time.