I've been in western Nebraska all week, and will be traveling back to Minnesota today and tomorrow, so posting has been light because I've spent some time visiting family instead of burying my face into my laptop. I'll resume looking at defensive unit previews sometime soon, although most likely not until Monday.
Spring practice is heavily underway, and what have we learned?
We learned there's a new defensive formation called the "peso", but that it's not really new, and it's not really a change. It just has a name, even if it's a lousy name at that. The biggest problem with a story like that is the media having to explain it than it is anything different for the team or the coaching staff. Brian Christopherson does a pretty decent job, though:
In other words: Hybrid DBs/LBs like Hagg or Cassidy line up as a third linebacker when a team is showing a heavy offensive set, but can shift outside the box into nickel coverage if the offense spreads the field.
Among other things, it figures to minimize defensive substitutions no matter what the offense does.
"The big question was, well, is it a 4-2-5?" Pelini said. "Well, to me, no, it's still a 4-3, but you just have a little smaller WILL linebacker (Hagg/Cassidy) in there.
It's just a guess, but I doubt this is nothing new for Bo Pelini, although it's probably more prevalent since he moved from facing SEC offenses at LSU to facing Big 12 offenses at Nebraska. The other big change is Pelini now has some players he's recruited and coached, instead of those recruiting and coached by the former regime, you know, that one that couldn't defend against a spread offense if their jobs depended on it.
What else have we learned...... Rex Burkhead and Dontrayevous Robinson are heavier, and you could't figure out the offensive line starters (in the fall, not spring) without a crystal ball. If I had to call it it'd look like this:
LT: Yoshi Hardrick, Jeremiah Sirles
LG: Keith Williams, Mike Smith
C: Mike Caputo, Mike Smith
RT: Marcel Jones, D.J. Jones
What do you think of that????
If I had to take a shot at defensive line starters, it'd be:
DE: Pierre Allen, Josh Williams
Comments welcome here as well.
That's it for now. I have an 11-year old that wants to shoot a .22 and kill some cans before heading out on the road. I would like to know what you've learned out of spring practice, though, so give us some comments, please.