It's rather sad when the biggest story line of fall practice is a guy that's not listed on the 105-man roster, not practicing, and most likely will never play a down of Husker football. Unfortunately, that's what the media thinks you want to hear about, so they're going to ride it until it's dead, and when it's dead they're going to beat it further to a pulp, and after that they're going to serve it to you like a good dead horse goulash and convince you it's still worth eating.
That shouldn't be surprising, though, because the rest of the story lines are the same story lines that have been around for years:
- The coaches want the offensive to be physical, although there's a new twist this year - they'll also be accountable, meaning those false starts and holding calls will result in more running or pushups. No mention on whether this applies to coaches as well.
- Chemistry. Every fall there's a story about chemistry. Wait. No. Chemistry articles are used when your first-year starting quarterback becomes a second-year stater. And leadership. Taylor Martinez is obviously better at that, because it fits the story lines.
- Guy you've never heard of is making great strides in practice. Combine that with "motor" for bonus points. Not that it's bad that the coaches or players like Jeremiah Sirles mention guys who are doing well, putting in the work (Jake Cotton), but I wouldn't read much into it.
- Anyone else find it surprising that Bo Pelini hasn't mentioned "competition" much this year? You shouldn't. He's been too busy with that Bubba Starling stuff, and everyone knows this season Taylor Martinez is the starting quarterback, Rex Burkhead is the starting running back, and Brandon Kinnie is the top receiver, although there seems to be a lot of potential for comment in the defensive secondary. Maybe Pelini is calming down, well, except for that whole threatening Bubba Starling thing.
- Credit Tim Beck for never once having said "He's making all the throws in practice." If he does, that quarterback is doomed. Please let that not be Brion Carnes.
All in all, it's been a fairly boring few days. But that's not bad. In fact, boring is good. Boring is great. Boring is a wonderful alternative to non-boring because non-boring means someone came to practice wearing a boot on their leg, broke a bone, or tore something.
That would be excitement you don't want, as in last year, when Nebraska lost two linebackers, Sean Fisher and Will Compton, right before the start of the season. This team can't afford that this year - there are positions for which there is no depth (running back, wide receiver, quarterback, offensive line, linebacker) - losing any player in those positions will derail any chance that Nebraska has at making the B1G title game.
So, let's stick with inane, with hearing the same ol stuff about motors, strides, chemistry and accountability. The alternative is not what you want to hear.