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Nebraska Spring Football April 3 Practice Report

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Scott Frost and Erik Chinander talked about the offense wining the day, a cornerback getting reps at safety and where depth is most lacking on the defense

Illinois v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

The first half-hour of practice was open to the media. Here are some tweets and links to photo galleries for your viewing pleasure.

I guess that is one way to get more bodies in the backfield for a position that looks like it could be quite thin this fall.

I think many of us would pay to know quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco’s thoughts as he watched his boss throw this football...

If you remember, after one of the last practices, Coach Verdu said the quarterbacks got kidnapped by aliens (they had a bad day).

Head Coach Scott Frost

On who “won” today

“We have made improvements everywhere. The most noticeable improvements have been on defense. They’re flying around, making plays.”

“That said, we had a competition day today and the offense won, today. It was great to see a response because they’ve been getting the better of us all spring.”

On Brody Belt

“Just a great example of a walk-on that has gotten his chance and he’s making the most of it.”

On Alex Davis and a sense of urgency as a senior

“That’s a good way to put it....he has a sense of urgency...he was around the ball a lot last year, but didn’t quite make the plays, but he’s making them now...he looks a lot different this spring than last fall - in a good way.”

On if there are any dropoffs in energy or effort in spring ball

“I haven’t seen it this year...we’ve had a couple lulls...Last year the dropoff happened quick. After 3 or 4 practices they reverted to their old practice habits. This year they continue to rise. It might have been the best practice I’ve been part of at Nebraska”

When asked to explain further

“It was just clean...it’s year one/year two stuff. Year one I lose my voice every practice to get guys lined up right, to play harder...when we get to the point I can just blow my whistle and watch practice, we know we’re getting somewhere...that means I don’t have to coach effort. Players are coaching each other so coaches don’t have to and fixing things...we’re getting there...it’s a lot easier to coach a team like that.”

On Andre Hunt

“When Andre’s on, he does really good things. He has great speed, hands, he’s a competitor. We’ve said this a bunch, but he needs to be more consistent. You see him make some plays then he’ll run the wrong route...drop the ball. He’s gotten better and better, but we need him.”

On Wan’dale Robinson

“He’s one of those guys that is going to know it all. Learning the offense isn’t an issue for him...not only does he know what to do, but he finds a way to make the job work within the play...a very smart and instinctual player.”

On the quarterbacks

“The group looks light years ahead of where they were...Adrian might have had his best day today...he made some big time plays.”

Defensive Coordinator Erik Chinander

On Alex Davis

“He’s come a long long ways...he’s got a long ways to go. He’s made a lot of plays...better at rushing the passer...he understands the game within the game...last year he was too hesitant”

On what Coach Frost said about it being the best practice he’s seen while at Nebraska and whether he agrees

(Spoiler alert: I have not been a huge Chinander fan. I don’t dislike him at all - it’s been more of a “wait and see” attitude when it comes to what he can do with the Blackshirts, but this section of his presser today won me over.)

“No. No. We lost the competition period. We lost by one. We came out and got punched in the mouth. It was awesome for us, a little slice of humble pie. I don’t think they were ready to play. I didn’t like their attitude...they had a little breakdown in communication...but that’s good for us, we need to get that fixed. The offense went out and executed today...Adrian made some plays...today, we didn’t have enough.”

On the defensive line

“I don’t get a chance to walk around and be in those meetings...with Coach DeWitt out I’m with the linebackers more...their technique is better, their pass rush is better.”

On depth at linebacker

“Not enough...we’ve got to get some of these walk-ons and new scholarship players in here and see if we can get them up to speed and get them competing...we’re going to need a couple big recruiting cycles...we’re going to lose some guys and we don’t have enough young guys...”

On Caleb Tannor

“This issue for him is just playing football...he’s gotta continue to learn...last year he was out there just running around...he didn’t understand...he was just a talented kid out there trying to make plays...”

Was his frustration about effort or mental mistakes

“A combination...it got better as practice went on, we came back and pulled that score back within one, but I don’t want to be the one to gather them up and get it done...I want them to do it...there were times I did but eventually the leaders did it...I want them to do that from the get-go from now on...I don’t want to do it.”

“Maybe they were tired, I don’t know. You don’t get to be tired when you play defense...that’s life”

On JoJo Domann and his next step

“The physical nature of JoJo’s game has come along...he’s improved in space...he’s improved in the box...he’s up to 235 lbs...he’s willing. Some of those guys that are space guys aren’t willing...he’ll put his face in there and go...I like his attitude and physical violence now in the box.”

On the safeties

“I think there is open competition back there at all spots...Deonte is doing a good job, Marquel is doing a good job and Eric Lee is coming along at safety, we moved him to get some safety reps. Cam Taylor is rolling back and forth between corner and nickel and safety...if I was one of those DB’s I wouldn’t feel very safe...I don’t think anyone has a job right now...none of those guys better be safe because there is a good push and a lot of young guys coming...”

On why Eric Lee is getting reps at safety

(And contradicting himself a bit from his quote above...)

“I feel like he’s a very football intelligent guy...he knows what to do at corner...I felt like Lamar and DiCaprio, if they take care of business they should be our one, two, or three for us, Cam Taylor is doing a nice job...some other young guys are coming along...I felt like after losing three safeties we needed depth and experience there...”

On the linebackers - next

Colin Miller is doing a great job, he is greatly greatly improved. Will Honas is starting to come back off that injury he had...Nick Hennrichs is doing a great job as a freshman...he’s meeting and exceeding expectations.”