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Nebraska Football Practice Report - August 6

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Scott Frost talked about a change in the chief of staff, wide receiver depth and the backup QB competition

Jon Johnston

The head coach took questions from the media today. He discussed a few things they are doing differently than past years. Then, there are some fall camp phrases that never go away - “doing good things”, “details”, “learning the scheme”...

As always, this is my best paraphrasing/typing fast as possible. Don’t take these as exact quotes. Watch or listen to the video if you need to hear exactly what was said.

On the backup quarterback battle:

Markese Steppe’s progress:

I’ve been pleasantly surprised with his progress. We weren’t sure he’d be 100%, he’s still not, but he has stacked some good practices together. He’s ahead of knowing the scheme than I expected.

On whether Markese’s experience is helping him:

It always helps to be older and moer experienced

We continue to hear an emphasis from Frost on the desire to field a team of veterans. He hasn’t like having to lean on so much young talent so far at Nebraska and some comments he makes later re-emphasize that point.

Is there a timetable for the depth chart?

We’re already kind of there to be honest. We’re splitting groups more and getting groups more reps. Repetition matters. When we split up, the top guys are going together almost all the time. Most positions are solidified. Some are up for grabs and guys will get chances.

We’ll have a scrimmage two days from now but it won’t be the major one. We’ll have another big one and then get ready for the first game.

The run game

We did a lot of statistical analysis in the offseason. We were second in the league in running and efficiencey. But we were near the bottom in points per play. That discrepancy is mistakes we made ourself. That’s where our focus is. I want a team that never beats itself.

The wide receivers

I feel good about the receiver group. There’s competition to get in the top 6 - we’ll probably play 6 for the most part. A couple other guys might get in that mix too.

Special teams

Just two days agao we were doing individual drills in special teams. Dawson said we got 130 individual reps in that period. Guys know how imiportant it is and how it can make a difference. I’m seeing great leadership (Mike Dawson), effort and attention to detail.

Kickoff speicalist update?

Punter and kickoff specialist is up for garbs. We feel good about Conner at placekicker.

Staff updates

It sounds like Andrew Sims will be the new chief of staff.

Coach Osborne at practice the other day

Coach Osborne is around a lot. I want him out there as much as he wants. Coach Darlington has been around. Coach Samuel too. We’re a Husker family.

Speed of play and how the players are processing information

We’re pushing the young guys hard - we’re tough on them. Its tough to know everything we want as fast as we want. There’s separation between them and the olders guys that have done it before.

It helped for the guys here for spring - those guys have had a lot of reps already and are ahead. Some of the guys that came this summer are doing a good job.

Again - that theme of veterans and experience. One place my mind wanders when I read this is if the coaches are pushing the veterans and seeing this separation, is it more or less likely to lead to transfers? Will a young guy recognize what he has to do to make up that ground and put in the time, or will he feel like he’s good enough to play somewhere else? I’m hoping the recruiting and ‘culture’ are bringing in players who will be in the former group, but I don’t know.

On injuries

We’ve had a few nicks and bruises. Most of those are just a matter of a few days. Randy’s is going to be longer. Hate when those things happen.

I believe Coach Frost is talking about freshman linebacker Randolph Kpai from South Dakota. He has been in street clothes at practices, but I haven’t been able to confirm this otherwise.

Gabe Ervin

He came in and was mature and ready for everything. He’s done a good job learning and competing, especially as a true freshman. He’ll definitely be in the mix at that spot.

Pass protection by the backs

The RBs in general have done a good job in pass pro. The thing there is to make sure you know your assignment and be disciplined with your eyes. The biggest thing though is to stick your nose in there and get after it. We have some bigger backs that are capable and I’ve been pleased.

There you have it! Hopefully the good things we’re hearing translate to play on game day this year. At least we didn’t get the dreaded “It was our best day of practice yet” line.

Go Big Red!