Sorry for the super late update. We will try to be quite thorough with our breakdown to make up for the lack of reading material yesterday.
We previously mentioned in our Diaco 101 story that there would likely be several position changes as Diaco learns how all of the pieces fit together throughout fall camp. Today we got another taste of that storyline as we heard of guys testing the water at different spots and others making a push for playing time.
Up until the last few days, Luke Gifford had been battling neck-and-neck with Marcus Newby to start at the DOG linebacker position. Today, coach Trent Bray shed some light on the development of sophomore Tyrin Ferguson as he has begun pushing for playing time, adding depth to the position.
“He’s really adding more depth to that Dog position,” Bray said of Tyrin. “In the last 3-4 practices his production has skyrocketed. We’re liking what we see from Tyrin. He gives us that extra depth and ability if things happen to move guys around.”
With Ferguson adding depth on one side of the field, the Huskers are likely to continue to test the waters with Gifford at the CAT position on the opposite. He took some snaps there over the weekend scrimmage and mentioned to Huskers Online that he’s been working with coach Parella to improve his pass rushing technique.
Regardless of where Gifford lines up, he appears to have a nose for the ball and has shown terrific instincts throughout fall camp. Keep an eye out for Diaco to continue to find ways to put Gifford and other playmakers on the field together.
Bray says Gifford getting hands on footballs everyday. “His intensity, focus and play-making ability is really showing right now.” #Huskers
— Brian Rosenthal (@GBRosenthal) August 8, 2017
If the same Luke Gifford that’s been terrorizing practices shows up for the season Nebraska might have an exciting defensive playmaker.
— Mike Schaefer (@mikejschaefer) August 8, 2017
With the continuous installation of the 3-4, Bray offered praise for the defense noting that players have soaked up everything thrown at them and are ahead of the curve with the implementation of the new scheme per Land of 10:
“Every day we’re putting a lot of stuff in and flooding them with stuff so next week can just be review,” Bray said. “So we’re still installing and they’ve handled all of this information really well. That’s been really good. We’re way ahead of where we thought we’d be right now.”
“We thought we’d have to slow down installation at some point because we thought we were being a little aggressive with it, but so far we haven’t had to. They’ve handled it well.”
Brought in to overhaul the defense, coach Diaco is starting to see players buy into teaching style and intensity. By all measures, Diaco is going to help every player get better by holding them accountable for the good performances and bad.
“There is a standard and accountability where you’re either going to produce or you’re not going to produce, and he’s going to find somebody who will produce. Across the board, he’s put in the level of intensity and accountability he wants out of us.”
The accountability has been raised,” Said MIKE linebacker Chris Weber. “I think if you’re not buying in, move aside because someone else is going to take your spot.”
While the defense has come a long way since this spring Diaco didn’t mince words about where they are today versus where they need to be:
“Guys are working hard,” Diaco said. “Guys are trying hard. There’s a higher understanding of what we’re asking them to do and we have a long, long, long way to go. We’re a work in progress and it’s going to take time.”
Coach Bray was on the same page as Diaco noting the improvement that’s happened already and that the path ahead isn’t a short one.
“I feel really good about where we’re at and where we keep moving to,” said coach Bray. “If we can keep growing and moving and getting better like we have so far, it’s very exciting. We just have to keep doing it.”
While Husker fans are eager to see the look of the new defense, it sounds like the players are just as eager to show it off.
“We’re all ready to go show what we can do,” defensive end Khalil Davis said after practice. “There’s a lot of different talents and a lot of different speeds, so it’s going to be pretty scary to see.”
Khalil Davis eager for this D to go public. Thinks it can do many different things. “It’s going to be pretty scary to see what we can do.”
— Brian Christopherson (@Husker247BC) August 8, 2017
- Ben Stille and Peyton Newell are both impressing coachines and fighting for playing time this fall.
- New safeties coach Scott Booker said its too early to name who leads for KR and PR duties
- Caleb Lightbourn continues to grow as a sophomore and is improving daily
- Currently, Newby and Gifford are both splitting time at the #1 DOG position regardless of Giffords time at CAT
- Linebackers to continue to keep an eye on this fall – R.Fr Pernell Jackson, So. Mohamed Barry, So. Tyrin Ferguson
- CAT Linebacker positions is up for grabs with no clear leader
- Diaco was coy on heaping praise onto the defense for its efforts the last few days with tackling. He was also careful not to praise the secondary saying their capabilities aren’t known until its a real game situation.
- Jr. Dedrick Young and Sr. Chris Weber currently lead for the starting Mike and Will linebacker positions with true freshman Avery Roberts continuing to impress players and coaches alike.
/ 2 months ago
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