Chinander Comments on Defensive Progression on Day 10 of Fall Camp

Nebraska defensive coordinator Erik Chinander met with members of the media following day 10 of fall camp Monday. Chinander spoke on Monday’s practice and the defensive progression through fall camp. 

“I think there is a lot of good and a lot of stuff to clean up,” Chinander said. “I am pretty happy with how the ones operated. Pretty happy with how they tackled. I think the twos and threes we need to tighten up a little bit. We have to have a little more separation on who is going to be those next guys up. We rotate a lot of guys in with the ones so it was not just a pure one mix. It was kind of a one-a one-b mix and I think a lot of those guys showed great competition. I think there are a few guys that kind of separated themselves but there is still a lot of competition at just about every position.”

Chinander discussed the development of special teams. 

“To me special teams is a third of the game,” he said. “When we operate on special teams, it is much easier on the defense. When we punt it and pin them deep and when we flip the field, when we can get a good kickoff down there and we can score points. All those types of things all help the defense. It all helps the whole team.

I also want the defensive players to understand how important it is to be on special teams so for me to coach a drill, to coach a position, to be in the meetings and to help out, I think that sends a message to our defense that this is important and we need to operate. We are also telling the defensive players ‘hey there might be a one and there might be two and three and it might be close, but if you are the three and you are on four special teams and you are the two, this guy is now the two’ because we do not have seats on the bus. The Big Ten only allows us to take so many players, so those backups have to be core four special teams guys or they might not make the bus trip.” 

He also commented on the attitude and health of the team. 

“I think Coach (Scott Frost) has a great schedule for camp and guys are getting rested at the appropriate times and we are working really hard at the appropriate times,” Chinander said. “So, I am really pleased with the way the guys are operating. You cannot get bored at doing the normal stuff exceptional. You just cannot. I think that these guys have handled that piece of it really well. Knock on wood we have had some knicks and bruises but we have not had anything catastrophic on defense yet. So happy with both of those, health and attitude of the guys.” 

He also talked about the defensive progression during fall camp. 

“In the scrimmage I think we had a couple of shots to get some balls out that we did not get out,” Chinander said. “We did get a couple of interceptions so that was great to see. I think the guys are rushing the passer really well right now. So, I think as that all comes together you have to be an opportunistic defense. You have to run to the football. Right now our guys are really running to the ball. And when those balls get tipped up in the air whether a receiver bats the ball and it is not quite there or the defensive back tips it up or a linebacker gets a hand on it. We are getting a lot of those right now. It is lucky, but it is not lucky because they are running to the ball. When you run to the ball good things happen.”

The Huskers will return to the practice field tomorrow for day 11 of fall camp. Nebraska kicks off its season on Saturday, Aug. 27 against Northwestern in Dublin, Ireland at 11:30 a.m. (CT) on FOX.