Pelini Sees Positive Signs on Defense
The Nebraska football team held practice for just over two hours Friday afternoon as part of their ongoing spring football practice schedule. In preparation for the annual Red-White Spring game on April 16, the team worked out at the Hawks Championship Center. Defensive Coordinator Carl Pelini spoke briefly about the defense's progress through spring drills.
"We feel like defensively we're in pretty good shape," Pelini said. "Our emphasis this spring was becoming more multiple and really forcing them to be more comfortable out of the base calls, to the pressures and our movements. I feel like we're getting there, we're not there yet. Because you still have to spend a segment of time working your base stuff. I think we're getting there and hopefully by the end of spring we'll have it accomplished."
The coaches are seeing a lot of development from Eric Martin, who continues to progress at the defensive end spot with his speed and athleticism.
"Eric is having a heck of a spring," Pelini said. "He is really playing well as a defensive end; he's playing well in all the different roles we're asking him to play. It's been a great spring for Eric. He has really made that transition well. He is going to be a force for us."
Behind cornerback starters Alfonzo Dennard and Ciante Evans, Pelini and his staff have seen many backups step up in the spring and make improvements.
"Andrew Green is really having a good spring," Pelini said. "Dijon Washington is playing well, Josh Mitchell is playing well. Those are the guys who come to mind. We're really developing some depth there, which is important because eventually someone will have to move into play nickel and someone will have to play dime. It's important to get some depth at the cornerback position."
The Huskers have welcomed a spring where veteran talent and leadership have returned at the linebacker position. They have been encouraged by what Sean Fisher and Will Compton have shown so far in practice.
"It's been good," Pelini said. "You have some great leadership, not only at that position, but on the defensive in general having Fisher back, he's a heavy player. And having Will (Compton) on the field with Lavonte (David), the backups are starting to come. That is a goal for us; that is something we have to keep stepping up and develop some backups at that position, which we are."
Tickets for the spring game remain available on Huskers.com and through the NU Athletic Ticket Office at 1-800-8 BIG RED.