Lincoln – For the first time this spring, the Husker football team moved outdoors as it practiced inside Memorial Stadium for 2 1/2 hours Monday afternoon.
With temperatures reaching the mid 40s and the Spring Game just five days away, defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove said it was time for the team to become acclimated with the climate.
“We have to get used to the weather and conditions,” Cosgrove said. “It was just time. We wanted to get outside and get in the elements. You don’t know what it’s going to be like on Saturday.”
Although the defensive game plan will stay relatively “basic” in the Spring Game, Cosgrove said the coaching staff will be looking for individuals to step up as they did in Saturday’s scrimmage inside the Hawks Championship Center.
“We want to see guys who can make plays,” he said. “(For) a lot of them it will be the first time they’ve played in front of a crowd. They’ve been on the sidelines with a big crowd but haven’t actually been on the field. We want to see how they react to that and how they respond.”
The 2007 defense will see the return of starting linebackers Corey McKeon and Bo Ruud and defensive backs Andre Jones, Tierre Green and Cortney Grixby. The Huskers also hope to see the return of a healthy Steve Octavien, who may be moved to a rush end position on third down situations.
“We’re just trying to be multiple, trying to get some different looks up front,” Cosgrove said. “We think Steve could help us on the pass rush so we’ll use him on the outside. With Barry Turner not being here this spring, we need to add some speed to that position. He just has tremendous burst off the edge in the pass rush.”
The Huskers will return to the field Wednesday afternoon for a 3:15 p.m. workout that is scheduled to end at 5:45 p.m.