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Thread: The Damon Benning Breakdown

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    The Damon Benning Breakdown

    I asked in SSO's thread if anyone had listened to Damon Benning's thoughts on the defensive performance in his normal Tuesday breakdown with Jeff Culhane. Only one person replied saying they hadn't, so I'm assuming that many of you didn't have the chance to hear it. I will attempt to state here with as much accuracy as possible, exactly what Benning said. Please understand that I am mostly para-phrasing and may not be completely accurate or even use the right verbage. For several years now, I have always looked forward to hearing what Damon has to say. He is very analytical and intelligent when it comes to football and I've never heard anyone explain things better than he does. I've also come to know that when Damon Benning says something is going to happen or when he describes what needs to happen, he never fails to be dead on with his predictions. I respect his thoughts and opinions and knowledge immensely and I wanted to share with everyone what he had to say. Now, if you are not a fan of his or you don't like him, please don't make this a Damon Benning hate thread. I'm merely a messenger here, passing along some things he said that most may find interesting. I'll do it as best I can and try to recall as best I can, exactly what he said on the air.

    Damon started by saying that he is right there with the majority of us that are ringing our hands and venting extreme frustrations at how the defense performed. He felt much the same way that all of us do in the days following the game and so he's not trying to create a false sense of hope going forward. He made it a point to mention more than once that he totally gets the frustrations. That being said, he then offered some insight as to why he think there actually might be a good chance that things not only get better really fast, but actually get really better over the next few games, and by conference play, we find ourselves with a pretty good defense. Damon said that on Friday evening before the game, in the coaches meeting, Pelini made it a point to stress no less than a dozen or so times that this game had the possibility of being very close because of how he was intentionally scheming the game from a defensive standpoint. He then went on to say that because so many freshmen and new faces would be playing roles in the defensive scheme on Saturday, that Pelini wanted to find out right away, exactly who was understanding their roles and who would make the right decisions within each defensive play called. Pelini decided that instead of calling exact defensive plays for most of the night, he would instead send in a call that was a more generalized scheme for that specific play. Within each of those general schemes, the players would then, on their own, be required to figure out and decide exactly what they should do and where they should be, based on the offensive set that Wyoming would come to the line with. Pelini said he was going to do this to find out which guys were "getting" the defense he was teaching them, and which one's maybe were not quite picking it up, OR were making incorrect decisions within each scheme that he called. Once the game was over, Pelini would then have game film that he could go back and study and see which guys were getting it and which guys either were not getting it or were making bad decisions. According to Benning, there were a lot of either bad decisions, misunderstandings, or bad communication between defensive members throughout the entire game, which caused this game to be much closer than it was. Benning didn't say this, but it was almost like he was hinting that things went even worse than maybe the coaches anticipated with many of the new guys, especially in the 2nd half when Wyoming mounted their comeback. This, of course, is all what led to Pelini's now infamous line "it's all fixable". According to Benning, despite his own frustrations, he really does think this is very fixable and can be done rather quickly. Benning offered a couple different takes on how he anticipates this being "fixed". First, Benning explained that Pelini now knows which guys are actually getting it. Benning also said that some guys "got" certain schemes correct, but didn't "get" others right. Pelini can also use this to plug the guys in to positions and plays that he knows they understand, and pull them out of plays they haven't quite mastered yet. Benning said that this will be obvious by the amount of substitution you could see this Saturday and maybe the next few Saturdays, until we settle into a good rhythm and workable scheme. Second, Benning said that Pelini seems to be almost scrapping the 2 gap system going forward. This wasn't a definite, but he said it seemed as if that's what was happening moving forward. I know a lot of us have questioned this on here, so this is potentially good news to my ears. Third, Benning seemed to indicate the possibility of a bit more of a simplified approach defensively going forward. It may not be so simple, that the average viewer (fans) will notice by watching, but there could be enough of a subtle simplification in order for these guys to be confident in what they are doing. Lastly, Benning seemed to be fairly confident in Pelini's ability going forward to defend the spread. Saturday night was merely a night for Pelini to see which direction he needed to go in defending the spread. Benning indicated that on Friday evening, Pelini was figuring one of two strategies to defending the spread this season, and that Saturday night would tell him exactly which strategy he would go to. Once again, this led to the line "it's all fixable".

    Benning, as frustrated as he was, said that he was fairly confident going forward that we would see almost immediate improvement in the defense and stressed that we need to give this a little time. He stressed that he doesn't believe this is like the last 2 seasons and that he doesn't believe we are in store for just "more of the same". He indicated that Pelini, for some time now, has understood that changes were needed, but he needed a game and personnel in that game to indicated to himself, exactly where to go with this young defense. Benning said that despite their youth, we DO have very good speed and talent on the defensive side. Said it is easily the fastest and most athletic defense Pelini has ever had. They're just young and inexperienced and Pelini needed to figure out how best to cover for that youth and inexperience. Benning said that fans will think that we just won't be able to cover for that youth and inexperience that quickly. Benning said his opinion is the exact opposite, based on Pelini's strategy moving forward and Benning thinks we are going to be just fine by UCLA. Benning stressed to not jump off any wagons yet. Despite how he knows we all hate the line that "it is fixable", he said it really is very fixable and he believes it will be fixed very quickly.

    So take it for what you think it is worth. For me, I have always loved listening to Benning and I think he is probably the most intelligent mind analyzing Husker football that is out there. I actually have hoped for some time now that he would eventually become part of the staff. Anyway, wanted to share this with all of you. I know it calmed me down quite a bit and gave me a little perspective. I still have a bit of anxiety and hesitancy going forward, but hearing a guy like Benning explain that much of this was predicted by Pelini a full 24 hours in advance of the game, makes me feel a little better about the possibility of it getting fixed.

    GBR

  2. #2
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    I'll buy it.

  3. #3
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    I'm going to have to listen to that now. I had seen most of DB's tweets after the game but he didn't go into any of this.

    Good stuff!
    Mayans: Sorry about 2012! Better luck next time!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by husker6 View Post
    I'm going to have to listen to that now. I had seen most of DB's tweets after the game but he didn't go into any of this.

    Good stuff!
    He is on Jeff Culhane's show (can't remember what they call it) every Tuesday and does his "Damon Benning Breakdown" 1110 KFAB I can't remember what time they do that part. He is on at times throughout the rest of the week as well, but that is when he specifically "breaks down" the entire game. I would guess if you go on KFAB's website, you could find the information. There may even be sound clips that you can listen to, I'm not sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RedStormRising View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by husker6 View Post
    I'm going to have to listen to that now. I had seen most of DB's tweets after the game but he didn't go into any of this.

    Good stuff!
    He is on Jeff Culhane's show (can't remember what they call it) every Tuesday and does his "Damon Benning Breakdown" 1110 KFAB I can't remember what time they do that part. He is on at times throughout the rest of the week as well, but that is when he specifically "breaks down" the entire game. I would guess if you go on KFAB's website, you could find the information. There may even be sound clips that you can listen to, I'm not sure.
    Yeah there's a podcast somewhere. Thanks!
    Mayans: Sorry about 2012! Better luck next time!

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    Thanks RSR. Not sure if I'm buying all he's selling but Father Time will provide all the answers.

    P.S. I know a good doctor if you want to get that carpal tunnel syndrome checked out!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Big "D"zasker View Post
    Thanks RSR. Not sure if I'm buying all he's selling but Father Time will provide all the answers.

    P.S. I know a good doctor if you want to get that carpal tunnel syndrome checked out!

    I think it's fixable on my own

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    I've heard Damon talk about these things, and I generally find myself agreeing with much of what he says.

    I'll also point out that Pelini has been incredibly calm and collected. For a guy that has never been able to hide his emotions, that tells me he's still pretty comfortable and confident. I don't think it's a ruse, because I don't think such deception is in his nature. I think he really feels good about where things can go.

    Whether or not we get there may be a different story.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by huskrthill View Post
    I've heard Damon talk about these things, and I generally find myself agreeing with much of what he says.

    I'll also point out that Pelini has been incredibly calm and collected. For a guy that has never been able to hide his emotions, that tells me he's still pretty comfortable and confident. I don't think it's a ruse, because I don't think such deception is in his nature. I think he really feels good about where things can go.


    Whether or not we get there may be a different story.
    I meant to mention this as well. Thanks for bringing it up. It's certainly not his nature and he did remain mysteriously calm during the game and subsequent interviews. Even when he went after the officials on the roughing the passer call he was quite calm. I'm wondering if the wife has him on meds

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    I have always been impressed with DB's knowledge of the game and his ability to explain/teach it to the average fan. To me this analysis explains a lot of what we saw happening against Wyoming and hopefully helps pull back some from the edge.
    I cried because I had no shoes until I saw a man that had no feet.

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    thanks for the summary. I think this helps understand what happened in the game and also the comments of the coaches the week before. It is going to be extremely interesting to see who plays on Saturday.

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    Quote Originally Posted by huskrthill View Post
    I've heard Damon talk about these things, and I generally find myself agreeing with much of what he says.

    I'll also point out that Pelini has been incredibly calm and collected. For a guy that has never been able to hide his emotions, that tells me he's still pretty comfortable and confident. I don't think it's a ruse, because I don't think such deception is in his nature. I think he really feels good about where things can go.

    Whether or not we get there may be a different story.
    Good post, T.

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    Thanks for that...
    Notre Dame only had one Rudy but Nebraska gets a new crop of Rudys every season

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    I've never been able to find a Sports Nightly podcast- I'm not sure they're available. But DB also did his "Damon Benning Breakdown" on 1620 the Zone on Tuesday. I would assume it was basically the same and the link is here: http://www.stationcaster.com/player_...=991&f=1810441

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by PaperIsDead View Post
    I've never been able to find a Sports Nightly podcast- I'm not sure they're available. But DB also did his "Damon Benning Breakdown" on 1620 the Zone on Tuesday. I would assume it was basically the same and the link is here: http://www.stationcaster.com/player_...=991&f=1810441
    Cool, thanks for finding that. Hopefully I did a decent job of communicating what I thought DB's opinions were.

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    Thanks for the post. It'll be interesting to watch the D grow as the year progesses.
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    :::extinguishes torch:::

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    Here is my thought, what I saw from us against Wyoming was absolutely disgusting. And watching it, I could not believe that Pelini would put our guys in such horrible situations. This explains a little bit of it, and as I've said before from speaking with DB, Pelni puts guys in calculated situations to see how they will handle it. I'm fine with that, except for a couple things...

    1. We almost lost...

    2. How did Zaire Andersen do when you put him in those situations? What about Jonathan Rose or DJ Singleton? How about Daniel Davie or Broderick Nickens? Are these guys people they don't have to worry about? Or are they writing them off? Or a mix of both?

    I love DB breakdowns he gets it

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by ShortSideOption View Post
    Here is my thought, what I saw from us against Wyoming was absolutely disgusting. And watching it, I could not believe that Pelini would put our guys in such horrible situations. This explains a little bit of it, and as I've said before from speaking with DB, Pelni puts guys in calculated situations to see how they will handle it. I'm fine with that, except for a couple things...

    1. We almost lost...

    2. How did Zaire Andersen do when you put him in those situations? What about Jonathan Rose or DJ Singleton? How about Daniel Davie or Broderick Nickens? Are these guys people they don't have to worry about? Or are they writing them off? Or a mix of both?

    I love DB breakdowns he gets it
    Yeah, I agree. There's still a few things I'm confused about and we did almost get beat. That said, I want to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and so I will. However, Saturday and especially the following Saturday, we will find out if what Pelini did and DB said, will actually happen on the field. Until then, I'm fine and I've extinguished my torch as well

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by utsker View Post
    :::extinguishes torch:::

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    You're not a real fan you stinking naysayer!


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