Nebraska defensive coordinator Erik Chinander said the defense was basic in Nebraska’s scrimmage in Memorial Stadium over the weekend. Chinander said that was done to give Nebraska’s players a chance to all get reps in the scrimmage. “We were just evaluating technique, effort, communication, and seeing who could tackle,” Chinander said. “For the most part, it was pretty good, but we definitely have some work to do, and some people to shuffle around on the depth chart.”
Chinander said bringing in Jason Peter and Grant Wistrom to talk to his defense was important because he wants his players to embrace the past. “When they were here, the bar was set pretty high. It’s not quite like that right now. I want those guys to get a taste of what that standard is and what the bar’s supposed to be and how you’re supposed to act as a Blackshirt.”
Chinander said he saw a lot of shocked faces from his players when the duo was talking. He said it was like the defense was practicing. The first-year defensive coordinator noted an increased intensity after the pair had talked with the team.
“There was electricity in the air,” Chinander said.
There was also the beginning of some separation among the top units. Chinander said that up to Sunday, the Huskers had a "pretty flowing" depth chart with players mixing and matching with different units at every practice.
But "Sunday was the first time we did a real evaluation," Chinander said. "I don't think there's a guy where we've said 'you're irreplaceable; you're a No. 1.' But we kind of know who the 1s and 2s are."
Chinander said another scrimmage, set for Friday, will further define the top two units.