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Official Husker Locker Blog

2010 Apr 03

SPRING FB: Offensive 'Flashes' in Scrimmage


By HuskerLocker

It appeared that offensive coordinator Shawn Watson was pleased following the Nebraska football team’s first major scrimmage of spring camp.

Because the media doesn’t watch scrimmages, it’d be hard to tell you precisely why that was. Watson, while upbeat, was certainly sticking to the very basics.

“All we wanted to do was block,” Watson said. “Wanted to run. Tackle. Throw. Catch.”

And yet Watson said the offense, through 10 days of workouts, was “right where we want to be.”

“We’re seeing execution on film with a bunch of younger players, sorting through what, a week ago, was new,” Watson said. “It’s become familiar.”

The handful of injuries sustained before or during spring camp has opened the door to backups like sophomore tight end Kyler Reed, whom Watson pointed to as a player benefiting from minor setbacks to sophomore Ben Cotton and senior Dreu Young.

“Sometimes hardships bring a blessing to somebody else,” Watson said. “And that’s what it’s been for (Reed). He’s getting better because of the reps.”

Elsewhere, NU is getting good work from its skill players at quarterback, running back and wide receiver, although Watson wasn’t exactly singling any player out. In questions posed to him, Watson praised quarterback Taylor Martinez and Rex Burkhead, but added “that goes for all the players” at their given positions.

Over the course of 150 plays, Nebraska rotated its quarterbacks every eight. Martinez, a redshirt freshman, is “getting better” as a passer thanks to a “humble attitude” and a “hard hat” work ethic.

Running back remains a strength with three experienced backs - senior Roy Helu and sophomores Burkhead and Dontrayevous Robinson - leading the way.

“Never been a problem with me, buddy,” Watson said in reference to the depth and rotation at the position. “Everybody’s going to a two or three-back system…what we have now in perfect. It’s by design.”

At receiver, Watson unsurprisingly praised senior Niles Paul, then pointed to seniors Will Henry and Joe Broekemeier, junior Curenski Gilleylen and sophomore Antonio Bell as players who have “flashed” during the spring. That quartet is likely battling for the No. 4 receiver spot behind Paul, junior Brandon Kinnie and senior “adjuster” Mike McNeill.

“Consistency is what we’re looking for (at receiver),” Watson said. “And that’s where we’re not quite at yet.”

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Tags: springtime with bo 2010, shawn watson, rex burkhead, taylor martinez, niles paul, kyler reed, joe broekemeier, antonio bell, will henry, curenski gilleylen

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