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Official Husker Locker Blog

2011 Apr 08

SPRING FOOTBALL: Tidbits from Taylor


By HuskerLocker

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For two years, Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez essentially learned one kind of language for Shawn Watson's West Coast/spread hybrid offense.

So while he might be barking out calls and checks in Tim Beck's no-huddle, simplified attack, he occasionally has that Watsonian terminology or pre-snap routine rattling around in his head.

“You have to deprogram that whole offense in a three-month period,” Martinez said Friday echoing a term Beck has used several times. “You pretty much have to forget last year. Sometimes I'll try to put one of this year's plays to last year's plays but I try not to do that. The longer it goes on, it gets less and less.”

Now three weeks into spring camp, Martinez, the frontrunner to win the starting job at quarterback, said the offense is “getting better every day.” The biggest challenge now, he said, is knowing the pace at which the Huskers will operate for a given play, and the wide receiver/running back motions for those plays.

Running a no huddle attack hasn't been much a problem, Martinez said. NU practiced it each day last fall, and Martinez ran plenty of it in high school.

“I'm very comfortable with it,” he said.

When Martinez said last week he'd talk more to the media, he wasn't kidding. He spent more than 20 minutes with reporters Friday in two different sessions, joking and laughing with several. It created a sharp contrast to fan's perception of a remote, diffident Martinez who chose to address the press very much last season.

Among the tidbits from T-Mart:

***His ankle is close to 100 percent, but he feels the occasional twinge on certain cuts.

***Five receivers have emerged from the pack to work with the No. 1 unit: Senior Brandon Kinnie, junior hybrid Kyler Reed, sophomore Stanley Jean-Baptiste, redshirt freshman Kenny Bell and true freshman Jamal Turner.

***Team chemistry is “closer than it's ever been.”

“You'll probably hear that from a lot of players,” Martinez said. “It's very important throughout a team – how each other likes one another.”

***He said he had “no clue” that Watson was leaving the program until he saw it in the newspaper. He did get to say goodbye.

Watson's final advice?

“Stay confident and keep doing what I'm doing,” he said.

***Martinez worked a little with Beck prior to the Holiday Bowl on improving his zone reads with running backs. NU's awful offensive line play never allowed that extra work to pay off, but it did give Martinez more of a flavor of what it'd be like to work with Beck.

“I used to talk to him a lot in practice,” Martinez said. “We were pretty close.”

Tags: spring football 2011, taylor martinez, shawn watson, tim beck, brandon kinnie, kyler reed, stanley jeanbaptiste, kenny bell, jamal turner

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