The second week of fall camp has brought two-a-day practices for the Huskers. After the first week brought too many injuries and even a suspension, this week has been much more calm.
Position battles are really heating up now. That doesn't mean Bo Pelini and staff didn't find some time for a little fun this week. And with media once again being allowed at practice, the media really showed up.
News from the Week
Another injury for Nebraska kicked off the second week of practice. On Monday, Pelini confirmed tailback Adam Taylor has suffered a broken ankle during the Aug. 9 practice, per Jerry Hinnen of CBSSports.com. While the news was disappointing, the Huskers still have Ameer Abdullah, Imani Cross and Terrell Newby healthy.
In fact, Abdullah had something to say about all the talent that surrounds him, per Hail Varsity's Grant Muessel.
Ameer Abdullah, when asked if he ever shakes his head at the amount of RB talent on the #Huskers roster: "Shake my head? I shake my fist."— Grant Muessel (@Muessel) August 13, 2014
Offensive coordinator Tim Beck feels good about where the offense is right now. He said during the Aug. 11 practices that he believes roughly 80 to 85 percent of the playbook is installed, per Nyatawa of the Omaha World-Herald. “Our guys started reviewing more than learning," he said. "And it showed on the field.”
It's not major news, but it still got plenty of attention during the Aug. 13 practice. Husker coaches faced off in a little dance competition. The photos truly are worth a thousand words.
Important Position Battles
The quarterback competition continues. While it's hard to see Tommy Armstrong losing the No. 1 spot by the first game, it's clearer than ever that it's not a cake walk for him, Ryker Fyfe or Johnny Stanton.
During the Aug. 13 practice, Pelini said who falls where. "Right now, obviously the top three are Tommy, Ryker and Johnny (Stanton). Probably in that order," Pelini said, per Jon Nyatawa of the Omaha World-Herald.
In the absence of Charles Jackson, Pelini expects Byerson Cockrell to now start at nickelback this season. That doesn't mean Cockrell won't have some competition, though. As the Lincoln Journal Star's Brian Rosenthal reported, Pelini believes that true freshman Josh Kalu “has made a big jump” at nickelback.
Pelini said he feels good about nickelback, saying Byerson Cockrell is "looking good" and true frosh Josh Kelu has "made a big jump."— Brian Rosenthal (@HuskerExtraBR) August 13, 2014
“I feel good about our nickel position right now,” Pelini said, per Rosenthal. “Those guys have really learned a lot, and we’re throwing a lot at them, so it’s good.”
After the Aug. 9 practice, Armstrong was seen sporting the green non-contact jersey, according to Greg Smith of Black Sports Online. With the quarterback competition heating up, it was a bit of concern to fans as to how long he'd have to wear it. By Aug. 13, Nyatawa reported that Armstrong was no longer wearing it.
The defense definitely took a big hit during the first week of fall camp with injuries and a suspension. As a result, Pelini spent some extra time working with both the defensive backs and linebackers this week. Nyatawa noted that there was some good competition between the two units and quality reps as well.
As for special teams, there's a well-known player interested in helping out. That guy is Abdullah. He was seen taking punt return reps alongside Jordan Westerkamp, De'Mornay Pierson-El and Jordan Nelson, per Muessel. Abdullah explained:
I consider myself one of the better players on this team, so I want the best players out there at all times...Just because you play a pivotal role on the offense doesn’t mean you can’t contribute on special teams, because you want the best 11 out there at every phase of the game.
It should be interesting how it all shapes up in the next couple of weeks.