LINCOLN — Some nights before Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah goes to bed, the last image he sees is one of himself, making moves on his phone. He’ll review every run he makes in a game, snapping his fingers when he thinks he should have made a cut and seeing if his hindsight matches up with decisions he made days before.
“That’s really good to do when you’re watching film,” Abdullah said. “That’s one element of my game I’ve been working on is just making good decisions and just hitting the hole hard.”
Abdullah’s research is made easier by the technology that allows him to watch that film at home, instead of holing up in a coach’s office, working a film projector. Each Husker has an account on Hudl — the Lincoln-based Internet company that has taken the football recruiting and scouting industry by storm with its easy-to-manage video systems — and can call up past games or future opponents. NU players also have team-issued iPads if they’d like to use a bigger screen than Abdullah has on his phone.
It makes doing extra film homework — Husker football coaches harp on film research as a key to success — a task that can fit into a player’s life, rather than a trip to North Stadium, around which a player must schedule other events.
It also gives Husker players the chance to make Mondays a true day off. Coach Bo Pelini said he wanted to give players a day “away from football” when he switched Monday install workouts to Sunday. If film review is the one thing they have to do, they can do it online.
Wide receiver Quincy Enunwa said he likes the Mondays off because there are errands he can run on Mondays that he couldn’t on Sundays — when some businesses are closed. He can also study more on Mondays than he can on Sundays, when he’s trying to recover from a game the day before.
“I watch my film during the week, while I’m studying the next team, just to see what I did wrong and what I could change for the next game,” Enunwa said.
Abdullah likes reviewing previous games right after he plays them. And for that, he heads right up to North Stadium’s film rooms, because it’s more “accessible.”
“We have Hudl, online at home, so that makes it much easier to flip it up on your phone or iPad,” Abdullah said. “(But) I always watch film right after the game, win or lose. I usually do it right after the game (at the stadium).”
It’s a method some position coaches prefer as well. Defensive line coach Rick Kaczenski, for example, wants his unit heading to the coaches’ offices to watch film. That’s how he knows, defensive end Avery Moss said, they’re actually doing it.
“He likes the old-fashioned way,” Moss said. “Monday’s supposedly our day off, so we don’t technically have to come, but I guess the people that care about it, they come in and watch.”
Technology hasn’t changed everything.