All year round, former Husker and NFL veteran Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In the "Carriker Chronicles" video series, he breaks down the latest NU news, upcoming opponents, player updates and recruiting information, and he offers his insight into the X's and O's and more.
On Monday's episode, Adam Carriker looks back at Nebraska football's 2018 season and discusses why physicality on both sides of the ball is a needed improvement for the upcoming year.
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Here's a transcript of today's show:
Welcome to the Carriker Chronicles, the people's show, where we check the pulse of Husker Nation brought to you by Nebraska Spine Hospital.
I'm afraid, I’m afraid I've got some very sad news. You might want to sit down for this one. All right, this is the last Carriker Chronicles show... until Nebraska’s football season starts.
All right, I'll be taking the rest of the summer off. I'll be back when Nebraska's football season officially starts. I had you going there for a second. It is still kind of sad, though.
But anyways, what is the question on my mind today? What is the biggest thing that I would like to see from Nebraska this upcoming season.
Now the first thing seems kind of obvious. I want to see continued improvement. I want to see the team win a national championship, Big Ten championship. That would be a pretty good improvement in my mind. But beyond that, beyond the obvious, beyond what everyone wants, everyone wants to see the team getting better and better.
The single biggest thing I would like to see — beyond the obvious — is I want to see the team become more physical.
All right, first and foremost in the trenches, on the Pipeline. They had their first ever Pipeline camp this summer. I had the honor of being a coach there. They want to bring back that physicality in the trenches where they're punching you in the mouth.
I know it's a spread, fast-paced offense, but if you're watching, they do a lot of double teams. They do a lot of hitting in the mouth. That Colorado game, the first game of the season, our O-line clearly won the battle in the trenches. Now the rest of the season, it was spotty. Especially that first half of the season. It was better the second half. I want to see physicality from our offensive line and in the trenches as a whole.
Number two is physicality. First is physicality in the trenches. Number two is physicality on the defensive side of the ball.
There's a reason the offensive playbooks are about this thick, and the defensive playbooks are about this thick because so much of it is a mindset. It's an attitude. It's how you carry yourself. It's are you willing to actually run through and run over somebody in a clean football sense and run through that brick wall. So much of playing defense is being physical, which is that six inches between your ears.
And then the fourth quarter. Nebraska fans know throughout history the fourth quarter has almost always been our quarter. Husker Power has always reigned in the fourth quarter when other teams are tired, they are worn out. I want to see Nebraska being more physical, stronger, making comebacks, putting teams away in the fourth quarter.
I will never forget. I played with Leonard Little. He's a defensive end of St. Louis, played in Super Bowls, all-pro, led the league in sacks a couple times. He was a middle linebacker for the Tennessee Volunteers in 1997. He told me — when I was a rookie in the NFL — he said that is to this day the most physical game he's ever been a part of. That includes NFL games, playoff games, Super Bowls. That Orange Bowl against Nebraska was the most physical football game he’d ever, team he’d ever played against in his entire life.
I'll never forget what Scott Frost said after the Iowa game. He said he wasn't used to seeing Nebraska being out-physicaled by somebody like Iowa out-physicaled us on that particular day.
And it's interesting cause he's got that Oregon background, that Oregon pedigree, and I've always said Oregon was too small because they were too fast. Then when they play teams with speed and size they get pushed around, but that's why Scott Frost wants to bring the Oregon speed and combine it with Husker Power.
I want to get back obviously to winning, obviously to getting better, obviously to improving, obviously all of these obvious things. But win, lose, or draw, anybody who played Nebraska in the past always knew they were in for a physical game, if not potentially the most physical game of the entire season anytime they played the Huskers. Now the game has evolved, the game has changed a little bit, but Nebraska can still be physical. I want to see him get back to that point.
Now, the Carriker Chronicles will return, will be back come that first week leading into the Husker game. When the Huskers’ football season officially begins, we'll get back into our regular season schedule. Until then enjoy your summer, I know I will.
Go Big Red, and always remember to throw the bones!
Thanks again to the Nebraska Spine Hospital. Ladies and gentlemen, when it’s your spine, you do not want to mess around. Experience matters. That’s why you can trust the experts at Nebraska Spine Hospital, the region's only spine specific hospital. They are the best at what they do.
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