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 Saturday's episode, Adam Carriker discusses the second year under Scott Frost, whether or not the Huskers can make a leap in success and how the return of Husker Power will help.
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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.
And The Omaha World-Herald this weekend, heading into game week next week — Nebraska versus South Alabama. The Omaha World-Herald wants to talk about the leap that the Huskers are going to take going into year two under Scott Frost.
Now at UCF, there was a gigantic leap. I don’t know that we can expect an undefeated season. It would be phenomenal, but let’s be realistic, ladies and gentlemen.
But the leap that the Huskers are going to take. So I thought I’d join in on this fun.
All right, to me, Husker Power. Let’s talk about Husker Power because it wasn’t all that long ago during winter conditioning that Zach Duval sent Scott Frost a text and it said, “Husker Power is almost all the way back.”
There’s been a lot of improvements. There’s been a lot of gains. You can see the guys. Just look at their necks. Just look at them walking around. Ben Stille looks like he grew a mountain, like he became a mountain. These guys have clearly grown and improved in the weightroom.
Now the three most important things, that Boyd Epley that Zach Duval, they test for to see athletic ability is the 10-yard dash — actually not the 40-yard dash, it’s the 10-yard dash. The 20-yard shuttle. If you don’t know what that is, you run five yards, change directions, you run 10, and you finish through the last five yards. It’s a 20 total yards. So you’ve got your explosion off the ball. You’ve got your 10-yard dash, then your change of direction. And the vertical jump. Your leaping ability. The two-year leap. Husker Power. How much of a leap have they taken? The vertical jump.
Those are the top three tests that they do.
Now I do not have privy to these numbers. I could ask. Maybe they’d give them to me, maybe they wouldn’t. Kind of feel like it’s none of my business. Even though I’d love to know and share it with you fine folks. But that’s an inhouse thing, and I believe it should stay there. Unless they decide to post those numbers publically.
But you can see the difference in the players. You can see the difference in them not only physically but the way they talk, the way they act, the way they carry themselves. There’s clearly been improvements made in the weightroom.
Now a year ago, that first offseason under Zach Duval, I saw, I saw these videos with these guys — and I’ve talked about this briefly before on the show — where guys were squatting 800 pounds, 900, 750, whatever the case may be. And I noticed something.
I noticed it was always the same two guys. All right, it was always Tanner Farmer and it was always Mike Williams. I noticed it wasn’t more than those two guys.
I think the difference this year is they were squatting a lot of weight last year, but I don’t know that they were getting the depth. All right, I always noticed it was those same two guys because a lot of times if you’re not going as deep, you don’t put that out on social media because you kind of get called out.
And I’m not saying they weren’t doing a good job last year with Husker Power. I think Zach Duval’s idea was let’s put the weight on and let’s gradually get deeper and deeper and deeper.
Hey, I’ve got no problem with that. It seems to be working, but my point is I’ve noticed a lot more different guys being put out on social media being shown what they’re doing in the weightroom.
The team as a whole is getting stronger. It’s getting faster. It’s getting bigger.
Now what I want to see is how this pays off on the field. In the fourth quarter, are we going to be the stronger team? Are we going to be the more physical team? Are we going to win in the trenches?
Now I don’t expect us to come out and pancake everybody like we’re an NFL line. We’ve still got to get better and better and better over time. But what I want to see and what happens late in the games and what happens early in the games and throughout the games at the point of attack. Who’s getting pushed backward more often than not.
Now when I was with the Redskins — I want to say it was 2012 — the year we won the division championship, all right. Coach Shanahan stood in front of the team and he called our strength coach up and he said, what means, what is physicality to you?
And he said, what happens at the point of attack. He didn’t say who squats more. He didn’t say who’s bigger, who’s stronger. He said what happens at the point of attack.
Because what happens at the point of attack obviously is dictated by your speed — boom — getting off the ball by your strength — boom — by your power, your explosiveness, which is speed times strength — boom — there’s also that mentality.
Do you have that mentality to hit somebody in the mouth? Do you have the mentality to hit somebody in the mouth throughout the entire game? For 40, 50, 60, 70 snaps. If you get knocked over, you gonna get back up? You gonna hit them in the mouth again?
A lot of it’s not just the physicality which they clearly improved on, but it’s a mentality.
I want to see how this leap in Husker football. How this leap in year two, this leap in Husker Power, which has clearly happened, how does that affect the six inches between the ears and how does that affect the point of contact, of impact, of physicality this team has this year.
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.