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 Thursday's episode, Adam Carriker talks about the biggest differences he's noticed between the Huskers' preseason in year one under Scott Frost versus this year's preseason — who the biggest leaders have been, what the practice environment has looked like and much more.
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Here's a transcript from 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.
Bleed Husker red. B-H-R. If ya ain't watching the video and you're watching the transcript, you might want to turn on the video. Now let's see if I can show you the back of this shirt. Get my big butt turned around.
Alright, I hope you guys were able to see the back of that shirt. If you like this shirt, I think it's a pretty freaking sweet shirt, check it out at Cornhusker memes. They're not even paying me for that. They just make really good shirts, and I think it's pretty cool.
Now, the question on the docket for today is... Because I've had several fans ask me, "Adam, this offseason, alright, you saw some things last offseason, you talked about it on the show. But, what's the biggest difference from Scott Frost's first offseason heading into year one versus Scott Frost's second offseason heading into year two.
What's the biggest difference that you see?
And the obvious answer is Husker power, bigger necks, bigger guys. Okay, that's an obvious answer, but here's one that maybe isn't so obvious.
Alright, so, when I was at practice a year ago, alright... and I'm not supposed to go into a whole lot of depth with what I see at practice. I respect that, program first and foremost. But, one thing I will say is, is a year ago when I went to practice I saw a lot of wide eyes.
Again, if you're not watching this video, you should turn on the video real quick because Frost was talking to them at the last practice I was at, and here's what I saw... It was like a deer in the headlights. It was literally like deer in the headlights. Guys were like, "What are we doing? What am I supposed to do? What do these new coaches want from me? My head is spinning right now. I'm a deer in the headlights, the truck is coming and I don't know what to do to get out of the way or move the freaking thing."
That was the looks that I saw, and it was to be expected. Completely different culture, completely different things Frost was trying to do from Riley, right?
I was surprised to the degree that I saw it. That's what surprised me.
Now, I'm coaching a 9U football team this year. My son Jacob, he's been dying to play tackle football.
Going into fourth grade, I relented, I did a whole show on it: "When should you put your kids into tackle football, when should you not?"
Go back through the archives of the Carriker Chronicles at Omaha.com/Carriker and check it out if you wish.
But, my son is playing his first year of tackle football. I'm blessed and able to be the coach.
A month ago when we started practicing, I was talking to the kids and I saw that same look. Just deer in the headlights, no clue trying to figure it out. What is going on?
I would expect that from nine year-old kids. The one thing I've told them, is we're going to be physical. We're going to teach you the right way to block, the right way to hit. We're going to be physical, we're going to drive people backwards, we're going to drive them into the turf and help them up, and we're gonna do it again the next play. All clean between the whistles.
So, we've had a scrimmage and we've had our first game.
Our first game we won 44-0, but the score aside, the first scrimmage we had we played a 10U team. A 10U team, we're a 9U team that's never played together. This 10U team played all last year together. Halfway through their players started complaining that we were hitting them too hard. They started complaining to their coaches, and their coaches got mad at them, like, do something about it, there's nothing dirty.
Then this past Saturday, the coach started complaining to the officials, and the officials started throwing flags. And I said, "What's the problem? Are we holding?" They said no. I said, "Are we hitting after the whistle?" They said no. I said, "What's the problem?" They said it's excessive blocking. I said, "What, it's what?" I'm taking your name down sir, and I'm calling the league office. You're not going to be a ref next — excessive blocking.
It's like the Blind Side, when he drives the kid into the freaking stands. You know? Anyways, I digress.
My point is this, the looks in my kids' eyes is they're getting it and they're having fun.
When I was at the Huskers' spring practice, the most recent spring practice I went to, you could see the looks in the players' faces was different.
They're getting it. They're understanding it. Not only that, they're buying in.
The energy at the most recent practice I was at was that of what you would expect on game day. The offensive guys were on the other sideline. I was standing with the d-line, and they were doing that thing where they put their arms interlocked and they sway back and forth like they're going to a song or something. It was great energy, and on the defensive side, it was very vocal, especially the defensive line, and especially, one individual, one player in particular, and he stuck out to me for two reasons.
Number one, he was very vocal, very positive, but he had only been there for like two months. I'm like, wow that's pretty — I'm just going to say it — pretty ballsy to be that vocal that quick, but I love it.
It was Darrion Daniels. He stood out to me. He was so vocal, so positive and players were already following him. He'd barely been there a couple of months. So, when he was voted to captain... What was that, just a few days ago? He was voted to team captain, one of the four team captains. I wasn't surprised at all.
Now, would I have been surprised if he wasn't voted team captain? Maybe not, maybe so, but I'm not surprised at all that he is a captain.
You can see the energy, you can see the guys get it, you can see the buy-in, you can see the culture. I don't know if it's completely changed, alright, but it's clearly changing.
Now, I know I took a little bit of a roundabout way to get to my point. I compared the Huskers to a 9U football team, you know what I'm saying? My son has been waiting forever to play tackle football, and he's so excited to do it. In fact, he tried to tackle me when I finally said he could play.
I love coaching these kids, I love watching the Huskers, and to me, it was very similar. The wide-eyed that I saw from players on both teams and the change that you can see.
Now, obviously the Huskers are at a much higher level, but you get my point.
Alright, tune in Saturday, gut reaction within 30 minutes or less after the Huskers play South Alabama. Sunday night, Carriker live, it's back ladies and gentlemen. On Facebook, 8 p.m. central time.
Until then Husker nation, 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.