Red Report: Huskers hope to live by words in new motto

2013-08-10T17:45:00Z 2013-08-12T12:39:13Z Red Report: Huskers hope to live by words in new mottoBy BRIAN CHRISTOPHERSON / Lincoln Journal Star JournalStar.com

The Huskers have adopted a team motto of R.A.C. for this season.

Relentless. Accountable. Competitive. That specific motto is new to Bo Pelini's program.

"That's been more with this football team and how it wanted to identify itself," Pelini said after the first of two practices Saturday. "Like I tell them, it's OK to have those words, but you have to live them, and that's the key."

Players discussed the motto in a recent YouTube video released by the athletic department, in which they also talk about what Pelini's "process" means to them.

"Coach Bo constantly reminds us that the process is about doing what's necessary to be successful as a team, doing the things that you don't want to do," Imani Cross said in the video. "Because, boys do what they want to do, and men do what they have to do. And that's not easy."

Chemistry isn't one of the words in the new motto. But coaches seem to like how that's coming along in the first week of fall practice.

"The thing that's been real encouraging in this camp is the offense and defense kind of cheering on each other," said offensive line coach John Garrison. "It's not offense versus defense. There's good competition in there, but it's by far the most team-oriented group we've had, which is good."

Pelini said those two sides coming together is just "part of the deal."

"We're a team. It's not about offense and defense. We need each other. I think everybody understands that," he said.

"That's the thing you hate about spring practice, is sometimes you feel it's one against the other. It's something we addressed not only last spring, but before we even started fall practice, is, 'Hey, we need each other.' It doesn't mean you don't compete. You make each other better by getting after each other. But when you're not out there, it's not one unit against the other. We have to be holding each other accountable."

* TWO-A-DAY TIME: Saturday was the first of six two-a-days for the Huskers from now until Aug. 21.

The team will have an off day Sunday. But then comes nine practices over the next six days.

"Next week is no bigger than this week," Pelini said. "Every week is big and every day is big. We have to use every opportunity to get better, and so far, I think our guys have approached it that way."

He said players need to make sure to use their off day Sunday the right way.

"With what we have coming up, it's important that our guys are off their feet and mature and understand what we have ahead of us," he said.

* THE YOUNG BACKS: It's too early to tell how much true freshman running backs Adam Taylor and Terrell Newby can contribute this fall, Pelini said.

"But I know they have the talent to do it. Sometimes at the running back position, it's a little more instinctive position. There's maybe not quite as much to learn."

The biggest challenge for young backs comes in pass protection, the coach said.

"Because, a lot of them haven't been asked to do as much in protection as you have your backs do at this level."

* CARTER IMPRESSING: True freshman Cethan Carter is among the young tight ends getting a good look this fall, especially now while senior Jake Long is out with an injury.

Pelini said Carter has "already opened some eyes" this camp. "I like the guys at that position."

Pelini noted that he's comfortably using any young player "who shows me we can trust them and they're ready to go."

* ARMSTRONG UPDATE: Tommy Armstrong has "basically been going full-go" the past couple of practices, Pelini said.

The redshirt quarterback had his knee cleaned out recently, a procedure that Pelini said was standard and not because of a recurring injury.

While Armstrong has practiced since the beginning of fall camp, coaches were cautious with him the first few days.

"We've slowly worked him into it and he's feeling better and better every day," Pelini said.

* FULL CUPBOARD FOR FISHER: Wide receivers coach Rich Fisher is enjoying having his full arsenal of players available for the first time in awhile.

Taariq Allen and Tyler Wullenwaber, who both suffered ACL injuries in 2012, are back on the field.

Fisher said they're at full speed. Neither player is even wearing a knee brace now.

"I'm really amazed, to be honest with you," he said. "Tyler looks just as fast and fluid as he was last year when he got hurt. Guys like Tyler and Taariq, both those guys, those injuries are tough to come back from. I think you have to be real mentally strong."

* REVISED SCHEDULE: Pelini has changed the media-access schedule for the next two weeks of fall camp. Access will now be Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday instead of Monday/Wednesday/Saturday. NU spokesman Keith Mann said Pelini preferred to hold the sessions on single-practice days instead of between two-a-days.

The biggest difference is that players will be available only one day each week as opposed to two.

Reach Brian Christopherson at bchristopherson@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. Follow him on Twitter @HuskerExtraBC.

Copyright 2015 JournalStar.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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