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Husker columnist

Steven, a lifelong Nebraskan, newspaper enthusiast and UNL grad, joined the Journal Star in 1990 and has covered NU football since 1995.

Husker football practice, 9/26/17

Nebraska cornerbacks coach Donté Williams in action during football practice on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, at Hawks Championship Center.

Welcome to another edition of the Husker Extra mailbag.

Let's get right to it.

I asked Nebraska offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf on Monday how he would characterize the chemistry between Tanner Lee and his receivers. "I think overall, it's pretty good," the coach said. "We've had some new guys playing at times. A couple weeks ago, we were playing with Gabe Rahn and (Bryan) Reimers and some guys that haven't gotten as much work. It takes time to continue to build chemistry. That started last spring and all through the summer. But it's a continual work in progress." The safe answer is Lee has better chemistry with some receivers than others, which is only natural. As we assess this particular question, it becomes clear why coaches always stress the importance of quarterbacks gathering receivers for extra work during the summer months.

That's a novel idea. It's unique. And at my age, I appreciate more than ever ideas that are unique and novel. However, I'm not sure it makes sense from a practical standpoint. In short, it wouldn't be feasible to have five to seven scholarship offensive linemen in each recruiting class. Which would mean there still would be linemen who matriculate to nearby schools (Wyoming, the Dakotas, Iowa, Kansas State, et al.) to accept scholarships, which has been happening a bit too often in recent years. I think this discussion also must take into account the style of offense Nebraska is running. In a pro-style system, you need big and athletic tackles. How many of those can you find in Nebraska -- guys who are 6-foot-5 or 6-foot-6 and 250-plus pounds and move very well? But as far as guards and centers are concerned, yes, you can find plenty in this state. If your plan includes both offensive and defensive linemen, you may be on to something. I also like the idea of keeping the newspapers heavily involved. We need all the help we can get in terms of staying relevant.

There's no doubt Nebraska's corners have struggled in run support. That has to be on the mind of Donté Williams, especially with all the tough-running teams left on NU's schedule (Ohio State, Northwestern, Minnesota, Penn State and Iowa). Plus, the Huskers rank eighth in the Big Ten in pass defense and 11th in third-down defense, which tells you there's plenty of room for improvement. As for Nebraska receivers' issue with dropped passes, Keith Williams was asked Monday how it can be fixed. "It depends, most of the drops have been 50-50 balls, balls where there's been some distraction. I'm going to do some drills that involve every one of those scenarios. It's up to the kid to have the techniques we teach in terms of taking a picture of the ball, having a photo (of the ball) and re-emphasizing it. It's on me emphasizing it and them carrying it to the field."

There's a name I haven't heard. Nebraska has looked toward Wyoming previously (Bob Devaney) for the right man. And Burman has enjoyed abundant success since taking over as Wyoming's AD in the fall of 2006. However, I believe Nebraska President Hank Bounds and UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green prefer a Power Five-level AD who has ample experience.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7440 or On Twitter @HuskerExtraSip.


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