Husker Defense gearing up as classes start

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The Nebraska football team practiced for just over two hours on Monday inside the Hawks Championship Center in full pads and helmets.

Defensive Coordinator Erik Chinander spoke to the media following practice to discuss the defense's progress and depth with less than two weeks until the season opener against Akron.

"I would still say the deepest [position group] is probably the D-line," Chinander said. "I think we feel good about the linebackers and where we are at, but I think another deep position with the addition of some young guys and transfers is going to be the defensive backfield."

When asked when the team would be ready to name the starters on defense, Chinander explained that the coaches already have a general idea of who is going to be getting the majority of snaps.

"After the last scrimmage I think we got it figured out who the 1s and 2s are," Chinander said. "There are still a few position battles that are probably going to go down to the wire. If we had to name a depth chart today, we could.”

Monday marked the first day of the fall semester on campus and Chinander said the players having to balance classes and practice should not be much of an adjustment.

"The thing about this camp compared to others is there are no more two-a-days," Chinander said. "It's kind of a seamless transition. Now we have to change the schedule a little bit. We don't have as much meeting time in the afternoon so we have to condense that in the walkthrough. This week is going to seem almost like camp to the guys with the addition of class. Thursday and Friday, that's when they will start transitioning into scout team and getting ready for the first game."

Chinander also discussed the importance of veterans stepping up and taking the newcomers under their wing in order to help them find success early on.

"We tell the veterans 'If you're a real guy, our job is to replace you in recruiting,'" Chinander said. "But if you're a real guy, you are going to teach somebody to take your job and know that he can't do it. So I expect those guys to really do a nice job of helping bring those young guys along just like they did in the summer with the incoming freshman transfers. I think they've kind of grasped that concept a little bit."

The Huskers will be back on the practice field on Tuesday morning. Nebraska kicks off its season on Saturday, Sept. 1 against Akron at Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m. CT.

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