Friday, July 20, 2007

A Look Back at 2006 - Part II: Defense

In the first part, I focused on offense but didn't have time to get to the defense. Looking back at 2006, I have to admit that the injury to Zack Bowman was bigger than I thought it would be. Or more importantly, it meant more to defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove than I thought it would be. For much of the season, the secondary spent most of their time in soft coverage with support from the linebackers. The pass rush was pretty much limited to the front four...which meant quarterbacks usually had plenty of time to find their receivers. The strategy worked ok at times...namely USC. But it also floundered at times, most notably when backup Kansas quarterback Adam Barmann torched the Blackshirts "bend and break" defense for nearly 400 yards. But by the end of the season, Cosgrove had a little more faith in the secondary and unleashed the defense with better results against Oklahoma and Auburn.

As we look at 2007, here's who we lose:
QB Zac Taylor (signed with Buccaneers)
RB Brandon Jackson (2nd round draft pick to Packers)
FB Dane Todd
TE Matt Herian (signed with Buccaneers)
K Jordan Congdon (transferred to USC)
DE Adam Carriker (1st round draft pick to Rams)
DT Barry Cryer (signed with Chargers)
DT Olo Dagunduro (signed with Dallas)
DE Jay Moore (4th round draft pick to 49ers)
LB Stewart Bradley (3rd round draft pick to Eagles)
FS Andrew Shanle (signed with Bears)

Obviously rebuilding the defensive line will be a key point for this fall, as the Huskers will break in an entirely new line. On offense, filling the hole left by Brandon Jackson will be key.

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