Sunday, August 10, 2008

Downsizing Husker Football

Every Husker fan saw it last year. An out of shape, overweight, and slow football team emerged from the Tunnel Walk and proceeded to get dominated nearly each and every week. (In case you've forgotten, grab an alcoholic beverage and check out the start of the KOCO-TV (Channel 5, Oklahoma City) highlights from last season's Oklahoma State-Nebraska game.)

Completely and utterly pitiful.

At the conclusion of last season, strength and conditioning coach Dave Kennedy left Lincoln to do his damage to the Texas A&M program. Enter James Dobson. Not the Focus on the Family guy,; he's too busy trying to figure out whether John McCain or Barack Obama would be the lesser infidel as President.

No, this Dobson has been busy trying to extract football players from the dung heap of 2007.

The initial report card... weight is down throughout the Husker football program.

Matt Slauson, down from 350 pounds to 317.
Cruz Barrett, down from 350 to 315.
Zach Potter, down from 295 to 280.
Thomas Lawson (a fullback, mind you), down from 270 (!!!) to 247.
Quentin Castille, down from 255 (!) to 233.
Philip Dillard, down from 260 to 237.

Dillard also says that the defense, despite the downsizing, is more physical than they've been. That's half the battle. The other half is speed. Players all say they are faster and more athletic. Problem is... we always hear that after summer conditioning. So is this just the same old talk? I don't think so... but I think we'll know for sure in eight weeks or so.

1 comment:

Husker_Engineer said...

Couple of things could contribute to seeing a faster defense. S&C is certainly part of that. Guys, like Dillard, that are carrying less weight should be faster....

The other part of the battle -- and the one the average fan may not be aware of -- is the defensive scheme.

We have fast guys in the defensive backfield who, last year, did not look nearly as fast because they had not one clue what they were doing out there.