Huskers defense looks to put on the pads and bring the energy

Published: Sep. 29, 2020 at 9:44 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - Nebraska defensive coaches and players met with the media viz Zoom on Thursday after practice to talk about where they’re at as a unit, and their goals for 2020.

Touching on a variety of topics, the word that kept getting used was ‘energy.’

“Football is a fun game, and when you’re playing really fast and you know what you’re doing, once they let us get pads on and we’re hitting people, once that stuff all comes together, that’s where the fun comes to me, but we have to feed off each other’s energy,” defensive coordinator Erik Chinander said.

Assistant coaches Mike Dawson and Travis Fisher both talked about their groups -- outside linebackers and defensive backs -- needing to improve.

They both said it starts with the older players.

Two of those older players are seniors Deontai Williams and JoJo Domann.

Williams is coming off a season ending injury in the first game in 2019. With the delayed season, he’s ready to get back at it.

“My mindset is just to stay focused, but right now that the season is back on, I’m fired up,” Williams said. “I’m ready to hit. I’m ready to fly around, show what I got, and I still have a lot to prove just to the defense, to the coaches, and to anything else if I want to go to the next level. Scouts and all.”

Domann transitioned from safety to outside linebacker last year and had some very bright moments, including a forced fumble that led to a score against Wisconsin.

“Our coaching staff has really kept us dialed in and focused, and just the guys on the team – we want to play ball. So, just that’s been driving us to keep coming to work today despite the uncertainty and giving it everything we have,” Domann said.

Regarding the question of a tough schedule, particularly starting at Ohio State, there was a clear consensus.

“To be the best, you’ve got to beat the best. We’re given an unbelievable opportunity here to not only play football, but now play against the highest quality teams in our conference off the rip. So, we’re excited for the challenge and we’ll be ready to go,” Domann said.

" They want to play the best teams .I want to coach against the best teams. That’s why we all came to Nebraska. We didn’t come to Nebraska to play a bunch of games that weren’t going to matter," Chinander said.

“We came here, just like every kid did, to play in big time football games, and that’s what we’ve got right away. So, it’s an awesome opportunity for us as a defense and as a team.”

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