LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) -- With the season opener just weeks away, the Huskers had a pre-season press conference Thursday featuring Head Coach Scott Frost and select players to give a snapshot of the upcoming season.
Huskers Football Head Coach Scott Frost answers questions from the media during a preseason press conference Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019, in Lincoln. (WOWT)
Frost said this year's team is hungry to get back on the field tomorrow, and with a team that he said feels totally different to him than last year.
"There’s a whole different feel this year, more of a winning feeling, and a feeling that I’m used to," Frost said. "Everyone is in shape, primed, and rested."
Another big difference this year is that the team hitting the field tomorrow has more experience to draw on, and "everyone is in shape, primed, and rested," he said.
"Last year, we had one spring under our belt," Frost said. "The majority of the guys we're going to be counting on this year can run huge amounts of the playbook on Day 1."
But there's still work to do, he said.
"We need guys at skilled positions," Frost said, noting "we have more than we did a year ago at this same press conference."
Those positions will be determined as practices roll out, he said.
"We're going to let them compete just like we let everyone else compete," he said.
Frost on intensifying practices
"We're going to have physical practices," Frost said. "To win in this league, you gotta be tough. You gotta be physical."
Drawing inspiration from Huskers coaching legend Tom Osborne, who spoke to the team in Orlando, Frost said his team is getting close this year to being deep enough that the team can structure practices the way they really want to, adding one-on-one sessions during the week.
He acknowledges it's a risky move, but can pay off.
“We did it some here last year,” he said. But this year, there’s more endurance and depth to allow for ramping up the effort.
"Tuesday/Wednesday one-on-ones are valuable," he said. "Staying sharp and refining our toughness and grit was more valuable than risking an injury."
That will let the coaching staff address the details better than they could last year and keep a more aggressive practice schedule throughout the season, he said.
Frost said he's also anxious to see how the freshmen do, noting that this year's freshmen have an edge.
"True freshmen are at a better point, too, because they’re working with experienced guys and experienced coaches," he said. "Way ahead in the scheme of things."
Frost on quarterback Adrian Martinez
“Adrian is not an arrogant guy, and he never will be,” Frost said.
Calling Martinez a leader, Frost said the quarterback is more comfortable with the fact that he’s the face of the team, and with his offense.
"He’s the type of guy who wants to do everything right and the best way he can do it," he said.
With Martinez, he said, the fact that bad plays seem to stand out more than the bad is a good sign because it means the bad plays happen less than the good plays.
Frost on Maurice Washington
"Right now, I’m worried about him doing the right things day by day," Frost said.
No decisions will be made on his playing status until there’s “more clarity” about his availability, and those decisions will be made under the guidance of the University's athletic department, Frost said.
Meanwhile, he said, Washington is expected to come to camp and continue working like he’s going to play.
“It’s unfortunate that this hasn’t all been worked out to this point,” Frost said, but that process has got to work out on its own timing. “We have to go along with our work and he does, too.”
Frost on Nebraska Fan Day
"It's awesome!" he said. "The interest level in Nebraska fans never ceases to amaze me."
Organizers have put a new process in place with his line this year, which Frost said didn't work to his satisfaction last year. He tried to find a way to meet with all the kids wanting to see him last year, but said he wasn't happy with how it went.
"I'm excited to interact with fans," he said, but also excited to get it over with and get down to business.
Frost said one of his goals as a coach is that when the players leave Nebraska, they feel the same way about UNL as he does.
A lot of the guys on his staff really love Nebraska, Frost said. "I think the players can see that."
Frost on Nebraska expectations
"Coming back to Nebraska, I expect to coach here (for a long time) with a lot of expectations," Frost said.
But the team is going to work on staying focused — shut out the noise and "go to work" to be the best team they can be, he said.
"We haven't done anything yet, so I feel like some of the expectations are premature."
Frost said he wants to get his team firmly planted in the Top 25, but "nothing's going to happen until we go out and earn it."
WOWT live coverage note
Per new media agreements with the Big Ten this year, WOWT will not be allowed to livestream any Monday media sessions and post-game press conferences, home or away. Viewers who want to watch the livestreams can find them Huskers.com and in the Huskers app, according to the University of Nebraska Athletics Department release.
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