Nebraska Football: Erik Chinander right to feel giddy about defensive depth

Scott Frost of the Nebraska Cornhuskers and defensive coordinator Erik Chinander walk (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)
Scott Frost of the Nebraska Cornhuskers and defensive coordinator Erik Chinander walk (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images) /

The Nebraska Football defense is stacked.

It is safe to say that the defense, at least in terms of depth, is looking a lot better than it did last year. In speaking on the radio Monday, defensive coordinator Erick Chinander seemed pretty happy with the depth that he has at his disposal.

I certainly would be too if I was him. When you take a look at some of the newer names that are coming in, there is reason to be optimistic. Eteva Mauga-Clements and Keyshawn Greene have the ability to step up and make plays.

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Along with the newer names, you have guys who  have already been in the program and are somewhat familiar with the system. Nick Heinrich and Luke Reimer would fit into that category. They have been a part of the Nebraska football program. They know the playbook and what the coaching staff wants to do.

Overall, Chinander seemed pretty happy about the different options that he had. Looking at the depth chart, I would be happy too. He now has the ability to mix and match in certain situations. He is no longer going to have to worry about leaving his best players out there for fear of lack of depth. This year and in the years to come, he should be more comfortable with what he has to work with.

Aside from just the linebacking group, the secondary is going to be a huge bonus for him as well. He alluded to that in his radio interview. I’ve said all along that I think the secondary is going to be a strong group.

"“I like that first group (in the secondary) because that first group has really shown a willingness to not only help themselves learn the rest of the defense but also help that young group behind them,” Chinander said. “They’re willing to hand that torch over. They’re not going to give that torch up easily, but they’re trying to groom those guys.”"

Led by the likes of DiCaprio Bootle, the secondary is primed to have a big year. They are certainly going to have their work cut out for them. However, with this particular group, I feel like they are comfortable taking on the challenge.

This defense is a more complete unit than it was at any point last year. Last year, it seemed like the linebackers could not  get going. If the secondary struggled, the linebackers performed well. There was really no cohesiveness with the entire unit. That should definitely change moving forward

I would feel extremely comfortable if I was Chinander. This year, Nebraska has players that should be able to get the job done. Not only do they have players who can simply get the job done, they have playmakers on both sides of the ball.

Granted, many of these players are new. With a new environment comes the chance of mistakes and missed assignments. That’s okay.

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If I was in Chinander’s shoes, I could live with a few mistakes throughout the course of the game. The raw talent and the amount of options Nebraska football has are certainly enough to deal with the growing pains. This unit has a chance to be very special. Now, it’s just about seeing how all of the pieces fit.