Nebraska running backs coach Ryan Held met with members of the media following day 10 of fall camp Wednesday. Held spoke on Wednesday’s practice and the running back position.
“We are rolling,” Held said. “A lot of competition. We are grading every play. I like where the running backs are at but we are not satisfied. We have a chip on our shoulder. We just have to continue to practice and narrow this deal down to find our top guys to get ready for Illinois.”
Held was asked if the coaches knew who the starting running back would be for the season opener.
“We are getting closer,” he said. “It is starting to come to light. I am not going to give you the depth chart right now but it is starting to work itself through. It is a very competitive group and they are very supportive of each other in the room. Good and bad. So it is fun. It is fun coming to work every day because I do not have a guy who has played a million snaps so every day is a new opportunity for us to look at a situation and have it presented to us and then be able to go out there and execute it in the way we need to.”
Held explained how having a chip on their shoulder is helping the running backs stay motivated.
“We are always going to have a chip,” Held said. “When the season ended (last year) we were not satisfied with what that position needs to be at Nebraska. We went out and got more guys in the room. We got guys that were already in the room healthy. Now we just have to go out there and be in a position that can run the ball in this league. We have to have running backs that can run the ball in this league. We can’t rely on (quarterback) Adrian (Martinez) to run the ball all the time. There are times we need him and the quarterbacks to (run) but we need to be able to run the football. We’ve got to be able to do it. And then that opens up everything else.
“The nice thing is we are talented at other positions that can really open up some things. But this league is tough. Three yards is a good play in this league. And so you have to be physical. I am on our guys. We can’t tiptoe through the tulips.”
Held also commented on the energy at fall camp.
“Coach Frost does a good job of being smart,” he said. “A little time off here and there to be able to recharge the batteries. But we are definitely in grind mode. I go home and go to bed. I set the alarm and I know when I close my eyes the alarm is going off. We are in that mode right now. We all go through it. But you love waking up and coming to work, coaching every day, special teams the whole nine yards.”
The Huskers will return to the practice field Thursday for day 11 of fall camp. Nebraska kicks off its season on Saturday, Aug. 28 at Illinois at Noon. The game will be broadcast on KBBN 95.3 FM