Hey pic Mod!?!?! FU
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: The wrong side of right.
Husker receiver Brooks regaining focus
BY BRIAN ROSENTHAL / Lincoln Journal Star
Saturday, Sep 24, 2005 - 01:29:04 am CDT
Freshman wide receiver Chris Brooks missed time this fall after undergoing minor knee surgery. (William Lauer)
A knee injury during the first week of fall camp certainly didn’t help Chris Brooks.
The true freshman wide receiver needed minor surgery and missed about three weeks of valuable practice time.
After playing sparingly in Nebraska’s season opener against Maine, Brooks hasn’t played a snap the last two games.
Said wide receivers coach Ted Gilmore the week before the Pittsburgh game: “(Brooks) has got to prove he’s ready to play, and right now, in my opinion, he’s got a ways to go. … The trust factor’s not there yet.”
Brooks, though, isn’t blaming injuries or inexperience for his lack of playing time.
“My biggest problem was practice habits,” Brooks said. “I wasn’t a real big practice guy, and that’s what I’m working on. I’m working on bursting out of all of my cuts, finishing plays and just making plays in practice.
“I believe if I continue to do that, I’ll gain the coaches’ trust, and they’ll put me out there when I need to be out there.”
Gilmore, who’s on the road recruiting this week, wasn’t available for comment, but Nebraska offensive coordinator Jay Norvell said Wednesday he’s been encouraged by Brooks’ progress this week.
Brooks said he hears daily reminders from the coaching staff — head coach Bill Callahan, in particular — about giving better effort in practice.
“Coach Callahan, he chews me out every day,” Brooks said. “He pulls me aside and he’s like, ‘Chris, you’ve got to get going. You gotta do it, you gotta do it.’
“I kind of got the heat early, in training camp, when I would catch a ball and kind of lag. They’d pull me to the side and say, ‘You can’t do that. You’ve got to finish.’ And that’s what I’m trying to do. Just seeing Cory Ross do that every play, whether it’s a little handoff or what, he finishes plays. That’s something I really took from him, just finishing plays in practice.”
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Brooks was among those highly touted recruits many figured could make an impact this season.
For Brooks, that hasn’t happened. Yet, anyway.
“The time is now,” Brooks said. “I have to turn it on. I have to take it to another level.
“When you come to Nebraska, everyone expects you to do so many big things. You just have to live up to it. Everyone that signed here … they knew all the pressures and all the standards that were set. But we have to do an excellent job of reaching those standards. And we have to set the bar even higher for those coming in.”
Brooks is one of several Nebraska receivers making a concerted effort to improve during a bye week. As a group, the receivers have struggled in different areas — dropping balls, not running crisp routes and, most recently, not freeing themselves from man coverage.
Pittsburgh, in particular, pressed NU’s receivers and many times disrupted the offense’s timing. Callahan said more teams are playing that type of technique throughout the Big 12 Conference, too.
“That’s a big issue,” Nebraska receiver Mark LeFlore said. “They’ve been doing it a lot, crowding the box to stop Cory (Ross) and just sticking one corner out there on the receiver, saying, ‘We’re going to shut you down and be the great equalizer.’
“That can’t happen in our offense. We just have to practice getting off the ball. There’s really no excuse for it. Get off the ball, get your depth and make the play.”
Brooks said coaches have been stressing the importance of beating bump-and-run coverage this week in practice.
“You’ve got to beat pressure, you’ve got to be physical,” Brooks said. “If you just have the mentality that you’re not going to let anyone stop you, you’re going to beat press (coverage). You’re going to be physical, and you’re not going to let anyone get their hands on you.”
Receiver Terrence Nunn said receivers simply have to be able to beat man coverage at any time. “That’s how it’s been since high school,” the sophomore said.
Nunn said the receivers need to click and get their timing down, and that a week off would help.
Brooks, though, wants to play today.
“Who needs time off?” Brooks said. “I always say I’ll sleep when I’m dead. We don’t need time off. We just need to continue doing what we’re doing as a team, and we’ll do better.”
We really could use him on the field!!!!!