Nebraska defensive coordinator Bob Diaco and Mark Banker, the man who held that same position last year, are not seeing eye-to-eye right now.
After practice on Tuesday, Diaco said his players did not like the rugby-style tackling system implemented under Banker. And what’s more: Diaco said the Atavus system was there because Nebraska’s athletic department — not coach Mike Riley — wanted it there.
“The tackling degenerated,” he told reporters after the game, per the Omaha World-Herald’s Sam McKewon. So when you think about it — you think about a player showing up here who’s a really great tackler and then becomes a worse tackler? That doesn’t make any sense.
“So I had no idea until we went to our tackling drill in the first full practice of spring football and found that the players were spectacularly frustrated during the drill, because they’re willing, they’re talented enough to tackle, they’re tough enough to tackle, they’re willing tacklers, they want to do well, but they don’t fundamentally know, anymore, how to tackle. At all. So we’ve been working hard at just that one thing.”
“He’s full of it,” Banker said. “He’s making excuses. It was not mandated by the administration — not to my knowledge — it was suggested and then it was put forward by our head coach to bring that company in, and then we used that method.”
Banker was Nebraska’s defensive coordinator for Riley’s first two years with the program before the head coach informed Banker, a longtime friend who was with Riley for 12 years at Oregon State.
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