[PODCAST] Nebraska defensive coordinator Erik Chinander talks about up-tempo practice style

By Matt Reed | Posted 8/3/2018

(Photo via omaha.com)

The guest on today’s USA Football Coach and Coordinator podcast is Erik Chinander, defensive coordinator at the University of Nebraska. This is Chinander’s first season at Nebraska after spending the last two seasons at the University of Central Florida. Chinander moved to Nebraska when Scott Frost moved from being the head coach at UCF to the same position at Nebraska. UCF’s defense forced an increased number of turnovers, ranking second in the nation in takeaways in 2017. And Chinander helped the UCF team to a 13-0 season and ranking top three in the American Athletic Conference in defensive touchdowns, scoring defense and pass efficiency defense. 

Before coaching at UCF, Chinander spent two seasons at the University of Oregon. Chinander coached the outside linebackers in his second stint at Oregon. He coached one year in the NFL in 2013, working as an assistant defensive line coach for the Philadelphia Eagles. Chinander first came to Oregon in 2010, working as an intern for a year and a defensive graduate assistant from 2011-12. His other coaching experience includes time at the University of Northern Iowa from 2004-09 and one season in 2003 at Ellsworth Community College (Iowa). Chinander played as an offensive lineman at the University of Iowa from 1998 to 2002. 

RELATED CONTENT: How Scott Frost evolved Chip Kelly's offense at Central Florida

On today’s show, Chinander and host Keith Grabowski talk about the “black shirts” at Nebraska, running an up-tempo practice and using specific language in the game plan.

Show Notes

  • 0:49     Learning coaching strategies from big-time coaches
  • 2:27     Making the decision to get into coaching after playing
  • 4:33     Transition when a coaching staff moves to a new program
  • 7:25      Learning from Chip Kelly in being the best at practice
  • 10:52   Balancing between practicing up-tempo and teaching players
  • 14:15    A language to make players understand the coaches better
  • 17:04   Spending time coordinating between offensive and defensive staff
  • 19:03    Installing up-tempo style in the meeting room
  • 22:48   Using brief, concise language to communicate to players
  • 24:49   Teaching effectively in postgame evaluation
  • 28:52   Being efficient with practice time during the week
  • 31:40   Splitting up different parts of the game across the coaching staff
  • 33:25   The set work flow in practice throughout the week
  • 36:05   Getting many reps of the game plan before the game
  • 39:12    Utilizing the outside linebackers in the odd front
  • 40:59   Working with the defensive line in an odd front
  • 43:06   Understanding the traditions at Nebraska
  • 44:56   The meaning of the “black shirts” with the Nebraska defense
  • 46:37   The Winning Edge 


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