Pelini rages after lackluster Nebraska practice

April, 9, 2009
4/09/09
10:37
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Over the past several weeks, I've seen a variety of psychological styles from Big 12 coaches as they assess their teams' practices.

Coaches, like anybody else, can see good and bad in virtually everything. They can sing the praises of a strong workout, or harp on the smallest mistake when meeting with the media.

Most coaches prefer the former, praising their team for work through the dog days of spring. They realize they don't have a game for several months and it's easier to get players to work harder with platitudes than brickbats.

But that's why I'm really intrigued with Nebraska coach Bo Pelini, who blistered his team after a practice on Wednesday he clearly wasn't happy with.

"You can go right down the board as a football team. We didn't play well, we didn't practice well -- not good enough as a football team. We didn't get better," Pelini bellowed after practice on Wednesday. 

Remember, this is a team that is still 10 days away from its spring scrimmage and nearly five months away from its Sept. 5 opener against Florida Atlantic.

So much for the Cornhuskers being lulled into any sense of complacency.  

When asked what a struggling practice like Wednesday's could mean for the team, Pelini had a blunt assessment.

"What do you think?" Pelini told a Nebraska reporter. "It's not good, because you've only got 15 practices, and I didn't like this one."

Pelini has never been about transparency or hiding his emotions. You'll see him celebrate with his players after a big play, but get in the face of a referee if he thinks a call was missed. He's even chased down rival coaches in the past  to challenge them if he thinks it's justified.

Before spring practice started, Pelini promised that he has grown up and matured from his first season as Nebraska's coach.

And I think he has -- with the security that a new contract extension will provide him.

So don't look for many changes in how he views something as seemingly mundane as a simple spring practice.

If Pelini likes it, he'll tell you.

And if he doesn't, he most certainly will tell you that, too.

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