Coach Bill Busch talks special teams ahead of Husker season

Bill Busch

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Special teams coordinator Bill Busch took the podium following Nebraska football’s 7th day of fall camp practice on Thursday.

Busch was all business as he talked with media for a long time which makes sense due to how last season fared for Nebraska’s special teams.

They lacked in many areas but this season Busch has seen improvement in things that plagued the team last year.

“Our effort has been tremendous on special teams in all phases,” Busch said. “There is no issues with getting a very interested and invested group out there for every drill everything we’re doing. It starts off force really fast.”

Special teams is the very first group that meets every day at 7:30 a.m. and Busch said most of his guys are out there even earlier than that.

Linebacker Luke Reimer says having Busch in this position is making a huge difference already.

“Coach Busch has definitely put a, put a great edge on the special teams,” Reimer said. “He comes into meetings every morning just firing guys up.”

Overall, Busch is decently happy with how things are going.

“In general, we’re kicking the ball well, we’re punting the ball well and we’re snapping the ball well, Busch said. “No decisions are being made as far as what positions they’re going to be, but very pleased with how we got started.”

In addition to his confidence in special teams, Busch has seen a “trickle-down effect” because of the way Scott Frost is stressing the importance of it.

Busch is impressed with how assistant coaches like Mickey Joseph and Bryan Applewhite are handling their units in regards to getting them prepared for special teams.

“Coach Joseph’s doing an unbelievable job of having his guys ready for when they need to be in special teams,” Busch said.  “They’re performing at a very high level with a lot of energy because we need offensive guys that can run down and tackle, it can’t just be defenders that do that.”

The way they are coordinating could be a difference maker for special teams this season.

“Our assistant coaches are incredible and it takes a whole unit of coaches to build to get them ready,” he said. “Yes, I organize it. I’m the one in charge of it. But our assistant coaches are lights out. And I feel it’s going to be a big difference for us.”

Although Busch says positions aren’t set, he did talk about a few key guys in particular and where they are sitting and looking right now and was excited about how he is utilizing running backs in various spots all over units.

Busch says running back Anthony Grant is being considered as a lead option at kick returner saying “I’ve always enjoyed running backs at that position for us because they’re used to ball security.”

“The toughest position to play on special teams is frontline on kickoff return, it’s extremely hard,” he said. “So the guys you pick to be up there are your real dudes.”

Busch is utilizing Rahmir Johnson on the front line for kick returns and gave high praise to the running back.

“He’s an ascending football player,” Busch said. “He’s a core, he’s a leader, he’s part of the core four of everything we do. He just says yes, sir and does everything correctly at full speed. I just have so much respect for Rahmir Johnson and where he’s at and what we’ve asked him to do.”

Gabe Ervin is another one stepping up on special teams.

“Running back names keep coming up in different things,” Busch said. “They’re covering kicks, they’re blocking for people, they’re also running, they’re doing all phases.”

Categories: Husker Sports, Sports