Nebraska Football

Nebraska Football: Erik Chinander ready for pressure-filled 2022

The word ‘pressure’ can certainly be used to describe an emotion that the Nebraska football coaching staff is feeling. Heading into the 2022 season, the pressure is on them to succeed. Yes, Nebraska football was close to winning several games last year. But that’s just it, they were close. They did not actually win the games.

All told, Nebraska football finished with a 3-9 record. We the fans want to see improvement in 2022, so there is undoubtedly pressure within the program.

To the credit of the football program, they replaced most of the previous staff with quality coaches. For those that remained from the previous staff, there was improvement at the positions they coached. Take Erik Chinander for example.

The 2021 Nebraska football season saw the defense played considerably better than the previous year. For instance, they allowed 5.3 yards per play in 2021 compared to 5.5 yards per play in 2020. In terms of rushing defense, they allowed 1,356 total yards this season. That was down from 1,763 yards given up in 2020.

Although the defense was a bit leaky in the back half of the year, there were signs of progress. For a program that has struggled to improve in several areas, the defensive side of the ball appears to be one of the more solid positional units.

Even still, Chinander is feeling the pressure. However, he is embracing it. As a matter of fact, he expects it and thrives off it.  Those were a couple of the things I took from his talk with Steven M. Sipple. Simply put, Chinander thrives on the pressure.

It’s kind of interesting to me that he likes the feeling of pressure. He undoubtedly is feeling it as well, but he’s probably feeling it a little bit less than say Scott Frost. Although true competitors will never admit it, the feeling of the pressure to succeed can be overwhelming.  Nevertheless, it seems like Chinander likes the challenge and I certainly respect that.

“But that’s not for everybody, and it’s OK,” says Chinander, 42, understanding that some people respond to pressure better than others. 

Bottom line, “I want to be around people who embrace pressure. When we recruit guys and hire coaches — I know there are a lot of people who think they know a lot about who to hire and who to recruit — but I just know I want to be around guys who believe what I believe in and think the same way that I do. Those guys who don’t think pressure’s a privilege, I really don’t want to be around them. 

Pressure is something that everybody is going to feel. As Nebraska football looks to finally turn the corner, all eyes will be on the coaching staff. Chinander is ready to take the pressure had on, and I love that. It means he wants to compete, which is something that is going to be necessary heading into 2022.

Erik Chinander is ready, no matter how stressful this may be.

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