Created:Saturday, March 26, 2011 3:49 p.m.CDT
Updated:Saturday, March 26, 2011 3:50 p.m.CDT

Harnish learning new offense

When it comes to his personnel surroundings, Chandler Harnish has the luxury of familiarity this spring.

He crouches behind the same center, Scott Wedige, who is lined up next to the same offensive linemen. He has the same receiving targets, led by the trio of Willie Clark, Martel Moore and Nathan Palmer, each of whom have looked spectacular at times this spring. And the Huskies' stable of running backs is as talented as it is deep.

All the personnel pieces are in place for Harnish to have a banner senior season.

"I feel so much more comfortable, because I know what the timing of their routes are going to be," Harnish said of working with the same receivers. "We're on the same page. We can make eye contact when we want to change a route. With all those guys, I feel so comfortable."

All the personnel pieces are in place, but the mental part of the game hasn't come so easy.

Harnish, along with his teammates, have spent the first week of spring practices picking up first-year coach Dave Doeren's new offense. The transition to a new offense hasn't gone off without a hitch.

The plays are similar, and many of the schemes are the same. But Harnish said 75-80 percent of the offense has new terminology, something that's created a mix of confusion and frustration.

But the Huskies have been able to install a lot of their offense in the first week of spring, Harnish said, and he expects things to be running smoothly by the middle of next week.

"Mentally, I feel great. I think guys are really starting to pick (the offense) up," Harnish said. "When you learn a new offense, there's always going to be some bumps in the road. We're positive though. We know we're going to be a good offense."

Will NIU football win the MAC this season?