After the offense has had the upper hand the past week, NIU's defense positively responded Thursday morning.
Doeren said it was one of the defense's better practices.
"They had a lot of energy, and good focus," Doeren said. "I thought they stopped the run, did a nice job. The offense struggled with some new installation. I thought they did a bit too many things. They need to get back to what they were doing, but it's a good lesson for them."
In the past week, the offense had looked much better than at the beginning of spring practice. The timing had looked smooth, and the defense was struggling.
Doeren said he was pleased to see the defense bounce back.
"It's spring ball, it's a back and forth," Doeren said. "You can't play anybody but your own team, you know. So you're really competing against the other side of the ball, and then competing against your own personal display of what you did the day before. That's what I wanted to see. I wanted to see those guys respond that way."
While the defense had a better day Thursday, the offense is much further along with implementing the coaching staff's schemes and terminology.
"On defense, we're nowhere near what we'll have in," Doeren said. "Because of how much we do on offense, we have to keep it pretty basic. But offensively, I think they're just building and building. Sometimes you need to give them a day to review. I think that's probably where we were today."