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Badger Bits: 'Badger Package' ready to shine in 2010

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Can you hear that? That's the sound of Badger football starting in less than one week. So until then, here are your Badger Bits for Monday, August 30th.

According to Tom Mulhern of, Wisconsin defensive coordinator Dave Doeren has made some changes to the squad's base defense for 3rd down situations. The 3-3-5 package, which sacrifices a defensive lineman for an extra defensive back, is nicknamed the Badger package, and is largely responsible for the difficulties faced by the offense during fall camp.

"It's very interesting," sophomore guard-center Travis Frederick said. "First time we saw some of the new stuff — we saw it last year a little bit but they've put in some new stuff — it was pretty difficult (to handle).

One of the key components of the Badger package is that it allows outside linebacker Chris Borland to be more mobile, and gives Doeren more options to try and control the game during 3rd downs and try and force more 3 and outs from the opposing offenses.

"It's very creative," Valai said. "(We're) coming at you from all kinds of angles, different coverages, from man to zone, to zone blitzes to man blitzes. You have to be on your Ps and your Qs when you're going against us in the Badger."

Defensive end J.J. Watt and middle linebacker (and new team captain) Culmer St. Jean have been doing their best to incorporate a young defensive line into the team's defense, including getting the sophomores and returning redshirt freshmen involved in getting the younger players to take preparation seriously.

More Badger Bits after the jump!

We're winding down the last few days of fall camp- and the team has shifted their preparation to focus solely on their upcoming match up at UNLV on September 4th. Here's the practice report from Friday's practice.

The Badger Sports Report with Bret Bielema is back on the air- check here to find out where you can view the program in your area.

Speaking of Bielema, Michael Hunt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel thinks that Wisconsin's head coach has grown a lot since he took over the program after Barry Alvarez retired. Bielema is 38-14 after four seasons, a mark only topped by Ohio State's Jim Tressel for best record in a coach's first four years.

Jeff Potrykus from the Journal-Sentinel points out that Wisconsin definitely fits Lou Holtz's 'Five Pillars' strategy for having a championship caliber football team. Both Holtz and Alvarez preached that a team needs five outstanding players and a solid supporting cast if they want to be successful on the national level.

Quarterback Scott Tolzien, who is mentioned as one of Wisconsin's 'Outstanding Five', needs to shoulder some of the burden when the Badger rushing attack stalls during a big game, writes Tom Oates of

And finally, punter Brad Nortman has been perfecting the hilariously named 'pooch punt' for the upcoming season.

That's it for me today- I'm off to pick up my student section tickets this morning.

5 days until kickoff!