Conference media days are typically a day for every coach to share their unwavering excitement for their team, and not much more. It’s rare you get any sort of juicy nugget out of a coach during a brief Q & A with the media, and then repeating all their talking points with every writer, radio host, and any other media type for the next several hours. Bill O’Brien, however, managed to slip in an interesting tidbit, that if accurate, presents some interesting options for the PSU defense. Adrian Amos and Stephen Obeng-Agyapong could see time at linebacker.
The idea of Amos playing a linebacker role is not new. Early in O’Brien’s tenure, the prospect of Amos moving to safety, and playing more of a hybrid role came up. After the secondary depth was wiped out prior to the 2012 season, that move was scrapped, and Amos stayed at cornerback. A year later, Amos is listed as a safety, and the lack of depth at another position may make O’Brien’s early idea more of a necessity. After Glenn Carson, Mike Hull, Nyeem Wartman, Ben Kline, Gary Wooten, and freshman Brandon Bell, there are plenty of questions.
I have no doubt Amos has the ability, both athletically and mentally to step into the linebacker spot in a situational basis. Obeng-Agyapong presents some concern, but his improvement in the second half of last year, and now an additional off season in the new defensive scheme alleviates most of those worries.
I would expect either player to be used at linebacker in a strictly situational basis. Going back to early last season, Mike Hull became a situational player in obvious passing situations. Amos or SOA could play much of the same role, essentially going to a nickle or dime like defense, while still showing more of a 4-3 look. Perhaps the biggest reason to not question the move is the guys who had the idea: Bill O’Brien, Ron Vanderlinden and John Butler showed.
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