Penn State head coach James Franklin addressed the media on Monday afternoon from the Beaver Stadium media room. For the Nittany Lions, Monday marked the start of spring practice. This is an exciting time at Penn State as Franklin will look to lead the program into the future. After months of traveling around recruiting, doing appearances and getting his staff together, Franklin finally gets a chance to see his team on the field.
Franklin was his usual upbeat and positive self, discussing his preparations for the upcoming practices and what he plans to do when they start. Franklin talked about how has already begun to implement his scheme. “There are 15 implementations for offense defense and special teams. Most guys got one or two in writing and a few tapes before they left for break.”
As far as what the schedule will look like for the next few weeks, Franklin said that for this year he’ll keep what was already in place since players’ built their course lists around that schedule. “Normally we would practice Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and lift two days a week. For this year we will go Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and lift two days a week”
Several players have switched positions due to need. Defensive linemen Derek Dowrey and Brian Gaia have moved to the offensive line. Defensive end Anthony Zettel, who bulked up over the offseason has been moved to defensive tackle. Franklin also stated that he plans on using more starters on special teams. That facet of the game had been a problem for the Nittany Lions under former head coach Bill O’Brien who tended to use more walk-ons to fill those positions.
When discussing depth issues, Franklin was in a joking mood. “I’m going to hold walk-on tryouts. I’m looking around this room right now trying to see if any of you have eligibility left.”
During his press conference Franklin stated that his number one goal with the players is building relationships. He also reiterated that he wants Beaver Stadium to be sold out for every game in 2014.
There will be 15 practices before spring practice wraps up on April 12th with the annual Blue-White game. Unlike the previous two years, according to Franklin, fans can expect to see a real game take place that day. “It’s more exciting for the players and fans.”
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