DRILL BITS: Second Session

The Nittany Lions continued their 2011 preseason preparations with their second practice session on Friday. Get a review of the practice here.

Friday afternoon marked Penn State's second drills session of preseason camp. Although temperatures were cooler the players were still "pushed hard" in the drills.

The session was once again conducted in helmets, T-shirts and shorts. It included warm-ups, stretching and runs, and continued where Thursday's practice left off with specific position work.

"It's certainly been a change of pace (from recent preseason camps)" with a "faster pace and fewer breaks … some more involved drills" and more running, according to one observer.

As for those curious about Joe Paterno's participation in early practices: "He's out there with a lot of the [units], getting into some details," another observer said. "He looks good and shown a lot of energy."

Here are some player notes from the session:

  • One player who received a few comments on his performance was Brandon Beachum. "I think he is looking sharp. I know everyone is pulling for him to stay healthy. If he can and keep it up he looks like he could really add something (to the offense)." Many expect Beachum to emerge as one of PSU's top two backs (along with Silas Redd because: a. his powerful style is a nice change of pace from Redd and; b. senior Stephfon Green has taken up residence in Paterno's dreaded doghouse for an undisclosed off-field issue. No word on how long Green is booked into the JPDH (Joe Paterno Dog House).

  • The passing work was "pretty loose" again, although QB Rob Bolden was lauded for some "nice deliveries." Bolden seems to be "settled back in" with the team, which was a concern with some given his flirtation with transferring.

  • Another player who has had a solid early performance is LB Gerald Hodges. "Physically he just adds a spark. He and Michael Mauti add a lot to the defense."

  • Also, LB Mike Hull "has picked up where he left off" in the spring, with impressive drive and "an engine that doesn't quit."

There have been pockets of players who are "complaining" about the level of intensity of practice, but "the squad seems to be taking care of that themselves," rather than the coaches at this point.

The team is back on the field on Saturday for its third practice after some unit meetings. The players are scheduled to get into tops for the first time this preseason.

The Lions are also moving indoors to Holuba Hall for the session due to the rain that began to fall in the early morning hours and continued off-and-on throughout the day.

Stay tuned to FightOnState.com for continuing coverage of Penn State football.


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