DRILL BITS: Practice in Pads

Get the latest on Penn State preseason practice as the Nittany Lions put on the pads and continued on without their head coach in the thick of drills.

The tempo of practice certainly didn't let up on Monday, as the Penn State players got into full pads for the the first time in the preseason.

"A lot of guys are usually anxious to get into pads and contact," according to one observer. "But with such a rapid pace and no breaks since Thursday I think a lot of [players] are feeling it."

Monday was "more intense" and the "players got an earful to keep it in gear." As one observer explained, "They are really testing them, which is great. Weed 'em out."

As another observer said, "[The coaches] haven't been letting up, but there are a lot of guys who seem to be keeping up well."

"Tons of guys were excited to get suited up. It's been hell, but the ones who really want it have been chomping for contact."

And who were some of those players?

Among the guys who were out early to "get into it" were veterans Silas Redd, Michael Mauti, Drew Astorino and Devon Still.

Not surprisingly, the buzz around the locker room on Monday was the injury that Joe Paterno sustained in Sunday's practice. "I don't think a lot of guys realized what happened. With so much going on, I guess it happened pretty fast," an observer said.

Back to Monday, the linemen got in some 1v1 drills, which were "spirited." Linemen who have stood out early on defense include Jordan Hill, DaQuan Jones and Still. Freshman Anthony Alosi also is said to be showing "improved technique." "He's not where he needs to be yet, but seems to be getting there."

On offense, John Urschel continues to receive praise for his agility, along with veteran Quinn Barham.

With the intensity of practice, some players have been debating who has it toughest. For example linemen, linebackers or running backs.

"You always hear that, it's just fun. But this has been a tough run, so everyone is feeling like they have it the worst," an observer said.

In terms of Paterno, are there any changes expected in the practice schedule? "Doubtful," one observer explained.


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