CALLING CARD: LB Nyeem Wartman
Penn State linebacker Nyeem Wartman talks about the Nittany Lion defense, the play of the linebackers and a "mad scientist" coach. Here's a review of his comments: On how what having a guy like Anthony Zettel and Austin Johnson up front does for him and the other lienbackers: "They are unbelievable help to us. They have been so good at stopping the run and pass rushing. It really helps open us up to make plays." On the different pressure looks the defense uses and if it's difficult to understand: "Its not hard to keep track (of all the blitzes). Coach Shoop has taught us all the blitzes in a simple way. Plus, we really like blitzing, so we focus on it. I really like the fact that we go from every direction." On the number of blitzes compared to past: "There is defintely a lot more (blitzing) than weve done in the past. I like it a lot. I like being cut loose." On what a big road win does for him and the defese: "Every win is important, but this was important becuase it was the last win. It was a big win, but we try to focus on each week. Now we have big home game this week with UMass, so that's where we're focused." On Coach Shoop: "His game plans are phenominal. He's like a mad scientist. He predicted we'd have five turnovers and wouldnt give up more than 14 points (against Rutgers)." On the importance of turnovers: "That is big because when we played UCF we didn't get many turnovers. So that is huge so we can help the offense get us back in the game." On the improvement of the defense: "It comes from the staff and players. So many of the guys know each other because we've played together for so long and been through a lot. Coach shoop and the defensive coaches put the right guys on the field and figure out the formula to win." On the change in the team: "You feel a different energy this year. Guys are watching a lot more film. The fact we get Mondays off are huge. We have time to get academics taken care of and get time to get together and watch film too." On the confidence Coach Shoop brings to the defense: "He brings a tremendous amount of confidence (to us). We have been meeting his predictions so we are really buying into it. He hasn't told us a lie yet about these offenses." On Mike Hull: "He brings a lot of leadership. He used to be a lead-by-example guy and now he's a vocal leader too. Just watch him during a game and his motor is non stop. He's always by the ball. That makes you want to up your game." On not giving up big plays: "Two reasons we lost last year. We gave us rushing yards and some big third downs. You gotta give credit to the defensive line though. They are putting so much pressure up front which helps us in back to shut down big plays." -30-
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