Nittany Notes: Practice Wrap

With the Nittany Lions wrapping up practice to wrap up the regular season, the team turned up the intensity and focus a few notches to prepare for their trip to East Lansing. The players were not the only ones who were intense this week.

The Nittany Lions realize that there are still "naysayers to convert" who are still doubting the abilities of this team. One observer talked about how this is effecting the team, saying "Look these guys love being underdogs - the doubt and disrespect fuel them. They have embraced an "us against the world mentality" and it's worked! Has there been a game this year where they haven't been doubted? Maybe Illinois, but even then a lot of folks were pointing to it as a trap game. So let the talking heads doubt these guys again - more fuel for their fire."

This week's practices were "energetic and intense." As we explained earlier in the week, lineup shifted a bit from the normal practice schedule. Normally the Lions run:

Monday: Helmets
Tuesday: Pads
Wednesday: Tops
Thursday: Helmets

This week the practice set has changed to:

Monday: Tops
Tuesday: Pads
Wednesday: Tops
Thursday: Helmets

"The players have had two weeks to stew on this game. There was a lot of punishing hits in practice - so much so the staff were worried about injuries, but luckily the squad came out of some practice battles unscathed," one observer shared.

Paul Posluszny had the defense fired up in practice "getting in some faces and preaching that respect is earned in East Lansing." He, Hali and Zemaitis were "all over the guys to close out strong."

Reports were consistent that the practices went well and the units on both sides of the ball "looked crisp." All except for Wednesday that is, when "a couple of dropped passes set Joe [Paterno] off and into a rant." He has been described as "fired up," "excited," and "intense" all week leading to this season finale.

He hasn't been alone. Tom Bradley has also been "in a lot of faces this week on maintaining the intensity and drive on blitzes and coverages." All around the sentiment has been that the bye week has provided a boost in energy and health to the team.

As one observer said, "The off week did a lot of good. Not in terms of improving plays or assignments, but just in giving the guys back their legs."

Injury Updates:

Greg Harrison: Harrison got the screw out of his foot yesterday and is preparing with his physical theropy to start getting back into action. He will start practicing with the team once bowl prep begins later this month. He is off the crutches and "looks great." His participation in the bowl depends on his progress between now and the bowl game.

Ross Muir: The walk-on defensive end is off the crutches and "back to 100%" recovered from his knee injury. He has been drilling and is working on trying to earn a scholarship next season.

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