The Penn State coaching staff is currently hosting the 2006 Coaches Clinic, which invites high school football coaches from around the region to Happy Valley for instructional sessions, scheme assessments and more. This is a running report featuring news and notes from observers at the event. Get the latest lowdown on the squad.
This is a running report on the Penn State
Coaches Clinic, which kicked off Friday and runs through Saturday. This featuring news and notes from observers at the event. So, stay tuned to this report for regular updates.
Winning changes everything. The Coaches Clinic has the largest turnout in recent history. Last year, the even saw less than 750 total attendees, this year there is well over 1,000 at the clinic this year.
Jordan Norwood is said to be the best complete receiver in the unit. Current he runs about a 4.70 forty yard dash. In drills today no defensive back was able to consistently check him at the line of scrimmage. He consistently got free on drills. Coach McQueary strongly praised his ability to get off the line cleanly and run crisp routes.
Donnie Johnson also looks good. According to coaches they expect Johnson to be the starting free safety this season.
Anthony Morelli is "on the verge" of playing great. This past week Morelli made two of the "best check downs" that Mike McQueary and Wally Richardson have seen at Penn State since Kerry Collins' tenure in blue and white.
Larry Johnson is running a session on defensive schemes this morning. Observers say his energy is infectious and that he should be a motivational speaker The spring was tough for the defense and the defensive staff is asking guys to step up this off-season to help assemble another solid unit. They worked the unit hard.
Johnson says the defense may have to rely on a few incoming freshman this year to get to the level they want to play at.
The defense is running a one gap attacking defense, but they modify the scheme based on the team they are facing. For instance, the defense used a special attack against Wisconsin this past season to confuse Calhoune based on his tendencies in the pocket.
In the past, against zone teams, Penn State's defensive line struggled on matching the zone blocking technique. To address this he sat in an offensive line meeting with Joe Gibbs when he visited Penn State to meet with the coaches. Coach Johnson learned that the up-field penetration the one gap scheme provided wreaked havoc on most zone blocking schemes. He cited the 2005 Minnesota game as an example of this.
Johnson feels the defense has a very good opportunity to be good thanks to the inside play of the line this year.
PSU played a stack defensive scheme last year and will do so again this year.
Johnson said he plans on being on the road for 20 days in May.
It's sunny out so the team and coaches are outside on the practice field. The defensive "passes the looks test," particularly Jerome Hayes, Elijah Robinson, Ed Johnson, Jay Alford and Tyrell Sales. Once observer said, "Alford looks like he could be an All-Amercian this year."
Sean Lee and Jerome Hayes are very fast off the snap. Tyrell Sales has great power. "The linebacker unit should be in good shape for years to come."
Lydell Sargeant is still running with the cornerbacks and is seeing second team reps in the practice.
According to one observer, "1994 was the last time I saw a quarterback hum the rock like Morelli is doing today." His passes are fast and hard.
One downside is that the tight ends (Patrick Hall and Kevin Darling) haven't been a sure handed so far in practice.
Both Kevin Cousins and James McDonald have a similar build, but "McDonald plays with fire."
Cousins beat Timmons deep on an out route, but he slowed up and hesitated in the end. Cousins' issues "are more mental than physical."
Austin Scott "drew oooohs and aaaahs" from the crows after "brilliantly executing a swing pass with jukes and fakes for 20+ yards."
The practice first teamers are:
CB: Justin King
SS: Donnie Johnson
FS: Nolan McCready
CB: Tony Davis
DE: Jimmy Shaw
DT: Ed Johnson
DT: Jay Alford
DE: Josh Gaines
OLB: Sean Lee
MLB: Tim Shaw
OLB: Dan Connor
OT: Chris Auletta
OG: Gerg Harrison
C: A.Q. Shipley
OG: Gerald Cadogan
OT: John Shaw
TE: Jordan Lyons
RB: Tony Hunt
QB: Anthony Morelli
WR: Derrick Williams
WR: Deon Butler/Jordan Norwood
The "defense looks better than the offense, but it is really 50/50."
Price shifted back to guard replacing Shaw. Levi Brown has sat out so far to give the younger guys reps.
Who says Morelli can't run? He can. He just had a nice QB draw play. Then he ran a bootleg, and outran Jerome Hayes -- he turned the corner on him to get upfield.
Pat Hall shifted bac to first team tight end. Harrison and Price are splitting reps at guard.
Butler just "burned" Scirrotto on a grab with a nice shift move.
Derrick Williams is not participating in the practice.
Rodney Kinlaw outran Timmons on a nice run, "his speed looks fine."