The Nittany Lions continued to work drills on Monday afternoon, and with 3/4 of spring practice complete there was perhaps no more fitting time to introduce the 3-4 set to the defense. Get a rundown of what happened, as well as the lowdown on some surprise visitors who were on campus.
Monday afternoon saw Penn State
run a light drill session in helmets and shells to give the squad a lighter workout after the coaches showcased them Friday and Saturday during the Coaches Clinic. Here are some notes from the practice:
Class of 2006 members A.J. Wallace and Chris Bell were on campus taking in Monday's practice. Bell received some light-hearted jabs after showing up to the session in his U.S. Army All-American jersey. "Yeah, he was beaming in the jersey with his sleeves rolled to show off his guns," one observer recalled. "Of course the guys are going to pull him back to Earth."
The team started with work a variety of standard basic drills, eventually shifting the focus onto goal-line situations for a portion of the practice.
Despite there being a lot of initial buzz, Monday was the first time this spring the staff introduced 3-4 drills into the sessions. Running against the scout offense, the defensive personnel for the front seven of the set was:
DE: Jim Shaw
NT: Ed Johnson
DE: Josh Gaines
LB/DE: Dan Connor*
LB: Dontey Brown
LB: Sean Lee
LB: Tyrell Sales
* Connor played the up defensive end spot.
The starting back four lineup in the 3-4 set is expected to be:
LB/DE: Dan Connor
LB: Sean Lee
LB: Tim Shaw
LB: Paul Posluszny
Ed Johnson "did well" at his first set of reps at the 3-4 nose tackle. "He's very vocal out there," an observer explained. "Ed is always talking trash. [I] guess that's the attiude you need playing the nose."
Despite a minor nagging ankle injury, Donnie Johnson continues to see practice reps with the first team defense at safety.
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