Brown Talks Spring Football

The only proven commodity on Penn State's rebuilt offensive line, All-American left tackle Levi Brown is skipping all scrimmages this spring so the coaching staff can get a good look at a couple of underclassmen. As such, Brown, a fifth-year senior, does not expect to play in this weekend's Blue-White Game.

In fact, he'll more than likely take in the game from the sideline while wearing street clothes.

“I was told I wasn't playing in this game at all,” Brown said. “I doubt I'm gonna dress.”

In his role as a sort of player/coach, Brown has been able to get a good grasp on the development of a line that must replace four starters. The first-teamers heading into the Blue-White Game are John Shaw (right) and Chris Auletta (left) at tackle, Robert Price (right) and Gerald Cadogan (left) at guard, and A.Q. Shipley at center.

Auletta is likely to move over to right tackle once Brown reclaims his starting position in the preseason.

“I've been pleased with everyone, everyone is competing,” Brown said. “I think we have the potential to be better than the line we had last year. Guys might not have as much experience, but they compete, they're not scared. They can learn the plays a little bit better, but other than that, I'm pleased with what I see.”

According to Brown, Shaw and Shipley have really emerged in the spring.

“[Shaw] gives all-out effort on every play,” he said. “His technique right now is a little flawed, but other than that he's going to give you everything he's got.

“I expected A.Q. to be one of the dominant people on the offensive line now, and he's proving that he is,” he added.

While watching scrimmages from the sideline, he has also been impressed with new starting QB Anthony Morelli, saying “he's looking great. Last practice we had, everything was clicking for him. The passes were crisp and the reads excellent.” Brown said the quarterbacks seem to be looking more to the tight ends this spring than they did last season, but other than that there have not been serious changes to the offense.

With the NFL Draft set for one week after the Blue-White Game, Brown said he has not second-guessed his decision to return to Penn State for his final season. “I'm happy with the decision I made, it was the best one for me.” He will watch the draft, not to gauge where he might have gone but rather to see where his former teammates are picked.

When asked if his limited role this spring had anything to do with an injury, Brown quickly brushed aside that notion.

“There is absolutely nothing wrong with me,” he said.

Besides, even though he has not see much action, he has had an important job. Even it sometimes left him feeling like he was on the outside looking in.

“My role has mainly been as a coach in assisting the guys to learn the plays and techniques and things like that,” he said. Then he laughed and added, “I've pretty much been an outsider more than a player.”

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