Morelli Reads and Reacts

Nittany Lion senior quarterback doesn't take kindly to a question about his ability to read defenses.

Throughout his career, Penn State senior quarterback Anthony Morelli has been dogged by reports that he struggles to read defenses. Things came to a head last December, when Morelli blasted his former high school coach for allegedly starting the rumors.

Morelli then responded by playing one of his best games in the Outback Bowl win over Tennessee.

But if Morelli thought the questions about his ability to read defenses were a thing of the past, he was wrong. In a teleconference Tuesday, a young reporter asked the QB how he felt about reading defenses in the spring.

“You gotta be kidding me, man,” Morelli said.

As the reporter tried to respond, Morelli added, “I'll take the next question, please.”

In fairness, that was a very small snippet of a long Q-and-A session, and Morelli was perfectly cordial throughout.

Asked about his general impressions of the spring, he said, “I've been having a lot of fun, just being around my team and getting better. I'm taking this spring as a big, big learning experience and just trying to work on little things to get better.”

Morelli also believes he has been able to focus on the task at hand because the issues about reading defenses don't come up nearly as often as they did last season, his first as a starter,

“I feel good about myself, I have a lot of confidence,” he said. “I put all of that stuff behind me.”

As an aside, Morelli said following this semester, he will need only two more courses and to complete an internship in order graduate with a degree in recreation, park and tourism management. He intends to complete his degree in the summer but — due to new NCAA rules — will have to take additional courses in the fall in order to suit up for the Lions.

EXTRA POINT: On two separate occasions during his teleconference, Morelli pointed to sophomore receiver Chris Bell as one of the surprises of the spring. “Chris Bell has made a lot of progress this spring, he is working extremely hard and making a lot of plays. … It's a mental thing. He's finally got everything. He has a little bit of experience under his belt and has the playbook down and can play at full speed.”


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