Lee Ready to Rumble

Don't let the soft-spoken demeanor fool you. The junior outside linebacker believes trash-talking and practice tussles are good for the Nittany Lion football team.

Penn State linebacker Sean Lee is so soft spoken that it is often difficult to hear him in interview situations. Such was the case Wednesday, when the junior talked with the media on a teleconference.

As Lee politely answered questions, scribes around the state were no doubt pressing telephones to their ears to make sure they could hear what he was saying.

The funny thing is, if one listens closely enough, they'll pick up some terrific quotes from the Pittsburgh native. Wednesday, he was asked about quarterback Anthony Morelli trashing-talking to the defense in practice.

Lee laughed, and said, “We're trash-talking right back, too. Our practices get heated. We might be friends with the offense off the field, but when it comes to practice we hate them. We hate when they do well against us. And when we do well, we're gonna trash-talk them. I think that's good because we get a competitive sense. It makes us both better.”

Penn State opened the final 30 minutes of its first spring practice session to the media, and during that time one tussle broke out. Lee said it has been more of the same as the spring has progressed.

“It's been intense,” he explained. “There's been a bunch of scraps and fights. I think we both [defense and offense] have the same attitude. We're not going to let the offense beat us, and the offense is saying we're not going to let the defense beat us. That's what makes practices great and that's what's going to make us a better team.”

And who is setting the tone for these intense sessions?

Give yourself a gold star if you said 80-year-old head coach Joe Paterno, who appears to be rounding back into top form after breaking a leg last November.

Said Lee: “He's been the typical Coach Paterno — screaming, yelling, kicking people out, kicking people in the butt; the O-linemen. Typical Joe. He's getting us going.”

EXTRA POINT: Lee said he has only been practicing at the “Sam” strong-side linebacker position in the spring. However, he added that he would welcome a move to middle linebacker next year. Paul Posluszny made a similar shift before his senior season. Current inside 'backer Dan Connor is making the same move heading into his senior year.

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