Nittany Notes: With a Thud...

Get a look at how the Nittany Lions are making an impact this spring in the latest edition of our often imitated (and sometimes pilfered) but never duplicated Nittany Notes.

Through the first two practices of the spring,Penn State has primarily run fundamental drills focusing on agility, speed and individual position technique. During Wednesday's practice the team "turned it up a notch," adding a variety of drills to the schedule.

As one observer explained, "The guys have been getting pass work, teach periods, kicking periods and 'thud' work in."

So what exactly does each of these entail?

Pass Work: This is basically what it sounds like — route drills that serve as a pitch-and-catch type practice and work "basically technique, route assignments, timing and pass-catch fundamentals."

Teach Periods: These are "basically situation reviews." The coaches will throw out a situation and formation and review each player's role, how to read the situation and generally how to react if faced with it."

Kicking Periods: Like Pass Work, Kicking Periods is not a clever name, rather is the time set aside where the special team players will work on elements of the kicking game - snaps, sets, holds, kicks, etc.

Thud: Thud drills are basically a rundown of every major play/scheme in the playbook — both on the run and pass side. These drills work the offense and the defense against each other. Typically they entail pads and contact, but Wednesday "was almost like a walk-through to test the guys on the playbook and their role in every type of play."

So why is it called "thud?" Usually this is the team's first introduction to contact drills, so "they meet with a thud."

Although the coaches introduced non-contact versions of these drills on Wednesday, they are expected to run the players through similar drills on Friday with pads and contact.

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