SHORT REPORT: Position Shifts

The Penn State coaching staff made a few significant position shifts this preseason. See how the moves have gone this preseason along with who is sticking with their new roles and who isn't in this exclusive team report.

The preseason is typically a period of experimentation and position shifts, and this past preseason has been no different. In fact the coaching staff made a few significant moves. Here is an update on the progress of the key position shifts recently made:

Michael Zordich (LB to FB): Originally with the linebackers during summer off-season workouts, Zordich moved over to the offensive side of the ball early in the preseason to pick up the role of fullback, a position he was well versed in from his high school days. Zordich initially saw the bulk of his reps with the third team, but in the last week or so has picked up significant second team reps in the backfield.

Zordich has impressed at FB.

"He's big and powerful, but he's nimble and plays determined," one observer said of Zordich. "He squares up well, lowers his gear and is a gritty player who fights for extra yardage."

As another observer explained, "He's really focused on his blocking technique - a must for the [fullbacks] in the [PSU] system, but what makes him dangerous are his hands. He pulls in the ball well and tucks it in tight."

Given his performance on offense the coaches are planning on keeping Zordich at fullback as the preseason wraps up and the regular season kicks off. Many observers feel Zordich is poised to make an impact as "he nails down the playbook and picks up more and more reps in the scheme - the coaches are really getting an idea on what he could do."

Andrew Dailey (LB to WR): Another young linebacker who made the jump to offense this preseason was Dailey who stepped in to play the big receiver target in no-tight end sets. This was a role Terrell Golden played last season and Brett Brackett is expected to take over this coming year.

In this role Dailey was asked to block, go over the middle, be a physical presence in the red zone. However, the position was "a bit foreign to him" and was said to be a struggle for him to pick up.

"Dailey is big and athletic - he could get off the line, but he just did not seem to get the hand technique down," an observer said. "He has the presence to break into the flat or in a seam, but just wasn't the consistent target [the coaches] were hoping for."

At this point Dailey is shifting back to the linebacker unit to pick up where he left off this season in an attempt to get re-acclimated to the role and add some additional depth to the position.

Chaz Powell (S to WR): Consistently praised for his safety play, perhaps the biggest position shift FOS broke in the preseason was Powell's move to wideout.

"Chaz is incredibly physical with his play - he fights to create space and goes after the ball - he's not one of those guys who waits for the ball to get to him," according to one observer. "Once he gets the playbook down he'll be weapon - and I think the coaches could use him in a variety of ways."

Powell could become a weapon.

In terms of that versatility, Powell has seen time in the role similar to the one Derrick Williams plays. "They'll split him out, or pull him inside, or play him out of the backfield, or shift him into the slot," one observer explained. "He has the endurance, running style and hands that could eventually make him a playmaker. He's quick and sharp he just needs to get to where the position is second-nature."

Thanks his performance through the preseason the coaches plan to keep Powell at wide receiver heading into the 2008 season.

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