SHORT REPORT: Home Stretch

General news and notes from Penn State's preseason practice as the first game week of 2009 nears.

Penn State's football team is back on its standard practice schedule now that fall classes kicked off this week. Monday and Tuesday saw a mix of individual unit drills and game-situation work.

Linebackers Sean Lee and Navorro Bowman saw limited action early in the week for precautionary reasons related to undisclosed minor injuries. Observers stressed that neither starter has a serious problem.

Wednesday has a scrimmage scheduled in Beaver Stadium in the afternoon to get "the guys some additional contact." During the session the team is expected work a wide array of game situations with a focus on "the details like timing, assignments and reads," as one observer put it.

The expectation is that the squad will work on a series of specialized game situations like red-zone scoring, blitz packages and the two-minute drill. Special teams' work will likely be a focus, as well.

This is also one of the final chances for true freshmen to state their case for playing time in 2009. Decisions on who will and will not redshirt will be made over the weekend.

At this stage observers feel that the two-deep on both sides of the ball is generally set for the first game against Akron on Sept. 5. The exceptions seem to be on the defensive side of the ball with the staff still looking at the lineups in the secondary and the rotation on the defensive line. Currently the secondary is still seeing a starting set of:

CB: Knowledge Timmons
SS: Nick Sukay
FS: Drew Astorino
CB: D'Anton Lynn

However, the coaches are still looking closely at the unit "since they just aren't sure what they are working with exactly" given the lack of game experience the group has seen.

The defensive line is seeing a starting lineup of:

DE: Jack Crawford
DT: Jared Odrick
DT: Ollie Ogbu
DE: Kevion Latham

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