NITTANY NOTES: Drill 6 QB Review

Spring Practice is right around the corner, but the quarterback race has already begin with Drill 6 work. Get another exclusive Penn State practice report only from FightOnState.com

Penn State's Drill 6 is a 7-on-7 set that allows the quarterbacks, receivers and running backs to practice passing routes and refine their basic skills and timing. Drill 6 allows the quarterbacks, wideouts, tight ends and backs to work in a variety of offensive looks while matching up against linebacker and secondary assignments.

During the winter portion of off-season, these drills are typically focused on fundamentals like getting off the line, route-running, timing and basic passing and receiving skills, from drop-backs for the QBs to hand placement for WRs.

Since the NCAA forbids formal practice sessions at this time of year, the players run Drill 6 on their own, with no supervision from the coaching staff. These session are particularly important this year as the Lions must replace Daryll Clark at quarterback.

Here are assessments of the quarterbacks:

Kevin Newsome, 6-2, 220: Newsome has "increased his strength" over the past year, particularly with his build. As one observer said, "He's improved his drop-back and has better control of his feet."

Newsome has also shown "good arm strength." However, as another observer explained, "his throwing motion isn't consistently fluid and [he}almost looks uncomfortable sometimes." Observers feel while his accuracy has been improving, his mechanics need to "come along for him to get his timing down."

Newsome's is focused on running through his progressions. "He'll sometimes lock on a [receiver] and needs to get better there." As for one major asset, "Newsome is incredibly well-liked by his teammates."

Matt McGloin, 6-1, 205: Although he does not have the size of Newsome, McGloin has "been consistently solid with his passing." Observers like his accuracy and that he "sets his feet well."

He's made improvement on his progressions, but "still needs to see the entire field at times." The sentiment with some observers is he's got a good head for the game and "plays determined."

Observers also like his athleticism and feel he is "determined to be in the thick of the QB race" this spring.

Paul Jones, 6-3, 220: The youngest of the competing QBs, Jones has "come a long way in a short time." He's picked up the playbook "at a good pace," although he still has some work to do. He's displayed "a strong arm," and "has a powerful drop-back."

He has a tendency at times to "throw off his back foot" and "force passes to make a play." However, he's focused on learning the tendencies of his receivers. He's also gotten better at "letting plays develop."

Jones "is confident" in his abilities and "gets frustrated when he doesn't make a big play." Observers feel he needs to manage this and use it to motivate his progress. The sentiment is that he has made good progress in less than three months on campus.

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