NITTANY NOTES: Scrimmage Review

Tuesday saw the Penn State football squad scrimmaging again. See how the team fared as the Nittany Lions continue to prepare for the 2010 season.

This past week has been packed with practices and meetings. There was a two-a-day session on Monday with unit meetings and lift sessions in-between.

Tuesday, the team had film breakdown meetings ahead of a scrimmage in Beaver Stadium in the afternoon. Observers describe the scrimmage as a "spirited," "intense" and "aggressive" session. Here are some news and notes from the team's drills"

  • All four quarterbacks (Kevin Newsome, Matt McGloin, Paul Jones and Robert Bolden) split time with the first-team.

  • As one observer explained, "I really dislike raving about a guy who just got here, but Bolden looks pretty good. Plus, he's taking more steps forward than back — he's making mistakes, but he's been learning from them." Observers say the coaches were instructing him on check-downs in recent practices and today, "he was using the check-downs when he needed them."

  • Other observers feel Bolden and McGloin continue to be the "passing leaders" at this stage, but that "Bolden is the whole package." As one observer explained, "He's getting as much first-team work as anyone."

  • Newsome had a few nice runs and "delivered some nice passes to the flat," with one big pickup in particular to Justin Brown. However, at least one observer is "concerned with that throwing motion."

  • The offensive line has seen some shifts. DeOn'tae Pannell has seen first- and second-team work. The general makeup of the line has looked like:

    LT: Quinn Barham
    LG: Matt Stankiewitch / DeOn'tae Pannell
    C: Doug Klopacz
    RG: Stefen Wisniewski
    RT: Lou Eliades

  • In terms of freshmen, Alex Kenney has "taken well" to his shift to offense in the slot. "He gets off the line pretty clean - Big Red (assistant coach Mike McQueary) is working on getting him to create separation." He had a few impressive catches with the first- and second-teams.

  • Shawney Kersey "bobbled a pass or two" but has played "tight" overall and "has big-play potential," as one observer put it.

  • The offense got in some situational work like third-and-long, second-and-short and red zone.

  • Silas Redd "has been on Evan Royster's hip." Aside from being his preseason dorm roommate, he's also "always with him." Observers say they hang out together, eat together, watch film together. "The coaches told Silas to learn everything he can from Royster — I guess he's taking it to heart." Observers also feel it's working given the "hard running" and consistency he's shown in practices and scrimmages. Today he pulled off "a few nice runs," although "he got pummeled on a few, too."

  • The defensive staff has been sticking with the front four as Jack Crawford (DE), Devon Still (DT), Ollie Ogbu (DT) and Eric Latimore (DE). "They seem to like how those four have come together." However, some observers still feel the rotation will include James Terry and Kevion Latham, with some mentions of Brandon Ware at DT "if he keeps plugging." Jordan Hill is also in the mix at defensive tackle. Despite losing All-American Jared Odrick, this remains and area of strenght for the Lions.

  • In terms of the linebackers, Gerald Hodges has seen first-team Fritz reps with Chris Colasanti getting the bulk of the middle snaps. Hodges "is a natural (at linebacker)," although he needs to "get more disciplined with his technique," as one observer said. Nathan Stupar and Michael Mauti have seen Sam first-team action, although "the staff is still easing Mike in." They are also still being cautious with Bani Gbadyu's concussion recovery. He plays the Fritz.

  • At this stage, given it's experience and athleticism, the defense "is still ahead" of the offense, but the offense has "been making plays."

  • In terms of leadership, the offense has seen Wisniewski and Graham Zug as the "vocal guys," with Royster in "a lead-by-example" role. With the defense, Drew Astorino, Crawford and Mauti are said to be "on the squad regularly." The defensive unit has several other mentioned leaders — like Stupar, Nick Sukay and Still.

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