Monday, March 24, 2008

Fired Up For Spring Practice

I am fucking fired up for Spring Practice! I'll tell you why, this is where we get our first tiny peak into what the 2008 Nittany Lions are going to look like. Also, I find myself feeling optimistic about the upcoming season. The reason for this optimism will be discussed below. However, I would first like to get this out there:

The charges against Tyrell Sales have been dismissed. This is fantastic news, congratulations Mr. Sales. While it still seems as though Sales may have been partying harder than is recommended (this coming from a guy who just got back from Vegas and who feels like a burnt corn-husk) he won't be facing any criminal charges stemming from the incident. However, it is yet to be seen whether Joe gives a shit about how the criminal charges shake out. Joe may/probably is pissed and will continue to be pissed. The big question is: What affect will this have on Tyrell's spring and what will happen to his availability for the fall? Sales was, in my mind anyway, going to be starting at OLB this fall but what will his actual status be? This is a big question.

Just wanted to get that out there.

Now, on to why I'm fired up.

Players are practicing. We may hear from Joe during a press conference (finger crossed). The Blue White game is in sight at April 19, 2008 @ 2 pm. The largest reason to be fired up is PSU has got 17 starters returning from 2007! You can also get fired up for the Grid Iron Bash. Sadly, the players who are not returning are at impact positions.

We lose Connor at ILB. This hurts. He was a great player for PSU and his shoes will be next to impossible to fill. However, if any program can do it, it would be PSU. There is a bevy of young LBs who have the potential to be really could. A major thing to watch this spring is the LB position.

We lose Justin King at corner. This also hurts. I know King got burned in a lot of games last year and seemed to be completely dominated when matched up against Hardy. However, if you think that PSU has a bunch of better cover corners than J-King I think you are out of you mind. AJ Wallace is going to have to step up and play well to shore-up the defensive backfield.

Easily the most intriguing part of the spring is the QB situation. I'm not going to make this a post about Morelli and his relative merits, rather, this needs to be focused on Clarke and Devlin. Which one of them will be leading the team and how that person plays will be outcome determinative for the Lions' season. I don't watch PSU's practices. I don't have Joe's office bugged so I can't give you the scoop on who is ahead. Whoever it is they need to step up and play.

Enough of the Negative! Here are some things to be fucking psyched up for!

The WR position is deep and talented. Williams, Butler, and Norwood are a solid starting three. If Chris Bell actually starts to play up to his potential the passing game could be terribly potent. The Lions need to move away from this concept that Williams is a game-changing player who has to get as many touches as humanly possible every year. He is the second best WR on the team right behind Butler. Just let them all play and do what they do but there is no reason to go out of your way to get Derrick the Ball.

The Running Back position seems to be in great shape. Royster played very well this year, if he can avoid injury he should be a stud this year. Behind him there is Brent Carter who also seems to be a fine back. Stephfon Green, who will see some PT this year, is somebody to get fired up about. Reports out of practice last year was that he was running past the first team defense and made them look slow. Green has the potential to be a great change of pace back this year with the potential for being a real home-run threat for years to come. FUCK YEAH!

The offensive line is poised to be a dominant force after years of being PSU's Achilles heal. AQ Shipley is more beast than man and leads a solid experienced group.

The Defensive line looks strong also. We have a bunch of guys returning, we are getting guys back from injury, and the position could be insanely deep. Should the D-line avoid the massive injuries of last summer they will be stacked.


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