Football Penn State Media Day

bdgan

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May 29, 2008
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The things that stuck out to me in the press conference:
  • Franklin's philosophy hasn't changed. He's still talking about big plays more than consistent plays. He seems to want to increase average yds per carry by breaking off big runs, not by consistently getting 4 yds. He seems more concerned about creating turnovers on defense than he is holding opponents to 3 yds per play.
  • Franklin is all in on Clifford. He mentions him repeatedly without much discussion of backups like Veilleux.
  • Franklin acts like Nourzad is a good athlete but needs more time to develop at this level. Maybe a good backup option by mid season.
 

RickinDayton

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May 29, 2001
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The things that stuck out to me in the press conference:
  • Franklin's philosophy hasn't changed. He's still talking about big plays more than consistent plays. He seems to want to increase average yds per carry by breaking off big runs, not by consistently getting 4 yds. He seems more concerned about creating turnovers on defense than he is holding opponents to 3 yds per play.
  • Franklin is all in on Clifford. He mentions him repeatedly without much discussion of backups like Veilleux.
  • Franklin acts like Nourzad is a good athlete but needs more time to develop at this level. Maybe a good backup option by mid season.
Agree on all points. When you look @ the CFP champions over the last few years, dominance @ the LOS on both sides of the ball was their strength. When you design an offense to do that, explosive plays are a natural outgrowth, but they are not focusing the schemes on "explosive plays". Rather, they work/wait for those opportunities to arise on offense by being able to run consistently, pass protect, work the whole field (running/passing) and on defense minimize the opposing offenses running game and pressuring the passers, which results in limiting the opposing offense.
 

ram2020

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Jul 29, 2013
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Agree on all points. When you look @ the CFP champions over the last few years, dominance @ the LOS on both sides of the ball was their strength. When you design an offense to do that, explosive plays are a natural outgrowth, but they are not focusing the schemes on "explosive plays". Rather, they work/wait for those opportunities to arise on offense by being able to run consistently, pass protect, work the whole field (running/passing) and on defense minimize the opposing offenses running game and pressuring the passers, which results in limiting the opposing offense.
Franklin's biggest blind spot, especially in this league. If you can't get a tough 3 or 4 yards when you need them, don't expect explosive plays to save your season. Big plays are biproducts of successfully completed mundane little plays. Sure, you can take shots in a game, but unless the defense has reason to fear your Offensive line and running game, they simply will not allow plays over and past them. All I wanted to hear from Franklin all offseason was "we are going to get the 5 most physical linemen and we are going to be a wildly successful short yardage team." He is talking about platitudes, trying "different" things in the run game, trying to overengineer something that is fairly rudimentary. Are our 5 offensive lineman, bigger, stronger, and more physical than our opponents defensive front or are they not? That, singularly, will decide what Penn State's ceiling in this conference and beyond as long as Franklin(or anyone) is the coach at Penn State. I'm mostly a Franklin supporter, but his refusal to acknowledge this very simply concept is becoming concerning.
 

ryoder1

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Feb 17, 2007
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Franklin's biggest blind spot, especially in this league. If you can't get a tough 3 or 4 yards when you need them, don't expect explosive plays to save your season. Big plays are biproducts of successfully completed mundane little plays. Sure, you can take shots in a game, but unless the defense has reason to fear your Offensive line and running game, they simply will not allow plays over and past them. All I wanted to hear from Franklin all offseason was "we are going to get the 5 most physical linemen and we are going to be a wildly successful short yardage team." He is talking about platitudes, trying "different" things in the run game, trying to overengineer something that is fairly rudimentary. Are our 5 offensive lineman, bigger, stronger, and more physical than our opponents defensive front or are they not? That, singularly, will decide what Penn State's ceiling in this conference and beyond as long as Franklin(or anyone) is the coach at Penn State. I'm mostly a Franklin supporter, but his refusal to acknowledge this very simply concept is becoming concerning.
I agree with all of that. He mentioned that he is basically gun shy to tout the offensive line since he has been wrong for how many years about thinking they were better than they turn out to be. Now his strategy is to say nothing.

I do not have high expectations for the O-Line. I was hoping for some comments about increased toughness and physicality but nada. Maybe that is the case and he doesn't want to say that?
 

ram2020

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Jul 29, 2013
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I agree with all of that. He mentioned that he is basically gun shy to tout the offensive line since he has been wrong for how many years about thinking they were better than they turn out to be. Now his strategy is to say nothing.

I do not have high expectations for the O-Line. I was hoping for some comments about increased toughness and physicality but nada. Maybe that is the case and he doesn't want to say that?
Yeah, agreed. I don't much care what he discloses to the media, I guess I appreciate him tepidly suggesting he has been a poor evaluator of O-Line play and make no mistake, he has been. I guess I am more concerned about what he is not saying, which should be the ethos of this O-Line every year. "Can't promise you we will be the best line in the Big Ten, but we will be the toughest most physical O-line." That would be fine, and it would maybe send a message to his players. After last year anything less than full effort and commitment to dominate the man in front of you should result in benching going forward. Big plays and big talk don't mean much if you cant even shove the ball down Villanova's front 7.
 
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RickinDayton

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Yeah, agreed. I don't much care what he discloses to the media, I guess I appreciate him tepidly suggesting he has been a poor evaluator of O-Line play and make no mistake, he has been. I guess I am more concerned about what he is not saying, which should be the ethos of this O-Line every year. "Can't promise you we will be the best line in the Big Ten, but we will be the toughest most physical O-line." That would be fine, and it would maybe send a message to his players. After last year anything less than full effort and commitment to dominate the man in front of you should result in benching going forward. Big plays and big talk don't mean much if you cant even shove the ball down Villanova's front 7.
It seems to me (I have very limited knowledge about the nuances of line play) that the problem could be the schemes CJF wants to use are not a fit for conference play against the top six to eight teams in the B1G. It puts the coaches in a position where it is becoming increasingly hard to develop dominance when CJF's focus could very well be contrary to what is required to excel in the B1G.
 

ram2020

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It seems to me (I have very limited knowledge about the nuances of line play) that the problem could be the schemes CJF wants to use are not a fit for conference play against the top six to eight teams in the B1G. It puts the coaches in a position where it is becoming increasingly hard to develop dominance when CJF's focus could very well be contrary to what is required to excel in the B1G.
Yeah, I think he really emulates OSU and admittedly, has been competitive against them. The problem is, we don't have their talent and our play calling has never been as good. It leaves us vulnerable against some other teams too. Our LB's have done a reasonable job in coverage against OSU, but they haven't been sure tacklers against the likes of Illinois. I have seen in asked a few different ways on this blog and others, what IS penn state's true identity under Franklin? If someone can arrive at the answer to that question, I'd then ask how that system fares in this league. Does it travel? Does it intimidate? Is it hard to defend? Does it put our current roster in the best position to succeed? Is it hard to defend? A lot of this is sort of esoteric, do we run the ball well, do we pass it well, do we score a lot of points?

We'll see I guess, but I can feel very certain about one thing. If this O-Line doesn't start getting a little nasty and we don't do a better job executing the run game and short yardage game, this team has a ceiling of 7 wins.
 

RickinDayton

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May 29, 2001
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Yeah, I think he really emulates OSU and admittedly, has been competitive against them. The problem is, we don't have their talent and our play calling has never been as good. It leaves us vulnerable against some other teams too. Our LB's have done a reasonable job in coverage against OSU, but they haven't been sure tacklers against the likes of Illinois. I have seen in asked a few different ways on this blog and others, what IS penn state's true identity under Franklin? If someone can arrive at the answer to that question, I'd then ask how that system fares in this league. Does it travel? Does it intimidate? Is it hard to defend? Does it put our current roster in the best position to succeed? Is it hard to defend? A lot of this is sort of esoteric, do we run the ball well, do we pass it well, do we score a lot of points?

We'll see I guess, but I can feel very certain about one thing. If this O-Line doesn't start getting a little nasty and we don't do a better job executing the run game and short yardage game, this team has a ceiling of 7 wins.
It is a conundrum. Frustrating to many of us in the fanbase who like CJF and his emphasis on the players "outside the lines", yet see a team with a lot of talent that too often plays below its talent level.
 
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ShoreLion85

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Oct 17, 2016
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Words are wind, Coach Franklin - especially yours. There is one Penn State Coach that understands what a Penn State sport is supposed to be: Cael Sanderson. He might be worth listening to because he gets it: WIN! Win the conference. Win the National Championship. Then go do it again. As for Coach Franklin, I have some sound advice:

Stop losing so many games and start winning more games. Anything else said or done is meaningless. Your job, for which you are compensated exceedingly well, is to win football games. You are not doing your job at an acceptable level at this point in time. Win a lot more, because your words are wind.

here’s hoping for a great season for Penn State football!