***UPDATE*** - Please welcome William Yurasko to the roundtable this week. He's been running his Penn State/Washington Sports/Political blog longer than any of us. A true veteran and a welcome addition to the discussion. Just don't call him Bill. He hates that.
Is it Wednesday already? Man this week is flying. Let's knock out another Blue-White Roundtable. JB has the questions. You know TNL and RUTS are along for the ride. Let's get through this quick though. We've got lots to talk about. I still owe you all one more Big Ten team preview and I haven't even started the Penn State preseason report cards yet. That's a lot to get through and there is only Andrew Quarless until football.
|Only Ten days until Penn State football!|
We'll start with the bad news, what is your take on PSU's off-season. The team has stated they are focusing on winning a National Title, will these off-field shenanigans get in the way of that lofty goal?
For all the talk about all the talent returning on this team, Paterno has been telling us loud and clear in every press conference that this is a young team. Young teams have to learn how to win. Not only do they have to learn how to execute and perform in the clutch, but they have to learn how to win off the field too. That means going hard in every rep of every practice. Pushing yourself to the max in every workout in the gym. Spending hours watching film when your non-football friends are out partying. The situation with the apartment fight, Dan Lawlor's DUI, and now Quarless and Harriott out drinking at 3 AM during two-a-days makes you wonder if this team has the upperclassman leadership necessary to win it all.
We just named captains this week. Now Morelli, Connor, and Golden have to get this team in line and keep the younger guys focused. Maybe they recruit a few enforcers like Sean Lee and A.Q. Shipley to help them out. Something has to be done because if these shenanigans carry over into the season we're going to be very disappointed come December.
Competition abounds! Give your take on the battle to start in the secondary. Do you prefer to have a rowdy competition or know who your guys will be?
I think A.J. Wallace and Lydell Sargeant are going to split time at cornerback in the beginning of the season. Sargeant has been jerked around quietly waiting his turn to play. Joe rewards loyalty like that. Sargeant is also more polished and mature as a cornerback since he's been playing in the system longer. But Wallace has so much talent it will be hard to keep him off the field. I'm still worried after splitting time on offense and defense last year he may not be completely ready to play every down at corner yet. He may struggle like Justin King did the beginning of his sophomore year. But by mid season I expect him to be a tremendous shutdown corner like King became.
I'm fine with the competition. Competition makes you better. We're fortunate we have three fantastic cornerbacks and only two spots to fill. If there was a clear starter that would most likely mean there was a big drop off from #1 to #2. Now if King gets injured I'm confident with either Wallace and Sargeant on the field.
Describe your behavior as a PSU fan. I know some who are hand-wringing-nervous-pacers and others who are drunken-revelers-before-the-football-gods; where do you fit?
I don't know. Maybe the readers can tell me what they think about me. I think I'm a pretty level headed guy. I bleed blue and white, but I don't go home to beat the wife and kick the dog if we lose. I might smash a piece of furniture or something though. Losing hurts, but it's just a game. I follow Penn State football for the love of the game.
I get amused cruising the message boards and reading the comments. I crack a smile when I see people say, "Losing three games is unacceptable!" Unacceptable? What are you? The CEO of Penn State football? Are you going to find a new team if we lose a few games? No matter how bad things get it's just a football game that we watch for entertainment purposes. I'm pretty sure we'll manage to put eleven guys on the field even though we didn't get that four star running back you wanted. Win or lose we're still Penn State. We still have our dignity. We still love our university. We still cheer for our team. If following Penn State football stresses you out so bad that losing is unacceptable, you should get a new hobby. To me unacceptable is scheduling Coastal Carolina.
White Out, friend or foe? (I think the white-out is awesome but the blue unis are great! how do you reconcile this conundrum?)
I love the white out. It gets the student section all fired up. I think we're in danger of overdoing it though. I won't bore you with stories of back in the day when we managed to enjoy watching Penn State football without Paternovilles, whiteouts, jumbotrons, and hip-hop music.
Who would you rather punch in the face: Lee Corso, Mark May, Lou Holtz, or Charlie Weis?
I would never punch any of these guys in the face. That's what cell phones and posses are for.
That's all for this week. Go check out the other guys.