The Blue & White Roundtable was roused from its offseason slumber temporarily just before hitting the snooze bar until the fall. Questions come care of Zombie Nation.
1. Ok, so the Blue-White Game and spring practice is done. Whether you just read the reports, or actually watched the game...
(a) What's one glaring team/unit/player issue you're still concerned with?
(b) What are you most pleased with?
Like all offseason, my fears lie with the secondary and the Blue-White Game did very little to comfort me. There’s plenty of time to get it figured out before the season starts and they’re going to need every minute of it, but no one needs to panic yet. On the positive side of things, Gerald Hodges is going to Kim Herring/James Boyd it this year and knock a few guys unconscious out there, that guy hits a ton. Offensively, Newsome looked great, all the reports had been he was getting eaten alive in practice, if that’s the case, he’s already grown leaps and bounds in a very short time. There's lots of talent in his arm and legs, let's see if he can refine it.
2. Navorro Bowman was held out of the game for probation violation. He did admit his mistake to Joe Paterno, and took responsibility. But he still shouldn't have done it. What punishment do you think will be appropriate, and why?
The offense itself was minor, but the overall stupidity is inexcusable. It’s been a tough year for him and Joe’s probably gonna take that into account. As long as he gets things straightened out, when all is said and done, he sits the first game or three.
3. Penn State's offensive staff said after the game that things were kept pretty simple. Do you think this year's returning offense will be able to handle an offensive scheme with the same complexity as the 2008 version? Why or why not?
The offense will be fine, the most important piece is the quarterback and Clark is still running the show, along with Royster and Green in the backfield. Take into account the tune up out of conference schedule and don’t look for much, if any, drop-off from 2008. The better question might be, can Penn State maintain its offensive performance all season or will the Big Ten season grind it down again. Assuming, Clark can stay free of concussions, I would be inclined to say yes.
4. Five Penn Staters were drafted, while 10 more signed free-agent contracts. Was there any pick/signing that surprised you the most, either positively or negatively? What did this 2009 NFL Draft say about the Penn State football program?
I’m surprised Cadogan went undrafted, but keep an eye on and I honestly mean this, Anthony Morelli. The Cardinals are bringing him back in again, I'd be very interested to see if he's made any gains in terms of recognition and consistency. It’s hard to argue the amount of NFL interest Penn State has received isn’t a good thing, but take it with a grain of salt. I suppose you could argue the downside is more guys may leave before they should, because they get convinced their stock is far higher than it is, then you realize sometimes the NFL makes you go WTF?!? For example, Andre Smith, who raised every red flag possible, went in the Top 10, will get a big money contract to a team with a poor history of questionable behavior and lack of oversight – the Cincinnati Bengals (there’s no way that could possibly go wrong, right?).
Shooting from the hip...
1. Average PSU offensive PPG/defensive PPG in 2009?
With our schedule this year? 40/21
2. USC's Mark Sanchez (5th overall - Jets): Too high?
Yes, he had several disturbingly pedestrian efforts last year, but can thank Penn State for their defensive Rose Bowl performance that no one remembers them.
3. How many Lions drafted in 2010?
Just looking at the seniors – 5 (Clark, Lee, Odrick, Landolt, and, even with another subpar year, Quarless, because he has the talent that will cause some team to take a flyer on him in the later rounds, maybe add in a junior or two that have breakout years)
4. List you're top three Big Ten teams, as of today.
Ohio State, Penn State and given the Big Ten has a surprising team pop up the last few years, let’s go with Northwestern.