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Miranda: Lions have to be ready to play, regardless of unusual circumstances this year

Photo by Penn State

It’s always great when players and coaches cut through the nonsense and give a simple, honest answer to a question.

Offensive lineman Mike Miranda did just that when asked a good question last week during Penn State’s virtual media days.

The Nittany Lions have a new offensive coordinator in Kirk Ciarrocca but didn’t get to have a typical spring or summer learning about him and his system.

So, the question was posed to Miranda about whether or not the Lions will have enough time to prepare to be able to hit the ground running come Oct. 24.

Miranda’s response was straight to the point.

“To be honest, it doesn’t matter if we have enough time or not. It’s what we have to do anyway,” he said.

At this stage, it’s understandable to wonder if the offense in general and the offensive line in particular will have enough time to gel during a most unusual preseason.

Miranda, who played in all 13 games last season (with eight starts at right guard) was asked how tough it’s been from a relationship standpoint with the other O-linemen during all this.

“It’s definitely been hard,” he said. “We haven’t been able to gather as a group as much. We’ve only done it a few times. All of our meetings have all been on Zoom and virtual, so we haven’t really had any in-person time together.

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“But for right now, most of it’s just coming on the practice field, and to be honest, that’s where a lot of it comes from anyway.”

Just like other offensive players, Miranda said the biggest thing he’s seen from Ciarrocca is “mostly in the expectation.”

“He asks a lot out of us, especially the offensive line,” Miranda said. “He has high expectations for us, and he expects us to be able to drive the offense. He just wants perfection. He wants details to be focused on, and he wants perfection at all times.”

Asked if he expects to have any rust at the outset of the season, Miranda once again gave a brief and simple answer.

“The expectation is that first snap I play, I’m absolutely ready to go,” he said.

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Cory Giger is a 15-year veteran of the Penn State beat and a journalist with 28 years of experience. He has won more than 100 state and national journalism awards during his career, plus he's a voter for the Heisman Trophy in football and Wooden Award in basketball.

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