James Franklin comments following Friday night’s spring scrimmage at Beaver Stadium.
“It was great to have the seniors and spend a little bit of time with them before they leave Penn State.”
“I thought we had a good spring. We got a lot of work in. We got a lot installed on offense, defense and special teams. We spent a lot of times on special teams.”
“We stayed pretty healthy, which is important.”
“I thought it was a great spring.”
Franklin noted they’ve talked about having an open practice on a Friday night in addition to the Blue-White Game going forward.
“Before we know it we’re gonna blink and we’ll be opening training camp and getting ready for our first game.”
Coming up next is player evaluations, meeting with each player and giving feedback on what everyone needs to work on.
On guys who improved most this spring:
“That’s always hard to do because when I say a couple and leave some others off there’s some hurt feelings.
“I think Castro-Fields had a really good spring, but he’s also at a point in his career where you expect that from him.
“(Tyler) Elsdon, the thing I thought he did this spring … he was running sideline to sideline making plays. He was very quick, looked fast, looked explosive. … He made as much strides as anybody.”
“Kalen King had a really strong spring.”
“Brisker, it is obvious that he came back for a reason. He’s so positive, he’s so coachable. I’ve been very very pleased with him.”
“Keyvone Lee is just so much more confident going into his second year.”
“Rasheed, — his maturity and his positive attitude and his perspective now is much different. I’m really proud of him.”
“On special teams, we’ve got a group of veteran specialists returning.”
Franklin also singled out Parker Washington and Mike Miranda
On QB development:
“There’s just so many more things on their plate, they also can be impacted more than any other position by the people that are around them.”
“Having a strong supporting cast around your quarterback is gonna make a difference.”
It also makes a difference, Franklin added, having at least one wide receiver that scares the defense.
“The consistency in the coaching staff and the scheme factors into that, as well.”
“I’ve been pleased with Sean this spring, and I’ve been pleased with Ta’Quan and Christian, as well.”
“Between now and spring there’s a lot that needs to get worked on.”
On discussion of new rules potentially limiting contact during fall camp:
“I think for us, what I’m most concerned about is there’s a standardized rule across the country and everybody follows those rules.”
“We made some rule changes a few years ago based on data that wasn’t there.”
“Make sure the changes we’re making are made for the right reason and have the data to back it up.”
Franklin said sometimes a lot of rules are made in the NFL in the name of safety that aren’t really about safety, but other things. “A lot of it may come off as health and safety related but that’s not really what it is.”
“You’re not gonna run drills that are high-risk drills. No one’s doing the bull in the ring anymore. If you’re running a drill that’s a high-risk drill, your trainers and doctors are gonna say something about that.”
“It’s important that before these rules are made and decisions are made that you have doctors and trainers and coaches and administrators in the same room, players as well, and get all these different perspectives before we make changes.”
On RB John Lovett:
“He wasn’t able to go the last practice, he was limited for health reasons. Early on he was really flashing some things and we were excited. It’s obvious you’ve got a veteran guy who’s been around, very respected at the place he was at.”
“He can make people miss, he’s got an extra gear for being a home run threat.”
“We’ve ben impressed with him. He’s a mature guy. Our players really like him, the coaches like him.”
On if he’s comfortable with the backup QB situation:
“I don’t think you’re ever comfortable at the quarterback position until those guys gave gotten game reps. Obviously the practice reps are critical and very very important.”
“The work that those guys do between now and game one is gonna be really important, and we’d like for that gap to be closed between our 1 and our 2s.”
On plans for the next month:
“It’s different. Obviously we’d be on the road recruiting; we won’t do that. So we’ll do individual meetings with all the players.”
“Me and Coach Pry will be going to the draft to support Micah.”
On Jesse Luketa and MLB competition with Ellis Brooks:
“We view both of them as starters for us. They will both be starters for us at the linebacker position, whether it’s mike or one of the outside linebacker positions.”
Franklin said he has discussed with Luketa about playing other positions to get him on the field as much as possible.
“We see both of those guys and having a plan for both of those guys.
“In terms of live work, no, (Luketa) was not able to get live work this spring.”
On what people should know about Micah Parsons away from football:
“The thing that really jumps out with Micah is how well he’s able to retain information, how deeply he thinks about subjects like his teammates, like the organization that drafts him.”
“Some of the messages and conversations I’ve had with Micah over the years, really impressive and thoughtful conversations.”
“He’s also a guy that loves to compete, loves to compete. … He brings a different element to your organization.”
“Whatever you do with Micah, he is going to battle and compete like crazy.”
“His ability to have fun at practice, have fun in meetings and retain information, he brings an edge to your defense and your program.”
“When is it the time to have fun and be silly and mess around and laugh, and when is the time to lock in and be focused? Micah has learned that.”