In 2008, Penn State was a team that was loaded with weapons all around the field. A trio of veteran wide receivers, an intimidating defense, an impenetrable offense line, a stellar running game, and a very talented quarterback.
As great as last season was, most of the firepower has moved on and now the Lions have a lot of questions coming into 2009. Today, I will preview the secondary and the offensive line.
This is obviously a major concern for head coach Joe Paterno and Co. The secondary was torched in the Rose Bowl against USC. Now that Lydell Sargeant and Anthony Scirrotto are no longer there, this gives the coaches a chance to start over and work with the young players to develop them.
CBs SO Drew Astorino and Sr. AJ Wallace have to step up and play the pass better. Especially when QBs like Terrelle Pryor and Juice Williams are going to improve. One of the Lions highest rated signee is a CB. Darrell Givens was in the top 10 in CBs this year's class. This acquisition gives Wallace and Astorino some help in the secondary.
With only two starters from the offensive line returning, protection maybe an issue for PSU in the fall. Stefen Wisnieswki played the guard position in 2008 and will now play guard this season, filling the spot of A.Q. Shipley.
This was a good transition because he will be the most experienced and best skill player on the line. The main reason why Daryll Clark played outstanding last season was because he had so much time to throw. Like any other QB, it will be harder to be accurate under pressure.
Joe Paterno wasn't particularly enthusiastic about where his team was headed in these two spots earlier this spring. But, lately there has been improvement. We all know that Penn State is really good at developing players despite how high their recruiting rank was. Lets hope that the coaching staff can do it again in 2009.
NEXT TIME: Wide Receiver & D-Line