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Penn State Football: Franklin Comments On Julius News And More At Tuesday Press Conference

by on October 04, 2016 3:00 PM

James Franklin spoke to the media on Tuesday ahead of Penn State's key meeting this Saturday against Maryland as the Terps look to go 5-0 on the year while Penn State tries to make it 4-2 after an overtime victory against Minnesota.

Here are a few key quotes to know from Tuesday's interview session.

If Franklin saw Trace McSorley's composure under pressure during the recruiting process.

"Like I mentioned before, I think it's been helpful that he has been the backup quarterback for two years and didn't approach it like that. Really prepared as if he was the starter. He's a mature kid. He's a disciplined kid. He's a smart young man. Comes from a real good family. Strong parents. And he's prepared for this. He also is a guy that's been successful his entire athletic and academic career. He expects this."

"So yeah, obviously you look at the quarterback we played last week, that was an older, veteran guy and he played like that. He looked like that. I think Trace is playing like a guy that probably is a second-year starter. Not necessarily in just all his numbers and stats but just his demeanor. It's really good."

On the pass rush this past weekend and during the season overall.

"I think it's been good. I think we can be better there. It was great to see Evan Schwan get his first sack of his career at a very, very important time of the game. So that was great. But yeah, I think it's been streaky. We get them and then we kind of go on dry spots. I do think there's been people that we've played, as well as us being a little bit more consistent in stopping the run, would help us there."

"But some of the style of offenses we have played or just our consistency in stopping the run would help us. I mean, you look at what we are doing offensively, our passing numbers are pretty good, and it's because of the commitment that people are making to stop the run."

"So you know, I'd like to see us be a little bit more effective, you know, late in the game, I had made a couple recommendations that we weren't getting there. So let's drop; let's drop eight and rush three. And we were able to get pressure rushing three for whatever reason and then drop eight in coverage which helped us a few times, it really did."

"You know, so rushing, whether you're blitzing or rushing four or bringing five or six is great; if you're going to get there and get the quarterback either on the ground or make him uncomfortable in the pocket and affect his throws, that's great. But if you're not, you also have to look at it and take the other approach and say, let's drop eight and rush three."

On trying to script the first series for the offense.

"Again, we have conversations, we spent a lot of time last week on the opening drive and we'll continue to do that, in openers and how the game starts, and like I mentioned, some of the adjustments that we are going to make in practice.

"You know, again, I make recommendations to our defense. I make recommendations to our offense and special teams. You know, you have to be careful in a leadership position that you don't over-step and tell someone specifically how to do their job. Unless it gets to that point where you feel like you need to. Joe has been very successful. We're doing a better job in a lot of different areas offensively. We need to continue to grow."

"One of the areas that we need to be better is opening drives and how we start games. So that's partly my responsibility, partly the assistants' responsibility and the players', as well. I think the emphasis that we are putting on it and the changes that we are using, we are going to go from there. It's a little bit different when you script plays in the old system when you are a pro-style offense, where we are so much, check-with-me; that a lot of the game is being called on the field based on the looks that you're getting, based on initial alignments and things like that."

"So you could script the first however many plays, ten to 15 plays, and that's good. There's things that we want to get run early in the game, but again, how the defense aligns is going to affect what we do; whether we stay with the play initially called or whether we check to a different look."

On Joey Julius going public about his battle with eating disorders.

"Well, you know, again, I'm not going to get into a whole lot of specifics, because this is a personal matter for Joey and his family and the people that are supporting him."

"I'm very, very proud of Joey. I really am, in so many ways. You know, I know this is something that probably affects and helps others; to see athletes or someone in Joey's position like this to make himself vulnerable and put himself out there like that. I think a lot of people can relate with that and I think a lot of people can connect with that."

"But it goes hand-in-hand kind of with our policy. A lot of times kind everybody kind of wants to know everything that's going on with these kids, and there's a lot of things going on in their lives that they are dealing with. No different than people all over our country. You know, Joey had something going on, was away from us for a period of time, and I think the best thing that happened is Joey was able to do that without a lot of people asking questions and wondering where he was at or us talking about it."

"So we're just here to support Joey and his family in every way we possibly can, so he can have a wonderful experience at Penn State academically, athletically, emotionally, every aspect. So I'm very, very proud of him. But the specifics and things like that, you know, I don't think it's appropriate for me to talk about, but we're very proud of him and we're going to continue to support him."

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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