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Penn State Football: Patience As Key As Potential This Season

by on April 12, 2018 2:00 PM

Trace McSorley exploded.

"That's the kind of shit..." He said, his voice trailing off as he noticed the cameras that had just entered practice.

The target, tight end Danny Dalton, the mistake, something that only he and McSorley probably knew about. Certainly none of the onlookers.

Whatever it was, it was the theme following Penn State's 11th practice of the spring, the Blue White game fast approaching. The Nittany Lions weren't sharp, not quite as focused.

So Penn State ran after practice, an occurrence that you might be able to count on only a few hands under James Franklin. If nothing else, a rarity when the media is present.

“I wasn’t happy with today,” James Franklin said after the fact. “We’re a mature football team. You guys know we never run guys after practice, that’s junior high stuff. I thought we were sloppy today. You guys know I’m a pretty positive guy, but I thought we were too sloppy, had too many penalties, balls on the ground, dropped balls, just a lack of discipline. I was not pleased today, but overall I thought we’ve had a damn good spring, but I was not pleased with today.”

If "potential" is a word getting thrown around a lot this spring, "patience" shouldn't be too far behind. The Nittany Lions aren't young, but they aren't entering their third year of all the usual suspects. It's one thing to watch Jason Cabinda practice, it's another to practice like he does.

With plenty of new faces in new roles, there is still a learning curve to be had.

That doesn't mean Franklin is happy about it though.

“Great teams, good teams don’t do that,” Franklin said of a less than stellar practice. “Obviously we’ve got a lot of growing up to do. It was unacceptable on every level. We’ll never accept poor performances in the classroom, we’ll never accept poor performances on the football field and we’ll never accept poor behaviors in the community.”

“I think he saw some things like I saw today that are unacceptable. Lack of focus, lack of finish, lack of mentality, lack of championship habits which is what we talk about all the time.”

Of course the good news if you're Franklin, the Nittany Lions won't stray to far from the path with the likes of McSorley still roaming the huddle. 

Franklin said of McSorley. “I would hope guys like Trace and Nick Scott, guys who’ve played a lot of football for us would speak up and hold themselves accountable and hold other guys accountable and call people out.

Ultimately every team has a bad practice, even the good teams do. And the Nittany Lions will learn from it.

But it's safe to say as Franklin walked off the field back into the Lasch Building, he's hoping it doesn't his take too long to take home those lessons. 

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