Bill O'Brien Teleconference Transcript - Sept. 3
VIDEO: Q&As with Ty Howle and DaQuan Jones
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Head coach Bill O'Brien reviewed the Syracuse game and looked ahead to Saturday's home-opener against Eastern Michigan on Tuesday afternoon at his weekly teleconference.
The Nittany Lions returned to the film room and practice field on Monday afternoon to kickoff preparations for week two. While O'Brien noted that the team and coaching staff have several areas they are looking to improve upon this week, he did a great job putting the 23-17 victory at MetLife Stadium into perspective.
"We went into MetLife Stadium with a true freshman quarterback," O'Brien said. I think it was 104 degrees on the field throughout the game. We didn't have our best wide receiver in the first half of the game because of what I decided to do there. Defensively, we put the defense in some tough situations; we did this with 65 scholarship players. We've got a tough, resilient football team. Personally I'm going to try to do the best I can to improve this week as a head coach and do a better job offensively, defensively and special teams. To me, I just think we should be talking about that a lot. We've got a great bunch of kids that have stated committed to Penn State and I think it's great fun to be around them."
Penn State showed a great deal of poise and grit in the season-opener on Saturday. Despite facing adversity, the Nittany Lions made big plays when they needed to and walked out of MetLife Stadium with a victory. As O'Brien said on Tuesday, winning the game is No. 1 on the priority list.
The second game week of the season kicked off on Monday afternoon. The first day of the week is a heavy film day for the Nittany Lions. O'Brien meets with the team to show the good things from the previous Saturday and the items the team needs to work on. Additionally, he provides a self-scout in front of the team each week.
"Monday we go through the film and I show mistakes that they made and I certainly show mistakes that I made," O'Brien said. "Nobody in this program makes more mistakes than me, and I tell the guys that. That's important."
As the team looks ahead to Saturday's game against the Eastern Michigan Eagles (1-0), O'Brien is eager to see how the team improves from week one to week two.
"We can go to the film room and say this is what we need to do better, this is what you need to do to get better, and if we make those improvements we got a chance to improve each week, and that's what you're trying to do, and that's why you see that one to two improvement, and hopefully you will see that this week," O'Brien said.
One player looking to build on a solid debut for the Nittany Lions is freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg. Hackenberg said after the game that he learned a lot in his first outing, and O'Brien said on Tuesday that he will continue to improve each week.
"Like I said after the game, it's one game and he needs to make improvement," O'Brien said. "We spent a lot of time in the film room yesterday showing these guys the tape and personally spent a lot of time with Christian, showing him the mistakes that he made and where he's got to improve week‑to‑week. He's got a great demeanor, great poise, smart guy, fun to coach and he'll improve."
Penn State and Eastern Michigan are slated to kickoff at noon on Saturday inside Beaver Stadium.
Press Conference Notes:
- Coach O'Brien opened the press conference with an injury report. Among the notables on the injury report for the Eastern Michigan game are tight ends Kyle Carter and Matt Lehman and linebacker Mike Hull. O'Brien confirmed on Tuesday that Lehman will miss the remainder of the 2013 season after suffering a knee injury in the first half of Saturday's game.
Kyle Carter - Day to Day
Mike Hull - Day to Day
Matt Lehman - Out for the Season
- Stephen Obeng-Agyapong is turning into a jack of all trades for the Nittany Lions. He entered training camp as a safety. On Saturday, he played arguably the best game of his career while lining up at linebacker. But he is not done there. Coach O'Brien said that the senior practiced with the linebackers on Monday. He was in line to practice with the safeties on Tuesday. He may play fullback on Wednesday and tight end later in the week.
- Saturday's game will be a special occasion for the undefeated Nittany Lion team from 1973. The group will be honored at halftime on the 40th anniversary of its 12-0 season.
"It's the reunion of the 1973 team, 12‑0, beat LSU in the Orange Bowl, John Cappelletti, won the Heisman Trophy and personally with my love of college football and the love the staff has, we can't wait to welcome those guys back," O'Brien said.
- O'Brien kept things light with several one-liners on Tuesday afternoon. Ranging from ribbing with members of the media to a John Belushi reference from "Animal House", the head coach of the Nittany Lions enjoyed himself at the weekly teleconference.
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Bill O'Brien Press Conference Roundup - Eastern Michigan Week
Bill O'Brien Teleconference Transcript - Sept. 3
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