UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Tim Banks joined the first weekly assistant coaches conference call of the regular season to talk Akron week.
The No. 6 Nittany Lions open the 2017 season Saturday at Beaver Stadium with kickoff set for noon on ABC. Catch up on a few notes from Banks' media call this afternoon.
- With five safeties listed on the depth chart (two at free safety and three at strong safety), Banks was asked if he plans to utilize all five Nittany Lions during a game and if so, what his approach to rotating would be.
"We want for everyone to have an opportunity to play based on them earning it week in and week out during the course of practice," Banks said. "It just changes, based on how well guys have progressed, how well guys are playing in the game, how many snaps are we playing. There are a lot of moving parts and a lot of variables to determine how many snaps the other guys get."
- Listed second on the three-deep at strong safety, Banks was also asked what areas of his game junior Ayron Monroe could work on.
"He's still getting better, but he has made tremendous strides," Banks said. "He has picked it up from a physicality standpoint. He's a young man who has tremendous athleticism, very passionate about the game and studies. Obviously, he has battled through some things, he's healthy now, he's playing with what I would say, a little more violent mentality back there. I think as he continues to grow, he'll continue to develop."
- Reflecting back on his season at Penn State, Banks was asked about one of his best moments from the year.
"Obviously being here was a great honor and having an opportunity to coach at such a storied program has been awesome for me," Banks said. "Just our kids, that senior class was unbelievable, the way they handled themselves and to watch those guys play at the level they played at was great. To see those guys finish on a high note was awesome. I don't know if you could have written a better storybook ending for such a great group of young men."
- From his perspective, Banks shared what it is about quarterback Trace McSorley that allows him to make things difficult for an opponent's secondary.
"He's a tough cover, I can tell you that - I call him Houdini," Banks said. "He is just one of those guys, from my vantage point, he has very good pocket awareness, he has that keen ability to feel the rush but still keep his eyes down field. He's athletic. He has what you call, 'it', in my opinion, he's just one of those guys. He's a special talent. I think our kids would echo that statement and I could tell you this, I'm super glad we only have to face him in practice and not on Saturday's."