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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State Football hosted its first weekly media availability Tuesday afternoon with Nittany Lion head coach kicking off his weekly press conference schedule followed by defensive lineman Curtis Cothran and offensive lineman Ryan Bates.
Franklin led off taking a moment to address the recent events in Houston surrounding the devastating flooding from hurricane Harvey.
"First of all, our thoughts and prayers go to the City of Houston," Franklin said. "Seems a little insignificant right now to be talking about college football with the things that are going on in the city, so our thoughts and prayers there."
Consistency was theme for the offseason, as Franklin noted this year's training camp was perhaps the most consistent he has been a part of.
"The programs that I've been associated with, you get into the dog days of summer camp, and there's always one or two practices where the guys are sore or it's hot or they are tired or whatever it is, and you've got to pull it out of them," Franklin said. "I thought the coaches did a good job of setting the tempo in our meetings. I thought the leaders on our team really brought the right energy and mind-set out to practice every single day, and we practiced really, really well."
For Franklin, there simply wasn't a day where coaches left frustrated with performances on the field, with the Nittany Lions all making a unified decision to make the most of each practice.
Having released the depth chart less than an hour before taking the podium, even with position battles settled, there's still a level of uncertainty when it comes to game day.
"I think the first game of the year is always challenging because you just don't completely know what you're going to get - what offseason studies have they done, what offseason studies have we done, we've tweaked some things, have they lost some players, do they have some injuries that they are not communicating right now with the roster and the depth chart and the camp," Franklin said.
A more veteran team with increased depth and maturity though, Franklin noted that he's comfortable with the team's ability to "flip the switch" come Saturday.
"I think that that naturally happens," Franklin said. "Guys just get to the point in training camp with spring ball and then summer work outs and then training camp where they are ready to go against another opponent."
"I've been going against the same guys for the past couple months," Bates said. "So I'm very excited to come out here and hit somebody else."
On The Quote Board -
- Cothran on the progress of the offensive line from his perspective on the defensive line.
"It's a great challenge in practice. We face them every day. It definitely makes our defensive line way better because we're able to face those guys in practice. When we go to other teams, Big Ten offensive lines and things like that, it will definitely get us ready. It's very impressive to see the way that they have packed on the weight - good weight."
- Bates on settling in after transitioning on the offensive line.
"I think the biggest thing I had to work on is my kick set for pass protection. Being at tackle you have a lot more space than you do at guard or center. Actually, I am naturally more comfortable at tackle. I trust my ability. I've always considered myself to have good feet and that always helps being on the outside, like they say, on your own island. I feel comfortable. I feel good."
"I think the quarterback position is like a lot of the positions that we have on our team, and it's a challenge and it's a change - that this is normal. Obviously Sean Clifford is a guy that we were excited about coming in. Probably was much further ahead than we had anticipated mentally. Has really picked this offense up quickly."
- Cothran on Torrence Brown's hoops skillset.
"I've seen him play hoops. I've definitely seen him play hoops. He definitely lives up to the name. I'm pretty sure he won like - Mr. Alabama or something like that, so he's definitely a hooper. It's nice to see him -- he's definitely a two-sport athlete."
- Bates on what makes a good offensive lineman.
"To be a good offensive line, you have to have trust in each other. I've got to trust that the guy next to me is going to do his job and he has to trust that I'm going to do my job. That's the most important, really, and you're kind of throwing me on the spot here. I am trying to think off the top of my head about three traits. Trust is the biggest one. And, you have to be tenacious. You have to want it. You have to want to put someone in the dirt. Chemistry is a huge one, too, not only on the field but off the field. We hang out. We do everything together. Chemistry is a big one."