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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State tight ends coach and pass game coordinator Ricky Rahne joined the assistant coaches weekly teleconference Thursday afternoon.
Talking everything from life in the booth to Michigan, check in with a few highlights from the Q&A session.
Week Six Surprises?
At the midpoint in the season, Rahne was asked if there's anything specific the Nittany Lions might have learned when it comes to how opponents are attacking the offense. Having spent more time than usual on self-scouting due to last week's bye, there weren't many surprises for Rahne and the staff.
don't know if there was anything that we've learned necessarily," Rahne said. "I
think it was more of a confirmation process than anything else. As we look at
things we've said to ourselves, 'okay this is how we think teams are attacking
us' and we were really able to confirm most of those thoughts. There might have
been a thing here or there that maybe we overestimated how it was happening. In
general, I would say that most of the ways we thought teams were attacking us,
those were pretty accurate."
When asked about the blocking performances Rahne has seen from his tight ends this year, he noted that he's generally happy to date.
"As a general rule, I think we've been blocking pretty well," Rahne said. "I'd obviously like to see us get a little more movement at the point of attack, but I think that's something, as an offensive coach you're searching for until the end of time. I don't think you're ever going to be satisfied with that."
There's no doubting that the matchup between Penn State's explosive offensive and Michigan's physical defense is intriguing.
"They play on defense very similar to how we play on offense, Rahne said. "It's a great matchup."
For Rahne, maximizing practice preparations means making concepts as efficient as possible to put the Nittany Lions in the best possible situation for success come Saturday.
"You try to give the guys as many of the looks as you can, while trying to simplify it as much as humanly possible and give them concepts as opposed to trying to have them remember every defense against every play," Rahne said.
Life in the Booth
From up in the booth, Rahne noted that his vantage point from up top can give a little better view of the field as compared to coaches on the sidelines. From either angle, part of what Rahne finds as the most enjoyable part about working with the rest of the offensive staff though, is how well everyone communicates.
"I'm able to talk to coach Gattis, he's able to talk to me," Rahne said. "I'm able to talk to Coach Limegrover, Coach Huff and then Coach Moorhead. We're all able to make suggestions, no one is looking to assign blame, we're all looking to move the ball down the field to help us score points and help us win. Obviously being up top I can have a little better view on that sometimes."
Learning from Moorhead
Rahne called Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead the best offensive coordinator in the country. More than his ability to call up the perfect play at precisely the right time, it's his unique ability to inspire belief that Rahne noted.
"I just think the world of Joe and what he brings to the table," Rahne said. "The one thing underestimated, is his ability to get the players to play hard for him and believe in him and our system. Obviously he calls a lot of great plays. I think we as a staff do a great job of designing plays, making adjustments. None of that matters if the kids don't believe. He does a great job of motivating our team and I've learned that from him."