September 11, 2012 at 2:26 PM
Bill O'Brien held his weekly press conference Tuesday afternoon with a date against Navy looming this Saturday. Here are the highlights from what Penn State's head coach had to say:
-O'Brien said Sam Ficken is still the team's kicker and once again did not place all that much blame on the kicker.
"Sam came back ready to go yesterday. One thing you have to realize is this is a team sport. …The protection wasn't always great, the hold wasn't always great, the snap wasn't always great."
-O'Brien called the attacks on Ficken on the internet "absolutely ridiculous and cowardly."
-O'Brien called injured running backs Derek Day and Bill Belton "day-to-day" and said Curtis Dukes, Zach Zwinak and fullback Michael Zordich will get a lot of looks if Belton and Day are sidelined.
-Belton started in week one against Ohio, but was held out of last week's game with an ankle injury. Day started against Virginia, but hurt his shoulder in the second half.
-O'Brien also said he would ideally redshirt true freshman running back Akeel Lynch if he can, but he's still "in the mix" for Saturday.
-Saturday, O'Brien said Paul Jones would play some "F" tight end for the team. He followed up on that Tuesday.
"We feel like the best thing for us to do right now is to try him at this "F" [tight end position]…. He's also still a quarterback."
-O'Brien noted Jones will play tight end this Saturday.
On the Ohio game vs. the Virginia game:
-O'Brien said there were some things his team did better in the second game of the season.
"I think we improved a lot. I believe on defense we made a lot of improvement from week one to week two."
-And things that can still be worked on.
"We can't take four turnovers from our defense and turn it into three points, that's ridiculous."
On team Morale right now:
-"I see the morale at a good level. The morale is really set by your seniors, your coaches have a lot to do with it, but at the end of the day it's the Mautis, the Zordichs, the Hills, the Hodges, the McGloins, the Stankiewitchs."