"Bend but don't break" has been replaced by "multiply aggressive" as the slogan for Penn State's defense.
"We're running a whole new defense," linebacker Gerald Hodges said.
The new schemes are predicated, new coordinator Ted Roof says, on being aggressive in many areas.
"They've played great defense here for a long time," Roof said.
The Nittany Lions certainly have done that, perennially finishing in the top 10 in the nation in overall defense. But instead of soft zone coverages, giving plenty of cushion to receivers and not minding if opposing teams move the chains as long as it stood its ground in the red zone, Penn State's defense will be in attack mode much more under Roof.
There are three areas Roof plans to concentrate on with his defense:
n Stopping the run: "If a team can run the football against you, that's a headache that won't go away," he said.
n Get to the quarterback: "With the precision of the throwing games and quarterbacks," Roof said, "these passing combinations are too good now" to stop if the quarterback has all day to throw.
n Defend the long passes
"If you can do those three things, you'll play great defense and win a lot of games," said Roof, who replaces Tom Bradley as defensive coordinator.
The most notable change -- eventually if not immediately, depending on personnel -- will be more man-to-man coverage by the defensive backs. That would be a major shift from past philosophy as PSU has long preferred to play defenders well off receivers and prevent giving up the big play.
"If we've got guys that can do it, I love man-to-man coverage, and I love to play bump coverage," Roof said.
"As a competitor," he added, "you do what you have to do to be successful in your beliefs, and you eventually recruit to a system. But yeah, I like to play press coverage because I think the corners, they like to compete and like to get up in a guy's grill and figure it out."
It's riskier, of course, but playing man-to-man ultimately comes down to trusting the defensive backs to get the job done.
"It's really exciting to do something different and go make plays ... and prove that Penn State is the type of team that can show all different types of looks," safety Malcolm Willis said.
Penn State blitzed more a year ago, but failure to do much of that for the better part of a decade was a widespread criticism of Bradley's defense. Part of Roof's "multiply aggressive" formula is to blitz as much as possible, depending on situations.
"To create matchups and to create one-on-ones or if you're having trouble getting to the passer, you've got to do what you've got to do," Roof said.
Hodges, an outstanding blitzer, figures to benefit from the new philosophy.
"The more blitzes, the more pressure you get to get on the offense, and that's more turnovers," Hodges said.
Defensive end Sean Stanley said Roof is "a real good guy" and noted, "his aggressive scheme is a lot of fun to play under."
For all the changes on the entire team, the defensive linemen and linebackers should be able to adjust quickly given that their position coaches remain with the staff.
Larry Johnson is still the line coach, and Stanley said, "Under Coach J, we were always an aggressive defensive line, so it's blended well with coach Roof's scheme."
No one can argue with the success PSU linebackers have had in recent years, producing several stars such as Paul Posluszny, Sean Lee, Navorro Bowman and Dan Connor. The current group of linebackers should continue to excel under returning coach Ron Vanderlinden.
"The reason I went to Penn State was to work with Coach Vanderlinden," linebacker Michael Mauti said. "I wanted to work with the best linebacker coach in the country."
Hodges, the next potential star PSU linebacker, noted he's looking forward to the new defensively philosophy, even if he's not quite sure how to define "multiply aggressive."
"I don't know," Hodges said when asked what it means. "I guess maybe just being aggressive on a consistent basis. I don't know if it has to do with blitzing or man-to-man, but [Roof] always stresses he likes an aggressive, intense defense."