Matt McGloin has never been openly critical of Jay Paterno, his former quarterbacks coach, but he had some telling words Thursday about Penn State's offense now compared to the past.
McGloin was asked about his comfort level with the offense under new coach Bill O'Brien and new quarterbacks coach Charlie Fisher, and he responded by saying he's "light years ahead" of where he was as a quarterback and leader.
Then McGloin, speaking on a teleconference, offered up some intriguing comments.
"Coach O'Brien and Coach Fisher are doing a tremendous job with the quarterbacks," he said. "They're just teaching us the right way how to play the game of football and the right way how to play quarterback.
"We've never had anything like that before here, so we're really happy with the progress that we've made, and hopefully we're able to show everybody how far we've come."
It's no secret that Jay Paterno's quarterback coaching skills were heavily criticized during his tenure, although never by the players. Still, it appears that in just a few months under O'Brien and Fisher, the quarterbacks are noticing better coaching than they've had in a long time at PSU.
Running back Michael Zordich said he believes it was "a very smart move by Coach O'Brien" to name McGloin the starter during the summer.
"That definitely helped Matt a whole lot," Zordich said. "You can definitely see a whole lot more confidence in, not just him because he's always been a confident guy, but in how he's playing. He's more poised, he knows what he's doing, he's confident in his throws and his decisions, and it shows on the field."
With regards to McGloin, Zordich also has noticed, "It helps a lot when you're not in the middle of a quarterback controversy, where you go to make a throw and you're like, 'If I miss this throw, I'm going to get pulled.' You can just kind of let it out and throw."
SUBHD: Offense improving
Penn State's defense had the upper hand early in training camp, but the offense apparently has caught up.
"We had a scrimmage a couple of days ago, and we actually put a little hurtin' on the defense," tight end Kyle Carter told reporters before practice Thursday on campus.
It's a tricky offense to learn, Zordich said, and going against a strong front seven on defense made things tough. But O'Brien's new schemes are starting to click, which is vital to the Lions' success early this season.
"We've made a ton of progress from the spring," McGloin said of the offense. "I think what the spring taught us was that we needed to get comfortable with the playbook, getting comfortable with the way the wideouts were running the routes, things like that.
"But now during camp we took a major step forward in terms of the playbook, and we're just starting to settle in now and get comfortable and just start playing football again rather than thinking about what we're doing."
SUBHD: O-line better
The offensive line has made strides, too, with four new starters joining center Matt Stankiewitch.
"I feel like, although we're slightly unproven, that we can be an extremely successful offensive line this year," right guard John Urschel said.
The main question on the line remains at right tackle, where Adam Gress and Mike Farrell are competing for the starting job. It's a close call, and by all accounts both players have performed well in camp.
"Those guys have just been pushing each other, and both of them have been doing extremely well," said Urschel, who has a good perspective since he plays right next to those two tackles.