Unusual week begins for PSU football

This is far from a typical game week for Penn State because of the trip to Ireland, but when things get back to normal, the team will have a different practice schedule under new coach James Franklin.

The Nittany Lions traditionally have been off on Sundays and practiced on Mondays, but Franklin prefers the opposite approach.

“I don’t think it’s unique,” the coach said. “I think it’s more common now than it used to be.”

Players obviously are beat up and tired after playing Saturday, which is why some teams don’t practice on Sundays. But Franklin’s philosophy on the matter makes a lot of sense.

“Sunday allows you to put the game behind you, put it to bed,” he said. “And now starting Monday there’s no more talking about the last opponent. Where if you use the Monday (practice) model, you’re splitting Monday talking about the last opponent and the next opponent.”

Penn State will be off today, practice Tuesday at home, then travel to Ireland and practice Wednesday through Friday. The team will make the long trip home after the game, and despite the travel, Franklin plans to stick to his plan of practicing Sunday to begin preparation for Akron in week two.

“It’s going to be tricky, but we’re going to stick to our routine,” Franklin said. “On Sunday when we get back, if we get back at 4 o’clock in the afternoon after flying all night, we’re going to stick to our routine. So we may be drinking Red Bulls out there on the field instead of Gatorade, but we’re going to stick to our routine.”

A typical week will look like this:

n Sunday: “Come in, grade the previous game,” Franklin said. “We’ll have a staff meeting, go over those grades and kind of philosophies. The GAs have already broken down the opponent, so we’re kind of looking at that and getting a head start.”

The offensive and defensive units meet, and the staff begins preparing a preliminary game plan for the upcoming game. The team has dinner, then goes out on the field and runs.

“We’ll do a very, very light practice and walk-through,” Franklin said. “We’ll walk through the mistakes from the game, and then we’ll walk through (base packages run by the opponent).”

n Monday: The players are off and have a chance to catch up on school work, including taking evening labs. The coaches, Franklin said, “are grinding all day long.”

n Tuesday: “We work all day long and then have a normal practice and meetings,” Franklin said. “That’s when you kind of get going. We’ll break the game plan down. Tuesday may be (working on) your normal downs and introduction of goal line.”

n Wednesday: “Wednesday may be third down and red zone and do goal line again,” the coach said.

n Thursday: Primarily a review day for everything the team has worked on all week.

n Friday: Walk-through. Also, Franklin said, “Coaches have the ability to go see their kids, if their kids are playing high school football, or go on the road recruiting. So we modified our meetings to be able to get both done.”