Two and a half months after playing their last down of football and with winter offseason conditioning behind them, the Penn State Nittany Lions will officially get back to work with the opening of spring football practices on Monday, March 21. And with the dawn of a new spring practice schedule comes an opportunity to officially hear from the head coach of the program, James Franklin. Franklin will meet with the media for the traditional beginning of spring practice press conference on Monday afternoon.
And given the current state of the program after floating at .500 for the past two seasons, Franklin will face some good questions about where the program is heading in 2022.
How is the mentality different this year compared to last year?
After being considered one of the top Big Ten contenders behind Ohio State in the seasons leading up to it, Penn State struggled mightily in a unique 2020 season. So the mission for the 2021 season, beginning in the spring, was to get back to playing at a high level and competing once again for a Big Ten championship. After five games last season, that looked like a very viable scenario until the season started taking some bumps and bruises beginning with a difficult road loss at Iowa.
So here we are once again, with Penn State opening another spring looking to redeem itself after a challenging season that saw Penn State perform at a mediocre level with a lack of key victories outside of their early home win against Auburn. How does Franklin deliver the message again? Is the message and tone different this season? How do the team’s leaders take it upon themselves to ensure this spring goes differently than last spring, leading into the summer and fall?
Or, simply, does anything really need to change in the theme of the spring? How Franklin reacts to that possible line of questioning…