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Lions want season to start now

A reporter asked Bill O'Brien on Tuesday if he and his Penn State team were ready to play a game.

Bill O'Brien said Penn State could line up Adrian Amos (4) almost anywhere on the field.

O'Brien looked at him and said, "Uh, yeah," the way a man walking out of the desert might have said it if you offered him a glass of water.

The Ohio game is 10 days away. After a long summer, it can't get here soon enough for O'Brien, his staff and his players.

"We've been watching Ohio since the day I got the job," O'Brien said, adding that the coaches have completed the scouting reports for the Virginia and Navy games as well.

As the staff has prepared the Nittany Lions for their opponents, it's also been trying to get them up to speed with the new offensive and defensive schemes. O'Brien likes the way both sides have taken to the task.

"The philosophy I've always had is, get it all in and then see what sticks," he said. "You put it all in early and then you kind of scale back and do the things that the guys do the best."

Quarterback Matt McGloin, under the watchful eyes of O'Brien and quarterbacks coach Charlie Fisher, is moving the offense along and adapting well to its various changes, O'Brien said.

"I feel like Matt's got a real good grasp of the operation, how it all fits together," O'Brien said, "and we're gonna be a multiple personnel team, a multiple formation team, run play-action, empty, change into tempo, hopefully be pretty good in situational football and hopefully we'll be able to put that out on the field Sept. 1."

Concerns about the secondary, especially given the injuries to safeties Malcolm Willis and Jake Fagnano, remain, but O'Brien has versatile sophomore Adrian Amos at his disposal -- "You can expect Amos to be any position on defense except the defensive line," he said Tuesday -- and believes the strength of the defense up front can compensate.

"I've been around some good front sevens, and that's a really good group for a college football team," he said.

As camp winds down and Penn State prepares for its first game week under O'Brien, it's becoming clear that the players are as ready for action as their new coach is.

"We're probably tired of hitting each other," he said.

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