Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Five Questions for Lions Heading into the Offseason

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Five Questions for Lions Heading into the Offseason

Article excerpt

It's an offseason full of change for Penn State as new coordinator Joe Moorhead will begin installing his offense and the Lions need to break in a new quarterback.

Coach James Franklin said last week that progress is being made, but the Lions are coming off back-to-back 7-6 seasons. There will be no shortage of new faces in key places next season and as the Lions work back to full strength with 85 scholarships, a number they should reach next season, but the team still has plenty of questions to sift through.

"I think there's progress," Franklin said after the Lions' TaxSlayer Bowl loss Saturday to Georgia. "You look at conference record, there's progress that's being made. Not as much as anybody wants. The fans, no one more than the guys in the locker room. No more than the coaches and myself."

Are more coaching changes coming?

Defensive coordinator Bob Shoop and linebacker's coach Brent Pry were rumored to be in the mix for once vacant positions with other staffs, but thus far all except for fired offensive coordinator John Donovan remain in place. Will Franklin be able to keep them all after the coaches convention next week?

Moorhead met with players and attended the bowl game where he was involved in warm-ups and took in the game from the booth. Will Moorhead want to also coach the quarterbacks or will the Lions keep quarterbacks coach Ricky Rahne there?

Will special teams coordinator Charles Huff, whose unit failed to improve results, hold the same role next season? Huff also coaches the running backs and this season didn't have a scholarship kicker or punter on the roster. Also, Penn State needs someone to coach the tight ends.

Who is the odd-man out at LB?

The Lions are slated to get injured linebacker Nyeem Wartman-White back in the fold by next season and his fill in, sophomore middle linebacker Jason Cabinda, is a likely candidate to stay in the middle. Wartman-White could slide back to the outside linebacker, a position he held prior to the 2015 spring when he was prepped to move inside.

"It's something that we haven't really talked about yet, but I'm open to anything," said Cabinda, a sophomore who moved inside after the season opener. …

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