Penn State notebook: Gress tackles several spots on line
By Chris Adamski
Published: Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013, 6:06 p.m.
On a team that's had safeties move to linebacker, cornerbacks switch to safety (and back), wide receivers become tight ends and tight ends transition to tackle, having an offensive tackle bounce between the left and right side might seem trivial.
Not so, Penn State coach Bill O'Brien said.
“It's difficult,” O'Brien said. “Some guys have trouble just getting in (the opposite) handed stance.”
West Mifflin's Adam Gress is not one of those guys.
Gress, a fifth-year senior, has started games at both tackles this season. His first outing at left tackle came in last week's 24-17 overtime win against Illinois.
Gress is listed as a co-starter on both sides on the official depth chart in advance of the Lions' game at Minnesota on Saturday.
“I practiced enough on both sides that it feels comfortable,” Gress said. “It feels completely natural.”
Gress and Garry Gilliam had shared right tackle through the season's first seven games with redshirt sophomore Donovan Smith at left tackle.
But a poor performance by the line in a 63-14 loss Oct. 26 at Ohio State caused a slight shakeup.
O'Brien said the line play was better against the Illini. All three tackles played significant snaps, with the 320-pound Gress earning the greatest praise from O'Brien.
“He's a very large human being, a bright guy, a physical player and hard to rush around,” O'Brien said. “So we like to try to use him on both sides. He's definitely a swing tackle, and so is Garry. Garry can play right to left, too, and Donovan is primarily a left tackle.
“So we have a good luxury there. And Gress is a guy that can do both and has done it pretty well.”
Redshirt freshman running back Akeel Lynch did not have a carry Saturday against Illinois. O'Brien finally let it be known why.
“In the Ohio State game, he sprained his MCL, and he's day-to-day with that,” O'Brien said. “And that's why he didn't play in the Illinois game. I'm not sure if I mentioned that last week. I apologize for that.”
Lynch has 305 rushing yards on 46 carries for a team-best 6.6 average this season.
‘Comfortable' at corner
O'Brien said Adrian Amos played his best game of the season against Illinois, his second game fully back at cornerback after spending most of the first six games at safety.
“Of course, it's going to be more natural for me to go back and play corner,” said Amos, who started all 12 games at cornerback in 2012. “I'm comfortable playing corner, and back-guy corner.”
Incidentally, Amos, a Baltimore native, is a Ravens fan. But that wasn't the only team whose fans he regularly encountered while growing up.
“There are some Pittsburgh fans in Baltimore,” he said. “I don't understand it.”
After having 36 carries against Illinois, Bill Belton is on a limited-contact practice schedule this week. … Minnesota coach Jerry Kill will stay in the coaches' box for the game Saturday. Kill is on leave to treat his epilepsy. … Gophers quarterback Phillip Nelson is coming off a 298-yard, four-touchdown passing performance and is expected to play against Penn State despite a hip injury. … O'Brien: “We don't allow any hazing at Penn State. I'd say if anybody gets hazed, it's the coaches. The players bust our chops.”
Chris Adamski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Analysis: Steelers could fill needs with free agents while not spending big bucks
- Steelers to release LaMarr Woodley; Taylor restructures contract
- Crosby lifts Penguins over Capitals in last game of road trip
- Sbarro again files for bankruptcy reorganization
- Community cooperation credited in Glassport shooting arrests
- Charges expected in fatal Duquesne accident
- Health secretary sees benefits of SPHS Primary Care
- Lincoln Way upgrade begins
- Bill would limit private meeting circumstances
- Job cuts at AGH part of ‘strategic’ process
- Mt. Pleasant Rotary makes donations to community organizations