Football head coach Bill O'Brien begins to prep the Nittany Lions this week for his highly-anticipated 2012 season.
But it won't come without challenges. Nine players have left the team and the Nittany Lions have been severely penalized by the NCAA.
With all this, O'Brien says he and his team are focused on football and getting wins this season.
Even though players have left the team, O'Brien is turning the page and asking his players to step up and fill vacancies. O'Brien says that even though Penn State has lost key players, this is a time for other players, especially younger Nittany Lions to make contributions to the team. O'Brien told the media outside the Lasch Football Building that he was eager to get to work.
"I couldn't wait, I couldn't sleep last night, I couldn't wait to start practice and work with the staff. I was here at 4:30 a.m. [and some of the other coaches were here before me]."
O'Brien believes there will be no more transfers from the squad going forward.
During the morning practice, returning players were on the field. Red-shirts weren't in action. Freshmen and new comers will worked Monday afternoon together to get used to O'Brien's system. Freshmen will work with the rest of the team beginning Tuesday.
O'Brien thinks Penn State has good depth and that they're healthy with no key injuries.
Here are some things to look for from O'Brien and the Nittany Lions in the next few weeks:
He talked Monday about making practices more accessible to the media. He says names on the backs of the jerseys is still under discussion and that he'll have a decision on this before the season.
The Nittany Lions open the season on Sept. 1 against Ohio at Beaver Stadium. O'Brien says he looks forward to seeing the team get better.
"You only have 29 practice opportunities, every single day we come out here we can only do two things...get better and get worse. We're going to try and be more consistent," he said.
Meantime, Penn State football media day will be on Thursday, which is when O'Brien will have more access to the media and players will be made available too.