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August 7, 2014

Communication key for Lions' secondary

GoPSUTV started its unit-by-unit look at the Nittany Lions through preseason practice with a video featuring defensive coordinator Bob Shoop and Penn State's secondary.

In the video, communication is the name of the game.

Focusing on the verbal and nonverbal cues necessary to get Penn State's secondary and linebackers all on the same page, the video shows how much preparation goes into making that seemingly effortless communication a reality.

"It's critically important, not just for the safeties and the corners but for the linebackers," Shoop says. "A lot of times, based on formations and sets and backfield sets, we might change the support pattern where a safety has the force or a corner has the force or even a backer in some cases and the players need to be aware of all those things, both communicating them and acknowledging the communication."

"The force," is of course the act of setting the edge to force the play back toward the strength of the defense.

As for the actual level of communication Penn State has already reached through its work in the film room during the spring and summer, corners coach Terry Smith offered a level of encouragement while maintaining the need to continually improve.

"I think our communication is really good. I think there's still some room for improvement. We have a bunch of veteran guys back there who communicate really well, but like anything on the second day of practice, there's a lot of room to improve and get better."

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