Every week, NittanyNation will pose five questions to a recruit, player, alum or coach about all things Penn State.
This week's subject is Glenn Carson, a starting middle linebacker who chatted with NittanyNation after practice Thursday. Carson started 12 games last season and finished fourth in tackles (74). He also forced two fumbles.
NittanyNation: What are you guys doing different on defense this season?
Glenn Carson: We've put in a lot more. So, when it comes to game week, we can kind of pick and choose what we're going to want to use. We have such a big toolbox of defenses so, that way, we'll be able to pick which ones are good for that week. And that makes us more flexible.
But the most important thing is not the play calls, but having a bunch of guys that run to the ball, get off blocks, make tackles and want to win. That's really what it comes down to.
NN: You've previously mentioned how the offense is pushing the defense more this year. Does that mean the offense is better than last year right now?
GC: It's really hard to say. I can't really compare the two, obviously, but there's definitely strengths and weaknesses. I really like the play-calling this year and I think as a linebacker, it can be very tricky. It's tough with play-actions and stuff like that.
NN: Who have you been most impressed with at camp?
GC: Hmm. I think that the tight end group as a whole. I really think they've come together, and I've seen Kyle Carter make an unbelievable catch the other day. We were 7-on-7 and one of the linebackers was on him man, and he just picked a ball out of the air with one hand, like backhanded. He jumped in the air, grabbed it in the air with a man swatting at his arm and was still able to pull it down. It was just an unbelievable catch. It was really exciting to see -- even though he scored a touchdown.
It's exciting to see a tight end make a play like that at Penn State because, in years past, we haven't really used our tight ends as much as I think we should have in certain situations. And it's exciting to see tight ends make plays. A couple have been making some awesome plays this year.
NN: What's it like going against those tight ends, three of whom are 6-foot-6 and taller?
GC: It's great we have some good tight ends because we do one-on-ones against them, and it's definitely making us better. And if we have some of the better tight ends in the conference, then we're going to be prepared for other teams that have good tight ends.
NN: With all the sanctions, changes and transfers, would you see 6-6 this year as a success or a failure?
GC: I see it as a failure. I think we have higher aspirations than a 6-6 team.