James Franklin shares a story about when ‘more’ didn’t work
Penn State head coach James Franklin talks in the Franklin Room of the Omni William Penn Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh on Wednesday afternoon on the second-to-last day of Penn State’s Coaches Caravan.
PITTSBURGH — Each year, James Franklin asks for a little bit extra from his players, his coaches — anyone involved in the Penn State football program.
The message is a relatively simple one and the kind you’d expect from most any football coach.
“Whatever we did last year isn’t going to be good enough this year,” Franklin said.
The fourth-year head coach was initially speaking about heightened expectations in terms of his coaching staff at Penn State’s Coaches Caravan stop in downtown Pittsburgh Wednesday, but it applies around the team, he said.
For players, it begins at the start of each morning workout. But in at least one instance during his tenure, those elevating demands backfired a bit.
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Franklin begins those a.m. sessions with a lap around the field.
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“It’s not a warm-up lap, it’s a sprint,” he said. “If guys want to warm up then they should get there early and warm up.”
The lap-long sprints worked OK and the team was succeeding, so Franklin decided to double down on the warmups. The Nittany Lions would run two laps. They did, but with linemen in tow, the philosophy didn’t quite work.
“It was ridiculous,” Franklin said. “You have 300-pound guys trying to run a lap that’s essentially a sprint, so they convinced me that we probably need to cut that back, so we cut that back.”