Brent Pry does not assume the role of most interesting coordinator in Happy Valley. That distinction falls on offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead, who should have two Heisman Trophy hopefuls at his disposal this season. But this is still the Big Ten, meaning defense will play a major role in which team comes out on top this season. Like Penn State's other coaches, he discussed the direction the team is headed in during media availability on Saturday.

Pry talks to the media

When Pry took the podium at Beaver Stadium, it was safe to expect he was going to dole out nothing but effusive praise for the defense.

He did slip up one time, though - to praise the offense. He claimed that there wasn't a weakness in the Penn State offensive line, something he must've learned while going up against them during practice. Other than that, he stuck to his side of the ball.

He made a note of the skills of two touted freshmen, Yetur Matos and Tariq Castro-Fields. He talked about the good health of cornerback Christian Campbell, a solid senior contributor who has dealt with his share of injury issues over the course of his career.

Pry also has positive feelings about the hybrid skills of outside linebacker Koa Farmer, whose roots are in the defensive backfield. Overall, Pry seems to have a lot of belief in the Penn State defense headed into a big season.

Other Penn State takeaways

During the team's annual media day, there were plenty of takeaways beyond Pry's defense. Running back Saquon Barkley was badgered about his future, both at Penn State and beyond. He gave no hints as to whether or not he would declare for the NFL Draft after the season and remained humble when asked about being a Heisman Trophy candidate.

Meanwhile, head coach James Franklin is most intrigued by the third-string quarterback battle, suggesting he doesn't have too many worries at this point.

For the first time since the scandal that nearly destroyed the program, expectations are sky high in Happy Valley this season. Many prognosticators list the Nittany Lions as one of the five best teams in the country. They have two Heisman Trophy candidates in Barkley and quarterback Trace McSorley. Penn State has a complete roster that looks ready to compete with the Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan Wolverines for conference supremacy.

No wonder Pry doesn't have any worries about the defense - the mood is happy in Happy Valley right now.

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