The Penn State rebuilding process continued with long time play-by-play man, Steve Jones, continuing his speaking tour with a stop at the Duboistown VFW?to meet with season tickets holders.
Prior to meeting the fans, Jones took some time to speak with the local media about the current crop of players donning the Blue and White (with names on the back of the jerseys), Bill O'Brien and the all around state of the PSU football team.
Jones described the new coaching staff after taking in a few practices and appeared excited for the team as it aims to undo the misery of the last few months.
"Bill O'Brien and Patrick Chambers coming in has given me a lot of energy and enthusiasm," Jones said. "Chambers is the absolute Energizer Bunny, except the bunny needs batteries and this guy doesn't. O'Brien is the same way. And that's why I probably have more enthusiasm for my job than ever."
Jones' job kicks off with one of the more important games in recent PSU memory as the team prepares for a new era under O'Brien.
"As well as he's done public relations wise, he's an even better football coach. And he's finally in the element that he is most natural at," Jones said of O'Brien. "But what he's done, not just for the football team, but the university, is something you can't put a price on."
The first game also marks the first time the Nittany Lions will play with names on the backs of their jerseys. And despite all the change surrounding the program, Jones says besides being prepared for the game, he's not going to think about what he's going to say over the air as Penn State marches out of the tunnel for the first time under O'Brien. Something Jones said should be natural.
"I never do," Jones replied when asked if he's thought about what he's going to say. "Whatever happens, it has to be natural on my part. It can't be thought up or forced. I think any broadcaster that does that is a mistake. You have to take the moment in."
And it's going to be one huge moment for the Nittany Lions rebuilding process.
The next concern of Jones was the players representing the names on the back of PSU's signature blue and white uniforms. And, surprisingly, the players have used the sanctions as a rally point for the season.
"There is a little bit of a chip on their shoulders," Jones said of the team. "They want to be able to go out and make it 12 games where they can spoil somebody's season. That's how they are making it. They've finally got to play football and it's like therapy for them."
Despite being back at it on the field, the team isn't completely void of the concerns that have lingered around this program like a bad stink. The bowl-ban is still a very real punishment, taking away the highlight of reaching the postseason and representing their school on a national stage.
Penn State has also been hit by the departure of nine players, three starters, from the roster, which might be the most difficult aspect to grasp of this whole situation for the players.
"They've handled it well," Jones said of the football team. "The part that disturbed them was they can't play for a championship and they can't play in a bowl game. They've seen teammates leave, and some of them aren't happy about that."
Finally, in a moment in which Jones' personality poured out the most, he was asked about what part of this situation was the most difficult to deal with, and he spoke about the passing of Joe Paterno.
"Joe's passing affected me a lot, because I knew Joe for 32 years. And it wasn't just as a football coach," Jones said. "That part has really affected me a lot, because it's hard to look out there sometimes and not see him."