Penn State’s uncertainty at right tackle is ongoing — but adding a fresh face to the mix during the bye week doesn’t appear to be the answer.
With Will Fries, Chasz Wright and Andrew Nelson struggling to solidify the troublesome spot, fans have suggested moving Brendan Mahon from right guard out to right tackle. James Franklin nipped that in the bud Tuesday afternoon.
“That’s a possibility because (Mahon)’s done it before, but we think what we have right now (works),” Franklin said on his weekly teleconference with Big Ten reporters. “The problem is you do that, now you’re going to be moving multiple guys. So instead of getting one area resolved, now you may be creating two (problems) because whoever’s going to go into guard now — whether that’s Fries or whoever that may be, (Michal) Menet — now you’ve got one guy playing a different position and another guy inexperienced at another.
“So right now, we’re going to leave the model that we have.”
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“The model” is switching back and forth between Wright and Fries and sticking with who’s playing better. Last week at Northwestern, Wright started but surrendered a pair of sacks. Fries rotated in and played much of the second half. Meanwhile, Fries started against Indiana with Wright rotating in.
Nelson hasn’t seen the field since leaving the Iowa game with an injury a few weeks ago. He wasn’t on the Northwestern travel roster.
Fries has played 238 offensive snaps through six games while Wright has tallied 172, according to 247 Sports.
It’ll be interesting to see who starts at right tackle next weekend against Michigan — but it sounds as if it won’t be Mahon.