STATE COLLEGE – Bill O'Brien has not watched film of Penn State's offense from last season. And he doesn't ever plan to.
Followers of the program grimly nod at that sentiment -- Penn State's new coach surely isn't alone in his vow. The Nittany Lions finished 95th in the nation in total offense and were ranked even worse in scoring offense at 110 out of 120 FBS teams.
For O'Brien, however, it's not about the numbers. He simply wants to head into first official practices at Penn State without any preconceived notions of his roster.
"One of the things I wanted to do when I got here was again start with a clean slate with these guys," O'Brien said Monday in his first press conference at Beaver Stadium, hours before the Lions opened spring ball. "I didn't want to make any judgments on what they did on the football field, especially offensively, with not really knowing what they were doing scheme-wise offensively and not really knowing how they were coaching it and all those different things.
"I just wanted to start evaluating them in the winter conditioning and then now in spring practice. I wanted to start my evaluation then."
O'Brien used the term "clean slate" multiple times, creating a theme for a program trying to rebuild in the midst of an ongoing child abuse scandal and following the death of Joe Paterno.
For some players, that means a new position.
Curtis Drake, a wide receiver in his first three seasons on campus, has been moved to cornerback, O'Brien confirmed Monday. Drake did not travel with the team to the bowl game this past winter after an altercation with Matt McGloin in December briefly sent the quarterback to the hospital.
"(Drake) started with a clean slate with me just like all 126 guys on the team start with a clean slate with me," O'Brien said. "And Curtis and I have had many conversations, and I'll keep those between Curtis and I.
"What I saw with Curtis on the football field was good size, good feet, good hips, instinctiveness, and I think that he's a guy that can contribute over there. He's got to keep up his end of the bargain by doing well in school and keeping his nose clean, and then we'll give him a shot to play over there this spring."
Drake (receiver to corner), Bill Belton (receiver to tailback) and Dakota Royer (linebacker to tight end) are the three most noteworthy position switches as practice begins.
Some others, however, have already used up their fresh starts.
Tailback Curtis Dukes will sit out much of the spring for academic reasons, according to O'Brien.
Wideout Devon Smith could also be in trouble. The senior's apartment was searched on March 14 by university police, who recovered drugs and drug paraphernalia, according to a search warrant. A medication bottle prescribed to Drake was also seized.
The apartment belongs to Smith and former Penn State defensive end Jack Crawford. No charges have filed in connection with the search and O'Brien said he would wait to discuss the situation.
"That was just reported to me this morning," O'Brien said. "I'm still gathering info on that. We'll have something at a later date to report on that. But I don't really have a comment on that at this point."
Smith suited up and fully participated in Monday's practice.
One player has already been dismissed from the team on O'Brien's watch. Defensive end Shawn Oakman was charged last week in an alleged shoplifting incident at an on-campus convenience store.
O'Brien reiterated Monday that Oakman "won't be back on the Penn State football team. Or at Penn State."
Two players coming off of serious knee injuries last season -- defensive end Pete Massaro and linebacker Michael Mauti -- are expected to be 100 percent for the fall. Massaro will be a full participant in spring practice while Mauti sits out many of the drills.