You've talked about Jimmy Clausen's personality. How will that serve him well in the Penn State environment?"A lot of people have an impression of a person when they don't know him that well. He really is a calm, laidback person by nature. I think in an atmosphere like that, if the players see you sweat, figuratively, if they see you lose your composure early, they start to lose confidence. Because he carries himself so well and is calm and composed almost all the time, I have very seldom, since the time he has gotten on campus, seen him act much different. He acts pretty much the same every day."
What is the biggest challenge for you getting a true freshman ready?"I think he has been well schooled long before I got him. I think he has been brought along nicely by both his high school program and additional training on top of it. I think, when we got him here, we had a pretty good product. It was just the fact of getting him into the system and getting him familiar with what we are doing and see how this all played out; because you don't come in here and be handed anything. You have to earn it, and I think he has done a pretty nice job."
Do you think it helped him by enrolling in January?"I think it would have been a lot tougher. I think it can be done, but you'd have to really, really cut it down to bare bones and expand it from there. I think because you had that semester and came in at the semester, because you had the spring with the regular installation that everyone else has. You would be getting that same installation starting August 6th because by the time August comes around; he is getting it the second time around. And now you could start to get into some nuances. I think if you didn't come that way, the nuances would get put aside and you would just have to worry about getting the installation in."
How much of your offense is in there for him?"We're going to have to see. We always have plenty of volume, but it's not how much we have but how much we'll use. I'm not ready yet; it's not whether he's ready. I'm not ready to decide how much we are going to use yet. I still want to get through tomorrow. Normally, I start formulating everything I'm doing by about tonight, but I'm going to take another full day tomorrow before I start zeroing in on exactly what we are going to call in the game."
What are the one or two things that you have to educate him on to deal with 100,000 people?"The number one thing for a young quarterback is that you have to have a short-term memory. By short-term memory, regardless of what happens in one play, you have to be worrying about the next play. Often young players let one bad play parlay into a whole bunch of bad plays. I think that's probably the biggest thing that I have to work on with young players at every position; but, of course, at the quarterback position because you are touching the ball on every play. One play at a time. Short-term memory."
I saw Jones (Demetrius) working with the running backs. Has he been moved?"He was just working on ball possession. It's just a logical thing to do to put emphasis on ball possession. He went down there for about four or five minutes to go through the gauntlet. No, we are not moving him to running back. You have something that happens, and I think a part of coaching is making sure you address those things that happen."
Why weren't Evan (Sharpley) and Demetrius available to the media yesterday?"They're not starting and they won't be available unless they're starting; so don't ask for them."
What is the status of Justin Brown?"We did check with the NCAA to find out what the rules are because, to be honest with you, I really didn't know. If you get thrown out in the first half of the game, you have to sit out the rest of the game and then you are eligible to play the next game. If you get thrown out in the second half of the game, you have to sit out the first half of the next game. If it happened to be the last game of the year and you got thrown out in the second half, it would carry over until the opener of the following year. We went right to the NCAA rule book to find out what exactly the ruling is because, to be honest with you, I didn't know."
You have said when you are watching recruiting tapes of quarterbacks, you can see their mechanics and physical attributes but not their emotions. When you went to see Jimmy, what did you see in his emotions that made you feel that he could stand your critiques and your style?"He was on a loaded football team out there this past year. He definitely was the man running the show for that offense and there were some good football players on that team. He ran the operation. He threw offense, and the problem is, he also threw the defensive show team. He was throwing the whole practice. He definitely had command of a very, very good football team. It wasn't just like he was on another team. We all know there were about a half dozen that went off that team who went on to play Division I football. He definitely had command of that team, and it was interesting to watch him practice. You would think with all these top-line athletes, there would be a divvying of that, and there wasn't. He was definitely the leader."
How do you think he will handle it Saturday? Are you confident that he can handle going into that environment?"That's a rhetorical question (laughing). I think, based off the evidence I have, I think he will handle it fine. I'm not hoping that; I believe he will handle it fine. If I didn't believe he could handle it, I don't think this would be the perfect environment to start your game for the first time. I could think of several better environments than this one (laughing)."
You say he is calm. Does he express any excitement to you?"His excitement is just to give you a smile. It's not like giddy or I'm fired up. I said, ‘You ready to go?' And he just gets that little grin on his face and says, ‘Yeah, I'm ready.' He looks like he has a quiet confidence about him which is the best way for a quarterback to be. The ones that the confidence isn't so quiet, usually, they're the ones you have to worry about the most."
You've been with the offensive line the last couple days, are you seeing what you're looking for?"If anyone watched the game, I'm going to be a little analytical here, anyone who watched the game the other night saw Georgia Tech bring pressure – and us not handle the pressure very well. Anyone watching the game the other night saw Georgia Tech bounce runs outside for some big gainers. So the obvious thing for any coaching staff on the other side to do is see whether or not you have those problems fixed. The reason I was down there was to work on getting those problems fixed."