Penn State Coach James Franklin's Pitt Week Press Conference

See what the Nittany Lion coach has to say as his team prepares for Saturday's showdown with the Panthers in the Steel City.

Penn State coach James Franklin spent the entire offseason deflecting questions about the revival of the PSU-Pitt series this year. His focus, he said time and again, was on Week 1 opponent Kent State.

Well, the Golden Flashes are now in the rearview mirror (a 31-13 win by the Nittany Lions). And Saturday, Penn State hits the road to take on the Panthers for the first time since 2000. 

As such, questions about Pitt, the series, recruiting ramifications of the game and more were all fair game when Franklin held his weekly press conference at Beaver Stadium Tuesday. See what he had to say in the video above.

In the meantime, here is the transcript:

JAMES FRANKLIN: A know you want to get started on Pitt, but let's start by reviewing a little bit of the Kent State game. I thought overall we played well against Kent State. Like I had mentioned after the game, the film aligned with what I said after the game that offensively I thought we did a good job of operating. I thought Trace did a good job of operating. We didn't have any substitution issues. We didn't have any delay of games or none of those things that sometimes show up on first games.

From an organizational standpoint with the signaling and the sideline, all those things went well. But we just left some big points on the field, left some plays on the field some yardage that we'll get cleaned up. I think that's going to be a challenge for us every single week because everybody's philosophy's going to be let's load the box up. Let's take the runaway and force them to beat us with horizontal passing game, crossing routes, rubs or vertical passing game. So that will be a challenge week in and week out, that aligns with our opponent this week as well.

Defensively, same thing. I thought we made big plays, but we gave up too many quarterback scrambles and explosive runs and things like that. So it was either hit or miss from that standpoint. Great to see young players come in and play and play well and be productive whenever you get a guy like Shareef playing in his first game and gets two sacks, and whenever you get a guy like Ryan Buchholz who starts his first game and gets a sack. So those things are good. So excited about that.

On special teams, obviously having Blake Gillikin can come in and punt really well. I think he's ninth in the country right now in punting. That was positive. And a guy who probably doesn't get enough credit, Tyler Davis, I think is 10 for 10 now on field goals. He's done a nice job there. And Joe Julius came in and not only was he really consistent in his kickoffs, but also had the big hit of the game. So that was fun seeing all the different peoples and things like that on Twitter, which was fun.

So you guys know, coaching staff, we voted on players of the week on offense. It was sophomore running back, Saquon Barkley, on defense, it was junior defensive end, Garrett Sickels. We gave honorable mention to Amani and Shareef Miller. Special teams was freshman punter, Blake Gillikin, and honorable mention to Joe Julius and Tyler Davis.

So looking forward to the game this weekend with Pitt. Expecting to have great support from our fans there as well. With this being an in-state game, I know there's been a scramble for tickets all off-season since the game was announced.

Some of the things that I thought was interesting, trying to do some of my own studies, this game has been played 96 times. One of the things that I thought was really interesting that I didn't know, 68 of the 96 games have been played in Pittsburgh, which I thought was really interesting. Completely skewed that way, which I just thought was an interesting stat. Last game we played Pitt won 12-0. That was in 2000 at Three River Stadium.

You've got to remember, I think everybody's talking about this game and the excitement of it and interest for the state and all those types of things. But you also have to remember that our players were either two, three, or four years old the last time this game was played. So I think for fans and alumni, I get it. But also our players, they don't remember this game. They don't remember this game being played.

So excited for the opportunity. I do want to mention James Conner, what a great story for college football. What a great story for the University of Pittsburgh. And I think it's a credit for the type of young man he is. Only did he overcome a knee injury, but cancer and makes it back for the opening game of the season. So tremendous young man, tremendous example of college athletics and his passion for the game and his passion for his university. So awesome to see that.

So look forward to the game. They're returning eight offensive starters, eight defensive starters, and then 3 of 5 special teams starters. So looking forward to the game and we'll open it up to questions.

Q. James, how would you consider or compare the Pittsburgh game to games against people like Ohio State-Michigan? And do you consider it a rivalry?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, I think obviously being in the same state and the past history of the game is really going to put a major emphasis on it. To me, a rivalry, there is no doubt is there from an historical perspective. But once again, to me, a rivalry isn't something that you have to have a discussion about. The fans, the media, the players, the coaches, all view it that way.

Once again, none of our players have ever played against Pitt and none of our players have ever seen a Penn State-Pitt game in their lifetime. Again, I don't think they're watching many games at 2, 3, and 4 years old. So there are elements there from an historical perspective. There is no doubt about it. But, again, our players haven't done that.

So for us, we approach this like every other game on our schedule. Keep our focus consistent. Focus on the process of being successful, not the results or not a specific type of game. And our guys are excited about it. But I think everybody understands the significance of it. We've been hearing about it all off-season. There is no doubt about it. But our approach is consistent week in and week out.

Q. James, two quick ones. I wanted to get your thoughts on the importance of, you mentioned Joey Julius, the kickoff coverage play for this week for you guys against Pitt, I think Henderson took 96 yards against Villanova, the importance of that aspect of the game. And also, James, from your perspective, would you like to see Pitt be a permanent addition to the Penn State schedule? I think it's for four games. Your thoughts on them being permanently added to the schedule?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Couple of things. Obviously, our kickoff coverage and our kick location is really, really important this week. I think they have four returns, whether they're kick off or punt returns for touchdowns last year, and then obviously the opening game. So that's going to be a concern. But we need to be ready for it.

Joe, I think, had touchbacks on the majority of his kicks last week, so that would be important for us to be able to do that or at least pin them deep. So those are huge momentum swinging plays, kickoff returns for touchdowns, punt blocks, plays like that are huge momentum swinging plays in games. So we understand the importance of that.

It's going to be a focus of ours all week long, and excited about the match-up, to be honest with you, as well.

From a scheduling perspective, I think one of the things, we keep talking about this and everybody keeps talking about this, I think it's great for the state of Pennsylvania. I think high school coaches love it. I think it makes sense in a lot of different ways. But the thing we keep talking about, it doesn't seem to matter, the question keeps getting asked is I think our schedules are set. Theirs and ours through like 2025 or 2026. So we'll see how this thing goes moving forward and we're excited about the opportunity this weekend.

Q. With this offense, do you have any kind of benchmark of how many plays you'd like to run in the game? Would you like to see more stretches of using your fastest tempo when you do have success in early downs?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, the tempo thing really depends. Last week we ended up doing a lot of check with me because when it's the first game of the year, you're not completely sure what you're going to get. I would say 75% of the looks that we got defensively were different than what we had prepared for. I think that was probably the biggest thing that jumped out during the game and jumped out watching the film.

Normal down and distance situations, third down situations, red zone situation, they played differently than we had prepared for based on the things that we'd seen on film. So rather than just running plays, we did a lot of check with me because our initial plays that we had on the game plan didn't necessarily fit.

I think whenever you can speed up the tempo, that's a good thing. We want to be able to do both of those things. We want to be able to check with me on the sideline to get in the right play and we want to have plays where we can get up and just snap the ball that are plays that have an opportunity to be successful versus multiple defensive fronts and multiple coverages.

So we'll always have some of those plays in the game plan. But, again, based on our first game scenario, not having any film from this year, it made it a little bit challenging for the first game.

Q. What is your personal relationship with this game having lived on both sides of the state, and then how do fans --

JAMES FRANKLIN: I didn't hear what you said in the beginning.

Q. What is your personal relationship with this game or memories of it having lived on both sides of the state? And how have fans communicated inside or outside of State College communicated their level of interest to you?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, my personal relationship with the game, again, once again, this game hadn't been played in a very, very long time. I have a cousin that works at the University of Pittsburgh, one of my best friends that comes to almost every single game lives in Pittsburgh. He's been talking to me about the game, family and friends talking about the game, obviously growing up just outside of Philadelphia, there is an aspect of that.

So growing up in the state of Pennsylvania, being my dad from Pittsburgh and spending all of my holidays and summers in Pittsburgh, I'm aware. My grandma's house was in the Hill District on Bedford Avenue, not far at all from Pitt Stadium. So very, very familiar, very familiar.

But, again, that's about it. I've never played in a game there. I've never coached a game there. So that's probably the extent of it. And the second question was? What was the second question?

Oh, how the fans have reacted. Yeah, obviously, we get a bunch of stuff on Twitter, get a bunch of comments from our fans, I get a bunch of comments from their fans, which has been great. I learned something really powerful this off-season, muting. We've had some muting conversations with each other. Excuse me. We've had some blocking conversations, right, as a group.

I've learned there is this other thing called mute which does the same exact thing but you don't know I've done it, which is better, which is even better. But, yeah, I get stuff from our fans about how excited they are about the game. I get stuff from their fans about how they feel about me and how they feel about us.

But to be honest with you, I'd say most of the stuff I get is more about the excitement and the respect for both institutions and the state and the community and how awesome this is. So got a lot of respect for University of Pittsburgh, their coaches, their administration and to me, this is great. It's great for the state of Pennsylvania, two great academic institutions. Two historical football programs, so it should be fun. So most of the stuff I get is positive. There was a small percentage that's angry, but most of it is very positive.

Q. James, I wonder if you could tell me what you would expect maybe progress-wise from your linebackers from week one to week two? And can you specifically talk about the development of Manny Bowen and maybe anybody else who is a back-up that's stood out to you?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, we're very pleased with Manny. He just continues to grow in every aspect of his life. Obviously with this question specific to football, I think his role is going to continue to grow as the season goes on and specifically this week.

But Coop's another guy that continues to grow. I think Manny will have a more significant role, but Coop continues to grow for us as well. I think the other thing that's going to be interesting are some decisions that we're going to have to make on Cam Brown. He's one of the guys I told you in the past was in a yellow category and make some decisions on him of what his future's going to look like this year, whether we're going to play them on special teams and start to create some more depth at linebacker.

Then, again, our money package and playing Koa Farmer and in that nickel field linebacker position as well. So we need to continue to work at that. We need to continue to develop that. That's going to be really important. Then, obviously with Cabinda, and Nyeem, and Brandon Bell's leadership, that's been really positive for us. So I think you're going to continue to see Nyeem get better, and better and better the more live reps he gets because his confidence continues to sore.

Q. I wanted to go back to your philosophy on treating every game the same. I only ask that because Coach Narduzzi said yesterday that he's going to explain the rivalry to his kids and he wants them to embrace it. Did you ever have a thought of having your guys embrace this rivalry? And in your coaching career, have you ever had a situation where your team played a rival and there was some special emphasis put on that game?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Great question. Obviously, again, we have talked about this game with our players. We have done that. Again, I don't think we have to talk about it a whole lot because they understand and they hear it all the time. They have friends that play at Pitt. They have family members that went to Pitt. There's a lot of that, so I think it naturally just happens.

Yeah, I've been a part of rivalry games in the past. When I was at Vanderbilt we played Tennessee in the same state, and we approached it like every other game. Kept our routine the same. Kept our process the same, and we were fairly successful. If you look at the history of that rivalry and you look at the success that we had there, pretty successful. So we want to keep our routine the same.

In my 22 years of doing this, I think you have to be very careful when you tell your players that this game is more important than another game. Then I think you have a tendency to come out and play inconsistent. Guys will be emotionally high one game and below the next. So keep our process the same, focus on the results of being successful and not things that are outside of your control.

Again, naturally these things are going to happen without me having to do it. It's like if you're playing an opponent like Pitt or if you're playing a top 25 or top 10 opponent or top 5 opponent or white out game, it's not like I have to come in and tell them, guys, this is a white out game. I'm not sure if you know this is a big game for us. These things naturally happen without us emphasizing it.

Q. Kind of related to Joe's question there, you're talking about staying with the same process and treating it like any other game, and Pat Narduzzi is going to not allow his players to talk to the media this week. Did that surprise you? Is that something you would ever do? How do you think about that?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, I'm the head football coach at Penn State, so my focus is on Penn State and doing all the things that we think we need to do to be successful on Saturday. Whatever other coaches do at other institutions that they think is going to be the best thing for their program I think is wonderful. Again, my focus is on Penn State and what we need to do to be successful here. Everybody has philosophies and different approaches to things.

The other thing, to be honest with you, I'm somewhat scared of our media. So if I told them that they couldn't come to practice or anything else, I don't think Audrey Schneider would be very, very happy with me. That was a joke. Didn't go over very well because no one laughed.

Q. I laughed.

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, no, we're going to keep our process the same, but everybody is welcome to approach their process, what they think is best for them and their program. I know not always will people agree with that. But we're going to do what we think is the right thing for Penn State.

Q. You kind of mentioned James Conner in passing. I'm just wondering, how amazed are you by the comeback he's made, and how good a player is he? Did you see any difference from last weekend to how he's been in the past?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Whenever you're the ACC Offensive Player of the Year and you're a six-foot back who is 225, 230 pounds that has the type of production that he has, and then you have him coming back behind a veteran big, physical offensive line and a staff and philosophy that they are going to try to run the ball and do it from 21 personnel, 22 personnel, 12 personnel, 11 personnel, and be a multiple personnel, multiple formation organization, that's going to be the emphasis.

So he's a special player. I'm excited to see him before the game. I know our guys are excited to compete against him and the rest of the players at the University of Pittsburgh, but that's really it.

Q. I was wondering with some of the Pittsburgh connections on your team like Coach Limegrover and Moorhead and some of the players as well, have they expressed to you how excited they are to play this game just to like be back in their hometown or playing in front of their friends and family or things like that? Have they shared any stories like that with you?

JAMES FRANKLIN: No, again, I think the biggest thing is tickets. Coach Moorhead's wife calling my wife trying to get extra tickets, same thing with Coach Limegrover. I have no idea what's going on with that. I just show up to the game and hopefully my wife and daughters are there to be at the game as well and friends and family and things like that.

But, again, we get into the office early and leave late at night, and our focus is on finding ways schematically, fundamentally to be successful on Saturday. So I think obviously Joe and Matt are very appreciative of being in the state of Pennsylvania, and being at Penn State.

Matt said something to me after the game the other day, how surreal it was to be coaching at Penn State and be in the stadium and what an unbelievable experience it was. Yeah, you get there. Obviously with them, Coach Limegrover doesn't talk about it. I think Coach Moorhead has a fairly colorful family. So he has a few stories from time to time about his dad who I think was like a Little League coach and coached all those guys. Coach Limegrover and all those guys are in Pittsburgh, growing up. But for the most part to be honest, we spend our time watching film, coming up with game plans, researching the internet to find out who may be playing in the game or not with injuries and those types of things, just looking for every advantage we possibly can.

Q. Chris Godwin mentioned after Saturday's game that maybe 50 or 60% of the playbook was actually shown with Kent State. So is that a matter of come comfort for the team or to make it difficult for other teams scouting you going forward?

JAMES FRANKLIN: I don't think it would be any different with any other team where there was no conversation that we're going to hold plays from the playbook back. I think that's how it is every single week. You have the playbook and there is 100% of it. That's always kind of a discussion. But I don't think it goes the way people see it or think it goes.

So you have 100% of the game plan, so you pick the plays that you have in the playbook that fit that specific team. So it may be 50% of the playbook, and the next week it may be a different 50% based on the team and the style of play it is. It's not like we are holding anything back or using anything in the future or things like that. It's just what are the plays that give us the best chance to be successful against Kent State? What are the best plays that give us a chance to be successful against Pitt? It's not an a approach to hold things back.

The spring game, yeah. The spring game is about going out and playing clean and allowing guys to play fast. And you're fairly have a nil A not because you're trying to hold things back, but you want the game to go smoothly and you want guys to play fast. There is a little bit about holding it back probably for your first game as well. But once the season starts, you're running things that you think give us the best chance to be successful.

Q. After the game you said that Saquon had a sneaky 100-yard game. And Saquon seemed to be rather, I don't want to say frustrated but not as pleased with his game as he would have liked and he's the player of the week on offense. Can you talk what his level of expectations for his game are? Could you share your thoughts on how Derek Dowrey and Connor McGovern did in the game at right guard?

JAMES FRANKLIN: I think most guys are going to be like that. Whether you're the player of the game or rush for 300 yards or 100 yards, you're never really going to be satisfied. I know there are other areas and everybody looks at the stats and how many yards he has. But it's also pass protection, which I know is an area that he didn't feel he did as well Saturday or we want him to do. And he's a big, strong, physical back. He kind of got into some cutting and things like that that he typically doesn't do. But he also had a couple plays before that where he was getting hands to the face, and that was a technique he decided to use.

So I think it's more about his overall game. Does he have very high expectations? No doubt about it. Our whole team does.

At the right guard position, I thought Derek Dowrey showed a lot of experience. He's played a lot of football now at this point. He's still kind of working through some things from camp. But I thought overall he played pretty well. Again, his experience and his strength and his girth is the thing that's probably the most valuable, his intelligence, those things. Where Connor's on the other end of the spectrum. Connor's a guy that doesn't have a whole lot of experience and he's learning every single day. And to be honest with you Derek has been a big part of that and done a great job taking him under his wing and continuing to help him grow.

But I think you'll see a combination of those two guys all year long. Some games more than not. Some of it is a philosophy going into the game, and some of it is watching the game to see how it goes based on match-ups and things like that.

Connor's got a very bright future and we're excited about him. And Derek's done a good job for us the last couple of years and I think has a chance to leave here on a high note with his career?

Q. You mentioned blocking and Twitter earlier. But how about the blocking on the left side of the line? How would you assess that in some of your short yardage situations as well?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Obviously we gave up one sack and it was a sack fumble for a touchdown. So it was significant in the game, there's no doubt about it. But obviously a major improvement from where we were last year in the opening game. So we've just got to continue to grow there.

We did a good job on Saturday of getting to third and manageable situations, but we didn't pick enough of those up. Our third down presentation needs to go way up. I thought we did a pretty good job of getting to those manageable situations, but we've got to convert.

There is no doubt we can play more physical. There is no doubt I think we can run more physical and decisive. And we had some mistakes as well in terms of the one time we went to pull the ball, there was a little bit of a tug of war between Trace and Saquon and the ball goes to the ground on fourth down. I think we would have picked up the first down there. There was a third down we didn't communicate effectively up front. We didn't block it the way we needed to block it.

Yeah, that's going to be an area that we'll have to continue to improve.

Q. When you're on the recruiting trail, I know you sell what you're building here and all those things like everyone does, right? What kind of ramifications do you think this game has one way or the other when you talk about dominating the state and recruits and keeping them here. What kind of impact do you think one game could have?

JAMES FRANKLIN: I think winning helps. I think it helps everything. I think it helps everything in your program. Winning has a factor in every aspect of your program and recruiting is one of them. So, yeah, I think it matters. But I also think if you look around the country with recruiting, you'd be surprised. You'd be surprised where some guys are going and how much of it is significant.

Some guys are worried about playing time. That's their main focus. Some guys want to go to programs that are going to be winning and winning consistently. A lot of guys want to go to programs that are going to be able to do both, provide a great education, provide an opportunity for early playing time and want to be successful and want to win. So there is no doubt it factors into it.

Q. These next two weeks, what do you feel you have to do to validate that dominate the state catch phrase?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Again, like a lot of things with the media, the dominate the state thing was something that was specifically talked about in my opening conference about recruiting. A philosophy in recruiting of we wanted to make sure we kept the best players not only in the state of Pennsylvania but also in this region home. It's spun out to other things that people wanted to use it for to make their point more powerful. But, yeah, we're excited about the game this weekend.

Q. You talk after the game that Trace is going to run the ball. That's the offense you're going to have. He did discuss earlier today about how he's got to get down or out of bounds a little bit more. What is the balance with the quarterback who I'm sure wants to get out there and get involved versus not having him get hit so much?

JAMES FRANKLIN: I think when you're on the sideline it's easy to fight for as many yards as you possibly can and slip out of pounds at the last second. I think on third down when you're going to pick up the first down, that's a time that you're willing to lower your shoulder, do what you have to do to get the first down. The hard part is not when you're running in open field and there is nobody around you and one guy comes to get you and you decide to slide. That's easy. It's when there is traffic all around you. Those are the decisions that you have to make.

Again, we'd like to be in situations when he is running where it's more of a clean look. And there's less bodies around him, like Saquon, he's built to do those things. If it's a great look, hand the ball off and let Saquon get those yards. You really like the quarterback pulling the ball and getting on the edge of the defense or sometimes the inside of the defense.

But, again you'd like to be in a situation where it's a little bit cleaner look and he's got a little more room to run. And now it's a situation where if someone's coming to tackle, he can get down at the last minute.

But again there are going to be some aspects of our offense where those guys are going to run and they take some shots. That's why they work so hard all off-season to make sure they're durable enough to do those things.

Q. You have a lot of young guys on the defensive line. What's it do for their confidence on Saturday to go out and get seven sacks like that, and because of that moving forward, have the expectations increased at all since then?

JAMES FRANKLIN: No, we have high expectations on the defensive line. Coach Spencer has done a good job. Coach Pry's done a good job with those type of things. And we'll continue to emphasize that sacks are good. It's one of those stats that people get excited about. Tackles for loss are also very important. We want to improve in that area. Zero yardage plays, balls batted down, all those things are important.

We just need to be more consistent, like I said. Saturday it was kind of all or nothing, and we need to do a little better job with our rush lanes and things like that. So their mobility at the quarterback this past Saturday, I think they had three guys and two of them that could move around really well. So I do think it was a confidence boost for those guys. But I think they also understand there's still a lot of areas that they can improve and get better on.

Q. When you prepare for their offense, what do you put more emphasis on? What they did last week against Villanova or last year what Canada did last year?

JAMES FRANKLIN: I think it's got to be a combination of what they did in the opening week and what Coach Canada has done in his past. It's not like Coach Canada was hired and he ran a completely different offense and he's coming in to run Coach Narduzzi's offense.

Does Coach Narduzzi have an influence in the style of play he wants to play? Yeah. And all of those things were discussed in the interview process. They worked together in the past, I think, at Northern Illinois. So there is comfort there. And will the head coach have a philosophy that he wants it to be within that philosophy? Yeah.

But for us, it's going to be a combination of what he did in the past at N.C. State. What he did at Wisconsin, what he did in opening week one. So those things will factor in. Obviously you look at last year's Pitt games more from an overall program philosophy and personnel to evaluate their personnel on the O-line, tight end, receiver, running back, those type of things, because match-ups are a very important part of the game as well.

Q. How much of an art form is the ball fake in an RPO? And how did Trace do in your mind this past weekend when you look at the decisions he made in some of the situations you felt like he made the right ones most of the time?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, I think, again, we saw some looks that we weren't anticipating off of film. Looks that we hadn't worked on in practice all week long, I think overall, good. That was something that rally jumped out to us during camp. When I would either stand behind the offense or stand behind the defense. Me and Joe would talk constantly about how a lot of times you could not tell who had the ball. Whether it was the running back or the quarterback. Not at the end of the play, but I'm talking at that initial hand off.

They were doing a great job of riding it from your back hip to your front hip. You can't ride it past them because that's when it causes confusion with the running back into mesh. But we did a good job with that. There were a few times on Saturday we could have been a little cleaner.

We had some mesh charges which means when the defensive guy doesn't run at the quarterback or at the running back he kind of runs right in between the two of them, which is typically termed a mesh charge, which is usually a given in that situation. We had a couple times like that where looking back at the tape we'd have liked to do some things differently. But that's something we've done really well in camp.

Q. Can you update us at all on Evan Schwan's status?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Yeah, Evan's great. Evan's really good. He's in great shape.

Q. Obviously with the wrap on his ankle, but chances of him playing?

JAMES FRANKLIN: Guys, it's Tuesday. I know you have to ask this question and you guys get upset with me when I don't answer the question. But if it's a season-ending injury, I will tell you guys it's a season-ending injury. If not, it's Tuesday. Guys have a chance to get better on Wednesday. Guys have a chance to get better on Thursday. Guys have a chance to get better on Friday. The other part I would explain to you is I think there is a big difference between a veteran player and a young player.

So if you have a freshman who has not played through injuries, maybe is still learning the game plan, still learning the offense, still learning the defense and needs those reps so that he's confident and the coaches are confident to put him on the field, that your approach is a little bit different. But when you have a veteran player who has played a lot of football and understands the scheme, we can afford to put Evan out there even if he hasn't had a whole lot of reps in practice. It's not ideal, but you can afford to do that a little bit.

So for me to sit here and talk to you guys about it on Tuesday after just playing Saturday and the game's not until next Saturday about any injury that's not season-ending, is not good.

So we're going to do this dance all year long. It will be more of a dance this year than last year when I just didn't give you anything. I'll talk for one to three minutes. I still probably won't say anything, but I'll talk with you a little bit different than I've done in the past, instead of just saying no and moving on to the next question. We'll have a nice dance.

Q. I was wondering what are your thoughts on Penn State honoring Joe Paterno?

JAMES FRANKLIN: That's something that is a decision that our administration makes. Again, we're so consumed with graduating our players. We're so consumed with getting our players ready to play and be successful on the football field and make great decisions in the community. That's our focus.

I think as you guys know, I was one of the first people in my opening press conference to show my respect for the history and traditions and all the wonderful things that have happened here. But after that, guys, there are a lot of things that I think people hit me up on Twitter about and questions that I get asked that I'm not involved in. Those things are for the administration.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports


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