FOS Audio: Paterno Press Conference

Listen to what the Nittany Lion coach had to say when he met the media Tuesday about his team's play against Cincinnati and its preparation for Saturday's game against Central Michigan. There is also a recap of his press conference here. In an effort to get this information to fans more quickly, we are filing from the Beaver Stadium Media Room.

Joe Paterno PC Audio 1

Joe Paterno PC Audio 2

Here is Scott Cole's quick recap of what Joe Paterno had to say:

1. In light of the university's announcement today, have you decided when Dan Connor will play?

Joe hasn't heard the announcement. As he understands it, Dan will show up for practice today and Joe will go from there.

2. Have Levi Brown and John Wilson lived up to your expectations?

Joe thought Levi had one of his better games last weekend. He's strong and was more consistent on Saturday.

Wilson did well until he got tired. John is not a great athlete. He's a big man, but he is limited in what he can do athletically.

3. With Tyrell Sales playing well, does that give you the luxury of not rushing Connor back into the lineup?

It has nothing to do with anyone but Sales. He's a good football player. He has to get more comfortable defending the pass, and do some other finesse things better, but those are things he can do.

4. Will Charles Rush be back in the starting lineup on Saturday?

The fact that they moved Shipley to guard. Shipley's a good football player, and they have to get him where they're going to play him. Rush is a good solid football player, but he has to improve in order to handle some things they will see later this season.

5. What do you like about Tim Shaw's play and what can he do better?

Tim did a really good job against the run. When a team gets behind like Cincinnati did and has an active quarterback, Tim didn't do a great job against the pass. It's a learning situation. He is going to get better each week. He's an awfully good athlete and shouldn't have problems against the pass, but the coaches may have overemphasized him getting better defending the run in the offseason.

The team didn't tackle well against Cincinnati. Tim missed a couple of tackles. They all have to do better in that area.

5. The defense has been on the field a lot. Have teams converted third downs because of poor tackling?

Joe thinks they have given up third downs because they didn't have to be aggressive in those situations. The team was ahead.

6. Do you feel that the team is progressing well enough to compete in the Big Ten?

Joe wishes he could answer that. He likes his team. The players work hard. They're going to play a Central Michigan team that's more like a Big Ten team in that they're more physical. They played well against Indiana and beat a good MAC team in Miami.

The team is getting better and he'll know more after Saturday's game.

7. Is there a potential problem giving up late scores in games?

Joe doesn't think it's a problem. There's always a dilemma on the sideline about when to put the young players into the game. They haven't had as much practice reps.

Joe doesn't think there can be any significance given to anything that happens in the final minutes of a game that's already been decided.

8. Are you surprised about the national attention your comments about the media last week have received?

Joe said he didn't trust the media, not that he didn't like them. That took away the informal gatherings that he used to have on Fridays before games.

Joe also tried to make the point that the world has changed. He can't turn on the television without seeing football. When you're a newspaper writer, you have to have a lead. You have to have a story.

Joe doesn't think he will ever get to the point where he will begrudge a young person from making a start in their field, but he doesn't want to hang out with them on Friday nights.

9. Talk about Paul Posluszny's play.

Paul is a great football player. He plays every play all out. Joe thinks they might be playing Paul too much. At the staff meeting this morning, Joe gave his assistants 7-8 names of kids that need to practice less so that they don't get too tired.

He's a great leader and a great guy to have on your football team. It's guys like him that will make this a great football team. They're not there yet, but Joe believes they are on their way and Paul is one of the guys that has to take the team there.

10. What are your plans on stopping Central Michigan QB Kent Smith?

He's a big, strong kid with a lot of experience. He's a fourth or fifth year guy. Central Michigan is the most comparable to a Big Ten team of any that PSU has played this year. They're big, strong, and physical. They showed that against Indiana and in beating a good football team in Miami.

The way they play, the way they go after people is like watching a Big Ten team.

11. Can you evaluate the running game?

Joe thinks they have run it all right. They will run it better now that people realize that they can make plays on the outside. They went into the season with inexperienced wideouts and, to a degree, and inexperienced quarterback.

They've done all right.

12. Anyone else who concerns you as far as fatigue?

There's a whole bunch of guys that have played a lot. The whole secondary got tired. Zemaitis played 90 plays. So did Lowry and Harrell and they all played ith intensity. Cronin's tired.

Cincinnati threw the ball 45-50 times and every down is a big down when the other team is throwing the ball that much.

Joe is proud of his players. They're busting their butts every play.

13. Would you take any of those guys off special teams?

No, he can't do that.

14. Status of Rodney Kinlaw and Jim Shaw?

Kinlaw should play this week, but he's not sure about Jim Shaw.

15. Talk about the play of Hali and Rice.

Tamba Hali is a great football player. He plays every play so hard. Joe didn't mention him earlier, but he is another player that can lead this team to great things.

16. Do you envision Anthony Morelli getting more snaps this week?

Joe doesn't know right now. Morelli had two really good weeks of practice, and Joe had intended to play him more than he did.

Joe was really pleased with the way he handled himself. If he has another great week of practice, then yes, he has to think about playing him more. When and where? Joe isn't sure, but he thought Morelli did a really good job.

17. What do the young receivers need to do better?

They need to read coverages a little better. The one interception on Saturday was because the receiver read the wrong coverage.

That's an area where Joe second-guesses himself and his coaches as far as asking the young kids to do too much.

Timing, when you break your route off. They're doing a great job blocking downfield. This is the best group of kids Joe has ever had blocking downfield.

They have to get more comfortable. They're kids. Mike Robinson is out there coaching. They're all smart. They work hard. There's a good future at that position.

18. Is fatigue a factor in the tackling?

Maybe, but not early in the game. They probably didn't realize how clever Cincinnati's QB was based on the one game film they had to watch.

Years ago, there was a great QB at Pitt named Freddie Mazurek who was very elusive. When PSU played Pitt, they had a "Chase Freddie" drill where the defense had to chased around the fastest guy on the team until they started anticipating better.

They're adding the Chase Freddie drill today in practice to work on anticipating what quarterbacks will do when the linemen get into the backfield. Joe didn't give the Bearcat QB enough credit. He's going to be a heck of a football player.

19. Did you speak with Spencer Ridenhour's father after the game?

Yes. Joe told him to take care of himself and they would take care of Spencer. You don't know what to say to him other than God Bless You.

20. Is Brennan Coakley done for the year?

Yes, he injured his ACL and will have surgery. It's too bad. He's going to be a good player.

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