FOS Audio: Paterno Press Conference

Hear what the Nittany Lion coach had to say at his first media encounter of the regular season, as Penn State prepares for its opener with Akron. FightOnState.com is happy to present this audio file free of charge to our community.

Penn State football coach Joe Paterno held his first weekly press conference of the season Tuesday. You can listen to his comments in our audio file below:

Listen to Joe Here.

Then go talk about the coach's comment on our message boards

Can't listen? Here's a recap of Coach Paterno's comments:

1. How is the team's health coming out of the preseason?

A couple of kids have nicks and bruises. Austin Scott is one. There are a couple of other guys that should be ok. Auletta missed a few days but he'll be ok.

They didn't do as much hitting in the preseason as they have in the past, but Joe thinks they did as much as they could do.

2. What is your opinion of Josh Gaines and will the freshmen defensive ends have to play?

Josh Gaines is a good football player and has practiced very well. You're anxious to see how he'll perform in a football game, but Josh will be fine. Some of the freshman will have to play. Joe doesn't know if they will be able to get them in during the first game or not, but you can't get by with just one set of defensive lineman anymore.

You have to have some people who can back up. How many does Penn State have? Joe isn't sure, but he thinks they have some that will play on Saturday.

3. Is there a possibility of redshirting Austin Scott?

Joe hasn't thought about a redshirt. Austin will have to help PSU this year. Scott was limping around a bit yesterday on that ankle, but he has a chance to play a lot and will be a big help.

4. Is the 3-5-3 defense more of a problem for run blocking or pass blocking?

That's difficult for Joe to say. They have a complex scheme. Some things Akron does from it will allow PSU to run the ball. But when they make adjustments, PSU has to be able to throw the ball.

Akron has a very good football staff and is a well coached football team. JD Brookhart was at Pitt when Pitt kicked Penn State's ears in a few years ago. He has done an excellent job with this team. Penn State have to be able to run and pass, but it will be difficult to do both consistently.

5. Will Anthony Morelli need to play a couple of games before you can tell if he has that something special within him?

Anthony will be fine.

6. What impresses you about Luke Getsy?

He threw for over 3,000 yards last year. Akron do a good job with their quarterbacks. Penn State faced Charlie Frye when he was at Akron.

Getsy is either close or has broken most of Frye's records. They lost a couple of good wideouts. Their tight end is back. They've had some bad luck with injuries to their tailbacks.

Getsy can throw the ball down the field and scramble out of there. They do a good job with him.

7. How have John and Jim Shaw looked?

Both have had outstanding preseasons. Jim is a little further along, which you would expect since he played at Rice and is older. Both will make a big contribution to the team.

Jim is a 275-280 pounder who is really strong and plays with a lot of intensity. John is a 300 pounder who is a good athlete. Both are going to be fine football players.

8. Are you confident that the secondary will be up to the challenge of facing so many good quarterbacks?

Confident is a strong word. Joe can't tell you that he is confident or not confident about any one position. Joe thinks he has a good football team, but how they will play in the first game is unknown. They have a few more days of practice but so far, so good.

9. Is there any possibility that your team is looking ahead to Notre Dame?

There's always a possibility of that, but Joe hopes that his players aren't stupid. They have a tough football game coming up on Saturday. Akron is picked to win the MAC. They have a bunch of tough football games on the schedule, but Akron is first and Joe thinks the team will be focused on them and ready.

10. What is Pat Devlin's status and will he redshirt?

He missed three weeks with mononucleosis and they're trying to get him some reps, but that is tough at this stage.

Redshirting Devlin wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. Both Devlin and Brett Brackett are going to be fine quarterbacks, but it's probable that neither will get to play unless there are injuries.

11. You said Dan Lawlor needed to be more aggressive at Media Day, but he's 2nd on the depth chart now. What happened?

Joe likes to needle kids occasionally through the media so that if they get mad at anyone, it's at him. Dan Lawlor will be fine at fullback as will Mickey Shuler.

12. Have you seen the 3-5-3 recently?

Akron ran it in 2004 when the teams played. They've seen variations of it. Ohio State ran it in certain situations last year.

Joe doesn't know if they've faced a team other than Akron that runs it as their predominant defense. They give you a lot of problems with that scheme. Their kids enjoy playing it and play with a lot of enthusiasm.

The big thing is not that they play a 3-5-3 but the way they play it and the adjustments they make when you try to do something to them.

13. Talk about what you've liked about Morelli in the preseason.

Anthony is ready to play. He's spent two years in the program and he obviously has a lot of talent. He just needs some luck, some kids to make some catches for him. Joe thinks he'll play well.

14. Did you let up on the amount of hitting in order to keep the team fresh for the opener?

That definitely factored into things. The preseason is a little longer now due to the NCAA acclimation period. Joe thinks the team will be ok. The players had Saturday and Sunday off. They practiced in pads yesterday and will be in pads again today.

15. How has Daryll Clark made up for the time he lost in the spring?

Daryll wasn't allowed to practice but he was allowed to be out there every day watching. He's got a lot of football savvy, and he's interested in being as gritty as he can be.

He's a sophomore really. Joe wouldn't count on him lighting up the scoreboard yet, but he'll eventually be ok.

16. Is there such a thing as putting too much responsibility on the linebackers since they're the one strong position on the defense?

Joe doesn't know where the question is coming from. Alford is a fine football player. Shaw and Gaines will be good defensive ends. Eddie Johnson is back in the picture. Those four guys are pretty good up front. They can all run and have size.

Joe doesn't feel the linebackers are the only strong position on the defense. The secondary has some really fine athletes who just need some experience. Eventually, as the season plays out, the young guys will get better as they go along.

17. Is the offensive line still a work in progress other than Brown and Shipley?

The offensive line is Joe's biggest concern because a lot of those kids have never played. The line is going to have a lot of pressure on them, particularly the way Akron plays football.

The team hasn't practiced much against the 3-5-3 because Penn State is a stack 4 defense. The foreign team has to give them a look similar to the one they'll see. Joe thinks the entire line will have some problems. Even Shipley hasn't played much at center.

They have some work to do there. That's Joe's #1 concern.

18. Is Antonio Logan-El practicing?

Joe would rather wait to hear what's happening before commenting.

19. Are you concerned about offensive tackle depth?

Auletta, Shaw and Brown give PSU three good tackles, and a couple of the young kids will come along. They have to practice and prove they can do some things. You just have to work your way through it.

Penn State will have a pretty good offensive line before it's all over, but against Akron, Joe's nervous because of some of the things the Zips can do. He's concerned in that sense, but he's not concerned about the long-term prospects for the team. Joe says he has a good young squad.

20. Are you comfortable with the rule changes?

There's nothing Joe can do about it. He wishes they would consult the coaches before making these kinds of decisions.

They've talked with some officials and sent two coaches out to the meetings where the changes were explained. It's not whether Joe is comfortable with them. He has to live with them and make sure the coaching staff is ready to deal with the changes.

21. Will the new offensive line be more of an impact to Tony Hunt or Anthony Morelli?

Joe doesn't have the slightest idea. Tony Hunt is a good running back. Hopefully, the line can open some holes and give him room to run.

The line won't dominate anybody early though.

22. After being around for so long, what do you look forward to about the first game?

Joe goes back to things he's said 1,000 times. You get a bunch of kids who work hard all summer. You push them during the preseason and now you're 3 or 4 days away from seeing them play and hoping you did right by them.

If you're not anxious about seeing them play, you have to get out of it. Joe's not naive. He knows the team has a ways to go, but he's anxious to see these kids play.

23. Any memories of opening games?

Joe's first season opener against Maryland, Mike Reid got a couple of safeties. The next year, they lost to Navy and Joe thought he was going to get fired.

The first game as a head coach sticks out in his mind. Joe doesn't have time to look back. He doesn't go to bed thinking about what Penn State did in 1962. He's got 1,000 things going through his head about what this team has to do.

24. Joe ties Amos Alonzo Stagg for most seasons coached at one institution. What influence did he have on you?

Joe didn't know he was tying that record. He's in good company with Stagg. Joe's just anxious to get on with this season. It's a whole new year with a new bunch of kids and he's anxious to see them play.

Joe has Stagg's book on coaching, but he really hasn't had much influence on Joe.

25. Have any of the freshmen running backs stepped up so that youi would feel comfortable they can play?

They have Rodney Kinlaw and Hunt along with Matt Hahn. The coaches didn't recruit many running backs for this year because they didn't think they needed them. Both Carter and Royster are good enough that they could probably play in a jam.

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