Joe Paterno Tuesday PC Audio File

The Nittany Lion coach talks about the status of his offensive line, this week's road trip to Purdue and more at his Tuesday press conference. You can hear it all in our audio recap of the event. Also check out Scott Cole's QuickCap.

Hear Joe Here.

You can also read Scott Cole's QuickCap here: 1. After looking at the tape, do you feel any better about your offense than you did on Saturday?

Some aspects were better than Joe thought, but overall, it was not a good offensive performance. When you’re not happy about something, you’re not happy about it. Joe was more than a little disappointed that the offense didn’t play better.

2. How did Cadogan and Auletta do in relief of Price and Shaw? How is the offensive line progressing after 8 games?

They’ve had some injuries to Levi and Price and that hurt the cohesiveness of the line. Cadogan’s got a long way to go. Auletta is a little further along, but neither has played a lot of football so Joe has to be careful about how much he criticizes them.

3. Do you let Anthony change the play at the line of scrimmage or is the play called expected to be run?

There are certain plays they think can work no matter what the defense is doing. Other times, Anthony has to check out of plays and he has permission to do that. There are some times when they want to go on a quick count that he does not have the option of checking out.

4. What are the reasons for the offensive line’s poor performance of late?

Joe thinks the coaches worked the line too hard last week because they didn’t know whether they would have Morelli or Clark until Thursday. They had them out there longer than usual on Monday. A few of the guys talked to the coaches at the end of the week about being tired. There have been a number of changes to the starting lineup due to injuries that have also hurt the chemistry of the line.

5. Why is AJ Wallace so effective on kick returns?

All good return guys have to have speed and you have to have vision to see open spots and hit them. AJ is a kid with a lot of speed, a lot of confidence in himself and he has good vision.

6. Because it was Homecoming, were you able to get away from the game afterwards at your home?

Jay’s birthday was Saturday and he had a bunch of people at the house, so Joe was there for a couple of hours. Football is a seven day a week job though. You can’t get away from it all together. Joe was glad the team won because the university has such wonderful fans and alumni and it added to the weekend.

7. Andrew Quarless has looked good on a couple of receptions. What’s your take on the tight end situation?

Joe thinks they’re ok. They’ve had a couple of drops and run a few routes wrong and that hurts the QB. Quarless is a freshman and sometimes he gets little out of whack when he’s pushed around, but he’s certainly a fine prospect. They probably should throw the ball to him more often.

However, until the line can give Morelli enough pass protection, the passing game is going to suffer. They’re probably not throwing the ball enough to the backs or the tight end, but they have to use those players for pass protection.

8. Is the offense feeling pressure to perform because the defense is playing well? How old was Jay on his birthday?

Joe can’t compare 2004 to this season. Joe has no idea how old Jay is.

9. Is there anything that Levi Brown can do as far as leadership to get the offensive line going?

It’s tough when things aren’t going well. The running game has been nil the past couple of weeks. When they struggled earlier, they were playing against some really good defenses. There’s only so much Levi can do on his own. The line just has to get together and work hard to get better, and the coaches have to coach them better.

10. What do you see from Purdue’s defense?

Early on, they didn’t play that well, but they’ve gotten better lately. They have a great defensive end that is leading the Big Ten in sacks. The linebackers are playing well. They have a couple of cornerbacks that weren’t with them last year. They’re not at the level of some of the other defenses they’ve seen, but they’re getting better every week.

11. What will your starting offensive line be on Saturday?

Joe doesn’t have the slightest idea yet. They’ve only practiced one day. Wednesday or Thursday, the coaches will decide who will start. They won’t work the line as hard this week as they did last week so as not to tire them out.

12. It doesn’t seem like the offense is using the middle of the field much. Why is that?

Part of that is pass protection. It takes a while to get guys to run routes over the middle and linebackers play better in pass defense now. That’s a good observation though. They don’t use the middle of the field much in the passing game, but until they get some better pass protection, it’s going to be tough to call routes over the middle because of the time they take to develop.

13. Is Greg Harrison out for the year?

He gave up football.

14. What improvement have you seen from Anthony Morelli this year?

At the beginning of the year, he didn’t understand exactly what it would take to be a good quarterback. The only criticism Joe would have of him is that he holds the ball too long sometimes. That’s not really Anthony’s fault though because the line can’t give him enough time to find an open receiver.

Anthony’s in a tough spot right now and has done a great job this year.

15. Talk about Paul Posluszny’s play. Is he comfortable in the middle now?

Paul played his best game of the season on Saturday. Joe doesn’t ask him if he’s more comfortable now than he was earlier. He’s not Superman. He can’t take on a whole football team by himself. He knows what needs to be done and he’s playing really well.

16. Is there going to be an added emphasis this week to get better on first down to avoid second and third and long?

There’s going to be an emphasis on everything, not just first down.

17. Is Kelly pressing?

He’s been kicking the ball very well in practice. He never says anything, doesn’t complain about the hold or anything. There have also been times where the hold has been good, but he slips. Joe senses Kelly might be apprehensive about what’s going to happen on each kick and that is affecting him.

18. Are you talking to the Big Ten to extend the season to add a bye week?

The coaches voted unanimously at their meetings to ask the athletic directors to set up the schedule to have a bye week. Miles Brand thinks that a bye week doesn’t help anyone academically, but he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Joe wishes the team had a bye week so the players could get caught up on their studies. It would be especially helpful for the freshmen.

It’s a bad decision by the Big Ten and Joe can’t understand why the presidents of the universities allowed this to happen.

19. What does Purdue do that makes their passing game so successful?

That’s their philosophy. They spread you out and pass the ball well. They have a good quarterback who was phenomenal against Northwestern. They have great wideouts that can catch the ball and make plays.

Joe Tiller has had a bigger impact on the Big Ten than any other coach in the league in Joe’s opinion.

20. Did the secondary have a breakout game against Illinois and what is Donnie Johnson’s status?

Johnson will be fine. The quarterback at Illinois is inexperienced and will be very good, but his forte right now is running the football, not passing. This will be a good week to find out just how good the secondary is. In practice, they’re making progress. They’re reacting to the ball better. They’re adjusting to each other better. But, until they do something against a quarterback of Painter’s stature, he’s reluctant to say the secondary is good.

21. What effect is the pass protection having on the passing game?

It’s not one specific thing that has to be fixed. The offense has to get better in general. The problem is not the passing game. It’s the running game. If they can run better, then play action passes and some other things make themselves available. If they can’t run, then it becomes very difficult to throw the football. They have to get better.


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