Lion Assistants Meet The Press Today

Bradley, Hall once again fill in for PSU head coach Joe Paterno at his weekly get-together with the media. They talked about where the team stands heading into the regular-season finale with Michigan State and the fact Paterno is returning to practice on Tuesday and expected to be at the game Saturday.

Hear what Penn State assistants Tom Bradley and Galen Hall had to say Tuesday in the audio file below.

FOS Audio: Penn State Press Conference

Can't listen to the audio? Check out the FOS recap of the press conference:

1. Talk about Paul Posluszny and his NFL potential.

There's no one playing linebacker better in the country and Bradley will be disappointed if Posluszny doesn't win the Butkus. Regardless of where he plays, the NFL team that drafts Paul will be getting a great football player.

2. Did either of you go to Joe's house when the game ball was delivered?

Galen did not and Tom has not been to his home either.

3. What are Morelli's strengths now and what does he need to work on for next year?

He's played well and done what the coaches have asked him to do. He needs to work on everything. No junior knows everything they need to know. He's taken care of the football and not turned it over much in the passing game. He needs to work on his drops, reads and mechanics.

4. Is it dangerous to face a team like Michigan State that you never know what you're going to get from them?

Michigan State's offensive personnel is as good as anyone in the Big Ten. Defensively, they're strong. They disguise coverages well and can give you problems up front.

Penn State will have to play well to win.

5. Has Paul Posluszny had extra incentive these past couple of weeks knowing his career is coming to an end?

He doesn't need incentive. He goes to practice and competes every day like that. He's just trying to be the best he can be. He's in the football facilities every Sunday at 8 AM ready to go. That's just the way he is.

6. Talk about Tim Shaw.

He's unselfish. He was asked to make a position switch and went out and did it. They haven't had the opportunity to get him into some packages that would play to his strengths.

The players respect him for the way he's handled the situation. He's played very well.

7. Tom, talk about subjugating your head coaching ambitions to stay at Penn State so long.

If the right job came along, Tom would think about leaving, but Penn State is a tough place to leave. People have called about head coaching jobs, but Tom didn't think they were the right thing for him.

8. Talk about the emotions you felt in the final games of your careers.

Galen talked about finishing the season against Pitt. He looked forward to playing.

Tom said it's an emotional day. The players have been there for 4-5 years and they finally get their name announced as a departing senior. It makes you think about recruiting them and all the things they've done.

9. Can you explain why the offense has not been as successful this year as opposed to last year?

The offense was different last year. It's not an option style, inside zone read offense. They hand the ball to Tony Hunt in a one-back offense this year. Anthony Morelli has improved every game. Injuries up front have slowed the offense down. Defenses have done a good job of taking the deep pass away from Penn State this year.

It's a combination of things that have caused the offensive problems.

10. How underrated is Tony Hunt?

Tony's not underrated in the Lasch Building. He's one of the most complete backs Galen has ever coached. He blocks better than any back Galen has coached. He's an exceptional inside runner. Hopefully people outside the Penn State family will realize how good Tony Hunt is.

11. What do you hope the seniors take away from being in this program?

It's being a part of the Penn State family. That starts with Joe. Players come back all the time and are a part of the Penn State tradition. You come back and realize there is something special about Penn State. They're prepared better for going out into the world better than any other place Galen has been.

When the players come back, it's one of the few places that they are known whether they were stars or third team guys. They all want to know if Joe still yells and they imitate that squeaky voice.

You find that the players stick together after they've left. They become your best friends for the next 40 or 50 years. The players enjoy coming back to a place like this and talk.

It's a very unique place and Tom doesn't think it's like this anywhere else.

12. Did either of you get the sense that the punt return TD was a sigh of relief for Derrick Williams and will it be a spring board for this week?

It's been close all year. It's been one block here, one block there. They needed to get Derrick going on punts and Tom hopes that he'll break another long return this week.

13. Galen will you be back next year? What has your experience been like being back for the past three years?

Galen hopes he will be back next year. It's a first class football program and he hopes that he'll be back helping the offense get better and work hard in the spring.

14. Dan Connor's been overshadowed by Paul Posluszny. Is it hard to see him play so well and get left out when it comes to postseason awards?

This year. But next year, his time will come. It's nice to have things rolling where you have Paul, then you have Dan and then Sean Lee. For a while, Penn State didn't have people who could show the younger guys how to get it done. Now they do.

All three of those players like to compete. They're their own hardest critics. They are hard on themselves and they want to get better.

15. What has this two weeks meant to you? Has it been an interesting experience? Has it been enjoyable or a burden?

Galen has enjoyed it. He did the press conferences and everything like that at Florida for a number of years. He wishes Joe were here, but it hasn't been a problem for Galen.

Tom said it's been fine.

16. Talk about your interaction with John L. Smith.

Tom doesn't know him off the field. Galen said the same.

17. Will Chris Auletta be a loss for your offensive line? Evaluate the offensive line going into next year.

Chris has requested to be introduced because he's going to graduate and move on. They haven't looked at next season much yet. That will happen after this game.

18. Talk about the rivalry with Michigan State.

Galen said that he hasn't really thought much about the rivalry with MSU. He just knows that the players look forward to this game because it's the last home game.

Tom said the teams have played some great games. MSU has great people and the Lions know that. The defense knows they have Trannon and Stanton and a 260-pound tailback. They're excited for the challenge. They have good people.

19. Talk about Matt Hahn.

Hahn's played exceptionally well. He was a tailback as a freshman and was asked to become a fullback. He accepted that role readily. He's a very smart football player. He can catch the ball out of the backfield and is getting better blocking.

20. Is Hoyer similar to Drew Stanton or will they have to change their offense for him if he plays?

Hoyer is the same type of player. They still run that option. They have the same mannerisms and the same size. Obviously, Hoyer doesn't have the experience, but they'll have the same offense.

21. Will Joe be in the press box on Saturday?

They're assuming he'll be up there, but knowing Joe, don't be surprised if he makes his way down to the 50-yard line somehow.

22. Will getting Joe back at practice get the team back to their normal routine?

Joe teaches the team to eliminate distractions, so they showed they had learned to do just that by going out last week and practicing like they have all season.

23. How big of an advantage is having a bowl game?

Galen said the most important thing about a bowl game is preparing and winning it. But, you get a chance to look at the season, what they did well and what they need to improve on and try to expand on that.

24. How hard will it be to replace Jeremy Kapinos?

Jeremy's a weapon. Field position is one of the key components of playing defense. He's got a big leg and he can place punts. Tom's sure there will be some glitches next season with a new guy because Jeremy's been the starter for the past 4 years.


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