FOS Audio: Paterno PC

Penn State's head coach met the press for the first time since Media Day. Hear what he had to say on a variety of topics, including the status of tight end Andrew Quarless, where the team stands as it prepares for the the 2007 opener and much more.

Penn State football coach Joe Paterno held his first weekly press conference of the 2007 season at the Beaver Stadium Media Room Tuesday. Hear what the coach had to say in his own words.

Listen to Joe Paterno Here.

For people without audio, here is Scott Cole's quickcap if the press conference.

1. Status of Quarless and Harriott?

Quarless and Harriott may not play for 3-4 weeks. Joe doesn't know yet. He told them to get lost, but the elected captains got together with the players and asked Joe to allow them back on the team and punish them some other way. They're practicing with the team but they won't play for a while.

2. Abe Koroma's status and will his injury hurt your team?

Koroma's loss is significant for the defense especially when tied with Devon Still's ACL injury. He broke a bone in his foot, had surgery on the foot and is on crutches now. Joe isn't a doctor, but he probably won't be ready for at least a month. That's a medical decision.

3. How have you held up during preserason practice and will you be on the sideline Saturday?

Joe held up fine and he will be on the sideline unless someone takes him out during practice this week. He had Andrew Quarless stand next to him during practice recently and told him to take all the hits if anyone came into the sideline.

4. Do you worry about the team's image nationally when incidents like the one with Quarless and Harriott come up?

Joe worries about it a little bit because of the great people that have come through the program. This group is a bunch of good kids. Some of them are a little immature and have done some things they shouldn't have. But the kids will prove they're good when they get out there and clean up the field and play with some class. Joe feels that these incidents have been portrayed in a manner that has not been fair to the team as a whole. But it won't affect the way they perform on the field.

5. What about Lydell Sargeant has impressed you?

It was never a question of athletic abilioty with Lydell. He has always been very attentive to details and is a very athletic player. He needed to become a confident football player and that has come during the offseason and preseason. He's on his way to becoming one of the better corners that Penn State has had.

6. What about Terrell Golden makes him a good choice as a captain?

Joe was talking to the young players the other day about patience. You can come here and get frustrated when you don't get as much playing time as you want or you can show patience and set goals for yourself and work hard until you get your chance. Golden did the latter. He wouldn't have been a kid that Joe felt would become one of the better players on the squad early in his career, but he has been patient and made sacrifices and is now one of better players they have. His work ethic and the struggles he has overcome are examples of what patience can do for you and the players admire him for the way he has handled himself so they named him a captain.

7. How are you using Jerome Hayes at defensive end? What is Phil Taylor's status?

Hayes is being used as more of an outside linebacker than a defensive end. It depends on how you define that position. They've been trying to get him into the game so that he can do some things to help the defense and they think that they have found a spot for him there.

Phil Taylor's always had a weight problem and the coaches have been on him about keeping his weight down. He's got tremendous ability and is an outstanding prospect but right now, he's not a kid that is high on the list of people they expect to significantly impact how good the team will be this year. His knee is fine.

8. After putting emphasis on leadership after the spring incident and then Quarless got into trouble, do you think that the message isn't getting through or is it an isolated case?

Joe hasn't looked at it that way. After the incident in April, Joe was upset because he felt that the situation could have been prevented. Quarless and Harriott are a different situation all together. They got involved in something and Joe has to handle that disciplinary situation separately. You can't categorize everything as Type A, B or C. You're dealing with people. Different backgrounds. Different reasons that they do things you aren't happy with.

9. Have you made any decisions at tailback?

Austin Scott and Rodney Kinlaw will both be used. Both have had great preseasons. They have stayed healthy and worked hard. They also have Royster and a good freshman that they're trying to dcide whether to redshirt or not. Scott and Kinlaw have been here for 5 years. They're healthy and had a good tough preseason. That's a positive for the program.

10. How difficult is it to prepare for Florida International due to the fact that they have a new coaching staff?

Joe is as nervous for the first game as he has ever been. FIU is right in the middle of an area that has a tremendous amount of talent. Joe has looked at the new coach's background to try and decide what he might want to do. He coached at Rutgers and with Greg Schiano so they looked at some Rutgers tape. Joe told the squad that normally they would go into the game with a small amount of things in the game plan so that this young team could get plenty of repetitions on those things and execute them well. Since they don't have any idea what FIU will do, the schemes and plays in the game plan have to be expanded. Instead of 10 reps per play, they might only get 5.

FIU has an advantage because they can look at tapes and personnel and know what Penn State will do for the most part. They will be more prepared for Penn State than the Lions will be for them.

11. Discuss Justin King's development.

King was a very unusual athlete when he arrived here. He's at a position he was comfortable with right from the beginning. At corner, it's not so much assignments, but how good of an athlete you are. You're not involved in all of the alignment changes. He came in as an outstanding athlete and had an outstanding preseason. He's one of the better corners in the country. They're trying to find a way to make King the most prominent player on defense against certain schemes. He's got to be one of the team's better players.

12. How has preseason gone for Mickey Shuler?

He's had a good preseason. He has to become a little more consistent in his blocking. He needs to gave some success. He's a little like his father. His dad would drop a pass in pracrice one day and then spend 20 extra minutes catching passes the next day. Mickey works hard and has a chance to be a good football player.

13. Are you concerned about the players getting their legs back from the preseason before the game?

This has been the most unusual preseason Joe has ever been involved in because summer school ran so long. You can't talk out of both sides of your mouth. You can't say you're here to go to school and then say you have to practice twice a day for x number of hours. They had some days where they could have practiced twice that they didn't because of class schedules.

Joe will have a better idea if the team is prepared for Saturday after today's practice. They had Sunday and Monday off. Joe had planned to give them Saturday off as well, but they fell so far behind in the preseason that they had to practice on Saturday. Now, Joe is wondering if that will leave the players tired.

14. What are you most looking forward to in the first game?

Joe is just like the fans. He wants to see what these young kids can do. For instance, he'll go to bed Friday wondering if Anthony Morelli will be ready to get the ball to a couple of guys. He's just like the rest of the people.

15. Would you think of getting Pat Devlin some experience if the game got out of hand or would it be Daryll Clark?

Joe has no idea. He's just trying to win the game. He';s scared to death of this game. Penn State is playing a good football team. He doesn't know much about their personnel but he knows his own team. They're good, but they're a long way from being a great football team.

16. Doi you feel you've done a good job getting the young kids ready to face the pressure of the season?

Joe thinks he's done a lousy job, but he always thinks that a few days before the season. He tried very hard to put them in a lot of different pressure situations. A pressure situation on the practice field is very different from the ones that you face during games. A pressure situation can cost you games. Are they mature enough and poised enough to handle that? Joe doesn't think you're ever really ready for that until you face it. That's why people talk about experience. These guys all think they can do it. Hopefully, the coaches can get them ready to do it, but we'll find out.

17. Are you going to run onto the field with the team out of the tunnel?

Joe has a new plan. He's going to parachute into the stadium (laugh). Yes, he plans to run out of the tunnel with the team.

18. Talk about Lou Eliades and Aaron Maybin.

Both of those kids are going to be good football players. They work hard and have good size,. but they're not there yet. Thety've never had to get in there and play hurt. He keeps telling the young kids there's a difference between being hurt and being injured. Anyone who makes it through the preseason should be hurt. They're both going to be fine but they need some experience.

19. Tom McEowen's status?

Tom's a little bit behind because of the knee. He only started doing everything with the team about 10 days ago. He's in the same situation as Eliades and Maybin.

20. Do you have any plans to use AJ Wallace or Justin King on offense this season?

Maybe. Right now, the coaches are too caught up in getting the team to be good at certain things. You can only teach as much as all 11 players on the field can get. If you have two that can't handle what you want the other nine to do, you have to rein things in because those two players are going to be involved in a crucial play at some point. You're as strong as your weakest player. You're as fast as your slowest player. You're as smart as your dumbest player.

Right now, it won't work arranging practice to get King some work on offense. They have to make sure that the 11 guys on the field at all times that know what they're doing. Not any one of the 11 should be asked to do something he can't do. They'll slowly expand the playbook once they get better and get more confidence. As long as they don't get disappointed and discouraged, they will be fine.

He might have two plays on the sheet that have AJ Wallace running the ball, but Joe isn't bringing that up this week. Maybe next week Justin King will be out there running the ball, but not this week.


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