"We'll be better than people think."

Joe Paterno held his preseason press conference on Friday during Media Day to a packed press room. See what the head coach had to say about the team, the players and the controversies.

Paterno Press Conference Notes

Joe just arrived, asked how lunch was for the reporters. Joe is in a ridiculously low chair - Brennan says he looks 5-foot-1. "How do I move my chair up?"

Asked about Bowman, Timmons and Quarless - "I'm still waiting for grades on Quarless"

All three are practicing, but Quarless needs to make a grade.

He said he is in "tough spot" on Baker and Taylor, and does not want to get into details - "I don't want to embarrass anyone."

"There are reasons the squad knows and I feel comfortable it is the right decision"

"Being fair is not always the easiest thing in the world when you are playing God with people of that age"

Injuries: A.J. Wallace little hammy pull two days ago, not much work yesterday. but he is on the bike.

"That's the only one, and A.J. is going to be alright in a day or two."

Young WRs: "We've got some good young people that I think have the chance to do it. but it's a little too early for me to highlight them. there are about five or six kids."

He mentioned Brackett by name. Moye has "lots of ability," Zug had a "great spring" - he's earned a scholarship.

He said Brackett maybe could be as good as the guys ahead of him (veterans).

On naming a QB starter: "No, not yet. We haven't had a scrimmmage yet. But I think they've both done well."

He said a true freshman as been impressive at QB but won't name names.

And don't forget Paul C.

"The nice thing is the wideouts have helped the QBs improve."

McCormack will be practicing in a day or two. "He just not in the kid of physical codition he needs to be in."

"Marks has given it up" - "Josh is a good kid. Josh will not be with the team"

On Green: "He's a little bigger kid than you think. he's not tall, but he came into camp at 190 -192. I think Stephfon has a great career ahead of him. I think he can be an all-purpose back."

"I really like the squad despite the distractions and everything that has gone on."

"We probably have a little more speed than we've had in a while."

On DL minus Taylor and Baker: "We've got some other kids. Ogbu, Koroma and those kids in side, and Odrick is back and ready to go. I think we'll be OK."

On poor kickoff return coverage last year: "We've talked about that. That's personnel, making sure that we don't have the leftovers going on the kick coverage team. We have to do a better with personnel and that comes from me."

On Wisniewski compared to dad and uncle: "They are different type players - Leo was an LB in high school, very quick. But they are both thh same kind of people - excellent students, very, very - they have the kind of pride that they want to do everything well. I think Stefen is going to be an outstanding offensive lineman"

On Evans: "Maurice has to just get a little more fire in his tummy consistently. But i think he'll have a good year. He's a good FB player who doesn't realize how good he can be."

On LBs without Lee: "Lee is on the 105 even though he can't work."

"We have a lot of good young linebacker. the kid who has to really come to the front who has lot of ability but I'm not sure he realizes it is Sales." He is saying Sales has to step to the front.

"Some of those young kids are going to be awfully good."

"Young Mauti is going to be an outstanding athlete, Stupar is a local kid, a young kid named Yancich has a lot of ability. Just speaking as a group, they're OK."

"Whether we have a guy like Paul or Connor who can get in the hole when it gets tough … I don't know yet."

On OTL: "I have not seen it. I did not look at it. Maybe I overreacted in that I think they exploited a couple things. Yeah, we've made mistakes. But I tried to do the best I could to make sure the team learned from it."

Said kids did a lot of charity work as punishment too.

"I think [OTL] really didn't try to get both sides."

"It made it sound as if we tried to influence some thing, which was untrue."

"I can't walk away from the fact that we had some kids that were wrong."

Says he tried to do the right thing.

"ESPN has a job to do, whether I like it or not, what am I going to do about it?"

Says repeatedly he did not see the OTL piece. Very calm, not losing composure, handling it much better than he did on air.

"I'm interested in getting this football team to be a good football team, that's what I'm getting paid for and that's what I owe the players and assistants. What's done is done."

Said Baker and Taylor being let go was not due to OTL.

"All three QBs are very similar in their physical ability, their arms strength and their ability to lead."

"I worry more about offensive linemen, backup kids who may have to be in the game."

He is not worried about QB situation.

"Astorino is really is a good football player."

"We're trying now to put together the best combination of kids in this secondary."

May be considering Astorino at the nickel spot.

Stated a few times the program's standards have not been lowered.

"I think we ought to be shooting for national championships."

"We have a good young squad ... we'll be better than people think."

On QBs: "I think I've made it clear that I would prefer to play one QB, but the way the game is played today, where the QB is physically so much more involved in it, you have to be careful."

The key is getting right players in the right place at the right time - "everyone has players today."

"I played in the spread offense in 1944 in high school. The people we played were too dumb to know I couldn't throw the ball."

Do the guys get that they have to walk away from trouble? "I hope so. But whether we are forceful enough or not, I don't know. I second-guess myself all the time."

He said he was not sure how good Clark was, thought maybe would be a good linebacker. Jay talked him into taking him.

"You know how many guys I thought were not good? I didn't think Sean Lee was that good"

He said Clark's seniority won't make the difference in terms of who starts.

"We're going to try to put the right guy in the right place at the right time doing the right thing. Devlin may be the guy."

"I was worried if I could run around the field or four straight days."

He said there are a couple of kids on the team who are "a lot better" than he thought they were, but won't mention them.

"I think we have five or six kids on the O-line who can play with anybody." They need to develop depth on the line.

On QB decision time-frame: "I don't know. I really don't know … It may not happen for three or four games."

Says all three QBs have run with first and second teams.

On Hayes: "He's still coming off that knee. He's not in there for everything."

"I think all of us are under the gun, I wouldn't pass the buck the players., I'm under the gun. We have to stay on top of things. It's got to be a question of who you are and what you stand for and if if you want to walk out of that tunnel and have people cheer for you and respect you, there's an obligation that goes with that. Sometimes that's hard for a kid, particularly a young kid."

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