FOS AUDIO: Paterno PC & Recap

Hear what the Nittany Lion coach had to say at his weekly press conference. Paterno recaps the Syracuse game and looks ahead to Temple.

Penn State football coach Joe Paterno met the media Tuesday. He talked about the fifth-ranked Nittany Lions' recent win over Syracuse and the upcoming showdown with Temple.


And here is Scott Cole's Recap:

1. Will you make any changes on the offensive line?

They might. It will depend on how practice goes this week.

2. Will Navorro Bowman play this week?

He didn’t do anything yesterday, so if he wants to play this week, he will have to practice today. Otherwise, they need to get some other kids ready to play.

3. If defenses continue to stack the line against the run, are you comfortable throwing the ball more than running it?

As long as they are throwing the ball well, Joe is OK with it. Syracuse did a lot of blitzing and loaded the box to stop the run and the coaches were stubborn and tried to run against it anyway because Joe feels they need to work on the run game.

4. Talk about Johnnie Troutman.

He was at about 325 pounds coming into preseason practice when he was asked to be under 310. Now, he is at about 305. He can’t do things as well if he’s carrying 10-15 extra pounds. He played last Saturday and might play a lot more this Saturday. It depends on the week of practice.

5. Did you see the kind of improvement you wanted to between the first and second games?

Joe can’t be specific about where the improvement came, but he feels they improved in a lot of areas. Syracuse kept coming with blitzes and had their safeties close to the line of scrimmage, so the offensive line didn’t look as good as they could have. The kids kept their poise and outside of the fumble on the goal line, they are starting to play with some poise. Joe is a little disappointed that they are not forcing more turnovers. The other guys are being careful and holding onto the football. Penn State has been careful with it.

They have made some improvement. How much? It’s tough to tell.

6. Talk about how you recruit walk-ons?

There’s nothing specific they look for in a walk-on. The preferred walk-ons are guys that if the coaching staff had more scholarships available would get money. You try to tell kids that if they walk on, they will get a chance to earn scholarship money later.

You can make those kids an invited walk-on who will be included in the 105 man roster. Then, you get calls sometimes from high school coaches who have a kid who was injured and hasn’t gotten much attention.

7. The other day, Jay said they were doing analysis on the offense to avoid predictability in certain situations. Is there a predictability issue?

Sure, there could be a problem there. You have to be able to adjust when a defense tries to take something away from you. They may be predictable on the goal line. They are not a good goal line team. They have to improve there tremendously.

8. Do you find it more difficult to prepare for Temple since they’ve only played one game and it was two weeks ago?

The coaches would have preferred to see another game tape so that they could be sure of what schemes Temple will use. There’s nothing they can do about it. Temple turned the ball over 5 times and that had a huge impact on the outcome. Temple was moving the ball up and down the field all game and then kept turning the ball over.

9. Talk about Temple QB Vaughn Charlton.

Overall, he looks like a good, solid quarterback. Strong arm, good release. He looks like he knows what’s going on. How good is he? Joe isn’t sure, but he looks very solid.

10. Would you be OK continuing to win with 65-70% of your yards passing?

That’s not even a question. They will do what they have to do to win. They’re out there to win, one game at a time. Unfortunately, the defense sometimes takes things away from you.

11. How has Andrew Quarless matured and how do you decide whether a true freshman ios ready to play?

He has grown up. He was a pain in the backside for a while, but he has become a good tight end. He’s on the verge of becoming better than good. He sometimes gets careless and loses sight of the little things. But, he is starting to pay attention to those things.

12. Will you depend on the outside running game to get the running game going as a whole?

Joe can’t answer that question. They have an outside running game, an inside running game, reverses, fullbacks carrying the ball. They will do what they can with the people they have. Each week, it;’s a little different matchup that you have to get your team ready for.

One week, your right guard can block the guy in front of him. The next week, he might get his ears kicked in because the guy across from him is a better football player. The assistant coaches have been so good in analyzing opponents and getting the kids ready to play each week.

13. Talk about the improvement you’ve seen in Temple since Al Golden and Mark D’Onofrio arrived there.

Joe thinks that Golden has done a really good job there. They have had some bad luck. They lost the Villanova game on the last play. Last year, they lost to Buffalo on the last play of the game. If you don’t lose your poise and don’t start panicking, then you’ll be ok.

Al will have his kids all fired up. They will have an emotional game this Saturday.

14. Have the moves of Landolt and Wisniewski contributed to the time it has taken for the line to come together?

Landolt just moved from right tackle to left tackle. Wisniewski moved from guard to center but he was the backup center last year. The other guys have not played much. Joe doesn’t think the moves have made much of a difference.

15. Are you worried about your kickoff coverage?

They have to do better there. A lot better. To be fair, Joe was worried about the Syracuse return man going into the game because he returned one about 70 yards against Minnesota.

16. How do you balance the need to have the best 5 offensive linemen out there versus having continuity on the line?

In practice, you have to work the second team kids as much as the first team kids so that people are prepared in case someone gets hurt. The second kid has to be ready to play with the first group. Same with the defense. Bowman goes down early, and someone else has to step in. That’s why assistant coaches are so important.

17. How close is the competition between Barham and Eliades?

It’s close. They’re all close along the line. The tackles are the same way. The second kids may not be ready to play or may not be as good as the guy in front of them, but they are close. McCormack and Poti haven’t played much. Pannell is only a true sophomore and didn’t play a lot of plays last year. Maybe they could have kept Wisniewski at guard, but then they would have had to play Klopacz at center and he hasn’t played at all.

18. How much has Ollie Ogbu helped the defensive line play?

He has come to the front. He had to step into some big shoes. He has done a good job. Odrick runs the show over there though. He frees Ogbu up to make some plays.

19. How has Okoli progressed? Is McEowen ready to play?

Okoli is close. McEowen missed preseason practice and they will probably redshirt him.

20. Does Knowledge Timmons still have a firm grasp on the starting cornerback spot over AJ Wallace?

They planned to play both guys and it will probably stay that way. They each do one or two things better than the other guy.

21. Talk about the involvement of your running backs in the passing game?

They’ve always been a part of it. Royster has always caught passes. It’s hard to get them in the passing game if the other guy blitzes a lot because you have to keep the backs in to protect the quarterback. They put Royster in motion to get one of the defenders away from the line of scrimmage and it resulted in a touchdown. Royster is good enough to be a wideout. Green’s hands are not quite as good as Royster’s, but once he gets the ball in his hands, he’s probably the fastest kid on the team.

22. Do you compare your team’s development to other teams in the top 5?

Are you saying we’re number 5? Joe has no idea where the team sits in the rankings. He doesn’t read anything that is written about the team. He gets the newspaper every day and scans it. The first thing he looks for is who died. If he sees a headline that says “Paterno is the greatest,” he reads it. If it says “Paterno is a bum,” he skips it.

What you are today is not what you’re going to be tomorrow. What you are tomorrow is what you make of yourself.


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