The folks at BWI were kind enough to post the transcript of Joe Paterno's press conference today. Since they were the first to put it out, they get the link. Here are some bullet points of interest.
- The first question came from some reporter who must be on his first day covering Penn State football. He asked Joe if the team had a sense of urgency about the Big Ten opener against Iowa coming up next week. I'll give ten BSD bucks to anyone who can guess the answer Joe gave without peeking at the link.
- Navorro Bowman has not practiced this week and probably will not play on Saturday unless he practices today. Evidently Bowman is still having pain in McGloin.
- Joe is comfortable with a pass heavy offense if that's what they need to do to win. He would rather see more balance with the running game.
- Syracuse stacked the safeties and brought a lot of blitzes while stiffled the running game. Joe was stubborn and kept running the ball because he felt they needed the work. He says Temple runs a different scheme on defense, so we'll see what happens.
- Johnnie Troutman has improved. He has lost about 20 lbs since the summer and he's getting better. He'll probably see some playing time on Saturday.
- Joe likes the poise of the team outside of the fumble on the goal line. He wishes the defense could force more turnovers. He's disappointed in that.
- Great question about Penn State's approach to walk ons. Joe says there are two types of walk ons. There are the kids they recruit, but just don't have room for so they ask them to walk on and promise to try to get them a scholarship if one opens up. Then there are the kids nobody knows about where the high school coach sends them some tape and asks them to take a look at the kid because he really loves Penn State. Then when the semester starts they have two days where anyone in the student body can come try out for the team. They usually get one or two kids that way.
- Joe says that Andrew Quarless has "grown up" and he's a good football player on the verge of being very good.
- Joe doesn't think shifting Wisniewski to center and Landolt to left tackle have contributed to the offensive line woes. It's more to do with three new guys who haven't played much.
- Joe is not pleased with the kickoff coverage team in allowing two big runbacks against Syracuse. He says they had a freshman on the outside who did not do his job in containing the play and let it get outside. They have to do better.
- Joe was asked if switching personnel around on the offensive line is keeping it from coming together. He says they switch personnel all the time in practice. You have to be ready if a guy goes down so you can plug in the backup and keep going.
- Joe thinks the offensive line has a lot of good players who are pretty even in talent. Things will work out if they just stop listening to the media.
- Ollie Ogbu is a solid player. Joe calls him his "Staten Island Ferry"...whatever that means. (He's big as a boat? I really don't know.)
- Chima Okoli is playing well. Tom McEowen is hurt. Joe says he will probably redshirt (but I'm pretty sure he already had a redshirt year.)
- A.J. Wallace and Knowledge Timmons are even at the top of the depth chart, and both are going to play for awhile. (BSD - I find it interesting that D'Anton Lynn appears to be the only corner that has locked down a starting position.)
- There was a question on Hull's mustache which is quickly approaching legend status.
I was curious what your take on Josh Hull's mustache was, facial hair?
Paterno: Has he got a mustache?
You haven't seen it?
Paterno: I guess I've seen it but I haven't noticed it. As long as it's not coming down to his neck, is it?
Paterno: Then he's all right. Geez, you guys must think I go around...it's like that old Nash guy, the guy that was a major mash, call him out and have him review every morning. No. Good kid. Great kid. Doing great. Playing well. Heck of a student. He's an engineer, 3.5 grade point average. If he wants a mustache, that's okay.
- They always had passing plays to Royster in the system, but it's hard to send him out in the passing game when the opponent is blitzing a lot. They need to keep him back there to help protect. Says Royster has good hands. Green does not, but when he catches the ball he's as fast as anyone on the team.
- Another rookie reporter asked Joe how his team compared to the other teams ranked in the top five. Which prompted this hilarious monologue.
I imagine you don't pay attention to rankings too much, national rankings, but being No. 5 in the country do you ever compare your team's development to other teams?
Paterno: No, don't get me into that. I don't know what we are, for crying out loud. Geez, that's the same thing -- hey, I honest to God, are we No. 5 is that what you're telling me?
Paterno: I don't know that we're No. 5. You guys don't seem to understand, I don't pay -- I don't read anything about us. I get the paper. I go to the bathroom. I take the paper in there and I scan it. I look at it. The first thing I do is look at who died. All right. Second thing I look at are headliners, something that says Paterno is the greatest, I read it. (Laughter) If it says I'm a bum, I don't even look at it.