Joe Paterno talked to reporters again on Friday as Penn State held Outback Bowl media day at Lasch Building. Here's a quick summary of his comments. For more, check out the transcript.
- On Urban Meyer's retirement: "When I was Urban's age, I had a couple opportunities to leave, do some other things. But when I was his age, I was just a short little Italian with a long nose. I didn't have a lot of opportunities. He's a big, good looking guy. He's a really good family man. He's got a lot of things he can do. He's making some decisions which I'm sure are not easy for him, but he's making them. I admire him and respect him for what he's doing. I think that will about cover it all."
- Believes kicker/punter Anthony Fera will return for the Outback Bowl.
- Doesn't know what could happen to the staff as college football's coaching carousel turns but did acknowledge that some assistants might get opportunities to take other positions elsewhere, however. Paterno hopes they'll do what's best for their families, but also wants to see the staff stay intact if members are only offered assistants jobs elsewhere.
- Noted Penn State's good fortune with the weather in bowl games against the SEC's speed.
- Says he isn't sure what Kevin Newsome will do, but that he plans to met with him next week and has encouraged him to try and work through some things through spring practice before making a decision about a possible transfer.
Q. Does it bother you to be asked these questions (about the future)?
COACH PATERNO: You bother me (laughter). I mean, how many times can I answer the same question? I must have answered that question 50 times down there (in Tampa). I've told you I have not given it any thought. It doesn't bother me. It bothers you guys, all right? I want to go down there and have a good football team, period. Can't you get that through your head? Right now that's the only thing I'm thinking about. I'm looking at tapes. I told you that one of the great coaches of the last 25 years has just resigned, and that when I've looked at tapes of Florida, he is so innovative that almost every football game I've seen them play, they have started the game in a way that they are going to try to control the tempo, the way the game's going to be played. We have no way of knowing what we're going to get, all right? For me to go back home and say, "Hey, I want to do this." I'm up in the middle of the night looking at tapes. I'm trying to put myself into his head, that this is what they're going to try to do to us. I mean, "this is what I would do to us if I were playing us," that kind of thing. I haven't got time for the other nonsense.
- Optimistic Penn State won't lose anyone to academic issues this week, finals week on campus.
- Watches a lot of tape on SEC teams and tries to learn from it.
- On injuries: "You're asking me some things that I really don't know how to answer. I get a telephone call. They call me 6:30 in the morning, said Fera got appendicitis. I don't think I've ever lost a kid to appendicitis. Calls me the other day, we got a guy who had a knee operation that turned up with gout on his knee, all right? How many guys get gout at 20? I don't even want to talk about the damn things. I really don't. Every time I open my mouth, somebody else gets hurt. People go down. That doesn't answer your question, I know that. You guys should have a little conference with the medical people, you really should, ask some questions because I can't answer half those questions. I just can't."
- Says he's had a cold for about six weeks now.