With Penn State's second conference road test coming up this weekend against Northwestern, Joe Paterno touched on several topics including Derek Moye's status,the ongoing quarterback drama, and the recruitment of Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa. Here are some quotes and my two cents on each issue.
Paterno on Derek Moye: "Was at the practice yesterday without football gear on. Derek, he's anxious to get in. I don't think we're going to have him for another couple of weeks. But I'm reluctant to say how long because he's one of those kids...he's a big, lanky kid, has no extra weight. He's got a very conservative life style. I think he's got a chance to maybe come back quicker than we would think he would."
For Penn State they'll need Moye back as soon as they can get him. While Justin Brown has stepped up very well in Moye's absence, Penn State still lacks a clear third receiver. They can get by with a group effort in the 3rd spot when Moye and Brown are healthy, but right now a normally strong unit is lacking an obvious core with Moye on the sideline. 17 different Nittany Lions have caught passes this season, but only four of them have over ten catches.
Paterno on the Bolden "Starter", McGloin "Closer" system.
"Well, I think there's a reason for it in the sense that we've had some luck with that kind of combination. We're still at the stage where we really have two quarterbacks. It's bad enough what they have to go through, both from the media and from the fans, as to one is better than the other. So we've tried to get into some kind of a situation where there's some continuity to it."
It hasn't been popular but Paterno is probably correct in thinking that just starting McGloin might make things messy. If Bolden is only staying at Penn State because he's still "starting" then Penn State might have their hand forced at this point. It isn't pretty by any means because for as good as McGloin has played, he has played just as bad at times. That whole 1-10 for 0 yards comes to mind. In the end there isn't a right answer, just a handful of equally bad choices.
Paterno on Andrew Szczerba's struggles.
"I haven't talked to him yet. Bill Kenney, who works with the tight ends, has talked to him. I think your observation is correct, however. Whether it's timing or what, he's had some penalties that have hurt us at the wrong time. Dropped a pass that hurt us, obviously, against Alabama. He's got ability. The layoff (injured in 2010) may have something to do with it and maybe he's trying too hard to offset what is supposedly a problem for him of not having played for a while. I don't know. But I should talk to him. I will, I'll talk to him. But right now I know Bill has talked to him. Bill feels like he's okay. We haven't done a lot, but we worked yesterday. He had a decent practice."
What Joe is trying to say is "I don't know what the heck is wrong with that kid either." and considering some of the mind boggling things he has done, I don't blame Joe.
Paterno on Dan Persa's recruitment.
"I've asked that question a couple times of the staff. We didn't take a quarterback that year, so we really weren't looking for one. But there were some things. He's not the biggest kid in the world. He's just one of those guys that's tough to evaluate because he makes things happen, he's smart, he's tough. If we were going to take a quarterback, I'm not even sure we would have taken him."
In the end Persa is a lot like any player that turned out to be good and didn't come to Penn State.Certainly Persa has turned out to be a pretty good player, but all things considered you wouldn't have taken him over Clark the two years he was under center. While you might take Persa now it probably isn't worth the uproar is seems to cause. Also See: Chad Henne. Well, ok that makes more sense.