Joe Paterno had his weekly press conference today previewing the Akron game. It's your typical preseason press conference. Most questions are met with an "I don't know" or "You coach the kids and help for the best" while also talking up the Zips as if they could beat the Pittsburgh Steelers. Not a lot of information, but it's always worth the read.
A lot of people are expecting us to have a year similar to 2003 when we lost a lot of talent to graduation. Just for fun I decided to pull Paterno's 2003 and 2004 preseason press conferences to see if I could detect a difference in his tone from this year. This is how Paterno described the defensive line in 2003.
This is how Paterno describes the defensive line today.
We all know Joe does not talk up individual players unless he strongly believes they are good. This is high praise coming from Paterno. Listen to how Joe described the wideouts prior to the 2004 season.
After last season, nobody is asking about the wideouts this year. There is one glaring difference between this year and 2003/2004.
How did Joe feel about Austin Scott and Tony Hunt in 2003?
On Austin Scott today:
On Tony Hunt:
This year Joe is not very confident in the offensive line, and that bothers me.
But listen to how Joe described the team overall coming out of preseason practice in 2003:
Here's how Joe felt coming out of 2004 preseason:
Ummm...ok. The weather was good. Not a good sign when the only thing your head coach can point to that went well in the preseason is the weather.
Here is how Joe described his opinion of how things are going today:
I think we are going to be a good football team. How well we play the first game is difficult to say. We have three more days of practice this week. Up to now, so far so good.
So I think you can get a taste for the fact that Joe feels better about this team than he did with the teams in 2003 and 2004. This is a good omen for Penn State fans.