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Joe Paterno Press Conference - 9/6/06

Joe had his press conference yesterday. I seem to remember the GoPSUSports website getting the transcripts to these press conferences out in a few hours last year. Now we're not seeing them until the next day. Maybe the local beat reporters were complaining they wanted a chance to write on the presser before fans could just read it for themselves. I can't blame them. Joe really gives them nothing to print. It's like interviewing, well, your 80-year-old grandfather. Every question is met with either an "I don't know", "We'll have to wait and see", or "You don't know what you're talking about." But there is some useful information in there. Major props to the few reporters that asked questions Paterno deemed worthy of an answer.

The team has gone into lockdown mode. The players are not being made available to the press. Joe says it's because this week is the first week of classes and the kids have enough to worry about. Joe never lets the freshmen talk to the press so that's understandable, but I would think seniors like Posluszny and Brown could find the Willard building by now. I think Joe is just trying to protect his players from the hype and keep them focused. I hope he doesn't have them wound up too tight.

It appears Jim Shaw will be good to go after coming out of the Akron game with a sprained ankle. This is huge since defensive line is a position we supposedly don't have much depth.

It appears they are going to try to redshirt Austin Scott. If Hunt gets injured we'll probably see him though. I'll have to eat crow on this one because I thought they would play Scott to use up his eligibility and free up a scholarship for next year.

Joe says the freshmen running backs Brent Carter and Evan Royster are looking really good.

Elijah Robinson will be moving to the offensive line. Joe thinks they are pretty deep on the D-Line and need some help on the O-Line. So much for not having depth on D. I guess Jared Odrick and Maurice Evans, who both saw playing time against Akron, are doing pretty well.

Due to a scheduling thing with FOX and Major League Baseball, they may end up moving the Minnesota game to Thursday night. Joe hates night games period. I think he would rather smash his hand with a hammer than play a Thursday night game.

Here is a classic Joe Paterno vs. Reporter exchange:

Reporter: You mentioned about the Notre Dame mystique earlier, but they haven't been invincible at home.

Joe: You are making statements that you are not sure you know what you are talking about. "They haven't been this and they haven't been that." How do you know? I haven't got the slightest idea of what you are talking about. All I know is that the team we are going to play this Saturday is a very good, outstanding football team and we have play them on the road, regardless of whether they have a mystique stadium or what. They are tough to beat at home and tough to beat anywhere because they are well coached and they are a good football team.

It will be a while until that guy gets to ask another question. It was probably a Notre Dame beat reporter not schooled in proper Paterno press conference etiquette.

I didn't listen to the press conference audio. I just read the transcript, but it seems to me Joe has a quiet confidence about him. He keeps referring to Notre Dame as a "good" or "very good" team. These are words he uses when he talks about teams like Wisconsin and Purdue. He's not calling them a "great" team, and while that may seem insignificant to most people, it's not insignificant to me after reading every Joe Paterno press conference for the past several years. I think Joe has seen some things on tape and he has a good feeling about this game.