Here are some of the highlights from Joe Paterno's press conference today. As you know the Penn State Nittany Lions will be playing the Temple Owls this weekend.
- Joe says this Temple team is the best Temple team we've ever faced and the toughest opponent we've played all year. Ok, I'm offcially scared of this game now. No, not really. Didn't he say that last year too?
- Joe is not sure how good Penn State is yet. According to him, we'll learn a lot more this weekend. So if Penn State wins by five touchdowns I fully expect Joe to say Penn State is a national championship contender.
- Brandon Ware should probably cut down from the triple to the double cheeseburger.
- Joe is bothered about a lack of depth up front on the defensive line.
- When asked twice about when Evans and Koroma would come back Paterno denied the reporter and answer like a brick wall.
- Mike Lucian is going to rest up this week from his ankle injury in the Syracuse game. But Paterno thinks he will be good to go on Saturday.
- Joe is pleased with the workman like attitude of the team. He hasn't really had to kick their butt to keep them focused or motivated. Considering the creampuff schedule I think this is a good indication about the leadership and maturity on this team.
- Paterno made up his mind during practice last week that he was going to play Devlin in the second quarter against Syracuse. He explained it to both quarterbacks before the game that that was what he was going to do and it was not a reflection of Clark playing poorly, but rather Pat playing well enough to earn some playing time.
- He's not yet sure how the quarterback situation will be handled this week.
- Joe expressed concern about the starters having yet to play a full game. He starts to wonder if they are getting enough playing experience, so he tends to want to give them extra practice to make up for it, but then he's concerned he'll wear them out during the week and they will be tired by game time.
- Joe didn't think Mike Robinson was a very good quarterback prior to the 2005 season. Jay convinced him otherwise before the season.
- Joe gave some insight into why Williams returns some punts and Scirrotto returns others. Many people assume Paterno plays Scirrotto on punts deep into our territory because Scirrotto is the "hands" returner meaning he's better at catching the ball. In fact, Paterno plays Scirrotto because he believes the conditions are favorable for the opponent to run a fake punt. He thinks Scirrotto has better defensive instincts and can react better to covering a receiver or making a tackle if called on to do so. This makes a lot of sense to me.
- Joe thinks we have a good stable of young linebackes. Guys like Bowman and Gbadyu are going to be stars once they learn how to anticipate what the offense is doing. Nate Stupar also got a mention, but he referred to Colasanti as "the kid we talked about earlier" instead of referring to him by his name. Interesting from a guy who could tell you the name of the grandmother of the kid who played backup fullback on the 1975 team.
For other notes from Joe's presser check out some of these links.