Tuesday Cup of Joe: Eric Decker edition

Joe Paterno is done meeting with the media for his weekly Tuesday teleconference.

The Big News: The right tackle spot is still up for grabs. Joe said Nerraw McCormick is doubtful this week, but he was pleased with Ako Poti and DeOn’Tae Pannell is getting better and could have played on Saturday if needed.

The Big News Part II: Paterno said that defensive tackle Brandon Ware is still overweight and will likely do nothing this season because he is also cutting class. “Don’t look for Brandon Ware doing anything this year,” Paterno said. “He’s way overweight. He’s cutting classes. Brandon Ware right now is in my doghouse and I have no plans to use him this year.”

Sean Lee update: He has yet to be medically cleared but did practice lightly on Monday. There is no way he plays unless he is 100-percent, he may hit in practice on Wednesday. Joe said he talks it over with the team doctors every day.

Weekly special teams question: Joe doesn’t know if Justin Brown is the new return man and sounded hesitant to make him such because he is a freshman.


  • There isn’t a better defensive line coach in the country than Larry Johnson Sr.
  • Joe said Kevin Newsome is very enthusiastic .
  • Gerald Hodges future is at linebacker…Joe said he likes to hit people.
  • Joe doesn’t want freshman to have too much pressure on them, doesn’t want them coming in the locker room thinking they themself lost a game. (Note: they played eight last week vs. EIU). “When they’re ready, we play them.”
  • Joe gave great praise to Bill Kenney, offensive line coach, saying; “I hate to admit that about an Irish guy but that’s what you gotta do once in awhile.”
  • Joe thinks the linebacking corps has done a good job without Lee, but he was cautious in saying “be careful on counting your chickens, Sean may not play a down this Saturday.”
  • Joe doesn’t think a player can have stamina if a player has a certain BMI. “We constantly measure body fat,”….said Johnnie Troutman was 28-29-percent body fat and they wanted him around 310, said that at 305-pounds he can be a very good football player.
  • Knowledge Timmons should be OK this week.
  • Joe was evasive when asked what they will do with Eric Decker. “We may put four corners on him.”
  • “You never see the same offense two weeks in a row with Minnesota”
  • “We have the prospects of being a really good football team but we’re not there yet.”
  • More balance in the Big Ten? Joe isn’t sure about that. The conference has been berated because the SEC has done a better job, there’s no playoff game, its out of the spotlight after the regular season while others play on. “When we got in the league it seemed to be two or three teams….they’re the ones you got to handle.”
  • Hull is the perfect person to have on this team, good leader, student, solid football player.
  • Minnesota is a multiple defense, lot of blitzing, things to keep you off balance. They change teams up a great deal. They don’t stay in one position.
  • Overall “we’ve just made normal progress.”
  • Joe wishes he had more time to spend with former players when they come back for Homecoming. Note, Matt Millen is doing the game on ABC this weekend.
  • Ryan Breen likely will not overtake Colin Wagner as the kickoff man, Joe says he has a great leg but he is too inconsistent.

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