Tag Archives: Chaz Powell

Tuesday Cup of Joe: The Finale

Joe Paterno has wrapped up his weekly teleconfernece for the final time in 2009. Here’s the news you need to know headed into the finale against Michigan State where the Nittany Lions could cap a 10-2 season and possibly wrap up a BCS at-large berth.

THE BIG NEWS: Wide receiver Chaz Powell is unlikely to play this weekend with his sprained AC joint suffered against Indiana.

THE BIG NEWS II: DeOn’Tae Pannell will remain at guard for the finale and also the bowl game.

THE BIG NEWS III: Freshman wide receiver Devon Smith hasn’t been seen much because he’s been cutting classes. Paterno said “He’s decided he’s here to get an education,” and added that “He’s OK, he’s got a long way to go to grow up.”

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Joe is pleased with tight end Andrew Quarless and they should get him the ball more.
  • The staff has been trying to get Kevin Newsome in more during the season, but it just hasn’t worked out much. “You hate to get out of style, and the Wildcat is the style now,” per Joe. “I just want to be stylish and we stick the Wildcat in there once in a while.”
  • Opposing defenses vs. the PSU wideouts has been good, “it’s a question of what they’re doing and giving us more of a chance to run the football.”
  • Joe likes Cousins running the offense at Michigan State. Said he’s a good quarterback and it’s an interesting question stacking him up against the other QBs.
  • Joe thinks the kicking game will determine how this game shakes out. Says that Michigan State has “excellent” special teams.
  • Rivalry with MSU: “We got an hour and a half of this press conference to answer that,” Joe remarks. Joe says it depends on the year how the rivalry between the two of them is. Joe says that there are other rivalries in the Big Ten that are better, but he thinks this could turn into a good one in due time. He kind of hints here that PSU still isn’t welcome in the Big Ten
  • No changes to punt return team.
  • Joe isn’t sure who will replace Beachum on special teams.
  • Joe did not talk to the team about a possible BCS bowl berth.
  • There have been no discussions between Paterno and linebacker Navorro Bowman about Bowman possibly leaving for the NFL.
  • Royster is a good all around back according to Joe…says he was on Royster for not playing with as much fire as he had before earlier in the season.
  • Joe says now there are more responsibilities for the admin to consider, namely 29 teams they have to find money to take care of expenses for.  “I think the University is doing the best it can. What exactly are specifics, I don’t know. All I’ve ever said to Curley is  “you’re doing one heck of a job.”  Joe says compared to other schools PSU is probably charging less than some of the Big Ten schools ticket wise. He said: “They’ve got to do something, or we’ve got to cut back sports, and we don’t want to do that.”
  • Michigan State is better than its 6-5 record indicates according to Joe and they are on the verge of being a really good football team but he hopes they are 10 days away from becoming such.
  • Joe things the team is playing consistent football but adds he wishes they would have won another game or two.
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Tuesday Cup of Joe: I hate Ann Arbor edition

Joe Paterno has concluded his Tuesday weekly teleconfernece. Here’s what you need to know.

The Big News: Running back Stephfon Green is a “maybe” according to Paterno this week and has a “chronic ankle”…he didn’t practice on Monday and is unsure if he will practice today.

The Big News Part II: Ako Poti will get the nod at right tackle again, though Nerraw McCormick is getting there.

The Semi-Big News: If Green and Brent Carter cannot go, Joe says Brandon Beachum or Joe Suhey will get the carries. They will not take Curtis Dukes on the trip.

Highlights

  • Tate Forcier has done well as a freshman, has the lineage in his family.
  • Michigan’s defense is aggressive and tackling better according to Joe.
  • “We’re going to have our hands full with these guys.” “Hopefully we can keep our poise.”
  • Penn State has to play a “good solid football game,” IE: We need to run the ball, control the clock and play defense the way we know we can play.
  • Joe knows RichRod got flack, but he’s done a remarkable job this season. Joe wants to be careful in using some of the horrible trips to Ann Arbor as motivation.
  • Two or three of the penalities last week were “justifiable but they were close.”
  • Colin Wagner’s progress: “I think he’s done fine. I don’t see any different game than you guys see.”
  • The death of the UConn player is the “ultimate nightmare for anybody that is concerned for his fellow man.”
  • Joe said he doesn’t remember knives on campus when he was in college but he remembers guys “making jackasses out of themselves”
  • Joe says that people wanted him fired after his first year at PSU, so he understands what RichRod is going through and that it takes time to get adjusted to new systems, etc. “They’re getting better each week.”
  • Joe physically is doin good and hasn’t missed time, said he was cold and tired after Saturday’s game. “I feel pretty good.”
  • Joe doesn’t think Michigan Stadium isn’t a tough place to play. He mentioned some of the situations they’ve been in such as Tony Johnson’s non-catch, kicking off to Steve Breston (Note, he returned it to the 35, not the 10-yard line, let’s lay off that).
  • Tate Forcier has “a little something about him.” Says he has a little Tebow in him. Has confidence and leadership.
  • “I think we’ve gotten a little bit better each week.” Joe thinks they should be competitive the last five games home or away (They should be favored in all five).
  • Odrick is a “big man,” says Joe. Calls him tough, wants to practice, wants to play, “he’s a football player.”
  • “You got a way to tell him not to show up,” says Joe regarding Brandon Graham. “We got our hands full”
  • Reaction to OSU’s loss to Purdue and Pryor’s struggles: “Can’t tell you, haven’t seen the game” (very dumb, DUMB question)
  • Joe says he was approached by Michigan in the 1960’s and he turned down the job, they ended up hiring Bo Schembechler and the rest is history. I’d say it worked out well for both teams.
  • Powell, you can run a reverse with, throw it to him deep. Joe talked about possibly playing Powell at tailback if they “got into a jam,” out at Michigan.
  • Depends how practice goes, but the corner spot with Wallace and Timmons is still open. “We went with Wallace over Timmons last week because of his height.” Joe said they aren’t sure what they will do with that corner spot this week.
  • “It’s a fact of life,” Joe says regarding playing against two QBs this week. He said Forcier is “clever” when he scrambles.

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Hotline recap: No Bowman this week

Joe Paterno is done with his weekly radio show. Highlights.

Linebacker Navorro Bowman is very much doubtful for this week vs. Temple. Joe announced that on NLH tonight. Joe said Bowman has not practiced this week and they hope to have him back for Iowa a week from Saturday.

Brett Brackett joined the show in the first segment, he and host Steve Jones reashed the switch from quarterback to wide receiver and talked Uplifting Athletes and Lift for Life. Brackett says they raised $90,000 this year pushing them close to $400,000 total. Awesome cause, well done.

Jones drops that Brackett was the third string quarterback at the Rose Bowl. Lot of us assumed it would have been Derrick Williams.

  • Joe likes Jeremy Boone, says he gets the ball off quick.
  • Powell has a chance to be really good and might be a step quicker than DWill, but not as confident. Great week of practice for Powell, according to Joe.
  • Caller says that Josh Hull looks like Poncho Villa with the ‘stache. Joe says he looks like a fine young Italian man, but an Italian man who is Dutch. Ahhhhh Joe, gotta love the cultural references.
  • Joe says they spend more time during the week on kick and punt coverage than they have before. There is nothing wrong with the scheme, it’s the new personnel they are getting acclimated to the job. Just hire a special teams coach already.
  • Joe thinks Temple will be tough, and they may be, he likes QB Vaughn Charlton, said he had a good game against PSU in 2007 (remember the game that Temple honestly should have led at halftime.) Seriously though, this game will be as close as Joe allows it to be.
  • Caller dubs the Iowa loss a “tragedy” last year….but Joe makes the point that the refs blew the game because the ball thrown on Anthony Scirrotto’s pass-interference was non-catchable. He’s so right.
  • Joe wishes he had one more game to check out Temple, and said Al Golden probably wants one more game to see what his team is made of.

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Paterno Transcript

THE MODERATOR: We’ll start with questions today.

Q. Can you discuss your thoughts on the way Jerome Hayes has come back from two serious knee injuries.
COACH PATERNO: Well, you know, he’s a very determined kid. Of course, he’s not a kid anymore, but a young man. And he’s worked awfully hard. He’s been determined he was going to come back. So far so good.
We’ve not kept him in there any extended period of time because we didn’t want him to get tired and maybe not be able to protect himself as well. But he’s had a good pre-season. I think right now he’s ready to play.
It’s a little different position where he’s playing. We’re playing him as a defensive end, half a defensive end, half an outside linebacker. But so far so good.

Q. What is Nick Sukay done to emerge as one of the safety spots? With A.J. Wallace out, are you a little worried about your untested corners going against the Akron receivers?
COACH PATERNO: Well, Sukay has been hurt a lot, so it appears he’s come out of nowhere really hasn’t been accurate. He’s been around. He’s always had tremendous potential. He’s a fairly big kid. He runs well. He’s a tough kid. He’s smart.
I think his emergence as a starter didn’t surprise anybody on the staff. We just kept hoping he’d stay healthy. He had foot problems, a couple other things. I think he had a shoulder problem for a while there. So he’s never really had an opportunity to show what he can do.
So when he has stayed healthy and he’s had a really good pre-season, and I think he’ll play well. I’m not sure what we’re going to do with A.J. A.J., I had put some rules down that he had to get certain grades, which he got in the summertime. I had to put some other rules down. He’s abided by them. He may end up playing some on Saturday. Timmons right now would start with the other kid. Timmons will be fine.
I think other corners will work out to be good. None of them have had a lot of experience in ballgames except for Wallace, but they’re healthy and they’ve been getting better all the time. So I think they’ll be okay.
Now, they’ll be challenged, because this is a really good offensive football team. You get 9 of 11 kids back, got the quarterback back, they got their wide-outs back, they’ve got a big offensive line, which is very active, all of whom played last year, I think except one kid who might only be a sophomore.
But it will be a challenge for the secondary.

Q. What type of challenge do you think their quarterback will bring to your team this weekend?
COACH PATERNO: Well, he’s been a two-year starter. Akron at the end of the year last year was playing really well. And I think there’s tremendous momentum with their football team. He’s a very smart kid, very careful with the football. As I said, got good wide-outs. Now, both the tight ends are redshirt freshmen, but they’re big kids. One is about 260, 265, the other one is maybe 270. As I mentioned earlier, he’s got an outstanding offensive line that did a great job protecting him last year and I think obviously they’ll be better this year.
So he’s a good all-around quarterback, plays smart, has a good arm. You know, he gets good protection, makes good decisions. We’ll have our hands full with him.

Q. Andrew Quarless talked today about wanting to make you proud of him and make his family proud of him this year. Do you think he’s had a different attitude than in the past few years?
COACH PATERNO: I think Andrew Quarless, hopefully he’s grown up. He did a lot of silly things when he first came into the program. But so far so good. And he has the potential to be a really good tight end. He can run. He’s got good hands. He’s obviously got nice size for a tight end. So I think, there again, he and Shuler should give us two kids that are good tight ends, both of whom have played some.
But I’m hoping Quarless will have a big year.

Q. Are you feeling any better after the last two weeks of practice with your offensive line, especially with the second team you have behind it?
COACH PATERNO: I think the offensive line’s made great strides. But, you know, until they get in the football game, until they have to make some adjustments. The tough thing about an opening game is you’re not quite sure what you’re going to see. I think we have a little better feel for what we’re going to see from their offense because so many of their kids are back, including the guys that have really run the show. Their tailback, who was their leading ground gainer last year, most all their skill people are back.
But on defense we’re not quite sure what we’re gonna see ’cause there’s a lot of new faces gonna play. You know, last year they were basically a 3-5. We’re not sure they’re going to stay with the 3-5 or whether they’re going to go to a 4-3. So we’ve had to do a lot of extra practicing because we’re not sure what we’re going to get.
So I think it will be a challenge for the offensive line to make whatever adjustments we’re going to have to make ’cause you can’t cover all of it. If you try to cover everything that they possibly could do, you know, you’ll have a bunch of kids that can’t make any progress, they get stymied. But I think we’ve made good progress on fundamentals. I think they’ve got a lot more confidence in themselves. I think they should, if we have a good week of practice this week, they ought to be looking forward to a good challenge.

Q. Is there maybe a couple of the true freshmen you’ve been impressed with that they could see some time on Saturday?
COACH PATERNO: Sometime, yeah. But how much time I wouldn’t know. I think there’s a couple kids that eventually are going to be really good. But until you put ’em in a game and see how they react, you don’t know.
But I think there will be a couple of kids that will play some. Now, how much is ‘some’? Is that eight plays, 10 plays, five plays? It depends on how the game goes.

Q. Could you talk about the progress that Jerome Hayes made in pre-season and how you feel about him being in the starting lineup for Saturday.
COACH PATERNO: Earlier I said he’s really worked hard. We’ve not put him in a situation where he would get tired. I didn’t want to do that because, you know, psychologically it’s hard to come off two knee injuries, two knee operations. So we’ve kind of just let him, you know, get him in there, let him do some things, then get him out of there before he did get tired.
He’s anxious to get in there. We’re anxious to see him. I think he’ll do well, I really do, as I said earlier.

Q. Can you talk about the progress of Kevin Newsome and Matt McGloin made in camp? Talk about giving Matt the news of getting the scholarship. Is that a thrill after all these years?
COACH PATERNO: Both Kevin and Matt, they’re freshmen. There’s a lot of things to learn, as I mentioned earlier. One of the problems we have in an opening game is we’re not quite sure what we’re going to get defensively. So you have to throw a lot of stuff at them. If they do this, we do this. If they do that, we do this. That kind of stuff.
I think once we can get a game or two under our belts and we get to be able to evaluate people we’re going to play, because they have played a couple games, then I think the young quarterbacks will make better progress than they’ve made so far.
There’s too many things that we’ve asked them to handle right now because we don’t know what we’re gonna get.

Q. Last year at this time, and even well into last season, so much of the emphasis and attention was on you and your health, your status, et cetera. Now almost none of it is on you. Are you relieved?
COACH PATERNO: And how. I’m relieved because I can do some things now that I had trouble doing the last couple years, particularly on the practice field. You know, I’m able to get around. Last year I had to go around, had somebody drive me around on a motor scooter, whatever they call it, a golf cart. No, I feel much better about everything. So I’m relieved that I’m where I am physically and hopefully it won’t be Paterno is doing this, Paterno is doing that, is he doing this, and we can concentrate on our football team.

Q. How important is it in this first game for a receiver like Brett Brackett or Graham Zug to really step up and be the receiver and the go-to guy?
COACH PATERNO: I think there’s a couple guys, Brackett, Zug, I mentioned the tight end situation. I think tight ends are going to have a bigger part in what we do offensively, particularly in the passing game. And then I wouldn’t underestimate Powell and Moye. Moye has played some. So we do have some kids that have played some. I don’t think you can put it all on one guy. I think you can always take one receiver out of a game.
But I do think we have some balance there, a kid like Royster can catch the ball coming out of the backfield. So I think we got pretty good balance up there. Whether we can get the ball to them, whether we can protect, whether we can handle some blitzes, we may not even have practiced against till we see them in the ballgame, make the adjustments we need to make, pick out the hot receiver in situations that we haven’t looked at, that’s where the experience of the wide-outs come in. Even though I was asked earlier whether we have some freshmen that may play, we have some freshmen that have talent, I’m at least concerned with sticking them in there too early and then maybe they can’t adjust to some things.
I think Brackett and the kids that I mentioned, I think they’ve had enough experience that they can come out of the game and say, Hey, I missed the outside linebacker plug, I didn’t know we were going to have to see that, that kind of stuff. So, you know, you can carry on intelligent conversation with them and make the right kind of adjustments.

Q. What are your thoughts on the kicking game and are you comfortable with Collin Wagner as the kicker?
COACH PATERNO: Yeah, I think the kicking game will have to be a big part, if we’re going to have any success, I think we’re going to have to get some returns. We lost a guy that was really a big threat back there, broke open a couple ballgames for us with punt returns and kickoff returns, Williams. So I think, yeah, we got to fill that void.
Collin Wagner will be fine. I mean, he’ll be fine. He was very close to Kelly last year. He’s worked hard. He may have a little stronger leg than Kelly had. I don’t know. But I do think Collin will be fine.

Q. How important is it to you personally to adhere to the 20-hour-a-week practice limit and how much emphasis does the school place on that?
COACH PATERNO: We never use 20 hours. If we go, we’ll go maybe 17 and a half, 18 hours. So when they passed the rule I don’t know how many years ago that you could only go four hours a day and 20 hours a week, it never had any impact on us. A hundred years ago I went down to Oklahoma to watch Oklahoma practice when Bud Wilkinson was on that amazing streak of 40 something wins. Bud was nice enough to give me some time that I could go in and just sit with him and ask him some questions. I don’t know how we got around to it, but we talked about practice. I had been impressed with their spring practice. They hadn’t worked that long. I forget how I approached it.
It ended up, he said, I have one rule: If any assistant coach on the staff, and those days they had 15 or 16 assistant coaches, he said if anybody says we’re practicing too long, I cut practice short.
So we can get by on — if we wanted to take the full four hours, we could take it, 20 hours, but we don’t. We haven’t gone 20 hours any time. Now, don’t hold me to it. I may be lying. We may have been 19 and a half, 20, 20 hours and 10 minutes one week, I don’t know. But we’re very aware of that.

Q. Is that a good cutoff point to make sure the college kids can have a well-rounded life and not have their whole life be devoted to football?
COACH PATERNO: Well, I can’t speak for everybody. You know, the NCAA passes rules which blanket every program. I never worried about the rule. I guess this is something to do with something went on in Michigan. Somebody said you might get a question about Michigan. I don’t know what they were talking about this morning.
I think kids are here to get an education. If you don’t interfere with their education, you give them an opportunity to achieve success in the classroom, whether you practice 20 and a half hours a week or whether you practice 18 hours a week, I don’t know what kind of a deal that is.

Q. You talked about how you’re feeling physically. Are you looking forward to getting the season started more than usual because you’re coming back to the sideline?
COACH PATERNO: I enjoyed it upstairs. That was kind of fun. I could second guess the coaches all the time, sticking my two cents in there (laughter).
No, I’m looking forward to getting back on the sideline. Yeah, I’m looking forward to the season. I am. Although, you know, it’s gonna be a challenging season in a lot of different ways. I know some people — I think people have had a tendency to overestimate how good we’re going to be right now. I think eventually we’re going to be a pretty good football team. But until we get a couple things better, you know, we’re going to have to fight for our lives. I kind of like that situation.
I don’t know whether I’m going to be able to run on the field. I’ve been trying to do a little jogging out there on the practice field. But, you know, I get a little nervous once in a while because they still want me to be careful about the hip. But I’ve had absolutely no problem. We go out there and, you know, I go from drill to drill, walk around, do a lot of different things. I think everything will be good. I am looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to getting back on the sideline.

Q. You mentioned losing Derrick Williams. Who will be in those return roles for punts and kickoffs? Is that an area where a freshman might help you?
COACH PATERNO: Kickoff, probably Powell will be in there. I’m not sure who the other kid will be. Probably be Green. Punt return it will probably be Royster and the other kid, little Italian kid that can run, that’s a safety, Astorino.

Q. Can you talk about what opening day means to you, starting another season. Also, from a coaching standpoint, the relief maybe you and your staff have of actually seeing your guys hit against somebody else other than themselves.
COACH PATERNO: I think that part of it, the second part of your question, is absolutely right. You never know what you got till they go out there and do some things. Then you never know what has to be done. You may have missed something in coaching.
You know, the hardest part about coaching is to get your best players in the right spots to do the things they can do best. That to me is the hardest part of coaching, and the one that’s most satisfying when you get the right kind of combinations. And you don’t know till you do play that first game.
I’m anxious to see some of these kids, see what they can do against clubs. Contrary to what people think, Akron is a fine football team. When you look at the way they played towards the end of the year, they started out a little slow, but they’ve got some kids that can play and they’re well-coached. So it will be a real — we’ll be in a tough football game. It will be interesting to see how we react to a tough football game.

Q. Your receivers are a lot bigger than the kids you had last year. What do you like about Moye the most?
COACH PATERNO: Well, Moye, as you said, is a lot bigger receiver than, say, Butler. He’s playing pretty much the same position Butler played. He’d be close speed-wise.
The thing about Butler, he had such great judgment on where the ball was going to come down. He wasn’t one of those guys that had to run around looking at the football. He went in the area, he went to it. He was like a good outfielder. Watch some of the great outfielder, when you watch Willie Mays, the ball was hit centerfield, he wasn’t there running like that, he turned his back and he’d catch up to the ball. That’s what Butler did. Moye hasn’t had that kind of experience yet. But we can throw certain passes to him that you wouldn’t throw to Butler.
That’s true of Brackett. Now, Zug isn’t quite as big as those two guys, but he’s still 6’1″. Good-sized kid. Powell would be more like Butler, but he’s bigger. He’s a little bit more like Williams. He can run, but he needs to get some more confidence in his hands and things. I think the potential there is good and we’ll see, and having big kids I think is a plus.

Q. Overall are you pleased with where your team’s at as you exit camp and head into the first time?
COACH PATERNO: Yeah, I think we had a good pre-season camp. It was a very, very difficult pre-season, the toughest one I ever had, because of the way the university has rescheduled things. Our first week of pre-season practice we were still in summer school and we had kids taking exams on Sunday that for one reason or other, the professor had deferred the exams. The exams were supposed to be turnover on Friday. We had a couple of exams on Sunday and Monday. Then we had a week where we had them. They didn’t have anything else. We only had them one week ’cause then school started.
You know, you take Ohio State. Ohio State doesn’t go to school until they’ve played two, three games. We had one week where we didn’t have either summer school or fall classes. So that was tough. And I think really the kids did a great job of adjusting to it. You know, they handled the academic part. We had a great summer academically. Everybody came out of it. All the kids are eligible. And they showed up for meetings and practice and the whole bit. But it was not easy. It was not easy on them and it wasn’t easy on the coaches because we had to rearrange practices almost daily, except for the one week when we didn’t have any classes going on.
So overall I think they did a good job. I really do.

Q. I’m wondering how valuable it’s been to have a proven quarterback like Clark while new guys on the offensive line and wide-out progress? Is there something about Daryll Clark that causes guys to develop confidence more quickly?
COACH PATERNO: I don’t think there’s any question having a quarterback that’s had success and the kids know he can handle it, his presence in the huddle, his ability to literally coach on the field in the ballgame, Hey, you should have cut that route off a little sooner, you’re a little slow coming on the running play to one of the tailbacks, those kind of things are really important.
How much you can do with them, though, is limited because the backup kids. We don’t have anybody that’s played a down behind ’em. That’s one of the big things when Devlin left. Those two guys could compete.
Right now Clark has got to run the show and we got to make sure we give him enough that he can do the job that he’s capable of doing, but yet we can’t get him so far ahead of the other two kids because he gets an ankle or gets bumped up a little bit, one of the other kids has to go in, and neither one of them have played a down.
So we don’t have quite what you’d like to have if you had an experienced backup guy. I guess that’s what I’m trying to say. But Clark is a big plus. He’s a good football player.

Q. With Lee back on the football field on Saturday, what kind of impact will he have with the back seven?
COACH PATERNO: Lee is a good football player. I mean, whether he’s on the sideline last year or what, he’s a good football player. He’s all business. He’s a tough competitor. He’s smart as a whip. He reminds me so much of Jack Ham, except Ham may have been just a little bit faster. But Lee is really a big-time player.

Q. Are you still in a mode of working real hard this week or are you easing back?
COACH PATERNO: We only had pads on today. We went with tops yesterday. We’ll go with tops tomorrow. On Thursday we’ll go with shells. So we’ll only put the full pads on ’em today. And that’s typical. That’s typical of most weeks we have from now on in. I don’t like to go more than one day with pads. I always worry about their legs. I always think they’re not fresh and they’re not bouncing around, they’re not eager to play, you lost something, regardless of how much you practiced.
So, anyway, one day. Today is the only day we’ll put the pads on, all the pads.

Q. ESPN Classic they had the ’82 game against Georgia. Do you ever find yourself with your remote looking at some of the older games? Do you learn anything from any of those?
COACH PATERNO: Yeah, the only one I look at is the last part of the Iowa game. I don’t even want to look at that Southern Cal thing (laughter).
No, I don’t look at that stuff. I mean, we have all those tapes. I don’t have to listen to some guy telling me how the game should be played. I can find out myself. I can back and forth, the whole bit (laughter).

Q. Can you talk about the injury to Mike Mauti?
COACH PATERNO: And then we lost Ware yesterday. Didn’t even get hurt. He was just running and he broke a bone in his foot. Mauti is a big-time prospect. He’d be in the league with Bowman and Lee. Didn’t even get hit. You feel bad if some of those injuries were kids that were in contact. But he was just running one place. He turned and the knee went out.
But Mauti, you know, he’s in Lee’s class as an athlete. He’s really good.

Q. Who did you say you lost yesterday, broke his foot?
COACH PATERNO: Brandon Ware. He broke it yesterday early in the practice. He wasn’t even doing anything but a drill, just changing direction.

Q. You haven’t put the nickel yet in this week. Who are one or two guys we might see there against Akron?
COACH PATERNO: We don’t have a nickel back so far. We really don’t. Our linebackers have been good. We’ll have to see what happens this week. But we’re hopeful that the linebackers — Josh Hull gets passed over because the other guys, Lee and Bowman, get the stats. When Mauti looked like he was going to be a big player. So Josh Hull hasn’t got quite the credit he has. If our linebackers can play the way we think, and they can be outside linebackers that can walk away from the line of scrimmage and help on the pass game, we may not use a nickel. We’ll see. A lot will depend on how a couple kids in the secondary come along.
We’ve debated it. We’ve talked about it. We have a system in place if we want to use it. Probably could use it tomorrow if we wanted to. But right now we’re hoping we can get by without getting a nickel.

Q. Do you know how long Ware is going to be sidelined?
COACH PATERNO: I don’t think they can be sure, but they x-rayed it yesterday. Dr. Sebastianelli said to me, He’ll be at least three, four weeks, which probably means four, five, I guess.

Q. And then you talked last month about using Royster and Green probably in the same backfield. Can you talk generally about the depth you have at runningback, what kind of options that gives you offensively.
COACH PATERNO: Well, it depends. I don’t want to tell you everything. We have a lot of different combinations that we can work because we do have some kids. Some of them aren’t the greatest as far as if you test them, the 40-yard test, the vertical jump, all that kind of just have, but they’re football players. Beachum, Joey Suhey is a good football player. Beachum is a good football player. They know how to play the game. So there’s combinations that we can use. We can use Beachum as a tailback and Suhey as a fullback if we want. Beachum can play tailback. Some of that is going to be judged by how we use them on specialty teams. Beachum is on three specialty teams. I think Suhey is on three specialty teams. They’re good football players, they learn quickly, they adjust, they know the game. There are some kids that are great athletes, but they just don’t have the awareness of the game and it takes them a while to get it. So we’ve got a lot of different possibilities combination-wise.

Q. Before the first game, do you try to assess how nervous maybe your younger players are, if they’re overwhelmed? What do you look for during warmups?
COACH PATERNO: If they’re not nervous, I’m nervous. They’re bound to be nervous. If you’re talking about a kid that has been in a game or something like that. Even those kids will be nervous. Coaches are nervous. Players are nervous. You’re a freshman just coming out of high school, you go into that stadium, if they weren’t nervous, I’d be worried about it.
I think you got to be nervous going into a football game. If you’re not on edge, I don’t know. So, yeah, they’re going to be nervous, and I’m not going to worry about it. But somebody gives them a shot in the head, their nervousness will be over.

Q. How has Chris Colasanti’s role changed?
COACH PATERNO: I think it will be pretty much the same. Why do you ask that question?

Q. They were talking media day he was going to redshirt this season.
COACH PATERNO: Well, we haven’t made up our mind anybody we’re going to redshirt yet. I mean, I’m hoping everybody’s trying to make the football team. We have 12 games. This is a long year. I don’t see anybody. Now, we have some kids we had to put on the scout team in order to assimilate what Akron can do. But even there when I talked to them my stipulation was, You get on that scout team, do the best you can, get us ready for this one, and in the meantime we’re going to give, you know, make sure you get some shots doing the things we’re doing so that, you know, you’re not going be redshirted or anything else right now. So we haven’t made that decision. I don’t know where that came from.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, coach.
COACH PATERNO: Okay, guys.

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Tuesday Cup of Joe: Akron Edition

A couple of notes coming out of Joe Paterno’s first teleconference of the season.

The news coming out is that reserve defensive tackle Brandon Ware, who is listed as Jared Odrick’s backup is done for at least 3-4 weeks with a broken bone in his foot. Paterno said the injury was suffered Monday in practice and Ware injured it in a non-contact drill. Paterno said he was running and the leg gave out.

The initial diagnosis is 3-4 weeks, but Paterno said that probably means more like 4-5 weeks.

  • Paterno said cornerback A.J. Wallace has followed the rules he put in place for him regarding grades and Wallace may indeed see the field on Saturday. He is listed as the backup to Knowledge Timmons
  • Chris Jacquemain, the Akron QB will present problems, Joe likes the Zips offensive line. “We’ll have our hands full with him.”
  • Joe said he thinks the Oline has made great strides, but until they get into a game, he isn’t sure what he has yet. He said they have a little better feel on Akron than his own kids. He isn’t sure if Akron will use a 3-5 or 4-3 defensive alignment, either one will challenge PSU.
  • Freshmen will see “some time” but isn’t sure how much. “How much is some? Is that eight plays? Ten plays?”
  • Joe and the staff have thrown a lot of things at Kevin Newsome in preparing for this week, and he isn’t sure until Newsome and Matt McGloin get a game or two more under their belt to see where they are.
  • Joe says Colin Wagner will be fine as the kicker, said he was very close to Kevin Kelly last season.
  • About the practice rule, Paterno said they haven’t gone the full 20 hours, they usually go 17.5, 18 hours. He said he cannot speak for what is going on at Michigan.
  • Joe said he is looking forward to getting back on the sideline, he doesn’t know if he will run out of the tunnel, but he’s been jogging on the practice field.
  • Powell and Green will handle kickoff returns, Royster and Astorino will do punts.
  • Joe said having Clark with an inexperienced O-line is a plus, but they have to be careful with how much they do with Clark now since the backups are inexperienced.
  • No decisions on redshirts yet, including linebacker Chris Colasanti, who told reporters at media day he would be redshirting. Paterno said guys moved over to the practice squad and and have been helping the team get ready for Akron.

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PSU Depth Chart

Penn State has released its depth chart for the season opener against Akron and the biggest questions have been answered for now.

Your starting offensive line is as follows:

LT Dennis Landolt

LG Matt Stankiewitch

C Stefen Wisniewski

RG Lou Eliades

RT DeOn’Tae Pannell

Derek Moye, Graham Zug and Brett Brackett are the listed as the starting receivers, there is not a mention of a freshman receiver on the depth chart right now.

Kevin Newsome is Daryll Clark’s backup, no shocker there.

Tight End is still an “Or” spot, with Andrew Quarless and Mickey Shuler.

Over on defense, Jerome Hayes and Jack Crawford get the nod at the end spots. They will go with Sean Lee and Navorro Bowman as the outside linebackers and Josh Hull in the middle, as expected with Mike Mauti’s injury.

The corners are Knowledge Timmons and D’Anton Lynn, with Drew Astorino and Nick Sukay as the safeties. Of note, A.J. Wallace is listed as Timmons’ backup, again there are no freshmen listed behind either cornerback. Freshman Gerald Hodges is the third team “Hero.”

Chaz Powell and Stephfon Green are the return men, again no freshmen are listed here either.

As expected Colin Wagner secured the starting kicking spot.

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Spring concerns for JoePa

Joe Paterno just wrapped up his portion of the Big Ten teleconference…there is some news coming out of it.

  • Paterno said that cornerback A.J. Wallace pulled a hamstring the other day at practice and that he is concerned with how the secondary has looked overall. He said that Drew Astorino has looked sharp this spring, but there is a “long way to go,” before they are a good secondary.
  • Paterno said he is also a little concerned about the leadership aspect of this team because they have focused so much of the spring on getting guys ready to fill in for graduated players.
  • There is no injury to receiver Chaz Powell according to Paterno. A report from FightOnState  says other wise.
  • Joe said he wasn’t worried about all the talk of the non-conference schedule saying he didn’t even know who was on the schedule after Akron.
  • He also reiterated that Florida State’s Bobby Bowden should keep the 14 wins he may have to forfeit in the wake of another FSU scandal. Paterno said Bowden “earned” those wins.

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