Tag Archives: Deon’tae Pannell

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.”


  • 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: Chi-town edition

Penn State head coach Joe Paterno has concluded his weekly chit-chat with beat reporters. Here’s the info you need.

THE BIG NEWS: Running back Stephfon Green is “probably” out again this week against Northwestern.

THE BIG NEWS II: Joe says he is somewhat worried about the leadership of older players because they have had so few “big games”…but Joe says when he sees the interaction at practice and the prep for the week he thinks they can be really good sometimes. He said he felt that way going into Michigan.

THE BIG NEWS PART III: “Each game I am more worried about the kicking game,” says Joe. That coming after another punt was blocked this past weekend.

THE BIG NEWS PART IV: It’s McCormick and Poti for the RT spot, meanwhile DeOn’Tae Pannell has been moved over to LT to back up Dennis Landolt. Joe said Pannell is getting healthier and McCormick will be OK.

JOE-SPEAK: Joe said it’s a question of “IF” they can beat Northwestern, not who they have the week after. OK, sir.

JOE SPEAK II: “Haven’t got the slightest idea,” about the Northwestern defense.


  • Joe says Navorro Bowman is fine.
  • The team is getting to where it needs to be for the stretch run (they are getting very, very warm right now. Very warm)
  • Joe noticed Ron Vanderlinden when he was Pat Fitzgerald’s linebacker coach at Northwestern. “I wondered who was coaching the linebackers” Joe said referring to the way Fitz played.
  • Joe doesn’t think that Daryll Clark has gotten as much credit as he deserves, and he says the same for Jared Odrick and Navorro Bowman. (Isn’t it the school’s responsibility to pimp its players? There has been plenty written about all three of those guys the last two years. Put out some promotional work…trust me, everyone on the team understands there are players who are better than they are.)
  • Northwestern is somewhat of a trap game. Joe says they are totally focused on the Wildcats and not thinking of anyone else at this point.
  • About JC transfers, Joe says they look for kids who will go to class and do well there, he said both Poti and McCormick have done that, and he cited Rich Mauti as a good example of how JC transfers work.
  • Quarless was spoiled, but he is turning the corner.
  • Joe says that Zug has gotten more opportunities and has done well. Said that people are “scared to death” of Powell and Moye, leaving Zug open.
  • Mike Kafka “knows what the game is all about,” says Joe, adding he’s been there for a while.
  • Brandon Beachum understands his role and the running game. Joe added he was a great linebacker in HS. Don’t get any wise ideas old man.
  • You’ve got to be careful with back-to-back road trips. Joe said the two previous ones haven’t been as long…note that last week, the flight from State College to Detroit is very easy. Takes maybe an hour and fifteen. From here in Harrisburg its a very short trip. This is a very good point made by Joe.
  • Joe said the weather plays a role in how they assess the team they are playing and what they can do in whatever weather. (I don’t think weather played a role last week, PSU is just better)

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Tuesday Cup of Joe: FCS Edition

Penn State head coach Joe Paterno has wrapped up his weekly teleconference.

The big news: Right tackle Nerraw McCormick is unlikely to play this weekend against EIU. He was hurt against Illinois but as Paterno said, “gutted it out,” and continued to play. Backup DeOn’Tae Pannell has an ankle injury. Sean Lee is unlikely to play this week vs. EIU. Joe said it wouldn’t matter who they were playing, Lee ain’t going to make it.


  • The running game is making progress despite a young OL and Illinois was afraid of the pass. Whether or not they can follow up, Joe doesn’t know, he thinks EIU will blitz a lot and will force them to do some things like Temple, Syracuse and Akron did.
  • Joe doesn’t know what’s going on at FSU with Bowden, so he declined comment.
  • There are a lot of players banged up, so Joe would like to have a bye week, but it is what it is. He would have liked to have a 12th game, but play it after Michigan State, but it was his understanding they could not do that.
  • Joe goes over all the transfers EIU has, and mentions Devlin saying he could play two years.
  • DTs getting worn out: Odrick is a tough guy to get out of there, Ogbu has come out, Still is doing well, they are trying to work in kids behind Ogbu. Joe felt Brandon Ware (called him Derrick) would be the guy there, but he has been hurt (Ware is coming back vs. Minnesota)
  • Joe has no reaction to the Bowden situation when asked on a follow up.
  • Joe thinks Jeremy Boone has been a successful competitor and the coaching staff really appreciates him.
  • Devon Smith, Chris Colasanti, Brent Carter and Stephfon Green, Nerraw McCormick, DeOn’Tae Pannell, are all banged up, outside of McCormick, Joe expects the rest to play.
  • Stephfon Green had a tendency to think he could outrun everyone to the sideline, but he’s settled down, and Galan Hall has done a good job with him trying to get him to understand the basics.
  • Joe lists the other schools that are playing I-AA schools and he said they had an opportunity to play a 12th game, which means money to support the other programs at PSU. They went out, looked around, EIU had a good amount of tradation and it “worked out.”
  • Joe doesn’t know if they tried to trade EIU for a I-A team like they did Arkansas State-Oregon State last year.
  • The 12th game is “strictly a financial situation determined by people in higher places than the head football coach”
  • Fantastic exchange between Joe and Cory Giger about the merits of playing EIU and if it’s worth it to fans and everyone involved in pumping money into the game and program.
  • Joe isn’t happy running Clark, and won’t be. He said that he won’t be happy until the kids behind Clark get better so they are comfortable in case something happens to Clark.
  • Kevin Newsome has not gotten enough game experience this year. But he’s getting a lot of reps in practice, getting a better feel for things. “I wish we could have gotten him playing more.”
  • “We’re going to lean on the side of being too conservative” re: Lee’s injury.
  • Eliades is doing well, he’s getting better. “We’re a long way from being where we have to be.”
  • Joe said that Lee will play when it’s right for him to play.
  • Stephon Morris wouldn’t usually start but they like him because he’s aggressive and he’s going to be a good player.

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Tuesday Cup of Joe: “Uh Oh” edition

Joe Paterno wrapped up his weekly teleconference. Perhaps the biggest news coming out of it is the change at right tackle where Nerraw McCormick is expected to start vs. Illinois in place of DeOn’Tae Pannell, who was beated badly on the safety last Saturday night.

Joe said McCormick has been “working hard and deserves a shot,” against Illinois and prefaced that by saying he would start if the game was tomorrow.

Other highlights.

  • Joe can’t put his finger on one thing t hat caused the disaster that was Saturday. Turnovers, field position, he doesn’t want to take away from what the Iowa D did to his team.
  • He is disappointed in the kicking game, said the punt block reminded him of ’82 vs. Alabama when they blocked their own punt.
  • Joe is really concerned with the turnovers. “You have five turnovers, I’m including the block punt as one of the turnovers, you’re going to lose most games you play, I don’t care who you play.”
  • The offensive line isn’t one particular thing, there’s lot of things causing this team problems. “Nobody likes to get licked,” yes they do Joe, yes they do.
  • Sean Lee’s playing time is a medical decision. He didn’t practice Monday, won’t practice today. It’s a day-to-day thing. Joe said Lee keeps saying he can go, but it’s the doctor’s call.
  • No Anthony Fera on kickoffs, Joe thinks Colin Wagner has done an OK job, hitting 65 yards per kickoff. (Yeah, but field goals…come on Joe, give Fera a chance)
  • Joe said they have to “find out if we have some fighters, it’s as simple as that.”
  • Joe thinks the defensive line played well on Saturday and they harassed Ricky Stanzi enough. (No they didn’t, there is no constant pass rush, that Iowa OL killed them up front)
  • Joe praises Juice Williams, said he will be tough this week.
  • If you have expectations for the national title, you have to be ready to handle disappointment.
  • “What’s going to happen from here on in we have to make it happen. I don’t expect the fans to lower their expectations”
  • Joe thinks Wisniewski is getting better and they don’t have anybody better than him to play center. “He’s doing alright”
  • Brandon Ware is two weeks away from playing (he could go vs. EIU per my contacts)
  • Corner/nickelback Stephon Morris will be a very good player some day (agreed)
  • The team has to get together and figure out what they need to do to get better.
  • “A good tough game like Saturday will help a young team”
  • “It may be a good time to take them on the road”

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Tuesday Cup of Joe: ‘Cuse edition

Joe Paterno has wrapped up his weekly chat with the media, among the highlights from the Beaver Stadium media room as the newly annoited No. 7 (AP), and No. 5 (Coaches’) prepare for Syracuse.

The big news coming out of the presser was Joe’s update on linebacker Navorro Bowman. Bowman did not practice on Monday, Paterno said he has swelling in his muscle (groin), he will not practice Tuesday and Joe isn’t sure if he will go on Saturday against Syracuse.

Other highlights from the presser.

  • Joe said that he can’t remember a player who transferred like Paulus has gone from one place to another from basketball to football.
  • The running game did OK vs. Akron.
  • Overall Paulus played really well against Minnesota. “He’s obviously a really good athlete. He’s not quite as comfortable in the pocket as you would expect him not to be having not played.”
  • Jerome Hayes, taking everything into account, Joe feels he played well.
  • Joe can’t tell you why the Syracuse program has deteriorated. He recalls some of the earlier games in his coaching career against the Orange. Joe feels they have the right combo with Doug Marrone, he is recalling tradition more, good job recruiting, there’s no reason why they cannot be one of the better teams around. Joe expects them to recover and get back to where they once were.
  • Thought Knowledge Timmons played well and there is no change at quarterback (Timmons and AJ Wallace play the same spot).
  • On Devon Smith: He’s a good athlete, tough kid. They debated how much they wanted to play him in the first game.  Joe didn’t want him on the kickoff team but he “got out-voted.”
  • Nick Sukay can learn from the TD pass he was burnt on.
  • Evan Royster will remain the top punt returner. Joe thinks that Royster can help more returning punts than he can carrying the ball five more times when they have Stephf Green
  • In Joe’s experience, the better teams make the most improvement from week 1-2. They improve things like jitters, timing, new wideouts, confidence develops. Have to build on first game.
  • Joe recalls Floyd Little returning three punts against PSU “He waved to me,” Paterno joked.
  • On the guard play on the OL: He thought they played well, but not perfect and didn’t expect it to be perfect.”
  • Odrick makes players around him better by what he does.
  • Joe rehashes the old Big East talk and how things fell apart and the meeting in a Conn. airport and how the Big East wanted PSU for just basketball and Joe was not in favor. Joe says Pitt pulled the rug from under PSU.
  • There’s no “eastern” football anymore, it’s all “jumbled up” according to Joe.

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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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Observations from PSU’s scrimmage

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-The first team offensive line had DeOn’Tae Pannell at left tackle, Matt Stankiewitch at left guard, Stefen Wisniewski at center, Lou Eliades at right guard and Dennis Landolt at right tackle. Daryll Clark and Evan Royster started in the backfield, with Graham Zug, Brett Brackett and Chaz Powell as the apparent starters with James McDonald, Derek Moye and A.J. Price all getting reps with both first and second teams. There does not appear to be a set duo or trio of starters

-First team defense was Kevion Latham and Jack Crawford at the ends, Jared Odrick and Ollie Ogbu inside. Mike Mauti, Josh Hull and Navarro Bowman were the linebackers. Sean Lee was held out of contact during the scrimmage and will do so all spring. The secondary had A.J. Wallace and Knowledge Timmons at the corners with Andrew Dailey at free safety and Drew Astorino at strong safety. The second team defensive line had Pete Massaro and Eric Latimore at the ends with Devon Still and Abe Koroma inside. Bani Gbadyu, Chris Colasanti and Nate Stupar at the linebackers and a secondary of D’Anton Lynn and Devin Fentress at the corners and Cedric Jeffries and Nick Sukay at the safety spots.

-Jon Ditto, a one-time tight end, worked out with the linebackers.

-On the first play the first team offense ran, tight end Andrew Quarless jumped. It appears the starting tight end spot is up for grabs between Quarless and East Pennsboro’s Mickey Shuler. Shuler made a nice grab on a throw from McGloin and later on a beautiful throw from Clark scored.

-Chaz Powell has inherited the Derrick Williams role, even his No. 2. Powell lined up in the backfield on several snaps.

-Harrisburg’s Brandon Ware had a strong showing taking down reserve lineman Jonathan Stewart to pressure the quarterback and later knocking down a pass at the line of scrimmage.

-Kevion Latham and Kevin Newsome were shaken up on two different plays, but both returned to the scrimmage.

-Jared Odrick abused James Terry working against the second team offense and appeared very quick off the ball.

-Newsome appeared to be talking to the defensive unit on the field and a small scrum broke out on the play in which Latham was shaken up.

-On Shuler’s touchdown reception, Clark rolled slightly to his right, then turned and looked left, Shuler made a backward fall move to snag the pass.

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