UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The 2010 offseason may not officially end until Saturday at noon, but in the eyes of media covering the Nittany Lion football team, it ended on Tuesday afternoon at Beaver Stadium.
Hall of Fame head coach Joe Paterno walked into the first weekly press conference at 12:20, 10 minutes prior to the announced start time. Eager to get things started, Coach Paterno sat down in front of the microphone and officially kicked off the 2010 football season.
Like is the procedure at every weekly press conference, the first few questions come from media members who have called in on the phone. Rich Scarcella from the Reading Eagle, who has the honor of kicking things off every Tuesday afternoon, began with a question about what else, the quarterback situation. Coach Paterno responded with a statement on the most intriguing question heading into Saturday's opener.
"There isn't anybody who has played much," Coach Paterno said. "We can't make up our mind. We were going to try to make it up last week, and then I said, 'No, let's make sure we know what we're doing.' So we'll probably make up our mind in the next day or two, we'll start, but we'll probably play a couple of kids."
The coaching staff is still in its evaluation period and not quite ready to name the starter. All three players - Matt McGloin, Kevin Newsome and Robert Bolden - continue to all take snaps with the first and second team at practice.
"So we're just playing it by day‑by‑day, and that's one of the reasons why we're so late in making a selection," Coach Paterno said. "I think potentially there's talent there. But right now it's not ‑‑ they're just not that comfortable yet and we'll have to see what happens. Obviously we have to make a decision to start one of them. And we, hopefully, will maybe do it tomorrow night."
We will continue to await word on the starting quarterback. Like I mentioned in the Monday Mailbag for this week, look for all three quarterbacks to see time on Saturday. It will be the first true opportunity to see all three in a game situation, other than a few snaps for Newsome and McGloin in 2009. Stay tuned.
Press Conference Nuggets:
- Coach Paterno noted that Chaz Powell has moved back to the offensive side of the ball. Despite being listed as a starting cornerback on the latest depth chart, Powell will has been practicing on offense the last few days. He is a versatile player; so do not be surprised to see him used in a variety of ways this fall.
- Brett Brackett and Ollie Ogbu have been named captains for the 2010 squad. The team voted on Monday, with the official word coming on Tuesday morning. Both Brackett and Ogbu were thrilled with the announcement and are very well respected in the locker room. They will lead the program very well this fall.
- Outside of the quarterback situation, much of the preseason talk has focused on the offensive line. Coach Paterno seems very pleased with the progress the group has made heading into Saturday's season opener.
"If they get a little bit more comfortable and anticipate some things a little bit better, I think we'll get better. But as of now we're very encouraged. We're encouraged. We're not home free yet. We go out there and sometimes work against the offensive line, works against some of our downed defensive guys they have some problems. But I think overall we've made strides, and I think inside and at tight end obviously is going to be a little bit of a problem for us for a while. But I think even there we're getting better. We're getting better."
- The final coats of paint were being added to the meticulous Beaver Stadium Sod on Tuesday afternoon. The season is now just four days away. We can't wait.