April 25, 2009
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22 Evan Royster
Q: What do you take out of the spring for yourself?
A: It's just another chance to make myself better. They are starting to use me a little bit more in the receiving package. Just like everybody else, I am trying to learn stuff, relearn stuff, and add on to what I know already.
Q: What does the spring game mean for this team?
A: It's really a chance for everybody to learn what they need to do. Some people play new positions and it gives them a chance to get out there and show what they can do.
Q: Difference in you confidence-wise from this time last year to now?
A: There is a big difference. As a leader of this team, I need to show my confidence. Last year, I would still get butterflies going into some games, and I'd be nervous. But this year, I can't have that. I have to lead the team out and make sure nobody else is feeling the jitters. With this crowd, knowing that they are behind us, and having the experience of playing in front of these crowds, definitely helps.
Q: Replacing a lot of pieces on offense this season. What is your assessment of the offense today? Are you where you want to be?
A: We proved that we do have some guys who can step up and fill the shoes of guys like Derek Williams, Deon Butler. Other than that, our offensive line had a good day going against our defensive line. Our defensive line was great. Our front seven on defense is probably one of the best in the country right now. We proved that we are going to be a good offense and our defense should be scary.
17 Daryll Clark
Q: Can you talk about the guys stepping up as wide outs, Brackett, Zug, Powell, Moye, compared to what it was like last year with the three guys who were veterans?
A: We had veterans last year playing for a while. The first few practices in the spring were weird without some guys being here. But I thought this was a very beneficial spring. The guys really stepped up and made a lot of plays. As you guys saw today, they looked really comfortable out there with getting open and catching the ball. I am really thrilled with how they played today and can't wait for the season to start.
Q: Anybody that took you by surprise? Made a real impression on you?
A: I kind of knew that this would be a good day. I was very proud of the back-up quarterbacks--all of them. They all did a really good job. They managed the ball well and threw it well.
Q: Where do you see the race to back-up you between the two guys behind you?
A: It's a pretty tight race. Both of them are doing really good. Only time will tell, those guys will get a lot of reps during the preseason camp, too, so we'll see.
Q: Spoiled last year with offensive line? Do you see any struggles with the offensive line this fall?
A: I don't really see any struggles. We are a little in-experienced in some spots, but only repetition will change that. I am really excited about what we have in front of us. Someone asked me if this was a rebuilding year or a reloading year--I said this is a reloading year. We aren't rebuilding off of anything. We lost some seniors and what not, but the guys we need to step up, will step up--guarantee it.
61 Stefen Wisniewski
Q: Can you grade the O-line's performance?
A: I thought we did pretty well. I was happy with the first team especially. We had two really good drives to start off the game. We were moving the ball really well.
Q: Do you see the offensive line coming together?
A: I think it's coming together. It's certainly not there yet, but I definitely see progress. I'm excited about the progress we've been making. I think by the time we get into those big games next year, we'll be where we need to be.
Q: Coach Paterno said the first team played really well today. What is the reason for the change in his opinion from the last scrimmage?
A: I think the guys are just getting used to it all. We're seven or eight practices since that scrimmage. Those seven or eight practices have been great. Hearing things like, `The o-line looks shaky,' fired us up a little bit. It got us to come together and gave us the extra motivation to go out and dominate. I was pretty happy with the performance today.
42 Michael Mauti
Q: How do you feel about running with the first team after coming in early last year?
A: I think it's a great experience. I think any experience is good experience. Last spring I played safety and I think that helped me out. I got to play during the season, which helped me out a bit. I have the scheme down so now its just about playing football.
Q: Do you have any reservations about going for the starting spot?
A: I wouldn't say I have any reservations. Everyone knows that this is Linebacker U and we have a lot of depth and competition. We have a lot of young guys who made some nice plays today. It's spring and it's still early. We have summer camp so we'll see what happens in the fall.
73 Dennis Landolt
Q: What was the transition like from left to right tackle?
A: It wasn't much of an adjustment because I played left earlier in my career before I started. I played it in high school so it's pretty natural for me.
Q: What are your thoughts on the offensive line?
A: I think we've made a lot of progress this spring. We're starting to gel together. We have six or seven guys that can play any time. I think we're really starting to come together. I think we played well. The defense didn't blitz, but we handled the rush well. When we wanted to run the ball, we did a pretty good job.
#45 Sean Lee
Q: How did it feel to be back in uniform today, even though you did not play?
A: It felt good to be back out there with the team. Not being in uniform was pretty tough for me last year. It was exciting for me.
Q: What did you like from the linebackers today?
A: I thought they played really well. We played one defense all day, which changes things a little bit. They have played well all spring and they played really well in the game today. They are tough guys, I think they got a little nervous at first, but they picked it up as the game went on.
Q: Are Michael Mauti and Nathan Stupar ready to be impact players on this football team?
A: I would say we have a bunch of guys that are ready to play. I am sure there are things that they have to improve on, and getting into a game is a lot different from practice. It is faster and tougher to put things together in the run and pass game. I always see guys that are new to a system there are always going to have learning curves.
#43 Josh Hull
Q: What is it like to get back out there and play in this annual game?
A: It feels great to go out there and show off what we have after working so hard this spring. It gives the fans a little look into the future to see what there is to be excited about.
Q: What is it like to watch some of the younger guys out there having fun?
A: It is really fun to watch those young guys. They work hard day in and day out. As a veteran, just sitting back and watching progress the young guys are making. It's hard to believe I was in their shoes one time, but it's just really fun to watch now.
Q: Can you talk about the quarterback play today?
A: We have told you guys a lot, we have two quarterbacks that can play well behind Darryl Clark. Things were basic defensively, but they all did some really nice things. I am pretty happy.
Q: Can you talk about Kevin Newsome's development this spring?
A: Yes, he has done really well so far. You keep reminding yourself that he should be a senior in high school right now. When he was in high school, he wasn't in an offense that had a lot of passing so there wasn't a whole lot of exposure. He has picked it up pretty quickly.
Q: Do you get a sense that Darryl thinks that this is his team now?
A: Darryl felt that way last year. He kept saying, "Hey what is taking you so long?" He is able to assert himself now because he is the guy and he knows he is the guy. He has always been a leader even when he was not a starter three years ago.
#10 Andrew Quarless
Sr., Tight End
Q: Has there been any different attitude with you this offseason?
A: Definitely. I have been more committed and I have been working hard everyday in practice and playing every practice play like it's a game. That's how I have taken this entire offseason.
Q: What are some examples of how you have been different?
A: I think my main focus has been to step up more as a leader. I am a senior and I have found that it is important to stand up in a leadership role.
28 Drew Astorino
Q: What is the biggest adjustment that you experienced guys have to make now that some of the older guys are gone?
A: I think that it just comes with playing with each other. You have to know them and you have to talk. Talking is the biggest thing we are working on. If you are talking then you know where everyone is.
Q: What is next for you players?
A: We are going to take a little bit of time of now. We will hit summer workouts when we come back before the first session of summer classes.
Q: Are things coming easier for you this spring as opposed to last year?
A: Yeah, I am a little calmer. Especially in this spring game since last year was my first time playing in the spring game. I am looking at things a little differently and better and realizing what is going to happen to me before the play.
Q: How was having Sean Lee back on the team and not so much a coach this spring?
It was great. It was unfortunate that he hurt himself, but to get a chance to play an entire season with Sean is going to be a great experience. He is a leader on and off the field so it has been great.
#4 Knowledge Timmons
Q. With the Spring season now over, do you feel a sense of urgency to step up and get some playing time?
A. Yes, it is my last year. I am either going to continue to play football in the NFL or my football career will be over after this year and I don't want my career to be over. There is a crazy sense of urgency.
Q. What have you excelled at this spring to give you a shot at this season coming up?
A. I got stronger, faster and worked a lot on my cover skills. I became more of a student of the game. I watch film and watch other guys on the team practice. I put a lot more effort into this spring than my past four seasons. I think I am going to be ready for the season.
#5 Graham Zug
Q. How have the wide receivers been looking this spring?
A. I think we have done a great job. It is tough when you come in and have to fill the shoes of three really good receivers. I think the spring we really made progress.
Q. Has there been any pressure on you guys to do as well as last year's receivers?
A. Yeah, I think there is. We saw what was in the papers and on TV. People talked and said that we might be a weakness on the team. Our goal is to show that it isn't a weakness.
#1 A.J. Wallace
Q. Do you feel like you are one of the leaders of the secondary?
A. Absolutely, I feel as though if someone messes up I should be the one to go over to them and talk to them to make sure they stay mentally stable in the game.
Q. How have spring practices been going for you guys?
A. I think they have been going well. Everyone is coming full force though we have had some injuries. For the people who have been healthy they have all been smooth in practice and no one has been falling back anywhere. I feel that we have had a great spring.