Joe Paterno Press Conference

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Coach Paterno


Coach Paterno

Nov. 2, 2010

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; -

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Q. Who do you plan to start at quarterback?
COACH PATERNO: I would have bet a hundred bucks that would be the first question. We are going to let them have a little fun this week, let them compete, and then we'll make a decision later on in the week.

We are fortunate in that all of a sudden we have got a couple of kids that can get the job done for us, and for themselves, obviously.

So, I think we let them compete and at the end of the week, and decide who is going to start. I would imagine that maybe we'll probably have to re-think as far as only playing one kid; maybe that we would want to play both, since they are both young kids to try to get them some experience.

Q. Chaz Powell started at corner against Michigan for you. Can you assess his play and also Malcolm Willis's?
COACH PATERNO: Well, Morris didn't play a lot (vs. Michigan).

Chaz has got a ways to go. He's got his personal, public...Chaz is doing fine. The one thing he's got to do, as I've said a couple of times, he's got to learn to concentrate on every play. He had a good game Saturday and we'll see how it goes.

Morris is obviously a good football player. He's played a lot. He had a little bit of a slump there for a ballgame or two, so we decided to give him...to keep him out.

But they are...I think they will both compete.

Q. Will Jack Crawford have a chance to play this weekend, and how do you think the defensive line has come along given the injuries you've had there?
COACH PATERNO: Well, I think we are all right. We are getting better. We still have a ways to go in the areas you talked about.

We've just got to...hopefully we don't have any more injuries and we get a setback. I hope we can stay healthy and we can have some intense practices so that they can get a little bit better.

But, we have gotten better. We really have. The kids have worked hard and they are starting to feel a little better about themselves...a little bit more confidence. And, so hopefully, we'll go from there.

Q. Do you expect Jack Crawford to be a factor this weekend?
COACH PATERNO: Well, I don't know yet. Jack has not practiced yet. I hope he will do something today. Neither he nor (Eric) Latimore have done anything for almost two weeks.

They both would have been first string defensive ends for us if they had stayed healthy. I think we just have to see if they can do some things today. They are going to try to do some things today.

Q. What kind of recruiting interest did you have in Dan Persa, the Northwestern quarterback and what are your impressions of him now and their offense?
COACH PATERNO: Well, you know, he's an Allentown kid. We probably looked at him. In fact, I know we looked at him and for some reason or other, maybe we decided there was somebody else around that would be a little bit better, I don't know. But he certainly has become one of the better quarterbacks, I think, in the country.

He's a good student, good kid, hard worker. He's made some big plays for Northwestern and has been a big difference for them in a lot of games.

Now, I don't know, I haven't heard any word as to whether that injury he had last Saturday is going to keep him out of our ballgame or not. But I would imagine they will do everything he can since he would be coming home, coming back to Pennsylvania, back to where he played high school ball and I'm sure would like to be able to compete.

But he sure has...he's a good player. He really is.

Q. We talked earlier in the year about how the team seemed to at times need a little bit more enthusiasm and such. The way Matt McGloin has played, he seems to play with that. Do you get a sense really that the guys really feed off him in that regard at all?
COACH PATERNO: Well, I think Matt did show a lot of enthusiasm. Obviously he's had some success. But I think the whole team is starting to feel a little better about themselves.

They were anxious to play the ballgame last Saturday. We had had a good week of practice. I think I may have said that to some of the guys. And I think they are feeling better about themselves.

We are not home free yet...would be foolish to say we are. But we are getting better, and that's all you can ask. If your kids go out there and work hard and try to take care of the little things and learn how to adjust to certain things that only experience teaches them, and then when they go through some of it and they have some success, well, they start to feel good about themselves. And they are starting to feel good about themselves.

Q. I know every time we ask you about milestones, you tend to poo poo them a little bit. Just wondering how you feel about getting your 400th win as it gets closer?
COACH PATERNO: Well, I try not to get involved in that. I don't...you know, I don't go home and think about what we've done. I go home and worry about what we've got to get done.

So I don't...I think the kids are getting better. They are feeling good about themselves and I think that we are making progress. That's the thing that I'm pleased with.

As far as a win someplace down the line or what have you, I really don't think of it.

Q. Is it a disadvantage, do you think, to your opponent, even if you can put a kernel of doubt as to who you can play at quarterback, as far as the opponent preparation is concerned?
COACH PATERNO: I don't know how to answer that. All I can do is tell you what I thought. I think we have got two good kids and we are going to work at it, period.

Q. You don't think it makes it difficult for Northwestern to prepare because they don't know for sure?
COACH PATERNO: Well, they have got to be ready regardless. McGloin had to be ready a week or so ago when the other kid (Bolden) got banged up. He had to go in there and he did well. And I think Bolden has to be ready to go if we decide to start McGloin; and McGloin, if we decide to start Bolden and I think McGloin has to be ready to go.

I think they are both very conscientious kids that are serious about getting better, and they work hard at it and the kids on the team respect both of them. They have different personalities, but they both have their own way of leading and so I don't ...there's not a heck of a lot of difference, really. Bolden is a taller kid. Maybe he throws the ball a little...has a little stronger arm. McGloin can do a couple of other things.

I think we have two kids that are going to compete, period. That's all I can say.

Q. Just to be clear, is Bolden completely over his injury? Is that a non factor in whatever competition he'll have with McGloin this week?
COACH PATERNO: I think he's completely over the injury. I talked to him...we didn't have a tough practice yesterday, but we practiced for about an hour and 20 minutes. And I said to him after practice, "How do you feel?" And he said, "fine."

Now, he was ready to go (last) Saturday. He could have played Saturday. I was very reluctant to play him on Saturday, regardless of what I was....I had my fingers crossed. Because I do think that concussions are very, very...they are hard to predict how certain kids are going to act, even though they test well and the doctors have leaned over backwards to make sure he was okay.

But you know, you go in there and get one jar and now he's set back for a long period of time. He's a young kid and I don't want him to get shell-shocked. But he came out of practice yesterday feeling really good, and so I think he's over the hump. We'll see how it goes today.

Q. Were you surprised to learn that McGloin was the first former walk on quarterback ever to start for you and why is it especially tough for a walk on to become a starter at that position?
COACH PATERNO: Was I surprised? Is he? I never never asked. Never occurred to me. Nobody ever told me. Thank you. (Laughter).

Q. This week, I know you're not making much of the 400, but the last couple of days, have you gotten more than usual phone calls from other coaches and former players?
COACH PATERNO: Geez, no. I haven't talked to anybody. Nobody's called me; I haven't called them. The only one I've talked to well, I've talked to some guys just on a social thing, but Greg Schiano and I have talked a couple of times because he wanted to make sure he was doing everything he should for their kid (Eric LeGrand) who got hurt.

But other than that, I haven't talked to anybody.

Q. You've tried to I guess down play what it (400 wins) means for you personally, but for the Penn State program itself, is there a significance there?
COACH PATERNO: Well, what's significant?

Q. Approaching 400 wins.
COACH PATERNO: Oh, for....hey, I've been around enough wins. I'm only concerned about these kids getting some wins while they are in college. They are only in college for four years. I've been here for four plus a couple more.

Q. Did you feel that Bolden was progressing well week to week to week before he got injured? How do you feel his development went?
COACH PATERNO: Well, I thought he was getting better all the time. When he got hurt, he was having a good day. I think he had eight or 10 passes completed (first nine, 11 of 13).

I think Bolden has got a very promising future. But again, I keep going back to the fact that there were two things there; we got so many key injuries. We are playing with a tackle playing end now, offensive end (Nate Cadogan). We have had some kids bumped up on the offensive line; and plus the fact that we have lost a kid like (Lou) Eliades, who was one of the few kids that had experience. And this kid had to come in there and he had to get the job done.

And I thought he got better each week, and so I think it's a credit to him that he had made progress. That's one of the reasons I'm reluctant to get up here and say, "hey, somebody beat him out," because I'm not sure anybody has beat him out.

Q. Would you be concerned about Rob's mental approach going forward if he lost the job because of an injury, perhaps?
COACH PATERNO: No, I think he's a mature guy. I think he's a very good team man. I think he understands he's not anywhere near as good as he can be someday, and that he'll go into practice and try to get better.

Q. Can you talk about the job that Pat Fitzgerald has done at Northwestern and can you talk about what makes Northwestern such a unique team to prepare for, especially the way their offense is?
COACH PATERNO: Well, the last part of it, they have always been a good not always been a good as good as they are right now on offense, but the quarterback has made a big difference in their offense.

But going back through the year,s when they beat us, they beat us one year when they went to the Rose Bowl (1995). I don't know whether it was the year they went to Rose Bowl or what, but we played them a couple of years ago; but they beat us one year and Fitzgerald played on that team.

So I've known him; I haven't known him personally until he became the coach at Northwestern, but I've known what kind of a competitor he is. I think he's done a heck of a job with Northwestern. I think when you're around him, you're impressed with him. He's very, very self effacing but very confident and you can sense it in him.

I think he does a great job on motivating his kids. And I don't know whether their offense is any different in some other places, but they execute well, are disciplined and they don't beat themselves.

So I think those kinds of things you see in a lot of there's a lot of good coaches in this league; Pat is certainly one of them.

Q. With McGloin, he's been pretty much buried on this depth chart until the Minnesota game a couple of weeks ago. What has he done to jump from No. 3 quarterback to now compete for the starting job?
COACH PATERNO: Well, do you have somebody else in mind?

Q. Not really.
COACH PATERNO: Well, you know, we had a bunch of freshmen out there and he's the oldest guy of the group. He was red shirted as a freshman, even though he's a walk on.

I think McGloin is a competitor. He probably turned down a couple of schools with scholarships to come here. He's all been kind of a live wire. I liked him. I think he's got ability. How far he goes will depend on whether he can stay healthy and whether we can start to get a football team that's going to stay intact physically and starts to be able to do some little things a little better than we may have done in a couple of ball games, make a couple more plays than we have not made.

Q. In practice this week, with Bolden and McGloin, do you plan on splitting the repetitions between them any differently than you have?
COACH PATERNO: Geez, I don't know how many ways I can say it. We are going to go out there and they are going to compete.

That means one guy takes the team for three plays and the next guy takes the team for three plays. Is that the question you're

Q. Well, you know, when you have a clear No. 1, they are getting more reps in practice, so will they get equal reps this week?
COACH PATERNO: I said they are going to compete on an equal basis.

Q. After what happened last week at Notre Dame's practice facility, have you taken a look at some of your safety measures?
COACH PATERNO: Absolutely. We don't let them go out if it's 30 mile an hour, even though I think Pat Foley (team video coordinator) could handle about 70 miles; to blow him over will take a little bit more.

No, that's a shame. I shouldn't make a joke of that. That's not funny. It's one of those things that you don't really...you never expect it to happen. And I feel bad about the people involved with that thing, and then obviously the kid and his family, a young man who everybody is....some people who knew the situation said that he's a really good kid. You know, Notre Dame was proud of him. Things go from bad to worse and you get licked on Saturday and the whole bit.

Somebody said to me, "well, that's too bad about Notre Dame," and tongue in cheek. Well, I think it is bad. I think Notre Dame has been the epitome of what good college football has been for as long as I've been a kid. I can still remember lying on the couch listening to the Ohio State-Notre Dame game with a guy by the name of (William) Shakespeare that played for Notre Dame (1933-35).

That could happen to anybody. There are a lot of things that can happen. Do you try to prevent them? Yeah. We've got an overhead camera that we use a lot. Whether we would use it on certain occasions or not, I don't know.

You know, there's a lot of people involved in an operation. We go out and practice and one of the years, when I open up practice, you see 10, 12 managers, young kids running around, they all have a job to do. Some are taking bags and putting them in places for the coaches. Some of them are to help them with the photographing practice. There's so many of them doing things. It's very difficult to make sure everybody is in safe areas. I don't know.

So I feel for...I really, it's a tragedy. And hopefully that would be something we could avoid. Whether, having said that, you never know. You never know.

Q. You've been deflecting the milestone 400, but nobody in Division I history has ever done it, and nobody may ever after you. Could you just talk about what has kept you going? Was there a point I got out this old article and it says your last year might be in 1991. I'd say it was me that misinterpreted it, but it was the AP. (laughter) Was there a point where you thought about maybe are you surprised that you've gone
COACH PATERNO: Oh, every once in awhile. Sometimes you wonder whether you're doing a job my commitment to what I've done and with my life is to try to develop some things with some people, to give you an example as to how you can do some things and do them right and also have an impact on some other people.

Football to me has been a vehicle by which I can have some impact on some people in a very impressionable part of their lives. I was fortunate and I had that in a high school coach and I was fortunate I had that in a college coach. I was fortunate I had that in my father (Angelo) who was a very unselfish man. My father started the Anti Defamation League (ADL) in New York to go to bat for African-Americans in the service (military). That was back in 1945. And I still have a speech he gave (against) the defamation.

So that's my background. But every once in awhile, you wonder whether somebody couldn't do a better job for the people that I'm responsible for. But you know, I've not ever gotten to the point where I have felt, "hey, I'm going to get out of this thing." But it's going to come. I mean, that's why I don't get excited about 400 if it happens because, geez, you hang around long enough (chuckling), all right? How many years I been the head coach, 40? You know, you've got to win a couple of games in that time.

I really don't give it much thought. It won't make much difference if I win 390 or 400. That won't make any difference.

Q. As you just said, you've coached a lot of football games. What's the most enjoyable thing on game day for you, other than getting a win?
COACH PATERNO: Well, it's very invigorating. You know, obviously there are some games that you're out of it. You just, you lost control. You lose control of it; whereas, you can have an impact on the outcome of it because the other guy is just a lot better than you are or you've made some mistakes getting your club ready. You know it right away, because none of us are perfect tacticians.

But generally the fun is just the competition. When you're in a ballgame, you've got to make this play, you've got to do that, you've got to say the right thing to the kids, you've got to make them understand what they have got to do to win.

I mean, it's all I don't know what the word is, stimulating maybe is the best way to put it. You know, during the week, you fret, you worry, you gripe. You go home, and you don't talk because you're thinking a little bit. But when it comes game day, it's fun.

 

 

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