November 24, 2010

Joe Paterno Press Conference Recap:
Michigan State Week

The long and short (but mostly the short) of Joe's presser from Tuesday.
  • Joe Paterno will return next season. Why this is a big deal, I'm not entirely sure. But he said he wants to return next season, because this team is shaping up to be really good in 2011. Joe pointed to the injuries and the youth, which is all accurate. Joe wants to reinforce the fact that with the three academic all-Americans, the program is still doing things the right way. Joe thinks that it should be somewhat his call, but he doesn't run the university. 
  • Andrew Dailey and Kevion Latham are listed as playing their last home game. So that's usually an indication that they won't be returning for their fifth year of eligibility. Joe said that's pretty much correct. But players have been known to come back after saying they're done.

  • The team will have somewhat of a normal day on Thanksgiving Day, but they will try to have a family dinner at the training table. They will encourage families to make travel arrangements. But it will be tough to take a full day off and still have a full week of practice. 
  • INJURIES: Doug Klopacz may not play, there's no word yet on his injured ankle from the Indiana game. Michael Mauti is still wearing a green cross jersey at practice, which means he can do some things at practice, but not go all-out or get tackled full force. 
  • John Urschel and Mike Farrell did really well in place of Chima Okoli and Sefen Wisniewski. 
  • Wisniewski will stay at center for the time being. 
  • DeOn'tae Pannell could have played last week, but since he was one of the players who missed the team meeting, it wouldn't have set the correct example for the team to play him. 
  • Wisniewski has been such a great student and example for the team, but sometimes he hasn't been able to exert the kind of leadership on the team that he could, due to his concentration on academics. 
  • Joe said, candidly, that it is important for Penn State to play, and possibly beat, a ranked team. It's good to face adversity, a tough team, and Penn State has done that this year. Now, late in the season, it's time to start putting it all together. 
  • The Big Ten is very, very good this year. Probably better than in recent seasons. 
  • Joe thinks Mark Dantonio is one of the better coaches around, in a league of good coaches. Joe called Bret Bielema and Pat Fitzgerald "kids," which is kind of funny. 
  • Michigan State didn't really sneak up on anyone. QB Kirk Cousins is very good, "probably as good a quarterback as we're going to play." 
  • Having down time as the team will this week (without classes) could cause some issues in terms of getting in trouble or losing focus. So the team has set up meetings, study halls and such. But this team has to take responsibility for itself and getting prepared to win this game. 
  • The senior leadership on this team isn't nearly as strong as past seasons, but that's due to the simple fact that there aren't any seniors in the class. There are eight guys graduating and moving on this year. It's a freshman and sophomore dominated team. 
  • Joe didn't really answer a question about why PSU has been so successful against MSU at home. He went on a typical Joe rant on something that happened 50 years ago. 
Full Transcript.

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  1. Do you think he will make it through the off season?

    He looks fragile and his speach is extremely slow!

  2. My concern is that he hasn't looked fully healthy very much this season at all. He always seems to be fighting some sort of illness.