Joe Paterno Press Conference Transcript


Q.  What can you tell us about how the quarterbacks are shaping up during the spring thus far?

COACH PATERNO:  How are the quarterbacks?  Well, I think they’re doing well.  Our problem is we try to go get the offensive line to do some things, and as a result we have not been very consistent.  But I think they’ve done a good job. I think there’s a lot of potential there.  And I think there’s a lot of potential on the offensive line.  But outside of a couple of kids, not many have played much, so they’re really struggling there on the tight end because of injuries.  But we’ll see what happens.

Q.  Can you talk about the weather, and what impact that’s had, being indoors, not outdoors?  Has that affected you a little bit?

COACH PATERNO:  It’s amazing.  I didn’t realize we were over here.  So I went to the other field and the sun was out.  By the time I got over here and I got out of the car, it was raining.  It is raining a little bit out there right now.

Well, thank goodness, I mean, really.  You know, we haven’t been outside yet, but I was hoping to get outside this weekend.  Not because of you guys, but because you can focus and show them a few more things.  And you have more room, and you don’t have to worry about running into people.

It’s funny how many high school coaches we’ll have here, but we’ll have a sizeable number.  Yeah, it’s not really hurt us in the areas we need to improve in, because the offensive line doesn’t need a lot of room.  But we’re working on stance and taking off and that kind of thing, so I don’t think it’s bothered us much. We’re not really where I want us to be, but I don’t think we can blame that on the weather.

Q.  Are you considering an open competition for the quarterback?

COACH PATERNO:  Yeah, I think there is competition.  There are three or four kids there, maybe four who can go.  The kid (Rob) Bolden is who most people are interested in because of the fact that he’s on the verge of playing, and he’s had a really good spring so far, as has Mac (Matt McGloin). I think those two are ahead of the other group, and those two make it tough right now.  I’m not sure which one’s playing better, and then we have a couple of other kids (Paul Jones and Kevin Newsome).

Q.  Do you think Bolden will be here in the fall?

COACH PATERNO:  Bolden?  I don’t know.  I think Bolden will be here.  That’s obviously something he’ll work out.  I’m certain that he’s easy to…I think he’s a good classmate.  It’s possible.  Will he stay?  I’ll try to convince him to give himself a shot in spring practice and see what happens. And it’s eight days now (of practice), so he’s doing well.  He’s a good leader out there.  He’s got some enthusiasm.  Looks like he’s having some fun.  So I’ve got my fingers crossed.

Q.  Have you talked to him (Bolden) about the situation since back in January or are you waiting until the end of spring?

COACH PATERNO:  I have not talked to him at all about it.  I assume he’s coming back.  If he doesn’t, then he doesn’t, whatever’s best for him.  But we’ll talk.  I hope we’ll talk.  If he decides to make any kind of decision, it would take it away from our program because I think he could be a real asset.  And I think we’re a good program for him.

Q.  On quarterback do you have a depth chart rate by the end of spring in terms of one, two, three at quarterback

COACH PATERNO:  No, no, no.  I’d like to have two.  I don’t know whether you want three, but I think I’d like to have two in case somebody’s out.  Nowadays you have so many injuries.  You look at that team today, and you’ll see five, six, seven kids that haven’t done a thing all spring. Good football players like (Eric) Latimore, (Garry) Gilliam, those kids.  (Curtis) Drake hasn’t done a thing since maybe two days, so we’ve got a whole mess of kids. So I think it will be very, very nervous coming into the season even with two quarterbacks.  You always need two or three, and I’m sure we’re in a situation where we need that.  We certainly need two.  I’d like to have three.

Q.  Do you want to make that decision by the end of the spring or have it made for fall?

COACH PATERNO:  I don’t know if we can make it by the end of spring.  I think we can honestly say, “hey, you’re going to be competitive,” to the ones we think are going to be competitive.  I think we can honestly make that statement. But for us to guarantee somebody’s going to be number one at the end of spring practice, I think it’s too close for us to do that.

Q.  Do you want to have a No. 1 determined by pre-season?

COACH PATERNO:  No, I don’t think it has to be a clear number one going into summer.  I think we have to have a couple of kids that feel like as if they have shot at being number one.

Q.  Because of all the injuries at defensive end, who have you moved there for the spring?

COACH PATERNO:  We moved the big kid (DaQuan) Jones out to defensive end, and then we have ‑‑ I can’t pronounce his name, (C.J.) Olaniyan, he and (Sean) Stanley are playing at one end.  A kid by the name of (Jordan) Hill is playing out there.  But the biggest move we’ve made is put Jones out there.  But we don’t want to make that permanent.  We’re trying to do that so we have some balance in the spring, and we can get the offensive line some real competition so that they can move, and hopefully we’ll have Latimore back.  The same way at tight end.  I’m hoping we get (Gilliam) there. But, if he isn’t back, there is only one kid that’s played any tight end, and he’s a true freshman (Kevin Haplea).  He did a heck of a job.

  Q.  How is the running back situation shaping up thus far?

COACH PATERNO:  Well, we have (Brandon) Beachum back.  He’s a good football player and a good all‑around football player.  (Silas) Redd has a chance to be really good.  He’s hanging on to the football, and he’s got to do a better job blocking and pass protecting.  (Stephfon) Green could be really good, but Green, again sometimes it’s a little hidden problem with him with going to class once in a while. So, they understand they have to go to class to play, that’s how they get an opportunity to do the things that they can do.  I like him, but he’s a kid that’s not played a lot of big‑time football, but he’s a big, strong kid that’s got to learn some things. Well, we don’t have a super guy in there.  But I think we have a couple guys that could end up being really good if they can learn to do some little things particularly in the area of the pass play.

Q.  You mentioned the tight end position, and the lack of depth.  What is the status with Garry Gilliam?  Is he not recovered from the injury?

COACH PATERNO:  Garry will not be ready for next year.  He’s had an infection.  They couldn’t do some operations that they wanted to do, and that raises some medical questions that I may not be accurate on.  The medical people could tell you better.  But that’s part of it.  They’re telling me don’t count on him.

Q.  How’s cornerback Derrick Thomas doing?

COACH PATERNO:  He’s got to go to school first.  His lifestyle’s not what we’d hoped it would be.  He certainly is getting better.  He’s getting better.  But, again, our secondary’s pretty solid.  He’s got a long way to go to beat the other kids.  But (Chaz) Powell coming back to the corner, and (Stephon) Morris and we’ve got a young kid by the name of (Mike) Wallace in there.  We put (Alex) Kenney over there.  Kenney’s a long way off, but eventually he will be.  So he’s got some work ahead of him. There are some good kids in the secondary.  So we’re all right.  Defensively if we can get some of those other people back it will help.  We’re way ahead of where we’d be offensively. Linebackers, we’ve got some depth there and a couple of kids out there.  A couple of freshmen kids, like (Mike) Hull.

Q.  Could you talk in depth about your offensive line?

COACH PATERNO:  I don’t know what to tell you.  I mean, we don’t have the first thing on the offensive line right now.  We’ve got a couple good tackles (Quinn Barham and Chima Okoli).  (Matt) Stankiewitch hasn’t played much at center. We don’t have any depth there.  We don’t have a good solid first string offensive line yet.  That’s our first job.  To get Dick Anderson and Bill Kenney and do what they did last year.  Took a bunch of kids early in the year, and they end the year with a pretty good offensive line. They were solid, didn’t make a lot of mistakes.  So I think that’s what we’ve got to do step by step with this group.  But right now I could not tell you who is going to play and who is not going to play.

 Q.  I know there is still a lot of work to do, and it’s six months away.  But that being said, do you like this team so far?

COACH PATERNO:  Yeah, I like the team.  I think we’ve got a chance to be decent.  I think, you know, it depends on a couple of kids getting into school first, and whether we can get some of those kids back.  If we don’t have (Jack) Crawford and Latimore, that’s a big two down.  Hopefully they’ll both be okay. I think if we can get everybody back to where they’re healthy, I think we’ve got some kids out there that are working hard; they’ve got some enthusiasm.  They seem to be having more fun.  There are some older kids in there now.  They’re not all young kids who need to be told what to do. So I’m looking forward to it.  The potential is there on the offensive line.  It’s a big offensive line with some pretty good athletes, but they’re not ready yet.

 Q.  Going back to Curtis Drake.  How bad is his injury?

COACH PATERNO:  Curtis Drake…he lost a year, and he lost another year, so I don’t know.  He’s not going to make it this year.  He’s not going to help us this year.  He’s not going to play. So I guess it depends on his recovery.  There again, I think the doctors and medical people can give you a better answer than I can give you.  But I’m speculating on something I don’t know very much about.