Archive: December, 2008
LOS ANGELES -- During the end of his pre-Rose Bowl press conference today, Penn State coach Joe Paterno took a gentle shot at former Nittany Lions quarterback Pat Devlin, who transferred earlier this month.
Asked about the bind Devlin's departure puts Penn State in at quarterback, Paterno interrupted the questioner after the Downingtown East product's name was mentioned.
"Who left?" Paterno said, smiling. "Who's that?"
LOS ANGELES -- Penn State coach Joe Paterno just told a roomful of reporters that he's going to coach from the press box for tomorrow's Rose Bowl matchup with Southern Cal.
"I'm going to be upstairs," Paterno said. "I don't think I can handle three and a half-four hours on the sideline."
The 82-year-old coach had hip replacement surgery on Nov. 24 and had been trying to recover in time to get back to his usually perch on the sidelines. Paterno had been forced to watch the game from the coaches' box for the final seven games of the season due to his ailing right hip.
LOS ANGELES -- Here's a rundown on the Rose Bowl stories in this morning's paper:
-- Rey Maualuga has overcome a rocky childhood and the death of his father to become one of the best defensive players in the country.
-- Penn State players have been constantly quizzed about their impressions of Los Angeles since their arrival last week. We asked some USC players who had never been to State College what they imagine Happy Valley would be like.
LOS ANGELES -- I'm the middle of Rose Bowl media day, but I have a few minutes to post yesterday's news in this morning's paper.
-- With Pat Devlin gone, Penn State quarterback Daryll Clark is a marked man. If he goes, the Lions are in dire straits with the untested Paul Cianciolo now the backup.
-- Speaking of Devlin, quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno and offensive coordinator Galen Hall weigh in on Downingtown East products' departure.
LOS ANGELES -- OK, folks, you can walk away from those ledges. The three starters that were demoted to the second team unit are back with the first team. Defensive end Aaron Maybin, center A.Q. Shipley and guard Rich Ohrnberger walked onto the practice field wearing first team practice jerseys. The three players were being disciplined for missing team functions here as the Lions prepare for Thursday's Rose Bowl. Maybin skipped Friday's event at Disneyland and Shipley and Ohrnberger missed a team breakfast and were also late for a team meeting.
Penn State held its practice today at the Home Depot Center and the media was permitted to watch the first 15 minutes of practice. Basically, I got watch the players stretch and defensive coordinator Tom Bradley drill middle linebacker Josh Hull. Coach Joe Paterno was on hand, but spent most of the time in a golf cart. His status for the game and whether he's coaching from the press box or the sidelines is still up in the air.
LOS ANGELES -- Penn State wide receiver Jordan Norwood did not injure his ankle during practice last week, as reported. He injured his left foot in the final game of the regular season and has been slowly working his way back to 100 percent. Norwood, who met with the media today, said he was about 90 percent and that he expected to be close to perfect by Thursday's game. He hasn't been full go in the practice, but the senior wasn't worried about not being ready for Southern Cal. “It’s just a nagging injury," Norwood said.
Also, Penn State offensive coordinator Galen Hall said that he plans on returning next season and that he hopes to be by Joe Paterno's side through the 82-year-old coach's three-year contract extension. "I’m 14 years younger than Joe," Hall said. "I feel good. Joe feels good. He’s looking forward to it and I’m looking forward to it.”
There was no other news to come out of today's morning interviews. Penn State holds its last open practice today at 1 p.m. Pacific. The media can hang around for just the first 15 minutes. I'm heading out there, so I'll have an update asap.
LOS ANGELES -- I must say, there are some nice things about L.A. Like sitting in your hotel room and looking out your window and seeing snow capped mountains. But I digress ... Here's a look at yesterday at the Rose Bowl in this morning's paper:
-- With yesterday's press conference it's looking more and more as if Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley has accepted his fate as an assistant coach for life. Juxtapose that with Southern Cal offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, who is headed to Washington to take over as head coach, and you get a pretty good look at two paths for college assistants.
-- Joe Paterno sent a message to his players by demoting a few starters.
LOS ANGELES -- For defensive coordinator Tom Bradley, it's likely at least another three years before he would have any shot of succeeding Joe Paterno as head coach. With Paterno's latest three-year extension, Bradley endured another round of questioning today about his standing as the supposed head coach in waiting who may have to wait forever until he's the top guy.
Bradley, like he always says, was adamant that he's not disappointed that he may have to keep on keeping on. "I’ve never worried about that," he said. "I’ve said that lots of times. It’s not going to define me if I don’t get to be a head coach. I think everybody makes a bigger deal about that."
Bradley said that he had been contacted by programs about openings, but he declined to get into specifics. "This year I’ve been contacted by a lot of folks, but I’ve always been reluctant to talk about it because I don’t think it’s fair," he said.
LOS ANGELES -- Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley and four defensive players met with the media today. A few newsy items came out of the press conference. For one, backup linebacker Bani Gbadyu was left home for what the team has termed academic reasons. Wide receiver Jordan Norwood sprained his ankle during practice, according to cornerback Lydell Sargeant. The extent of the injury and whether Norwood can play Thursday is unknown.
Defensive end Aaron Maybin was supposed to partake in today's interviews but was left back. Safety Mark Rubin came in his place. Maybin wore a second team jersey yesterday and is in Paterno's doghouse again. Joe often does this to motivate players, but Maybin apparently missed Friday's Disneyland event and is paying for it. Center A.Q. Shipley and guard Rich Ohrnberger were also running with the second team offensive line yesterday. The fifth-year seniors were late for a team breakfast.
That's all for now. I'm off to write for tomorrow's paper.
LOS ANGELES -- The fun in LaLa continues. Here's a rundown on the stories, tidbits in this morning's paper:
-- Here's a feature on Southern Cal quarterback Mark Sanchez, who has embraced his Mexican heritage and likewise has been embraced by L.A.'s Mexican-American community.
-- USC has an unorthodoxed methodology regarding its practices. It's all generated by the eternally-youthful Pete Carroll. Penn State, on the other hand, is the direct opposite. We have Joe Paterno to thank and curse for that.