Saturday, December 27, 2014

JoePa abridged

Coach Joe Paterno held his weekly teleconference today. Here are the highlights (and lowlights) as the Nittany Lions prepare for their biggest test yet, a Saturday meeting at Wisconsin. Oh, and here are my additional snarky comments in (parentheses);

JoePa abridged

Coach Joe Paterno held his weekly teleconference today. Here are the highlights (and lowlights) as the Nittany Lions prepare for their biggest test yet, a Saturday meeting at Wisconsin. Oh, and here are my additional snarky comments in (parentheses);

1. Jordan Norwood will be ready to play, according to Paterno. Tight ends Mickey Shuler and Andrew Quarless are questionable. (Not having your top two tight ends will hurt against a team like Wisconsin.)

2. Said his leg is "up and down" (I guess that's better than down) and that his gameday spot -- sidelines or coaches' box -- will be a game time decision. It's just up to him to fight through the injury for the next few weeks. "That's why I get that big money," he said. ($550,000 smackers, to be exact -- minus the extra he gets paid for TV, apparel, endorsements, radio show, etc.)

3. Agreed with Daryll Clark's earlier assessment that the Badgers have strong, aggressive linebackers. (Especially DeAndre Levy, right? For those that don't remember, it was Levy, along with Quarless, that ran into Paterno two years ago, breaking his leg and tearing ligaments.)

4. Doesn't think the injury two years ago changed his life that dramatically. He did say that it cut down on his walking. Paterno used to walk everywhere. Up to five-six miles a day. (He probably would have been walking instead of driving home when  he got into that on-campus traffic dispute last year. That's drama.) 

5. Asked point blank if his current health has altered his plans to continue coaching beyond this season, Paterno said, "It really hasn't." (If you were expecting any different an answer, I've got some prime Florida real estate to sell you.)

6. Isn't ready to compare this team to the 2005 squad. (I don't know why. It might be better. That concludes my kool-aid drinking segment.)

7. Admitted, though, that he misses running out with the team at the start of a game. "But there are worse things that can happen to you," he said. (Like being wheeled out with the team.)

8. When  describing Wisconsin's defensive front seven, Paterno said, "They come off the ball and they knock your jock off." (Let's hope it's just your jock.)

 

About this blog
Joe Juliano has been a staff writer for The Inquirer for 20 years, covering college sports, golf and the Penn Relays.

Joining Joe this season will be John Stuetz, an intern for The Inquirer and senior at Penn State majoring in print journalism and marketing. This is John's third season covering the Penn State beat. He previously covered the Nittany Lions for the Daily Collegian, the university's student newspaper. A native of Glenside, Montgomery County, John graduated from Cheltenham High School.

For Joe, this will be his fifth season on the paper's Penn State beat. He previously covered the Nittany Lions for United Press International from 1976 to 1984.

Reach Joe at jjuliano@phillynews.com.

Joe Juliano Inquirer Staff Writer
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected