Paterno goes back on 'cheerleader' comment

Despite making a comment earlier in the week that suggested he might not have much involvement in the team’s play calling, coach Joe Paterno insisted on Penn State’s radio show Thursday evening that he spends more time on football than he did 10 years ago. 

At his weekly press conference on Tuesday, Paterno remarked with a smile, “I'm a cheerleader” in the middle of answering a question about his involvement with the offensive playcalling.

On the radio show, Paterno refuted that statement by saying, “I was horsing around with the media.”

“Because I’ve been banged up physically, I can’t do some of the things I would do,” Paterno said. “I’ve spent more time looking at tapes and have probably put more into what we’re going to do than I’ve done in a long, long time. “

Though his son Jay, the team’s quarterbacks coach, and offensive coordinator Galen Hall call most of the plays on offense, Paterno said most of the plays have been planned beforehand. 

“I know exactly what we’re going to do on 3rd and 4. Sometimes we don’t execute. But I know what we’re doing,” Paterno said. “Every once in a while I sense a change in something, and I’ll go over and I’ll say to (Wide receivers coach Mike McQueary), ‘Tell Jay and Galen I think we ought to do this, I think we ought to change the pace a little bit.’ ”

Paterno also touched on the seemingly never-ending quarterback situation when a listener questioned why the coach has not given Matt McGloin a shot at starting a game. Rob Bolden has started all five games for the Nittany Lions (4-1).

“They’re so close. They really are so close,” Paterno said. “And I know where you’re coming from and we’ve thought about it …  Maybe that would be better than what we’re doing but I doubt it. I really doubt it. I think we’re doing all right with the quarterbacks. I think overall, with the fact they’ve had balls dropped, they’ve had some bad luck and they’re have been some inconsistencies, I think the quarterbacks have kept their poise and have done a good job.”

Penn State wide receiver and senior co-captain Derek Moye was a guest on the show in an earlier segment and reiterated that he does not feel there is a big difference with either quarterback in the game.

“When you’re playing, you don’t really notice it,” Moye said. “You know from practicing and throwing with them the different type of balls they throw, some of their tendencies. But I mean when you’re out there as a receiver you just have to catch the ball, do your assignment. You can’t really worry about who’s at quarterback.”

--Jake Kaplan