For about an hour Tuesday afternoon, players roamed the practice fields outside the Lasch Building, Penn State’s football facility, answering questions from the hoards of media. When the players got ready for practice, coach Joe Paterno addressed the media from a golf cart inside Holuba Hall, the team’s indoor facility. Here is a rundown of what we learned on Tuesday about the 2011 Nittany Lions, who are coming off a 7-6 season. They open against Indiana State on Sept. 3 at Beaver Stadium.
-Paterno said aside from the recent practice accident, he feels great physically. He did admit he is in pain from the recent sideline snafu-, which involved wide receiver Devon Smith accidentally knocking him over at practice on Aug. 7. He suffered injuries to his hip and arm and has been moving around in a golf cart. JoePa said he should be able to get out of the cart in eight or nine days and he will “absolutely” coach from the sideline this season.
-Paterno doesn’t appear any closer to naming a starting quarterback, but said he does not like a two-quarterback system. The 84-year-old coach said he was more worried about the offensive line than the quarterback position.
-Senior running back Stephfon Green, who was expected to contend for the starting job with sophomore Silas Redd, is no longer with the team for undisclosed reasons. Paterno wouldn’t go too in depth about Green’s situation but said, “I doubt that he’ll be back. Stephfon has had some problems with me and right now I think for the benefit and especially the good of the football team, it might be better if he backs away right now.”
-West Philadelphia Catholic High School product Curtis Drake was not practicing with the wide receivers on Tuesday, standing off to the side during contact drills. He remains optimistic he will play this season, while Paterno is not as certain, saying “right now, I think the docs still aren’t comfortable yet that we can put him out there without a good percentage that he might get hurt.” Drake missed his sophomore season with a broken leg and missed last spring with a similar injury.
-Sophomore linebacker Glenn Carson has been practicing with the first-team at the middle linebacker position, the spot believed to belong to redshirt junior Michael Mauti in the spring, the linebackers said Tuesday. Mauti has been practicing on the strong side, where he played last season, while junior Gerald Hodges is still playing on weak side linebacker.
-Quarterback Kevin Newsome and reserve offensive linemen Alex Mateas, who had reportedly left the team and planned to transfer in recent weeks, were not with the team. Walk-on quarterback John Cabot is already wearing No. 12, Newsome’s old number.
-Tight end Andrew Szczerba, who missed last season with a back injury, is healthy and said he has been practicing with the first-team offense. The same goes for safety Nick Sukay, who missed the latter part of last season with a torn pectoral muscle.
Continue to check back with Lion Eyes for more content from Penn State media day.