Joe Paterno addressed the media Friday for the first time since after Penn State's Outback Bowl loss to Florida. The Nittany Lions coach touched on several topics in his news conference.
Let's take a look:
Paterno said quarterbacks Rob Bolden and Matt McGloin both have looked strong this spring. Although the competition is open, Bolden and McGloin are ahead of Paul Jones and Kevin Newsome to this point.
Wide receiver Curtis Drake will miss the 2011 season after breaking his left leg for the second time early in spring ball, Paterno said. It's a tough blow for Drake, who was in line for a starting job last summer before breaking his leg the first time. Penn State's overall depth at receiver isn't bad, especially if Derek Moye builds on a strong 2010 season.
Paterno declined to comment on the situation involving former longtime assistant Jerry Sandusky. The coach reportedly testified before a grand jury investigating allegations against Sandusky.
Bolden, who wanted to leave the program following the bowl game, still could bolt after spring ball, but Paterno hopes the rising sophomore stays. "I think Bolden will be here," JoePa said. "That's obviously something he'll work out.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 [into spring practice] now, 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."
Paterno hasn't talked with Bolden about the quarterback's near departure in January -- Paterno denied Bolden his release from the program -- but the coach expects to sit down with Bolden at some point. "He could be a real asset," Paterno said. "And I think we're a good program for him." The coach acknowledged that Newsome could transfer after the spring but Newsome "has been a whole different situation."
Paterno isn't sure whether he can decide on a starting quarterback by the end of spring ball (April 16). "I don't think it has to be a clear No. 1 going into summer," he said. "I think we have to have a couple of kids that feel like as if they have shot at being No. 1."
Paterno downplayed questions about entering the final year of the contract he received after the 2008 season. "If you don't win some games, you don't have a future," he said.
JoePa said there's potential on the offensive line, but "they're not there yet."
Injuries continue to mount at defensive end. Pete Massaro is out for the season with a knee injury, and Eric Latimore also is banged up. Penn State moved DaQuan Jones to defensive end to help with depth, but Paterno doesn't think the move is permanent. Defensive tackle Brandon Ware has slimmed down to 320 pounds, but academics remains an issue for him. "We've had to tie him down a little bit to go to class, and he's really trying," Paterno said. "He's trying for his own good as well."
Paterno on 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 [from injury]. ... 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."