The Penn State Nittany Lions concluded their spring practices this week and coach Joe Paterno sat down with the media to answer some of the many questions facing the program heading into their 2011 campaign this fall. His main frustrations this spring centered around injuries and weather.
"Well, it's been a tough spring. Not only have the injuries been a big problem, the weather. We never got outside once. It was flukey. One, two days looked like it was going to break and it would be nice, and decide to take one of the 15 days you had and it turns out you get up in the morning, it's raining like the Dickens. So we didn't get that. But the kids -- it's a good squad. They worked hard when they were at it. So I don't have any complaints that way. It's just that we didn't have the best of conditions. And the injuries obviously bother us."
The injuries he refers to are likely those suffered by several members of his defensive line. Defensive end Pete Massaro was lost for the season with a torn ACL, while fellow DEs Jack Crawford and Eric Latimore have been limited by injuries.
One of the big questions around Happy Valley this season is of course, "who is going to start at QB?" Joe Pa was asked if he was any closer to naming a starter between Rob Bolden and Matt McGloin.
"At quarterback, there's no need to have to. There's no sense doing it. I think both those kids -- I would say it's 99 percent sure it's going to be one of the two kids. But I think we ought to let them -- as I said, we didn't get outside much. We didn't do a lot of different things, because we wanted to get some of the younger offensive linemen. We didn't want to get them confused. We just wanted to work on their technique and things like that. But I'm very comfortable with the quarterback situation."
A player that doesn't seem to be in the mix for the starting job at QB is Kevin Newsome, who is the only guy Joe Pa really criticized in the press conference.
"No, Newsome, my problem with Newsome is paying attention to little things. He misses breakfast. Sometimes he's the last guy on the practice field. He's just on time. He's got a lot of ability. And he's gotten away with it in high school, I'm sure with the fact that he has natural ability.
He's got to spend just a little bit more time on the finesse part of the game, anticipate a read, anticipate the break of a receiver, those kinds of things. When we can get him where he's thinking about that, I think he'll be pretty good."