Joe Paterno answered a number fo questions during his press conference Thursday in Chicago as the final coach form the Leaders Division to speak. Here is a look at some of the questions he replied to, regarding his health, the changes in the Big Ten, and what he thinks about the quarterback situation.
For more on the Leaders Divison coaches and what they had to say, check the Leaders Division Notebook.
Q. Joe, could you compare the way your physical condition to a year ago at this time?
JOE PATERNO: I feel a lot better than I did a year ago. I had two tough years physically. The kid from Wisconsin running into me in the sideline, when I broke my knee that time. Then I threw my hip out showing off, trying to show the kids how to kick a football. I couldn’t kick when I was healthy. I sure as hell couldn’t kick with a broken knee.
I feel good. I’m back to doing a lot of things I used to do, walking a lot more. I’ve been watching what I eat. I feel good. I enjoyed this spring, have a lot more enthusiasm.
I’ve got an old saying that I had forgotten. They asked Marv Levy one time when he was coaching, he was a great coach, he said, How about your age?
Marv said, I don’t think age is a factor. He said, I’m old enough to know my limitations and I’m young enough to know how to handle ’em.
So, anyway, I feel good. That’s a long answer to a nice, simple question.
Q. Can you comment on the changes the Big Ten Conference has made and the prospects of playing in the championship game?
PATERNO: I think the conference, one thing I feel extremely good about is the fact that Nebraska is in it. I think most people know I was trying to get another eastern team in the Big Ten. I was hoping we could either get Rutgers or Pitt or Syracuse because it would be more convenient for us as far as the media and things like that. When we got Nebraska, that was a real coup. It’s going to make the league tougher.
The tougher the other guy is, the better you get, if you’re a competitor. I think bringing Nebraska in was a real big asset and I think the league’s great. And the fact that it gave us an opportunity to play for a conference championship game, I think it’s kind of exciting, it really is. It’s something we want to do. If we end up winning the division in a big game in Indianapolis, I think that’s great. It will be fun and something I look forward to.
Q. Joe, what do you expect out of your quarterbacks when you start camp, specifically Rob Bolden?
PATERNO: At quarterback? I think we’ll be better. Whether we’re going to be good enough, I don’t know. We had two, three kids that had good springs. We’re not allowed to watch them in pre-season. I got in a jam because I’m walking by, the kids are running around, I walk by and watch them. I mentioned that on some TV show I was on. We had to turn ourselves in. I’m not even supposed to watch them run. I don’t know how they’re doing this summer.
April 22, 1995
Everybody seems to be enthused. The quarterbacks, they’ll stop by the office every once in a while. I’ll say, ‘How you doing?’ Are your studies OK? That kind of stuff. How things going? But I think we’re going to be better there. We’ll see.
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