When Joe Speaks
By Cory Giger firstname.lastname@example.org
A capsule look at Joe Paterno's Big Ten coaches teleconference Tuesday.
First things second: Paterno is very concerned about the Nittany Lions' secondary, which has to replace all four starters. "We've got a long, long way to go to be a good secondary," JoePa said. "We're not even close." Projected starting cornerback A.J. Wallace has been slowed this spring after recently pulling a hamstring. Paterno did acknowledge safety Drew Astorino has had a good spring.
Soft served: Paterno was asked about this year's weak non-conference schedule, which includes Akron, Syracuse, Temple and Eastern Illinois. "I haven't got the slightest idea how good or bad some of the people we're going to play [are] yet," he said. "I don't have time to worry about anybody but our squad." Paterno confirmed there were talks to play TCU at home this season but noted the Horned Frogs "backed out."
Watch out for Walt: Paterno did mention he knows Walt Harris is on Akron's staff, as the quarterbacks coach. Paterno made a point to say Harris was Pitt's head coach the last time the Lions played the Panthers in 2000, and that Pitt won the game.
No asterisks: Florida State coach Bobby Bowden may have to forfeit 14 victories because of an alleged academic scandal, and that would increase JoePa's margin over Bowden to 15 in the all-time Division I wins race. "I'd hate to see them take them away from him," Paterno said. He later added, "I think Bobby should have the 14 wins. ... You don't want to start sticking asterisks next to guys' names."
Powell OK: Paterno denied a fightonstate.com report that receiver Chaz Powell had suffered an ankle injury Monday in practice. "He didn't get hurt," the coach said. "No. Practiced all day [Monday]. ... He's fine."