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Paterno: 'Who Knows. Maybe I'll Go 10 Years' More as Coach

on October 11, 2011 3:38 PM

Don't bring it up. It's not even on his mind.

Because Joe Paterno, 84, feels "too good" right now to be thinking about retirement, the Penn State head football coach said Tuesday.

"I'm thinking about Purdue. I'm not worried about anything else right now," he told reporters in his weekly press conference at Beaver Stadium.

One reporter had asked Paterno if his physical condition has affected his thinking about the future. The coach is still recovering -- though has made substantial progress -- from arm and hip injuries suffered in August.

The coach was hurt when a player accidentally ran into him during practice. He walked with a cane for more than month afterward, and has been coaching games partly from the press box as his recovery continues.

But retirement? That subject, Paterno said, is "newspaper talk and media and fans."

"Who knows," he said. "Maybe I'll go 10 years" more as head coach.

Earlier at the press event, Paterno spoke glowingly of his physical recovery. In fact, he said, he had been planning to coach from the sidelines for the entire Iowa game Saturday.

And for the first half, he did. But at one point, he said, some Penn State players "grabbed" and moved him, helping him avoid a collision during a play.

That jostling has caused him some physical difficulty in the days since, and led him to coach the second half of the Iowa game from the press box, Paterno indicated. But he said he expects he will resume his recovery fully within the next couple days.

Paterno's goal, he said, remains to coach from the sidelines for full games.

Among his other remarks Tuesday:

  • Paterno said Purdue, Penn State's homecoming opponent this weekend, has a lot of talent and good coaching. The Nittany Lions must "have a good week and keep getting better," he said.
  • Penn State showed some progress in Saturday's Iowa game and "ran the ball a little better," Paterno said. "I think overall we've made good progress -- never quite as much as you'd like, but overall pretty good. I think we're getting a little better."
  • Asked if he could imagine using the current dual-quarterback approach for the rest of the season, Paterno said: "I don't have to make that decision" at this point. If there comes a time when the team would be clearly better off with one quarterback, he said, he and the program staff will make that decision.
  • Corner back D'Anton Lynn and running back Brandon Beachum, both recovering from injuries, may play Saturday, Paterno said. If they don't play this week, they'll likely play the following week, against Northwestern, he said.

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