Paterno rounding into shape as bowl approaches

He and his team are one quarterback lighter this week, but Penn State football coach Joe Paterno is feeling better physically and ready to get the Nittany Lions ready for USC.

Paterno spoke about the transfer of backup quarterback Pat Devlin, the Trojans' talented defense and his recuperation from late-November hip replacement surgery Friday as Penn State held its bowl media day in the Lasch Building.

Paterno walked into the room without a cane and stood comfortably behind a podium during a 30-minute Q&A with reporters.

"I think I’m fine," he said, referring to the hip. "I’ve just got to keep testing myself."

As for the 81-year-old coach's future, Paterno said he and athletic director Tim Curley recently talked about "a couple possibilities" and that further discussions could take place next week.

For more from Paterno's news conference and the team's reaction to Devlin's departure, see Saturday's Centre Daily Times.