Coach Munchak's Thursday Practice Report

*(on Joe Paterno getting fired)

*I think they obviously must have decided that this is what's best for the university at this time and they went ahead and made the change. Every day, the more you hear and the more that happens it's kind of hard to take all that's gone on this past week.

*(on if Joe Paterno deserves to coach one more game)

*They know what's going on, the university does, they are right there, they have been doing the investigation, they have been answering the questions so I'm assuming this is the best thing to do. I would be behind whatever they decide to do, whatever is best for the university is what's best for all of us.

*(on if he saw how Joe Paterno was fired)

*No, I heard it driving home on the radio that they made the decision final, so that's it.

*(on the student gatherings that took place on the Penn State campus last night)

*I think it shows how important he is to that school, to Penn State, not just as a football coach but someone that the students really have respect for. He really means a lot to them, and not just in football.  I think they are just showing support for him and that they appreciate what he has accomplished.

*(on what it says about the Penn State football family that a former player is trying to gather up 800 former players to be on the sideline this weekend)

*Yeah, I think that's why this whole thing is so heartbreaking for all of us is the fact that at Penn State we had something real special with the type of coach we had and the type of experience we had at Penn State. I could talk to Tim Shaw, who I never met until he came here and would have similar stories and similar experiences and had great experiences there at Penn State. On the football side, it's hard for a lot of us to believe all the things that have happened in the last week.

*(on Joe Paterno being fired so quickly)

*I think most of us hoped that they would work through the details. I wasn't going to make a judgment on any of this because you know just the bare minimum of what you hear, everyone has an opinion on it, which is fine, so you hope that they gathered the information to make the best decision and I'm assuming that in their mind they did what was best for the university overall, not necessarily what was best for the football team or anybody else. It's about the University first and foremost and you go with your decision.

*(on the former players on the sideline)

*I think there are side stories to this whole thing. We know that the families, the kids, the victims of this whole thing are the main story and I think the side story is consequences of this happening and when it did. There are going to be consequences to the people who were involved and were there and I think it's just a show of support. Anything you see from the students or from ex-players I think is a show of support. Their feeling towards Coach Paterno is not going to change. The things that are going on right now they are trying to figure out all that is going on.

*(on if Charles Johnson compares to Julius Peppers as a speed rusher)

*Obviously, he has been very successful. I think he has seven sacks in seven games or he has a nice little record going of 15 sacks in 15 games. He works hard, but I guess is similar in some ways. He is a speed rusher, plays every snap and has been very productive for them obviously. He plays every snap and doesn't give up on it and if you shut off his first move or two he keeps going and he has made a lot of his sacks that way just on great effort.   

*(on not many injured players from yesterday getting back to practice today)

*Just Matt (Hasselbeck), some of the guys participated in walk through and were able to do all those things but as far as practicing, we moved in inside because we thought it was better for some of the guys. This field is a little harder than the grass and we better be smart and just wait until tomorrow for most of them.

*(on if he thinks most of the injured players will practice tomorrow)

*We are thinking that we are on schedule where most of them should be back tomorrow other than Dave Ball.

*(on why move practice inside Today)

*The wind, if you went out there yesterday the gusts were pretty strong. Yesterday it affected the ball quite a bit. We are not going to see that this weekend in Carolina from what the weather is projected to be so we wanted to come inside so the quarterbacks could have a good day throwing and get the energy level up.

*(on if most teams are giving extra attention to Steve Smith)

*I think they are starting to. I think he has been something special for them and he always has been a good football player but I think you have to. It's not that he is wide open, he is making great catches even when he is not open and he has really responded well to their offense and they have a lot of weapons. They have the two running backs, the tight ends, (Steve) Smith as a receiver and Cam Newton does so much with his legs and can pass the ball so well. So it's hard to lock into him because the tight ends are doing a nice job also, so they have a lot of things going on that the defense has to be aware of.

*(on Jerry Gray saying the Panthers have more playmakers than any team they have faced so far)

*I think that stat shows that they are number one in the league in explosive plays and over 20 yards. I think they have some obscene number like 47 or 50, which means that they are making a lot of big plays on offense. The thing for us is to know that they are going to make a play here or there and not let that take us out of our game, know that there are going to be some plays made especially against them. The thing that's hard that we see when you have a running quarterback is when you get a pass rush, you create some problems and you cover them well, and then the quarterback takes off and runs for 20 yards, that's hard. Sometimes that will depress you a little bit and we just have to regroup from things like that that may happen at times during the game and know that we have to still stop them.

*(on Chris Hope)

*Chris (Hope) is doing well. So far today he looked good and he is rotating with Jordan (Babineaux) and so we will see about today and tomorrow and if he is OK then he will be active and he will be playing.

*(on if the defense's familiarity with Vince Young may help them)

*I think just in some of the plays they have worked against before, but just the fact that he can run the way he can is probably the main similarity I guess. He is not looking to run, it's not like he is a running quarterback to me. He is sitting in the pocket, he is making great throws, but then they can also do all of the other things with him. They will call runs for him, maybe two or three a game where he is actually called to be the runner, and not just draws. When he does take off his eyes are still down the field so you have to be careful coming off of our receiver because of the fact that he will make you pay for that. He has done a nice job with it and like I said before their offensive side did a good job with keeping plays in that he is good at and not putting too much on him and he has handled it really well.

*(on if he can afford to match one guy up with Steve Smith)

*I think you will see some of that. I think you will see us change things up like most teams will do that has a quarterback like we are used to seeing it where there will be plays where someone is spying the quarterback. There will be plays where someone is more man on the receiver, so I think when you have multiple playmakers you have to change things up. You can't let them get a beat on what we are doing. We can't worry too much about one guy but you have to realize that there are certain guys that you don't want to make big plays. There are certain guys they are going to go to in certain situations and that's up to us schematically to smart through the game and see where they are trying to attack us and that's the chess match during the game.

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