In this season of discontent, it’s obvious what Penn State coach Joe Paterno must do to get the struggling Nittany Lions back on track.
He needs to lighten the mood. Or crack the whip harder.
He needs to radically revise the depth chart. Or keep underperforming players in the starting lineup and let them work their way back into form.
He needs to make a commitment to a sputtering passing attack. Or an even stronger one to a lackluster running game.
It’s not that JoePa hasn’t already planned and schemed to a fare-thee-well. The 83-year-old legend has tried just about everything he’s ever learned about football and football players during his 61 seasons in Happy Valley, the last 45 as head coach. But if there is some button that can be pushed that will instantly transform the young, battered Lions into some semblance of the strong teams Paterno has overseen in recent years, he has yet to find it.
Then again, maybe the biggest problem facing Paterno’s current squad is the one he sees when he looks in the mirror. There is growing speculation that this could be the last roundup for an iconic figure who finally may be showing his age.