UNIVERSITY PARK -- Penn State already has an unusual playcalling system with essentially co-offensive coordinators, and now Joe Paterno plans to get involved even more.
Will it go smoothly, or will it be more like the old saying "too many cooks spoil the broth?"
Galen Hall, who officially has the title of offensive coordinator, said he and quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno will welcome JoePa's input.
The head coach put all of his assistants on alert earlier this month when he said their "day in the sun is over," meaning he plans to be more involved than recent years.
"Joe's been around a lot of football, and he sees a lot and you get a feel for the game down there [on the sideline]," Hall said. "Sometimes you get a feel that we don't upstairs, and wow, hey this one's going to work and you just go call it. We would welcome it, and hopefully he will."
Saying Paterno will be more involved is one thing, but the logistics and practicality of it are another.
The Nittany Lions don't exactly paint a picture of efficiency with their offensive playcalling as it is with two guys in the booth making decisions typically meant for one coach.
Hall calls the running plays, Jay Paterno the passing plays -- a setup they've had for several years. They decide on a call and relay it to receivers coach Mike McQueary on the sideline, and he sends in the play.
The big issue with Paterno's potential involvement is that he has never and probably will never wear a headset, so he doesn't know what Hall and Jay Paterno are thinking and calling. Maybe his play is better than theirs, maybe it's not, but the bottom line is he doesn't know because he's out of the loop unless McQueary tells him.
Even if JoePa wants to call a certain play in a given situation, Hall expects it to be business as usual for him and Jay Paterno in the press box.
"Obviously he'd just come and say, 'I want this,'" Hall said. "That's a head coach's prerogative at any time.
"I don't think it would change us," Hall later added. "I think we would go and we would call [a play]. Now, hey, if he overrules it or says something himself, then obviously Mike's sending that in. I don't think it would hurt us at all."
Hall is entering his eighth season on the PSU staff and, like he's said each of the past few years, he plans to stick around as long as Paterno is the head coach.
"That's about where I am," the Williamsburg native said of his current plans.
Another thing that hasn't changed for Hall is his respect for Paterno and his toughness. Hall said he didn't see the hit in practice by receiver Devon Smith that landed JoePa in the hospital earlier this month, but he knows what would have happened to him had he been on the receiving end of the collision.
"I'd be in bed probably," Hall said. "Any normal person probably would be.
"Joe is very, very tough. Physically tough, mentally tough. Great desire. Everything you would want in a person."
Cory Giger can be reached at 949-7031 and firstname.lastname@example.org.