Diary: Tougher schedule, tougher team

People ask me to compare this year's team with last year's, and I believe the biggest difference is now we know we can be a good football team whereas last year we thought we could be a good team but weren't always sure.

I think we'd like to be more consistent this year. One thing's for sure -- our schedule is a lot tougher this year and last year we just got by in a lot of games that we didn't play well. This year, we won't be able to just get by against the level of opponents we are playing.

Last week was a good win for us. The Saints are a good football team with a good defense.

I liked the way our offense hung in there when times were tough. The defense can make you look bad but we made some plays when we had to.

I was happy to have Ike Hilliard back out there. He's a smart and talented player who will be as big a part of our offense as anyone. Joe Jurevicius has benefited from Ike being out and we are now better because of it.

I know a lot of people are wondering what is wrong with Joe Paterno and the boys at Penn State. There are a ton of theories attributed to their demise, a lot of which have to do with Joe himself. Some say the game has passed him by. Well, I'll never buy into that one. I played for the man and I can't believe there will ever be a coach as adaptable to the game as he has been. Whatever the reason, all I know is they have a very tough schedule but I think they'll come through this year and get Joe the record. What is sad about it is Bobby Bowden will break it after Joe retires anyway. The future certainly does seem iffy.

We've got the 'Skins this week and even though they are 0-3 we are certainly not taking them lightly. They have a lot of talented players and we know they'll be coming up here with a chip on their shoulders. It's a division game and we're going to have to be ready to play.

I'm looking forward to seeing my buddy Matt Campbell, whom I played with in Carolina and who now plays for the 'Skins. He's a hunting buddy and will be in my wedding in March.

That's all I got for ya for this week. Take care.
Oct. 5,01