DALLAS -- Penn State interim coach Tom Bradley stood in the Texas sunshine on a crisp day watching his team streaming onto the field.
Away from home, preparing for a bowl game, the focus is on football and the final game of what has been a season of turmoil.
"Let's talk football, it's great to finally talk football," Bradley said Tuesday. "Watch them out here, they're excited to play, and it's just fun to get out and play some football."
Even though there is still uncertainty about the status of starting quarterback Matt McGloin, who was in street clothes when the 24th-ranked Nittany Lions started practice at a Dallas-area high school to get ready to play No. 20 Houston in the TicketCity Bowl.
McGloin had a seizure and came away with a concussion Dec. 17 after an argument with receiver Curtis Drake about a missed route in practice led to a locker room scuffle. McGloin has called it a "freak accident." He was knocked out after hitting his head on a concrete floor during the fight.
It is still unclear if McGloin will be ready to play Monday.
"That's day to day, that's up to the doctors," Bradley said. "They're testing him and working him out every day."
Drake was not with the team Tuesday, but Bradley said the receiver's absence was for personal matters and he is still on the team.
Receiver Shawney Kersey also is not on the bowl trip for personal reasons, the coach said.
In addition, redshirt freshman quarterback Paul Jones and cornerback Derrick Thomas did not make the trip because of academics. Those losses make the Lions very thin at both wide receiver and quarterback.
Bradley, the defensive coordinator and longtime Penn State assistant, has been running the program since school trustees fired Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno on Nov. 9 in the aftermath of child sex abuse charges against retired defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
"I've got a bunch of players here doing everything I ask them to do," Bradley said. "As I told people from the get-go, whatever happens, I'm going to hang in there until the last minute and do whatever I can for my players."
Bradley interviewed Dec. 16 with the Penn State committee searching for Paterno's replacement, though he has heard nothing more from the committee since then.
"Everybody makes a bigger deal than I think it is," Bradley said.
Acting athletic director Dave Joyner said in a written statement Thursday that the six-person committee is taking a "very deliberate and measured approach to the process in order to identify the coach that best fits the requirements of the position." Joyner was not yet in Dallas for the game.
While the committee offered no specific timeline, Bradley said Tuesday that "they weren't going to do it until after the bowl game."
The Nittany Lions practiced six days at home before players got a break for Christmas, which Bradley said was a change from the past under Paterno when the team would have had all those practices at the site of their bowl.
"I felt this year the best thing we could do was get a good solid six practices, let them go home, then bring them down," Bradley said.
Bradley said he still hasn't spoken to Paterno since "the day after this all happened" though talks regularly to Paterno's son, Jay, the team's quarterbacks coach, about the 85-year-old coach's health. Joe Paterno is being treated for lung cancer and a broken pelvis.
While Bradley has gotten many calls of advice and encouragement from fellow coaches, he saw no need to call Paterno for any advice about bowl preparations.
"We've got a group of guys and staff that know how to prepare for a bowl game," Bradley said. "I know Coach, I think he'd be mad if we call. He knows we have a job to do."
Asked if he got a break during the Christmas holiday, Bradley chuckled.
"I didn't get a whole lot of personal time," he said. "Listen, Santa wasn't real good to me this year."