In all sports, the most important aspect to the team dynamic is continuity. Whether it is among the players, coaches or upper level management, all teams need to have some sense of stability. In football, continuity is most important at the quarterback position. Teams that have continuity at quarterback are almost always better off than teams that do not.
This season, there is no continuity for Penn State’s quarterbacks. Both Robert Bolden and Matt McGloin are under far more pressure than they need to be by the entire coaching staff. If either QB struggles at all, they get pulled and the other goes in. That usually wouldn’t be a problem, but it happens seemingly every other possession.
This has resulted in an extremely stagnant Penn State offense. Against Alabama, the offense sputtered, never knowing if it would be the big-play offense that PSU uses when Bolden plays or the conservative offense used for McGloin. Even against Indiana State, the ground game was dynamic, but the two quarterbacks threw for 114 total yards.
Maybe it’s a problem with the coaches. Penn State lacks an identity on offense right now, and that’s because of the play calling for each quarterback. When Bolden is in, his first two or three reads are usually to receivers that are running as fast as they can down the field. Bolden’s job is to heave it up and hope somebody catches it.
When McGloin is in, his first two or three reads are to running backs and tight ends in a bizzaro West Coast offense. The only difference between the West Coast offense and the McGloin offense is the West Coast offense is effective.
With two completely different offenses for both quarterbacks, it’s almost impossible for the rest of the offense to get into a rhythm. Even if they switched quarterbacks once or twice due to injury or a blowout it would be difficult. Asking the other 10 offensive players to adjust their approach to a game multiple times is just unfair.
None of us knows the day-to-day operations behind Penn State football and if there is a reason for the dual-quarterback approach. Whatever it is, the mindset needs to change. The entire team needs to know who will be its leader, whom it will rally around when the going gets tough. The young man who will be the consistent quarterback needs to know that the job is his, that he can make mistakes without worrying about getting yanked.
You have your opinion on the quarterback situation, as does every other member of the Penn State community. However, the one thing we all can agree on is continuity is needed. If Joe Pa, Jay Pa and every other coach involved with the quarterbacks don’t settle this issue and name one true starting quarterback, it can be a very long season in Happy Valley.