Friday, January 04, 2008

Square Peg Meet Round Hole

Mike over at BSD has a really great post up about Five Reasons For Concern in 2008. It is an exceptional post and you need to go read it right now. Mike's post got me thinking when he made a great point
"Joe has to make up his mind. He can't recruit the players to run the spread and still think three yards and a cloud of dust."
This is a great observation because it addresses the heart of Penn State's issues.

It isn't that PSU isn't getting quality recruits, it is clear that recruiting has been quite good the last few years but you have to recruit the players you want for your system. If you want to run a run-heavy attack that is fine but you should focus on some big-ass lineman and powerful RBs. Recruiting WRs, speedy RBs, and running QBs for a conservative offense is the proverbial square peg to the round hole. They are great talents who would be welcome at any school in the country but they will never live up to their potential if they aren't used properly.

After the 2005 season M-Rob departed as one of the most beloved players in Penn State history (at least in my mind). With Robinson leaving, PSU coming off of a huge year, an Orange Bowl victory, wouldn't you kind of expect any other program in the country to stick with what was working (their "scheme/plan/offense of choice")? Running QB, Powerful RB, spread the field as much as Joe was ever willing to do? No. Instead, we opt for Morelli who has a rocket for an arm but the top speed of Mangino.

I'm not saying I wasn't interested in seeing Morelli play in 2006, I think everybody was excited about his potential. However, it is clear that Joe has no "scheme" besides conservative and we aren't recruiting a conservative offense. Clearly, it can be helpful to be flexible and roll with the offense which best fits your talent but at some point a general plan of attack has got to be made.

At the end of the day all I want is for a decision to be made. The staff needs to decide if PSU will come kicking and screaming into the 21st century with a spread offense or recruit linemen of exceptional girth and win games with defense and ball control.


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