Bill O'Brien has no intention on squandering precious practice time with a quarterback competition when Penn State's team reconvenes in August. As it turns out, he'll end the competition long before then. He told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that a starting quarterback will be named at the end of this month.
"You can’t waste time, in my opinion, with a quarterback battle during training camp," O’Brien said before speaking, along with three other coaches, to almost 400 Penn State alumni last night at the Omni William Penn Hotel. "We’re not a wishy-washy place. We’ve got to make decisions and some people aren’t going to be happy with the decisions, but that’s our job. It’s about the team, and we’re doing what’s best for the team."
"Not a wishy washy place" should be sweet music to every Penn State fan's ears, considering the senseless and random carousel of the past two seasons. O'Brien's reasoning for this?
"I just think you have to have a starter and he’s going to get most of them reps," O’Brien said during a stop of the Penn State Coaches Caravan. "The guy I name the starter, he’s got to do a great job every day to keep his job so that doesn’t mean he can’t get beat out, but I think that’s important for our team to know who our starting quarterback is going into camp."
Fine by me. The team has enough of a task adjusting to a new playbook with new terminology. There isn't a lot of ramp-up time before the opener against Ohio (and I'll keep beating the drum, that game is not going to be easy). The starting quarterback needs as many reps as possible for his personal sake. The surrounding players on offense need to get in sync with the starting quarterback. Apparently, BOB's seen enough to make a call.
As we all know, Matt McGloin, Paul Jones, and Rob Bolden are the three choices (our sources inside the program tell us that Giant Trebuchet has requested a transfer and Jugs Machine is academically ineligible). The conventional wisdom has been that Jones moved up to the #2 position during the spring and could possibly catch McGloin with a strong performance in pre-season practices. However, it would seem that O'Brien is going to lean on experience. And moxie, of course.