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BSD Mailbag 12.18.15

STAR WARS.....NOTHING BUT STAR WARS!! (But mostly about Penn State Football)

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Do you expect any other coaching changes on the offensive side? Who is the 2016 starter at QB? JMO-PSUZ
I don't expect Franklin to make any more changes. If he had any plans to do so, I 'm certain it would have been done at the same time as Donovan being relieved of his duties. However, that doesn't necessarily mean the staff will remain the same. I would imagine Moorhead has some leeway when it comes to offensive assistants, and while I am not expecting it at this time, I also wouldn't be shocked if he makes a change or two to bring in his own staff that more closely resembles his coaching philosophies.

As for the quarterback, I am starting to wonder if Hackenberg may just stay for one more season know that Moorhead is on board. He's already defied logic by committing to Penn State in the program's darkest hour, then re-affirmed his commitment when it looked like he would never even receive the opportunity for postseason play, let alone leading a very limited offense because of a lack of scholarships. However, if he decides to move on, I hope that Franklin open up the quarterback race. We know very little about Trace McSorley, and practically nothing about Tommy Stevens or Jake Zembiec. It was recently confirmed that Zembiec will enroll in January and participate in spring practice, so he could be an interesting wildcard considering he probably has the highest ceiling of any of the "new" quarterbacks.

If we lose the bowl game, is the hiring of Moorhead still going to provide enough enthusiasm to carry the team (and us) until Spring practices start? (I recall how happy many of us were after last year’s bowl win, thinking it would set the stage for a great 2015.) PSU_Lions_84
To borrow a phrase from Dawg Sports, SBN's Georgia Bulldogs site, the Taxslayer Bowl is a speedbump on the journey to a new era. While this is especially the case for Georgia as they move on from the Mark Richt era, it also rings true for the Nittany Lions. While a bowl win always provides an extra spark of excitement for the coming season, the fact that Moorhead will not be leading the offense until the spring will keep Penn State fans in anticipation of what is to come in 2016, regardless of the result on Jan. 2.

Expectations for O-Line: Obviously Moorhead seems like a good hire. Numbers don’t lie. So he should be able to get better use and results out of the super talent on PSU’s roster. But it doesn’t seem that our O Line is that talented, no? Better production out of Gisecki, Hamilton, etc wouldn’t surprise me but I’m not sure the blue chips OL guys we have we have are ready (or will they be?) by next year and the guys we have now seem to have a lower ceiling by how much they’ve struggled for two years now. Will the OL be a hindrance to our progress next year? Or should they be less of a liability? rpm5103
We'll find out quickly if the offensive line struggled these past two seasons because of a lack of experience and talent, or if the scheme is more to blame. The OL will be very heavy on experience in 2016, and with another offseason in the weight room, there will be no excuses if they underperform once again.

While youth played a huge factor in 2014, the continuing struggles in 2015 seemed more closely tied to the scheme than anything else. In all seriousness, the offensive line shared that same philosophy as my pee-wee football team when I was 12- bulldoze the player in front of you on running plays, stand your ground and don't let your man pass you on passing plays. You rarely saw anyone pulling, or the line acting as a cohesive unit whatsoever during the Donovan era. If the OL is placed into a better opportunity in the new offense, it's possible to see a dramatic improvement by the fall.

Who stands to benefit most from the new offensive scheme? 1. Wide Recievers, with any particular emphasis on Godwin/Blacknall/Polk? 2. Tight Ends? 3. New QB X? 4. Offensive line, because maybe, maybe, they won’t be knee-jerk response to what’s wrong with the offense? 5. We, the fans? psubadger
You could easily make a case for any of these. For reasons mentioned above, the offensive line could see a vast improvement, which would go a long way to benefit the 2016 quarterback when they actually have time to make a read and get the ball out of their hands. As for the tight ends, I have a feeling Moorhead wouldn't continually use Gesicki the same way Donovan did, or any other underperforming player, if they are unable to deliver. Obviously the fans will benefit by not having to spend three hours each week hopelessly watching a dysfunctional offense. But the unit that has the most to gain is the wide receivers because of an obscene amount of young potential.

We already know Chris Godwin has All-American potential and DaeSean Hamilton is one of the premiere receivers in the Big Ten. But Moorhead should do wonders for players like Saeed Blacknall, who Donovan quite never understood how to maximize his obvious talents. Blacknall was seldom used, but has the speed and size to be a complete nightmare for opposing defenses. Then there is Geno Lewis- whenever the ball was thrown his way, great things happened- except he rarely received any looks after a few tremendous performances at the start of the 2014 season. Similar to Blacknall, Charles Irvin and Juwan Johnson are both tall and athletic targets with insanely high ceilings. Moorhead will also have spedsters DeAndre Thompkins and Brandon Polk, either who could develop into X-factors who can add a dangerous wrinkle that completely opens up an offense. Despite the fact Penn State could be breaking in a very green quarterback in 2016, Moorhead has the horses to create a very explosive offense right off the bat.

Best work by the major Star Wars actors Outside of Star Wars. Formwer_DC_Buck
My extremely subjective list:

Harrison Ford- The Fugitive (Yes, the obvious answer is Indiana Jones, but I watched The Fugitive way too many times as a kid to consider any other performance)

Carrie Fisher- Rosemary Howard on 30 Rock (Fisher gave a hysterical performance that helped Liz Lemon give a glimpse into her future if she continued her loner lifestyle. "Liz Lemon, you're our only hope!")

Peter Cushing- Dr. Van Helsing in The Horror of Dracula (A Spooktacular character from many old Dracula films that required Cushing's haunting presence)

Billy Dee Williams- Gale Sayers in Brian's Song/Harvey Dent in Batman (While the recent Batman films are entertaining, there's no touching the Tim Burton installments)

Frank Oz- Anything from the last few decades on The Muppets

James Earl Jones- There is no way I could settle on a single performance, so my top three: Mr. Mertle in The Sandlot, Terrance Mann in Field of Dreams and King Jaffe Joffer in Coming to America

Liam Neeson- Again, nearly impossible to settle on one but the two that will stick with you are Oskar Schindler in Schindler's List and Alfred Kinsey in Kinsey.

Ewan McGregor- Ed Bloom in Big Fish has made me a McGregor fan for life.

Natalie Portman- Nina Sayers in Black Swan (Portman's career has taken a downturn since this role but I have a feeling she'll bounce back with the new Jacqueline Kennedy movie).

Jake Lloyd- Jamie Langston in Jingle All the Way (No explanation needed, because Jingle All the Way)

Hayden Christensen- Stephen Glass in Shattered Glass (Easily one of the most underrated films and performances of the 2000s).

Samuel L. Jackson- Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction, although the case can be made for any of his collaborations with Quienten Tarantino).

Jimmy Smits- Matthew Santos in The West Wing (His underdog election storyline was arguably responsible for the best two seasons of the show)

Rose Byrne- Ellen Parsons in Damages (Five incredible, mind-bending seasons)

What's the grace period on Moorhead innuendos before we start getting warned? I need to know… for reasons… InflammableDumpster
I've been trying very hard to limit my Moorhead innuendos, so while I'm not necessarily saying they are encouraged, they certainly won't be discouraged for the time being (OK, so I am kind of encouraging them).

Christian Hackenberg or Johnny Football: Who do you want on your team? WorldBFat
I'm assuming this is a joke, right? One of these players possesses nearly all the physical tools desired for an NFL quarterback....the other is a quarterback for the Browns. On top of the physical tools, Hackenberg has proven time and time again to be an ultimate team player, especially considering how much of a raw deal he's received during the past two seasons, while Manziel can't be bothered to show up for practice on time or study film even though he's paid millions to act like a professional.

If you had to wear one of the following for a week, which do you pick and why?

A) Hitler mustache
B) Ugg boots
C) Ohio State gear

I will immediately toss out the Hitler mustache, because that is all kinds of wrong. I could easily pull off the Ohio State gear considering I live in Ohio, but would probably spend the next six months in a hot shower trying to wash away that "unclean" feeling. That would leave me with the Ugg boots, which I assume would at least keep my feet nice and toasty during the winter. Plus, it wouldn't be the first time I made myself look ridiculous in the name of comfort- something that becomes more and more acceptable with each year that I age.

What is the best X Parmesan where X = eggplant, veal, or chicken? subquestion – how about on a sandwich? Ken Barnas Shattered Dreams
Anything deep-fried and covered in layers of cheese will be delicious, but veal is the best type of Parmesean hands down- either as a meal or sandwich.