News broke over the weekend that Tom Allen would be joining Penn State as defensive coordinator, and with previous hire of Andy Kotelnicki to take over the offense, the coaching carousel is done (for now).
So now that the dust has settled, MMQB asks: how are you feeling about Penn State’s new coordinators?
Personally, I’m conflicted, yet optimistic.
Let’s start with the offense.
On the one hand, I’m a little skeptical when I see that a team like Penn State is going after a coordinator from a team like Kansas. Yes, the Jayhawks have been better than usual the last couple seasons, but better than usual is still pretty bad.
Then I read up on Kotelnicki’s strengths - planning around not only his roster, but his opponent’s weaknesses - and I’m becoming more and more enamored with the hire. Obviously, we’ll see how things go, and pairing up the offensive system with the offensive line is a must. But I think that hire could turn out to be a good one.
As for the defense, I’m a little more reserved. Tom Allen is best known for being the Indiana head coach, and let’s just say he has not done a good job. To be fair, no one does a good job at Indiana, so I won’t 100% hold that against him. Maybe like 50%. What I have read, however, is that Allen is a system guy - he gets his players to buy in, and maximizes what he has.
The biggest thing that I think paints my outlook is where each side of the ball is coming from.
The offense was meh (yes, they were good in PPG, but against the two top teams, they were not good), so almost any new coordinator seems like it could be an upgrade.
The defense was extraordinary. Perhaps generationally good. So it seems like any new coordinator could be a downgrade.
Now, to be fair, it’s entirely possible that the 2024 Penn State defense took a step back even if Manny Diaz had stayed. But man, it would have been nice to get competent offensive playcalling paired up with a destroyer-of-worlds defense.
I guess we’ll see, both coaches seem to be good, and I likely need to adjust my outlook a bit, particularly on the defense.
But what say you all? How are you feeling now that things have settled down on the hiring front?