Right on cue with an earlier statement, Penn State coach Bill O’Brien announced last week that senior Matt McGloin would be the starting quarterback for the Nittany Lions this fall. The decision was a departure from the previous two years which saw McGloin share time with Rob Bolden, neither of whom separated themselves from the other.
Good, bad, right or wrong, O’Brien felt the need to make a decision and commit to it, at least for the time being. It’s a move that McGloin supports.
“I think coach O’Brien did a great thing by announcing it early,” McGloin said, via StateCollege.com. “It lets me try to get control of the offense going into the season.”
McGloin is 5-5 as a starter and has been dreadful at times under center, but according to O’Brien, “did a very good job of being consistent” this spring. That was enough to put him ahead of Paul Jones in the QB race while Bolden slipped down to No. 3. Whatever the pecking order, McGloin says the depth chart needs to say “then” rather than “or.”
“It’s a killer to a team, in my opinion,” McGloin said of the previous QB rotation. “You have to have a clear-cut starter. The team has to believe in the quarterback. That wasn’t the case the last two years.
“If the (coaches) had put their trust into one guy, we might have been more successful.”
Fair enough, although one could argue that the previous Penn State coaching staff put their trust solely into McGloin for the 2011 Outback Bowl, which resulted in McGloin tossing five picks.
“Now that everybody knows I’m the starting quarterback, I can try to earn the respect of the rest of the team, earn their trust and go from there,” McGloin said. “I can finally get my mind off of it and not worry about somebody nipping at my heels or whether I’m going to get this rep or that rep.
“I can focus on mechanics, watching film, working with the guys who are most important to me (on offense), work on becoming a leader. If I’m going to start Saturday, I can be at ease with my mind and just focus on preparing for the games and not worry about if I don’t play or practice well Tuesday or Wednesday.”
In theory, McGloin has a point. More often than not, a team is better off if they have an established quarterback. That said, I’m not sure he’s the guy to be talking about what’s good for team chemistry.