Question: Who should be the starting quarterback for the Nittany Lions?
Answer: Matthew McGloin
Reason: The strengths Matt McGloin exhibits are the skills most necessary for Bill O’Brien’s offense to succeed and score points. Bill O’Brien’s offense requires a quarterback to, more than anything else, make quick, proper decisions and accurate passes. McGloin is the most accurate passer and best decision-maker on Penn State’s depth chart and accordingly should be the starting quarterback.
Bill O’Brien’s offense is based on the Erhardt-Perkins offensive system, but emphasizes the pass more than the tradition Erhardt-Perkins system. Thus, it is widely known as the Air Erhardt offensive scheme. The Air Erhardt offensive scheme utilizes multiple formations and involves passing plays that have 4 to 5 potential receivers, including WRs, TEs, and RBs. The offense is largely designed to find the most favorable matchups and exploit those matchups. It uses a plethora of combination routes designed to ensure that at least one receiver will be open on a given play. Determining which receiver will be open depends upon the defense’s pre-snap alignment and post-snap movements. Thus, in this type of offense, the quarterback must be able to understand which receivers will be open depending on what the defense does, actually digest what the defense is doing on a given play, find the favorable matchup based on what the defense is doing, and make an accurate throw.
Undoubtedly, Matt McGloin is the quarterback on Penn State’s depth chart that is most able to do this. Matt is the most experienced and intelligent quarterback in contention for the starting job and is accordingly the best decision maker. Moreover, McGloin’s superior mechanics allow him to throw a more accurate ball than the remainder of the quarterbacks competing for the starting job. Therefore, the strengths that McGloin exhibits over the other candidates are the skills needed to successfully operate O’Brien’s offense, score points, and win football games.
There is no denying that Paul Jones and Rob Bolden can throw farther and run faster. In an offense where these skills are put at a premium, Paul Jones and Rob Bolden may be better candidates for the quarterback position than McGloin. These skills, however, are NOT put at a premium or necessary to successfully operate Bill O’Brien’s offense. Accordingly, because McGloin’s strengths are the skills that are necessary to score points in O’Brien’s offense, and because Paul Jones’s and Rob Bolden’s strengths are not skills that are needed to succeed in O’Brien’s offense, Matt McGloin should be the starting quarterback for Penn State.
McGloin is also a great leader, extremely competitive, and has the most experience of all of the candidates. These qualities only bolster the fact that McGloin should be leading the Nittany Lions out of the tunnel come September 1, 2012.