Share This Page

Penn State coach O'Brien will soon select starting QB

| Friday, June 7, 2013, 1:46 p.m.
Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien at the Omni William Penn May 14, 2012. Chaz Palla | Tribune Review
Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien at the Omni William Penn May 14, 2012. Chaz Palla | Tribune Review
Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien at the Omni William Penn May 14, 2012. Chaz Palla | Tribune Review
Tribune-Review
Penn State's new head football coach Bill O'Brien leaves the field following the Blue-White scrimmage at Beaver Stadium in University Park on April 21, 2012. Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review

Bill O'Brien will do everything he can to stabilize the quarterback position in his first season at Penn State.

The Nittany Lions coach told the Tribune-Review on Monday that he expects to name a starting quarterback before the end of the month.

And yes, we are talking about May.

O'Brien had previously said he would eliminate Matt McGloin, Rob Bolden or Paul Jones from the competition and pit the other two against one another in preseason practice. The former New England Patriots offensive coordinator apparently wants to fend off a quarterback controversy long before one starts.

That is why he will name a starter more than three months before Penn State's Sept. 1 season opener against Ohio University.

“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.”

The Nittany Lions haven't had a No. 1 quarterback since Daryll Clark in 2009. McGloin, a fifth-year senior, and Bolden, a junior, shared time at quarterback the past two seasons but neither took control of the starting job.

That left an opening for Jones.

The 6-foot-3, 245-pound redshirt sophomore sat out the past two seasons because of academic issues, but he is the most tantalizing prospect of the three because of his size and lively right arm.

O'Brien settling on a starter so far in advance of his first season may offer a portal into his philosophy when it comes to quarterback, a position he has coached extensively. It could also be an indication that one quarterback clearly emerged in his eyes even though none of the three shined during the Blue-White game last month.

“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.”

Summer workouts at Penn State started earlier this week, and players will do more than lift before the start of preseason practice in August. Many are still learning the offense and defense that O'Brien, and his assistant coaches installed during spring practice.

“I can't do anything with them this summer, but I just want them to be as strong as (possible) and in the best condition of their lives when they come back,” said O'Brien, who met with every player on the team after the conclusion of spring practice. “And I want them to understand the terminology we taught them in the spring. If we don't have to re-teach, then I think we'll be in good shape in training camp.”

Scott Brown is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.He can be reached at sbrown@tribweb.com

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.