Four Potential Offensive Coordinator Replacements For Ricky Rahne
Penn State football lost a member of its coaching staff when offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne took the head coaching job at Old Dominion on Monday evening.
The Nittany Lions posted a 19-6 record and scored 34.1 points per game during Rahne’s two-season tenure as their offensive coordinator. He had his fair share of struggles over the past two years, but Rahne showed some signs of improvement with a younger, but perhaps more talented roster to work with in the 2019 season.
At any rate, Penn State’s search for a new offensive coordinator will commence, and with that, here are four potential replacements who could assume offensive coordinator duties beginning next season.
Joe Brady, LSU Passing Game Coordinator
Joe Brady is one of the brighest, most promising young stars in college football’s coaching ranks, and he should absolutely be one of the first people considered for the offensive coordinator job. He even has a bit of history with Penn State thanks to his two-season tenure as a grad assistant with the team.
Brady moved on from Happy Valley to take an offensive assistant job with the New Orleans Saints before joining LSU as its passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach this season. That move has worked out wonderfully, as Tigers quarterback Joe Burrow is poised to win the Heisman Trophy. Burrow threw for a staggering 4,715 yards and 48 touchdowns against just six interceptions.
The issue will be getting Brady to leave LSU. He said after the SEC Championship game this weekend that he plans on being back next season (although there isn’t much else for him to say), and LSU seems prepared to do what it can to keep him in Baton Rouge.
Andrew Breiner, Mississippi State Passing Game Coordinator
Mississippi State quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Andrew Breiner was linked with Penn State’s offensive coordinator job after Joe Moorhead took over head coaching duties in Starkville two years ago. Bringing him to Happy Valley would make lots of sense for a lot of reasons.
Breiner has head coaching experience — albeit at the FCS level — with Fordham. When Moorhead became Penn State’s offensive coordinator, Breiner replaced him as the Rams’ head coach. Moorhead eventually brought Breiner onto his staff at Mississippi State after taking the head coaching job there, so the two clearly have some connection.
The chances of Moorhead jumping ship from Mississippi State to rejoin James Franklin’s coaching staff are very, very low. However, bringing on Breiner would bring a similar version of Moorhead’s offense back to Happy Valley — but without stars like Saquon Barkley, Mike Gesicki, and DaeSean Hamilton, of course.
Tyler Bowen, Penn State Tight Ends Coach
If Penn State football were to promote from within to fill its offensive coordinator vacancy, Tyler Bowen would be a fairly safe bet.
Bowen is currently two seasons into his tenure as Penn State’s tight ends coach, and he’s worked directly with Pat Freiermuth as he’s blossomed into one of college football’s best at the position. Freiermuth is undoubtedly the position group’s crown jewel, but Nick Bowers has also been excellent in a back-up role over the past two years.
Since he sits up in the press box during games, Bowen seems like the most likely candidate to serve as Penn State’s offensive coordinator for the 2019 Cotton Bowl Classic — but that isn’t set in stone right now. The tight ends coach has proven his ability to succeed in Happy Valley, and that just might lead to a promotion in the near future.
Ja’Juan Seider, Penn State Running Backs Coach
Ja’Juan Seider is an off-the-board option to take on Penn State’s offensive playcalling, but he’s also done an excellent job in two seasons on James Franklin’s staff.
Seider was primarily brought in for one reason and one reason only: to recruit in Florida, something he’s already done exceptionally. The team’s running back room has also improved under Seider’s guidance.
The Nittany Lions implemented a by-committee approach for most of the 2019 season in which four talented players all rotated into the games regularly — a far cry from the days of Saquon Barkley and Miles Sanders taking 85-90% of Penn State’s offensive snaps. Journey Brown eventually emerged as the top back, but you can argue that he was able to do so because of his lack of wear and tear thanks to Seider’s by-committee approach.
A Penn State offense run by Ja’Juan Seider would be interesting to see, and I think he’ll at the very least be considered for the job.
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