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Penn State Football: Franklin Ready For Rahne To Push The Needle

by on December 03, 2017 9:20 PM

Few hires are more important than that of an offensive coordinator. Especially in this day and age of college football, one where points are scored in bunches and games are won and lost on the ability to operate an explosive attack.

So for James Franklin hiring someone to replace Joe Moorhead was no small task. It meant finding someone that could continue to run the style of offense fans and players had become accustomed to. It also meant finding someone that would in the very least keep the program at its current level.

Doing that would minimize the loss of Moorhead. Any struggles, and back-to-back 10 win seasons might feel like the peak, not the start of a new era of national relevance.

So it was not a token gesture when Franklin opted to promote tight ends coach Ricky Rahne to the job.

“At the end of the day, you gotta make the right decision for Penn State that's going to keep the program moving forward,” Franklin told reporters Sunday evening. “You kind of have two different models.”

And those are simple. Hire inside the program, or hire outside of it.

In fairness Rahne has long been tabbed as an offensive coordinator in waiting. Was he going to be Penn State's? That was always the million dollar question, and a few years later the answer turned out to be yes.

Of course it's no small task filling Moorhead's shoes. Penn State fans will be quick to notice any mistakes by Rahne and Franklin will have to do his best to let him learn on his own. The more he's able to do that the better Penn State will likely be.

“(It’s about) being able to continue to build on an exciting style of football that we're playing on the offensive side of the ball,” said Franklin. “I know he's excited, I know we're excited.”

So business as usual? Maybe not yet. But if Penn State gets any silver lining from Moorhead's early departure it's Rahne getting to coach in a game against a great opponent with relatively low stakes attached to the result.

“It's different,” said Franklin. “Although we're going to keep the offense the same, I want Ricky to take it and run with it and I know he will. We had a very honest conversation, both directions, some of his concerns, some of my concerns, making sure that we're all on the same page so we know what we're signing up for, what he can expect and what I can expect. I think both of us are really excited, as well as the staff.”

And if it all works out Penn State may not need "Moor" of anything but what they already have.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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