Jets hope to see strides from ex-Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg, another noteworthy Trace McSorley stat and more
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This is your Penn State Wake-Up Call for Tuesday, May 23. Let’s get started.
Scout ‘taken aback’ by Christian Hackenberg
The most anyone has seen of Christian Hackenberg in an NFL uniform to date was when the New York Jets wrapped up the 2016 preseason last Sept. 1 in Philadelphia.
It did not go well.
The former Penn State quarterback started for the Jets and went a hideous 11 for 31 for 54 yards in a 14-6 loss. He was picked off once. His passer rating was a miserable 30.7.
And remember, this occurred in the final exhibition game, when starters typically rest and the field is flooded with fringe players.
Now, with organized team activities looming, ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini wonders if Hackenberg, the Jets’ second-round draft pick last year, is a good fit for the West Coast system of new offensive coordinator John Morton, with its accent on accuracy and efficiency.
Cimini added that a scout was “taken aback” by Hackenberg’s inability to click on throws, even in pregame warmups. He also noted that in Hackenberg’s final season at Penn State, his adjusted completion percentage was 64 percent, according to Pro Football Focus. That was 120th in the nation.
Hackenberg is working in his fourth offensive system in five years dating back to his freshman year in Happy Valley, Cimini added. He has been working on West Coast principles in the offseason with his personal tutor, Jordan Palmer.
While Cimini said he believes veteran Josh McCown will hold off Hackenberg and Bryce Petty for the starting job, the Jets’ hope is that Hackenberg merely shows improvement over a year ago.
Trace McSorley functions fine under fire
Accuracy also was an issue last season for the Lions’ returning starter at QB, Trace McSorley, who hit 57.9 percent of his attempts. But he led all FBS passers in yards per completion (16.13) and as Pro Football Focus tweeted Monday, he was third among returning quarterbacks in passer rating under pressure (101.7)
Only Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield (119.2) and Western Kentucky’s Mike White (107.4) were better.
In 2016, Penn State QB Trace McSorley fielded the 3rd highest passer rating under pressure, of all returning QBs for the 2017 season. pic.twitter.com/TIPKSrj1ka
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) May 22, 2017
Beaver Stadium renovation well in the future
Mike Poorman of Statecollege.com writes that renovations to Beaver Stadium won’t begin until at least five years from now, though it is far from clear how much of a facelift the venerable structure will undergo.
He points out that athletic director Sandy Barbour oversaw a $443 million stadium renovation while at Cal, and she took some heat because of the pricetag. For that and other reasons, it will not be a surprise if the Beaver Stadium do-over is smaller in scope.
Another point of interest in Poorman’s piece is that coach James Franklin said he is not involved in discussions about the stadium renovation. Franklin did tell Poorman during the recent coaches’ caravan that he had heard about “issues” with things such as food and bathrooms.
And, the coach added:
“We have issues with technology, issues with being able to use the stadium year-round because of pipes freezing and things like that, the way the stadium was built. So there’s a lot of issues. But it’s probably not best for me to kind of discuss those things because I have not taken a deep dive into them and I don’t like to have opinions on things I haven’t really been involved with or done research on.
“At this time I’m not prepared to do that.”