The McSorley Myth (long)

PSUSignore

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Clifford is not like McSorley. Trace is a run first dual threat. Sean Clifford is a mobile pro-style QB. Trace is more like a poor man's Adrian Martinez whereas Clifford is more like Darryl Clark.
Nothing against Clifford, I do think he's an above average QB especially this season when he was healthy, but he's no Daryl Clark.
 
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IANit

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Clifford is not like McSorley. Trace is a run first dual threat. Sean Clifford is a mobile pro-style QB. Trace is more like a poor man's Adrian Martinez whereas Clifford is more like Darryl Clark.
So somebody with a 31-9 record as a QB is a poor man's version of someone who is 14-25 as a starting QB? You are so biased against Trace and Franklin that it isn't funny.
 

Madsol

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Trace has played 3 game in his NFL career, one he took only one snap. 3-10- 90yds. He got passed over by a rookie this year, he's practice fodder basically running the scout team. Matt McGloin had a more productive NFL career three years in.

Trace had great players surrounding him at PSU. Over half a dozen NFL players on the offensive side of the ball his first two years. When a good chunk of those players moved on to the NFL Trace became a very average college QB his SR year.
You might have a point if people were trying to make Trace out to be a hall of fame caliber QB. As it is, certain posters seem to go to great lengths to minimize his contributions to Penn State. Not really sure why. And look at your last sentence...he became very average college QB his SR year. Yet, he was drafted!! Those 2 things don't go together. Who cares how many passes he's attempted or who has passed him on the depth chart. He was drafted as a QB. That ends any nonsense about him being a very average college QB. You are wrong.
 

LionDeNittany

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You might have a point if people were trying to make Trace out to be a hall of fame caliber QB. As it is, certain posters seem to go to great lengths to minimize his contributions to Penn State. Not really sure why. And look at your last sentence...he became very average college QB his SR year. Yet, he was drafted!! Those 2 things don't go together. Who cares how many passes he's attempted or who has passed him on the depth chart. He was drafted as a QB. That ends any nonsense about him being a very average college QB. You are wrong.

Hackenberg was drafted. He was below average in College.
 

fastlax16

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Trace has played 3 game in his NFL career, one he took only one snap. 3-10- 90yds. He got passed over by a rookie this year, he's practice fodder basically running the scout team. Matt McGloin had a more productive NFL career three years in.

Trace had great players surrounding him at PSU. Over half a dozen NFL players on the offensive side of the ball his first two years. When a good chunk of those players moved on to the NFL Trace became a very average college QB his SR year.

No saying he's a great nfl qb but its a little disingenuous to say he was passed over by a rookie. He was taking second team snaps prior to the getting injured and missing the remainder of the preseason. The ravens were always going to carry only two qbs going into the season.
 

Wallace Breen

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So somebody with a 31-9 record as a QB is a poor man's version of someone who is 14-25 as a starting QB? You are so biased against Trace and Franklin that it isn't funny.
Joe Moorhead, Saquan Barkley, Mike Gesicki, Chris Godwin and DaeSean Hamilton got him there. Trace was a role player. Nothing more, nothing less. The 9 losses tell you everything you need to know. He rarely made an impact in a win but was almost always the primary reason for a loss. That is not a good quarterback.
 

The Spin Meister

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An altered state
Clifford is not like McSorley. Trace is a run first dual threat. Sean Clifford is a mobile pro-style QB. Trace is more like a poor man's Adrian Martinez whereas Clifford is more like Darryl Clark.
So true. Which is why the change away from the RPO heavy offense is so important. CJF finally changed his system to match the talent he has on the field.
 

The Spin Meister

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An altered state
Joe Moorhead, Saquan Barkley, Mike Gesicki, Chris Godwin and DaeSean Hamilton got him there. Trace was a role player. Nothing more, nothing less. The 9 losses tell you everything you need to know. He rarely made an impact in a win but was almost always the primary reason for a loss. That is not a good quarterback.
That’s not accurate at all. Trace was a good QB with decision making, reading Ds, running and adequate at passing. He really excelled at leadership and his grit helped the team come from behind and win multiple times. And I am sure he was a great leader all week at practice, at film sessions, coaches meetings, conditioning and weight room, and more.
 

HartfordLlion

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You might have a point if people were trying to make Trace out to be a hall of fame caliber QB. As it is, certain posters seem to go to great lengths to minimize his contributions to Penn State. Not really sure why. And look at your last sentence...he became very average college QB his SR year. Yet, he was drafted!! Those 2 things don't go together. Who cares how many passes he's attempted or who has passed him on the depth chart. He was drafted as a QB. That ends any nonsense about him being a very average college QB. You are wrong.

Well when he was drafted I recall he was also told he was going to play special teams. People bash Hack for being a lousy QB on this board and he was drafted also.
 

IANit

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Joe Moorhead, Saquan Barkley, Mike Gesicki, Chris Godwin and DaeSean Hamilton got him there. Trace was a role player. Nothing more, nothing less. The 9 losses tell you everything you need to know. He rarely made an impact in a win but was almost always the primary reason for a loss. That is not a good quarterback.
So I guess Gesicki, Godwin, and Hamilton passed the ball to themselves? Trace was a very good college QB, regardless of what you think. Some games that really jump out at me where he played a key role are the 2016 Big Ten Championship, the 2017 Iowa game, and the 2018 Iowa game.
 

SR108

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The only myth regarding Trace McSorley is that he was special. Sorry, he was a very average dual threat QB that was in the right place at the right time. He was surrounded by future NFL talent during his three years as a starter to include one very special Saquan Barkley and it showed as soon as #26 left for the NFL. He was very average in 2018. Simply put, any dual threat QB could have done what he did in 2016 and 2017. The QB position was the weakest link on the team and ultimately what held us back from the playoffs both years.

That is not to say that Trace doesn't have some special characteristics. He was deceptively smooth runner that was quicker than fast which caused problems. He never quit and was tough as nails. These attributes turned him into a fan favorite.
Also an excellent leader which should not be undervalued.
 

SR108

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As the bloom has fully come off of James Franklin’s PSU rose, the finger of blame has been pointed in numerous directions. And in a game like football, it’s never “one thing.” QB play. OL play. DL play. Coaching scheme. Coaching game management.

I’d like to posit one chief failure of James Franklin. It’s not the only one. And it’s certainly not saying that the guy has failed in every recruiting area. But he has failed significantly in the area of QB recruiting.

Trace McSorley—his Vanderbilt tagalong recruit as a new coach at PSU—was special. And I give Franklin credit for reaching on this kid against the industry’s projections and hitting a homerun (or “dinger” as Trace liked to say). But he seemed to fashion himself a QB visionary, taking athletic underachievers and maximizing their potential. It worked at Vandy, where elite QBs were a pipe dream. But Penn State—a blue blood—should not have needed to reach, year after year for QB recruits. He found success recruiting some elite players at every position. Except QB.

Most QBs in Franklin’s seven “post-McSorley” classes were top 30 kids. Far from scrubs. But far from elite prospects. Tommy Stevens in 2015. Jake Zembiec in 2016. Those two guys were par-for-the-course for post-sanctions Penn State.

But then the Big Ten championship and Rose Bowl season happened. Was it far-fetched to expect an elite QB to climb aboard Franklin’s rising starship?

Sean Clifford was PSU’s guy. Pretty much a consensus top 15 QB. And—to date—the highest rated QB Franklin has signed. (New England Patriots starter Mac Jones was similarly rated in 2017.)

But elite programs sign a Sean Clifford in every class. At least. Penn State seemed to have their guy in 2018, but Justin Fields’ stock shot up and he walked away from his commitment in the summer before his senior year. Another elite PA kid left the state (Phil Jurkovec to Notre Dame), and PSU settled for a raw athlete barely in the top 50 nationally—Will Levis.

Let me restate. The year after a Big Ten championship and Rose Bowl appearance, a team with elite NFL offensive players (Saquon Barkley, Chris Godwin, and Mike Gesicki) couldn’t sign even a top 30 quarterback.

And Franklin wonders why PSU isn’t elite?

He followed his underdog formula in the 2019 class, landing two top 30 quarterbacks upon the departure of Tommy Stevens to Mississippi State (Michael Johnson Jr. and Taquon Roberson). And another top 30 caliber kid (Micah Bowens) was all Franklin could muster in 2020.

Of course, top 5 quarterback recruits don’t always pan out. And the Bengals’ Joe Burrow was rated lower than Tommy Stevens in 2015. Everybody knows recruiting isn’t a science. But it does follow probability. You’ll find more NFL starters coming from the top 5 of recruiting rankings than from #15-20. And you’ll recognize more college stars from the top 10 of those QB lists than from #21-30.

And a college star is really all Penn State fans are wanting. But Franklin hasn’t landed top 10 recruits. His greatest recruit has had a tumultuous three years as a starter, and Clifford certainly has grit. Nobody doubts his heart. But he’s not a great QB.

He’ll make a great throw or two—like the two-point conversion gem to Dotson last Saturday—but he’ll miss easy throws more times than not. Or he’ll be a bit off and force his receivers to make circus catches. Which they rarely do. Or he’ll make the wrong read, like that 4th down desperation heave to—gulp—Cam Sullivan Brown.

You can blame the OL. You can blame scheme. But even when both of those are in place, Clifford still throws high. Or long. Or never gets the throw off at all because he reads the pocket wrong. That’s on the QB.

Ironically, Franklin seemed to have finally fixed his problem in year 9 with not one but two top 15 QB recruits verbally committed. But a hobbled Clifford and a nose-diving team might shake the faith of Allar or Pribula. Even if both of them sign in December, what’s the soonest Franklin can get an elite QB at the helm of our once-elite program?

2022? Unlikely. 2023? Perhaps. But the biggest question is will Penn State wait a decade for Franklin to put a star QB recruit on the Beaver Stadium turf?
How many "elite" QB's did Joe put on the field?
 

Jerry

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How many "elite" QB's did Joe put on the field?

Collins fits the category. And probably Blackledge. That's about it.

After that, lots of solid guys but nobody elite or great.

Ironically, two of Joe's best QBs ever as measured by qualities of leadership, chemistry, and results on the field had maybe the least raw talent: Burkhart and Schaeffer. Of course those guys had pretty fair country teams around them.

In the modern game, you can't win championships or even compete for them with Burkharts or Schaeffers taking snaps. Regardless, both of them should have a special place in Penn State hearts.
 
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Option Bob

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How many "elite" QB's did Joe put on the field?
At a time when there were fewer NFL teams and, therefore. fewer QBs, Penn State under Joe Paterno placed several QBs into the league.

Some made the NFL while Joe was the QB coach: Milt Plum, Galen Hall, and Pete Liske.

A forgotten name at QB who also made the NFL was Tom Sherman.

John Hufnagel played in the NFL and in the CFL.

Blackledge and Collins have been mentioned already.

Were any of the names above "elite"? I don't know. Back then just making the NFL as a starter should classify a player as exceptional, if not elite. But I guess other than Plum, no Penn State QB has been a huge success in the NFL other than maybe Kerry Collins.
 

RaymondReddington

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The only myth regarding Trace McSorley is that he was special. Sorry, he was a very average dual threat QB that was in the right place at the right time. He was surrounded by future NFL talent during his three years as a starter to include one very special Saquan Barkley and it showed as soon as #26 left for the NFL. He was very average in 2018. Simply put, any dual threat QB could have done what he did in 2016 and 2017. The QB position was the weakest link on the team and ultimately what held us back from the playoffs both years.

That is not to say that Trace doesn't have some special characteristics. He was deceptively smooth runner that was quicker than fast which caused problems. He never quit and was tough as nails. These attributes turned him into a fan favorite.
Did your parents understand why incest is illegal?
 

fastlax16

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Winning with a mediocre QB is really hard. Franklin must be a truly amazing head coach to have won as many games as he did with such mediocrity at the most important position. Glad he’s sticking around for another decade. Pencilling in some 15-0 seasons with someone like Allar under center.
 
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flinter

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The reality is that Barkley was never a great physical, up the gut runner. His edge speed and moves were off the charts for someone his size. Journey was becoming a special runner that hit the middle hard and could break away. That hurt last year. I thought Cain could become that up the gut runner this year but something wrong after injury. It seems like Franklin spent too much time on pass blocking and expected Cain, Lee, Ford, Lovett would be able to move chains. That has not happened and OL not prepared to push people.
Saquon= up the middle vs Minnesota in OT for the win and saving the season! Remember?
 

McCloudersportLion

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As the bloom has fully come off of James Franklin’s PSU rose, the finger of blame has been pointed in numerous directions. And in a game like football, it’s never “one thing.” QB play. OL play. DL play. Coaching scheme. Coaching game management.

I’d like to posit one chief failure of James Franklin. It’s not the only one. And it’s certainly not saying that the guy has failed in every recruiting area. But he has failed significantly in the area of QB recruiting.

Trace McSorley—his Vanderbilt tagalong recruit as a new coach at PSU—was special. And I give Franklin credit for reaching on this kid against the industry’s projections and hitting a homerun (or “dinger” as Trace liked to say). But he seemed to fashion himself a QB visionary, taking athletic underachievers and maximizing their potential. It worked at Vandy, where elite QBs were a pipe dream. But Penn State—a blue blood—should not have needed to reach, year after year for QB recruits. He found success recruiting some elite players at every position. Except QB.

Most QBs in Franklin’s seven “post-McSorley” classes were top 30 kids. Far from scrubs. But far from elite prospects. Tommy Stevens in 2015. Jake Zembiec in 2016. Those two guys were par-for-the-course for post-sanctions Penn State.

But then the Big Ten championship and Rose Bowl season happened. Was it far-fetched to expect an elite QB to climb aboard Franklin’s rising starship?

Sean Clifford was PSU’s guy. Pretty much a consensus top 15 QB. And—to date—the highest rated QB Franklin has signed. (New England Patriots starter Mac Jones was similarly rated in 2017.)

But elite programs sign a Sean Clifford in every class. At least. Penn State seemed to have their guy in 2018, but Justin Fields’ stock shot up and he walked away from his commitment in the summer before his senior year. Another elite PA kid left the state (Phil Jurkovec to Notre Dame), and PSU settled for a raw athlete barely in the top 50 nationally—Will Levis.

Let me restate. The year after a Big Ten championship and Rose Bowl appearance, a team with elite NFL offensive players (Saquon Barkley, Chris Godwin, and Mike Gesicki) couldn’t sign even a top 30 quarterback.

And Franklin wonders why PSU isn’t elite?

He followed his underdog formula in the 2019 class, landing two top 30 quarterbacks upon the departure of Tommy Stevens to Mississippi State (Michael Johnson Jr. and Taquon Roberson). And another top 30 caliber kid (Micah Bowens) was all Franklin could muster in 2020.

Of course, top 5 quarterback recruits don’t always pan out. And the Bengals’ Joe Burrow was rated lower than Tommy Stevens in 2015. Everybody knows recruiting isn’t a science. But it does follow probability. You’ll find more NFL starters coming from the top 5 of recruiting rankings than from #15-20. And you’ll recognize more college stars from the top 10 of those QB lists than from #21-30.

And a college star is really all Penn State fans are wanting. But Franklin hasn’t landed top 10 recruits. His greatest recruit has had a tumultuous three years as a starter, and Clifford certainly has grit. Nobody doubts his heart. But he’s not a great QB.

He’ll make a great throw or two—like the two-point conversion gem to Dotson last Saturday—but he’ll miss easy throws more times than not. Or he’ll be a bit off and force his receivers to make circus catches. Which they rarely do. Or he’ll make the wrong read, like that 4th down desperation heave to—gulp—Cam Sullivan Brown.

You can blame the OL. You can blame scheme. But even when both of those are in place, Clifford still throws high. Or long. Or never gets the throw off at all because he reads the pocket wrong. That’s on the QB.

Ironically, Franklin seemed to have finally fixed his problem in year 9 with not one but two top 15 QB recruits verbally committed. But a hobbled Clifford and a nose-diving team might shake the faith of Allar or Pribula. Even if both of them sign in December, what’s the soonest Franklin can get an elite QB at the helm of our once-elite program?

2022? Unlikely. 2023? Perhaps. But the biggest question is will Penn State wait a decade for Franklin to put a star QB recruit on the Beaver Stadium turf?


You should go root for UM jr of Miami- theyve had more future Heisman Testeballs go thru there the last few years at QB than a Nissan commercial.
 
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Wallace Breen

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So somebody with a 31-9 record as a QB is a poor man's version of someone who is 14-25 as a starting QB? You are so biased against Trace and Franklin that it isn't funny.
If you slot Martinez on Penn State circa 2016, we beat Pitt (McTurnover lost that game in the first half) and probably lose a close game to Michigan (as opposed to the uncompetitive game we had mostly due to the QB position) en route to the playoffs. We might have run the table in 2017 with a player of Martinez's caliber.
 

TheGLOV

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Gold Member
As the bloom has fully come off of James Franklin’s PSU rose, the finger of blame has been pointed in numerous directions. And in a game like football, it’s never “one thing.” QB play. OL play. DL play. Coaching scheme. Coaching game management.

I’d like to posit one chief failure of James Franklin. It’s not the only one. And it’s certainly not saying that the guy has failed in every recruiting area. But he has failed significantly in the area of QB recruiting.

Trace McSorley—his Vanderbilt tagalong recruit as a new coach at PSU—was special. And I give Franklin credit for reaching on this kid against the industry’s projections and hitting a homerun (or “dinger” as Trace liked to say). But he seemed to fashion himself a QB visionary, taking athletic underachievers and maximizing their potential. It worked at Vandy, where elite QBs were a pipe dream. But Penn State—a blue blood—should not have needed to reach, year after year for QB recruits. He found success recruiting some elite players at every position. Except QB.

Most QBs in Franklin’s seven “post-McSorley” classes were top 30 kids. Far from scrubs. But far from elite prospects. Tommy Stevens in 2015. Jake Zembiec in 2016. Those two guys were par-for-the-course for post-sanctions Penn State.

But then the Big Ten championship and Rose Bowl season happened. Was it far-fetched to expect an elite QB to climb aboard Franklin’s rising starship?

Sean Clifford was PSU’s guy. Pretty much a consensus top 15 QB. And—to date—the highest rated QB Franklin has signed. (New England Patriots starter Mac Jones was similarly rated in 2017.)

But elite programs sign a Sean Clifford in every class. At least. Penn State seemed to have their guy in 2018, but Justin Fields’ stock shot up and he walked away from his commitment in the summer before his senior year. Another elite PA kid left the state (Phil Jurkovec to Notre Dame), and PSU settled for a raw athlete barely in the top 50 nationally—Will Levis.

Let me restate. The year after a Big Ten championship and Rose Bowl appearance, a team with elite NFL offensive players (Saquon Barkley, Chris Godwin, and Mike Gesicki) couldn’t sign even a top 30 quarterback.

And Franklin wonders why PSU isn’t elite?

He followed his underdog formula in the 2019 class, landing two top 30 quarterbacks upon the departure of Tommy Stevens to Mississippi State (Michael Johnson Jr. and Taquon Roberson). And another top 30 caliber kid (Micah Bowens) was all Franklin could muster in 2020.

Of course, top 5 quarterback recruits don’t always pan out. And the Bengals’ Joe Burrow was rated lower than Tommy Stevens in 2015. Everybody knows recruiting isn’t a science. But it does follow probability. You’ll find more NFL starters coming from the top 5 of recruiting rankings than from #15-20. And you’ll recognize more college stars from the top 10 of those QB lists than from #21-30.

And a college star is really all Penn State fans are wanting. But Franklin hasn’t landed top 10 recruits. His greatest recruit has had a tumultuous three years as a starter, and Clifford certainly has grit. Nobody doubts his heart. But he’s not a great QB.

He’ll make a great throw or two—like the two-point conversion gem to Dotson last Saturday—but he’ll miss easy throws more times than not. Or he’ll be a bit off and force his receivers to make circus catches. Which they rarely do. Or he’ll make the wrong read, like that 4th down desperation heave to—gulp—Cam Sullivan Brown.
w
You can blame the OL. You can blame scheme. But even when both of those are in place, Clifford still throws high. Or long. Or never gets the throw off at all because he reads the pocket wrong. That’s on the QB.

Ironically, Franklin seemed to have finally fixed his problem in year 9 with not one but two top 15 QB recruits verbally committed. But a hobbled Clifford and a nose-diving team might shake the faith of Allar or Pribula. Even if both of them sign in December, what’s the soonest Franklin can get an elite QB at the helm of our once-elite program?

2022? Unlikely. 2023? Perhaps. But the biggest question is will Penn State wait a decade for Franklin to put a star QB recruit on the Beaver Stadium turf?

(Phil Jurkovec to Notre Dame was and IS over-rated!!
 

TheGLOV

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Agreed. Alabama doesn’t really have to recruit in the normal sense of the word; they simply select from among the kids that want to go there. For all the bitching about Franklin’s lack of success against OSU, he has beaten them and played OSU on balance better than anyone else in the Big unlike Harbaugh who makes even more money and has yet to beat OSU or win a Big Championship.

Good points!
 

TheGLOV

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Gold Member
Actually, the NFL doesn't disagree. The Ravens immediately turned him into a practice player during his first rookie camp. Trace was not a great college QB nor was he a good one. He was very average in just about every way. He was propped up by Barkley, Godwin, Gesicki and Hamilton. The proof is in the pudding. In 2018, when most were gone and he was the man, he was very average despite higher than usual talent around him.

But TRACE was a master at 'jump-ball' passes!

;) o_O ;)
 

IANit

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If you slot Martinez on Penn State circa 2016, we beat Pitt (McTurnover lost that game in the first half) and probably lose a close game to Michigan (as opposed to the uncompetitive game we had mostly due to the QB position) en route to the playoffs. We might have run the table in 2017 with a player of Martinez's caliber.
McSorley had 3 turnovers in that Pitt game. That Pitt team also beat Clemson at Clemson. Deshaun Watson had 3 turnovers in that game. QB play was only part of the issue against Michigan. We were pretty much out of linebackers by the end of that game. McSorley didn't appear to truly grasp or trust Moorhead's offense until the next game against Minnesota. He was pretty good from that point forward.

I haven't watched Martinez that much, but when I have, normally when for some reason I want Nebraska to beat someone, he's been pretty inconsistent. He's talented, but not enough of a difference-maker to get Nebraska even to a bowl game.
 
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africamurphy

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Apr 1, 2019
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Not sure how this thread devoled into a conversation about Adrian Martinez.

Martinez will not make an NFL roster for 1 season...he might not even make a pre-season.
McSorley has been on an NFL roster for 3 years. Dumb conversation.

I stand by my initial statement. McSorley was special. In 2018...without Barkley, Gesicki, Godwin...he struggled in the Rahne offense. But the NFL saw the talent...and a healthy McSorley is special.
 

The Song Remains the Same

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speaking of Trace...off to the Phoenix Cardinals he is

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