On January 10th, Head Coach Neal Brown hired Penn State Wide Receivers Coach Gerad Parker to the same position, but also gave him another title. Not only will Parker replace Dye in the receiver’s room, but he will also have the title of Offensive Coordinator. It had for the most part been unclear what his role would be in the schematics and overall philosophy of the offense, but some insight was given on the matter as Brown met with the media today to begin spring football.
While there has been no official word on whether or not Parker will assume play-calling duties, it is expected that Neal Brown will continue in that role. During his introductory press conferences with the Mountaineers, Brown even went as far to say that he will continue to call plays for the rest of his career. Ultimately taking the possibility of Parker calling plays off of the table. However, during his opening press conference of the spring today, Brown did briefly describe Parker’s role with the team and how he will be utilized in the offense.
According to Brown, the logic behind the hire of Parker was to give the offensive room a leader. As he went on in his press conference, Brown listed the difficulties of being both the head coach of the football team and the leader in a specific unit room. With that becoming an issue in the preparation for the offense in 2019, Brown felt it would be best for the team to have a specific leader for the offensive unit.
While his presence alone was reasoning behind the hire, Brown went on to state that Parker’s vision will be used in the offense. The extent of how his vision will be used is unclear, but having an extra set of eyes watching offensive film can only be a positive for the Mountaineers. West Virginia was nothing short of anemic on offense in 2019. In order for the team to make any kind of strides in 2020, improvements must be made on the offensive unit. Having a proven commodity such as Parker leading the offense should result in an offense that will gel better together moving forward.
The true impact of Parker’s hire on the offense remains to be seen. Fans will be on the lookout for changes in scheme and the approach of the offense when the Mountaineers take the field for their annual spring game on April 15th. Nonetheless, the hire is looking like a home-run for Neal Brown early on.