Today Dan Mullen capped off his sixth signing day class as the head coach of Mississippi State with press conference discussing the 23 new Bulldogs. While Mullen touched on a lot of things including his plans for Gerri Green and Jamoral Graham being the best player in the state, Dan also touched on something that may have seemed minor to some, but was explanatory to others who've long debated on the topic.
"Recruits know I call the plays for us. I did that last year. I spend a lot of time with the quarterbacks." - @CoachDanMullen— MSU Football (@HailStateFB) February 5, 2014
Mullen calls the plays on offense. There it is, finally out in the open. While many have known that to be true for some time now, hearing Dan say it clarifies where much of the responsibility falls on the offensive side of things, and who the successes and failures of the offense in his time should be attributed to. It also diminishes the loss of former MSU offensive coordinator Les Koenning, at least in relation to how Dak Prescott and this Bulldog offense will function without him this fall.
Mullen followed up his declaration as the play caller by saying that he would like to have any final new pieces to the coaching staff in place by next week. Those two things are intermixed, as we now know that Dan doesn't necessarily need an offensive coordinator in the traditional sense to fill Koenning's place. With Dan essentially operating as the OC, MSU can afford to hire a young and upcoming quarterbacks coach to replace the work that Les did with Dak and others at the QB position. Going in that direction with a new hire would leave money in the budget for the long-needed special teams coach as well. Alternatively, if Mullen did chose to bring in an OC as we saw reported last week, he could do so strictly to add new wrinkles to the offense, injecting the new coordinator's scheme into the spread option MSU currently runs.
Whatever Mullen decides to do with new hirings, one thing is now clear - this offense is his. With Dak Prescott, an entire wide receiving corps and one of the best offenses in MSU history largely returning in 2014, State fans have to be confident that the MSU offense they saw in 2013 will be the same, if not better, when the Bulldogs hit the field this fall.