Blog Entry

O'Brien hire shows Penn State didn't have a clue

Posted on: January 6, 2012 2:13 am
Edited on: January 6, 2012 10:25 am
 
Tom Brady looks better every day. Every day, that is, an assistant gets hired away from the Patriots.

It’s a great thing to work for the Pats, at the top of your profession, chasing Super Bowls each season. A stark reality set in when Charlie Weis, Romeo Crennel, Eric Mangini and Josh McDaniels left. They don’t necessarily get better. Their former franchise just keeps chugging along.

Freeman: Penn State should quit whining over good hire

See a pattern here? No. 12. He’s still there winning games without them.

With that, we present Bill O’Brien as the new coach at Penn State. O’Brien is the Patriots offensive coordinator. He is most famous to a large part of the population at the moment for getting into a sideline spat with Brady. For that transgression he was allowed to live.

Now he goes to Happy Valley where his career could die.

Maybe that’s not fair, but the one conclusion we can draw from this convoluted coaching search is that Penn State didn’t have a clue. If there was ever a time to hire a search firm, this was it. It didn’t. Instead, it looks like there were warring factions inside the search. What did Penn State want? We’re still not sure.

At least the school made a swift, definitive and convincing statement. Swift if you consider it was 45 days between Paterno’s firing and O’Brien’s reported hiring. Definitive if you consider that everyone but Knute Rockne turned down the job/used it for a raise/laughed into the phone when contacted.

Convincing if you consider that O’Brien, 42, may be nothing more than a sacrificial door jamb in big, cosmic coaching-go-round -- a go-between while Penn State football rights itself and the next Urban Meyer comes along. It’s only been a couple of days since he passed but let’s not forget that it was the late, great Gene Bartow who taught us never to be the guy to follow the guy.

Until his unsightly downfall, Paterno was college football’s Wooden. Paterno’s legacy is stained forever. But when the dust and lawyers settle, O’Brien will eventually be asked match a long, successful legacy that produced a .749 winning percentage.

Contract details have not been announced but if O’Brien doesn’t get at least a seven-year contract, he should fire his agent. The job was toxic before O’Brien took it. It’s going to take a while to clean it up. O’Brien is not the sexy hire that is going to talk undecided recruits in off the ledge. But the school couldn’t afford a sexy hire image-wise. That would have been sending the wrong message for a program that obviously has been worshipping at the altar of Paterno for too long.

During these 45 days, Penn State aimed high, scoured low and came up with a guy who is supposed to do what? Deconstruct and rebuild the program? Win the Big Ten next year?

Penn State would prefer to win quietly, out of the spotlight. That, of course, is impossible.

Fans with thousands invested in personal seat licenses aren’t going to stand for a de-emphasis of football. Winning the Big Ten anytime time soon seems impossible, too. There will be a faction of recruits who stay away from Penn State for obvious reasons: They don’t want to shower in the same place where a youth may have been sodomized.

There is still another faction of recruits who will always go there because they believe they can get to the NFL. That may sustain the program. O’Brien will say the right things and try to restore faith in football, school and community.

Time, then, for introductions all around. O’Brien has been New England’s OC since 2008. He has 14 years college experience as an assistant but none as a head coach. The Duke teams he was associated with went 1-22.

There are cautionary tales all around him: Weis parlayed the promise of seven games at Notre Dame into a 10-year contract. He is currently at Kansas trying to rebuild the Jayhawks and rehab his coaching image. Crennel is 26-41 as an NFL head coach. McDaniels lasted less than two years as coach of the Broncos. Magini is doing TV analysis.

O’Brien’s future awaits. Ironically, he needs a quarterback at Penn State for starters. Suddenly, for him, there are no Tom Bradys in sight.
Comments

Since: Apr 4, 2007
Posted on: January 6, 2012 12:06 pm
 

O'Brien hire shows Penn State didn't have a clue

 Maybe I'm mistaken, but I thought you said 6'5 +. Ah, yes, there it is.  Patriots list him as 6"1. I must be mistaken, I alwasy thought players ttried to make themselves bigger for roster mesasurements, not smaller.  If your father hadnt bred with his sister, you might have a clue Jethro.

Lacks size.


Release: Lacks size, but shows good use of hands and surprising strength to battle through the initial jam when coming off the line of scrimmage. Is often split out wide here in order for him to gain him a clean release. Good initial quickness off the snap and accelerates smoothly.

Route running: Lacks size, but has good use of hands and surprising strength to fight through the jam at the inline position. At his best once he gets in space. Good straight-line speed to challenge over the top. Good balance and agility as a route-runner. Can create some explosion out of his cuts to gain separation.





Since: Aug 30, 2007
Posted on: January 6, 2012 11:55 am
 

O'Brien hire shows Penn State didn't have a clue

One of their two 6'5 tight ends is 6'1 but thanks for bringing it. It ranks right there with Nobody wants to coach at Penn St.

Hernandez is 6'3.5'' according to his combine measurements. Your crazy if you think he is only 6'1. Consider it brought. And, still, nobody wants to coach at PSU. Have fun with the 4-8 season next year.



Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: January 6, 2012 11:51 am
 

O'Brien hire shows Penn State didn't have a clue

Thank you Dennis Dodd for once again taking a dump on someone who is down.  We cfb fans have known all along that the PSU job is toxic and this would be an extremely difficult hire.  It does not take a rocket scientist to know that Penn St was not going to be able to attract a great, high-profile head coach.  So why crap all over Penn St and its fans for hiring the caliber of coach anyone with half a brain expected?  Dennis, you go way beyond douchebag.  You are the Douche Lord.



Since: Dec 18, 2007
Posted on: January 6, 2012 11:44 am
 

O'Brien hire shows Penn State didn't have a clue

No one knows for sure if O'Brien will excell or not as the head coach in "Happy Valley". Personally I don't think he will, I think it's going to be a long time before anyone will. Whoever it is for years to come. He's got guts for trying though. I wouldn't want to be the guy following Paterno. The fan base and allums are going to constantly be comparing the preformance of whoever is coaching the team, to Joe. As far as Penn St. not having a clue on how to conduct a coach search: what did you expect? They haven't had to do it for, well it seems forever. How long was Paterno there? 150 years or something?



Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: January 6, 2012 11:42 am
 

O'Brien hire shows Penn State didn't have a clue

It is kind of a toxic job right now.

Penn State should be happy someone wants to be there as has a resume.  Maybe, it was all Tom Brady, but that overshadows the main point.  Penn State had exceedingly limited options.

Considering the circumstances, this hire is not that bad.   Good Job Penn State.




Since: Apr 4, 2007
Posted on: January 6, 2012 11:33 am
 

O'Brien hire shows Penn State didn't have a clue

I think this is more out of necessity. I doubt PSU will have two 6'5''+ probowl caliber TE's on the squad anytime soon. The Pats also have no WR taller than 6'1'' that catches the ball (Ochocinco and his 20 catches on the year doesn't count). Somebody has to catch all those Brady balls.

One of their two 6'5 tight ends is 6'1 but thanks for bringing it. It ranks right there with Nobody wants to coach at Penn St.



Since: Oct 29, 2008
Posted on: January 6, 2012 11:28 am
 

O'Brien hire shows Penn State didn't have a clue

Well put. As a fellow Penn State alum I continue to be proud of my alma mater and the education it provides. I am a passionate PSU football fan, but realize it is so much more than that.



Since: Aug 30, 2007
Posted on: January 6, 2012 11:28 am
 

O'Brien hire shows Penn State didn't have a clue

24 touchdowns by tight ends?  Pretty inventive scheme. I wouldnt write him off quite yet
I think this is more out of necessity. I doubt PSU will have two 6'5''+ probowl caliber TE's on the squad anytime soon. The Pats also have no WR taller than 6'1'' that catches the ball (Ochocinco and his 20 catches on the year doesn't count). Somebody has to catch all those Brady balls.



Since: Jan 16, 2011
Posted on: January 6, 2012 11:22 am
 

O'Brien hire shows Penn State didn't have a clue

Well let's see what has transpired over the last 24 hours..

1) Brady banished O'Brien to PSU so he could get a coordinator that he actually thinks he can work with. After all, he already made O'Brien look good for one season.
2)  PSU fans are upset over the hire thinking that they can get ANY coach they want, guess what those days are long gone.... 

3) Dodd is 100% correct after all he is an expert on clueless.    



Since: Jan 6, 2012
Posted on: January 6, 2012 11:19 am
 

O'Brien hire shows Penn State didn't have a clue

Nobody knows if this is a good hire or not. Somebody has to follow Joe Pa and somebody has to try to resurrect the program. Why not O'Brien?  Dodd's article is nonsense.



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