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.

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: January 6, 2012 11:12 am

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

Real_Zeel.......Glad I could help you move up!!! If you don't mind paying all that $$$ for 6 or 7 home games a year to see two competitive games good for you. I'll also have front row the comfort of my home.

Since: Apr 4, 2007
Posted on: January 6, 2012 10:48 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.

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: January 6, 2012 10:45 am

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

At least they had the good sense not to contact you Dod, your a tool.

Since: Aug 30, 2007
Posted on: January 6, 2012 10:42 am

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

Lets just say the Tom Brady is not Tom Brady because of Bill O'Brien, but Bill O'Brien definately is Bill O'Brien because of Tom Brady.
Perfectly stated. The only other coach on the Patriots that might be as good as advertised without Tom Brady is Belicheck and possibly Crennel. Jury is still out on him although I think he may be the best of the bunch. The pats won their super bowls based on defense. Now that the Romeo is gone and the offense is gangbusters, they haven't won another. No one wins in the mistake on the lake known as Cleveland. McDaniels, Weis, Mangini, and Obrien, all offensive coordinators that have benefited from Brady. How are they doing since they left?

Since: Aug 30, 2007
Posted on: January 6, 2012 10:35 am

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

HAHAHA, good one jethro. I cant undetrstadn you come up with such with with a double digit IQ.
S,s,s,s,s,l,l,l,oooowwww down there G,G,G,unther, you tripping over y,y,y,your words. Now what is it that your attempting to say? Something about your double digit IQ?

Since: Sep 1, 2011
Posted on: January 6, 2012 10:34 am

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

Is JoePa dead yet??  Can someone please start a website with a countdown clock on JoePa's death?  Just wondering.

Since: Nov 25, 2010
Posted on: January 6, 2012 10:34 am

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

What a crock, mauxdeverite. PSU alums will never be able to hold their heads in the manner they have been? Why not? I do. This has nothing to do with the student body, the professors, nor the education one got or gets there. This was a terrible thing done by an individual who was once employed there, and possibly covered up by a few high-ranking employees. But it in no way reflects badly on the student body, alumni, or the education they provide. You want to label everyone associated with Penn State a child molester. How ignorant and narrow-minded you are. Yet, you were probably one of the kids to protest the loudest when you were in school and one kid's bad behavior got the whole class in trouble. You obviously do not like the fact that Penn State football players, and in fact all of their student-athletes, graduate at a higher rate than most other big universities. You obviously don't like the fact that they have never been sanctioned by the NCAA for recruiting violations. You obviously don't like Penn State. Fine. But your comments run the gamut from laughable to ludicrous, and your attitude is one that I hope you never pass along to any children. Hopefully you will have ample opportunity in your life to be found guilty of something simply by association. You say everyone knows what we are? Well, by your comments everyone knows what you are, too. I'd much rather be a Penn State alum than what you are. Good luck in life. You'll need it.

Since: Nov 15, 2011
Posted on: January 6, 2012 10:32 am

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

Lets just say the Tom Brady is not Tom Brady because of Bill O'Brien, but Bill O'Brien definately is Bill O'Brien because of Tom Brady.

Since: Jun 11, 2010
Posted on: January 6, 2012 10:26 am

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

I really do not think Bill O'brien will have much success, having said that, did Joe Paterno have that much success since Penn St joined the Big Ten! 3 conference titles in almost twenty years! when I was a kid, Penn St. was a independent powerhouse, they played on New years day almost every year, when that meant something! they played in Sugar bowls against Alabama, Cotton Bowls against Texas, and made the fiesta bowl a big Event, when they beat Miami! so just wondering from the Penn St. fans, if they regret moving to the Big Ten. think about it, they at one time controled most of the east coast for recruiting, and probably as far south as Virginia. now is finishing 4th in the Big Ten a big deal, so does it really matter who the coach is!      

Since: Oct 13, 2009
Posted on: January 6, 2012 10:25 am

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

Penn State may be clueless in hiring this guy?  However, it's worth noting that PSU has the least experience of all FBS programs in hiring head football caoches.  So let them practice for while before we pass judgement.

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