Posted by Adam Jacobi
New Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien is in the process of filling out his coaching staff, and one of the most crucial roles on any staff is that of offensive coordinator. The offensive coordinator typically calls plays, coaches his quarterbacks, and puts to Xs and Os what the head coach's offensive philosophy dictates. Pretty important stuff, all in all.
So it came as no small surprise when the Penn State athletic department announced on Tuesday that the Nittany Lion offensive coordinator would be nobody at all, as O'Brien has decided to take on the play-calling responsibility itself. O'Brien is the current offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots, so he's probably got as good an idea as to what the job entails as anybody else, but it's also worth reiterating that O'Brien is the head coach of the entire team -- not just the offense.
Of course, there are dozens of different ways a college coaching staff can be arranged without being derelict in any of its actual duties, so it's not as if the lack of an official offensive coordinator on O'Brien's staff specifically means that any major aspect of the team will be out-and-out neglected in his regime. That notion doesn't come close to passing the smell test.
Still, it's worth noting that this is certainly an unorthodox approach to staff-building, and it'll be interesting to see how O'Brien's delegation of tasks works out. He may be onto something here -- or he may just be on something. Common sense suggests the former.
For more up-to-the-minute news on the Bill O'Brien era of Nittany Lion football, read the CBSSports.com Penn State RapidReports with Jim Rodenbush.
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