Tag:Joe PAterno
Posted on: January 8, 2012 11:26 pm
 

Ron Vanderlinden staying on staff at Penn St.

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Bill O'Brien will no doubt look to revamp the offensive coaching staff at Penn State as he attempts to build a Nittany Lion attack in the mold of the one he's guided for the New England Patriots. But the defense? It looks like that side of the ball will retain a strong flavor from the Joe Paterno era.

That's after multiple Nittany Lion players confirmed following a Sunday team meeting that Penn State linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator Ron Vanderlinden would be held over as part of O'Brien's staff. A former head coach at Maryland, Vanderlinden has been an assistant in Happy Valley for the past 11 seasons. He began the 2011 season as linebackers coach before being promoted to co-defensive coordinator following Paterno's exit.

Vanderlinden is the second defensive assistant to be retained by O'Brien, joining defensive line coach Larry Johnson. Tennessee Titans assistant Charles London has also been hired as the Nittany Lions' running backs coach.

Though full-season coordinator and former interim head coach Tom Bradley obviously deserves much of the credit, Vanderlinden's cameo as co-DC was nonetheless a highly successful one. The Nittany Lions finished 20th in total defense, a sterling 12th in yards-per-play allowed, and an even-better fifth in scoring defense. With numbers like those, it's understandable why O'Brien would want to keep as much continuity on that side of the ball as possible.

But still, the first thing the Nittany Lions wanted to talk about after the meeting was ... O'Brien himself. Quarterback Matt McGloin said he "got some chills" discussing offense with his new head coach.

“I expect that it’ll be an entirely different playbook,” McGloin said. “It’s exciting, just watching the Patriots and knowing we’ll be doing similar things.”

“You can definitely sense that he goes about business, and loves football, and he showed that to us,” said wide receiver Justin Brown. “I think everybody’s just excited to get things going with our new coach and move forward.”

“To the people who had doubts about him, everybody has to start somewhere,” said running back Silas Redd. “Every head coach has a head coaching debut, and this is his debut. He’s more than ready to steer this whole thing.”

If McGloin is right that the offense will hum, and Redd and Brown are right that O'Brien is ready to lead, and a defense with Vanderlinden and Johnson aboard can hold the line, a hire that was near-universally panned among the Nittany Lion faithful may (like similarly unpopular hires Gene Chizik and Brady Hoke) wind up OK in the end.

All information and quotes via CBSSports.com RapidReporter Jim Rodenbush. For daily updates on Penn State football, be sure to follow Rodenbush's RapidReports right here.

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Posted on: January 6, 2012 12:27 am
 

Bill O'Brien may stay with Pats past Signing Day

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Penn State is expected to announce the hiring of New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien on Saturday, according to CBSSports.com NFL reporter Mike Freeman. That brings a merciful end to the Penn State coaching search, as the PSU job was the last to be filled in all of the FBS.

The thing is, however, if reports are true, O'Brien won't be on Penn State's campus immediately -- and the wait could potentially extend past a very important deadline. According to Boston Herald Patriots beat reporter Ian Rapoport, O'Brien will remain the Patriots' offensive coordinator throughout the playoffs. And while the NFL playoffs start this weekend, the Patriots' season won't be ending so soon. New England is the top seed in the AFC, meaning the Patriots have a bye week this week, and are the favorite to make it to Super Bowl XLVI.

Penn State fans should be rooting for an early upset for the Pats, though, because if the Patriots do make it to the Super Bowl, O'Brien's going to be a member of that staff until February 5. That date is important, because Signing Day -- the first day that college football recruits can sign letters of intent with their preferred school -- is the preceding Tuesday, February 1. Now, top seeds are hardly locks to make the Super Bowl in today's NFL, but the Patriots under Bill Belichick have one of the best track records in the playoffs of any NFL franchise over the last decade or so.

O'Brien is expected to do some recruiting while he's still with New England, and he wouldn't be the first coach to pull double-duty like this; Rapoport also noted on his feed that Charlie Weis did so at New England as he prepared to take over Notre Dame, and Sylvester Croom was similarly stretched between Green Bay and Mississippi State when he was first hired. Unfortunately, as Rapoport also noted, such double duty hampered the coaches' first recruiting classes considerably, and it's also worth noting that both coaches were fired after five seasons -- right when that first recruiting class would have been full of redshirt seniors.

It would then behoove Penn State to retain Tom Bradley (the defensive coordinator-turned-interim coach who has led the team since the Penn State Board of Trustees fired longtime coach Joe Paterno on November 9 in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal) and offer him his old position as defensive coordinator, much in the same way that Ohio State has honored interim head coach Luke Fickell since the hiring of Urban Meyer. That way, Bradley can also focus his efforts on recruiting and salvage a Penn State class that by Big Ten standards is mediocre, and by Penn State standards is subpar.

It does not portend well for Bradley's future with Penn State, however, that the only word from him was that he had not been told of any hiring plans by the school as of Thursday night, according to Blue White Illustrated. If Bradley is not motivated to remain committed to the recruiting trail for Penn State while O'Brien tries to balance recruiting and coaching the Patriots for however long New England's season lasts, Penn State's recruiting class will undoubtedly suffer, and that's another hurdle that this suddenly flailing program does not need to have added to the race ahead.

For more breaking news on Penn State, follow the team's RapidReports by Jim Rodenbush.

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Posted on: January 4, 2012 2:12 pm
Edited on: January 4, 2012 2:26 pm
 

Report: Schiano not interested in Penn St. job

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The Penn State coaching search still appears no closer to reaching its conclusion after another potential candidate has reportedly expressed his lack of interest in the position.

StateCollege.com had reported earlier Wednesday that Rutgers coach Greg Schiano had been targeted as a possible candidate for the Nittany Lion position, citing flight records and a source claiming that "something is going on with" the Scarlet Knight head coach. But multiple outlets -- including the original report, now updated, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette -- have since indicated that Schiano has not interviewed for the position and is "not interested" in replacing Joe Paterno.

For years, Schiano has been rumored to be a prime candidate (if not the prime candidate) to take over when Paterno left. A former Nittany Lion assistant coach under JoePa, Schiano's resuscitation of the Scarlet Knights and ties to Happy Valley would seem to make him a natural fit, and Schiano's alleged coveting of the Penn State job has often been blamed for his not taking a position at a larger program already. (He was rumored to have been one of Michigan's top selections, for instance when Lloyd Carr retired in 2007.)

But whether because that interest was never as strong as reported, the fallout from the Jerry Sandusky scandal, or Schiano's willingness to simply repay the faith shown in him at Rutgers, he does not appear to be an option for the Nittany Lions at this time. 

With NFL-based candidates Bill O'Brien and Mike Munchak also recently denying interest, Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements may remain the top candidate, though how much interest the school actually has in Clements is a matter of conjecture.

The head coaching position at PSU has been open since Nov. 9, when Paterno was fired by the Penn State Board of Trustees after offering to resign at the end of the year. It is the only FBS head coaching position currently vacant.

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Posted on: January 2, 2012 6:56 am
 

Keys to the Game: TicketCity Bowl

Posted by Adam Jacobi

PENN STATE WILL WIN IF: Rob Bolden is a different quarterback when he's not looking over his shoulder. Rob Bolden was a highly touted quarterback recruit for Penn State, and when he became the first true freshman to start at quarterback for Penn State in the 2010 season, the primary reaction was one of excitement and not, say, the revulsion that Penn State fans have felt whenever Bolden has come into a game this season as part of the QB rotation. Bolden has completed under half of his 107 passes and has only one touchdown to his name on the year, so we're talking about a level of (non-) production that few quarterbacks who have attempted over 100 passes in a season can match. And now, Bolden is the unquestioned starter, as starting QB Matt McGloin has been ruled out as he continues to recover from the concussion he suffered when WR Curtis Drake knocked him out in a December fight. Perhaps Bolden just needs to get into a groove and not stand on the sidelines for 2/3 of a game. Perhaps he's got a big game dialed up. Perhaps. 

HOUSTON WILL WIN IF: Case Keenum can stay upright for 90% of his pass plays. Case Keenum, the NCAA's leading passer in all of history, is obviously very good at throwing the football, and he's got a host of talented wideouts. What he's also got in the TicketCity Bowl is an opposing defense that ranked fifth nationally (and first in a stingy Big Ten) in pass efficiency defense, and that fact stems from Penn State having both an outstanding secondary and a top-notch defensive line. Houston's offensive line needs to keep the Nittany Lion pass rush as far away from Keenum as possible, because a pass offense as predicated on timing as Houston's is can ill afford to have its QB flushed from the pocket or taking sacks. The cleaner Keenum's jersey stays, the better a chance Houston has of winning this thing.

X-FACTOR: Both teams are working with an interim head coach right now; Penn State has been using defensive coordinator Tom Bradley ever since Joe Paterno was fired mid-season, and Houston's special teams coordinator Tony Levine has been heading the Cougars since Kevin Sumlin was hired by Texas A&M. Penn State's approach has been largely similar to Joe Paterno's tendencies, though the quarterback rotation was quickly scrapped, and it'll be interesting to see if there's any substantial difference between a Kevin Sumlin offense and a Tony Levine offense. Regardless, both Bradley and Levine are basically auditioning as head coaches, as both men are potential candidates for the job, and there should be no shortage of motivation for either of them to put together a winning gameplan. 
Posted on: January 1, 2012 12:25 pm
Edited on: January 1, 2012 12:26 pm
 

Report: Penn State closing in on Patriots OC

Posted by Chip Patterson

The search to replace Joe Paterno at Penn State is reportedly nearing the end, according to a USA Today source.

Jonny Saraceno reported Sunday that a person with knowledge of the Penn State coaching search say New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien is set to be the next head football coach of the Nittany Lions. ESPN's Adam Schefter also is reporting O'Brien as the leading candidate, after just one year serving in his current post with the Patriots.

The Patriots close out the regular season Sunday at home against division rival Buffalo. Saraceno reports that "only contract details need to be finalized before O'Brien is the man."

O'Brien has been an assistant on the New England staff since 2007, after stops at Brown (his alma mater), Georgia Tech, Maryland, and Duke. In addition to being the offensive coordinator this season, the 42-year old Massachusetts native has been quarterbacks coach for Tom Brady since 2009.

Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak, a former Penn State offensive lineman, was reportedly the top choice to replace Joe Paterno but just this week officially stated his lack of interest in the position at this time.

For all the latest on Penn State's coaching search and preparation for the TicketCity Bowl against Houston on Jan. 2, follow Nittany Lions Rapid Reports.

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Posted on: December 31, 2011 11:09 am
 

Teen accuses Sandusky of 2004 on-campus assault

Posted by Chip Patterson

Additional allegations of sexual assault have been made against former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. The most recent reported incidents occurring inside the Penn State football offices in 2004 - two years after Sandusky was banned from bringing children into the building.

FoxNews.com spoke the attorney of the now-19-year old accuser, who was a 12-year old summer camper in a program run by Second Mile - Sandusky's charity aid underprivileged youth - at the time of the incident. The accuser has reportedly filed a civil suit against Sandusky, Second Mile, and Penn State.
The teen’s lawyer, Charles Schmidt, told FoxNews.com in an interview on Thursday that Sandusky lured the boy into an office seven years ago, plied him with alcohol and raped him. He said Sandusky then gave the boy Penn State football championship memorabilia, walked him outside and handed him off to a Second Mile counselor.

Schmidt said Sandusky gave the boy a football championship commemorative bottle and a hockey puck, and that both items have recently been turned over to police.

The office where the alleged rape occurred is thought to have been Sandusky’s office in Penn State’s Lasch football building, Schmidt said. He said he thought that Second Mile’s programs were run out of that building.
FoxNews.com reports that the Attorney General's office is investigating the allegations, though there was no official comment from the spokesperson. That statute of limitations for criminal charges in cases like this is 12 years after the accuser's 18th birthday.

Former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley told a grand jury that he banned Sandusky from bringing Second Mile children into the football building in 2002, after Mike McQueary said he saw the former defensive coordinator raping a boy in the showers. Joe Amendola, Sandusky's attorney, claims his client was not banned from using Penn State facilities until November 2011 - after the criminal charges were filed.

While more continues to unravel regarding this sad case in State College, interim head coach Tom Bradley is preparing his team for the TicketCity Bowl on Jan. 2. The Nittany Lions are also searching for a full-time replacement for Joe Paterno.

For on-field Penn State news, get the latest updates at the TicketCity Bowl Pregame 

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview
Posted on: December 28, 2011 10:54 am
Edited on: December 28, 2011 11:30 am
 

Report: Mike Munchak is Penn State's top choice

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The only head coaching job in the country that hasn't been filled yet is the one at Penn State. Understandably, given the reasons behind the firing of Joe Paterno at the school, Penn State is taking its time finding a replacement. Though according to some reports, the search may be coming to an end soon.

And it's looking more and more like the school's top choice will be former Penn State player and current Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak.

The Patriot News reported on Tuesday that many high-level donors to the school were already talking about Munchak as if it were a "done deal" though that doesn't necessarily mean it is. For his part Munchak has denied any interest in the Penn State job when asked about it, saying "nothing is going on, people like to speculate."

Which hasn't done much to stop the speculation, as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette also reported on Tuesday that Munchak is the top choice of Penn State's search committee ahead of Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements.

Whatever the case is, nobody will know for sure until after Penn State's bowl game, as Tom Bradley recently said in an interview that the school wouldn't name a new head coach until after it played Houston in the TicketCity Bowl on January 2nd. Coincidentally, that's a day after the NFL regular season will come to an end and Munchak will know whether or not his Titans have made the playoffs.

UPDATE: It seems Penn State may need to move on to its second choice as Munchak told Titans beat reporter Jim Wyatt on Wednesday "I love my alma mater, but I have no interest in being the head coach at Penn State. I never want to leave Tennessee." That's pretty much as "thanks, but no thanks" as it can get.
Posted on: December 26, 2011 1:25 pm
Edited on: December 26, 2011 2:19 pm
 

Report: Chris Petersen not interested in Penn St.

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Well, you can't blame Penn State for trying, can you? 

The Nittany Lions are conducting what by their own admission has a been a "deliberate and measured" search for Joe Paterno's replacement and are the final FBS team to fill their 2011 head coaching vacancy. But any complaints would have been quickly silenced if they could become the program that finally pries away Chris Petersen from Boise State. It's no surprise a Penn St. official reportedly visited Idaho twice last week in an effort to make the program's pitch to Petersen. 

But like every other previous suitor for the Bronco coach's services, that pitch has fallen on deaf ears--if it was ever even heard in the first place. The Patriot-News's David Jones has reported that Petersen "has made it known he is not interested in Penn State's vacant head coaching position."

Jones writes that the decision is "no shocker," and surely it isn't; after he turned down all manner of high-profile jobs the previous several offseasons (including UCLA earlier this month), convincing Petersen to take a scandal-plagued position that several lesser coaches have already shied away from was always the longest of long shots.

But given the position Penn State finds itself in -- no coach and not even any real leads on one, with Signing Day rapidly approaching and the fanbase growing more nervous by the day -- Petersen was the kind of prize that was worth taking that shot anyway. The only criticism to be made is if that shot came out of desperation, and with it having failed, the search is poised to go on for several more days ... or even weeks.
 
 
 
 
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