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Penn State, Bill O’Brien and Tom Bradley

In Penn State Football on January 7, 2012 at 10:13 am

Like many other Penn State fans I’m very disappointed in the choice of Bill O’Brien as head football coach. First I should say I’m probably very biased. I’ve been a PSU fan since 1968 when Lydell Mitchell, Franco Harris and Jack Ham were playing and I was a 10 year kid following an undefeated team. By the way, that’s almost as long as Joe Paterno has been head coach (1966). Following those great teams was Heisman Trophy winner John Cappelletti, a local guy from Delaware County and Monsignor Bonner High School. By the end of Cappy’s career the Penn State and JoePa legacy was well on it’s way to being built and the fan and alumni base was growing rapidly. I continued to follow closely as the Linebacker U legacy was being a built and tailbacks were becoming all-americans every few years. Once I became a high school coach in Florida I started attending the Penn State football camp as a coach for several weeks each summer. During that time I had the opportunity to work with and become friends with Tom Bradley, Larry Johnson, Bill Kenney, Dick Anderson, Jay Paterno, Bob White, Fran Ganter, Kenny Jackson, Joe Serra, Kenny Carter, Brian Norwood and yes Jerry Sandusky. Kermit Buggs was a high school coach when I first met him and Mike McQueary was a GA. I also had the privelage  to meet Joe Paterno on several occassions. That association lasted for 12 summers and I remain friends with Bradley, Johnson, Kenney, Anderson and White to this day. Later, once moving back to Pennsylvania I’ve been a season ticket holder to “The Greatest Show in College Football” and have thoroughly enjoyed the weekly trips to Happy Valley where I’ve met and become friends with some great Penn State Alumni and just regular fans like myself. That brings us to the hiring of Bill O’Brien and the handling of the situation by acting AD Dave Joyner and PSU Board of Trustees. Not to make light in any way of what happened to the alleged victims of Sandusky, his crimes, if proven, are atrocious and his day will come if he’s proven guilty, but that doesn’t make the PSU football program broken. JoePa spent over 60 years building the tradition that is PSU football and the developement and implementation of the “Grand Experiment”. Even this years data that was just releaed showed Penn State with the Number 1 graduation rate in all of college football. Paterno has recruited quality kids that were not only good football players (black or white) but good students (black or white) that would graduate from college and and be good people in the world outside of football. With that he passed on many great high school football players if he didn’t feel they could cut the academics required to graduate from Penn State University. To me that philosophy isn’t broken and would have been carried on by Bradley with the support of all of those that came before him. That brings us to the alumni players and fans, this is a very tight knit group of people that know that they all went through the same things to get where they are today and with that became a “brotherhood” like no other. That brings us to Bill O’Brien. O’Brien may be a fine coach and a fine person but what does he know about Penn state Fottball? The first comment I read about his hiring was that since he was from Jersey it would be great to spend the summers at the Jersey Shore. Are you kidding me!! All of the film clips you see of him on the sidelenes he’s screaming and hollering and ranting at his players. That’s one way of motivating but not one that ever worked on me. Well he’s from the Patriots and works with Tom Brady. That means nothing to me. Brady and Bill Belicheck have made a lot of assistants look good and get promoted. That doesn’t mean success. Charlie Weis, Josh McDaniels, Eric Mangini and Romeo Cremell haven’t worked out very well in their endevours after New England. It will be a long road for Coach O’Brien as he takes over a program that wants to cut all ties from the 60 year tradition that’s been built by Coach Paterno and doesn’t have the support of the Letterman’s Club and he alumni. Of course this is not Coach O’Brien’s fault, he applied for a job and got it which is great but he has his hands full. For me, I’m a Tom Bradley guy. I hope one day I will again be able to say “WE ARE PENN STATE”!!!

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  1. Good stuff! I think you captured the feelings for a lot of psu fans at this time!

    • Coach O’Brien’s press conference was good and the hiring of Larry Johnson is a good start with recruiting. It will be interesting to see who else gets brought in this week. Recruiting period is critical to salvage this year.

    • Hi Terry, we need to get Bill connecting to people for this site to grow. I am posting on my facebook and twiiter account. Any ideas?

  2. Amen. I certainly do not see the New England connection. Bradley should have been hired with a 3 year contract., period.

  3. Author can even get his quotes right; O,Brien is not from Jersey and never said that; it was a different rumored candidate. Rest of this drivel is nearly as wrong

    • Bob, Thanks for the comment. Everyone’s entitled to their opinions. I, for one, would have liked to seen Bradley get the job. I did like O’Brien’s press conference. He’s a passionate guy. I like the hiring of Coaches Johnson and Vandy. Bradley will end up with a good job somewhere and PSU needs to recovery quickly if they’re going to compete in the near future. You can’t miss recruiting classes.

  4. I too sympathize with Tom Bradley, who did nothing wrong in this sordid affair. Nearly all rumored applicants were “offensive-minded” guys; I think the search committee decided early on that Linebacker U needed to start scoring some points if PSU were to win a Big10 title again. The final 3 games of the season and the Whatever Bowl surely drove that point home. I have enjoyed watching Bradley play and coach at PSU for 36 years and I wish him well as a head coach somewhere else. Much has been made of O’Briens active sideline behavior. Think back to the PSU sidelines the past few years with Mike McQueary’s maniacal behavior (signaling, screaming to/at the offense) allowing Joe to sagely observe as head coach. O’Brien now has a new role to play and I think (and hope) he warms to it quickly. As for recruiting, I think first rate offensive players will be drawn to Tom Brady’s coach but I will grant you the last word on that.

    • I hope We are able to recruit quality offensive players as well, especially at the QB position. I think there have still been outstanding RB’s and WR’s. The OL always seemed to develop slowly but the QB play was always suspect. As you know the key is getting the right kids to start with.
      You will probably like my latest blog that I published today. It’s iunteresting and actually took a lot of work to put it together. I’m interested to hear your opinion.

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