News is breaking today that Penn State coach Bill O'Brien is leaving the program to accept the head coaching job of the Houston Texans. I have been following the rumors all week and at first I wished O'Brien well until I read this article, by David Jones over at Pennlive this morning.
All the media outlets are praising O'Brien as the savior of the Penn State program during the harsh sanctions imposed by the NCAA, but when you set back an look at what he actually accomplished here, I personally am not impressed. I get the sentiment that he "held the program together" during tough times, but if a significant tool used in doing so was lying to the kids to keep them there, then I'm not sure that is as commendable as it otherwise might be viewed.
O'Brien when he first took over the program was smart. The first decision he made was to keep highly respected defensive line coach Larry Johnson and the top linebacker coach in the country Ron Vanderlinden. This no doubt was a big factor in keeping players like Mike Mauti at Penn State during the open transfer period of the NCAA sanctions.
During the past couple of years I've made it known on various social media platforms and message boards that I think Coach O'Brien's game planning and play calling probably cost Penn State five games over the past two season. Not good if you are a Houston Texans fan. Needless to say I've gotten a lot of grief from numerous state and local media personalities for my comments.
Now I'm starting to question Coach O'Brien's maturity level here after reading the Jones' article. Add it all up of what we have seen: The Tom Brady blow up as New England Patriot's offensive coordinator; dropping the F Bomb on national TV; O'Brien's handling of the Ron Vanderlinden situation; and now add the comments sited in the Jones article this morning. From what I have seen here this morning, I say good riddance to this guy. If I was a Texans fan, I'm not sure I would be really too excited about this guy being my next head coach at the NFL level.
I supported him as our coach, but I'm also excited about the opportunity to find a coach who wants to coach in the college game and who wants to coach at Penn State.