Bill O’Brien stays above PSU Football fray



For the 2013 Penn State Football Season Preview

The leader of PSU football, Bill O’Brien told the media this summer that he was not offered a job in the NFL. Despite all the speculation about him leaving Penn State, O’Brien says he’s committed to Happy Valley. And it’s easy to understand why bigger than PSU football jobs will be there for Bill O’Brien, or BOB, as he’s colloquially known.

If not next offseason, certainly soon.

BOB worked miracles with Matt McGloin last year. He took a TERRIBLE excuse for a starting Big Ten quarterback and propelled him to pretty much rewrite the PSU football passing record book. McGloin had an amazing season and now goes down as one of the best passers in Penn State history.

BOB also got more out of Zach Zwinak than anyone ever expected. Silas Redd who?

And he’s doing a great job adjusting Penn St. to life with sanctions. And handling the overzealous malcontent fringes of Nittany Nation. By that I mean the element still stuck in the Joe Paterno era. And/or trying to rewrite Paterno history. PSU Safety Malcom Willis has the perfect message and ethos for this group.


And BOB does as well.

“I don’t really deal with it, I think about today and the future,” O’Brien said.

“People ask me questions and I give them my opinion on what’s best for those people (who work in the PSU football program). I think what’s best for those people is making sure they understand what’s important about PSU football, going to class, getting a great degree, fielding a tough competitive team regardless of what the playing field looks like sanction wise. So that’s what I do and I don’t worry about what a bunch of people think.”

Of course, every college football coach is still the face of their football program.

Well maybe not Texas A&M. They have some guy playing there you might have heard of. (Or maybe not if something happens with these autograph sales allegations). But O’Brien’s job doesn’t require him to be a transformative, wholistic leader of men. He’s here to simply recruit players and then coach them.

“I said a long time ago, I’m not the unity coach. I’m a football coach, I’m not the coach of unity. I don’t believe I’m the face of the University,” O’Brien said.

Of course, he’s still leading a big name program through an unprecedented situation. Not just for a top tier football program, but any program. However, O’Brien isn’t about Gestalt. He’s about football. And the history of PSU football. The big games that were played, the players that have come through.

“I want them to really understand the history of the program,” O’Brien said of his players.

“From just a football standpoint. but I don’t talk to those guys about things that they have no control over, or I have no control over.”

For the 2013 Penn State Football Season Preview

Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports, a Fox Sports affiliate. He is also an analyst for 95.7 The Fan, and writes on Chicago sports media for Chicago Now. President Obama follows his Twitter account (@paulmbanks)

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  1. Your articles suck just like Washington, D. C.! Nobody cares if BOB stays or goes, as he’s using his position today to make more than JoePa ever did and is a coward like you!
    People from Chicago could never understand Pennsylvanians! Illinois is waiting for handouts by the president while Pennsylvania and her people are working and busting their button! The only reason the ” ENTERTAINMENT MEDIA ” went after JoePa was to cover Obama from Benghazi, nice try? But we are a lot smarter than idiots! Have a good day!

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