Bill O達rien leaving Penn State for the NFL
It has always been clear that O’Brien wasn’t going to stay at Penn State and always dreamed big. The fans knew that he had the talent to make it there and would definitely go for it if he got a good gig going. In return, O’Brien was never one to go around hiding that fact and was open to tell that he would if he was given the chance.
Still, many of the fans had hoped that the day would not come with such speed. They had hoped that the coach would remain for more time and would at least help the quarterback Christian Hackenberg find his true potential.
The Penn State did not take the news with much enthusiasm and were quick to respond with criticism. Many thought he was a traitor because it has been a long time since a coach went for another job from there. The last time a coach went from Penn State was when Dick Harlow parted ways with the Lions in 1918 to coach Virginia Tech. Penn State has always been a place where coaches come to stay and they thought none would use them as a place to prove their worth and then simply move on.
But labeling O’Brien a traitor or slinging insults his way is a disservice to what he has accomplished. Penn State needed a coach to breathe life into what many thought would become a lifeless program. O’Brien needed a place where he could cut his teeth as a head coach and make a return to the NFL.
Any seasoned coach in the NFL knows that coaching positions are jobs as well and O’Brien knew that tool. They can change. Fans weren’t happy with O’Brien’s play calling and the position of defensive coordinator John Butler was also under scrutiny. O’Brien was always saying how the fans liked him when he won games but the situation was the other way round when the games were lost.
Any team and fanbase would definitely want a good coach to stay and Penn State wanted that too. O’Brien did bring the team to a new level but he wasn’t hired to go long term with them. He was introduced so the team improve from their bad games they had been giving. He managed to do that much.
“You know, it’s something that, like I said, it’s the highest -- in our profession, it’s the highest level of football. And it’s a league that I have a ton of respect for,” he said.