Saturday, January 07, 2012

Initial impressions, for what they are worth

Penn State has its new head football coach. And as I watched his press conference on television, I drew a couple conclusions about and for Bill O'Brien:

1. He won't make any excuses for any losses or mistakes the program makes
2. He's tough but fair
3. He's going to have a difficult time assembling a strong recruiting class this season
4. He'll understand the pressure of attempting to replace Joe Paterno because he has worked with Bill Belichick, a demanding person
5. The 2012 football schedule offers him few easy games, though seven home games helps
6. I won't use the word deserve (because it's a word I don't like), but I'll be curious to see if the unusual circumstances surrounding how he got the football job will cut him some slack from the critics who will be everywhere
7. I think (and perhaps hope) that he'll embrace the legacy that Joe Paterno built and to the extent possible include him in the program
8. The legal issues surrounding the program will not go away; the potential for the NCAA to stick its nose in this situation will be more problematic
9. He'll need to rely on strong and experienced college football people to guide him through the maze that is NCAA rules and regulations
10. He'll win

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