ESPN is among many news organizations reporting that the New England Patriots' offensive coordinator will be introduced as the head coach on Saturday.
The Associated Press reported Friday that terms and details of O'Brien's contract still needed to be set, that nothing was official and there was no signed contract. According to AP, a Penn State coaches staff meeting was scheduled for later Friday afternoon.
O'Brien, 42, will be a head coach for the first time and never coached or played at Penn State. He will continue to work as the Patriots' offensive coordinator through the NFL playoffs, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. O'Brien interviewed Thursday with Penn State, his agent, Joe Linta, told The Associated Press.
"I'm sad to lose him. I told him that," Patriots owner Robert Kraft told the Boston Herald on Friday. "We have a philosphy in our company, that if anyone has an opportunity and we can't match it -- we did have the ability to deny him under our contract -- but this is one of the great college coaching positions. They have their challenges right now.
"Billy is a very high-quality guy. He's got integrity. He's honest, and I'm sad to see him go, but I think they've chosen wisely."USA Today adds that Mr. O'Brien is walking into a difficult situation.
The program's past could not have been more dirtied had a team of mules dragged it through the mud.
Its players have been beleaguered.
Recruiting has been endangered.
The faculty is suspicious.
The media is cynical.
The Jerry Sandusky legalities will last for eons.
The stories might only get worse, if that's possible.
Joe Paterno's shadow has been sullied, but it still comes with 409 wins.
Several former players have said they would be enraged if the next coach is not a Penn Stater, and O'Brien is not.
Welcome to State College, Bill. There's not much happy these days about Happy Valley.
But wait, there's more.
I don't know, maybe staying with the Patriots would have been the better idea.