Bill O’Brien led the embattled Nittany Lions to eight wins despite several defections following some of the heaviest sanctions ever levied against a college football program.
His efforts earned the first-year head man Big Ten Coach of the Year honors.
However, his team spent the holidays at home watching the 35 total bowl games after the NCAA banned the program from the postseason as a part of the aforementioned sanctions following the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
Further, O’Brien was told at the time of his hiring that the Sandusky matter was a criminal affair, and not one he or the school would have to deal with. Obviously, this is not the case.
Not only was O’Brien at home watching the bowl games, but he watched as NFL team after NFL team fired their head coaches. The former Patriots assistant immediately found himself on a number of teams’ short lists.
Now, according to CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora, O’Brien is doing more than simply entertaining the fancies of NFL general managers — he has expressed interest himself in either the Eagles or Bills coaching vacancies.
“Whoever doesn’t get Chip Kelly will certainly be high on Bill O’Brien in the case of the Browns and the Eagles,” said La Canfora. “[Syracuse coach] Doug Marrone is a guy these teams are looking at as well. And then you have a whole slew of coordinators who, if something doesn’t work out with these college guys or if they decide to stay, then there’s directions the Browns can go as well.”
Following the Fiesta Bowl on Thursday, Oregon coach Chip Kelly will interview with the Cleveland Browns.
Depending on what he does, the proverbial dominoes could begin tumbling very quickly.
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