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Bill O Brien

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April 5, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Christian Hackenberg hit the ground running after he reported to Penn State last summer for his first season of college football, cramming as much of Bill O'Brien's complex offense into his head as he could before leading the Nittany Lions into their season opener on Labor Day weekend. Now Hackenberg is learning all over again this spring, trying to grasp the nuances of the Lions' new offense under coach James Franklin. However, the quarterback's task this time is easier because of the experience he gained last season when he threw for 2,955 yards and 20 touchdowns as a true freshman.
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March 19, 2014 | BY STEPHEN PIANOVICH, For the Daily News
UNIVERSITY PARK - James Franklin wants his new team to hit the ground running this spring, even if it means running in circles. "There is no walking on the field ever," Franklin said yesterday at a news conference before Penn State held its first of 15 spring practices. "I told them the first day if you don't know where you're supposed to go or what you're doing when the horn blows, then sprint in a circle until you figure it out. " Franklin spent most of his first 9 weeks as the Nittany Lions' head coach in shirts and ties either greeting people at appearances in State College or nabbing eight early verbal commitments for the 2015 class.
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March 8, 2014 | By Dan Norton, For The Inquirer
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Penn State football players worked out in silence during their first week under the new coaching staff. They had to earn the music, and they earned it quickly. Dwight Galt, the Nittany Lions' new director of performance enhancement, who arrived from Vanderbilt with head coach James Franklin, has mixed feelings about that. "Now you say they must have earned it because we all have to clean our ears out," said Galt, not a fan of the Lions' contemporary playlist that resonated through their weight-room session Monday.
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February 23, 2014 | BY LES BOWEN, Daily News Staff Writer bowenl@phillynews.com
INDIANAPOLIS - Arkansas coach Bret Bielema has proposed a college football rules change that would slow down hurry-up offenses, by allowing the defense at least 10 seconds to substitute, before the next play is run. Obviously, if college football goes that way, there's a chance the movement will spread to the NFL, where teams such as the Eagles have been known to make playing uptempo a key component of their approach. Eagles coach Chip Kelly hasn't spoken to reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine, but one of Kelly's friends, who has a similar mindset, said yesterday he doesn't much like the idea, particularly in the pros.
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February 23, 2014 | By Mike Sielski, Inquirer Columnist
INDIANAPOLIS - Johnny Manziel had swept into the interview room here at Lucas Oil Stadium like a prizefighter with an entourage, reporters shuffling in front of him and hustling behind him, as he positioned himself atop a riser and behind a podium early Friday afternoon. Here was the star of the second day of the NFL combine, ready to state his case as the best quarterback prospect in this year's draft, and all the reporters and analysts on hand paid him their attention. But the man who controls Manziel's fate hadn't entered yet. Bill O'Brien came in next, taking the podium at the opposite end of the room.
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February 7, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
For his first recruiting class as the head coach at Penn State, James Franklin leaned on the relationships he developed with the recruits he had attracted both at his current job and at his former position at Vanderbilt. The result was a full class of 20 players, including a final commitment on Wednesday, who returned their letters of intent and officially became members of the Nittany Lions' incoming class for 2014. "The staff kept recruiting and kept making phone calls, finding guys that we had relationships with to see if they were interested," Franklin said at a late afternoon news conference in Beaver Stadium.
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February 6, 2014 | BY STEPHEN PIANOVICH, For the Daily News
STATE COLLEGE - Troy Reeder committed to Penn State nearly a year ago, and the Salesianum product was dead set on playing his college ball in Happy Valley. But for Reeder and the rest of the Nittany Lions' 2014 recruiting class, there was a 2-week span from late December to early January where a sure thing saw its way out, and uncertainty swept in. From the time rumors of Bill O'Brien's eventual departure from Penn State swirled to the time James Franklin was introduced as his successor, oral commitments had to reconsider their future.
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February 3, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Columnist
Doug Colman has kept moving in the coaching profession, and the pace is quicker at each level. As recently as 2006, he guided Absegami to the South Jersey Group 4 football title, the first in school history. After three college coaching stops in the last six years, he is back to a familiar place: the NFL. Colman, 40, recently was named assistant special-teams coach of the Houston Texans. "We're excited," Colman said in a phone interview, alluding to himself; his wife, Colleen; and four children (with a fifth on the way in April)
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January 20, 2014 | By Mike Jensen, Inquirer Columnist
So Penn Staters, you're still ticked at Bill O'Brien for bolting to Houston after just two years - but perfectly fine with James Franklin's leaving Vanderbilt after three seasons and poaching every Vandy recruit he can get? It's natural if that, in fact, is exactly how you feel. That's certainly Franklin's position. Franklin makes it clear that he doesn't really buy into the idea that his recruits are actually going to a school for a particular education only available at that school.
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January 19, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
It appears as though new Penn State football coach James Franklin is going to be a little too busy to follow up on one of the pledges he made at his introductory news conference one week ago. Speaking with reporters Friday after a brief address to the university's board of trustees in State College, Franklin said, "Probably the one mistake I made" was promising to "blow up balloons at kids' birthday parties in the backyard," as he did last Saturday....
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