With the NFL season approaching, something has been on my mind: how do Penn State fans feel about Bill O'Brien as he enters his first season as an NFL head coach? Do you despise him for leaving Penn State after just two seasons? Did you grow fond of him during his short stint in State College and will now be cheering on the Houston Texans throughout the season? Or are your feelings toward him only consist of complete indifference?
Here are my thoughts about BO'B: He did a tremendous job at Penn State during the past two years, and was nothing short of a miracle-worker while leading the team to consecutive winning seasons while the entire nation fully expected the program to crash and burn. Despite his early departure, I think we owe him a debt of gratitude for keeping the program afloat and not allowing a collapse that may have set us back several more seasons. I also have a hard time faulting sports figures for leaving for what they believe to be a better opportunity. Just like the rest of us, they have to be mindful of their careers and do what's best for them and their families. O'Brien now has a chance to fulfill his dream of winning a Super Bowl, and more importantly, he has access to a tremendous hospital system in Houston that can provide world-class treatment for his son. While he seemed to enjoy his time in Happy Valley, in the end he did what came most appealing to him. You can't fault a man for that.
Time will tell if BO'B made the right decision. After shocking the world with consecutive winning seasons following the sanctions, O'Brien had plenty of job security at Penn State. I doubt the same can be said about his situation in Houston. The NFL exemplifies the "What have you done for me lately?" mentality, and O'Brien could easily find a pink slip after a couple seasons, even if it's no fault of his own. We've all seen NFL coaches get fired despite following an injury-laden season for the team, or being forced to work with a roster lacking in talent that management haphazardly slapped together.
Personally, I wish O'Brien all the best. I hope he has success in Houston and has a satisfying career in the NFL. However, I won't be going out of my way to watch Houston on Sundays or rush out to buy a Texans Starter jacket.
So how do YOU feel about BO'B?