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Robert Kraft confirms Bill O’Brien will stay through playoffs

File image of New England Patriots offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Bill O'Brien in Foxborough Reuters

The announcement that Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien will be leaving the team to become the head coach at Penn State broke late on Thursday night, so we’re just starting to get reactions from the team he’s leaving behind.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft is one of those weighing in. Kraft confirmed a PFT report that O’Brien would remain with the team through the playoffs before heading off to State College during a conversation with Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald. The owner also said that the team had the contractual right to block O’Brien from leaving by matching the contract offer, but that they didn’t exercise it.

“We have a philosophy 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,” Kraft said. “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.”

Kraft also said that he’s happy that the team has become a breeding ground for players and coaches wanted by other teams. Those coaches haven’t done particularly well running their own programs — college or pro — since leaving the Patriots fold, a trend that O’Brien is obviously hoping he can change with the Nittany Lions.

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34 Responses to “Robert Kraft confirms Bill O’Brien will stay through playoffs”
  1. austrianpanther says: Jan 6, 2012 11:46 AM

    OK- Now that we got that under control, I am still waiting for Mike and Gregg pick the winner of the Jets playoff game!!!

  2. skeefe1976 says: Jan 6, 2012 11:47 AM

    Robert Kraft = best owner in professional sports

  3. djrando7 says: Jan 6, 2012 11:52 AM

    Josh McDaniels part two

  4. juspat2 says: Jan 6, 2012 11:53 AM

    One of the greatest aspects of being a Pats fan, is having Robert Kraft as your owner. Every time he speaks to the media, to his players, and i’ll bet in person he speaks of honor, integrity, and character.

    He wants to win as bad as Jerra’, he’s as ‘wealthy’ as Snyder, but has principals that he will not compromise. Moreover, he knows to get good people, and let them manage. Don’t be on the sidelines, don’t have a presser each time your QB or HC bombs it – hire good people, and support them.

    He is the foundation of the ‘Patriot Way’ – Like the pats or hate them, any team would be better if RK was their owner.

  5. nobisoreal says: Jan 6, 2012 12:03 PM

    Most coaches arent very successful when they leave a successful program for a dysfunctional one. There’s a reason a franchise does well, and having great structure top to bottom is usually it. And usually one person jumping ship doesn’t bring the entire ship down with it.

    There are MORE than enough examples of players and coaches leaving successful systems to have lackluster careers elsewhere.

  6. bostonhasrealhockey says: Jan 6, 2012 12:09 PM

    @juspat +1

  7. KIR says: Jan 6, 2012 12:10 PM

    What Grade A recruit is going to sign up for that program? He’ll be looking for a new job in 3 years. There are only a handful of big, big, big name coaches who can save that program in the immediate future.

  8. patsfiend says: Jan 6, 2012 12:17 PM

    Well, he’s got his work cut out for him, that’s for sure. I’m sure Ohio State and Michigan and other programs are going to be mining all the good recruits out of PA while Billy Boy sticks with the Pats through this LONG PLAYOFF RUN THAT WILL LAST UNTIL FEBRUARY.

  9. sixaspadz says: Jan 6, 2012 12:23 PM

    Good! Added to the horrible defense that’s just another distraction for them — Any team but New England can win the SB and I’ll be happy! I am so tired of Brady and Bill…plus that clown at QB is from the worst college ever.

  10. sojumaster says: Jan 6, 2012 12:25 PM

    skeefe1976 says:Jan 6, 2012 11:47 AM

    Robert Kraft = best owner in professional sports

    —————————–

    juspat2 says:Jan 6, 2012 11:53 AM

    He wants to win as bad as Jerra’, he’s as ‘wealthy’ as Snyder, but has principals that he will not compromise.

    ——————————-

    Really ?!?!?!?! I didn’t know that cheating was a requirement to be the best owner.

    If cheating is one of his priniples, then you are 100% correct!

  11. nfl1818 says: Jan 6, 2012 12:30 PM

    I think the recruiting issue will fade rapidly – assuming Ob is legit – its one of the best 5-10 names in College football – frankly, I would NOT have gone there bc Paterno was 82 years old – now that coaching transition is behind you (no pun)

  12. Patskrieg dot com says: Jan 6, 2012 12:34 PM

    Hey thanks O’Brien, I know what a nuisance these yearly shots at winning a Super Bowl have been for your destined career as a failed college coach. Just put the same effort into this year’s playoff run that you did into the last 2 and you’ll be in State College PA in no time redecorating your new office.

  13. kisstherings says: Jan 6, 2012 12:39 PM

    *sigh

    And another ones down.

    One of the biggest factors that nobody ever seems to account for in the Manning/Brady “best of all time” argument is the fact that Brady has had about 7 different offensive coordinators/systems throughout his career that he has had to adjust his game to and still has thrived. Peyton had the same offensive coordinator for about 10 years up until last year.

  14. 6ball says: Jan 6, 2012 12:39 PM

    .

    In fairness to Romeo Crennel

    The only thing that Ravens and Steeler fans can agree on is that his Browns teams never had the talent to even be competitive in the AFC North..

    bad roster > good coaching

    .

  15. wldkat says: Jan 6, 2012 12:40 PM

    We are Penn State !!!

  16. snnyjcbs says: Jan 6, 2012 12:44 PM

    Funny how the NFL will not allow Las Vegas to buy TV time on the Super Bowl because of Gambling. But the NFL says nothing while Kraft tries to Con the Folks of New England into letting him swing a deal with Las Vegas Steve Wynn to build a Casino across the Street from where New England plays. Talk about a double standard, good to see it was voted down. Now Fine the owner for becoming involved in Gambling, maybe that is why the NFL has created all those Grey Rules that they can push any way they like, to help set up the out comes of games?

  17. Ralphie says: Jan 6, 2012 12:51 PM

    Maxipadz says:
    Jan 6, 2012 12:23 PM
    Good! Added to the horrible defense that’s just another distraction for them — Any team but New England can win the SB and I’ll be happy! I am so tired of Brady and Bill…plus that clown at QB is from the worst college ever.
    ___________________________

    Easy there, Tampax. You’ll rupture your panty liner.

  18. jnbnet says: Jan 6, 2012 12:54 PM

    sixaspadz says:
    Jan 6, 2012 12:23 PM
    Good! Added to the horrible defense that’s just another distraction for them — Any team but New England can win the SB and I’ll be happy! I am so tired of Brady and Bill…plus that clown at QB is from the worst college ever.

    Poor sad little man. I can just imagine you stamping your feet and taking a fit when the Patriots do well. I wonder if you kick your dog and slap your wife or girlfriend around too. Maybe some day you’ll grow up and stop hating. You’ll find life much more enjoyable…and you will be able appreciate football for what it is.

  19. habsman says: Jan 6, 2012 12:55 PM

    @sojumaster,

    Three shiney, beautiful, untainted Lombardi’s!

    What are you going to do about it?

  20. rc33 says: Jan 6, 2012 12:56 PM

    sojumaster says: Jan 6, 2012 12:25 PM

    skeefe1976 says:Jan 6, 2012 11:47 AM

    Robert Kraft = best owner in professional sports

    —————————–

    juspat2 says:Jan 6, 2012 11:53 AM

    He wants to win as bad as Jerra’, he’s as ‘wealthy’ as Snyder, but has principals that he will not compromise.

    ——————————-

    Really ?!?!?!?! I didn’t know that cheating was a requirement to be the best owner.

    If cheating is one of his priniples, then you are 100% correct!

    ———————————————-

    Ideally, in 10 years, you will still be sweating bullets over Spygate.
    Maybe you should move on, like the rest of the planet.
    Or better yet, don’t.

  21. test2402 says: Jan 6, 2012 1:13 PM

    Robert kraft would like Tim Tebow for his team.

  22. tedmurph says: Jan 6, 2012 1:15 PM

    @snnyjcbs:

    NFL as a strict policy of not selling advertising to Vegas casinos during their tv shows. That’s their business. The NFL has no business in Kraft’s business ventures outside the NFL. If he wants to lease his land to a casino developer who wants to take advantage of a new Mass law allowing casinos that don’t take action on sports betting, that’s his business. What con job? The league has nothing to say about it.
    As for affecting outcomes of games, please buzz the nurse’s station. You missed your medication again.

  23. lockoftheweak says: Jan 6, 2012 1:16 PM

    Bill O’Brien is just what Penn State needs. And I think the Penn State program will be given every break available by the media, NCAA, and their fan base.
    Everyone wants the healing to begin.
    It’s just a start with O’Brien running the program but the results will be remarkable.
    What fan doesn’t want to see Penn State bounce back?

  24. wideright91 says: Jan 6, 2012 1:28 PM

    To all the Kraft lovers….

    Ask all the contractors who went out of business after not being paid for building Kraft’s stadium if he’s a great owner.

    When BB and Brady are gone, we will see how good the Kraft’s are at the football side of things.

  25. achap39 says: Jan 6, 2012 1:34 PM

    snnyjcbs:

    Las Vegas isn’t allowed to buy airtime simply because that is the only place in the United States where betting ON SPORTS is legal. That is what the NFL does not want to seem like it is promoting.

    Putting a Wynn casino near Patriots Place creates no conflict of interest. Table games and slots are perfectly legal as per state and federal statute.

    Take off the tinfoil hat and pick up a newspaper or a book…let your brain breathe.

  26. grogansheroes says: Jan 6, 2012 1:38 PM

    Bill O’Brien is the rebound coach for PSU. Every one knows what it’s like. The next coach will be the real coach at PSU.

  27. marcuswelby70 says: Jan 6, 2012 1:38 PM

    sixaspadz says:
    Jan 6, 2012 12:23 PM
    Good! Added to the horrible defense that’s just another distraction for them — Any team but New England can win the SB and I’ll be happy! I am so tired of Brady and Bill…plus that clown at QB is from the worst college ever.

    —————————————–

    You mean that first ballott hall of famer…oh that clown.

  28. bostonhasrealhockey says: Jan 6, 2012 1:41 PM

    Kraft got to the superbowl without brady and bill before idiot

  29. beastofeden says: Jan 6, 2012 1:50 PM

    mark my words ye’ PSU faithful, Sandusky Pt.2

  30. gisellichek says: Jan 6, 2012 3:04 PM

    Billy O is a great coach and an excellent choice to lead PSU out the sink hole created by the greatest college coach ever…

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely…

    Good luck Billy!!!

  31. ampats says: Jan 6, 2012 3:26 PM

    wideright91,

    before BB & Brady the Kraft’s bought the team from the carpetbagger Orthwein who wanted to take the team to St. Louis, under their questionable ownership (according to you)the team was in the Super Bowl three years later.The Patriots season ticket base has been sold out since 1994/5.

    If he truly didn’t pay these contractors as you say, why didn’t they take him to court? Sounds like a bogus accusation.

    The Kraft’s have not only been great for the fans of this region but have been great for the NFL.

    Enjoy your hate !

  32. bozosforall says: Jan 6, 2012 3:57 PM

    juspat2 says:
    Jan 6, 2012 11:53 AM
    One of the greatest aspects of being a Pats fan, is having Robert Kraft as your owner. Every time he speaks to the media, to his players, and i’ll bet in person he speaks of honor, integrity, and character.

    He wants to win as bad as Jerra’, he’s as ‘wealthy’ as Snyder, but has principals that he will not compromise. Moreover, he knows to get good people, and let them manage. Don’t be on the sidelines, don’t have a presser each time your QB or HC bombs it – hire good people, and support them.

    He is the foundation of the ‘Patriot Way’ – Like the pats or hate them, any team would be better if RK was their owner.

    __
    The Patriot Way? What’s that? Marry into money? Because that is Robert Kraft’s real key to any of his success.

  33. jetsfaninmiami says: Jan 6, 2012 4:08 PM

    All of these coaches, have to thank the best QB in the NFL, Tom Brady. Even though I hate the New England Patriots.

  34. CKL says: Jan 6, 2012 4:46 PM

    jetsfaninmiami says:
    Jan 6, 2012 4:08 PM
    All of these coaches, have to thank the best QB in the NFL, Tom Brady. Even though I hate the New England Patriots.
    __________________________________
    It’s great that my team has TB but I would never sell the great coaches who have coached in NE short by saying TB made them. All coaches have to have talent to work with to get the most success but players are made better by great coaches also. It’s a team sport, credit is always a shared thing.

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