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O’Brien looks for NFL gig with new agent

Bill O'Brien AP

As Penn State coach Bill O’Brien explores, presumably, an opportunity with the NFL, he’ll be negotiating with the help of someone other than the agent who helped O’Brien land — and then stay — at Penn State.

Earlier this year, Joe Linta and O’Brien parted ways.  It’s a split that Linta called “amicable” and “mutual” during a Sunday morning telephone conversation with PFT.

“I’m sure in my old age I got on his nerves,” Linta said of O’Brien.

Linta was contacted because rumors are circulating that their relationship became strained after O’Brien second-guessed Linta’s advice to stay at Penn State last year.  While Linta denied the notion that he fired O’Brien or that O’Brien fired Linta, the fact remains that O’Brien secured a reduced buyout for NFL opportunities since deciding in January and remain with Penn State.  The buyout, the prior magnitude of which has been overstated in media reports, initially was negotiated by Linta but then finalized after the two sides separated.

O’Brien currently is represented by Neil Cornrich.

While Linta has taken the high road publicly — and likely would do so privately — any owner thinking about hiring O’Brien would be wise to fully explore the reasons for the parting of agent and client, especially with the client having a reputation for being a bit of a hothead.

For the Texans, O’Brien’s ability to work and play well with others becomes particularly important to G.M. Rick Smith, who’ll have to work with the new coach.  Smith could prefer someone like Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt or the more laid-back styles of Lovie Smith and Wade Phillips over the one guy who once got in the face of Tom Brady.

Adding in a buyout clause that puts the price of pilfering O’Brien near $7 million, and all this talk of O’Brien being the clubhouse leader in Houston could be aimed at ensuring that he’ll eventually win the tournament elsewhere.

Linta officially hopes O’Brien wins the position in Houston.

“I hope he gets the job and I’d hug him if I saw him right now,” Linta said.

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6 Responses to “O’Brien looks for NFL gig with new agent”
  1. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Dec 29, 2013 1:48 PM

    Measured against the magnitude of the cosmos, my opinion means nothing. Measured against the magnitude of my own home, it doesn’t mean much more.

    But O’Brien has preached honor, loyalty, commitment and sacrifice in the face of adversity. If O’Brien abandons the players he recruited and/or the then-existing players at Penn State he sold on such values to keep them from jumping ship — it will appear to be the height of hypocrisy.

    As bad as being betrayed by Lane Kiffin may be, one might expect it in the backs of their mind from Kiffen. But O’Brien has essentially made himself the epitome of the Kiffen antithesis — which somehow would seem to make this even more difficult to stomach for some of us.

  2. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Dec 29, 2013 2:00 PM

    Measured against the magnitude of the cosmos, my opinion means nothing. Measured against the magnitude of my own home, it doesn’t mean much more.

    But O’Brien has preached honor, loyalty, commitment and sacrifice in the face of adversity. If O’Brien abandons the players he recruited and/or the then-existing players at Penn State he sold on such values to keep them from jumping ship — it will appear to be the height of hypocrisy.

    As bad as being betrayed by Lane Kiffin may be, one might expect it in the backs of their mind from Kiffen. But O’Brien has essentially made himself the epitome of the Kiffen antithesis — which somehow would seem to make this even more difficult to stomach for some of us.

  3. atwatercrushesokoye says: Dec 29, 2013 2:02 PM

    I’m still not sure he’s such a hot target, he’s been a college head coach for 2 years and has a pretty mediocre record in a conference that’s in a down cycle right now.

    Maybe I’m wrong but he just seems like this year’s version of the hot candidate who will be getting fired in 2 years after 2 bad seasons.

  4. 2001asterisk2003asterisk2004asterisk says: Dec 29, 2013 2:03 PM

    Another josh mcdaniels waiting to get caught for cheating because its the only thing they learned in NE

  5. belicheckisgod says: Dec 29, 2013 2:18 PM

    If the Texans want to bring a leader in who is committed to turning this franchise into a legit AFC powerhouse they should not hire O’ Brien. Is there a more unproven NFL head coach prospect than him? His NFL success is from having Brady bail out his bad play calling. Gronk and Hernandez made him look innovative and we all know it was Belicheck who coveted the 2 TE sets. Mcdaniels deserves a shot before this guy, look what he and Brady had to work with this year. Had O’Brien been coaching the offense this year in NE I’m sure we would be seeing plenty of Brady in his face and a losing record. His play calling sucks, look at the 2009 season run play after run play. And he still hasd Moss and Welker on roster. Again ihis play calling came up flat in the 2010 playoffs against the Jets. He’s famous for yelling at Brady when Brady was pissed about his play calling and a reciever not running the right route. Houston ownership is just grabbing at the Patriot pipe line hoping to replicate their success and you won’t get it from one of their former coaches, history has proven that. Stay in house with Phillips and his defense and bring in a proven offensive coordinator, look at the teams who are succesful very few have offensive head coaches.

  6. hollymolley says: Dec 30, 2013 12:46 PM

    N F L Not For Long… Stay at Penn State… You will be a King there. You have a Wife and Family, Happy Valley is a really great place to live. How much money do you need ?? JoPa was paid very well, he chose to give it back to the school. he just about built the library. You can will earn substantially more over your career at State than in a short stint in the NFL. The Collage atmosphere is great, You’ve put in two difficult years, it will get better, and you will be in total control. Open your eyes, what you’re searching for is right there at your feet. Stay at State….

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