Browns have already interviewed Bill O’Brien


This week reports emerged that Penn State coach Bill O’Brien was strongly considering sitting down for an interview with an NFL team. It turns out that O’Brien hasn’t just considered it, he’s done it.

The Browns interviewed O’Brien this week, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

NFL teams sometimes announce the interviews they’ve conducted, but they’re not required to do so, and in this case the Browns and O’Brien seem to have tried to keep it quiet. That’s no surprise: College coaches generally prefer not to let the high school players they’re recruiting know that they’re considering leaving.

But it would be a surprise if O’Brien weren’t considering leaving. The NCAA sanctions that were handed down at Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal make his team ineligible to play in a bowl, or compete for a Big Ten championship or a national championship, for the next three years. And scholarship reductions make it unlikely that his team will be good enough to compete for a Big Ten or national championship for at least a few more years beyond the school’s bowl ban. O’Brien did excellent work last year under difficult circumstances at Penn State, but that doesn’t mean he wants to put himself through several more years of difficult circumstances.

And so it makes sense that O’Brien is talking to the Browns. And given his impressive track record as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator and his good year as the Nittany Lions’ head coach, it wouldn’t be surprising for the Browns to hire him.

43 responses to “Browns have already interviewed Bill O’Brien

  1. I think I’d rather field the team from Penn State, than the Cleveland Browns. Now that would be a Bowl Game worth watching.

  2. Starting to think O’brien might of been smarter than the average bear. He might of seen this whole thing playing out this way, going back to when he left NE. If so, good for him.

  3. Every Penn State recruit should decommit IF BOB did interview for the Browns. IF he considered leaving Penn State after one year, he has less class than Bobby Petrino. If this is a negotiating tactic to increase his pay, Penn State should give pay for his plane ticket out to Cleveland. And you thought Cleveland couldn’t stink more.

  4. If they hire him I’m done. He’s been a head coach for 1 season,and he needs to stay at PSU. The Browns can’t afford to screw this one up. DON’T HIRE A COLLOGE COACH!!!!!

  5. “… doesn’t mean he wants to put himself through several more years of difficult circumstances.”

    Well, isn’t he recruiting players by telling them that there will be several more years of difficult circumstances but facing down a challenge will make them better men?

  6. Except for the fact that his salary plus the buyout would put him among the highest paid coaches (ok maybe level B and not top 5 but still). Is he worth that? There is more to hiring him than just paying him (see your own post about the enormous buyout required).

  7. I understand that everybody is looking for a better job, but If he decides to leave PSU, he will go against everything he preached for the past year.

  8. The same guy that finally gave PSU something to smile about and be proud of is lining up to kick us right in the crotch….AGAIN!! Obviously not a man of character, cuz it certainly isn’t like he’s poor!

  9. O’Brien didn’t know about the future sanctions being imposed on Penn State before he took that job. I don’t blame him for wanting out at this point. What’s the sense in coaching for a team that has no bowl eligibility? I’ll welcome him to Cleveland, unless they hire Chip Kelly. Honestly, I’ll be happy either way. Let’s just get this thing going in the right direction. For once. Finally.

  10. Why hire from the Belichick tree? Who would want coaches like Saban, Ferenz, Pat Hill or front office guys like Ozzie Newsome or TDimitroff? Even Pioli, despite KC’s record, has had a successful career, including 3 SB rings. Mangini and McDaniel are still young, they’ll both get another chance. O’Brien’s a hot commodity. We’ll see.

  11. “… doesn’t mean he wants to put himself through several more years of difficult circumstances.”

    Take it from a long-time Browns fan … coaching the Browns is a difficult circumstance. Although not as bad as being a Browns fan. At least the coach gets paid for his misery.

  12. Now their are “rumors” that PSU didn’t tell him about the possibility of sanctions to the team? Come on Bill, you had it put into your contract that you get an extension for every year of sanctions! I really think that his credibility is zilch now. THE MOLDER OF YOUNG MINDS such a crock!!

  13. Blame the NCAA not O’ Brien. He was told there would be no sanctions and later gets hit with the death penalty. Do you really believe he would have taken the job if he had known prior? Give the guy a break. He’s doing what we all would do.

  14. steelernationisthepinnacleofexistenceyouarenothing says:Jan 3, 2013 7:08 PM

    Please hire him, Browns! Please!


    Yeah, then Tomlin will be the worst coach in the AFC North.

  15. Its business people you cant make business personal. You cannot fault a man for wanting to improve his position. Learn to separate business and personal

  16. Is there no integrity in this world anymore? We don’t know what he’s going to do, but the sad state of society in general these days is in no particular order : Me and Money! Whether it be a promise to a school, or a marriage vow, it means nothing! Depressing.

  17. Im a Browns fan an now i know why other NFL fans call Browns fans stupid because hearing these few comments from some of these Brown fans make me want to smack my own people. Bill O B is our best option not Chucky,Kelly,mr Chin,Lovie,no one esle remember this guy ripped Tom Bradys behind we need a coach just like this if your a Browns fan get on our side or go cheer for hockey either way get on board.

  18. I think I just lost all respect for this guy. He KNEW PSU would be saddled by the NCAA imposed sanctions when PSU reworked his contract and added additional years and an increase in pay. Undoubtedly, he did an excellent job considering the defections of numerous players and an under-talented roster. He also did an excellent job of selling kids and parents of the notion that things were changing, and better days for the university lay ahead. To hear him speak, he was totally dedicated to rebuilding the program, and was in it for the long haul. At the end of the day, it’s all about the $$$. He used PSU as an open interview and had no intentions of staying long if he had any type of success. Were I PSU, I would just pink slip him now as he appears completely disloyal and disingenuous. Let him go where he wants, and start searching for someone who actually practices what they preach.

  19. A good 2nd choice after Chip Kelly. The Browns need some spark and hyped enthusiasm for there boring football program. The last three coaches were boring. You should listen to them. They would put anybody to sleep when they were talking. Let’s just hope they do get this coaching hire right.

  20. Why would anyone go to Cleveland? Anywhere, shopping, driving, sleeping, breathing? Place is a fart on the world. Plhiladelphila is a palace compared to that and that is a far cry…..

  21. Quote from this scumbag on the day the NCAA revealed the sanctions”I will do everything in my power to not only comply, but help guide the University forward to become a national leader in ethics, compliance and operational excellence. I knew when I accepted the position that there would be tough times ahead. But I am committed for the long term to Penn State and our student athletes.”- Bill O’Brien

  22. I love the idiotic PSU fans crying over his interest in other jobs. Tell me one of you morons wouldn’t keep your options open if you had half his smarts? Tell me he didn’t inherent that PSU program from a senile fraud who was more interested in wins than the truth?…. And tell me that if you had a chance at competing at the highest level you wouldn’t? All of you idiots would be looking for the next PSU coach right now if it wasn’t because he actually won with all those obstacles. Quit being dumb and allow the man the ability to do what is best for him and his children.

  23. As a PSU grad/fan, you cannot really blame him for looking elsewhere given the stand in school President Rodeny Erickson bent over & accepted the NCAA’s ridiculous sanctions….

  24. He probably got tired of working in a state with the biggest band wagon jumpers. I wouldn’t want to work in PA either

  25. Personally, I hope he fails and his new team has no respect and no heart to play for him. IMO, there’s a high probability he would’ve gotten a HC shot regardless if he went to PSU or stayed another year in NE. True, he motivated a college when they were at one of their lowest points but to interview just threw all his words and “sincerity” out the window. I wouldn’t take this guy seriously for whatver he says in the locker room anymore.

  26. The Browns are on the verge of disaster once again. Anyone who follows the NFL can see it coming. They seem to have no clue as to what they are doing and will certainly hire the wrong guy yet again. They will keep him around long enough for him to get his own players then realize their mistake and hit the reset button again.

    There is no organizational plan, no continuity and no hope of being a truly competitive team.

    I said it before and I’ll say it again, the Browns will be the last team to make an appearance in a Super Bowl. Probably in about 20 years. Maybe more.

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