Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien was introduced today as the head coach at Penn State, confirming at his press conference that he would stay on with the Patriots through the end of the playoffs while working in his new capacity with the Nittany Lions at the same time.
"There's no way I can stand up in front of our football team and talk about loyalty and commitment and then leave the Patriots at the start of a playoff run," O'Brien said, according to reports. "I have committed to the New England Patriots to see them through this playoff run. There's not going to be a lot of sleep over the next two-to-three weeks. Any break I have, to make sure I have as much time as I can for Penn State."
O'Brien, of course, just got a little help with the offensive load in New England. The team is bringing back Josh McDaniels to be an offensive assistant for the playoffs and to take over for O'Brien as the offensive coordinator once the playoff run is done.
A few other soundbites from O'Brien, specific to the Patriots:
Saying thanks. "I can't go any further without thanking the New England Patriots organization let by Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick. They have been nothing but supportive of me during this whole process. Their friendships mean very, very much to me. Their mentorships mean very, very much to me, and I can't wait to see them again and thank them in person."
Working for Bill Belichick. "How long do you have as far as what you learn from Bill Belichick? I think the first thing you learn from Bill Belichick is to leave no stone unturned, and the one thing that I'll always take from Bill Belichick is that he allows his coaches to coach, to be creative, to come up with their own play designs and their own ways to attack defenses, their own game plans, and I will always be grateful for that. He's the most challenging guy that I've ever worked for, and I can tell you right now, I've learned so much from him, and I'm going to apply some of those things here at Penn State, and then I'm obviously going to be my own man and do some of the things I think are necessary to move Penn State forward in football, but again, I can't say enough about what I learned from him."
On working with Tom Brady. "Coaching is about the players, and so when you have the opportunity to coach a guy like Tom Brady, who makes you right quite a bit, it's just a very, very fortunate deal for me that I was able to coach him. We had a good talk the other night, and he's a special, special guy and a special friend of mine, and he always will be. And we had a unique relationship. It was like two brothers, I can tell you that. So there were times where things got heated, and most of that was probably my fault. But I'm an intense guy and he's an intense guy, and we're two competitive guys. And so that's what happens in football sometimes. It's an emotional sport. But I can't thank Tom enough and I can't wait to get going on our game plan for whomever we get to play in a week."