Remember the backlash that came when it was announced the Bill O'Brien would become the next head coach of Penn State? At the time, there was this false glimmer of hope that Joe Paterno might return -- or maybe that it was all just a bad dream. It Wasn't. O'Brien was hired.
But before he could do a whole lot with the Nittany Lions, O'Brien had to finish his duties as offensive coordinator with the Patriots. Since the official introduction as head coach, it seems like the perception of O'Brien has lightened a bit. He certainly noticed it while at the Super Bowl in Indianapolis.
"I'll tell you, it's been great. I can tell you at the Super Bowl it was excellent," O'Brien said to Penn State Sports. "When you walked out on the field for warmups at the Super Bowl there were a lot of people there that either went to Penn State or had Penn State connections and wished myself and our staff the very best."
The same goes for letterman of the school, "upwards of fifty" that O'Brien has talked to.
But while the warm fuzzy feeling of being welcomed to the Penn State family was nice, the sting of losing Super Bowl XLVI probably hurt O'Brien just as much. Still, he recognizes how special the team was that he was a part of, and talks about the experience.
"It's my second Super Bowl, so anytime you have a chance to go to the Super Bowl it's a very special team, it's a very special experience," O'Brien said. "The Giants made a few more plays than we did on that night. I guess there's a lot of decisions or plays that we would all like back -- coaches and players -- but we can't get them back. But we had a very special season, it was a team that I was very proud to be associated with, and hopefully I keep in touch with those guys for the rest of lives."