O'Brien speaks on Patriots, Super Bowl loss

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O'Brien speaks on Patriots, Super Bowl loss

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."

First impressions: Yankees power their way past Price, Red Sox

First impressions: Yankees power their way past Price, Red Sox

NEW YORK -- First impressions from the Red Sox' 6-4 loss to the Yankees.

 

* As the postseason gets closer, David Price needs to do a better job of keeping the ball in the ballpark.

Price gave up three homers Tuesday night -- a two-run shoot to rookie sensation Gary Sanchez in the first; a solo shot to Didi Gregorius in the sixth; and another two-run belt in the seventh to Tyler Austin.

That's six homers in the last three outings and 29 for the season. It's also the sixth time this season that he's given up multiple homers in the same start, with the three on Tuesday representing a season-high.

Prior to this year, Price had never allowed more than 25 homers in a season. Last season, splitting time between the cavernous Comerica Park in Detroit and the hitter-friendly Rogers Centre, he yielded just 17.

Worse, twice Tuesday the homers came at inauspicious times. In the sixth, the Sox had just closed to within one at 3-2; in the seventh, the Sox had worked t tie the game at 4-4.

 

* For all of the offensive brilliance shown by Mookie Betts, it's easy to forget how good he's been in right field.

Anyone who plays in the same outfield with Jackie Bradley Jr. runs the risk of having his defensive play overshadowed and that's likely the case with Betts.

He's played a Gold Glove-caliber right field, showing good range and instincts -- especially for someone who never played the outfield professionally until about 2 1/2 years ago.

And while Bradley has the stronger arm, Betts has 14 assists, including one Tuesday night.

That took place on a ball in which Betts was initially fooled. With one on, Chase Headley lined a ball to right that Betts seemed to lose in the lights. He went to his knees, fighting the lights, and managed to reach back to make the catch, sprawling. He then had the presence of mind to set himself and fire a throw to first, doubling up Starlin Castro for a mind-blowing double play.

 

* Expanded rosters make a mockery of the game.

In the eighth inning, Joe Girardi and John Farrell combined to burn through six players for one plate appearance.

Righty Blake Parker was set to face Aaron Hill, but Farrell had lefty Travis Shaw announced. Girardi then countered by bringing in lefty Richard Bleier to face Shaw.

Of course, Farrell countered by having righty Chris Young hit for Shaw. Young reached on a fielder's choice, and because Young can't play third, Farrell had insert Deven Marrero at third in the bottom of the inning.

Four position players and two pitchers in one spot. That couldn't be done in any other month during the season.

So why is it allowed in September?