Late Thursday night, ESPN's Chris Mortensen broke the news that the Penn St. Nittany Lions were set to make New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien the team's new head football coach, with an official announcement coming Saturday. It didn't take long for the confirmations from various reporters to start rolling in.
First, CBS' Mike Freeman confirmed that O'Brien had indeed "agreed to become the coach of Penn State," citing the always popular "team source." It would be the first head coaching position for O'Brien at any level.
O'Brien's move is high risk/high reward. The Penn State job is one of the toughest now in football for obvious reasons. He could easily fail. But imagine if O'Brien turns things around there. He'd be an instant star and would have his picks of many great jobs in the NFL. If he wanted them.
Then, Ian Rapoport, a Patriots reporter for the Boston Herald -- so, a guy who spends every day with the team -- took to Twitter to share the news, narrowly getting beat on the scoop by Mortensen:
I am told that Patriots OC Bill O'Brien is informing people around the NFL that he has agreed to become Penn St.'s coach
O'Brien was slated to interview in Jacksonville, for instance. That won't happen now.
For my PSU peeps: O'Brien is loud & charismatic, smart & creative. He gives it to Brady like he's a rookie. He coaches hard. You'll like him
it's not yet known wether O'Brien will stay with the Patriots throughout the NFL Playoffs or if he will head to Happy Valley to get started on his new gig (New England, the No. 1 seed in the AFC, has a bye this week). If history is a guide, Charlie Weis stayed on as offensive coordinator with New England through the 2004-05 postseason before leaving to start his job at Notre Dame.