RTC: Dysfunction pushed O'Brien to NFL

Reading the coverage of the Houston Texans...

Missed this story last week, but it's definitely worth reading. John U. Bacon, an author who spent quite a bit of time with Bill O'Brien and his family while they were at Penn State, wrote this piece for Yahoo! Sports about why O'Brien left. An excerpt:

Dig a little deeper, and you'll see O'Brien's decision -- made at the eleventh hour, after much hand-wringing -- was based as much on the appeal of the Texans' offer as it was the lack of leadership presented by Penn State.

Probably no one felt this more acutely than the players on the 2012 team, Penn State's first after the dismissal and death of Joe Paterno.

"Who was stepping up and taking it?" 2012 senior Michael Zordich asked me. "We were. They never stood up for us. Not the president, not the AD. They were silent. Silent. Thanks. Who was standing up for us? O'Brien -- and that's it."

Some of the same former Patriots players who weighed in on Romeo Crennel, offered their thoughts on Texans linebackers coach Mike Vrabel, writes Dave Zangaro of CSNHouston.com. “Vrabel is one of the smartest guys I’ve ever been around,” said former Patriot and NFL Network analyst Willie McGinest. “He’s just smart, not even just on the field but off it.”

Volunteers are critical to Super Bowl operations, writes Tom Pedulla of the New York Times, but this year the NFL is using far fewer volunteers in favor of paid workers. Pedulla says this is apparently in response to a law suit filed against Major League Baseball for unpaid workers at a fan event at the All-Star Game in New York last summer.

And keeping with the Super Bowl theme, Newark Star-Ledger columnist Steve Politi would like to make it very clear that the Super Bowl is in NEW JERSEY. He offers these helpful hints for anyone heading up there this week, and, really, anyone who accidentally finds themselves in New Jersey someday, on how not to anger its residents.