As former Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien begins his second year in the NFL as head coach of the Houston Texans, he also prepares to make his up-close-and-personal debut with the camera, as HBO has made the Texans the focus of popular reality series “Hard Knocks.”
O’Brien’s explosive personality may provide for some good entertainment throughout the course of the series, which premieres Aug. 11 at 10 p.m. However, ESPN reported that O’Brien called his parents on Tuesday morning after watching the first episode himself, and asked them not to watch it. He said his mother, who is Irish Catholic, may not be very happy with him.
“It’s always been important to me to just be myself,” said O’Brien, who reportedly had the opportunity to request that scenes be taken out by HBO that could affect the team’s competitive advantage. “Whether you succeed or fail in life, at least you did it being yourself…But like I said, I may get a phone call tomorrow morning from my mother.”
Around the rest of the league, 32 Penn State players are on NFL training camp rosters.
There are the rookies — Adrian Amos, Brad Bars, Mike Hull, Miles Dieffenbach, Jesse James and Donovan Smith are all trying to make their respective NFL teams.
Hull weighed in a few weeks ago about his journey to the NFL.
“Everything I had earned (at Penn State) was not given to me,” he said. “I had to work for it every single day and prove to the coaches that I could be dependable and reliable.
“And I think that’s what I’m going to have to do at this next level, is prove that I belong there. And I’m going to do anything it takes to get on the field and make an impression.”
Then, there are the veterans. Placekicker Robbie Gould is returning to the Chicago Bears for his 11th season, while linebacker Tamba Hali is returning to the Kansas City Chiefs for his 10th — the two are the longest-tenured Nittany Lions in the NFL.
A complete list of the 32 former Penn State players on training camp rosters is as follows, with their pro season in parentheses:
Arizona Cardinals: Glenn Carson (2), A. Q. Shipley (6)
Atlanta Falcons: Mickey Shuler (6), Nathan Stupar (4)
Baltimore Ravens: John Urschel (2)
Cincinnati Bengals: Devon Still (4)
Chicago Bears: Adrian Amos (1), Robbie Gould (11)
Dallas Cowboys: Jack Crawford (4), Sean Lee (6)
Denver Broncos: Jordan Norwood (7)
Green Bay Packers: Andrew Quarless (6)
Jacksonville Jaguars: Jared Odrick (6), Paul Posluszny (9), Allen Robinson (2), Stefen Wisniewski (5)
Kansas City Chiefs: Tamba Hali (10)
Miami Dolphins: Mike Hull (1), Cameron Wake (7)
Minnesota Vikings: Gerald Hodges (3), Michael Mauti (3)
New York Giants: Brad Bars (1)
New York Jets: Deion Barnes (1)
Oakland Raiders: Matt McGloin (3)
Pittsburgh Steelers: Miles Dieffenbach (1), Jesse James (1)
San Diego Chargers: Johnnie Troutman (4)
San Francisco 49ers: NaVorro Bowman (6)
Seattle Seahawks: Garry Gilliam (2), Jordan Hill (3)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Donovan Smith (1)
Tennessee Titans: DaQuan Jones (2)
Ten former Nittany Lions are members of NFL coaching staffs: Gary Brown (Dallas, running backs), Bobby Engram (Baltimore, wide receivers) Sam Gash (Green Bay, running backs), Ron Heller (New York Jets, assistant offensive line), John McNulty (Tennessee, quarterbacks), Pro Football Hall of Famer Mike Munchak (Pittsburgh, offensive line), Jeff Nixon (Miami, running backs), Paul Pasqualoni (Houston, defensive line), Darren Perry (Green Bay, safeties) and Mike Wolf (Cleveland, assistant strength and conditioning).
In addition, former Penn State quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell is in his second season as head coach of the Detroit Lions.