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Friday November 28 2014
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Sideline View: Happy Valley

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First-year Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien recently completed his first spring practice in Happy Valley. O'Brien's first staff features two members that are well known at Beaver Stadium, but many others that are not. Here's a peek.

Stan Hixon - Assistant Head Coach/Wide Receivers Coach: Hixon was the WR coach with the Buffalo Bills the past two seasons after coaching receivers for the Washington Redskins from 2004-09. He also served as associate head coach/receivers coach at LSU from 2000-03 and coached receivers at Georgia Tech from 1995-99, where he worked with O'Brien. He also has coached at Wake Forest (1993-94), South Carolina (1989-92), Appalachian State (1983-88), and Morehead State (1980-82).


Ted Roof - Defensive Coordinator: Ted Roof was Auburn's defensive coordinator and linebackers coach from 2009-11, helping the Tigers capture the 2010 BCS National Championship. Roof was defensive coordinator at Minnesota in 2008 and prior to that was head coach at Duke from 2004-07 after spending two seasons as the Blue Devils’ defensive coordinator. He’s also coached at Georgia Tech, UMass and Western Carolina.


John Butler - Secondary Coach: A graduate of LaSalle College HS in suburban Philadelphia, Butler was special teams coach at South Carolina last year. He coached linebackers and special teams at Minnesota from 2007-10 and also coached at Harvard, Texas State and Midwestern State.


Charlie Fisher - Quarterbacks Coach: Fisher comes to Happy Valley after serving as the pass game coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Miami (OH) in 2011. He coached at Vanderbilt from 2002-10, and also spent time at NC State and Temple. The Allenwood, PA, native was also the head coach at West Georgia for eight seasons.


Larry Johnson - Defensive Line Coach: LJ is entering his 17th season on the Penn State staff and 13th year coaching the defensive line. One of two holdovers from the Joe Paterno era, Johnson arrived at Penn State after 20 highly successful seasons as a high school head coach in the Washington, D.C. area


Charles London - Running Backs Coach: London spent the past five seasons as an assistant coach and scout in the NFL. He coached on the Duke staff before entering the NFL.


Mac McWhorter - Offensive Line Coach: McWhorter was Texas’ associate head coach and offensive line coach from 2005-10 after joining the Longhorns' staff as tackles and tight ends coach in 2002. His long coaching career also includes stops at Georgia Tech, Georgia, Alabama, West Georgia, Duke, Clemson and Memphis.


John Strollo - Tight Ends Coach: Stollo has coached at Ball State, Elon, Duke, Maine, Cornell, Lafayette, Massachusetts, Northeastern and Washburn.


Ron Vanderlinden - Linebackers Coach: Ron Vanderlinden is entering in his 12th year as linebackers coach. Vanderlinden was head coach at Maryland (1997-2000), defensive coordinator at Northwestern (1992-96) and a defensive assistant coach at Colorado (1983-91) prior to taking charge of the linebackers at Linebacker U.

This is not a great time for the National Football League. America's richest and most successful sports league is being taken to task by everyone from media to protest groups to longtime fans.
Editor's DeskFeature One
When Pitt head coach Jamie Dixon heard senior Cameron Wright had gone down with a non-basketball related foot injury, he didn’t think much of it. “You know, I was actually on the road,” Dixon said.
Feature TwoPitt Basketball
The six western Pennsylvania quarterbacks in the Pro Football Hall of Fame -- Jim Kelly, Dan Marino, Joe Montana, Joe Namath, George Blanda and Johnny Unitas -- will be honored in Pittsburgh next summer.
Feature ThreePure Steel
From 2004 to 2011, the Steelers led the league or finished second in fewest points allowed per game five times. Those squads were marshaled by Steelers greats such as nose tackle Casey Hampton and receiver Hines Ward, who recently made headlines for calling his old team's defense “soft.”
Feature FourPure Steel
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Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 1 Steelers TV Channel
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 2Xfinity HS FootballHigh School TV Channel
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 3Steelers TV Channel
The 2014-15 season is underway and plenty of high-end talent dots the top teams in America. Here is PSR's early peek at some of the best players in the land.
Custom 1National
There were smiles after a Plum football game late last season, for the first time in more than two years. The Mustangs finally came out on the winning end of a game.
Custom 2High School
At Pitt Basketball’s 2014 Midnight Madness event, Joseph Uchebo did not win the dunk contest. He did, however, win over the fans.
Custom 3Pitt Basketball
Can John Calipari load up for another title run with what is perhaps America's most talented roster? Does UConn have enough to repeat? Will the Tar Heels big men lead UNC to the promised land?
Custom 4National