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Saturday April 19 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.

It’s all starting to make sense. The Steelers have not made the playoffs the past two seasons. Those two years have seen the team part ways with players who were integral to a sustained run of success that resulted in a pair of Super Bowl championships.
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The play of Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has a tremendous impact on every game the team plays. Whatever success the Penguins have in the Stanley Cup Playoffs will depend largely on the opposition’s ability to contain No. 87. But he is not doing it alone.
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A champion won't be crowned in the NHL for nearly two months, but the quest for hockey's holy grail begins now. Sixteen teams are lacing up their skates and preparing for the upcoming hunt for the Stanley Cup. Here are the four favorites.
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Pirates' righthander Charlie Morton put an exclamation point on his recovery from Tommy John surgery in 2012 with the best major league season of his career, posting 7-4 record with a 3.26 ERA.
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The newest crop of rookies will enter the NFL on May 8, when the 2014 NFL Draft gets underway at Radio City Music Hall in New York. The Houston Texans own the first selection, and it's a South Carolina defensive end who sits atop PSR's board.
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The Steelers’ offseason additions and subtractions have given a peek into what may be going on in the team’s South Side War Room as the team prepares for one of the deepest drafts in years. Several players have emerged as potential targets for the Black and Gold in 2014.
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Several local players could be off the board before the second round is completed on May 9. Pitt's Aaron Donald is the top prospect, but Penn State has a pair of players who expect to hear their names called early as well.
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The 2014 NFL Draft is shaping up to be one of the deepest in recent memory. But even in the deepest of drafts, there are studs, duds, snubs and flubs. How is one to know if a draft pick is worth cheering for, or if he should be booed mercilessly?
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