Christian Ponder

Auburn co-offensive coordinator not frustrated with lack of coaching offers

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Contrary to a previous report, Auburn co-offensive coordinator Dameyune Craig says he is not frustrated with a lack of opportunities to be a head coach. Craig claims a quote from him about the desire to be a head coach was taken out of context.

“What more do I have to do?” Craig said in a story by Palm Beach Post earlier this month before rattling off some examples of his work dating back to his time on Florida State’s coaching staff. “I’ve coached two first-round picks (Christian Ponder, EJ Manuel). I coached and recruited a Heisman Trophy winner (Jameis Winston). I went to a team that was 3-9 to playing in the national championship. I don’t know what else I need to do to be considered a coach.”

Now, a little more than two weeks later, Craig is showing a bit of a different tone on the subject.

“Did you hear Dameyune Craig say, ‘I’m frustrated (not) being a head coach? … OK, I did not say that,” Craig clarified to Al.com. “I thought it was so funny. I was just reading the paper. It’s amazing what people say.”

The goal for most assistant coaches in football at any level is likely to one day be a head coach. Perhaps that is the ultimate goal for Craig as well, although for now it seems as though he is satisfied with his position in Auburn’s coaching staff. But he will certainly be keeping his eyes out for the opportunity. If Auburn continues to thrive and Craig shows he can still recruit, he will get some looks.

Photo: Auburn Athletics

Is Bill O’Brien considering leaving Penn State for the NFL? Only he knows

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This time of year is always littered with coaching rumor after coaching rumor. Some are based on facts that may end up being credible (Mack Brown resigning at Texas?) while others are nothing more than coming up with a list of popular or trendy names and throwing them against a wall to see what sticks.

For the second straight offseason Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien is once again having his name thrown in to the mix for any number of possibilities that would require leaving State College, Pennsylvania for 2014. For a second straight year, O’Brien has been relatively mum on the subject to the point Penn State fans may start to get a little nervous.

As I have said before, O’Brien just feels like an NFL coach and I imagine one day we will be watching him coach on Sundays. When that happens is something I am not clear on, but I can see it happening someday. Though he has plenty fo college experience, O’Brien has said before coaching in the NFL is the top of the caching profession, and considering how much of a competitor O’Brien is I can see him working to one day get that opportunity as a head coach. He has been there as an assistant of course, and if he continues to build a winning program at Penn State in spite of once crippling sanctions, his profile will only continue to rise to those with bigger paychecks.

The latest buzz surrounding O’Brien and a possible return to the NFL was ignited by a report from CBSSports.com’s Jason La Confora, suggesting O’Brien has drawn interest from the Houston Texans and Minnesota Vikings. It would make sense O’Brien would be on the radar for either team. Both have young quarterbacks who could be a good project for O’Brien, who managed to somehow make Matt McGloin an NFL player. Imagine what he might be able to do with Christian Ponder or Case Keenum. That said, the report had some unstable reasoning such as more sanctions. In reality, Penn State had sanctions reduced by the NCAA, and there could be more reductions done at some point in the future.

With Penn State no longer in practices for any games, O’Brien’s availability has been reduced from the fall schedule. O’Brien has said before he is looking forward to continuing on at Penn State, but every coach would mutter that sentiment. His recent silence, as reported by veteran Penn State reporter David Jones of The Patriot News is rather intriguing.

“I’ve called and texted O’Brien for the past 24 hours asking him to put all the latest speculation to rest by coming out publicly and stating that he will return to coach Penn State next season,” Jones writes. “O’Brien is usually very good at getting back to me and he may at some point still. But up to this hour, he has not. Draw your own conclusions from that.”

This alone is not enough to suggest O’Brien is considering his options, but it certainly does not paint a pretty picture on him being a rock solid Penn State guy for now. Until he says anything on record, it is all just speculation and guessing for now, as it is with any coach at the college or pro level. O’Brien has not gone on record confirming his satisfaction being the head coach at Penn State the way Nick Saban had with Alabama, David Shaw has with Stanford or Gus Malzahn has with Auburn.

Allow me to go back to something I said earlier. If he keeps winning at Penn State, I can easily envision O’Brien one day coach in the NFL. But the situation has to be right for O’Brien. That situation is something only O’Brien and his family know for sure. Is Houston the right situation? Is Minnesota? What about Austin, Texas? Or is State College, Pennsylvania the right situation?

We do not know for sue, because O’Brien has not told us.

NC State will be QB U, for one NFL weekend

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Greg Schiano could very well be on his way back to the college sidelines if things do not turn around with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before the end of the year. This week Schiano generated some buzz with his decision to bench starting quarterback Josh Freeman in favor of rookie Mike Glennon, from North Carolina State.

We’ll leave the analysis of this decision as it pertains to that football played on sundays for the folks over at Pro Football Talk, but one Reddit user brought this interesting nugget to my attention. This weekend in the NFL there will be three starting quarterbacks who played at North Carolina State, one more than Michigan and Florida State. In addition to Glennon, former Wolfpack quarterbacks Phillip Rivers (San Diego Chargers) and Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks) will also be in action.

Michigan’s two quarterbacks are Tom Brady at New England and Chad Henne in Jacksonville. Florida State’s two starting quarterbacks are EJ Manuel (Buffalo) and Christian Ponder (Minnesota).