But the news of offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien‘s departure didn’t help the environment, as the players had very little interest in conversing about O’Brien, who will take over as Joe Paterno‘s successor at Penn State.
“I truly respect the guy,” wide receiver Deion Branch said. “I love him. He’s a great coach. But as far as him interviewing and stuff, that’s his business.”
Wide receiver Julian Edelman drew the largest media crowd and touched on O’Brien’s role as a coordinator with New England.
“Coach is a very passionate guy, knows his stuff and you know he’s going to give it his all always, and I love playing for him,” Edelman said. “Very charismatic and emotional, and knows his stuff. You love playing for him. You want to do well for him. That’s Coach O’Brien.”
Aside from that, the details were few and far between. Players wouldn’t comment on O’Brien’s whereabouts, the play-calling system at practice in his absence or anything else.
Those questions all drew nearly identical responses from the players. When pressed about O’Brien’s attendance at the facility Friday, Edelman responded, “You’re going to have to ask coach [Bill] Belichick on that one.”