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Penn State Coaching Search: Bill O'Brien 'The Coach It Wants To Hire'

New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien was first tied to the Penn State job on Saturday by ESPN's Joe Schad, who declared him a "candidate" to take over for Joe Paterno.

Now, ESPN's Adam Shefter has stronger language on the 42-year old Dorchester, Mass. native, saying O'Brien is "the coach [Penn State] wants to succeed Joe Paterno," and that the two sides are expected to meet this week to work out a deal. He goes on to say:

Penn State has been eyeing, scouting and honing in on the 42-year-old O'Brien throughout the past month, sources said. He fits the profile of the head coach Penn State has been seeking. O'Brien is well-schooled and has a mixture of experience at the college and pro levels.

On the Tom Bradley front, the interim head coach addressed reporters at his pre-TicketCity Bowl press conference. According to Derek Levarse of the Times Leader, Bradley denied reports that he will participate in a second interview with acting athletic director David Joyner's six-person search committee by saying "They haven't told me anything."

For the latest on the Penn State coaching search, stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.