Franklin jokes about former Maryland colleague O'Brien

Franklin jokes about former Maryland colleague O'Brien
January 12, 2014, 12:45 pm
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Franklin introduced as head coach at Penn State

(Matthew O'Hare-USA TODAY Sports)

Just because you’re at a press conference to be announced as the man tasked with taking over a major college program (and getting paid handsomely for it) doesn’t mean you don't have time to throw some jokes around about a former colleague.

One-time Maryland offensive coordinator James Franklin was asked about his relationship with his predecessor at Penn State, Bill O’Brien, with whom he served on the Terrapins staff from 2003-04.

O’Brien left Penn State to take the head coaching job with the NFL’s Houston Texans.

“We were kind of were brought up in this profession under Ralph Friedgen,” Franklin recalled at his press conference on Saturday. “Me and Billy lived in the same neighborhood. [O’Brien’s wife] Colleen and my wife are good friends. They spoke this week about the most important thing, which is school districts and houses.”

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It was this next change of pace that Franklin is so often applauded for, the ability to speak about football before transitioning to take a motivational tone to even mixing things up with some humor.

“I think Billy and Colleen … they think they’re slick,” Franklin said, setting up the punchline. “I think they’re really just trying to get us to buy their house.”

The quip drew a laugh from the media before he went with the classic “but seriously, folks” tone before continuing.

“But they’re a great resource for us, there’s no doubt about it. We know each other very well,” he said. “He’s got a big job to do. I have a big job to do so I don’t want to … spend too much time bothering him but it is a tremendous for us.”

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