Dan Wetzel

  • From smoothies to music, James Franklin is filling Penn State with high-octane fun

    Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports20 hrs ago

    STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – There is a self-serve smoothie bar outside the head coach's office here at Penn State.

    Obviously, this is new. It should not surprise that Joe Paterno did not have a smoothie bar during the 46 years he lead the Nittany Lions before being dismissed in 2011 following the indictment of Jerry Sandusky. Here's guessing it never even crossed his mind to install one. He might not have even known what a smoothie was.

    Bill O'Brien didn't have one either, perhaps because Paterno's immediate successor arrived from the New England Patriots to take over a program already reeling from the scandal, only to see it unexpectedly leveled by unprecedented (and unfair, most say around here) sanctions from the NCAA.

    O'Brien was the perfect man for an impossible moment – keeping the program on track with professionalism and stoicism as he held off transfers, lobbied the NCAA for a return of some scholarships and basically established a calm (and some victories) amidst the storm. Frozen treats didn't seem to fit into the moment, though.

    James Franklin, 42, brought the smoothie bar to a campus known for its ice cream.

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  • Browns make right move in starting Brian Hoyer, but now real work starts for Johnny Manziel

    Dan Wetzel at Yahoo Sports2 days ago

    After what could reasonably be deemed the worst quarterback competition in recent NFL memory, Brian Hoyer has been named the Cleveland Browns’ starter.

    That leaves Johnny Manziel on the bench to begin his NFL career, a place that is probably best for him in the long term and will be temporary unless Hoyer improves dramatically in the regular-season opener against Pittsburgh.

    Perhaps the biggest challenge for Johnny Football is how he handles a bit of adversity in a career that, from small-town superstar at Kerrville (Texas) Tivy High School to a Heisman-winning first season playing for Texas A&M, has always been charmed. For once, at least thus far, his unique, bravado-filled style of play didn't find a way to win out in the end.

    Manziel is the first to say he needs to keep working to get better, but how he handles the second string remains to be seen.

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