Posts tagged ‘San Francisco 49ers’

Of Rooting Interests, Records, and a Rout

The Steeler fans in our office won’t agree with me, but for most Penn Staters, there’s still plenty of reason to pay attention to the NFL playoffs. Three of the four teams that will play this weekend for a Super Bowl berth boast contributions from former (and, in one case, brand-new) Nittany Lions.

All-pro linebacker NaVorro Bowman ’09 (pictured) was among the defensive stars for the San Francisco 49ers, who beat New Orleans on Saturday to set up a meeting with the New York Giants in the NFC championship game. Bowman recorded 10 tackles in San Francisco’s dramatic 36-32 win over the Saints. Among the Giants who will try to slow Bowman this weekend is Kareem McKenzie ’01, a Big Blue stalwart who has started nearly every game at offensive tackle for the past decade. Jimmy Kennedy ’02 is also on the Giants roster, as a reserve defensive lineman.

Over in the AFC, there aren’t any Penn Staters on the Baltimore Ravens’ roster, while Rich Ohrnberger ’08 holds down a spot on the New England Patriots’ injured reserve. Of course, the Pats have become a team of interest for Nittany Lion fans, as New England’s 45-10 drubbing of Denver showcased the offense run by new Penn State coach Bill O’Brien. Unless you’re a Broncos fan, that was fun to watch.

There’s plenty happening with current Penn State athletes, of course, and a typically busy winter sports weekend brought two highlights of note. The first came courtesy of the fleet feet of freshman Robby Creese, who set a U.S. collegiate and under-19 record in the 1,000 meters. He covered five laps at the Ashenfelter Indoor Track in 2:19.53. I got winded just typing that.

And the defending NCAA champion wrestling team recorded a first, blanking conference rival Wisconsin, 43-0, on the road for the program’s first ever Big Ten dual meet shutout.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

January 16, 2012 at 1:03 pm Leave a comment

An Unhappy, Uncertain Start to the New Year

The strangest and saddest season in Penn State football history came to a close Monday with a lopsided loss to Houston in the TicketCity Bowl. That leaves the coaching search, which figures to be finalized this month, and possibly as soon as the next few days — although, as we’ve stated, very few people have any idea when that decision will be made.

The only thing we do know is that literally dozens of names have been “reported” by various outlets as possible candidates. Among the names being taken most seriously in the new year: San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman, New England Patriots’ quarterbacks coach Bill O’Brien — whose hiring Jon Saraceno ’79 of USA Today reported as imminent just two days ago — Boise State head coach Chris Petersen, and, yes, Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak ’82. Despite a public denial of interest in returning to his alma mater, Munchak (pictured), whose Titans were eliminated from playoff contention over the weekend, is rumored to be considering the job.

The New York Times has an interesting take on the uncertainty surrounding the search, summing up a growing consensus: “Who will the next coach of the Nittany Lions be? No one is sure. Maybe not even Penn State.”

Ryan Jones, senior editor

January 3, 2012 at 9:59 am Leave a comment

We Are… “Linebacker U”? It Sure Looks That Way

It’s not that Penn State ever stopped producing great linebackers, but enough other schools have turned out really good ones in recent years that some fans and media observers have tried to reassign the Lions’ unofficial title of “Linebacker U.”

Well, enough of that.

On Wednesday, Dallas Cowboys’ second-year linebacker Sean Lee ’09 was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Month. Through three games, Lee—who wasn’t guaranteed to be a starter this season—was the NFL’s second-leading tackler. Fourth on that list? Another second-year linebacker, Navorro Bowman ’09 of the San Francisco 49ers. This after a 2010 season in which two of the league’s top-three sack leaders were linebackers Tamba Hali ’06 of the Kansas City Chiefs and Cameron (formerly Derek) Wake ’04 of the Miami Dolphins. (In fairness, Hali played defensive end in college, and Wake was something of a “tweener” between ‘backer and end while at Penn State.) And the NFL’s third-leading tackler last season? That was linebacker Paul Posluszny ’06, now of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

There are a couple more linebackers among the 31 ex-Nittany Lions on current NFL rosters. You can keep up with all of them with weekly updates on

Ryan Jones, senior editor

September 29, 2011 at 4:08 pm Leave a comment

Michael Robinson Now a Seahawk

We interrupt our Bama Week coverage briefly to bring you a nice tale about former Nittany Lion quarterback Michael Robinson ’04, ’06, who was cut by the San Francisco 49ers this past weekend. Robinson was quickly picked up by the Seattle Seahawks, and according to this article at, his new team is very happy to have such a great athlete and classy guy. Thanks to one of our colleagues over in Ag Sciences, Vince Verbeke ’82, for calling my attention to the story.

Tina Hay, editor

September 9, 2010 at 8:07 am 1 comment

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