Penn State's new coach draped a whistle around his neck, wore a headset and anxiously paced the Beaver Stadium sideline in blue and gray sweats.
Indeed, it is a new era in Happy Valley.
Nearly four months after taking the Nittany Lions job, Bill O'Brien made his sideline debut as Penn State closed out spring practice with the annual Blue-White game Saturday.
It was the most visible step forward so far for a football program transitioning from the 46-year tenure of O'Brien's predecessor, the late Joe Paterno.
There were mixed emotions among many in the thousands of fans who showed up on a cloudy afternoon.
Some came to the life-sized, bronzed statue of Paterno outside the stadium to share stories about the Hall of Famer and leave flowers. The game Saturday was the first event at the stadium since Paterno died in January at age 85 of lung cancer.
The day started with a local florist delivering 409 bouquets of blue and white carnations to the statue - one for each of Paterno's ca...