Christian Hackenberg addresses alleged comments about James Franklin
Two weeks ago, reports surfaced that Christian Hackenberg blamed James Franklin for his poor play in meetings with NFL teams. According to Sports Illustrated, NFL front offices weren’t impressed with the way Hackenberg handled himself in closed-door meetings.
Hackenberg got a chance to address the rumors that he threw his coach under the bus on ESPN’s “Russillo and Kanell.”
“I was very open with it,” Hackenberg said. “It was obviously something that I was asked pretty frequently. For me, it was just a different situation from my first year to my next two years up there. The sanctions really hammered us pretty good the last two years from a depth standpoint. We were just in different situations and that’s kind of how I portrayed it.
“I thought it was a very positive thing for me to experience because of this next step that I’m taking. It translated very well in terms of the lessons I would learn from this situation and having to deal with adversity. That’s pretty much how I answered it.”
It wasn’t a secret that Hackenberg talked about the different surroundings he dealt with under Franklin compared to the ones he dealt with under Bill O’Brien.
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From the sound of it, Hackenberg felt like if someone did interpret his comments as deflecting blame, it was not the intent he was going for.
“I was — not shaken by it — but it was kind of weird that those came out because that was something that I’ve never done and never will do,” Hackenberg said. “I was throwing the football so I had to own everything I put on tape. For me, it was just being very open to the circumstances.”
Hackenberg said that he first heard about the MMQB report when he was home with his family for Easter. Still, he said he called Franklin right when he heard about it and he got to talk to him about it in person when he went back to State College the following week.
According to Hackenberg, the two were in agreement that it was an out-of-context interpretation.
“(Franklin) knows what happened and he’s very confident that didn’t happen,” Hackenberg said. “He knows how I feel about him and I know how he feels about me. It’s a lot of mutual respect in terms of the job both of us had to do while we were there together.
“It’s a good relationship.”