Twenty three days until the start of the 2016 season’s fall camp to be held at the beautiful Southside football facilities we share with the PGH Steelers – and that the recruits love to go to for that reason.
We need to start getting serious about football now. Three weeks and a few wake ups and things start getting nervous-making and here’s one reason why.
Yesterday Chris Peak of Rivals/Trib-Review had another of his good and detailed podcasts. He starts of by talking about a poll he put up on Rivals regarding “Who is the Best QB in Post-Walt Harris Era” (which I can’t find on his message boards).
Peak then discussed the biggest problem facing Pitt’s 2016 season bar none IMO; QB depth. I have been harping on this since the day Chad Voytik went public with the news of his decision to transfer. Now with 23 days left until camp starts the staff hasn’t done anything to rectify it but move a player, rsSR now-QB Manny Stocker, over to the QB2 spot.
There should be no need to keep saying it over but I will… This staff needed a transfer QB with eligibility in the worst way and didn’t (yet) do it.. stay tuned but I think we are stuck with Stocker or burning Tom MacVitte’s redshirt.
He has ex-Pitt QB Pat Bostick Jr as a guest which is always fun to listen to. If you don’t know by now he has been kicked upstairs and is the major fundraiser for Pitt athletics now as the Director of Development. Pitt has figured out that he’s more valuable getting with donors and future donors during the games than up in the booth where ex-Pitt WR Billy Osborn will take his place.
As anyone who has been in the position to influence their employee’s career recognizes AD Scott Barnes is building Bostick’s resume with Bostick’s move out of the booth. Fundraising is a major requirement for hire as an Athletic Director anywhere and this is Pat Jr getting his professional feet wet in that part of the business.
(BTW – Bostick thinks Stull’s 2009 year was the best, mainly due to the wins column).
Take some time to sit down and listen to Pat Bostick’s take on the QB and the passing game going into 2016. It starts at the 18:30 mark or so and goes on for quite a bit. Here are some re-capped points to Pat made: (Italics are my thoughts)
- Bostick thinks Peterman is as talented as any QB we have had and has “as much arm talent as Tom Savage” less some of the pure strength Savage has (which no one really matches IMO).
- We’ll see more downfield passing this year. Even though not Savage’s strength he’s strong enough and accurate enough to hit the big plays – which just weren’t called by Chaney much last season.
- He’ll (Peterman) be better this year – the fans don’t factor in that Peterman had to ‘knock the rust off’ from being idle those years and only had four weeks to learn a new offense and perform.
- Big difference between that and 2016 where he’s the starter and will take all the snaps.
- The two biggest issue with the QB is 1) his health and 20 his production.
- That saying “his health” vice performance underscores the important problem about the back-up QB problem.
- He thinks our passing game will be better because it will be different – instead of Boyd being the #1 receiver even when not really open. NP will be able to play instinctively vice being “programmed” to go to Boyd all the time even if he was just a ‘smidgen’ open. He thinks well see more yards and more TDs from Peterman because of this.
- This is what I have been emphasizing all along and rather strongly. His using the word ‘programmed’ is Pat’s nice way of saying Chaney insisted it be Boyd, Boyd, and Boyd with his playcalling.
- Ford will be the leading receiver and he’s big on rsJR WR Jester Weah (as is the staff BTW). He also see us spreading the ball out a lot more and using the “small feet” guys like rsSO WR Rafael Araujo-Lopes (!) and SO WR Quadree Henderson will be put in the position to get the ball fast and get yards downfield.
- Interesting that Pat mentioned Lopes who didn’t catch a ball last season. Henderson we know already due to his very good play on special teams. ‘Small feet guys’ cracks me up but we’ll see them in the slot a bunch this year
I have said I think Ford is the next ‘star’ receiver we have at Pitt and even though Pat calls him a possession receiver I believe we’ll see some great yards after the catch with Ford… mainly because he’ll have other WRs actually coming over to block for him. That was a shortcoming on Boyd’s part last year.
It is a good, and I think honest, take on Peterman and the passing game we’ll see -and I say honest because he also talks about Peterman’s faltering in the bigger games, most notably NC, Miami and Navy which he certainly did. But Pat’s take dovetails with my opinions of the passing game we’ll see and is also why am willing to make that wager I posted yesterday – that Peterman will beat Palko’s 2004 production of 27 TDs and 3,067 yards.
Here is an interesting bit of news: JR (?)* RB James Conner is on the Doak Walker award watchlist – after not playing for a full season. That is something to note and I wonder if the feel good story factored into that a bit. but then again the last season he did play was so damned productive he certainly should be included. (I put the * behind Conner’s year because he was awarded an extra year by the NCAA because of last year’s injury.)
And speaking of awards he, rsSR LB Mike Caprara (see below) and SR OL Adam Bisnowaty were also placed on the list for the Danny Wuerfful Award. And, Yeah Us!! ,that number, three, is the most of any team nationally.
The Pitt Panthers had three players selected to the Wuerffel Trophy watch list Wednesday, the most representatives of any school in the country.
Junior running back James Conner, senior offensive lineman Adam Bisnowaty and senior linebacker Mike Caprara were all named preseason candidates for the Wuerffel Trophy, named after 1996 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel.
The Wuerffel Trophy is given annually to the FBS player that best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.
But Wait! There’s More! Our young phenom, SO S Jordan Whitehead is also racking up listings having just been placed for the Jim Thorpe Award . Thorpe, if you have done your sports homework, was the Native American “best athlete of the 20th century”who got screwed out of his Olympic medals back in the 1912 games.
Thorpe almost had a Pitt connection in that he was coached by Pop Warner at Carlisle – he of later Pitt championship fame.
In 1904 the sixteen-year-old Thorpe returned to his father and decided to attend Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. There his athletic ability was recognized and he was coached by Glenn Scobey “Pop” Warner, one of the most influential coaches of early American football history. Later that year he became orphaned after Hiram Thorpe died from gangrene poisoning after being wounded in a hunting accident, and Jim again dropped out of school. He resumed farm work for a few years and then returned to Carlisle Indian Industrial School.
Pittsburgh Sports Now has an interview with AD Scott Barnes. Here it is you can read it but I didn’t see anything worth nothing here in it. Nice to read though.
The Pitt Media Dept just posted the latest update roster that includes all the class of 2016 recruits.
To recruiting: Pat Narduzzi looked outside of the Tri-State area and lands a recruit from The Land Down Under.
We just send up an upside down Pat signal (it came from the other side of the equator ) and met a need in replacing our SR punter. His name is Kirk Christodoulou but I’m just going to call him K-Christ. Too many vowels freak me out and that makes him sound like a white rapper.
Welcome aboard, I think. He was rated 3 Dingos by Aussie Rivals.com.
The existing Pitt players are at their good works again, and this has been a recurring theme over the off season. It seems like between charity works and being named to Award watch lists there is something in the news every morning.
Yesterday it was participation in Pittsburgh’s Orange Arrow program that serves young men in preparing them for what lies ahead in their lives.
The venture was just one part of Orange Arrow’s mentoring program, started three years ago by former Pitt football player Shawn Robinson. Its goal: Teach young student-athletes how to act off the field.
Or, as 12-year-old Tyvon Johnson of McKees Rocks responded when asked what he learns from Orange Arrow: “Respect.” “There are so many coaches showing a young kid how to catch a football, hit a baseball, get off the starting blocks,” Robinson said. “Who is showing them how to be successful in life?”
Robinson said the lessons range from “leadership to their decorum.”“We expose them to arts and cultures and build cross-cultural relationships,” he said.
Mike Caprara, Matt Galambos, Ryan Lewis, Dontez Ford, Kellen McAlone and Avonte Maddox are the Panther volunteers this time. What especially caught my eye was this and it is something that I hold in high importance.
Being able to share a meal and conduct a strong conversation is so important in my mind. To eat and to communicate are the two biggest needs in a human being and when you can do both in a way that allows exchanging ideas while enjoying yourselves if a bedrock to a full and varied life.
Forget about that smaller salad fork or what that finger bowl is for – that doesn’t matter. But when you are a teen or young man and can hold your own in that situation with adults who have already made a mark in life then world opens up for you.
Here is a bit of advice… When you are alone and no one is watching eat with your mouth open as that allows you nose to use its sense of smell to complement your tongue’s taste buds.
As humans, our taste senses only recognize 5 flavors- sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami, but it is the nose that senses thousands of odor molecules that help create the true flavor experience. Truthfully, every sense has a role in how you enjoy the food; seeing the caramelization on the roasted sweet potato, hearing the fresh crack of an artisan crust, but the sense of smell really triumphs all. <!– [if lt IE 9]>//html5shiv.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/html5.js<![endif]–>
In public or with others – never. That is why you should take small bites when you are eating with others and there is conversation going. So that if someone asks you something you can swallow quickly and engage in talking with them.
Just saying’… “Look Back Saturday” is being drafted for tomorrow.