Sunday Podcast; Scrimmage #2 & “Branding”

From the Pitt Media Dept:

Photo Gallery of Saturday’s Pitt Scrimmage

 Head Coach Pat Narduzzi on today’s scrimmage, won by the defense (55-52):

“It was really competitive. It was a tale of two halves. I thought the offense did a good job moving the ball down the field. We were able to get a lot of quarterbacks work today. We wanted to come out to Heinz Field and find out who our backup QB was.

I’ll have to go back and watch the tape, but I think we will be able to find out what we have there.  I was happy with some of the things the quarterbacks did. I think we are a step closer to finding out who that top backup is.

James Conner had some good runs. We tried not to wear him out—he might have had 15 or 20 reps. Jester Weah made a really nice catch.

“Defensively we played a much better second half than first half. They really came alive at the break. It is a game of emotions. You have to be ready to bring it, and then bring it back again. I like how we finished defensively. It came down to a two-minute situation at the end of the scrimmage.

I didn’t know if the defense had a chance to win it at the end, but they came back to edge the offense on the final drive of the game by three points.

“In the kicking game, Chris Blewitt and [freshman walk-on] Alex Kessman didn’t miss a field goal today. We gave them 12 opportunities before the main scrimmage started where we worked third downs and then lined up for field goals. Both of them looked good and we now have a backup to Blewitt in Kessman.

Yes, kids… this is why we say watch what you put on social media.

Note: Here is an article about K Alex Kessman from his HS days… he could be our 5th QB in case of flash flooding along the Mon.

CLARKSTON >>> Just when Kurt Richardson thought he had seen it all in his nearly 30 years as head coach at Clarkston, along comes senior Alex Kessman for a couple of different reasons this season.

One is that twice this season, Richardson has found himself sending out Kessman to try field goals so long that some NFL coaches wouldn’t let their kickers attempt them, let alone tries Richardson has given the go-ahead for during his coaching tenure.

In the season opener against Macomb Dakota, Richardson sent Kessman out to try a 56-yard field goal in the final minute of the first half, and there probably was collective snickering among a crowd that must have assumed Clarkston had a fake up its sleeve because there was no way a high school kicker would make one from that distance.

There was no fake, and that crowd had a mixture of “oohs and ahhs” and stunned silence when Kessman drilled that attempt through the uprights for the fourth-longest field goal in state history.

The punting game really looked good. Ryan Winslow came out and smacked a couple. They were big-time punts. “We got in a lot of good work today but, as always, we will want to clean up a lot of things on both sides of the ball as well.”

On other subjects…

Here is an article from the P-G that is a dollar short and a day late.  Her opening is about news from about three months ago.

The Tribune-Review has a two=part series that will engender some good discussions I think.  It is titled: Can Pitt become a national power in football, men’s basketball?

I will write a piece on the 1st part for tomorrow’s article. But just for fun take a look at this section of the opening article…  Sound familiar?  I wrote an article just yesterday on this issue, and have been writing about it for years…

Making Pitt a ‘brand’

Luginbill said any program seeking to contend for conference or national championships must fight the battle of perception.

“How are you perceived by the public?” he said. “How are you perceived by the recruits? Everybody is trying to advance their brand, whether that’s in facilities, whether that’s in satellite camps, whether that’s in stadium upgrades.”

Almost from the day Barnes was hired to replace Pederson in 2015, Pitt has been trying to develop its brand, punctuated by the return of the Pitt script logo.

“It’s a way to unite your alumni base, and with that comes all the opportunities to add that ‘wow’ factor,” Barnes said. “It’s one of the deficits we had. We weren’t branded.”

Luginbill pointed to Oregon as a program that has made itself relevant. Unranked through much of the 1970s, ’80s and half of the ’90s, Oregon and its flashy uniforms (courtesy of an influx of donor dollars from Nike cofounder and Oregon alumnus Phil Knight) have been in the top 10 of the final AP poll six times in the past eight years.

“They did it by creating a wide recruiting net,” Luginbill said. “Being everywhere, kind of creating a cool factor with everybody around the program.

“You have to try to differentiate from everybody else, whether it’s as simple as a uniform or a unique tradition.”

Huh – when you have a moment you can look at these two articles for some more discussion about the need for a true Pitt brand

Look Back: Uniforms Seem Familiar?   – a Pitt POV article posted yesterday.

A Rebuttal or “What Are We wearing This Season Dear?” – a Pitt Blather article posted on May 19th, 2016.

52 thoughts on “Sunday Podcast; Scrimmage #2 & “Branding”

  1. Guys Pitt can ill afford to lose to injury in order

    2 Jarrett
    3 Hendrix
    4 Whitehead
    5 Conner

    Although Conner and Whitehead are the two superstars, there is more depth at their positions.


  2. Reed the podcast was great but you remind me of my wife. A few years back when my wife was still working, she at times had to work a 12 or 13 day stretch (she was a nurse). Never complained the whole time until the very last day. She complained the night before about all the days in a row she had just worked. I always thought that was a little odd. I would think of it as being behind me but not her.
    Now here you are (not complaining so much but…) talking about how PITT should be thinking about a long term branding. Well I think that’s exactly what’s going on down at PITT. It’s definitely out with the old and in with the brand new old and some brand new new. The news uni’s have a taste of variety that the players can appreciate and the throwbacks, even though they are not politically correct in some eyes, for pretty much everyone can jump on board with.

    Your point on Gallagher is the key to this whole thing. I really like the way the PITT football program is re-blossoming. This season could be rough but I can see a complete turn around happening down in Oakland.


  3. @Reed Agree with your thoughts today. You say its 25 minutes huh? Walking to the field, see some exercises and then a little bit of picking up the ball and throwing it around.

    Narduzzi really DOES NOT want anything out there.

    Narduzzi & Conklin have some work to do this year, the D needs to improve.


  4. Just starting to read the Trib article and then turn to podcast. The Trib gives front page and two part series to whether Pitt football can return to a national program as it was under Majors and Sherrill and then I look for coverage of the scrimmage. Oh that’s right there is NONE because of Narduzzi’s desire to control publicity like a modern day Goebbels. Seriously, what a buzz kill. Will the Pitt Administration ever realize that ALL aspects must be given the full bore. Lift the media ban Narduzzi, Gallagher and Barnes!!!


  5. It can be frustrating not getting the updates and more information on practices and scrimmages especially for the media types but I don’t know how other teams handle this type of thing. I mean maybe some of the better football programs like Mich State for example, use this same type of policy? and with James from state college always lurking one can’t be to careful. 🙂


  6. I personally like the fact that Narduzzi is keeping things under wrap. Pitt is trying to create a brand. If everything they do is under a microscope, reported on and dissected daily, it takes away from the larger message that is going to come on strong. I think as the program improves and progresses, there will be additional access. Those are my thoughts on access. It’s not about trust in my opinion. It shows me that we have a lot of work to do with our players and schemes. Why broadcast your shortcomings?

    Wait and broadcast from a position of strength! Just a different view.


  7. When you crap on the media, they tend to crap on you harder when things aren’t going well. A lot of these guys are trying to make a living as reporters. Hard to stand out when there is nothing to report.

    I think that Narduzzi has hit the wall with recruiting and the media knows it. They can’t be happy with the blackout. He better win two of the first four or it could get pretty ugly around here.

    Every practice does not have to be open, but keeping them all closed is too much in a city that loves sports.


  8. My 2 cents .. we don’t have to know all that’s going on. When there were open practices, we still didn’t have a clue what the team really turned out to be. We would look at stats but didn’t realize that they were racked up against the 2nd or 3rd team defenses, etc. There are only 2 weeks left, be patient


  9. As Pitt fans, we have had to live for a long time on “hope” and anticipation. That’s why it was always so nice to get reports from camp about Player A looking good or Player B being the surprise of camp. I always looked forward to hearing that kind of stuff, even if it was just coach-speak. Coach Graham was a master of over-touting his players during camp – but I loved it… I’ll take “hope” – even some false hope…

    I think Coach Duzz is so focused on beating PSU — because that game is so big for the immediate future of the program — that Coach is going over the top in being secretive. Hopefully it’s something that will change as the Coach settles in and gets more experience in being a Head Coach.

    Go Pitt.


  10. The Johnstown and Altoona TV stations (there are 4 covering all networks)have regular titled segments on Penn State not because they get unfettered access but they do get interview comments from 2 o 3 players a couple times a week to fill a sports segment. Pitt could get a steady exposure with something like that and still not have press total access. The bottom line is to win big games.Can you imagine the extra boost a win over Iowa would have given Pitt going into last season. Get enough national Press and the local press will be all over it.


  11. @Wbb We don’t have to know “all” as you say? We don’t know shit. Lets be honest here. On the recruiting side of things, after last year, thought we would see some real recruiting momentum, not the case. Its a lot of PC type recruiting.


  12. I’m drafting an article about Open v Closed practices for tomorrow but for now here are some thoughts on the comments.

    @Walts – yes, there are some changes being made. But the prime concept in ‘branding’ is the uniform. We have a new one issued in May but until we see a ‘new’ uniform stay as THE UNIFORM forever (or at least manu years) then we really haven’t completed branding at all.

    The uniform is the face of Pitt football – everything else is window dressing.

    @wbb – it didn’t matter if what we saw and reported on in the spring and fall open practices are what we saw in-season. That truly isn’t the point. This administration is begging for our donations and extorting big $$ for the right to buy certain season ticket seats and in return for that what are they giving us?

    6-7 home games per year. That is it. We should be entitled to the full 360 degrees of Pitt football – like very many other programs give access to, and indeed we at Pitt did in the past.

    @ Pitt60 – the bottom line really isn’t only winning games. It is giving Pitt fans and supporters their monies worth as I said to wbb. Winning games is a by-product of having a good program. But let’s be honest here – Pitt fans, and many other schools’ fans, love the football program and team even if they aren’t winning 9-10 games per year, or even breaking even in some cases.

    Otherwise no one would go see 50% of college football programs play their games.

    It is the excitement of the whole of college football that we love and that isn’t just for 4 hours on 13 Saturdays. That is an everyday thing especially when the excitement builds in the run up to the season. To hold that back from the people you are actually supposed to be doing all of this for is a disservice to those who support thye school and the team.


  13. At least to me a big part of fall training camp was hearing about the great plays that were being made. The catches, the throws, the runs, the hard tackles, the interceptions. Who came to camp in great shape, which freshmen are looking good, which guys are fighting over playing time etc.

    None of these things may translate to wins and losses, but they get the juices flowing and keep the media hype going in anticipation of the season, along with some fun video clips.

    This is why the Steelers get thousands to go to St Vincent’s every year. It is what the fans want and enjoy.

    For a team that ranks dead last in popularity in its own city, you would think they would be fighting for media coverage and fan involvement.

    In previous years we had many more player interviews to enjoy and get to know the guys a little bit.

    For most of them it was their only opportunity to get in front of the camera and answer questions, get a little notoriety for all their hard work.

    Most people in Pittsburgh can’t name more than a few Pitt players. Very sad indeed.


  14. I wonder if the 5 Notre Dame players getting busted will help our recruitment of the locals? I also think is keeping everything close to the vest until the PSU game too much to lose.


  15. You’re the KING Reed!, ‘heavy lies the crown’, no one is after the throne! haha

    On the media Blackout here: Awesome viewpoints from the posts! Going through the thoughtful comments it’s interesting to look at both sides of the coin. I really get the perspective that the “Total Blackout” by Narduzzi & co. isn’t necessarily a bad thing, even though Fans and Supporters feel a bit locked-out until the games start.

    @ Reed from your Podcast (great, love it!):

    ** 1) Beer is delicious. I love beer too. I understand your predicament, with no beer being served in the press box. Can you buy cans and not draughts, then sneak them into the press box with you?

    Chris Clark is gonna be a Stud player for Pitt. Big Time with Thomas MacVittie next year: —- he’s gonna be a star and hopefully he starts at Pitt for 2 years as a RS Sophomore and RS Junior before he elects to go the NFL. Crazy good athlete with amazing hands and great, great size. In college, he’s going to be Pitt’s best Tight End since the converted Dorin Dickerson (who in his last year was a Beast for Pitt). As long as they’re law-abiding citizens, who the heck cares if a kid’s Cocky and knows how good they are. Chris Clark has never been in any trouble with the law, is extremely close with his Mom and Sister, and has never hurt anybody (except their feelings). I embrace Pitt’s best tight end (might be way better) since Mike Ditka. Mark It— Chris Clark is gonna be an absolute star tight end for Pitt with Thomas MacVittie throwing it his way often and successfully.

    On Manny Stocker—> you’re right, as you’ve said all along, he’s clearly the #2 Quarterback pretty much set in stone. It feels like a done deal at this point, which is fine. If RS Senior Manny Stocker does have to play, well then he’s a bigger Chad Voytik and hopefully Matt Canada can incorporate Read-Option runs, short passes, and Tons of screens to our running backs and all of our receivers (including Orndoff).

    Yeesh @ Reed, you’re hating so hard on these 2 tight end recruits. As if 2 star equates to a player being an instant Bum. I put up Grant Carrigan’s highlights, where it’s clear that at the minimum the 6’7”, 250 pound kid has the frame to be a monster, and he’s already very quick and athletic and has amazing hands. He’s a 2 star recruit because his only year starting couldn’t get a pass from his tiny, 14 year old QB in small town West Virginia.
    Tyler Sear is 6’5”, 250lb 17 year old who can flat-out play (get his kid with Dave Andrews and turn him into a monster watch).

    Recruiting across the board at every position and building a program is not as glamorous as just selling out to get a few 5 star recruits and multiple 4 star recruits to get a Sweet Rivals Ranking to window dress. Dave Wannstedt did that and lo-and-behold Pitt suc*ed, and had horrific glaring weaknesses each year, except for 2 successful years (albeit still disappointing) years with Bill Stull.


  16. Narduzzi gets his economics. He knows how to create value through scarcity.

    Preseason info is his currency and he keeps its value high by not releasing very much of it to the public.

    And I’d be willing to be that five years down the road you are going to see bigger opening day attendance on average under Narduzzi than you did under coaches with open practices.


  17. Adam Brenneman, five star TE nit recruit a few years ago, bum knee. Played a little and now at UMass.
    Five stars turned into playing at UMass…who even knows what conference that is?
    Like Forrest says: like a box of chocolates.


  18. I’m not down on 2* kids at all – as a matter of fact I constantly point out that 2* kids can and do make very good college ball players.

    At my count right now we have a total of 18 scholarships to give out for the class of 2017… with these two kids we now have 14 commitments.

    I’m just kind of disappointed that Narduzzi used two scholarships on two 2* TEs almost a full six months before LOI Day. I very much doubt that these two recruits were so valuable to have on the roster we needed to get them to commit that very early.

    As bj says above this year’s recruiting has gone much differently than last season’s. Yes, the bigger recruits do wait until the season is either in full swing or over so they can see how their target programs did but last season we were getting 2* & 3* kids with great offers.

    This year not so much especially lately. Other than Paris Ford who is a 4* all the others have pretty spotty offers.

    Our next highest ranked player to Ford – RB Todd Sibley had Michigan State and Ohio State – where he committed and then was basically told to greyshirt or to leave… basically they cut him loose.

    “When he committed to Ohio State as a high school sophomore, Akron Archbishop Hoban running Todd Sibley Jr. was 100-percent sure his recruitment was over.

    “The country’s 18th-ranked tailback had a brief flirtation with Michigan State but quickly shut it down. He was a Buckeye and had no intention of being anything else. His recruitment was over.

    For a year, anyway. A phone call changed the situation for Sibley in a way he’d not expected.

    “It started off with a phone call,” Sibley said of the day his recruitment went from over to open. “The conversation suggested that it was 100 percent in my best interest to look around and visit some other places. It was huge blow to me and my confidence as a player, because at that moment I felt like I wasn’t good enough.”

    Other than that we don’t have any recruits with ‘bigger’ offers than Pitt, and two of the 14 are, I suspect, only offered because they are legacy family members in Street and Carrigan.


  19. Secrecy has an ulterior motive? How about this premise? Regarding fall practices, why don’t college teams scrimmage other college teams that are not on their schedule as nearly all high school teams here in Ohio do against other high school teams? When teams scrimmage against only their own players, how can teams know if they’re any good if they play only against their own teammates? Even pro teams have done this a little bit against other pro teams, including the Steelers this year. Is it over-secrecy at the college level? Fear that a reporter who witnesses what a team is practicing will reveal strategies and players’ abilities to the public and ruin a game day surprise? Do PSU, Alabama, ND, The OSU, MSU, UM, Clemson or any other top team hold closed practices? All I read on the Pitt sites is the secrecy at Pitt. Maybe everybody does this, or at least most of the top teams. What do you think, Reed?


  20. “Other than that we don’t have any recruits with ‘bigger’ offers than Pitt, and two of the 14 are, I suspect, only offered because they are legacy family members in Street and Carrigan.”

    I don’t believe in the slightest bit that Pat Narduzzi gives “Legacy Offers”.

    And don’t forget, even though Darian Street is a 3 star recruit who is only ‘listed’ at 6’2” —- Devin Street was a 2 star recruit with no other offers too. And look what type of player he turned out to be. Even if he doesn’t stick with the Cowboys ( 😦 probably won’t unless he seriously steps his game up) he will earn spots on NFL rosters.

    —– P.S. @ Dr. Tom — My Optimism is not some delusional, dream-world hopefulness. I thoroughly remember Our Pitt disappointments:

    The Previous, Past disappointments are real, of course. Good PS “Who” Bi*ched-Out on the series after 4 years —- because the PITT Panthers owe West Virginia University some harsh payback after our embarrassing+humiliating performances against them to end the series.

    —- Also with my “Optimism” lol, I’m just part of the tide here, as so many other posters have shown: Pitt Football ferociously ascending. Two weeks from now we’re going to see a freakin’ Massacre against a poor Eastern PA FCS team at Heinz. It’s just so hard to wait.

    —- @Reed I’m hype about Grant Carrigan. I mean I am surprised I only saw his tape after he committed, because I think he’s a future star receiving Tight End.

    2 star Tight End Tyler Sear is a Big-Boy who will redshirt (6’5”, 250 already) and he’s athletic. Get him with Dave Andrews and he’ll be a ferocious blocker at least.

    Hail to Pitt!! Less than 2 weeks!


  21. Local media barely covered Pitt when things were open. HCPN has an uphill battle and likely wants as little distraction as possible. Maybe if the wins come he’ll loosen the reigns some.


  22. Dark – you are about 180 degrees opposite from my POV about Pitt football in so many ways. You and Dr. Tom (God love you both) refuse to entertain any thoughts about anything other than 100% great success in everything Pitt football…

    Well, how well has that worked out for you?

    What did you think about all those recruits we had that got arrested, kicked off the team, flunked out or just plain quit? Some of them were 3*, 4* and a 5* recruits also.

    And you have to be kidding about not giving any legacy recruits a scholarship. Every school in the country does that at one time or another.

    BTW – Darian Street may well do good things for us as could anyone but as I said all recruiting is speculation based on the info at hand at any given time.

    The info we have about Young Brother Street is this: UCONN, Towson, Monmouth, Army, Duquesne and Kent State….

    Anyone with that track record of offers, not named Street, would be suspect no matter if he had 3* or 2*s next to his name.


  23. @ Reed —– I’ve only ever experienced a University of Pittsburgh football program that’ always been on the threshold of breaking-through, but was always hamstrung by a Chancellor who clearly did not give a…Hoot, about football.

    Who cares about the Bull$hit Big East Past with Wannstedt + Todd Graham + Paul Chryst??? Who cares??

    Walt Harris showed at Stanford (Horrific) that he was not some amazing, win-anywhere coach, yet was a winner at Pitt!!

    Pitt Football is now in a top-tier financial situation, with an amazing Chancellor who cares and appreciates his Football Program, and Pitt has an awesome, future-Elite coach in Pat Narduzzi —- @ Reed sorry, this is not the 90’s anymore!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    @ Reed: Sir, with great respect, I recommend you GET OPTIMISTIC !!!


  24. —> C’mon guys, Pitt is not like anywhere else. Pitt IS Pittsburgh, and Pitt is part of every Alum & Fan….there’s a reason why the Electricity is around Pitt now — it’s a new age for Pitt!

    Lol Wiz Khalifa=Biggest Pitt fan on Earth 🙂 haha

    “Forget” (i.e., Fu*k) Penn State , btw


  25. #ReedTheKing

    —- @ Reed you give me this opportunity to express my Pitt Passion. I want to say, without you, and your great writing, and your efforts to create this forum for us…..I would have zero opportunity to express my Pitt-Passion and I thank you for this site and your great writings which you create so prolifically 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Pat Narduzzi again, top this:


  26. I have been out of town for a few days,but I see one of my pet peeves has come up and that is lack of coverage for the Panthers.
    My question is: When did reporters become parrots for the program. So what if practices are closed. These are reporters ,right? Go out and dig a story like all the fluff stuff you see about PSU or any number of teams in other markets.
    Go with the premise people want news about the team, any news. So if you can’t report about practice, write about opponents and talk to them about the Piit game.
    Do human interest pieces, as we all dislike them but the feel good stuff is good for a quick read.
    The point is, there is real interest for the first time in forever. Annnyyyyyy news is good, so if the two big papers have reporters assigned anyhow why not do some reporting? And before all the bullshit excuses, I see fluff pieces to fill in almost daily from the assigned PSU stringers. And when I’m out of town the other papers have the sane shit, and fans there complain about lack of access to there teams practices.
    Finally, ask yourself, what’s better, picking up the Sunday paper and having an article about OK State game and interviews with their reporters, or the sad state we see all too often( like today) with no Pitt news at all because practice is closed? Man, if my job was to report, I’d damn well find something to report on!


  27. I should clarify the above. I am referring to the PG which I subscribe to. I just read the Yrib stuff and I must say they have given coverage as they never have before! I think they get it, and that is there is a very large segment of the Pittsburgh population that are college football, and Pitt football fans. They are waiting like Steeler fans did through all those miserable years. When Pitt does finally turn that corner I think fans will come out of the woodwork! After loosing for so long, when you finally win it is the best feeling ever!


  28. On Clark, I hope he is the real deal and think he will be. The great ones are hard to figure out mentally. Look, with respect to the number of schools the kid allegedly committed to, I get it. As an example, I committed to every girl that I ever got past second base with. At some point< I stopped that practice, buckled down, and committed to one. Unfortunately, after 30 years, I struggle to get past 2nd base again….

    I also will reiterate that Reeves or Paulsen would be terrific add ons if we can close them. I would like to see updates on those two I think Carrigan is a tackle in a couple of years. I like Sear on film, so I think he stays at TE unless we bring in either of the two named above.

    If Pitt wants to step up recruiting even more in Florida, they should “buy time” and televise their games on the sunshine network. Just sayin!

    I am excited for this season. After the first 3 games, I think we could roll through the next 6. We will catch Miami after they play FSU, NC, Vtech, ND in consecutive weeks. They will be holding their heads low if they go 1-3. Very beatable if that happens. If we can go 8-4, watch everything change with media next year. Narduzzi will be more comfortable and he will have his players. He needs to keep his locker room intact this year and he should limit press because the questions are what? Compare new coach to old coach, new practices to old ones.


  29. I agree with Panther Jim. Yes, PSU gets tons of coverage in Johnstown and Altoona .. BFD! What the hell else goes on there… the flood and the minor league team. HCPN can open practices and Pitt would still get minimal coverage compared with Pirates and Steelers right now.

    When I buy my season ticket package, pre-season coverage is never part of the decision making process. Right now, I can care less if Idowu has played better than Zeise the past 2 days.


  30. Now to more important news … Donovan Jeter says he will announce on Halloween; Lamont Wade will announce in December. These are the 2 biggest local recruits and will mean a lot to Pitt if the they stay here, especially since ND has done so well locally the past few months. Pitt being shut out by all of the big local recruits can tarnish the ‘Pitt brand.’


  31. wwb – I agree with you regarding the recruiting of WPA’s best and tarnishing Pitt’s brand if we are shut-out. Landing Paris Ford means we won’t be shut-out in 2017, but not landing 1 of either Wade or Jeter will be bad IMO.

    Not blowing out nova and losing to the pedos in the September “cat” fights will also put a tarnish on the Pitt brand. I believe HCPN knows how to win – he just has to figure it out with an under-talented FB team that he is the CEO of. In the past he was 2nd in command and the ultimate decision making was with his boss. Not anymore – plus, when he was at Michigan State he was part of many victories over the pedos. HCPN, like many of us Pitt fans, wants to win this year’s rivalry game and put a new shine on the Pitt brand.

    Win and they (WPA’s best) will come –



  32. Reed

    Can’t believe you actually wrote, “We should be entitled to the full 360 degrees of Pitt football…”.

    No person is entitled to get shit. If you think donating money equates to full disclosure of the playbook, you need to wake up. Pitt is implementing a new offense. Releasing stats or letting media report on aspects of the offense would be foolish. I am competitve as can be, I would do exactly the same.

    Sure, I would like to get more info, but stop whining about it people. It is what it is. (Worst saying every)


  33. Duzz will be more open with practices and do better with local premier talent once he knows he can WIN on a regular basis and compete and defeat the biggies on the schedule.. Duzz is still learning how to be a HC..,


  34. Erie, agree … beating PSU should certainly help with the recruitment of Wade and Jeter. But I must admit, if we do beat PSU but don’t land either one, then the brand is tarnished.


  35. The brand has been tarnished for 30 years. Narduzii has been doing a lot of polishing to get the shine back. I don’t think the closed practices are helping, but not a big deal if he wins 3 of the first four. All will be forgiven and forgotten.

    Hitting the recruiting wall is a bigger problem. Jeter may be the thing to help crash through the wall.Three of the first four will help a bunch too.


  36. gc – I’d prefer 4-0 as I’m sure you would too.

    The first game is not penciled in yet, but winning by a wide margin is preferred over our BB nemice, the nova wildcats. The second game will be a tough, in state rivalry that will allow PA bragging rights for the next 12 months. The third game vs OK State is an interesting one – I believe we are a better team in all phases of the game, but their high flying O will be a challenge with our questionable D. The fourth game is our revenge game, as UNC has had our number since Pitt entered the ACC – a win here sets the tone for the ACC season and a run at the championship…



  37. Just read Mike V’s thoughts on the depth chart for the Panthers at Pittsburgh Sports Now. Three big surprises that he details. Taleni is MIA at DT. Hendrix at DE is penciled in as an “OR” against my dark horse contributor that I predict will be a factor for Pitt’s defense this season, Allen Edwards. Lastly, no problem with Mike putting Famar Hamlin front line from the start at CB opposite Maddox.

    I’ll $hit myself if Hamlin starts against NOVA. Can’t believe true freshmen Wheeler, Watts & Camp have surpassed Taleni in just two weeks of camp and I thought Dwayne Hendrix was already having a statue sculpted for himself based on the preseason hype on him. All very surprising insights from Vukovcan.


  38. I’ll preface this by saying I want PITT to win em all. That said, being HCPN second season and a tough schedule I just don’t know how plausible that is? My train of thought is that I want the Panther football team to come out each and every game and look like a close nit D-1 college football team. I want to see a team that is very well coached and gives effort each and every play while all the players on each side of the ball look like they know what they are doing. Wins are always my first wish but many times the outcomes can be a little deceiving. Now the one game that a win is a must as we all know is the psu game. There is a lot of importance for this game headed by recruiting. I believe Narduzzi is throwing everything out there to win this game as I’m sure james from state college is doing as well. If PITT can win this game and play hard in all others I’ll be a satisfied PITT fan and season ticket holder. ps, yes PITT has to win the Villanova game as well


  39. Mike V obviously has a lot of inside info, but he even puts a big disclaimer on his post. I doubt the coaches have a solid 2 deep yet.

    wwb, I understand that you and the thirty to forty thousand die hard Pitt fans don’t include coverage in the attendance plans. However that leaves 25 to 40 thousand seats to fill each week. Those fans need encouragement, as made obvious by the PSU game. Winning will help the most, but media buzz and marketing is still crucial. Still see lots of ads by the pro teams in this town. It is done for a reason. It helps to sell tickets. A media blackout has to be counterproductive. The talk shows rarely talk about Pitt, while every minor aspect of the pro teams are discussed in excruciating detail.

    It will be interesting to see how attendance is after the PSU game, even though a record number of season tickets have been sold..


  40. Everyone get’s an opinion, right??

    I’ve had plenty of Pitt coverage. From this site, to Pgh Sports Now, a couple others, and Twitter, I’m good on Pitt coverage.

    I really don’t need to know if James Conner broke a 35 yd. run in practice or if Dontez Ford made an amazing catch at the end of practice.

    The games are coming, and that is what matters. Like someone said above, Narduzzi is in a learning process also. If we start becoming a winning program and Narduzzi is here a few years, maybe he starts opening up in the next few years during practices.

    How many times I’ve heard great things happening at practice from “so and so”, only to see him stink in real games and never seen again.

    The first thing that has to start happening in this whole ball of wax, is for Pitt to win football games.


  41. Doc – the other two I found interesting were the Money LB – Caprara OR Saleem Brightwell RSFR and the back-up RB, where QO is 4th on the depth (come on! did HCPN and RB coach Powell watch the games last year?). Moss OR Hall as Conner’s back-up – really?


  42. Recruiting???? Sad to say, that it’s taken me this long in my life to see what really matters. Up until a year ago, I followed it, pretty avidly.

    I’ve now seen the light the past year or so. Really, to get excited, or pissed, you don’t need to start watching everything until about a month before LOI day and LOI day itself.

    So many things can happen with the school, the kids, the coaches until February.

    I will be excited, or I will be pissed. It just won’t be until the end of January and first week of February.

    My epiphany came last year as a follower of all things Pitt on Twitter.

    Following recruiting on Twitter during the other 11 months?? Absurdity. And, I admittedly was entrenched. Then last year, about this time, several players changed their minds, decommitted, and then a week later, we got a couple players to decommitted from somewhere else.

    Then I thought…..”what the hell am I doing hanging on every word?”.

    Now, if I hear or see something, fine, but until LOI day, it’s all haze!!


  43. EE, I think maybe they want a change of pace at RB and QO is similar kind of back to JC.

    I think that is why Challingsworth seems to have dropped down as well. Same type of receiver as Ford, Weah big with speed and Henderson can make yards after the catch.

    Just a thought but we are always hearing about Narduzzi’s need for speed and dynamism.

    Dan, I get that you are fine with the coverage, because as a Pitt fan you go on Pgh Sports now and POV, but the casual fan gets their info from the papers and TV, where there has been virtually no coverage, other than the James Conner Story.


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