That’s the military term for an aircraft that has reached the fuel status to where they can safely return to base with just a small bit left over for emergency maneuvering. Why did I use this as a title? It seems to me that our DC has just about run out of effective fuel range at this point.
I’m asking for help from the readers here. I don’t want the following info to be or start a Chryst vs Narduzzi argument because that isn’t what I’m trying to do here. At this point I feel that Pat Narduzzi has kept the football program in the good shape he inherited it (off the field) and has improved it’s quality of play on the field. So that isn’t the point.
The point is that I want someone to tell me, in reasonable and understandable terms, why our passing defense is gone to Hell.
Because that’s what I see happening when I look at the comparisons between the 2014 and 2016 years below. I left off 2015 but it shows the mid-point of this slide.
“Is it the Jimmys and the Joes?” Here is Pitt’s current roster of defensive backs:
|24||Phil Campbell||3* (ATH)||6-1/195||FR|
|11||Dane Jackson||2*||6-0/180||RS FR|
|21||Malik Henderson||3*||6-0/185||RS FR|
|43||Jay Stocker||3*||6-2/185||RS FR|
|46||Rimoni Dorsey||WO||6-0/190||RS FR|
|32||Phillipie Motley||3*||5-10/175||RS SO|
|14||Avonte Maddox||3* (ATH)||5-9/175||JR|
|2||Terrish Webb||2* (WR)||5-11/195||SR|
|15||Reggie Mitchell||2* (ATH) Wisky||6-0/200||RS SR|
|38||Ryan Lewis||3* (ATH)||6-0/200||RS SR|
Here we see that the Narduzzi enticed scholarship DBs have an average of 3.1 stars and the Chryst scholarship players come in at 2.5 stars. We all know that stars don’t portend exactly what will happen out on the field in the future years but overall it gives the fans a chance to feel good about the future of that position.
And on the face of it it looks like the future of the position is pretty well set. But we are playing some of those more highly rated Narduzzi recruits and are getting our asses kicked out there.
When you look at where we are in our pass defense work at this mid-point of the season we see this:
|Team Stats – Through games 10/09/2016 with Narduzzi/Conklin
|Passing Yards Allowed||124th||302.3|
|Team Passing Efficiency Defense||121st||154.57|
|3rd Down Conversion Pct Defense||44th||0.354|
|4th Down Conversion Pct Defense||T-90th||0.615|
|First Downs Defense||70th||117|
|Red Zone Defense||117th||0.947|
The saddest part of all this is that we are the tail-end end (I hope) of a two year slide downward to being almost the worst in the country in all facets of a passing defense.
Some of that speaks to the personnel we have had out there – but look at what we did with Chryst and Matt House’s coaching of the players back in 2014 – using many of the same kids that we bitch about being out on the field now.. in other words Chryst’s recruits.
Here is who we are fielding in our defensive backfield for Saturday’s game against Virginia (right) as opposed to who we had two years ago before the slide started:
We lost Pitts, Vinopal and Amara and gained Whitehead, Webb and Motley. What do you think – even trade off? Less talent now? Remember, fans have been complaining that Chryst left the ‘DB cupboard bare’. Is that truly the case or is the coaching now so poor we aren’t getting the job done.
“Or is it the Xs and the Os?” Was 2014’s DBs Coach Troy Douglas and his DC Matt House that much better and more effective at teaching the positions and creating in-game motivation than our current DB Coach Renaldo Hill and his DC Josh Conklin are?
Someone else has to tell me what the answer is other than firing Josh Conklin at the end of this year- unless we feels that our pass defense is going to improve over the rest of the season with either the same DC and personnel or the same DC with more inexperienced personnel if we start to see mid-season benchings.
Hate to say it because we fans do like to crow about Narduzzi’s recruiting – and on paper it looks to be pretty good as far as DBs are concerned. But why would Chryst and House do more with less when it came to pass defense?
Here is what we did back in 2014. The red text shows how much better we did then than we’ve done in this season’s first six games. After perusing that let me know your thoughts
|Team Stats – Through games 01/12/2015 with Chryst/House
|Stat||Rank||Value and / 2016’s #s|
|Passing Yards Allowed||24th (+100)||198.9 ypg / 302 ypg (103.1)|
|Team Passing Efficiency Defense||43th (+78)||121.59 / 154.57 (32.98)|
|Scoring Defense||58th (+33)||26.3 ppg / 31..5 ppg (5.2)|
|3rd Down Conversion Pct Defense||40th (+02)||38% / (2%)|
|4th Down Conversion Pct Defense||T-98th (-8)||Opp @ 61% / 61% Even|
|First Downs Defense||37th (+33)||70th|
|Red Zone Defense||T-73th (+44)||0.84 / 0.94|
|Total Defense||33th (+34)||359.8 ypg / 400.7 ypg (40.9)|