POV: Football Bits and Pieces

Here is a link to the transcript of the video above.  Here is something I don’t get with Narduzzi – he’ll talk forever about things that ‘could have’ happened if just one thing changed (see quote below) but he never has addressed head-on his terrible pass defense that gives up all the other non-hypothetical points. 

This bit starts at about the 1:16 mark:

“When you look at a top 25 team, it’s another three-point loss, you’re in the game till the end. That’s what I stress with our kids, you’re right there, you’re right there, there’s so many opportunities in that game for us to get that three points back.

Fumble kickoff return equals three. You throw an interception, equals three. Our defense did a heck of a job like I told you in the press conference afterwards.

Other situation. We get an interception, and we’re lined up off-sides. There’s another three. We drop an interception at the goal line, that leads to seven. So if you add that nine and seven up, that’s 16 points that, golly, you’d like to see us not do those things and you win the game. Even if you don’t do two out of the three, you have a chance to win the game. That’s how close you are. It’s a game of inches. Good football team.

Man, that is deflection at its finest. How about these plays:

2nd and 10 at VT 21

(14:21 – 1st) Jerod Evans pass complete to Isaiah Ford for 27 yds to the VTech 48 for a 1ST down

1st and 10 at PITT 37

(13:23 – 1st) Jerod Evans pass complete to Isaiah Ford for 24 yds to the Pitt 13 for a 1ST down

2nd and 13 at PITT 38

(14:52 – 2nd) Jerod Evans pass complete to Isaiah Ford for 26 yds to the Pitt 12 for a 1ST down

2nd and 10 at PITT 30

(8:42 – 3rd) Jerod Evans pass complete to Bucky Hodges for 23 yds to the Pitt 7 for a 1ST down

1st and 10 at VT 32

(1:35 – 3rd) Jerod Evans pass complete to Bucky Hodges for 20 yds to the Pitt 48 for a 1ST down

1st and 10 at PITT 37

(0:23 – 3rd) Jerod Evans pass complete to Cam Phillips for 35 yds to the Pitt 2 for a 1ST down

2nd and 10 at VT 25

(13:09 – 4th) Jerod Evans pass complete to Bucky Hodges for 31 yds to the Pitt 44 for a 1ST down

That’s seven passes for 186 yards with four of them taking the Hokies down to the Pitt 13, 12, 7, and 2 yard lines.  That’s what should be the topic of discussion and questioned by the media – not self-depreciating softball stuff like… (this reporter should be dragged out and shot)

“Q. You spend a lot of time going over personnel. Does it bother you when you get questioned by people like me that don’t know too much about football?”

If you ask a silly question you get a silly answer like this:

“I don’t expect you to know football. Doesn’t bother me at all. I’d like to have a clinic someday, I think it would be good, a media clinic, just to talk ball. I’m serious about that.

But here is an interesting part of an answer he gave yesterday that makes fans wonder just exactly what goes on down on the sidelines when the match is being played:

“Q. Do you second guess anything you did Thursday night?”

“You always do. Like I said, any time we win, it’s a team effort. Every time we lose, it’s a team effort. We lose as a team.

I question a lot of things, especially when you don’t get the ball back at the end. I question coverage at times, could we have done this, should we have put this in if we’d known they would do that, should you put this in there. Of course, you always do that.

Is it too much for your guys? That might be the other thing you question. So no doubt about it.”

Now I might be one of those guys who needs a Football 101 lesson from this guy  (for only a $500 donation to the Panther Club!! Sign up now!!)  but I sure as hell know on-site leadership and I have to ask this;  If you question these things after the game what in hell were you doing when their offense was ripping the legs off our defensive backs?

Oh, that’s right – screaming your head off and jumping up and down on your headset – but you don’t need the headset anyway because it is pretty damned obvious you aren’t talking to DC Conklin up in the coaches sky box.

Honest to God – I have to start attending these post-game interviews in person instead of running out of Heinz to the first bar I can find.  These questions are way too tame.

This goes back to his telling us he is completely hands-off our DC and the DC’s decision-making during the game.  Well, if it ain’t broken don’t fix it… but if it is broken then damn well do something about it.  Make in-game adjustments or fire Conklin at halftime or something.

I know exactly how to fix our pass defense problem and this just may be the only way we’ll win anymore games this season.  First you look at our roster of DBs and list them  in ascending quality order.  Something like this:

46-Rimoni Dorsey

35-Rob Boatright

 34-Mark Bernsdorff

43-Jay Stocker

 27-Bricen Garner

24-Phil Campbell

 21-Malik Henderson

16-Therran Coleman

 7-Henry Miller

11-Dane Jackson

 32-Phillipie Motley

20-Dennis Briggs

 38-Ryan Lewis

15-Reggie Mitchell

 3-Damar Hamlin

14-Avonte Maddox

 2-Terrish Webb

9-Jordan Whitehead

You start the game with DBs Dorsey and Boatwright and have them play tight up to the opponent’s two best WRs.  As soon as the ball is snapped they run up and kick the receivers squarely in the balls. We get an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and our two kids get kicked out of the game.

Then put Bernsdorff and Stocker in – line up the same way and at the next snap they gut-punch both receivers in the solar plexus.  Our guys get kicked out again.

Put in Stocker and Garner and they jab their fingers into the receiver’s eyes and get kicked out.  Then keep doing it.

Yes, they will move downfield and yes they will probably score a TD but after their first few series the other guy’s receivers are beat to shit and scared to death and we have our best defensive backs in for the rest of the game.

Hey – it could work… nothing else has. At the very least it would be entertaining as hell.

 

 

97 thoughts on “POV: Football Bits and Pieces

  1. From the last post;

    Jarrett and Soto already have 59 tackles vs 35 all year for Render and Mosely -Smith.

    Really doing the job in the middle. Going to be missed next year.

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  2. Reed, you know you can’t do that. That’s too many personal fouls and they would just pull your team from the field. Just have someone punch the opposing QB right in the throat first play and get it over with. Glad to be of help.

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  3. ……Before leaving last posts discussion…..

    Football is an ever changing, evolving sport. No one uses the “T” formation any more and the round football has been changed to have a nose on both sides of it so it can be thrown forward. So, giving a coach 4 yrs to install a defense that he has already used for 6 years is putting yourself in a position of being passed by (no pun intended).

    New spread offensives have changed the game and the wrinkles of offensive creativity are continually changing. To have as your base defense as “stopping the run” has already put you light years behind how current college football is now played.

    Sure, if you by chance play one of the few run happy teams the base needs to be an 8-9 man front. Likewise, if you play Baylor, Oklahoma St., NC, Texas Tech, etc, etc, etc, you need to have 6-8 men back. You adjust and adapt to the team you are playing!!!! To say proudly “our D stops the run” when you’re playing a Baylor or Texas Tech who throws 60 times a game is like hunting with a 300 mag moose gun during quail season. When you moose hunt you use your 300mag, when you quail hunt you use a shotgun with 8 shot.

    Simple!

    You adjust to the team you are playing and it is not hard to have a flexable D that is geared to stop what the opposition is known to do. D’s now have to become as creative and flexible as the Offensives they are facing!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reed, I’ve seen you mentioned that you don’t think that Pitt will pay up for Narduzzi. Is it just history that causes you to believe that or do you have sources.

    As a student here in my fifth year I can tell you that a lot had changed since my freshmen year when Nordy was Chancellor. Under the new administration, there have been multiple meetings with administration where they’ve asked us what we think needs upgraded our what does the campus need to build.

    Additionally, they administration has really been pushing commercialization of research to make money. Seems to me like they are going to be spending some money now.

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  5. @gc – Thanks for confirming with stats something I had perceived. Our d-line is shockingly more effective this year than last year. Entering the season the conventional wisdom was that the defensive tackle position would be a serious weakness this season. That said I don’t understand Narduzzi’s continuing scheme to stuff the run with shallow safety help when it seems the front 7 may be able to do it alone. At least try it until it is proven wrong.

    I also don’t understand not using the bigger corners if the opponent is trotting out 6’5″ receivers and throwing jump balls.

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  6. The coaches lack of seeing the need for change in the defensive game plan is scary. The Steelers next door have similar problems with their dbacks, but at least they have a bend don’t break philosophy, and gives them a chance to out score opponents.
    The clutch and grab technique of the Pitt defenders is painful to watch and in spite of interfering on most plays the passes are completed any way. If PN does not correct this his time here will be short. Also that immature crap on the sidelines was disturbing, emotion is fine, but reality is his backs interfere on most plays and jumping on the officials will not cure the problem.
    I had high hopes on his hiring, but they are rapidly declining.

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  7. Like you Reed, I reached my wits end last Thursday night as Pitt lost 18 jump ball contests against VPI in front of 30,000 or less uninspired fans on a raw frigid night at Heinz! I also came up with a number of inane solutions for our d back problems. Then I remembered….playing HS football.

    While it sounds easy “when the receiver turns his head, you turn yours” it is actually one of the most difficult things to do in sports…as a d back, running full speed turning your head without slowing down! (Of course it’s made even more difficult when you trail the receiver by 2 steps!
    Or….you blow the coverage and the receiver is standing wide open.)

    What I agree with apprentice head coach Naruzzi (where’s the D?) is how we fail to make a play when we do all the other things correct and are standing there right next to the receiver……over and over…no play made. Maybe a kick in the nuts is appropriate!

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  8. Dave, the metrics people go by stats how ever old or obsolete they are. They want to invest thought into little liars that when tickled or tortured they will confess. What happened under Nordy and especially the football killer Nazi “the steve” is no longer relevant considering PITT football. The fans on the other hand are still the same. PITT will need to address the attendance issue first and that could start by hiring better asst coaches.

    Barvo: PITT doesn’t have bigger corners with experience and they certainly aren’t near 6’5″. The NFL doesn’t have this size corner. Be patient, considering it still is a bit of a work in progress, PITT is fielding a quality team and giving the PITT fans quality and fun football.

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  9. Love that solution Reed. Basically have your DB’s mug their WR’s. This was John Thompson’s theory of how to win at basketball when he coached at Georgetown !

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  10. Dave .. thanks for posting … good to hear from a current student’s perspective- keep expounding..
    So if there becomes a lot of job openings and Duzz is approached does PITT extends Duzz’s contract or take a wait n see approach?

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  11. When Narduzzi left Michigan State he was coaching a defense with two 1st round CBs, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round DEs, and a 6th round FS.

    Think this scheme will play better with a couple lock down corners and some pressure off the edge? The only upperclassmen DBs with P5 offers are Lewis (Colorado and Utah) and Maddox (Purdue).

    Narduzzi is working with almost no talent on defense and he is ahead schedule…

    You could argue that Pitt shouldn’t even be in contention against passing offenses like OSU – #12, UNC – #19, VPI – #39 – let alone in position to WIN games.

    Look at the scholarship upperclassmen on D… Did any of them have P5 offers? Caprara, Galambos, Webb, Motely, Blair, Mitchell, Wirginis, Folston, Taleni, Roy… None of them are P5 players. Idowu is a walkon starter!

    Narduzzi inherited a defense full of players who shouldn’t be in the ACC… He’s an excellent defensive mind – not a miracle worker.

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  12. OK Reed that strategy (somewhat modified) has been used very successfully in the past. You only need to go back to the 48 – 14 game and watch unflagged cheap shots our two wideouts got on routes over the middle and away from the play after the first 14 points happened so quickly. My grandmother would have run crisper routes to the center of the field after that. So we know the strategy can work.

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  13. I have not had any conversations with Gallagher but I talked with Nordenberg yearly. My take is that Pitt keeps money seperate between the university’s academic / research, etc. missions and it’s athletics.

    For instance Pitt won’t ever use endowed $$$ or it’s interest $$$ for sports. The athletic costs come directly from athletic gains (ACC and TV money, ticket sales, merchandise, etc).

    But even so I very much doubt Pitt is going to shell out double what HCPN makes now for him or any coach. Everyone I have talked to keeps saying that Athletics has its place in the University but will never become so big it’s a draw on other missions money.

    This Chancellor may make different decisions than the last one has but he still has the Board of Trustees to answer to and the fact is that Pitt’s BoT has always been conservative when it comes to athletics. This explains their relationship…

    “General administrative, academic, and management authority is delegated to the chancellor. However, the board retains ultimate responsibility for all University affairs.”

    Fans think the Chancellor can do whatever he wants to do at Pitt but that isn’t the case, everything that is a major expenditure has to go through the Board of Trustees also.

    Pitt has long history of putting every other mission areas of the University above or at par with Athletics. This is the way it should be, so they don’t go out on a limb to spend money like other bigger programs do… they never have and I believe they never will.

    It is more like them to maintain a reasonable budget and tried to make something happen with that but they won’t go overboard to try to ensure that will have championships or Top 10 seasons.

    Pitt will ride with Narduzzi until something changes but I very much doubt if somebody offered big dollars to him that we’re going to match that and I’m talking about $3.5M to $5M.

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  14. ~ Boston

    Good to see you btw.

    Let’s say all of that is true. Pitt has no worse players in the ACC than say Wake Forest and others. But’s let’s just use Wake Forest as an example, since it’s a tiny school with a tiny undergrad enrollment of 5000, and we know they’re getting mostly 2’s and 3’s at most in recruiting.
    Yet here are there Defensive Rankings.

    Total Defense – Wake # 45 Pitt # 70
    Pass Efficiency Defense – Wake # 64 Pitt # 115
    Red Zone Defense – Wake # 2 Pitt # 128 (dead last)

    It’s all about coaching up the players you got.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. We need to ditch Conklin and hire this guy.

    Mike Elko begins his third season as Wake Forest’s defensive coordinator after previously serving in the same role under head coach Dave Clawson at Bowling Green.

    In addition to his position as defensive coordinator, Elko coaches Wake Forest’s safeties. Elko’s 2015 Deacon defense ranked 38th in the nation, allowing just 363.8 yards per game. The Deacons also ranked among the national leaders in red-zone defense and pass defense. Wake Forest’s shutout of Boston College was the first by the Deacons in nine years.

    In 2014, Elko’s defense proved to be one of the strengths of the Demon Deacon club. Wake Forest finished 12th nationally in passing yards allowed and was a top 40 team in total defense. Wake Forest had five defensive players earn All-ACC honors last year.

    Elko spent five seasons as Bowling Green’s defensive coordinator. The Falcon defense led the Mid-American Conference in scoring defense, total defense, rush defense and pass defense in each of his last two seasons. In 2013, four BGSU defensive players were named to the All-MAC first or second team.

    Elko’s Bowling Green defense excelled at forcing turnovers and stopping opponents on third down. Over his five seasons as defensive coordinator, the Falcons forced 106 turnovers or 1.7 per game. Bowling Green held opponents to just 35.9 percent third down conversions over those five seasons. In both 2012 and 2013, the Falcons ranked in the top 10 in the nation in both total defense and scoring defense.

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  16. Our defense I’m sure would look a lot better, and be much better statistically, if our non-conference schedule was Tulane, Delaware, Indiana, and Army like Wake Forest’s non-con schedule.

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  17. More I read about this guy, the more I like. He’s got to be very smart having gone to UPenn.

    WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Wake Forest defensive coordinator Mike Elko has been named the National Defensive Coordinator of the Week by Coachingsearch.com following the Deacons’ 28-9 over Syracuse on Oct. 8.

    Elko’s defense held the high-powered Orange offense to 168 passing yards and 326 total offense yards. Syracuse entered the game averaging 370 yards per game through the air and 495 yards of total offense. Syracuse had been averaging 29.0 points per game and 31.2 completions per contest before being held to nine and 16 respectively.

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  18. Worried that Reed believes HCPN to be a douche. Reed has intel, and aside from the obvious shortcomings, if there is more going on, all I can say is that another tour of mediocrity is more than I can handle.
    I also don’t get the Conklin bashing. If Conklin is running this inept outfit, that’s on Nardo for allowing it. If Nardo is the puppet master, again on Nardo.
    Finally, explain how folks complain about the head coach and then a minute later, they are worried about someone nabbing him.
    So far, let him leave. We have beaten PSUcks and that is about it. And defensively, since getting clobbered by Navy, we have actually digressed.

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  19. This will piss Reed off but imo, he’s still mad about the closed practice’s. He was just starting the POV and he just loves fall practice. Forgive and forget big fellow.

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  20. Well somebody’s head has got to roll, since Pitt’s pass defense is an utter joke and cost us at least 2 wins so far. In lieu of the Nard Dog I nominate Renaldo Hill or Conklin.

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  21. Narduzzi is one of the most highly regarded defensive minds in college football. The scheme isn’t changing – neither is the coordinator.

    Overhauling the entire defensive side of the roster with athletes that can play the way he wants to takes multiple recruiting classes. Just be glad there is enough talent on the Oline and in the backfield to win games while doing so.

    As far as spending money – didn’t they shell out like $700k or $800k for Chubs last year? Multi-million dollar upgrades at Trees, the Pete, and the southside?

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  22. The staff and scheme are not the problem.

    Just keep signing guys like Whitehead, and Henry Miller, and Paris Ford, and Hamlin, and Watts, and Camp, and Coleman, Pugh…

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  23. I thought it was panic in Detroit but there is panic in Pittsburgh that actually has a better ring to it. If PITT had got blown out the three losses many would be much happier right now.

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  24. The scheme is certainly the problem this year. Same 3 DB’s as last year. Webb, Maddox & Whitehead.

    We didn’t have a great pass rush last year either.

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  25. Thanks for the responses guys. I do agree that athletics should be kept separate for the most part. However, it is clear that athletics can bring in money to universities. I was hoping that this administration might realize that.

    I understand that $2 mil more a year is a big number, but keep in mind coaching stability and winning can bring in better recruits, who will hopefully be more likely to go to the NFL and then be able to donate more money back to the university. I know of some somewhat recent Pitt players who were only in the NFL for a few years that have donated over 20k back to the university in a single phone call. Winning also will cause more excitement for games and increase ticket sales which generates more money.

    Gotta spend money to make money

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  26. They had like 40 sacks last year, basically doubled their total in year 1….

    I agree, jury still out on all of them. But all these guys had great reputations before coming to Pitt. Duzz, Conk, Harley.

    Let’s see what the D looks like with their players.

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  27. It ain’t the Xs and Os…its the Jimmies and Joes.

    Amazingly, some of us have forgotten or simply ignore important parts of the HCPC era. That guy didn’t like to recruit and didn’t land the same caliber of players on D as his did on O. The guy wasn’t allowed to spend money on a DC, so we got OutHouse. House couldn’t recruit either in addition to running a D.

    And yet, some of us expect the current coaches to transmogrify DBs recruited by a guy who didn’t even get to pick his own DC when hired away by Wisky into Deion Sanders overnight. I can hear some of you already, “well so and so did it in his first year at NE West Virginia A&M.”

    Dan72 – my whole crew went to the game and we were well inspired – and cold. Our section was also inspired. I think you are mistaking we who actually showed up at Heinz for those who stayed at home because of (pick a lame reason).

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  28. Dave – “Winning also will cause more excitement for games and increase ticket sales which generates more money. Gotta spend money to make money ”

    Econ major perhaps? 🙂

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  29. As funny, and effective, as your scheme is I worry about your mental health. This is better than having sideline hissy fits? 🙂 The abysmal defense has affected you and Narduzzi equally. You both are $20 buck nuts. Next week he will be blaming the Russians. 🙂 (I love sarcasm – see how low you are slipping). 🙂
    On a sort of serious note as has been pointed out he needs to abandon his defense which is fine for the Big but will not work in a wide open pass happy ACC and to get a real defensive coordinator who can take the aggressive approach he likes but knows what works in the ACC
    By the way $20 is not enough for a kick in the balls. 🙂

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  30. The Russians line was great ^^. Some other despot is now trying to use that !

    I’m with the Nard Dog ! Make America Angry Again !

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  31. Wake Forest lost to Army at home. Their 4 non-con games were Army, Delaware, Indiana and Tulane.

    But they do have a good defense, no doubt

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  32. In case anyone’s interested, Wak e is 5-3, 2-2. They’ve beaten Tulane (allowed 3 points), Duke (Allowed 14 points), Delaware (allowed 21 points), Indiana (allowed 28 points), and Da Cause (allowed 9 points). They’ve lost to NCSU (allowed 33 points), Army (allowed 21 points), and FSU (allowed 17 points). I could find nothing on how their D did against OK State, UNC, or Va Tech.

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  33. Well look at what Wake did to Eric Dungy and Syracuse. Is anybody willing to bet that Pitt is going to hold Cuse to 9 points and 168 passing yards ?

    And I very highly doubt Pitt is going to hold Duke to 14 points.

    They have the #2 RedZone defense in College Football with 2 star and 3 star players. Perhaps not even 2 star players since they haven’t had a winning season since 2008.

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  34. And they held Florida State in Tallahassee to their lowest point total of the season.

    What would Pitt give up, 40+ or 50+ points at FSU ?

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