New OC Sounds Like a Good One

LINK: Watson to Pitt

For IMMEDIATE Release

February 2, 2017                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Shawn Watson Named Pitt Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach

Watson has an accomplished résumé on the offensive side of the ball.

PITTSBURGH—Shawn Watson, a 35-year coaching veteran who owns an extensive and accomplished record overseeing offenses on the collegiate level, has been named offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Pitt by Pat Narduzzi.

Watson previously served as offensive coordinator at Texas (2014-15), Louisville (2012-13), Nebraska (2007-10) and Colorado (2000-05). He also has head coaching experience on his résumé, serving in that capacity at his alma mater, Southern Illinois, from 1994-96.

Watson joins the Panthers from Indiana, where he spent the 2016 season as an offensive quality control assistant before being named the Hoosiers’ quarterback coach. His Pitt appointment serves as a reunion with Narduzzi. The pair previously worked together on the late Randy Walker’s staff at Miami (Ohio) from 1990-92.

“Shawn Watson was one of my first mentors in this business,” Narduzzi said. “He sat me down as a young coach and taught me how to work with wide receivers in my first full-time job at Miami in the early 1990s. Ever since that time, we have always talked about being able to reunite on the same staff again. I’m really thrilled that the time has finally arrived and he’ll be joining us at Pitt as our new offensive coordinator.

“Shawn is, first and foremost, a wonderful person and father,” Narduzzi added. “As a football coach, he is extremely knowledgeable, an excellent recruiter and will be a tremendous strength in the quarterback room and offensive staff room. I’m really looking forward to having Shawn and his wife Anita join us in Pittsburgh.”

“I am tremendously honored and excited to join the staff at Pitt and be part of what Pat Narduzzi is building there,” Watson said. “Pat is one of my closest and dearest friends. I’ve known him for a very long time and have always admired the passion and energy he brings to coaching and teaching. Pat and his staff have accomplished so much in such a short period of time at Pitt. I can’t wait to join them, meet our players and get ready for spring ball.”

Watson counts among his protégés Minnesota Vikings quarterbackTeddy Bridgewater, who he coached for three seasons at Louisville (2011-13). Under Watson’s guidance, Bridgewater became one of the nation’s most dazzling players while the resurgent Cardinals went a combined 30-9 during that three-year span and claimed two Big East championships.

In 2013, Louisville stormed to a 12-1 record as Bridgewater threw for 3,970 yards and 31 touchdowns with only four interceptions. He led the nation in completion percentage (71.0%) and was a finalist for the prestigious Manning Award. The Vikings’ first-round selection in the 2014 draft, Bridgewater went on to be named the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year.

Prior to Louisville, Watson spent five seasons (2006-10) at Nebraska. His work helped the Cornhuskers annually rank among the nation’s most productive offenses.

In 2010, Nebraska ranked ninth nationally in rushing (247.6 avg.), while averaging more than 30 points per game. Nebraska’s 2008 offense ranked 12th nationally in total offense (450.8 avg.), 15th in passing yards (281.0), 15th in pass efficiency (154.5 rating) and 17th in scoring (35.4 avg.). In 2007, Watson’s initial season as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Nebraska threw for a school-record 3,886 yards, ranking seventh in the nation in passing yards (323.8 avg.) and ninth in total offense (468.2 avg.).

Cornhuskers quarterback Joe Ganz set 23 school records under Watson’s guidance, including single-season marks for total offense (3,826), passing yards (3,568), completions (285) and completion percentage (67.9%).

Watson coached at Colorado from 1999-2005, helping the Buffaloes claim four Big 12 North Division titles and a conference championship in 2001.

That 2001 Colorado team will forever be remembered for its 62-36 demolition of No. 2 Nebraska in the regular-season finale, followed by a thrilling 39-37 win over No. 3 Texas in the Big 12 title game to earn a Fiesta Bowl berth. Watson’s offense ranked eighth nationally in rushing (228.5 avg.) and 20th in total yards (434.4 avg.).

Watson coached quarterbacks at Northwestern during the 1997 and 1998 seasons. His appointment in Evanston came after serving three years as head coach at Southern Illinois, where he coached 20 all-conference players. Watson himself was a safety at SIU (1979-80) and began his coaching career as a Salukis graduate assistant in 1982.

His additional coaching stops include Miami of Ohio (1987-93) and Illinois (1983-1986).

THE WATSON FILE

Personal Information
Born:
September 21, 1959
Hometown:
Carbondale, Ill.
Alma Mater:
Southern Illinois, 1982
Family: Watson and his wife, Anita, have three children: daughter Amber and sons Aaron and Adam.

Coaching Experience
Southern Illinois, 1982 graduate assistant.

Illinois, 1983-84, graduate assistant; 1985, tight ends and offensive tackles; 1986, wide receivers.

Miami (Ohio), 1987-88, wide receivers and tight ends; 1989, wide receivers; 1990-93, quarterbacks and recruiting coordinator.

Southern Illinois, 1994-96, head coach.

Northwestern, 1997-98, quarterbacks.

Colorado, 1999, quarterbacks; 2000-05, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks.

Nebraska, 2006, tight ends and recruiting coordinator; 2007-10, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks.

Louisville, 2011, quarterbacks; 2012-13, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks.

Texas, 2014-15, assistant head coach for offense and quarterbacks.

Indiana, 2016, offensive quality control; quarterbacks (bowl game).

NOTE: Here is the ‘last word’ on Pitt’s 2017 recruiting class. Narduzzi closed with a bang by getting two excellent recruits on Signing Day itself.

Here they are…

RB A.J.Davis

Heavily recruited running back with more than 25 “Power 5” scholarship offers…selected an Under Armour All-American…rushed for 5,398 yards during his Lakeland career…as a senior, compiled 1,498 yards on 187 carries (8.0 avg.) with 16 touchdowns…only player in Lakeland history to lead team in rushing four consecutive years…Polk County’s leading rusher in each of his final three seasons…playing under Coach Bill Castle, led team to a three-year record of 28-7 (.800) with Florida Class 7A playoff berths each season…in seven career playoff games, Davis rushed for 1,195 yards, including a 231-yard effort on just 14 carries (16.5 avg.) in an opening-round game his senior year…Associated Press Florida All-State Class 7A…The Ledger Large School Offensive Player of the Year…named to the ESPN 300 (No. 140) and Rivals 250 (No. 247)…rated the nation’s No. 14 running back prospect by ESPN and Rivals, No. 21 by 247Sports and No. 28 by Scout…in the 2017 Under Armour All-America Game played in Orlando, helped Team Armour to a 24-21 win over Team Highlight.

DL Jaylen Twyman

One of the most heavily recruited players in the Washington D.C. area who distinguished himself as a run stopper and pass rusher…compiled 91 tackles and eight sacks as a senior…led H.D. Woodson to an 11-2 record, the D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association (DCIAA) championship and the D.C. State Class AA final…as a junior, had 62 tackles and nine sacks…helped the Warriors to a combined 31-10 record (.756) and DCIAA titles in each of his final three varsity seasons…selected an MVP in the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl all-star game played in Atlanta…named to the American Family Insurance ALL-USA Washington D.C. Football Team…Washington Post All-Met…All-DCIAA Stars…rated the No. 4 overall prospect in Washington D.C. by ESPN and No. 5 by Rivals, Scout and 247Sports…played under Coach Greg Fuller

Big article about the POV Festivus tomorrow morning…

 

 

 

138 thoughts on “New OC Sounds Like a Good One

  1. I like the hire. No it’s not a hot name, splash hire etc. but solid experience (a few bumps along the way but who of us has avoided that?) and more than likely a guy who won’t bolt after 1 year. Pitt needs STABILITY.

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  2. Could also be a stopgap HC if Narduzzi decides to bolt to ND in the future. 😉

    Hope they pay him a decent salary so he sticks around if he fits after 1 year…but with that resume looks like he will be fine.

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  3. Reed: Sorry that I missed the POV gathering at Bettis’. Too tough to take off two days of work and leave the family at home. My early impression of our OC hire is much like yours: Solid. He does have material to work with, so it should be a fairly smooth transition. More concerned about the defense. I know that you are too.

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  4. I see a lot more running the football next year with Pitt’s stable of studs in the backfield. This OC likes to run. Think that will be a great addition to the OCanada jet sweeps and fast paced style…will allow Pitt to grind out wins in the 4th when they have a lead, but still be able to play from behind when required.

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  5. Interested to learn more about the QB Doyle connection. Has been around successful programs. At Louisville when they heavily recruited Florida kids.

    I think it’s a solid hire. Continuity is always good too!

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  6. I like the hire good enough. There are some positives here. I like that he was once was a head coach himself for one. Not because Duzz is going anywhere but an extra mind of a head coach on board. Also like his QB recruiting history. What I still don’t get is, why so long? Oh well. CIA agent/head coach strikes again… ike

    H2P

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  7. @ike…perhaps with the hubbub over the hire of another older head coach with experience and his obvious failures this month Narduzzi may have wanted to use the excitement of LOI Day to ‘mask’ this hire of an older coach with questions in his background and make it more lowkey …

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  8. I like the Watson hire. An article I read credits Watson for much of Charlie Strong ‘s success at Louisville . .works for me. Welcome aboard Coach Watson and H2P !

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  9. Sounds good to me! Sounds like good OC qualities and a solid citizen who has been around the circuit and will not be running away when the Lorili sings in his ear like some others. Maybe Duz telegraphed this to his new QBs and thats why there was no disruption in the recruiting.H2P

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  10. Pittman4ever – “Elementary” in Carrick 5th grade art class? Maybe OC Watson will have some pull with improving the midfield logo.

    On a serious note – HCPN gave his previous two OC’s freedom to be creative with their play calling. One worked out great and took his services to LSU and the other was poor. OC Watson seems to have worked for conservative, controlling HC’s in the past – Charlie Strong not so controlling, but Barnett & Pelini, yes.

    With HCPN allowing that freedom and his smoke & mirrors approach to the media, we won’t know what to expect from OC Watson and thus nor will our opponents until the season unfolds. The game in creepy valley just got a whole lot more interesting to me, if it already wasn’t my second favorite game in 2017. The #1 game for me has to be unc – Pitt has to find a way to beat them if they want to win the Coastal division (IMO).

    HTP!

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  11. I think the hire is solid. Not quite sure why he has moved around so much in recent years. Maybe it’s just because the head coaches he was working for all got fired.

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  12. I can only thank God it wasn’t Salem …. don’t want to even think how much more obnoxious UPitt could be.

    Seriously, he is well qualified but not a splash hire, and with a few question marks. He has talent to work with including a few prospective QBs who will participate in spring drills, so expectations willl be high by the Panther faithful.

    FYI – he will be on 93.7 The Fan at 8:30 this morning.

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  13. After reading the Cardiac Hill writeup on Watson I’ll have to pull my “solid hire” comment from above. Right now it sounds more like a “friendship hire” rather than any hire on any recent past success.

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    1. FWIW, Canada also was a ‘friendship’ hire who also was fired from his previous OC position. But I won’t argue with your assessment that it isn’t a solid hire …. although it might turn out to be.

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    2. Narduzzi has talked about loyalty and stability being big concerns when he hires assistants. Of course that’s why he hired his old pal Canada… (cough).

      Hopefully this one will work out.

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  14. I like the hire too. I enjoyed MCs offense but he might of contributed to a couple of losses by not having our passing game ” on go” for a third of the season .. In his brief year here I don’t recall his name ever being mentioned during the recruiting of the 2017class…Hopefully, we have up-graded

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  15. The real measuring stick for me will be wins and losses. If the O averages 32 points per game and wins 10 games then the hire was a success because that is far better than 8 wins at 42 ppg.

    We’ll need to be patient because we won’t know for about nine months. The conception of our new Pitt OC has begun.

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  16. PJ Fleck is most likely the next ND coach. ND won’t have the patience to wait 3 years for the defense to start humming like Pitt and MSU did.

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  17. I hope Watson is not measured specifically against last year’s offense which I believe was the most productive in Pitt history. While the cupboard is certainly not bare, we are losing an emotional leader, a QB who came into his own right before our eyes, and, most importantly, two OL who will very likely be playing on Sunday.

    There is no excuse for the offense not to continue to be productive … but I doubt that it would maintain last year’s pace even if Canada stayed on.

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  18. Wwb – as good as it was, it also hurt the defense. I’m guessing tempo will be slowed down and that alone would lead to less points.

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    1. With the exception of late in the Clemson game, the defense failed to make ‘a play’ at key moments. Some examples … 4th and 16 vs PSU’s final drive, three 4th downs in UNC’s final drive, VT’s first down in its final possession when it appeared that we had the ball carrier, and the failure to stop Northwestern’s ball carrier on a handful of 3rd and long situations.

      I’m hoping that with more speed and athleticism, our defense will be able make these plays this year … especially as the year progresses.

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  19. Wow, folks are positive this AM….oh, that is because the trolls awaken later in the day. LOL

    Good hire, I think the same about this guy as I did about Canada….wait and see. Canada was too conservative early in the season with passing the ball. We shall see.

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  20. key takeaways from Watson’s radio interview:

    — style of play depends quite a bit on the skills of the QB

    — it’s good to have offensive balance but not necessarily the goal. You have to be able to take what the defense gives you, and pass when they shut down the run and visa versa

    — he knows quite a bit about Max Browne because he is close friends with USC QB coach, and has had discussions, as well as he tried to recruit Browne out of high school. He also saw films on MacVittie and liked what he saw .. and have had discussions with all of the QBs. He believes in competition and thinks it will make the position stronger when the player knows he is competing for the position.

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  21. I guess I’ll play Upitt until he shows up. The delay in this hiring suggests to me at least that Narduzzi didn’t really get the guy he really wanted. After all Watson was out of work for the past month and I don’t think he was actively recruiting for any program at since then. My guess is we signed him for less than 1/2 the million we offered Canada to stay.

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  22. I have faith in head coach for this hire. I also like that he is older and hopefully will stick around for a long time. The younger guys are always looking as they should be. I also liked the recruiting class. I feel we helped ourselves in all areas to some degree. I like having both new qbs enrolled and will learn the system. I’m also liking some of 2018 offers for the big local boys. Now let’s keep them in Pa Reed thank you for all you do. I appreciate it. Time to go shovel snow. H2P

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  23. I can’t help but feel that LOI day had something to do with the length of time this hire has taken?? but I don’t know why that would be the case. Is Dantino as secretive as Pat or maybe he learned this behavior from his father, anyway it’s a little over the top imo. Long as he wins, I’m on board.

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  24. Browne and Pickett were most likely committed / enrolled before any OC interviews were conducted. The focus of the late recruiting this year appeared to be on the defensive side (even the misses) although 4-star RB Davis and 3-star WR Smith were added. Plus, I doubt that Pitt wouldn’t have gotten both Bryan and Davis. Thus, I don’t think the late OC hiring had much of an impact on recruiting at all.

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  25. LOL — Everyone saying “Solid Hire” I will give you the benefit of the doubt and interpret your opinion as, “I’ll trust in Pat Narduzzi’s judgment so I’ll will give my blessing to this hire for his sake.” ………

    My Reaction: Dewwwwd….Whaaaaa????

    Dunno. Things went really, really bad with Shawn Watson w/ Charlie Strong at Texas with really BAD Quarterbacks and with Charlie Strong. Watson Crushed-It for two years at Louisville with Charlie Strong and one Teddy Bridgewater.

    @ jrnpitt you are 150% right that this was a “Friendship Hire” and anyone who tries to rationalize that this is anything reminicent whatsoever of the Chaney or Canada hire —— LoL please just STOP you do not know who Watson is or how bad things got for him at Nebraska and Texas lol. Things got BAD unlike with Canada at NC State who ran the exact same offense he ran at Pitt with a really untalented overall team.

    😦 😦 😦 😦 ………. I mean… #HailToPitt!!! but this is a Kevin Stallings to OC hire 😦 😦 . As long as Narduzzi’s still head coach though and recruiting great players ( NEED stud Quarterbacks, always) to Pitt Watson can coach talented Quarterbacks.

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    1. I’m willing to cut the guy a little slack on that because Texas has been a bit of a mess the last few years and it clearly went beyond any of Watson’s shortcomings.

      My only worry is that, with this being a “friend” hire, will Narduzzi be willing to fire the guy in 2-3 years if things don’t work out? It’s hard to fire people you’ve known for 30 years.

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  26. Not that 57 years is old but it’s unlikely that Watson will be highly sought after for any high profile head coaching position in the near future. Thus it’s a good chance that Narduzzi won’t have to go on his annual OC hiring tour anytime soon.

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  27. That’s how I look at it wwb but the announcement only a few hours after the LOI event makes me stop and wonder. The only reason I do wonder is there are some guessing in the dark about PITT being turned down by a few candidates. We don’t know if that’s true.

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  28. No doubt the “Friend Connection” played a big part in this hire. Nard values loyalty and stability in his staff.

    As to why so long to get the hire done/announced. Since the 2 are so close, I’d conjecture that a “gentlemen’s agreement” was reached some time ago, and that there hasn’t been any interviewing going on since. I do recall Nard saying a couple of weeks ago, that hes been telling recruits that they’don’t be pleased with his new OC.

    Why no announcement until now? Is it possible that Watson’s “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” might have been used against Nard’s recruiting? No announcement until after LOI = no pushback.

    At any rate, ” If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!” And Momma Nard seems very happy with this hire. I give him 2 Thumbs Up, unless/until Mr. Watson fails to ring the (Alexander Graham) bell.

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  29. Narduzzi a 2 for 1 sale on the deal an OC and QB coach all in one at a salary less than he paid Canada last year. He didn’t have to break the budget and the new AD will be very pleased on that count to say the least. He also probably secured a good “pay back” clause in the Watson contract so if he leaves he’ll probably own Pitt a good deal of the money paid out.—-How am I doing standing in for Upitt in the interim?

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    1. this is an excerpt from PSN: As per Pitt’s policy, terms of Watson’s contract were not announced. … Watson will also coach the quarterbacks at Pitt, as the past offensive coordinators have done under Narduzzi. … Narduzzi said that if the NCAA allows him to hire a 10th assistant this offseason due to a proposed rule change, it will probably be on the defensive side of the ball. They currently have five offensive coaches and four defensive coaches.

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  30. Excerpt from a PSN article just posted a short while ago:

    Narduzzi and Watson sat down and spoke during the American Football Coaches Association convention in Nashville early in January. After that, Watson came to Pittsburgh, where he met with Narduzzi again and also the other eight assistant coaches — all of which have been at Pitt since Narduzzi started — and even the team’s quarterbacks. Those meetings took place after Max Browne and Kenny Pickett arrived on campus, so there were a lot of voices to be heard when Narduzzi asked whether or not Watson was the right guy for Pitt, and according to Narduzzi, there was only one response.

    “Our entire staff was involved in hiring Shawn Watson,” Narduzzi said. “This wasn’t my call, it was our call and I think that’s the type of team we have at Pitt. … When all things came, it was unanimous that Shawn was our guy.”

Narduzzi felt that by opening up the entire program to Watson, there would be an honest level of expectations from both sides. Assistant coaches and players working under him would no what to expect and Watson would have a better idea of what he was getting into at Pitt.

    “[Watson] got a chance to sit down the entire offensive staff and the defensive staff,” Narduzzi said. “He met with Dave Andrews the strength coach, our recruiting staff and our operations staff. It was a very complex interview.

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  31. Couple things:

    Sounds like Narduzzi may have had Watson in mind for a long while now.

    Too much is being made of Watson’s tenures at Nebraska and especially Texas. Nebraska QB had a great year while Texas was plain pitiful while SW was there.

    One thing jumps out at me. Charlie Strong jumped all over Watson (again) once he was hired at Texas. Tells me Strong knows something about what SW can do and he was good at Louisville. Watson that is..

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  32. jrnppitt—With all due respect, you are not even close to Upitt. No nicknames. No vitriol. No goat (I hope for your sake)

    POVers—I like the hire. And, maybe I am falling for a line, but I believe the thing about Pitt being a family into which Watson fits. Interesting that his “interview” also included meeting with the QBs.

    H2P

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  33. ^^ LOL okay okay @rkb I’ll chill

    This is some interviews with Pitt’s new Offensive Shot-Caller, Shawn Watson:

    Most Relevant and Recent (Shawn Watson really goes-in about how Quarterbacks are EVERYTHING to Offense )

    From his most recent position just last season:

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  34. Guys, I’ll have a Bettis’ article up tomorrow. .. just too busy at home with family issues.

    Had a nice phone call with Rick Caldwell (Erie Express) about the upcoming POV golf outing.

    In essence it is time to get serious about who, what, when,etc.

    Looks like the Spring game will be on the 22nd which is a week after Easter weekend.

    That is good for Pitt and for us.

    I’ll do up a info piece on it and it should be a blast… Just like Wednesday evening was at the bar and the LOI day event.

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  35. wwb, thanks for that nice bit of info. The young man is big but he’s no load. He can jump as well. BTW, Nix put together a couple of solid minutes the other night against UNC. It’s no wonder Upitt went underground today. Jus kidding, hope all is well Upitt.

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  36. wwb, a 6′ 10″ recruit that has no offense. He also weighs in at 225lbs. At that weight he’ll have a hard time even getting near the basket in the ACC games. So maybe having no offense won’t matter. If he turns out to be another Bill Russell I’ll be satisfied.

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    1. great point. We haven’t had an enforcer since Mobley? We had good offensive centers (Blair, Gray, Adams) and good rebounders (Zanna, McGhee) … but nobody who can create uncertainty vs other big men.

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      1. Not to highjack this thread, but not sure what an enforcer is in college basketball. McGhee was 6’11” tall and a chiseled 250 pounds his junior and senior years. Kemba Walker aside, he was possibly the best defensive center that Pitt had since the start of the Dixon/Howland era. He cleaned the glass and blocked shots. Seems like Pitt fans have forgotten what a valuable player McGhee became his junior and senior years. McGhee’s presence made it possible for 6’5″ Nas Robinson to play the 4.

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        1. Agreed Barvo, McGee played well eventually but it took him until his college retirement years to do it. This Peace kid looks athletic but really will need to add weight and strength. The fact he leaves his feet and can jump could be something he will need to perfect. He has some cramming to do to learn being a big man in the ACC. The good news is, he already has the size along with athleticism not always associated with each other. If this kid weighed in around 265lbs and could still jump like this. PITT would have never gotten a sniff of him.

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  37. QUESTION: Has anyone ever seen UPitt and Dark Knight at the same time????
    Maybe……..just maybe………. they are in fact one person, you know, the Dr. Jeckel and Mr. Hyde of the POV.
    Dr. Jeckel (UPitt) sits in his laboratory thinking negative Pitt thoughts like “skunk head,” “shoe salesman,” Carrick 5th grade art class, etc. etc. etc.
    Then, when the sun rises the Dark Knight appears in all of his Pitt super uni with a blue and gold cape!!!
    …..Plus, throw in UPitt has been suffering from migrane and dizziness problems. Could this be caused by being continually transformed from being UPitt by night and the Dark Knight by day?????
    …….Stay tuned as this saga continues to consume those of the POV.

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    1. I’m trying my best to put a negative spin on this hire. It’s quite an opportunity for anyone to step up from a quality control coaching position to the offensive coordinator position don’t you think? Anyone else think that Pitt didn’t have to fight off too many other suitors to get Watson to sign on the dotted line?

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  38. How did Watson fall to the level of Quality Control or whatever….at traditional BigJoke doormat….Indiana ?

    Mind you……. I hope this guy is another Matt Canada. But this is family talk room.

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  39. To piggy back Atlanta Panther, the barking carnival article this is something every Pitt fan should read.

    http://www.barkingcarnival.com/2014/8/11/5979165/the-misunderstood-shawn-watson-part-i-an-excerpt-from-the-2014

    And heed these words… ” He has also been consistently bold in his personnel selections – demonstrating a willingness to seek long-term upside with young, raw quarterbacks even at the expense of seniority, convention and convenience. That’s a major positive – a trait that should be valued in any coach.”

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  40. We had to wait till Indiana’s recruiting season was over before announcing Watson was the OC. Never
    thought of that but read my bro RKB’s comment above.

    Notice how no coach waits for Pitt’s recruiting to end when they bolt. Heck they bolt usually before Bowl games.

    So Indiana is now above Pitt apparently in ‘pecking order’. My how we have fallen in 33 years.

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  41. Not only that Emel but do you recall how many OC’s positions were announced by other schools well before national signing day? But Pitt had to wait for an unemployed coach until after national signing day to announce its hire.—-Also how could the reports of having Watson come to Pittsburgh in early January to meet with everybody under the sun connected to this program have not leaked out about the visit well before now? Something just doesn’t smell right about this hire IMO.

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  42. ~ jrnpitt I think Pitt has a contractual agreement with the NCAA. Every school and college across America gets to announce their hires. And then ONLY after that occurs, Pitt can announce theirs. 🙂

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  43. EMEL- I just noticed that the Script Pitt by your handle on POV is about the same size as the one that graces Heinz Field! Although your color scheme is much better.

    Heinz’s PITT SCRIPT in psux blue and white must come from the Rooneys! Perhaps they could use yours as their template next year!

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  44. ~ Savannah You are correct sir.

    I have this color scheme logo in my computer saved images. It was supposed to be a square but the website makes it into a Circle.

    And yes I think the Rooney’s do as much as in their power to favor the Pedo’s and obviously minimize Pitt as much as possible. Besides their Pedo connections, they have an old beef, that for many decades in Pittsburgh. PITT FOOTBALL WAS KING IN PITTSBURGH !

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    1. You may have something there EMel….the Steelers want to keep Pitt down because of popularity and taking the football dollar in the area.

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  45. How did Watson fall to the level of Quality Control or whatever….at traditional BigJoke doormat….Indiana ? He went there as a quality control offensive consultant so as not to take a coaches spot. He went there to see and learn the fast tempo offense deployed by Indiana. He was asked by Allen to stay on and did so as I understand it. Also the PA hiring laws for background also take time so it is simply not a case of hiring someone. He needs to be cleared to be hired. But Narduzzi really likes the hire and his experience and that is good enough for me. He will be given the opportunity to run the offense and certainly will incorportate the scheme as it stands now.

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    1. Chethejet, that all sounds good about PA hiring laws except for the fact that Canada was hired in about two days after he was fired at NC State. Did the PA hiring laws just get implemented this past year? I still believe Watson was well down on Narduzzi’s hiring list at the start of his search.

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  46. Reed – please put me down for the POV golf outing.

    On Coach Watson – he’s walking into a really tough situation given last season’s success. So I’m glad he’s an experienced guy. I like Coach Salem but was hoping we’d bring someone in…

    Only concern I have is i read somewhere that he may not be big on going faster paced, which I think is a nice option to have.

    Hopefully Coach W. can keep the discipline, especially on the tricky timing on the jet sweeps. Peterman did an amazing job on those.
    Go Pitt

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  47. I’m fine with the hire and like the approach Narduzzi took in giving Watson and the Pitt coaches & QBs a chance to sniff each others’ butts.

    UPitt – please don’t call him Shawn of the Dead. I liked that film.

    The big questions for me now are:

    Can he land a big fish at QB?
    Does he call a good game?

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  48. in lieu of upitt here goes…

    Only Pitt would hire a quality control consultant and make him an OC and take 9 weeks to do it! All P5 OC’s were filled and Watson was passed over by everybody. Another cheap hire ($350000) by a cheap school. I was hoping they could snatch an innovator from USC (Helton) or some other big P5 school but this is Pitt and they couldn’t even snatch a co-ordinator from the MAC…..and the ongoing AD saga drags on as search firms do the Chancellor’s job since he hasn’t a clue. He still doesn’t know Pitt has throwback uni’s as Reed told us last week…..the last thing the Chancellor did was hire Barnes….oh yeah, we’re in good hands alright….

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  49. Not to change the subject too much but did anyone see the new basketball commit? I just watched the highlights?? I guess you would say….all 1:45 seconds of them. I don’t think it’s a good sign when one of the highlights is making a free throw. Several times it showed him getting an offensive rebound and then would cut to something else so there is clearly 0 offensive skill with this guy. It will be interesting to see if he can develop.

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  50. Upitt had way to much work to do today.

    Like Chaz says….. the pick is Pittish.

    The Revered Randy Watson doesn’t excite me at all. Friend hire and he was turned down by 3 coaches so this is what you get.

    Consultants Consult because they can’t do a real job.

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  51. If the Rooney’s hate Pitt so much why does Pitt share practice facilities with the Steelers? This is a huge draw for incoming recruits.

    The Pitt script at mid field Heinz is the same size as the Steelers roundel at midfield, 8 yards across.

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  52. Griz Pitt pays for its space at the Univ of Pittsburgh Medical Center Practice Facility – the Rooneys dont contribute a dime for this. How naive can you be? It is not the STeeler facility – get over your adulatiion. Take the blinders off and compare how the field looks on Saturday (light chalk, midfield logo – light chalk; endzones -lightly chalked PITTSBURGH in one end zone, 1950’s diagonal ////// stripes in the other Look on Sunday bright huge PITTSBURGH in one end zone STEELERS in the other, lines twice as bright white, NFL logos on field (no ACC logos on Saturdays. Pitt gets the shitty looking field every Satirday it doesnt matter if the Steelers play the next day or not. Are Grizzlies like the well sighted moles? The Rooney family is notorious for being CHEAP. They never give to the community, never. Open you eyes.
    On New Years day my friend ran the law enforcement polar plunge to raise money for Special Olympics and the Rooneys charged them for space in the lot but would not provide one porto potty because they would have had to pay a maintenance man to unlock the john door. Geez you cannot be that naive. When will STeeler groupies like you wake up and smell the coffee.

    Like

    1. Rkb, excuse me for being a steelers fan as well as pitt. When I moved to Oklahoma pitt was still in pitt stadium before they upgraded to heinz field. Enjoy your anger at the rooney’s, I think having the steelers in Pittsburgh is a huge economic benefit to the city and the yinzers.

      Like

  53. Just for your information the Lukeda boy. From mercyhurst prep in Erie comitted verbally to psu. He had over31 offers and was linebacker 6’3 225 and supposed to be a hard hitter I think narduzzi was personally recruiting him. I hate to lose Pa kid let alone to psu he was2018 recruit. Urban Meyers called over 100 recruits for 2018-19 class on national recruiting day. That’s how you get top class H2P

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  54. It is true that the Rooneys, just like most NFL owners, gets all kinds of perks from the city including having their stadiums built for them .. and they are in charge of the stadium, and make profits from the stadium concerts. But, from my understanding, they are very accommodating to Pitt, just as Pitt is to them at the practice facility .. even though both sides pay for their own upgrades .

    But it’s the Rooneys that pay for the re-sodding the stadium twice a year. Also, the Pitt locker room is bigger than the Steelers locker room …. I’ve been in both.

    The field logos for the Steelers change after Pitt’s season is over., and are spruced up a little bit. The center of the field logo is modest for both teams

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  55. I’m from Erie. It’s very pro-PSU. Penn State Behrend is PSU’s largest branch campus. The kid from Erie Prep will most likely be PSU too. They have a mini-pipeline to PSU. Pitt has gotten a few kids like Conner and Deitrich Jells but all the great kids tend to go Penn State. I wouldn’t read too much into it. The year Conner committed was an oddity year where McDowell left District 10 for a few years to play in the WPIAL, which opened up the Pitt connection.

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  56. Since we are going to be discussing Pitt BB on here, and that is fine with me, I need to watch a game down here in Maryland with someone who knows the team and program and who will school me on the subject.

    Maybe the Duke game tomorrow at 1:00 or Wed evening at 7:00 against Boston College?

    Food and drinks on me…. Pick any place you want to watch the game…

    Any takers? If we do it Wed night we can get a bunch together and party a bit.

    Like

  57. This unofficial as of yet…. but! I read that Micheal Smith was voted by an overwhelming margin, the player of the year in Fla. BTW, he plays at their top level..

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  58. I don’t think Canada was hired in two days. We don;t know the actual process as to the background checks and the clearance need before Pitt can either announce or when the contractual approval is given. My point is the hiring process is not just show up and find the building. Nor do we know if Pitt was competing with another program. That aside, he is a capable hire and has had some very good successes along the way. .

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  59. Of all the suggestions I’ve read about on how to make Heinz Field more welcoming for PITT fans, I just do not understand the tarping of the the upper decks. Not a bad idea at all but think of the expense and for what? No one who would have to pay for it cares about it? PITT football is a dog chasing his tail… The only chance is to win baby….ike

    H2P

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  60. Reed and fellow POVers. I think it’s awesome that this blog has turned into something so much more…getting together for drinks, the golf outing, etc. I just want you all to know that I’d be there if I could. I’m enjoying spending time with my young children at this point in my life. In a few years, when they no longer want to spend time with me, I’m sure I’ll be joining you for these events.

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  61. Upitt,
    In all seriousness. Glad the reason you weren’t commenting today was only because you had a busy work day. Good to hear from you Pitt buddy. (Although I did have fun with the “you and Dark Knight are the same person/split personality routine😎).

    Like

  62. Let’s call this the way it is.

    Heinz Field for Pitt games looks worse the most typical Quad A or is it 5A in WPIAL now, High School Field.

    How can anyone defend that ?

    I know for a fact North Allegheny’s Home Field(Newman Stadium) looks better than Pitt’s.

    Like

    1. Lol @Emel / emel1981 if this POD fellow always took the Positive Side to your more, always disatisfied usual Pitt views than I guess we’d probably be on the same team!

      Even for the certain, un-persuadable “Stadium Malcontents”, complain all you desire about Heinz Field as a Game-Day Venue (for those who Hate it keep in mind 50% or more of the posters love it)

      —-> but Recruits have all be Raving about the Quality of the South Side Facilities this whole recruiting season after those upgrades. That’s the Film Rooms, Meetings Rooms, Weight Room and Practice Fields of course, Cafeteria’s, all the vital ‘Non-gameday’ Facilities. So at least the players all feel Pitt has Top-Tier practice and football facilities for training. And sharing with the Steelers is absolutely icing-on-the-cake for them.

      —– Just to say, “No one cares about sharing the Practice Facility all week and Year with The Pittsburgh Steelers is INSANE. Gotta call that one out. 9/10 Recruits said sharing the facilities was a Game-Changer in Pitt’s favor. They all said it over and over to the media how great it was, on record. Just fact sir.

      —- @Emel I’m prepared for the usual 🙂 , “You are Steve Pederson”, or, “You are an undercover poster working for the Athletic Department, GET OFF MY LAWN!” Or Whatever lol — but as a straight-up fan I Like Heinz.

      If Pitt still had some Garbage on-Campus Pitt Stadium no one could ever park at, they would be in the AAC with UCONN, Temple, and South Florida (my Old-man said he went to a nightmare Pitt Stadium for Pitt – penn state games and it was a embarrassing dump with big open urine-trows).

      Just enjoy Pitt Football and the incredible position they are in now, with everything going for the program: Pitt Football: Best Conference, Great Coach, Ton of talent on the team and Great talent coming-in —– Heinz is fine.

      Like

  63. And I don’t give a crap about Pitt sharing a practice facility with the Stillers. Nobody across the nation knows that nor do they care.

    Like

  64. I’m I on the right web site? Never seen so much positivity over an ok hire. By the way, if you are 57 and haven’t been fired at least twice, your not trying!

    Reed, in town for BC Wed night. Maybe Columbia. Pick the bar. Duke is nothing and will be favored by a ton. Take Pitt and NE Sunday in a rout. Game over at the half.

    Like

  65. And the fact that Pitt took such a long time to hire some guy that was at BigJoke doormat Indiana, who was apparently unemployed…reeks of SOP.

    So if he was unemployed why did this take into February ?

    If he was first choice…why the long length of time to hire him ?

    What….. he was deciding between becoming Quality Control coach at New Mexico State and OC at Pitt ?

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  66. So much to talk about:

    I think the last two classes are the best two classes PITT has had in forever. I know that the first two Wanny classes were ranked higher but when I look at the 4* and 5* recruits in those classes I see a lot of 3* recruits in these classes that look to be better and have better offers. Guys like Bostick, Durant, Hale, Saddler, Nate Nix had no right to be 4 and 5 star players. I know, I am looking at those classes in hindsight and we have no idea about these guys yet but I remember a lot of people at the time saying that this guy and that guy were way over ranked because Bob Lietchfield (sp?) was pro-PITT. I think that was the case when you look at the offer sheets for some of the guys. I also want to say that there were way more 4* and 5* players in the Western part of the State those years. If you include Peterman and Clark, I really think the last two classes are the best.
    Watson – I thought Chaney was a dog. I think he was actually better than I thought he was going to be but I think he was a dog nonetheless. I must admit, I can’t believe any player is going to respect a guy who is 150 pounds over-weight, especially football players who are training and working out hard all the time. You look at Chaney and you say…WTF, put in a little effort. OK, I said it. I liked the Canada hire, and not only because I am Canadian. I liked the hire and he did better than I thought. So I am 2 for 2. I like the Watson hire which is bad because it is doubtful I will go 3 for 3. I hope everybody remembers that there is no way that Canada and PITT would duplicate last years numbers. Different players, people have seen it and hopefully our defense knocks a pass down so we don’t see the opposition with stat lines that say: 5 passes, 5 completions, 80 yards, 1:13 seconds. It was a perfect storm to the good on offense, we have to remember that.

    Why I like the hire:

    1) He has been around and has done everything. You usually don’t last 30 years if you aren’t at least average. I think he will balance out the staff.

    2) Canada did not recruit. The fact that both QB’s still came without an OC, no recruits left, and the recruitment of Davis and Smith says a lot about Canada and recruiting. It also says a lot about Narduzzi.

    3) Everything I have read says this guys strength is QB’s, both recruiting and developing. We all know that Wanny may still be here if he could recruit QB’s. I believe that we will bring in a higher rated recruit at QB since the days of Wlat (with all due respect to Bostick).

    I think Watson was Plan B or Plan C. Does not mean he will not be good. I like the fact that it seems that the entire staff was involved. I also think that Narduzzi may have an issue with his offensive position coaches being upset that they are getting passed over repeatedly. I hope they are content, if they are, those are some high character guys because I think I would be a little upset. If the staff really was involved as much as Narduzzi said, brilliant move by Narduzzi…very respectful.
    Why so long? I do think Watson was at least Plan B, but I think the decision was made weeks ago. If there was a buyout why throw away money? Did we lose any commits but not naming a guy? Nope. Would he have helped get anybody the last few weeks? Doubt it, we seemed to be going for defensive players pretty much and still picked up Davis and Smith and could have got Bryan if we wanted him (by all indications). nobody knows what the contracts say…for Watson…or Canada…but Narduzzi always seems to do it the classy way…including when he left MSU for PITT…he plays the long game and that is probably why he is so respected and has been able to keep every coach outside of the OC around for 2 years which isn’t long, yet almost unheard of. There is loyality to Narduzzi. Hard to blame Canada when he is getting paid just below some lower paid P5 schools as an OC.
    Friend hire – In football almost all hires are friend hires. Chaney was not a friend hire and we all saw what that looked like on the sidelines. I personally would wonder about Narduzzi if he didn’t make a “friend” hire since he has been in the game forever. Conklin wasn’t a friend hire either and that is a bit of a questionable hire, but at least Conklin can recruit. We have way more talent on defense then we have had so the results should follow.

    That was way longer than I intended. Sorry.

    Reed, you need to reduce your output if you are planning on doing this for any time period. Just to much. One column every 5 to 7 days in the off season and let people comment and in the long haul you won’t get burned out.

    My $0.02.

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  67. UPitt… definition of a consultant ” A guy who knows 101 different ways to make love but doesn’t know any women.”
    Some of the brethren on here are trying to impersonate you in your absence.. you should be flattered… you da man!

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  68. BigB, Love the consultant definition …. and so true!

    HbgFrank, you are right. While all of us consultants can spout off about the OC hire, the proof is in the pudding

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    1. My 2 cents …. while it is not a splash hire, Watson is experienced enough not mess up a good thing … his background shows that when he had talent to work with, the offense did very well

      Like

  69. Sad news … Dante Taylor caught peddling drugs. If you recall, he was the blue chip recruit that never panned out. But even then, he seemed a like a pretty good guy, probably because he never acted like a prima donna and seemed to play hard

    Other news … OL recruit Gabe Huoy had 28 pts and 20 reb for Upper St Clair last night

    Like

  70. Interesting in the TribReview article today on Watson when they called Charlie Strong(Watson’s head coach at Texas and now head coach at South Florida) looking for a comment he never returned the call. Now he was either very busy or he had nothing good to say at the present time. Perhaps Strong thinks Watson was one of the main reasons behind his firing at Texas.

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  71. Anybody who thinks that the extended time it took to find out who are next OC was, involved anything to do with Watson straightening up his desk at Indiana before Being announced as Pitt’s next OC, is going to have to shift their head to the side the next time they want to make #2. This guy was definitely a third string Narduzzi decision at best.

    That doesn’t necessarily mean Watson might not be a solid hire. Look it, I still have fond memories from my young bachelor days of those certain young ladies who weren’t my 1st choice for Amore that evening, but before getting a strike three call and being relegated the walk back to my apartment empty handed, I gave them a shot. Some worked out with great results! So don’t trash Watson just yet simply because he wasn’t Narduzzi’s pick of the litter.

    HCPN knows this guy & he could be a homerun hire if they work together well. Watson will have a cupboard full of weapons at his disposal and a couple good QBs to run the show, with another one coming in the fall that Watson can get ready to compete with MacVittie in 2018. We’ll see if he can utilize all of those weapons effectively enough, if he can produce anything even close to the offensive production of Mr. Canada’s one year here that will be good enough for me.

    The thing I like best about this hire though, and I know it sounds SOP on it’s surface, is that I bet Watson hangs with Narduzzi for the long haul, no need to worry about him moving on to greener pastures, even if he finds great success here. The reason this ISN’T thinking small? I feel that Narduzzi is here at Pitt for the long haul himself. From everything that I’ve seen from him, this guy’s vision is to build an ACC contender here at Pitt. This guy is well aware of this University’s football potential and he is desperately seeking like minded staff that will remain loyal for years to come so essential for that program to be created. In that regard, his old friend Watson just might be the cog he is seeking for OC even though he wasn’t his 1st pick.

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    1. Dr. Tom, I agree on your Watson hiring analysis completely. The Pitt job is a chance for him to resurrect his career as an OC. He’s following a tough act but has a great opportunity to run his own show on offense without a lot of interference from the head coach.

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  72. Maybe one of the reasons nard chose Watson was he will be willing to extensively use canada’s playbook. Might be a good thing if that is the case.

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  73. I am perplexed as to why it took so long to get the OC announcement, and was primed for disappointment when it came as a result. However, I am happy with the choice of Watson as he has performed the the job at the P5 level, at times with much success , doesn’t appear to be tied to a given system, would appear to be a more stable choice at this stage of his life, and just a gut feeling that Narduzzi does well with coaches that he has a rapport with.

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  74. jnrp, I doubt Strong has much bad to say about Watson. After-all, he hired him twice. The first time with great success. So, even if he thought Watson failed him at Texas somehow he would only have himself to blame for that

    There is that rumor that Watson interviewed with the entire PITT staff in early Jan, so I don’t know about which plan Watson would be considered.

    Strong was considered a great choice and head coach when Texas hired him, does that make him a terrible coach now? Things were a mess down there. Strong and Watson killed it at Louisville. Coaches don’t get dumb, smart and dumb again.

    Then again there is Belichick, He was dumb at Cleveland but got smart and knew he had to cheat his ass off to win in the NFL. Which I guess makes him smart again?? …. ike

    H2P

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  75. I think that if Watson can engineer an offense that ends up somewhere between Chaney’s and Canada’s he should be considered a success. Chaney was a boob. Canada was very good but also lets keep in mind he had a 2nd – 3rd round NFL quarterback, a 4th round NFL running back, a first-round NFL guard and a (probably) 2nd – 3rd round NFL tackle. Not to mention what will probably be a late 2nd day or free-agent NFL tight end and what will probably end up being an NFL fullback (whom he used brilliantly).

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  76. Look, we are all inquiring minds, after-all, who comments on blogs and message boards? That’s right, opinionated SOB’s. We all would like to know what in the Sam-Hell took so long to hire this guy? I guess we may never know. …but once I thought about it, what does it matter? He could very well be plan Q for all we know and he could also have been sitting in Narduzzi’s back pocket for awhile. So I guess what I am saying is, it was only us PITT fans that show zero patience waiting for the announcement. We are the ones that I sure as hell wouldn’t want coaching a team in the final minutes when cool and calm is called for. It’s like the basketball articles. PITT plays terrible and there are comments out the wazoo, they play good the past few games and all is quite on the PITT BB front. Half the problems with PITT is staring right back at all of us in the mirror….. but it’s so much fun!! I wouldn’t have it any other way…. ike

    H2P

    Like

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