Sunday Podcast: Bits & Pieces

Here is a smaller podcast – kind of stream of consciousness stuff about Narduzzi and recruiting and other miscellaneous items.  Here is a nice piece by Pitt on LOI Day:

…and here is a longer video on his LOI Day Press Conference:

I kept it short because we’re having a Super Bowl party and since they are my football friends coming over I get to clean the house and then go shopping.

Thanks to all for the donations so far – they are very much appreciated.

88 thoughts on “Sunday Podcast: Bits & Pieces

  1. Pew survey from 2008 concludes that 57% of America’s population has never moved from their home state where they were born. So much for Reed’s belief that everybody in America moves around over their lifetime.
    Coach Narduzzi sees himself as a hometown coach being from Youngstown. That carries some weight in my mind as to his long term intentions here as Pitt’s HC.

    No disrespect intended to these departing Panthers but Conner, Peterman, Biz & Johnson will not be missed next season as Reed implies in his podcast. Their leadership will be missed yes, but not their on field production. Next year’s offense will be different but still very effective and productive. Probably not record breaking productive, but still very good.

    The defense is what goes through a metamorphosis this year. Our defense comes into it’s own this year with the influx of talent that he has recruited since being here. Yeah I’m a cheerleader for Narduzzi. I don’t have to “wait & see” to get behind the guy. I anticipate the growth of the program based on recruiting, current team attitude and the continuity of the coaching staff. Next year will be a good season for the Panthers, in Narduzzi’s third season. How good? That totally depends on the nonconference game against Penn State. If Pitt beats Penn State in their second game of next season then this team’s potential just could be realized next season just as much as it WAS NOT realized last season.

    Last year Pitt could easily have been a 10-3 team with just a little bit better play out of an abysmal defensive secondary. Beat PSU, for a second year in a row and expect a 10 win season in perhaps a 14 game season in 2017.
    You heard it here first, from Narduzzi’s self appointed cheerleader!

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  2. Just a followup thought on the Sims firing and questions at the Blather of why Renaldo Hill (DB coach) was still around…

    Perhaps the recruiting windup, the OC coaching position announcement, and involvement in the AD search, absorbed most of Narduzzi’s time and with two of those issues now past, he is focusing on changes/improvements. First Sims. for whatever reason, maybe just a desire for a different style, and possibly we might see the DBacks coach and another surprise coming before spring practice starts. Nard may already have had some conversations with coaches to gauge interest in coming to Pitt, and will be ready to make moves. All speculation, of course, but if we see another coaching change soon, maybe some validity to it.

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    1. He may be good at instilling Narduzzi’s style of play in the secondary and recruit well. Maybe he’s not being blamed for the lack of ability in the secondary. Same thing with Conklin….who can recruit like crazy.

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  3. @Dr. Tom, 43% moving out of state is not “most” but quite a huge number to criticize Reed on…and I would bet the trend is increasing.

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  4. Reed, enjoyed the podcast – you made some interesting points.

    –You mentioned Reeves at DE. Intriguing thought. Not full time on defense, but how about using him in pass-rushing situations. If Clark is the real deal, could afford to let Reeves take some snaps on the defensive side while sharing the TE spot with Clark. Coach Duzz has shown he’s not shy about using guys on both sides of the ball when they can help.

    –On the pros and cons of Coach Narduzzi – I agree that it would be good for Pitt supporters to hear more information (especially positive news) about the team from the head coach and from the media. As a Pitt fan, I live on “hope” and potential. So I like to hear a coach talking up a kid during spring drills or fall camp and giving me that hope… Toddy Graham was a master of praising his team (actually praising his own coaching) but I liked it. I realize most of it is coach-speak, but I still like to hear it.

    –On the other hand, regarding Coach Narduzzi, his blackout of practices last season probably is why we won the PSU game. PSU had no clue about the jet sweeps (apparently), and they were scrambling the whole game to adjust. So while I’d like Pitt’s practices to be more open, I can’t deny that Coach Duzzi’s approach last season ended up being a big positive.

    –Another point – a good way for Pitt to try to connect better with the local football community is to follow the approach used by Coach Gottfried back in the day. Coach G. and his staff went around to local high schools during the off-season and gave “chalk talks.” I remember attending one with one of my sons – he loved it and so did I. I remember a coach explaining the reads that the QB is coached to make – then illustrating what happens when they do it right using game footage. Really cool stuff for football junkies who haven’t actually played the game. I’d love to see them try the traveling-chalk-talks again. And they were open to everyone…

    –Sorry I missed meeting you at the LOI event. Have some medical issues going on with my 93-year-old Mom… Hope to see you at the golf outing.

    Go Pitt.

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  5. Doc,
    I sure hope you’re right. To not miss Conner, the ACC player of the year (as a sophomore) and Nate Peterman who is now being touted as a higher QB draft pick will
    be great. I may need a pair of those rose glasses you’re wearing so I can see the same thing! LOL

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  6. I dont think there are any rose color glasses. It is very possible the Pitt offense is better next year. Best offensive recruiting class since the 80s.

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  7. I don’t expect our offense to be better this coming year, but it may not have to be. I do expect a better defense, especially as the year goes on, along with an easier schedule this year than last.

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  8. Dr Tom, did you just say we’re not going to miss the best quarterback we’ve seen in a long time, two of the best offensive lineman we’ve had in years and perhaps the best running back we’ve had, or right up at the top, in Pitt history?

    Don’t forget Connor still ran for 1152 yards, scored 16 touchdowns and had a 5.1 yards per carry average. I wonder if we’re going to even be able to replicate that with one person next year.

    I think we’ll see a definite dip in offensive production next year and that’s why I said in the podcast that we better hope our defense gets better in a real hurry because if not we’re going to have a tough season.

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    1. Yes I did Reed. The key will be Max Browne, without him my optimism would have tanked.
      Jaryd Jones-Smith gets back to full time action on the OL and this new kid from NY, Justin Morgan will be the impact underclassman that nobody has heard of on the OL in his RS Freshman season. We miss Biz & Johnson only if we have injuries on the OL.
      Next season, because of the retooling of that line, Pitt becomes a throw first team with acouple of guys out of the following group really raising eyebrows with their WR production, Tripton, Mathews, Flowers, Ffrench, or newcomer Smith.
      The running game may not produce a 1,000 rusher while they figure out who “The Guy” who is the star RB but a couple guys contribute enough to surpass Conner’s production in total.

      Patience, we’ll all know in about 10 months if I’m full of $hit or not. I’ve been wrong before, I’ve been right before. I like being right better, we’ll see.

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  9. I think a summary article would be just the off season ticket. Should generate lots discussions/debate as it’s not exactly cut and dried.

    Don’t think anyone would be against Conklin being set on his way except for Pat Narduzzi. I get a strong feeling from the head coach that he is plenty happy with his crew. To me, he really seems happy to be in Pittsburgh.

    Reed, you have been a little softer in your: I like Narduzzi BUT, stance recently. I’m actually starting to believe you do like the guy.

    I thought the after LOI presser was fairly impressive from HCPN.

    Next year PITT better be ready and a little more polished on all sides of the ball. Which I do expect they will be.. Really like the past two recruiting classes and PITT’s chances next year or so…

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  10. Quadree Henderson was #1 overall in the country in yards per carry at 10.5 yards per carry. With him, Moss, Hall, Ffrench and 2 high school All Americans a long with a really good fullback in George Aston, I can safely say Pitt has the most talent at RB all time in Pitt history. And I can safely say it is not even close.

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  11. Me @ 3:34 pm

    While I don’t expect our offense to be as good as 2016, I do expect a good offense .. and still probably the strength of this team. Instead of 42 ppg, maybe something like 36 ppg is more likely … and still pretty good.

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  12. Chuckie Scales, AB brown, Brian Davis, Charles Gladman and Ironhead.
    1985.
    Five Parade All American running backs.
    That was the best running back talent at Pitt.

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    1. Scales turned out to be a good WR, Ironhead had great career in college and good career in pros? Didn’t AB transfer to WVU? Davis was most heralded but least accomplished.

      Gladman played one year in the NFL for Tampa Bay. His father was the first black police chief in Akron, retiring in 2007 after a 40 year career …. don’t ask me how I know this!

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  13. Offense has tools to be better except at QB it is probably a situation where Browne is a draw or will be slightly less than Peterman.

    Defense will still suck just not as bad. We will 7-8 games in my opinion.

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  14. And I still think this is the best RB unit ever. The team put up 3000 rush yards and 36TD’s in the ground game. Conner only had 1100 of those and 16 rush TD’s. There were 3 different tailbacks that had a better yard per carry average than Conner at over 5 yards per carry. And One player was a former ACC rookie of the year. And 2 high school All Americans that were added. Along with a real good FB. Last year was the best offense in Pitt history all time.

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  15. The O will slip. But the D should improve. And the coaching should be better. I see another 8-4 year. Weaker schedule. But a bowl win.

    And yes, we beat the Pedos in Creepy Valley.
    But lose to Syracuse.

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  16. My money is on Hotlanta. It will be a good Super Bowl my friends. When will the Rooneys and their partners realize that Tomlin is just a cheerleader?

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  17. I say Atlanta in a blow out.

    And why would Inoke, a U. Of Whiskey employee, be at Pitt’s LOI bash?
    Reed, time for a urine drug screen.

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  18. Hmm…..much intrigue with the Sims firing and Brecterfield presence at the LOI event. Hopefully this is the start of a very interesting off-season !

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  19. I’m a big Nathan Peterman fan, but I think there’s some amnesia on some of the open receivers that he missed that could have given us another win or too. Plus the super conservative play-calling earlier in the season – apparently because Oh Canada, rightly or wrongly, wouldn’t give NP the green light to throw on some 3rd downs…
    So NP was excellent, but we certainly could have Max be just as effective overall. Just my humble opinion…

    Go Pitt

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  20. Majormajors+1

    Give me a break with the Tomlin criticism. The Steelers were lucky to get to that game. Too many weak links.

    Harrison with one shoulder, then they lose their superstar running back…

    Should be interesting next year when they get Heyward and Bryant back and all the young guys have a year more experience.

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  21. The standard is the standard and Tomlin has done squat. The record speaks for itself. Not a fan of Terry but he knows football better than the Steeler Idiot parading as coach.

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  22. I agree Tomlin is a moron.

    To beat New England. Just like Denver did and Houston was doing in Playoff defensively. You play man to man and you put pressure on Brady. To win you play to win offensively. What goof doesn’t do a QB sneak from 6 inch line. Not a 6 yard deep handoff. Idiots I say. If we had Belicheck we would of won 4 Super Bowls in 6 years.

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  23. I don’t think Tomlin calls the plays. Belicheek wins fewer Superbowls if he doesn’ t have the other teams playbook, or if he dosn’t have the best QB ofall time.

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  24. GC – Brady isnt great if you stop his 6 yard passes. All he does. Just idiot DC’s. They have no talent white wr’s that played cricket in India or whatever stupid sports they played.

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  25. I hate Brady and the Pats but c’mon man, Brady may win his fifth SB Trophy and another MVP. I hope not, bi
    ut I wouldn’t bet against him.

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  26. Atlanta just found out what happens when you play Wannyball with 1 1/2 quarters left thinking the game’s over. Especially when the offense is the strength of the team. They deserved to lose.

    I hope Narduzzi was taking notes….Tomlin too.

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  27. Two of the most stupid decisions I’ve ever seen. Very,very,Pete Carrollish. Third and one how do you throw? And ball on the twenty five and fog wins it and the only way you mess up is a sack or penalty. Just dumb as a bag of rocks!
    The next time I critize some college coach for a bonehead decision I hope someone reminds me that even happens with the bog boys. Still can’t believe those moves.
    Upitt, you had this game in the bag.If you bet I’d be really pissed if I was you!

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  28. I was thinking during the game that Matt Ryan was getting away with a lot of poor decisions – they finally caught up to him…

    Go Pitt.

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  29. Oh, how I fucking hate the Patriots. This is why I can no longer watch NFL football. I seriously watched 0 minutes this year. If I could have picked 1 team to not win the super bowl, it would have been them. Dammit.

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  30. Just woke up to learn Brady and the white smurfs win… good for the Pats….Steelers always look like the Lower Burrell Little Flyers when the go up against the Pats .. what good would “notes” do for Tomlin? Pats whip his ass every year with the short white smurf passing game and a dope smoking running back named Blount who always gets ” high” for the game…

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  31. The article wwb linked above is exactly why we see the transformation in our defense next season. I watched so many opposing QB’s passes dropped right on the button where Pitt’s DBs weren’t so much out of position but often just not being the physical specimen necessary to reach those critical extra few inches to change that perfect circus catch into an incomplete pass by making a defensive play.

    This article mentions guys like 6’3″ Miller as the future of Pitt’s secondary. Stand Maddox up next to Miller both with their arms extended above their heads and Miller will measure a foot reach advantage over Avonte.

    If Damar Hamlin gets his groin issue healed he becomes the star of the secondary next year because of his upside talent alone, plus he’s no midget either at 6’1″. And let us not forget Dane Jackson who got his initiation by fire last season. Another 6’1″ guy who’s only going to get better going into his second season on the field.

    I’ve already predicted that Maddox will be providing his senior leadership from the sideline by s asin’s end simply because there are too many guys that are just bigger than him who will be able to do the CB job better because of their physical attributes.

    There is so much potential talent waiting to see action that I think Paris Ford gets RSed in 2017. If Paris sees playing time it will because either the defensive backfield has been decimated by injuries or because Ford is really that good!

    Lastly, Pitt doesn’t face nearly the level of QB talent next season that they did this year. The reason I selected the psu game as a potential Pitt win that if we get it catapults the Panthers into the rarefied air of double digit wins mainly because McSorley will be the best QB we face next year. We beat McSorley, then we beat a lot of other teams with this revamped defense next year.

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    1. Don’t underestimate Ok St QB Rudolph, who also returns next year … as does his star WR, Washington. Our 2nd and 3rd games will be very tough tests for our mostly inexperienced secondary

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      1. Yep, the 1st of two tuff tests. If we beat penn state the OSU game becomes huge!
        Beating McSorley is the confidence builder that this young defensive can thrive on so early in the season.

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  32. Five unanswered TD drives in a row to win his fifth SuperBowl, the best by far. Many different no name players, few other HOFers with him. Like Tiger Woods in his prime, no one even close.

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  33. Dr Tom, I think this will be a real transition year. Lot’s of new moving parts to add to the core.

    The defense is almost a rebuild with so many seniors leaving. Only two guys left of the starting front seven.

    As I have been saying for many years, still don’t see a consistently strong pass rush, which will make it tough on those D-Backs.Biggest fail of the past two recruiting classes is no elite D-ends.

    On offense, a new Coordinator, QB, and no Conner.Two new starters on the O-line and a new tight end. The O-line needs to stay healthy, not as much experienced depth as last year. One of the running backs needs to step up to be the Man.

    This will start the transition from Chryst’s guys to Narduzzi’s guys.

    Many questions to be answered. Time for the young guys to answer them.

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  34. Doc, I still don’t see Maddox on the sideline this season. He is very quick and agile and would be good in the slot covering receivers across the field. And just because your taller doesn’t mean you have the body control to stay with the good opposition receivers that run great patterns.—Pitt will need to get pressure from “speedier linebackers” to make a difference this coming season. I just think your asking too much from the most recent recruiting classes on defense this year. Most of those recruits will need another year or two to make much difference on the D. I’m really not looking for much improvement on the D if Pitt sticks with the Narduzzi style of play(which they will) this year. Next year it may be a different story.

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  35. John Steigerwald wrote a column recently (published in the Washington County Observor REporter, about he behavior of Tomlin and Porter at North Catholic games where their sons play. Briefly Porter during a game charged the refs drawing a flag then didn’t quite charging the field till refs threatened to forfeit the game. Tomlin gave a profanity filled half-time speech to the young North Catholic players – classless. Both Tomlin and his cheerleader Porter stood in front of fans and refused to move despite polite request by police to do so – they told police go ahead call more police – the game ended before the police came. Tomlin and Porter are classless thugs according the Steigy and I tend to agree even though the faultless STeelers have circled the wagons about this. Where have you gone Chuck Noll type class?
    Interesting about Brecterfield. There are good points about PN but he has problems – the over secrecy is one. As to whether the media would report the jet sweeps, shovel passes in the past the media would keep this quiet, perhaps PN has other opinions. He also was stubbornly insistent on not modifying his defense; you need to adapt. While I have problems with Conklin I don’t buy the opinion that PN is just a CEO and not involved – my response is what does he do then? Sit in his office?
    HAIL TO PITT.

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  36. This thing with Brecterfield is starting to bother me – I’m wondering if I got ‘punked’ at the event. The guy I talked to looked exactly like him and when I asked him if he was Coach Brecterfield he said “yes” and we started talking about things we had in common and about Taleni.

    Plus I only had a couple of beers when that exchange happened and held off on the magic mushrooms until I was on my way back to the hotel.

    Addressing that in my article for this a.m.

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  37. You mean Dr Tom .. not me. And I disagree with Dr Tom because I thought Maddox was our best DB this past year.

    Nonetheless, I’ll say once again .. look at the schedule in 2014. We played no good offensive teams at all the entire 1st half … then got lit up for 56, 51 and 40 some points three games in a row whe we finally did play proficient offenses.

    Reed, I don’t know why you continue to not look at our schedule this past year, and realize the caliber of QBs (and WRs) we faced. That’s not to say that our defense didn’t stink … it most certainly did.

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  38. wbb – I get that. I do, but I also wrote an extensive article a while back about what those same ‘very good’ QBs did against every other team on their schedule and then did against us. I’d say on average they threw for about 100 more yards and certainly more TDs against us then each of the other defenses they faced.

    I get we played against good passing talent… but so did every other team that played those QBs.

    I don’t know why more Pitt fans aren’t pointing the finger directly at Conklin for two downward trending defenses – one of which in 2016 could have kept us from 10-11 wins.

    Again – I think because of the Narduzzi Love factor Conklin’s getting a free pass. But I really think we’ll see much the same from our defensive backfield next year as long as Conklin and Narduzzi insist on approaching the total defense the way they have over the past two years.

    Let me ask this – are the defenses we have seen under Narduzzi anywhere close to what you thought we’d have given his DC background? I don’t think so and what is now a clear trend is disappointing in the extreme to me.

    (I deleted that post because it is going to be in my article)..

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    1. 1) A few of the QBs had career days vs us because they had to. Usually when a QB is doing real well, the game is put away by late 3rd quarter. In 2015, Kizer (ND) and Maaya (Miami) both lit us up in the first half … then took their foot off the pedal from mid 3rd quarter on. This year vs Miami .. Pitt was down a point near end of the 3rd quarter, so Kaaya kept throwing in the 4th quarter.

      2) I will judge Coach Narduzzi as a DC after this year when most of his recruits are playing.

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      1. One last thing … how about how good the coach with a defensive background did on offense this year?? It’s all about the Jimmys and the Joes.

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    2. @Reed you just will NOT GRASP the intense dearth of talent left on defense from the Chryst+Matt House recruiting dumpster fire and the need to change culture!!! Holy Smokes!

      Look at James Franklin (his team finished top-5 this year in his year 3 okay) — **Bill O’Brien (now the HC of the Houston Texans) is the man who held penn state together for 2 years in the Storm of Sanctions —– James Franklin rolled in after the whole storm blew and he immediately was bowl eligible and able to recruit 25 players — James Franklin comes in and goes: 7-6 , 6-7 and everyone says he on a burning hot-seat before this year.

      Yeah…look how things went in year 3 for James Franklin with HIS TEAM finally.

      What happened after All-WORLD James Conner was gone in the 1st half of game one in 2015??? Pitt under Narduzzi wins 8 games in the ACC and a totally off-the-radar, unheralded 3 star RS Freshman kid from Buffalo (Quadree Ollison) comes in and rushes for 1,000 + yards. That’s how football works and Pat Narduzzi’s been recruiting deeper at every position by-far than any Pitt coach since in the early 80’s.

      #RealityCheck here an NFL nut, with real perspective—– Nate Peterman isn’t some World Beater lol getting hyped as a a Top NFL starter — he’s getting less NFL hype than Tom Savage. If he’s a 4th round pick to have a nice career as a back-up he’s Made It.

      Max Browne (6’5”, 220 , former #1 overall QB recruit in the Nation out of High School) could come in and be Pitt’s best NFL prospect QB in the last 20 years — plus we’ll see packages with Thomas MacVittie in Zone-Reads.

      @Reed College football players cycle through in college football and that’s why Coaches keep recruiting and bringing in transfers — they ALL HAVE TO LEAVE EVENTUALLY lol — and then New Guys Step up.

      P.S. —- Please STOP with “What Could Have Been” ?????? from any posters that’s just Silly — Pitt greatly overachieved — beating James Franklin’s totally Re-Stocked psu with 3 years of his full recruiting classes, and also beating Dabo Swinney’s (10 year tenure) fully-loaded Clemson team — with 90% PAUL CHRYST RECRUITS in the starting lineup.

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  39. It’s all about the talent level coming in. Narduzzi has recruited so much better than HCPC that his 2015 class once plugged in this year and next goes nuclear!
    The difference will be dramatic this year simply because we were so bad last year in the defensive secondary. In 2018, yikes. With the likes of Whitehead, Hamlin, Ford, Jackson, Coleman, Miller, Campbell & Garner, no fly zone!

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  40. Was on here that I read where George Hill is undergoing some sort of treatment that may clear up his health issues? He could be big help down the road.

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    1. My understanding is that Hill’s playing days are over … heart issue. Gigantic blow — like Hamlin .. he was a 4-star who likely could have provided immediate help this year .. a la Whitehead in 015.

      Thus, this past year …. two 4-stars freshmen DBs were not helpful due to health, and the two best experienced DBs were out 4 games each with injuries.

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      1. Thanks wwb, I’m talking about a more recent report that PITT is working on new technology that could “maybe” able to correct his heart problems.

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  41. Reed, I think many of us give Conklin a pass so far for two reasons. Obviously the lack of elite talent.

    Guys just didn’t make enough plays when needed. The pass rush was inconsistent, the linebackers were too slow, defensive backs did not break up passes very often. Just not enough talent. The second reason is that Conklin is implementing Narduzzi’s scheme. Many of us have been critical of it’s weaknesses. It only works when you have a strong pass rush and athletes in the backfield.

    I think this year will be the real test for defensive coaches. More athletic guys with less experience. If we don’t see some improvement this year, I will join your bandwagon.

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    1. Exactly! These are the other defensive guys that will have an impact, most have never seen the field yet. Camp Watts, Hendrix, Wheeler, Pine, Pugh, Jones II & Weaver.

      Just wait until the Narduzzi system has the talent plugged in that is essential for it to fire on all cylinders. MSU defense all over again. Year three will need to be good to validate my optimism, year four, long fly ball,,,,out of the park!

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  42. It actually seemed uncanny to me just how many great passes I witnessed this year and an almost equal amount of great catches. Many many times the D-backs were in good enough position.

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  43. Reed, Just got back home from a great vacation, sending a check today. Wish it could be more. Your effort on behalf of Pitt Fans is off the charts.

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  44. FWIW, I’m not expecting much from Camp, Watts and Wheeler this year as such I think the defensive line will take a step backwards without Price, Jarrett and Soto. We may be a hair better on defense, but I sure wouldn’t bet on given how we went downhill last year from a dismal 2015 defense.

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  45. couple thoughts on format, I like the reply button good enough and it’s my own fault I don’t look at the recent comment box enough but.. some replies, thoughts and posts get lost on there in recent and past articles. Is there a way to separate recent comments by articles to stay on the current page? If I made any sense there? I’m really talking about 2 separate issues here, One, replies that get buried and 2, comments in past articles that get buried when the POV is busy with comments. I think it would be fun to keep all articles in play for a longer discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

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