A Quick Hitter Today

On this date in 1981 the only church open for Saturday business on the Big Island of Hawaii was the small Imiola Church in Waimea.

Imiola Church

So, that is where my wife and I got married and in a rush since my ship was changing homeport and leaving mid- week.

See – I knew if I left Hawaii without her hand I’d regret for the rest of my life.  So I took a machete…


Koa Wood Interior

A wedding on Valentine’s Day is rather tacky but it had to happen that way. Kidding aside I’d be in bad shape without her counsel over these years. I fully admit that.

Now, how we met is a story that is best told over drinks... without kids present.

36 years ago and after only knowing each other for six weeks.  Weird huh?  I still don’t think we know each other all that well…  She has an uncanny ability to hear whispers from two floors away. She may have the rooms bugged though.

Anyway, because today is that anniversary I’m pulled away to do other things but wanted to get something up for Pitt fans to discuss…

Rivals.com’s Chris Peak has another good podcast up and discusses the arrival of OC Shawn Watson and the departure of DL coach Tom Sims. 

He absolutely disagrees with my and others’ beliefs,  that Pitt’s offer to Matt Canada was done knowing that LSU was going to and/or already had topped it.

Well, here the thing – if you know that your offer is going to be topped – which they did, and you know the buyout was going to be paid – which Pitt did, and still offer $1m then great for Pitt.  Kudos for them I suppose.

But it was an offer that Pitt, again, knew wasn’t going to be accepted by Canada.  That’s the bottom line with that. I don’t doubt that Pitt wanted to keep Canada and that was a honest offer.  I know as well as you do that Pitt would have jumped at the chance to lock down Canada with #1M per year.

But let’s say this also – if Pitt was ultimately committed to a great football team and football program they would have either countered or bested LSU’s offer.  I know they couldn’t reasonably do that and that nothing but common sense was stopping them. 

Of course if they did that then Narduzzi throws his gauntlet down and says “Where’s my new money bitches“.

Pitt truly isn’t in the same league with the Big-Dog, Big-Donor schools that can pay “crazy LSU money” as Chris Peak so succinctly states.  However, these honest high-value Coordinators don’t just get a phone call one day out of the blue and then fly out and interview.  Other schools are in contact in round-about ways some time before the formal transfer actions start. 

Here is a piece by Cardiac Hill on this subject on Dec 12th:

If Matt Canada is looking for the most money, Pitt won’t be able to play that game with LSU. LSU recently extended their contract with defensive coordinator Dave Arranda for $1.8 million. LSU paid their last OC $1.2 million. Pitt fans should pray that Canada’s relationship with Narduzzi is worth a few hundred thousand dollars.

So I believe Pitt knew Canada was getting huge overtures from LSU (and probably other bigger schools also) early on and that anything they offered Canada was going to have to be commiserate.  Apparently Canada was making around $750K per at Pitt which for Pitt is a high number.

Where that article above is mistaken is that Pitt was willing to pay that ‘few hundred thousand’ dollars thus the $1M offer – we just weren’t willing to more than double the offer from what he was already making here.

And here is another article from Louisiana about this issue.

Now I am in total agreement that Pitt not match LSU’s very generous offer to Canada because that would break the bank at Pitt and remember folks – that isn’t a one-time salary but an annual one.

But let’s not be naive and think that Pitt didn’t see this happening before it was made public to the media – that’s ludicrous. Pitt did what only what Pitt could do and that’s offer something they could afford but at the same time knew wasn’t going to be accepted.  Did they want it accepted? No doubt in my mind they did, they’d be crazy not to.

Did they do that just to bamboozle the media and the public?  No, I doubt that also but have to say that I have inferred it earlier. What I do I believe is that they did the only thing possible with the restraints Pitt still has on the athletic department’s purse strings. 

It just bothers me to think that we fans were fed lines that it is a ‘new financial world’ in Pitt football back when Gallagher and ex-AD Barnes were hired and spouted that mantra regularly..and then when we have chances to replace integral staff on the coaching staff to truly strengthen the football program for some years we go along the way we always have… and not pulled the trigger at the farther target.

You know we got a basement bargain salary with Shawn Watson. With his sketchy record – and it is anyway you look at it – we have a “Friends of Pat” (FOP) hire who was in need of a better job and grabbed the brass ring at Pitt. Will he work out?  He may well and let’s hope so but it was a safe and cheap hire.

if Pitt was truly serious about keeping real known quality at that OC position they would have taken that $1M offer to Canada that was rejected and gone looking for another good and effective OC that would be worth the money we were willing to spend.

Or just buy out Josh Conklin and use it to hire a real Defensive Coordinator 😉


Does this say “shell-shocked” to you?

On another note:

Pittsburgh Sports Now keeps throwing up articles about 2018 and 2019 recruits... which really doesn’t interest me at this point in time.  But here it is for those who follow recruiting all year-long…

The Trib has a piece that is about as important as can be during this stretch of a mediocre at best BB season by our Panthers.

Seriously – did you think I’d link a BB story?

Here is a Post-Gazette story that is reaching even farther to say something important than this blog currently is.

I’m cracking myself up here doing this!

This is interesting – I get racked every so often on Facebook for spelling or grammar errors in my articles and sometimes a poster will put up a snarky post about it under my article – last one was when I misspelled Breckterfield’s name…post-gazette-mistake

But check this out… do you think the same guy that dinged me is going to call out the Post-Gazette on this bit of non-proof reading?

46 thoughts on “A Quick Hitter Today

  1. Matt Canada has been a pretty good OC but never a great OC until this past year. It certainly didn’t hurt, first and foremost, to have an OL which is comprised of four likely NFL players. Add the speed of QH, Weah and Orndoff (for a TE), the grit and leadership of JC, and the maturation of QB NP.

    Yes, Canada did a great job of putting all the pieces together but you still need the assets to work with.

    Bottom line … no matter whether Pitt knew or not … they cannot afford to pay assistants > $1M, and it sets a dangerous precedent.


  2. Watson is exactly what Pitt hired when they hired Canada. I would argue Watson has had more success in his history than Canada did. Let’s not act like it was a cheap hire. That is complete negative SOP fan thinking. This guy took the bullet for Charlie Strong who screwed the pooch in Texas, a complete disaster on Strong’s part.

    I remember Watson’s Nebraska and Louisville team well. They were great offenses.


  3. @Reed post a family picture??? — lol you’re kinda a Celebrity on here, and TMZ hasn’t cornered you yet? 🙂 haha


  4. BTW .. congrats Reed! What’s appropriate for the 36th anniversary?

    I agree about the PSN stories of the 2018-9 recruits, of which maybe 15% at the most end up as a Panther .. but it is a free recruiting site so, like the Grammies, I just won’t look.


  5. Look folks Canada did a great job and Narduzzi let him do his thing without a lot of interference. That was the same tactic he used with Chaney who didn’t do as well as Canada IMO but Pitt never the less ended up with the same amount of wins.—Now the Watson hire is a little different in that we got him on the cheap and as such Narduzzi felt he could dictate to Watson to learn and implement as much of the Canada playbook as possible. And Watson responded “Yes master, yes master whatever you want.”—-Keep in mind it’s not like Pitt lost Einstein in losing Canada. Let’s just hope we didn’t find Gobber in the Watson hiring.


  6. Watson certainly deserves a chance from us POVers to settle into the job. One thing I like is that he has the experience and football knowledge to implement what worked for Canada into his scheme. And, as stated above its not like Canada came to Pitt as a hot commodity. My guess is that Watson will be fine.
    My doubts are still (and rightly so) on Conklin and his world worst pass defense.


  7. Most important congrats on the anniversary. I got engaged today at the old Top of the Triangle. We need to give Watson a chance. Who thought Canada would have the great year we did?
    BTW keep up the great work, look forward to reading it!


  8. True wbb, everything you said about what MC stepped into at Pitt (and probably at LSU, as well!). But the thing I loved about MC was his ability to read the other team’s D and set up his plays to be successful. A lot like playing chess, and thinking several moves in advance.

    Hope Watson is equally talented!


  9. Congrats on the anniversary – it is best to pick a date hard to forget. We chose 12/6/86 which I refer to as Pearl Harbor Eve. As to hearing, my wife early on made me go to an ear doctor because I wasn’t obeying her orders, he wrote me a script for her that my hearing was fine but I had selective hearing and would tune her out appropriately.
    Right now it is wait and see on Watson, by August we will be debating the percentage of runs to passes. MC did know how to attack defenses a talent few have.


  10. You’re definitely going to get stability this with this guy because no one will want him.

    Cheap hire because they couldn’t get the first three targets they wanted so they set up for an old Pap that no one wanted just like our basketball coach.


  11. Partridge is a real good hire, good resume plus …

    Bruce Feldman ‏@BruceFeldmanCFB 13 minutes ago
    Former #FAU HC Charlie Partridge is returning to #Pitt as defensive line coach. Has big recruiting ties in Fla.

    here is another scoop … come April, Tom Sims will return as a defensive coach come April when NCAA teams can hire its 10th assistant. Pitt couldn’t afford to wait to hire to hire Partridge so Sims became a temp firing. (Note .. this is pure speculation, I have n o evidence at all)


    1. Chris Peak ‏@PantherLair 5 minutes ago

      Actually it was 21 Florida recruits over five classes for #Pitt with Charlie Partridge on staff.


  12. With his prior experience as a head coach, what is the over/under on how many years Partridge stays before moving on as a DC or even a head coach at a non-P5 school?


    1. Who’s to say the hire wasn’t to have an internal option to Coklin?

      Especially if it gets worse next year. Add Sims as 10th(per wwb’s suggestion) and now you have a succession plan.


  13. couple of things:

    Reed, nice about face. I didn’t believe that PITT threw one million dollars across the table for standing on ceremony reasons. It was a genuine offer that somehow now you are considering to be the truth. But you’re right. It’s up to each and everyone one of us to believe what we feel is the truth to …. well…us.

    About an about face. I’m sure you have lots of practice on this maneuver. 🙂

    While I’m at it, I may as well continue to disagree with you. PITT has proven to me to have opened up the purse strings if even just a little bit. You have your feelings on Gallagher, who I think is more involved but doesn’t want to make it look too obvious. I smell, see, feel and can almost touch a big difference in the attitude concerning PITT football recently. To me? The University is all in with regards to the changing of the priorities considering the Football program.

    The PITT coaching staff just got a whole lot better with the re-hiring of Charlie P. Now when the extra coach is added in April, I’m all in for Scott Shaffer. Another friend of Narduzzi.

    I’ll ask again but does anyone have any kind of update on George Hill? I heard just recently there may be a newer treatment for his heart ailment. I understand that HIPPA may be in play here. I think it’s big news if it’s true… ike



    1. Where is the about face Ike? I said that Pitt knew a better offer was on the table and thus their $1M was safe. I have been consistent in saying this.

      Pitt was never going to match what LSU was offering before Canada even went down for an interview. Not sure what you mean by “believe what you want to”.

      I think Pitt WANTED Canada to accept $1M but that was never going to happen. It didn’t matter when it was offered Canada knew he was a hot commodity and was going to be gone.

      Just think on this:

      Let’s say Pitt offered Canada that $1M way before LSU came on the scene. Do you really believe that an staff coach in his right mind is going to turn down a $250K raise without any other offers on the board?

      And do you believe that had Canada turned it down and then went out actively looking for others jobs Pitt was going to take him back and still give him the raise. If they actually would do that then more fool them.

      Of course not – when Canada refused that raise he already knew he’d be getting over twice what his his Pitt salary was somewhere else.

      You are getting pretty personal on here from the confines of where you live. When you get out to the Southside or Heinz and start talking to the people I talk with and communicate with then I’d say your OK with your opinions – and of course you have strong ones.

      Info flows in various ways and when I say I believe or I think then I am pretty damn sure things happen that way. But in this case why does anyone think that is so far fetched when it is exactly what we saw play out in public?

      Anyway – I’ll stand by my assertions that the $1M offer was a honest gesture but it really acted as to say that a gesture was made… it was never going to be accepted and Pitt knew it.


      1. I hear you saying that the one million dollar offer was some sort of a publicity offer. We both agree that PITT wanted to keep Canada and accept their money/offer. I think it was a honest attempt considering MC’s relationship with Narduzzi and not a candle blowing in the wind. I look at the offer as a positive sign where you are not that impressed by it. After listening to Peaks podcast, (which btw, is not as entertaining as yours) I don’t agree with him that PITT put in the first numbers which he seems to allude to. You do acknowledge that it was a step up from their previous negotiation strategies though. I have hope for you Reed, you’re coming around little by little. This latest hire (CP) is big time in my book. Another former head coach is what the doctor ordered, not Tom, but this may help in his journey to becoming the best dam head coach PITT has had since Jackie!! .. ike



  14. Partridge is a great hire IMO and I don’t think they got him on the cheap.Just his ties to the Florida recruiting seen probably made have a valuable commodity. Why they didn’t make him the defensive coordinator is probably the question I have. I’d be willing to bet he will make more than Conklin this coming year.


  15. Who were the other three targets for OC? I think someone is exaggerating to make a typical negative point. 🙂


  16. Pitt can’t offer what LSU offered Canada. It did step up with a very good offer that would have made him one of the highest paid assistants in the ACC. Pitt showed good faith in doing so. The idea that Pitt can spend millions is just not the case. ACC money is helpful, but LSU is simply in another category. the OC hire was a very good hire and now Partridge as DL coach adds to the experience and depth of coaching that few programs have.


  17. I have a feeling that Partridge will be the real DC with Conklin sliding into a lesser role. Pure speculation, but . . .


  18. Upitt, Wow, he’s 43 yrs old!! Old Pap?? I know he’s only a couple of years older than you, but that’s not ancient. Hardly Stallings age, maybe not an up and comer, but not past his expiration date!


    1. Guess you didn’t read the first part of the article – today is our anniversary and we were doing real life things.

      I like this hire. He’s been one of the better Pitt coaches over the years.


  19. Conklin will look much smarter when Whitehead, Ford, Coleman, Hamlin, Pugh, Pine, Hendrix, Ziese, Watts, Camp and Weaver are on the field. This is the transition year to finally placing a really good defense on the field. By the way rumor is Ford is up to 190 pounds.


  20. For IMMEDIATE Release

    February 14, 2017

    Charlie Partridge Rejoins Pitt as Defensive Line Coach
    Partridge was previously on the Panthers’ staff from 2003-07.

    PITTSBURGH—Charlie Partridge, a renowned Florida recruiter who previously served as a Pitt assistant from 2003-07, will return to the Panthers’ staff as defensive line coach, Pat Narduzzi announced.

    Partridge rejoins Pitt after serving the past three seasons as head coach at Florida Atlantic University. Prior to FAU, he was an accomplished assistant at Arkansas and Wisconsin.

    “I’ve been a big fan of Charlie’s work for a very long time,” Narduzzi said. “I remember watching his defensive lines at Wisconsin and really admiring how they played. Charlie’s players reflected his high energy and passion. He’s an incredibly bright coach who is an excellent teacher and knows how to develop players.

    “Charlie’s familiarity with Pitt is a major asset and the fact that he has experience as a head coach will benefit our entire staff,” Narduzzi continued. “His reputation as a strong recruiter is highly deserved and will serve us well all across the ACC footprint, including Pittsburgh. I know there are a lot of people at Pitt who worked with Charlie before who are thrilled that he’s back wearing the Blue and Gold.”

    “I am honored to have the opportunity to return to Pitt and work with Coach Narduzzi and his staff,” Partridge said. “I’m fully aware that the University of Pittsburgh is a special institution in an amazing city with a top-notch football program that competes at the highest level in the ACC. I look forward to applying all the lessons I’ve learned since previously being here while also learning from this tremendous staff.”

    At FAU, Partridge inherited a program in need of a complete rebuild, on and off the field. He responded to the challenge by signing three of the finest recruiting classes in school history, including a 2015 group that earned praise as the best in Conference USA. In the classroom, the Owls set new program standards for individual academic achievement and the highest team grade point average.

    Partridge spent the 2013 season at Arkansas, where he served as assistant head coach and oversaw the defensive line. Under his watch, defensive ends Trey Flowers and Chris Smith were All-SEC performers, combining for 25 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks. Partridge also contributed to the Razorbacks’ special teams units that featured All-SEC kicker Zach Hocker, who missed only two placements that season (13-of-15 field goals and 28-of-28 PATs), and punter Sam Irwin-Hill, who ranked 15th nationally with a 44.3-yard average.

    Partridge was instrumental in one of the best five-year runs in Wisconsin history from 2008-12. Initially serving as defensive line and specialist coach, he was elevated to associate head coach and co-defensive coordinator for his final two seasons in Madison.

    The Badgers won three consecutive Big Ten titles from 2010-12, earning Rose Bowl berths each season. The 2010-11 squads each won 11 games and ranked in the nation’s Top 10 at season’s end.

    Partridge oversaw a physical, game-changing defensive front at Wisconsin. His most accomplished pupil was defensive end J.J. Watt, who was a 2010 All-American and winner of the Lott IMPACT Trophy as the national defensive player of the year. A first-round draft choice of the Houston Texans in 2011, Watt has gone on to earn status as one of the NFL’s elite defensive players.

    Partridge’s initial Pitt tenure was from 2003-07. He had a positional focus on the defensive line for four seasons and the linebackers in his final campaign. Partridge also served as the Panthers’ special teams coordinator in 2006-07.

    In 2007, Pitt ranked fifth in the nation in total defense, yielding just 297.7 yards per game. The Panthers closed that season with one of the most celebrated victories—and defensive performances—in school history: a 13-9 upset of West Virginia that shattered the Mountaineers’ national title hopes. Pitt limited the high-powered WVU offense to just one touchdown and 183 total yards.

    Under the guidance of Partridge and defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads in 2007, a first-year starting middle linebacker named Scott McKillop led the nation in tackles (12.6 per game), earning All-America status and unanimous first-team All-Big East honors. Another Partridge protégé, defensive end Joe Clermond, led the Big East in tackles for loss (16.5) in 2006.

    Pitt’s special teams were highly productive under Partridge’s guidance. In 2006, the Panthers led the Big East in net punting (37.5 avg.) and kickoff returns (24.1 yards avg.). During the 2007 campaign, Pitt topped the conference in field goal percentage (81.8%, 18-22) and PAT kicking (100%, 28-28), while ranking second in kickoff returns (22.9 avg.).

    ESPN’s 2006 College Football “Play of the Year” was actually a Pitt special teams gem—Darrelle Revis’ 73-yard punt return for a touchdown against West Virginia. A first-round draft pick of the New York Jets the following spring, Revis told an NFL media gathering, “I love special teams. I have to credit my special teams coach, Charlie Partridge. He put me back there and let me help the team. Even if it was on punt block, I just tried to help the team any way I could.”

    Prior to Pitt, Partridge served four seasons (1998-2001) at Iowa State in administrative and coaching roles. He was a defensive graduate assistant in 1998-99, working with the outside linebackers. Following the 1999 season he earned a full-time appointment as the program’s director of football operations.

    In 2002, Partridge was hired by Eastern Illinois University as defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator. The Panthers advanced to the NCAA I-AA playoffs that year and shared the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) championship with an 8-4 record. Two of EIU’s losses came to I-A schools Hawaii and Kansas State.

    An outstanding player himself, Partridge was an NSCA All-America defensive lineman for Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. A team captain and three-year starter for the Bulldogs, Partridge’s collegiate coaching career began at his alma mater as a Drake graduate assistant during the 1996 and 1997 seasons. In this capacity, he coached the running backs—producing a pair of 1,000-yard rushers each season—and worked as a strength and conditioning coach.

    The PARTRIDGE File

    Personal Information
    Born: December 7, 1973
    Hometown: Plantation, Fla.
    Alma Mater: Drake, 1995
    Family: Partridge and his wife, Julie, have two daughters, Alexa and Kylee.

    Coaching Experience
    Drake, 1996-97, graduate assistant.

    Iowa State, 1998-99, graduate assistant; 2000-01, director of football operations.

    Eastern Illinois, 2002, defensive line and recruiting coordinator.

    Pittsburgh, 2003-05, defensive ends; 2005, special teams; 2006-07, special teams coordinator; 2006, defensive line; 2007, linebackers.

    Wisconsin, 2008-10, defensive line and specialists; 2011-12, associate head coach, co-defensive coordinator and defensive line.

    Arkansas, 2013, assistant head coach and defensive line.

    Florida Atlantic, 2014-16, head coach.

    Pittsburgh, 2017, defensive line.


  21. Here are the defensive stats for 2006 when Partridge was the DL coach at Pitt – 1st number is Pitt; 2nd is opponent


    SCORING………………….. 381 274
    Points Per Game…………. 31.8 22.8
    FIRST DOWNS………………. 215 223
    Rushing………………… 71 113
    Passing………………… 129 97
    Penalty………………… 15 13
    RUSHING YARDAGE…………… 1476 2175
    Yards gained rushing…….. 1716 2457
    Yards lost rushing………. 240 282
    Rushing Attempts………… 380 477
    Average Per Rush………… 3.9 4.6
    Average Per Game………… 123.0 181.2
    TDs Rushing…………….. 15 17


  22. Oh, that makes some sense. I actually kinda agree with that. I spoke with Carl at Quicksilver today and will see him Monday or Tuesday so if you need me to do anything let me know.


    1. Joe – I’ll let you know if I have any questions. Right now we need the Spring Game date to finalize our plans.

      55 degree weekend in Central PA. Golf anyone?


  23. Holy smokes … who had the shortest tenure OCSarkisian at Bama or Charlie P as Michigan in his roll as special team quality control coach…. those 2 make M Canada look like he had a career at PITT… welcome aboard Charlie P… good get
    Duzz….I am hearing the ” Partridge Family” theme song in me head… wwb -you ever see them” Here’s a story of a lovely lady.”


  24. Oh, I get it! Charlie PARTRIDGE. I thought we were getting the jazz great, Charlie Parker… It’s the bird, thing…..


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