The player who made us forget about the loss of Tyler Boyd is returning in peak form for next season’s round of football games.  rsSR WR Jester Weah closed the door rather firmly maxresdefaulton the question of who was going to be able to replace Boyd with his superb 2016 season. Boyd’s early departure worried us fans – it didn’t seem to bother Weah one bit.

Granted Boyd missed the first game in 2015 for disciplinary reasons then had a sub-par season (for him) afterward and but within a few games last year we were completely satisfied that our receiving corp was indeed better suited for a new OC’s offense than the previous year.

Right before last season’s fall camp I had written that I personally didn’t think we’d miss Tyler Boyd much at all in the ’16 season because he just hadn’t been productive as he had in the past in 2015.  Chris Peak alluded to my saying that as “totally ridiculous“.  “Hah“, I say. (Chris is 99% right on the money usually but I think I was correct in this one).

NCAA Football: Georgia Tech at PittsburghBoyd had a lot of receptions but his yards per catch average dropped to only 10.2 in ’15 and with that he had only six TDs.   We saw a true football example of the ‘elephant in the room’ disappearing when he left us and thus Peterman had more receivers to use as primary targets… even in the fewer attempts he had passing.

Part of that reliance on Boyd was the fact that old OC Jim Chaney was joined at the hip to him. He wanted him to be the primary, secondary and tertiary targets on almost every pass play.  Matt Canada came in and didn’t have that problem, if that isn’t too strong a word for it.

What we saw with Canada’s idea of the passing game was the use of more and different types of receivers using different types of routes. Even though Canada didn’t call for the deep ball all that much Peterman’s 2016 yards per completion average was much higher receivingthan his previous one – a difference between 11.4 yards and 15.2 yards is the difference between 92nd nationally and 4th nationally, which is where Peterman landed in that category at the close of last season.  That then resulted in more TDs thrown and those seven extra TDs passing made a huge difference for us given how poorly our defense played compared to 2015.

The table below is what our returning receivers did last season (Boyd’s last year stats are on top for comparison).  I think the comparison between Weah and Boyd is rather fascinating. Boyd had 252% more catches yet only 56 more yards, 10.3 more ypg and four less TDs.

Boyd was certainly still productive his last year but Weah was more productive in different ways.  Interesting.  What that did for us was it gave our offense the ability to weather Boyd’s departure and have an even better passing game.

Rec’ver
GP  No.  Yards  Avg   TD  Long  Avg/G 
Boyd  (’15)
12  91  926  10.2  51  77.2 
Jester Weah 13 36 870 24.2 10 75 66.9
Henderson 13 26 286 11.0 1 37 22.0
George Aston 12 22 169 7.7 5 23 14.1
Tre Tipton 9 12 142 11.8 1 25 15.8
Aaron Mathews 12 6 51 8.5 0 24 4.2
Rafael Lopes 13 3 36 12.0 0 22 2.8
Qadree Ollison 13 2 38 19.0 0 30 2.9
Chawntez Moss 10 2 18 9.0 0 11 1.8
Darrin Hall 12 2 14 7.0 0 12 1.2

You can see that right off the bat we have four experienced performers returning in the WR corps.

 We have JR Quadree Henderson; his reception production at 11.2 ypc was a bit under a normal WR’s average but that was affected by his being given 60 carries as a rusher.  That approach may not change either this year due to the effectiveness of that outstanding 10.5 yards per carry he racked up as a running back. 

It would be hard to put that aside and throw more to him when you have other receivers who can step in and take some away of his pass opportunities with good results also.

I’d like to see Henderson line up in the slot receiver position more this season and get the ball on short crossing patterns – we didn’t see that much last season and with his speed that could be extremely effective. 

Or Hell… just sling him in lining up behind the FB on some run packages through the interior line of scrimmage with George Aston leading the way.  In college short backs can be extremely effective – can anyone say “Dion Lewis

Lewis was 5’8″ and 195… Henderson is 5’8″ and 190 and probably even a bit stronger now.  I’d venture to say that Henderson is faster than Lewis was at Pitt also.  This is how you find those true breakout running backs who come out of nowhere for huge yardage totals. It would be a bold move but why not try it?

I think Mathews ends up in that WR2  position aid40334-728px-catch-a-football-step-1-version-4opposite Weah. Why? Because between Weah’s 6’3″ frame on one side and Mathews 6’4″ on the other and both kids being speedy – that makes up for a lot of QB error on deeper passes.

 SO Aaron Mathews (a singular ‘t’ by the way) will really get his fair share of passes and do some great things this year. Even though he and Tipton had only 12 and 6 passes respectively they are intermediate and deep threats and, depending if Max Browne’s arm is as strong as some say it is, they could be on the nice end of some long throws.

20161001mfpittsports19We heard Matthews name called mostly because of his excellent special teams play last year but he is 6’4″ and 195 so he’ll have the reach to get up in the air to high point some passes.  Maybe we can call up Clemson’s WR coach and ask him to come over and drill our guys in that deep sideline alley-oop play for a few days. 

I think we’ll see rsSO Tre’ Tipton, at 6’o” & 190 (although I think that is a “Chad Voytik 6’0″ ” meaning he’s shorter) get more playing time behind Weah and Mathews as the season goes on.  

Then we have the mysterious SO Maurice Ffrench – a WR used exclusively as a running back last year and who paid out with 12 carries for 127 yards (10.2 ypc!) and 2 TDs and wore a RB’s number in #25. I like his speed but at 5’11 and 185 I’m thinking put 20 pounds on him and keep running him out of the back field.

As for the new-new comers we have three solid wide receivers recruited in this year’s class.  One is a legacy in Darian Street – Devon’s little brother then we went into Florida and got two speedsters in Dontavious Butler and Michael Smith.

'17 WR

Street and Butler are both projects with middling offers – Butler had only NC State as a Power 5 school; Street had none. 

But Michael Smith might be the gem of the offensive recruiting class overall.  We snatched him from the claws of Notre Dame (take that Kelly) and at 6’2″ and 205 lbs he’s built ready to go into action.

This HS highlight reel is interesting – the first two plays show Smith with power, speed and then downfield pattern speed where he out runs a closing DB.  I don’t think we’ll see any of the rookie WRs get real playing time this season unless we get hit with the injury bug but QBs MacVitte and Pickett must be pretty happy seeing Smith come onboard.

Note:  I drove up to Hershey yesterday and had lunch with Rick Caldwell (Erie Express) for  a semi-business meeting regarding the POV Golf Outing.  Guys, I have to tell you it is going to be a class act all-around and we are truly going to have a blast. That is because Rick is doing all the arranging and not me.  if I was doing it then it would be Putt-Putt, warm beer and cold sandwiches.

There will be trophies to hand out (made by me in Jo-Ann’s crafting class), prizes, stories, speeches (maybe not speeches) but a lot of fun and fellowship. A friend suggested we name it the Inoke Brecterfield Memorial Trophy... very funny guy.

As of today we have 33 golfers signed up.  We want more to join us!  Readers on Facebook are certainly welcome also.

We still need those POV’ers sponsoring foursomes and signage, etc… to finalized who, what and how much. I want to be sure everyone knows you don’t have to be a golfer to attend.  I was mistaken the other day when I said singles were charged $75 to attend.  That is to play golf and have food, etc…

Guys who just want to attend to jeer at the golfers, drink, eat and talk Pitt football is going to be much less.  I’ll let you know the particulars soon on that bit.  I don’t want to make each article about the Golf Outing but I’ll put up a more formal detailed piece nest week.

Also – we’ll do another Round Table Call-in on Tuesday evening without the recording screw-up on my part.  We sure did have fun talking though – Ike, Pittman4ever and PittPT are great fans and really know their stuff.

Just for fun and good memories:

http://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=18036632

 

70 thoughts on “Now That His Yips Are Gone…

  1. If Max Browne can get these guys the ball (and I have no reason to think he can’t) it should be quite the fireworks aerial show for 17′. #H2P!!!!!!

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  2. Weah is the poster child for a player development. He was not ready to play at the college level out of high school. Came a long way from home. He had the raw talent/athleticism and needed to develop. Coaching and desire has made him a pro prospect. Was he a 2 or 3 star recruit? Great story.

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  3. You’re right notrocket. Guys we’re calling him “stone hands”, “slick handed”, etc.
    Wow, if he improves even more for this year, and monster Mathews improves they could potentially be the greatest threat fearsome duo Pitt has ever had. Holy Moly Batman!

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  4. About the title and the yips word. So often when an athlete has the yips or gets the yips, it becomes a chronic problem. Some examples: Johnny Miller the golfer, he just quit playing the game because of the yips. How about second baseman Steve Sax? He couldn’t throw the ball to first base because of the yips. Sammie Coates, I don’t know if he has the yips or not but he cannot catch a forward pass for nothing. Let’s hope that Jester was just new to WR and his concentration was lacking. I hate that word “yips”

    I’ll side with you Reed on Tyler Boyd not being missed…… but PITT would have been a whole better with him if that makes any sense? Some of those big first downs PITT needed early in the season may have been converted?? Who really knows though?

    I think we can bank on Browne having a strong arm. My worries are more about his accuracy and gamesmanship skills. Although after looking at his numbers from the first few games last year they aren’t bad at all. It’s great he enrolled in January.

    Reed, Did you figure out that modulation problem? It needs to be in proper modulation. Haven’t talked to the son for a few days did you call? Looks like the golf tournament is shaping up to be a real classic. I looked up Quicksilver and it’s further away than I thought… Dam it… I really feel jealous.

    Let’s not forget about Reuben (sandwich) (spring) Flowers, highly thought of with great size and speed. He could be a sleeper coming into next year… ike

    H2P

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    1. Ike, google “Steve Blass disease”. Speaking of golfing yips … I was pretty much a bogey golfer scoring constantly in mid 80s. Then, at a chemical association outing in Hudson OH in May of 1986, I started to hit all of my irons to the right …. not a slice, but pretty much at a 45 deg angle. From then on … save for a handful of rounds … my golf game has been pathetic for the most part. I still hit my woods (metal) great but completely lack confidence in my iron play.

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  5. I think A. Mathews is going to be the breakout receiver this year with solid contributions from the tight ends as well. Looking even further ahead, something tells me that Kenny Pickett is going to give TMac a battle royale for the starting QB job in 2018.

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  6. For whatever reason, Nate Peterman could not throw an accurate pass to Aaron Mathews. I was kind of bizarre, and the number of attempts wasn’t that high, but the passes were ugly. I agree that AM is going to be a good WR and likely a starter this season.

    I like the idea of giving Henderson some carries out of the backfield. While we have good running backs, the one thing we lack is a back who can put the move on the first tackler and be off to the races. Henderson has that ability.

    Thank goodness that BB season is over….

    Go Pitt.

    PS: Reed – just mailing my payment for the golf outing to you today…

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  7. Reed, I do remember you writing that Boyd’s loss would not be as big as we all were thinking it would be ,,, but note it was a team effort to do so. Weah became an very effective target for the long passes but Henderson became a master of another Boyd specialty, the flanker sweep (or whatever you term it.) Of course, Peterman coming of age and a coordinator who optimized his resources certainly contributed.

    And like last year .. we should have a variety of resources to lean on in 2017.

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  8. Weah was superb, especially when Ford went down for most of the year.

    I know this is about wide receivers, but their play was obviously enhanced by the options Peterman had in Orndoff and Conner allowing him to spread the ball around.Hopefully we have good options at all positions this year.

    I also think Tipton will step up if he can stay healthy, a junior this year he should put on some muscle.

    I guess we will find out pretty quickly how well Brown reads the field and checks down to the open guy.

    Great to have a deep threat in Weah.

    I notice no mention of Robert Foster. Like the linebacker from MSU, do we really need him? He is supposed to make a decision after their spring game last time I heard anything.

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  9. Mathews and Flowers are both big strong guys that need more opportunities. I see Foster as a distraction, much like the linebacker. Now if there is a fifth year pass rusher out there…

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  10. GC, as far as needed them? I don’t know for sure but what’s the real harm in having Foster? Rescke may bring some baggage with him so I don’t care if he comes on board or not. If Rescke did come to PITT, they only has young guys at that position right now so he would be a big help. A ready made LBer who knows Narduzzi’s system even if Pat doesn’t stick his nose in their business.. lol ….. ike

    H2P

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  11. wwb, When I was writing my comment the first guy I thought of was Blass, then I forgot to include him. A classic case of the yips. Hard to shake the yips. It’s a hideous disease.

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  12. I vote for the LB baggage and all. Not sure we need Foster as I do believe we have some talent on the roster now that needs some playing time at WR.—-I hope you folks realize that Henderson is a problem for the Pitt offense that needs correcting before next season kicks off. For as outstanding as he was on those “jet sweeps” and on special teams, he was almost as ineffective as a wide out. He should be moved into a slot position as a receiver and try to get him the ball on crossing patterns much like Brady uses his slot receivers in New England. By the way that’s how he will be used in the NFL unless he turns himself into Antonio Brown over the next year.

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  13. I think Weah is misused and should be a DB. He will never make it at WR at the next level. Defense is where his future lies and anyone who can’t see that is crazy.
    Signed, Upitts goat.

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  14. ^^^ lol, ^^ Hey man (JoeKnew) nice shot…

    BTW Reed, your graphics are really outstanding.

    For some of our younger commenters. In 1976, PITT played and won games against Notre Dame, Penn State, West Virginia, Miami, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Syracuse, Duke, Navy, Army and a tough game against Temple. 21-7, then went on to beat Georgia for the national Championship— 27-3.

    Imagine playing Penn State, Notre Dame, and West Virginia the same season. That would be way cool… ike

    H2P

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  15. I was in the group that was hopeful for Jester Weah because of his size and speed. I remember Coach Chryst putting him into games so I figured he must have been catching the ball in practices. I held out hope until the spring game last season – I figured he either has to show it there or it’s not coming. Well, he did not look so good in the spring game, though he had a couple of catches – but I assumed at that point that he was not going to be the answer. Happy for him and Pitt that I was wrong….

    The deep balls to Jester were great, but those slant passes were awesome – by both Nate and Jester. Can still see Jester catching that slant against the Cuse at arms length and then flying past the Cuse’s secondary…

    Go Pitt.

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  16. I was also not a Weah fan simply because he could not catch. A pretty crucial issue for a WR. I am happy that Jester proved me wrong and has developed into a solid veteran receiver.

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  17. Weah couldn’t miss a ball in practice… he caught everything his first two years here. It was when he went into the scrimmages and when he went into the games when he started dropping everything that came his way. His is a case of really maturing as stated above.

    Ike, I may need some recording practice over the weekend. Seriously.

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  18. A bit off topic but, what could possibly be taking so long to find the next AD? Just like coaches, shouldn’t every school have a list of prospective candidates , gauge their interest and make a choice ? My confidence in this administration weakens with every prolonged hiring process.

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    1. Never fear PittPT! I have heard from a high authority that the Board of Trustees are currently in the secret sub-basement beneath the Cathedral of Learning asking The Great Queen Yinzer Spider for guidance on selecting the new AD. They are very serious as they have offered the spider not only a dozen Mrs. T’s pierogies but also a Primanti’s sandwich. I understand they have narrowed the selection down to a restuarant size bottle of Heinz ketchup, a cardboard cutout of Fred Rogers and Donnie Iris. Mrs. Blum is leaning towards selecting Donnie Iris saying “Doesn’t an iris have something to do with eyes? And eyes produce vision? The Board of Trustees are supposed to produce a vision so it all kind of relates!” She then asked why the sandwich offered to the spider had french fries and coleslaw on it.

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  19. Quite a bit off topic but did anyone notice that Jamie Dixon’s TCU team beat #1 Kansas in the Big 12 tournament last night?

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    1. watched the last 5 minutes. TCU won in final seconds when its player was fouled (legit call) and sank 3 FTs … and then Kansas missed a 3-pointer at buzzer. Quite a contrast when Pitt lost many close post-season games in recent history. Another contrast is that the score was in the 80s.

      Nonetheless, kudos to JD. 1st thing he did when he got to TCU was to hire a super recruiter from LSU, and he uses 3 freshmen — all in the top 6 scorers on team. Their leading scorer averages only 13.9, but they have 4 players averaging double figures.

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  20. Anyone down on Weah when he was a FR or SO doesn’t get college sports. Same with being down on a freshman basketball player. These kids all performed in high school. Weah had a butt load of catches in high school. Some kids just have an adjustment period.

    Credit to the coaches seeing his talent and keeping him focussed and credit to Weah for the hard work. Hopefully he is continuing that over this winter, spring and summer.

    I do think Pitt takes too long to hire coaches/administration. They did their homework on Barnes and look how that turned out. Maybe they are trying to hire Tressel and the morality clauses in his contract are taking months, LOL.

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  21. Mr Yeti, you mentioned a secret sub-basement room. Did you know there actually is a secret room or whole floor near the top of The Cathedral of Learning? The regular elevator doesn’t stop on this floor.

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    1. 41? 37 was offices when I was there. I think 38-39 was a double floor to hold the elevator equipment. 40 is the Babcock room. 41 was to hold radio equipment for the microwave dish and other antennas?? 42 was just the top floor with nothing much. Its been a long time since I had to think about it and am probably wrong.

      The University had many little nooks. The steam tunnels were cool. You could walk from the Schenley Quad to Forbes Quad w/o ever going above ground.

      The “penthouse” on Tower B housed all the equipment for the cell phone antennas located on Tower B. The roof of Tower B was a great place to hang out on a summer day. Nobody could see ou up there since you were the tallest building in the immediate area.

      The penthouse of Tower A held a nice bachelor pad for the Resident Director. They even built him a patio on the roof!

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      1. I was in Tower Babbo for a year in the ’60’s. I was told it was where the football players were housed, too but I don’t recall any names. Of course there were no cell phone towers there. We has one pay phone on the floor and when it rang, you hoped your name would be yelled out.

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  22. Just an observation…a lot of people like to follow people that left Pitt or Pitt missed out on (recruits). Y’all like living in the ‘what might have been’ world. Did you stalk the girl that turned you down for a date? LOL

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  23. notrocketscience… “Did you stalk the girl that turned you down for a date?”

    Why yes… yes I did! How did you know? But there is a disclaimer here… That girl, a Pitt student in the 1967-70 time frame, became Miss Pennsylvania in the Miss USA pageant, and also was a runner-up for Miss PA in a later Miss America contest. At Pitt, she wound up getting some publicity as the Pitt football “Water Girl” for one season, which had her run out on the field in skimpy shorts and a well-fitting t-shirt with a water bucket. It was a brainchild of Dean Billick, an Assoc Athletic Director, who ran the Golden Panther organization during that time as I recall.

    My “stalking” wound up to be in forming a friendship with her and following her exploits over the next 10 yrs, plus taking any available opportunity just to be seen with her around campus (but never got a date)!!

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  24. Nola69… got on this thread late and saw your post but something is missing … seems there should be ( like Paul Harvey used to say) ” here’s the rest of the story.” Ian I missing an earlier post leading to the scantily clad ” water queen ?

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  25. Anyone remember the name Joe Avezzano? The goofy special teams coach for Dallas back in the day. He looked like Uncle Leo a little. He also was the head coach of Oregon State from 1980-1984. He was an assistant head coach for Johnny Majors on the “76” National Championship team.

    Here are some others that were asst coaches between 76-83:
    Jackie Sherrill
    Foge Fazio
    Jimmie Johnson
    Pat Jones
    Joe Morre
    Joe Pendry
    Dave Wannstedt
    Bobby Roper

    Those are some names. Talk about a coaching tree.

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  26. If Browne connects with the PITT offense and he can show any flashes of being a 5 star QB out of high school I can see Weah becoming a first rd pick next year. He has the speed and size that the NFL scouts are looking for.

    I don’t see Henderson becoming the great receiver though.

    Tipton has shown he can catch the ball in space. Needs to show he can catch in traffic.

    Aaron Mathews looks like a future star. Tough as nails and big.

    Flowers is being overlooked a little. Came to PITT with high expectations.

    Ffrench may be on the defensive side of the ball before all is said and done??

    Rafael Lopes-Araujo looked good at the end of last year. Could be a surprise player?

    Zach Challingsworth? Is he still on the team?

    Micheal Smith looks like a diamond in the rough. Would love to see the young gun get some early playing time..

    D Butler is supposedly a man-child type.

    D Street will red-shirt.

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  27. 6’3” , 210 — and probably runs a 4.40 forty yard dash.

    He and Max Browne are gonna be a Lethal Duo next season 🙂

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    1. If a saw that 2016 Weah highlight video and Boyd’s 2015 highlight video I would think Weah was the better receiver. Not sure I would say that if we were comparing the 2016 Weah video with the Boyd 2014 video.

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  28. Lol I’m great — Mom kicked me out of the basement, so had to get a job…been a lil busy 🙂 🙂 🙂 — no I’m always here just stalking around and enjoying the conversations — I gotta call in though and discuss these topics in person! 🙂

    Okay — going to play Senior Psychoanalyst here and say why this moment turned me around about why Kevin Stallings might just actually be able to make it happen with his guys at Pitt—–

    I’ve never seen this side of Stallings obviously, only the super Milquetoast, blah-version he shows in interview and press conferences….but I LOVED seeing this!!

    Ryan Luther was like a little puppy getting yelled at — which showed me that behind the scenes Kevin Stallings is the Alpha over these guys. It showed me Mike Young and Jamel Artis were just guys not strong enough who folded 😦 😦 vs. what I worried about — that Kevin Stallings was getting pushed-around behind the scenes.

    I was worried Jamel Artis and Mike Young were being insurgent insubordinates constantly underminding Stallings behind closed-doors. After that moment I realized that Kevin Stallings just gave them the business and had zero fear to push them and they just wilted under Tuff’ Luv, straight-up.

    I kinda want to see how hard these youngins play next season and if they fight harder in the face of adversity, or Wilt like delicate Roses under a Heat-Lamp like Jamel Artis and Mike Young did this year, showing their true “Character” as Seniors in their last hurrah.

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  29. Hey DK, two things.

    Glad to see you figured out the weak links on PITT’s hoop team this year. Only the strong survive.

    #2, you’re booked on the call in show Tuesday night @ 8 PM.

    Upitt, you too, make plans for Tuesday night. Need others as well. It’s like Jumpin Jack flash it’s Gas Gas Gas.

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    1. so you’re the coach and you’re not reaching your two best players who are in their 4th year with your method … do you change or keep trying? And by the way … when Young and Artis sat for 10 minutes, the team went down 19 to 2, so obviously the coach hasn’t done much good with the other players.. Young and Artis were so much more important to the team than the alleged coach was.

      I saw a pretty much directionless team the entire year with no other game plan if their shots weren’t falling. Just about every game, win or loss, there would be a long drought when they would go without a FG for up to 14:52, and the coach would rarely if ever call a TO because he had no other plan. This $2M per coach is considered an offensive genius ….. really??

      This is the HC who had two No. 1 draft picks this past year, yet finished with only 19 wins … in the SEC, not the ACC. Vandy has just about reached that this year with a new coach and a bunch of new players.

      Pitt could have attracted many good candidates, yet only ONE candidate was interviewed. He is a fraud brought ere under fraudulent circumstances!

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      1. and don’t give me this lack of discipline BS. Last year, Stallings yelled publicly to one of his players .. I’ll f…king kill you!” What would happen if a player would yell that to a coach?

        Stallings should be shot … not praised.

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  30. BigB wrote: “Nola69… got on this thread late and saw your post but something is missing … seems there should be ( like Paul Harvey used to say) ” here’s the rest of the story.” Ian I missing an earlier post leading to the scantily clad ” water queen ?”

    BigB… nah there was no “rest of the story” (that I’ll admit to!). I was just jagging notrocketscience a lil’ bit for his stalking comment. What you did miss, however, was seeing that Pitt “Water Girl” decorate the Pitt football stadium sideline during a time of less-than-stellar Pitt football teams. She was definitely worth watching!

    I was the Pitt Band Operations Crew leader back then, so was able to roam the sidelines during games and wander over her way to appreciate the view! It was also my “job” back then to entice the opposing team’s cheerleaders to come around to the home side of the stadium to do a cheer in front of the Pitt Band section. I took that responsibility quite seriously!!!

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  31. We Pitt fans are in for a treat this season because of the decision of “Mad Max” Browne to follow in the footsteps of both Savage & Peterman as our newest grad transfer QB secret weapon. This will be the deciding factor in Pitt having another winning season rather than a rebuilding one as Narduzzi’s last two recruiting classes get oriented into the two deep roster for 2017. Not that Thomas MacVittie is chopped liver, but without Mad Max we get ourselves a potentially good QB on the field without any real competition right behind him.

    That being said, I fully anticipate Browne being the guy under center come the YSU game but MacVittie will be breathing down his neck all season long looking for his chance to get on the field himself. That kind of competition within the team at such an important position is just good for everybody while providing a little security blanket for the coaches if, heaven forbid, injury befalls the starter.

    I was very apprehensive about the QB spot before “Mad Max” became a Panther, now I’m thinking this season, not 2018 just might be the breakout one for Coach Duzz. Our offense is going to be lethal this season with a veteran QB in place. Sure we know what guys Weah, Henderson, Aston & Mathews can do but now add to the mix Rubin Flowers and Michael Smith and the potential attack by air that Pitt could mount is very impressive.

    A four wideout look of Weah, Mathews, Flowers & Smith is a scary proposition for any secondary to have to contend with. Height, size & speed all over the field. Then with the requisite drop back in coverage of both the SS & FS, maybe even with a LB dropping back to fill the over the middle gap in coverage there is no pressure on the QB giving him time to go through his progression to find the open receiver while he picks the secondary apart. Watching Pitt do that to opponents instead of the Panthers being the victims of it, like in 2016, will be a 180 degree about face for us this season.

    We are so talented at the WR position now that Smith may not even get his chance this year. Tipton & Lopes are seasoned producers in their own right and only lack the height advantage of our talented new comer. Believe me when I predict big things for Smith. Just like Flowers, his HS highlight videos demonstrate a very high ceiling for this kid’s potential. Smith runs good routes, has good hands and already demonstrates excellent body control and the talent to catch the ball away from his body with his sure hands. Plus you can’t beat having a 17 year old already going 6′ 2″ at 205. Wait till he gets into the weight room.

    And we haven’t even mentioned Chris Clark in the passing game equation. Another transfer secret weapon at TE. It’s all good.

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  32. Darkie … great analysis of the basketball team… makes a helluva lot of sense…Maybe just maybe he gets recruits who can shoot, defend, hustle with real smarts who are coachable… I quit watching the sport when John Havelicek retired, game I played had totally changed but still hope our team represents our university well… what little I saw was disgusting…. that would have been a tough group to coach… frustration all around – fans, coaches and players…
    Thank God for 🏈 and Dr. Tom’s words that bring comfort and excitement looking to the 2017 FB season.

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  33. Vanderbilt currently has 19 wins this year with a new coach and new players …. Vandy had 19 wins last year despite the fact they had two No. 1 NBA draft picks.

    Last year Pitt had 21 wins; this year 15 wins … and Pitt didn’t lose two No. 1 picks from last year.

    In the 1st 15 years of this millennium, Pitt is in the top 10 in total wins, despite playing in the two best BB conferences. Yet Vanderbilt was able to hire a much better candidate for HC than Pitt did … by all national accounts.

    Darkie, Ike and BigB, I really, really don’t think the problem this year was Artis and Young, who have started 4 years and, and despite this one, still rank as the winnngest players at Pitt.

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      1. an oh by the way … Michael Young played about half of his freshman season with a broken bone in his back, and a couple games this year with a broken orbital bone in his eye

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  34. Dr T – as always your optimism shines through, especially with Max Browne. I’m not nearly as sure he’ll be the star you think he will be behind Center. If he matches Peterman’s first year or Voytik’s 2015 year I’ll be happy.

    Right now I’m thinking 20 TDs thrown might be the upper limit for him.

    As to future QBs? Watch Pickett after this season -he’s more physically talented than MacVitte.

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  35. wwb, like BigB I’m really not that invested in the PITT BB program for now. I don’t think I’m being a fair-weather fan though. It was Dixon that started me on the trail of pending doom. Many could see this coming a mile away. Those two guys averaged so many points because 1, no one else would shoot the ball and 2, they wouldn’t let anyone else shoot the ball. Did you watch the senior night game? Artis had the ball with a wide open C Johnson under the basket and still forced his shot up. Yes Stallings was screaming at him while yanking Artis out of the game. All the while Artis talking back at him. When Young would get the ball he wasn’t giving up very often. He would go into his deliberate moves pounding the ball on the floor until he eventually turned the ball over. This happened way too many times.

    but like I said, I really don’t care all that much at this point. I don’t like Stallings, seriously… but the guy deserves a chance. Let Dixon go, he is the one who fled the program, he was never forced out. Plus, I understand the way Stallings was hired was very shady but that wasn’t Stallings fault either. This will be my final say in this matter, well until next year I guess… peace to you wwb… …ike

    H2P!

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    1. juts because I disagree with someone doesn’t mean I don’t like him. I agree a lot more with you (ike), BigB and even DK more than I disagree.

      The fact is that while I didn’t like the hiring, I was OK with KS in the pre-season. But as the year had progressed, I have increasingly been turned off by his post-game whines … they were totally unnecessary. A leader accepts blame when thing go wrong, after all, he is in charge.

      As HC he deserves respect …. but I don’t care what position you hold .. you have to maintain respect, and I don’t believe Stallings did a good job at that at all.

      Like

  36. Reed, don’t worry. You will be happy. I guarantee it.
    Heinz Field, the new ThunderDome for Mad Max to play in for 2017.

    BTW, finally collected on my bet with Upittbaseball when he was down in Savannah recently. Contrary to popular opinion, the guy does not have horns & a pointed tail. He picked up the entire bill for dinner & drinks plus he threw in nice cigars that got smoked out on the riverside while we watched some huge container ships push out of port on the Savannah River.

    It’s going to be a lot harder for me to bust Upitt’s balls now when he gets into his trash talking on all things Pitt simply because I understand the motivation behind his negativity now. He’s just a regular guy who had a bumpy ride while pursuing his baseball dreams during his time at Pitt, and just carries a little grudge for an administration that could have done him better than it did.

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  37. Dr Tom and Upitt and everyone else. Here’s a guy I met and he has had his ups and downs when considering tough luck. “Baseball Joe” He’s an amazing individual who made me feel small in comparison to him, hope the link works.

    blackandgoldworld.blogspot.com/2010/09/baseball-joe-faithfully-passionate.html

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