Tuesday Night Round Table; 3/14/17

Well, we just finished our 2nd Round Table discussion and it was a good one.  Thanks so much to Dr. Tom, Ike and our late-comer TX Panther.

Lots of great conversation, some agreements – some disagreements but what a nice evening!

I hope you all can see and hear this video – we are still in the ‘learning mode” but I think I got it.

Enjoy!

 

59 thoughts on “Tuesday Night Round Table; 3/14/17

  1. Really enjoyed the interview with Dr Tom as well as Ike’s comments. As a Pitt fan, we all can identify with the high points and low points discussed … although I was surprised nobody mentioned 48-14 as a low point, which gets my vote. Clemson has to rank with 13-9 as the two high points for me … although finally beating PSU in ’76 should also rank highly (especially since I watched the game with two PSU alums.)

    FWIW, this coming season … I believe we are in for a pretty rough September, but will become a good team become October. Also for RB …. IMO Moss and/or AJ Davis will be featured.

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  2. Really enjoyed the podcast Reed…Dr. Tom, is that a picture of Augusta National behind you? Watching on my phone…hard to see. Totally agree with you regarding the Clemson game. Best game I attended and I was a freshman in 1968.

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  3. Great hour of Pitt conversation . Listened while doing work notes this AM. You guys got me all fired up for FB season. Thank you and H2P!

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  4. I should borrow my wife’s green screen she has at school and use it for the next call in. I can make my background old Pitt stadium!

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  5. I don’t have a green screen but if I did, I’d probably use the Pitt Panther wall on Old Pennsylvania Hall for my backdrop. I’m sure Big B can relate.

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  6. @ Lastrow, very observant, yep that’s an Augusta National painting in the background. My office decor is all about the Golf since we moved down to Savannah. We live in a golf community named The Landings. One club membership gives you six golf courses situated all around our Skidaway Island Paradise to play, a true golf Mecca, all just a short golf cart ride away from our house.

    To reiterate my personal impression that last season was a successful campaign, I’ve linked one of last season’s highlighs on the eve of Spring camp below. Watch what I consider the most professionally produced Livewire episode of 2016, IMO. After viewing, if that doesn’t leave you with a lump in your throat, well then you ain’t a diehard Pitt fan. “THEY DON’T RESPECT, THEY’RE GOING FIND OUT!
    They found out alright. Hail to Pitt!

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    1. “AND WE DON’T NEED A GAME BALL” as coach Narduzzi slings the football across the room to the cheers of his committed players.

      The Pursuit is back on!

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  7. This concept is great. I look forward to future round tables.. maybe joining one.

    Dr. Tom. What can say but.. Phi Alpha, sir.

    Remember, a True Gentleman wouldn’t post crude language. 😁

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  8. Very enjoyable. Dr. Tom with the headset looks like he is auditioning to be color commentator for Pitt. Go for it and thanks for the link.

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  9. Wasn’t Dr Tom something last night? I got to tell you guys, he was hit with some great questions from Reed and responded with some very interesting replies. I hope that didn’t intimidate anyone to jump in.. (we’re not all built like that) Reed is thinking he will put out some different topics to talk about ahead of time so you guys can do a little research so you won’t sound as goofy as myself. BTW, Ed McMahon is retired and that’s what I’m hoping to do when more of you guys join in. I find this round-table discussions format absolutely fascinating and a great addition to the Pitt POV blog. ….ike …. btw, i sent an e-mail to you

    … H2P!

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  10. BTW… as you can see with me, you don’t have to use the camera or the microphone. You can just listen in. I don’t have a camera on my monitor but if you do just turn it off. Bluejeans is so easy it’s silly.

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  11. Narduzzi with 12:30 presser to provide info on spring practice, which I believe starts tomorrow. He also made a couple of hires to the staff … I believe part time hires or GAs, (don’t totally understand) but anyway .. Ben Cotten, former Nebraska TE and Graham Wilbert, former FAU QB.

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  12. Tweets of HCPN presser from PG’s Brian Batko: (a few gems)

    Narduzzi says Max Browne lives on the South Side and gets to walk to work every day. “Work” of course is Pitt’s practice facility.

    Pat Narduzzi says Pitt RB Qadree Ollison is “a hundred percent different from where he was a year ago.” Maybe back to that 2015 form?

    Perusing Pitt football’s spring prospectus, looks like redshirt freshmen OL Brandon Ford and Justin Morgan will be competing at guard.

    At linebacker, Chase Pine and Elias Reynolds are in the mix behind Quintin Wirginis at mike, Saleem Brightwell and Elijah Zeise at money.

    Pitt RB Darrin Hall will not practice this spring. Still banged up from the bowl game, Narduzzi wants to be careful with him.

    Dewayne Hendrix, who missed last season at DE, not 100 percent per Narduzzi but will practice this spring.

    Pat Narduzzi’s expectation for Aliquippa’s Kaezon Pugh, moved to DE? “Ejuan Price, that’s our expectation.” Lofty praise, there.

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  13. Trib’s DiPaola tweets:

    Kaezon Pugh: Moving to DE. “He may be a little bit bigger Ejuan Price. You don’t know what you have yet. He’s a guy who can still play RB.”

    RB Darrin Hall, “Not back to 100 percent. He won’t go out there and risk anything this spring.”

    Zeise has moved from Star to Money LB. “He’s 245 pounds. His dad better watch out. He’s going to kick his butt.”

    DE Hendrix: “Is he 100 percent healthy, probably not. But he’s good enough to go out there and practice.”

    TE: “Definitely a concern. That’s why we brought in three (freshmen).” But the freshman won’t show up until summer.” Little rest for Clark.

    Lack of depth at TE: “Maybe we’ll play with five wideouts, I don’t know.” He was only half-kidding.
    aleni, “He has come so far. You look at him, `What happened to you?’ He’s made some major strides.”

    Narduzzi: “Hope are kids are bigger, faster, stronger.” Squad 95 percent healthy. Won’t talk about injuries, though.

    Finally – tweet from Chris Peak indicates that Whitehead is healthy and will practice this spring

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  14. Thanks wwb.

    Yes Taleni was one of two players that Narduzzi mentioned as having made ” huge strides” .. QAdree Ollison the other. I capitalized the A in Ollison’s name emphasizing there is no U. As in Quadree Henderson.

    Pugh ran out of the backfield last year in practice because of his speed. HCPN pointed out something like this. He has hands of stone. < paraphrasing a bit.

    Hall is only 90% which isn’t too bad.

    Overall I’m ready for some PITT football, how bout you guys!!

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  15. I remember when Pugh was leading the Quips to state final game, there were a few references that he a great athlete who could play either side of the ball in D1. FWIW, all of the scouting services listed him as a LB. He was 4-star at Rivals, a high 3 on Scout, ESPN & 247.

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  16. Amazed that no one mentioned their worst Pitt football experience as being the Penn State 48-14 loss in 1981. If you were at the game, you have to have that as the worst game ever. Marino and company came out of the gate with two touchdowns and then the bottom fell out!

    Clemson game this past year was my best experience especially since I was there! Fully expected to watch a blowout by Clemson.

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    1. You could be right John, I watched that game from a hospital bed while recovering from pulmonary embolism after serious knee surgery. I have worse memories of that day. but that PITT loss didn’t help much.

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    2. I agree John. I was so pissed 😡 about that game, that I threw a chair through my apartment wall during the game. So immature of me, but true.

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  17. Zeise, 245 lbs. I guess any thought of him playing CB or even safety are now long over. I called this a long time ago. I’ll bet the young man still runs as fast as anyone that weight.

    Pugh, Zeise, Brightwell, Wirgins, Coleman, and Taleni. Speed speed speed. Maybe Toddy had something there?

    Watch out for PITT’s defense this coming season. The Narduzzi effect will be in full force!

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  18. Hell I talk to Dr Tom one night and now I’ve been infected by his optimism. Actually, I think I am every bit as optimistic, it’s just I hate to say it out loud.

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  19. Thank you Reed, Dr Tom and Ike. Great discussion and always enjoy the historical points about Pitt football. I still remember the home game when Pitt beat PSU 10-0 and Mike Gottfried was running down the sideline with the ball carrier who just made the interception. My daughter who was 10 years at the time threatened to attack the girl’s behind us as they repeatedly yelled…we are! You know the rest. Great times…..

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  20. More stuff from today’s Narduuzi’s presser.

    PITT will only have 11 seniors on scholarship this coming year.

    Zach Gilbert is no longer on the PITT roster…

    PITT has a new walk on QB, Jake Zilinskas. Played at Indiana high school and I believe he is a grad transfer??

    Weight?

    Allen Edwards has already put on 15 lbs, up to 270.

    Pugh gained 35 lbs up to 245 lbs

    Watts 270 now 285 lbs

    Flowers now at 200 from 190 lbs

    Mathews from 195 to 200 lbs Pine from 210 to 240 lbs big jump.

    Weaver gained10 lbs up to 265

    Pine jumped 20 lbs to 240 lbs.

    and in this report Zeise only jumped 5 lbs to 230.

    J Morgan lost 10 down to 355. ha ha

    Ollison lost 5 pds and Narduzzi is very happy with him

    and finally for now, Dantino is #1 on the depth chart at center.

    ….ike

    H2P

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  21. This from David Hale of the AAC:
    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    This offseason, Pitt’s coaches have provided the secondary with what amounts to a horror movie marathon. The game film from last season was split up, and each day, players rewatch one big play after another. It’s brutal.

    But there’s another thing Jordan Whitehead noticed watching the film, too.

    “It was the same mistakes over and over,” Whitehead said. “And it’s correctable.”

    It’s spring, a time for silver linings. The ugliness of last season — five games with 400 passing yards allowed, 66.3 percent of receiver targets caught — is in the rearview mirror, and Whitehead is convinced there’s a fresh perspective within the group that will make all the difference.

    Gone are seniors Ryan Lewis, Reggie Mitchell and Terrish Webb. In their place, a healthy Whitehead and a host of sophomores — Damar Hamlin, Jay Stocker, Dane Jackson — and incoming freshman Paris Ford will be the foundation of a new-look secondary. Aside from three-year starter Avonte Maddox, all were recruited by Pat Narduzzi, and they all know what’s expected of them as Pitt opens spring practice.

    “The mentality has changed a lot,” said Whitehead, the ACC’s top freshman defender in 2015 before struggles and injuries set him back as a sophomore. “The coaches are more comfortable with us, and the players are more comfortable.”

    Perhaps “comfortable” is the wrong word. No one is feeling particularly secure. It’s simply that they’re more aware of the expectations, and the coaches are eager to drive home the point.

    Take those video breakdowns of all the big plays, for example. It’s not as if Pitt needed a reminder of how badly it struggled against the pass last season. The 61 points surrendered to Syracuse (playing with a backup QB) serve that purpose nicely. The point of the videos is to suggest how easily Pitt’s DBs seemed to slip into a comfort zone — to be in position to make a play but fail to finish the job. For the season, the Panthers allowed 60 plays of 20 yards or more through the air — more than any other Power 5 program.

    “So this spring, our mentality is to not let the offense catch anything,” Whitehead said.

    In other words, every snap is significant. There’s no cushion, no chance to relax.

    That’s a lesson Whitehead didn’t need film to learn.

    As a freshman, Whitehead was a star. He led the country in tackles by a freshman, was a centerpiece of Narduzzi’s defense, even played a few snaps on offense to showcase his talent. As a sophomore, his season began with a meniscus injury and ended with an arm injury that cost him the final four games of the year.

    The time away from the field and the helpless feeling watching his teammates get torched by Syracuse and Northwestern was all the inspiration he needed.

    “You only get so many games in college,” Whitehead said, “and you have to make every moment count on the field.”

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    1. Ike, I’m buying what you’re selling. Our secondary will be improved, whether it’s a metamorphosis or not depends on too many variables at this point to predict.
      I’d exchange “confident” for “comfortable” as far as the attitude that I’d like to see in that defensive secondary crew. The potential is there. How long will it take to acquire the swagger is my biggest question?

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    2. from above …. “The point of the videos is to suggest how easily Pitt’s DBs seemed to slip into a comfort zone — to be in position to make a play but fail to finish the job”

      It was the Jimmys and the Joes

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  22. Reed ,, Loved the call in format as it paints another picture of thought provoking commentary of Pitt athletics. We are blessed to have the technology today allowing us to share our insights.

    A question for next week: “Where did the explosive offense come from??”. We have talked about how bad the defense was, however, no one predicted a top tier offensive unit last year. What made that offense so special??

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  23. Reed, Doc & Ike – well done!

    Reed – pulled this quote for you from Narduzzi’s presser today –

    Regarding J.Taleni: “But it’s still early in the process. We don’t need to find captains or anything until fall, and it’s something we’re developing. I mean, there are some guys, I’ll mention Jeremiah Taleni. He’s come so far, it’s unbelievable. The kid has really become a leader. I’m watching him in one of the workouts coach up the young guys. That’s when you start to see it.

    I’m not saying he’s a captain. We’ll find out in August or September, but right now you kind of look at him like, what happened to you? He’s made some major strides in that.”

    HTP!

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  24. Ike – if you dont have a microphone how do you communicate? Still think Dr. Tom is vying to be the new Pitt color analyst.
    Tomorrow day two of AD interviews at Greater Pitt. No names but the sluggish process moves forward. It worries me that apparently some (most) candidates are flying in from outside the area. All we need is another carpetbagger.
    H2P.
    So the final JD recruit from last year is gone – what a mess of a program. Bring on spring ball and the POV golf outing!!

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  25. rkb, I do have a mic I bought at radio shack. When you go on Reed’s link, you do have an option to communicate by phone or cpu. cpu is better but not much different. Here’s the deal.. ….You need to go on and give it a trail run. Hit the link Reed gave us, then join in as a guest, then type in code 5713314009. If you have a camera and/or mic, hit cpu, you can then turn either one or both off…..You need to go on and give it a trail run. You’ll get in but no one will be there but you will see how easy it is… Day or night you can go in and check it out beforehand. no harm…

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  26. I called in to last week’s Roundtable discussion using my Iphone, so you don’t need to use a computer to do it.. It was very easy!

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  27. Just had the chance to listen to the podcast. Congrats to Reed, Dr. Tom and Ike on an excellent job. So nice to hear some Pitt talk – and it’s only going to get better as spring ball unfolds. Well, at least we’ll get some coach-speak…

    Go Pitt.

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  28. Totally optimistic about next season. See the team being 1-2 at worst then running the table, with a berth in the ACC Championship game.

    Defensive backfield will be improved 100%. Now that slow footed Galambos is gone I see the LB core as a strength – young but hungry. Pass rush will be improved after the first 3 or 4 games. Yes- HCPN can coach up players. Run D will be very good.

    Offensively will be a drop off – but at the worst Browne will make DiNucci and or MacVittie get better. Either option seems adequate at this time. (Still not sold on MacVittte but DiNuccci’s heart in the bowl game have made me reevaluate his prospects.)

    Receiving corp will be spectacular and the running game is no less then a full stable of studs – I predict will be the best in Div one as a unit.

    O line will be good enough in a ‘down’ year for the ACC coastal.

    H2P

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  29. Narduzzi’s comments about Ollison and Taleni were particularly interesting, looks like both will get some serious opportunities in the spring to put themselves in position to be stars next year … we’ll see what they do!

    I also thought it was very interesting how apparently several LBs added some major pounds. Let’s hope they haven’t sacrificed speed/athleticism in the process. They have to be able to play a role in stopping the pass, as well as using speed when blitzing QBs.

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  30. Taleni and Ollison have the most game experience at their positions, coach better be talking these two up and hope the young’uns pay attention.

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  31. I guess I’ll have to be considered the “doubting Thomas” on the improvement in the Pitt secondary this coming season. Playing in the same scheme as last year I can only see IF Pitt is able to get consistent pressure on the opposition QB. Maybe our upfront speed on D will be able to provide that added pressure. But absent that I see only a marginal improvement in the secondary from last year.

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    1. You have every right to be sceptical and I certainly agree that Pitt needs more pressure on the opposing QB, no doubt whatsoever. But here is an excerpt of the David Hale ACC article referenced by ike above, “The point of the videos is to suggest how easily Pitt’s DBs seemed to slip into a comfort zone — to be in position to make a play but fail to finish the job”

      Coaching can put the players in position to make the plays, but the players have to make them. This is where I hope more speed and athleticism can finish the play. Now, I believe the DB will takes their lumps early, especially vs PSU and OSU which may well be the 2 best passing attacks they face all year. It will take a while for these players to grow and adapt, and shouldn’t be surprising if assignments are missed … but I can’t see where our DB unit won’t ultimately outperform last year’s unit starting early October.

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  32. Thanks Darkie, Dr Tom is a natural/professional BS’er. lol. He can sure spin a yarn. So Reed has you in for next Tuesday night at 8:00. Get ready everyone!! An all-star cast for sure!

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  33. In honor of the hard work that our football squad is about to put forth in the name & honor of our beloved University during Spring practices.

    Hail to Pitt!

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  34. According to Alan Saunders reporting on PSN, Zack Gilbert is no longer on the Pitt Football roster. If this is an accurate report it will be a loss of legacy player since Zack is Sean Gilbert’s Son. Zack remains as a student at the University however. Best of luck to you in the future Zack.

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    1. This is bad news Doc. I mentioned this in an earlier comment in this article and I thought I may have buried this info with too much other PITT stuff above. PITT has had their share of misfortune with some of their better recruits as of late.

      Like

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