Narduzzi’s First 2017 Season Presser

NOTE:  Here is the Pitt 2017 Spring Prospectus.  I seriously believe that if you are going to be discussing Pitt football from now until the Spring Game then this is a valuable download to have at hand.

Below is the video of Pitt HC’s first press conference… let’s break down his major points.  If you just want to hear his opening remarks then watch this bit from Penn Live).

I have to be honest here – with the exception of the leadership issue discussed this is almost the same info we all have written about and discussed in the comments there really isn’t any ‘news’ imparted.  But it is a nice long presser and it’s about Pitt football so here goes.

Some main issues discussed:

The leadership void left by the graduation of Peterman, Galambos, etc. has to be filled.  HCPN mentioned DT Jeremiah Taleni and MLB Quintin Wirginis for that on defense; Browne on offense.

Kazeon Pugh will be at DE this season and looks good so far in workouts.  He was the Scout Team tailback with terrible ball security. 🙂

TEs – may be in a no TE situations more than before – until  someone steps up?  rsFR De Andre’ Schifino  was specifically mentioned at the TE position.  He was a walk-on last season and redshirted.  However in the past when Narduzzi has mentioned guys early on like that they bear watching.

He talked about Darrin hall’s injury and his partial attendance in spring practice.

A real example of ‘coach-speak‘ was when he talked about competition at all position… “even if Peterman had returned there would be competition at that position“.  Wink, wink, nudge nudge.

He slide a bit of a knife toward Ollison as he referred to Ollison’s work in last year’s spring practices when he referenced that Ollison was ‘feeling good‘ after being ACC Rookie of the Year then came into spring practice as “just OK“. Hmmmm.  Well, coach’s prerogative based on attitude I guess.

I do suggest he get Ollison the ball early and often in the camps leading up to the opener though.

“Ollison seized the opportunity by becoming just the fifth freshman in Pitt history to achieve a 1,000-yard season…rushed for 1,121 yards and 11 touchdowns on 212 carries (5.3 avg.) and also had 14 receptions for 77 yards (5.5 avg.) and a TD…”

He also said new FR Charles TE Reeves was going to get as many snaps as possible; DE Hendrix is OK and practicing; New OC will not mirror Matt Canada – there will be new terminology and ‘structures’ whatever those are.

I hope one change is running Henderson out of the backfield sometimes.

Here is something referring to just what we talked with Dr Tom and Ike about on Tuesday evening:

“Narduzzi hopes returning quarterbacks Ben DiNucci and Thomas MacVittie, who were freshmen last season, will provide depth this season.

“We had one guy (Nathan Peterman), hoping he’d stay healthy,” Narduzzi said. “He didn’t in that bowl game and we saw what happened (Pitt lost to Northwestern, 31-24, after DiNucci threw two interceptions in the fourth quarter).”

Well, coach.  If you hardly ever play any QBs at all other than Peterman then don’t bitch about your back-up failing in a bowl game… which is exactly what he is alluding to here.  I don’t know why Pitt coaches never seem to do this but it would have been a easy thing for at least a few series to get the “never played” butterflies out for DiNucci if he was indeed the ‘hidden QB2‘ as some fans think (he wasn’t).

BTW – The official 2016 Pitt stats has Ben DiNucci playing in two games this season. Huh?  He only played QB in the bowl game so he must have been on special teams in another… or in the Victory Formation but that didn’t happen.

We were ahead 42-14 going into the 4th quarter against Duke. At the 11:01 mark in that quarter it was still 42-14.  Matt Canada did play Manny Stocker for that last two series… but then apparently sat him on the bench for the rest of the season. 

I’ll say this again – Manny Stocker should have been the QB against NW when Peterman went down.  He was the ONLY QB on roster who took any real game snaps to that point.

The old saw I’m hearing that there was no choice but to play DiNucci in the bowl is bull-crap.  DiNucci is no more the QB of the future at Pitt – even in a back-up role than I am.  If Stocker wasn’t the guy then he shouldn’t have been the guy to get those snaps against Duke.

What is refreshing and honest though is Narduzzi admitting that not playing DiNucci earlier was a mistake and well; “we saw what happened…” Two INTs on the final two series is what we saw and that my friends was the difference between 8-5 with a bowl loss and a 9 win season and a ranking in the teens.

Here are some article covering the conference.

Five Questions from the Post Gazette.

Coverage of the Presser by the P-G.

Jerry DiPaola’s Trib-Review coverage of the Presser

36 thoughts on “Narduzzi’s First 2017 Season Presser

  1. Reed, you may want to double check the integrity of your embedded links above, all are corrupted and therefore are not downloadable from both my iphone and computer.


  2. Great thing about spring practice it gets the juices moving for players coaches and fans. I’m excited and upbeat for this year. We are undefeated so far haha and hard work and time with new players will get us ready for good strong winning season 10 wins very possible. You got to have belief and faith. I also like new coaching changes. Go Panthers. H2p


  3. Another cheap shot at Dinucci. If you want to bring up his two picks then at least include his nifty first down run on a third down conversion and his perfectly thrown ball into the end-zone that was dropped.


  4. Crean is fired. Hold on read this from there AD. Not like our lazy fat ass pumpkin headed sob.
    Glass said that he has been charged to find a new coach. He will not create a search committee but said that he will consult with basketball experts around the country, including former Indiana players.

    Wow an AD with Balls. Eats 4M wants to win and running the search. Not building a 23 person p*$$y search committee and using a search firm.

    Hire this man Pitt!!!!


  5. When Nard in presser intro says ‘if there was anything you could do in the past but haven’t see E.J. was he referring to open practices? 🙂


  6. Ollison question solved, he was in the dawg house for sure. Although he play a lot of snaps.

    Why did he mentioned Mitchell so often and so glowingly? and why was he not starting instead of Webb?

    Interesting comment about the spring game date??…….. hmmm???

    The head coach really likes Darrin Hall, look out Reed.


  7. RKB – I’d meet them in Dallas. I have all the leverage. No shit! I’d increase fundraising by making Pitt Personal again. Fire Stallins. Build a plan for new campus sprawl alomg river with dorms retail and eateries and a new Baseball stadium and softball Stadium and other improvements. IMd buy that dog dick golf course and keep it a green space with corporate housing and walking trails, etc. fire 2-3 other coaches and cut the fat out of the AD dept. I’d make Heinze awesome until our stadium is done and I’d get half the new stadium paid for my donors.

    First I’d paint a Panther from the 40 yd line to the other 40yd line. Id paint endzones. I tell
    rooney to eat shit he doesnt own stadium and I’d
    Buy a real panther and make a space on campus for him.

    Id tear down all slum houses in oakland and make the city beiutiful by reaxhing out to city and frats and Sororities.

    1/3 of Oakland is a embarassment. That is a start. I’d get ACC Billbords in Florida all over and off highway near PSU and Morgantown. I would also burn the uniforms and start over. All by 3 months this would be started. Id also fire Zeise and arrest Dokish for being a Dork who is full
    Of himself and donuts and make Reed have all access pass. I’d also give Narduzzi another 1M per year.


  8. Upitt, I don’t think as PITT’s new AD you would have much authority to tear down houses in South Oakland but some of your ides sound good. Unfortunately Schenley Park is off limits as well…. and that’s a real bummer.

    Devin Danielson from TJ a DT < PITT really wants this guy!
    Vinny DePalma from NJ a LB
    Jay Symonds from Mass. a TE, all visiting the south-side facility today or this weekend.


  9. Gas/Ike – I’m dreaming man!!

    I’d take donor moeny and buy those s#$%^holes houses. Make it a greenspace.


  10. Hey UPitt,
    I can tell u r off the meds cause I agree with everything you say. Tho putting students near the river won’t work – too far a hike to campus, though drinking on the south side is not much of a problem, unless u r D Revis


  11. Reed with all due respect just what backup QB do you think Pitt should have played last season? You certainly don’t think he was going to use up MacVittie’s red shirt do you? And the drop off to Stocker and DiNucci was so great, that Pitt never had the luxury of “a comfortable lead” to use those two with the dismal defense he put out on the field all season long.


  12. Ike – I was echoing what Narduzzi (and the article’s writer was saying in so many words… what else do you think “well, we saw what happened (Pitt lost to Northwestern, 31-24, after DiNucci threw two interceptions in the fourth quarter).” means?

    Not a cheap shot at DiNucci – just my solid opinion that he isn’t a D1 QB or the QB for the future at Pitt. Not with MacVitte and Pickett being ready to play in 2018.


  13. jrn – I think he should have given Stocker work in the Duke game – I just wrote half an article stating that we had a full 48-14 lead in almost the whole 4th quarter in that game and if you don’t think 24 points with 11:02 left in the game is adequate to get a back-up QB some real playing time then you and I disagree 100%.

    My point was if Stocker was the QB2 then give him passing opportunities. if the staff truly felt they were going to go with DiNucci – and remember he got the all the back-up practice snaps before the bowl game – then DiNucci should have been given real playing time in the 4th Q against Duke.

    Instead we threw a complete novice in DiNucci – never having throw a pass in a game – (remember that Stocker also played QB at NC State and had playing time there) in relief during an important bowl game, and it was very important, and as Narduzzi said and again I’ll quote “Well, we saw what happened“.

    Now – here is something else you guys aren’t reading into well enough – Narduzzi is basically admitting he screwed the pooch with the QB situation over last season – so he himself recognizes they screwed up.


  14. BTW – the new 2017 official Pitt roster is out:

    A few interesting things with that and remember the 2017 recruiting class isn’t listed until they enroll in August:

    Kazeon Pugh is listed as a DL

    Kirk Christodoulou is listed as a Punter only (we talked about him in the Round Table)

    Ruben Ffrench is listed as a DB/WR (anyone get the pun there?).

    Alex Kessman is the only listed Place Kicker. I think we’ll miss Blewitt not as much as first thought given his poor 10/17 FGs made record.


  15. Ok, I do believe that Narduzzi regrets not getting a backup QB more prepared. I also get the fact that it’s all about results as opposed to as, how it happened. but….. If Onrdof catches that pass Dinucci threw he may have never had to throw another pass the whole game. These are the type of plays that cost PITT wins all year imo. Injuries included that game was a natural disaster all the way around.

    One more thing, Stocker must have not been much of an option (he must have been pretty bad) when it came down to playing time. We all think he may have been a better runner but we all thought that about Cross. Dinucci is still on the PITT roster, J Stocker is long gone and we have no idea if Stocker would have won that game…


  16. Getting your backup playing time is one of the most cliched college football arguments there is. Taking snaps in mop up duty doesn’t get the jitters out of the way. Adrenaline does that. DiNucci passed Stocker during bowl game practices so the Duke game was meaningless anyways. Stocker won Backup duty in the spring and summer. During the season backups don’t get enough reps to jump someone. DiNucci deserves a shot but if he’s starting things have gone terribly wrong.


  17. Why is this so hard to understand, stocker was backup during the season based on experiemce. Dinucci was backup after the season because giving him reps made more sense than giving reps to stocker who is not going to be on the roster next year.


  18. Hey UPitt, I have to admit that as AD your ideas have balls attached to them and are more creative than anything out of that position in the last 20 years.
    And wwb, I also have to admit that if the original slogan had never been heard, “Make Pitt Great Again” is pretty darn good because we were great!


  19. I was down more on Aston slipping on a sure touchdown and a 10-0 lead than I was on DiNucci in that bowl game. Ben put the ball on the numbers and had a TD pass dropped.

    Love Aston, but his losing the football after scoring a TD versus PSU cost Ford almost his entire senior season because Dontez dove for the ball in the end zone thinking it may have been a fumble and in the process had his arm broken. Let’s stay on our feet and hold onto the ball this season, George. You’re a leader now that this team desperately needs in 2017. Don’t be like past Pitt players who don’t step up and lead on the field by not doing the little things that help teams win.


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