Holding an opinion on a subject matter is what we all do, especially about Pitt football. Writing down those opinions, thoughts, feelings and impressions and sharing them with others is what “opining” consists of and is what we do here on the Pitt POV. That is why I have been very clear about what this blog is all about since its inception.
The majority of what is found on here are my opinions, thoughts, questions, etc… about Pitt, its athletic department and the Pitt football program and team. Throw in a bit of the BB program when things are newsworthy on that end also.
The other contents are links, statistics and textual quotes carried over from other sources. I have been very diligent to attribute those sources if I can. That is why this blog is an ‘editorial’ blog and not a ‘news’ blog. I don’t do breaking news, don’t pretend to be a “journalist” or a mouthpiece for the Athletic Department. I think I’ve made that point very clear both on the Pitt Blather and now on the Pitt POV.
The reason I write about this now is because when looking at the latest media articles about the QB situation, and led that way by wbb’s posts, I came across this gem in yesterday’s Trib-Review:
Pat Narduzzi was pleased the media was inquiring about Pitt’s quarterback depth chart — and not just because he believes each of his four quarterbacks has performed well during spring practice.
“It’s good that you (reporters) don’t know,” Narduzzi said when asked if there was any separation in the quarterback competition. “It means we have no leaks in the office.”
No leaks and no fake news about the play of those vying to replace Nathan Peterman: redshirt sophomore Ben DiNucci, redshirt freshman Thomas MacVittie, freshman early enrollee Kenny Pickett and senior graduate transfer Max Browne.
“We have four very functional quarterbacks,” Narduzzi said.
Great – four QBs who can play is a great thing.
I bolded that part because I think it was pointed toward the POV by the author of the article. Now, I may be a bit paranoid in this but a lot of content and comments on here have been about the state of the QB unit this spring. We have been discussing QBs on here more than any other blogs with numerous comments.
Plus, it is something I have read written on Facebook about this blog from some people who don’t like what I have to say and there are more than a few of those.
So I will state again for the record – there is no “news” on the Pitt POV. But there are a hell of a lot of opinions from me and from you all. I went back over my articles and can’t find a thing where I had written anything as fact about the QB that I didn’t have reason to do so.
Now, the most detailed and specific thing I have written about our QBs this spring has been from the article on my impressions of the QBs in the extended viewing period of a practice session I had a chance to see:
As that was going on the QBs were tossing warm-up passes. Brown, DiNucci, MacVitte, Pickett and walk-on FR Jake Zilinskas (from Indiana, PA) are the five we have on roster.
What I did was purposely not look at the QBs’ names next to their numbers – I just concentrated on the jersey numbers and since I can’t remember who wears what numbers anyway it was like a blind test. I felt I could be more objective that way.
So – the QBs broke into two groups with Browne and Pickett taking one unit and DiNucci and MacVitte with the other. I think sometimes the QBs switched around to the different groups to get a chance with all the backs & receivers.
For some reason #3 (DiNucci) left after the warm-ups and I didn’t see him on the field again – he may have come back after we media left though. Now remember when I write this next part these are basic drills and not full speed or plays with the defense on the field.
First were half speed plays with the RB out to the short flat pattern. Then came quick release passes to WR and RB directly to the far side LOS – a play I have always hated. The speed and zip of the throws was increasing with the two patterns but the coaches still wanted shorter passes.
Then they started throw 10 yard button hooks (each QB had about 3-4 passes before they switched patterns) . Then they ended up with 15 yard out passes which required more timing and more strength on the ball.
Of course this is early days and who threw well today might screw up tomorrow but here is a quick impression of what I watched.
All the QBs had mostly good throws but if I was awarding a 3″ trophy as to who had the best speed on the ball it would have been #8 (FR Kenny Pickett). The QB who seemed most accurate would have been a tie between #4 (Browne) and Pickett – with a slight edge to Browne. #7 (MacVitte) had some nice passes also but on this one day the other two guys were a bit more on the mark to my eyes.
I don’t see any fake news there, do you? And I keep a real close eye on what I write about because it is scrutinized by readers who are quick to point out errors. You may wonder why I use so many stats in my writings and that is because they are facts. Now, you can take those factual stats and used them in many different ways and that is a reflection of the writer’s opinions and impressions. But again, no “news” there.
Alright, wanted to get that off my chest. If the writer of the article didn‘t have the POV in mind, and he may well have been thinking about something else, then the above is a reminder of what this blog is intended to be.
Back to that good QB article.
Here is something that I have written about that Pat Narduzzi has somewhat expounded on; QB Kenny Pickett:
One thing not to assume: that Pickett, less than four months from graduating high school, sits at No. 4 on the depth chart. Narduzzi had high praise for the three-star recruit from New Jersey.
“Going on my third spring here, he is probably the best young quarterback we’ve had,” Narduzzi said. “He’s got moxie. He’s got composure. He’s been well coached out of high school, and he’s come in and really done a lot of good things. He’s sharp.”
This is very consistent with what my practice session and Pro Day conversations led me to believe – that Pickett is one the coaching staff is very happy to have onboard and in the mix for the future. Oh, that those conversations are not “leaks” either but talks between two or three people about the team.
Here are some other things Narduzzi had to say about the QBs:
On the quarterback competition:
“I think the two older guys, because of experience, have really upped the ante in the last week. What we saw happen during that transition was the two younger kids follow. It was really good; it’s been really healthy in that room. It’s been a really good one. They work together well and they compete hard against each other.”
On the separation between the older and younger quarterbacks:
“Yeah, it’s Max [Browne] and Ben [DiNucci]. Then Thomas [MacVittie] and Kenny [Pickett] came right along with them. They’ve done a nice job, the two younger guys. Both of them are getting their feet under them with all the different volumes of defense they see and the volume of offense we have in. They really have settled down their play and are following suit in example of those older guys.”
He then goes on to speak directly about Ben DiNucci and how he’s been during the spring drills. This is interesting to me because i have felt that when the cards are dealt in the middle of the fall camp the QB situation would be Browne and MacVitte as QB1 and QB2 respectively – but that may not be the case…
On Ben DiNucci standing out:
“I think he has experience in running the offense. All the words, the nomenclature, how we call things or do things, he’s used to it; that plays big in his favor. He’s poised because he knows. He’s a good reference point. I think the thing that I really see him do and I challenge him with is being a good decision maker and he’s been a really consistent decision maker. He was really good in the last scrimmage and his work today was really good also. He’s becoming consistent in that area, which is something that I’ve wanted him to do since our first week working together.”
Notice this spring that Thomas MacVitte’s name is being mentioned less and less. It’s to early to speculate about the upcoming seasons and our QB situation after Browne leaves but let’s do it anyway.
Here are who we have returning at QB and what eligibility years they will be in next season (2018).
As you can see they will still be relatively young with lots of time ahead of them. DiNucci will have two years to play; MacVitte three and Pickett four plus they will have some solid experience being on the roster for some time. It looks to me that we may not even recruit a QB in the class of 2018.
I don’t think there is any doubt in anyone’s mind that Max Browne will be the starter this season – the real question is who will be his backup QB in the two-deep. Here is a piece in the Post-Gazette today that also covered the QBs. Remember before you say to yourself “hey, these articles are alike” that there is only so much those writers can take for one interview…
Narduzzi said Tuesday the Panthers have “four very functional quarterbacks,” which wasn’t the case last season when Peterman was far and away the most seasoned option in the room.
Now, the position group offers a little more for Narduzzi and his staff to think about, just as they do at every spot during spring workouts.
“Every day, we go through the depth chart,” Narduzzi said of the process for determining which players will work with the first team in practice. “Sometimes, we’ve got guys stacked in the ‘1’s, saying, ‘Hey, all three of those [defensive] tackles are going to be running with the ‘1’s today. We talk personnel every single day.
If indeed it is Ben DiNucci as 2nd string this year then I think the handwriting is on the wall for MacVitte. Pickett is a strong kid with tons of talent and will, in my opinion, jump MacVitte for the #2 QB spot next year…. maybe.
This is all interesting stuff and I may have been wrong about DiNucci’s future prospects but I won’t say that yet. Things that happen in the spring are often forgotten by the staff when the fall camp rolls around so we may see Browne as #1 and the who knows who competing seriously in the running for #2.
Either way, and this is an age-old complaint for us Pitt fans, get the backup QB some decent snaps during the regular season will ya Pat!!!