(This is the start of a longer series looking at our individual positions that need to be re-filled in 2017)
This time in the calendar year is when we football fans start to go stir crazy. We are about a month removed from the Spring Game and still have 11 weeks until the beginning of Pitt’s Fall camp. Ugh. It is still a bit early to see who is going to round out the two-deep for our offense, defense and special teams… but let’s not let that stop us from speculating.
So with an eye toward the fact that things might shuffle around due to transfers (players coming in hopefully), injuries and the peculiarities of the HC, his coordinators and position coaches we’ll jump in with a sharpened pencil and start doing just that – speculating.
I mean that is what we do as fans, yes? So let’s cogitate on who is going to be the ‘next man up‘ in positions where there were graduations, dismissals and position switches.
What I’ll do first is look at each position, or unit, along the offense as of today and write down who I think will be the starter and why it will be that guy. Then I’ll assign a ranking of “Upgrade” if we see an upgrade, “Downgrade’ if we see a downgrade or “Draw” if I think we’ll match last year’s player(s) in the position or unit.
Please remember that this is in comparison to the departed player and not a grade of the new player himself. Thus a “downgrade” from NT when Aaron Donald departed would have been assigned even if it had have been anyone college and in the NFL almost and they would still have been a loss at that position.
So here goes and let’s start with what is considered the most important position on the team.
We all should understand by now that Max Browne is going to be the starter behind center this new season. Regardless of whatever coach-speak we hear about a ‘real’ QB competition from now until the Youngstown State game practices start in the last week of August, you can rest assured that Browne was brought in because the staff didn’t feel comfortable with the extant talent at the position.