Obviously I meant Oklahoma State and not Ohio State in parts of the podcast
We’ll skip the roundtable again this week but will be back on August 2nd for the start of fall camp.
Hmmm, four key defensive players lost for at least the first three games of the season – and two of those for the whole damn year.
There is a hell of a lot of fingers crossed and crazy deep wishful thinking going on with Pitt football fans today. It seems that when, over the offseason, you lose three players who started games last year on a defense that truly and seriously was terrible, and they are dismissed from the team or get major suspensions – somehow that turns into a good thing.
Well, it really isn’t no matter how you spin it. Here’s my take on some of those comments. Lucky this is a weekend… and the fall training camp hasn’t started yet.
Reading these last day’s comments I have to ask why is everyone saying Wirginis is injury prone? He has played in 38 games over the last three years. He missed only one game way back in 2014. He’s missed some practices but played in all the games.
Plus – from my info he was going to be the starter at MLB – again don’t put too much stock in that not-really-a-depth chart that was published on the 13th – Narduzzi even said it was just thrown together by a staff member in late June before Tipton’s injury (7/8) to give to the printers to put out the 2017 Pitt Football Media guide (which I got in the mail yesterday).
BTW – that 2017 Pitt Football Media Guide is 207 pages of stats and facts and had to get to the printer way earlier than the media’s depth chart ‘release’ date to written and internet outlets of July 13th so that they could be printed, mailed and received by media members before the start of fall camp. In essence that depth chart means nothing.
As to the players themselves – I think a lot of Pitt fans are looking at these dismissed and suspended players as individuals and not as players who were going to be taking the place of starters on the field, especially in Taleni and Wirginis’ cases. In other words fans are taking that player out of the team context he would be playing in.
Yes, DE Rori Blair himself wasn’t a star player – but as a defender with 33 games played along with 20 starts he’ll be missed because we are replacing him with ??? Who ever it is won’t have any starts at DE at all.
DL Jeremiah Taleni wasn’t a long-term starter but a proven player who the coaching staff themselves said was going to be the mainstay of the DL this coming season – he had 21 games played in his career at Pitt with four starts and came on very strong against good opposing competition at the end of the year – and he’s being replaced by ???? (again). Who ever it, maybe Watts, will have only one start and seven games played.
LB Quintin Wirginis has tons of experience under his belt and in the times he got in he played very well. Most importantly Narduzzi believes in experience – why else do you think he went with Galambos and Caprara as starters the last two years?
We had at least two LBs on the roster who were way more physically talented than both of Galambos and Caprara in Grigsby and Bradley – throw in Brightwell and McKee also – but he kept playing those two guys. This year Narduzzi sure would have gone with a player who had MLB experience and started Wirginis there.
Jordan Whitehead will be replaced by a lesser Safety who is already on the roster – you can pretty much bet on that. Why? Again – Narduzzi loves experience – he’s shown us that over the last two years, especially in the defensive backfield.
The seminal reason Taleni, Blair, Wirginis and Whitehead would have started in the beginning of 2017, and why we’ll see existing roster kids take their places, is because with only two starters returning for the first three games HCPN isn’t going to throw the season away by playing 10 defensive players with little or no starts in the beginning of the year. Nor should he.
Fans may then say “Well – why doesn’t he just assume the PSU and OSU games are losses and get as many young people in to play for experience?” If he did that he should be fired on the spot, and I think he’d be the first to tell you that.
His job isn’t to win ballgames next year – certainly not now in his third year as the Pitt HC – his job is to do his best to win every single game for this year and if any fan doesn’t believe that, and thinks Narduzzi should throw in the towel for September then don’t be shocked if the whole season goes downhill afterward.
Players aren’t stupid – they want to win every single game and are risking serious injury every single game for those wins. They aren’t playing hard out there just so that the team might be better in a year from now. Narduzzi’s job, and what he is getting paid millions of dollars to do, is win each individual football games as they are scheduled.
So these suspensions sure do mean an awful lot when you put them in context of who these young men would have been playing alongside when they take the field. You can’t just cherry pick them individually and say he’s ‘Good’ or ‘Not good‘ because we fans at this point have no real knowledge in that who will be replacing them is any talented in college ball at all.
Notice I said college ball – worlds away from the stardom all of them had in high school.
And yes – all these Narduzzi wonder recruits Pitt fans have touted over the last two years are almost all 3* kids, with apparently mythical qualities that separate them from every opponent’s 3* players, but who haven’t seen the field at all yet.
I understand the Next Man Up concept – but in Pitt’s case in early 2017 I sure as hell wish that the next man had more than a game or two played at the college level.
If all that doesn’t make fans worried for how this season is going to play out then they are a true dyed in the wool optimists who think the grass just has to be greener over that hill – even if it isn’t always the case.
I try to get out but they keep dragging me back in…
Pitt Coach Pat Narduzzi Announces Disciplinary Actions
PITTSBURGH—Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi announced disciplinary actions for four players prior to the Panthers’ opening of training camp on August 1.
Senior defensive end Rori Blair has been dismissed from the program for “conduct detrimental to the program.”
Junior offensive tackle Alex Bookser will be suspended for the season opener for his involvement in an offseason legal situation involving a motor vehicle.
Senior linebacker Quintin Wirginis and junior safety Jordan Whitehead will both be suspended for the opening three games of the season for violation of team policy.
“Our program’s foundation will always be built on discipline and personal responsibility,” Narduzzi said. “These are highly disappointing situations but I am hopeful that each of these young men will be better, stronger and wiser after taking accountability for their actions.
“Alex Bookser will sit out the season-opening game and has also been subject to internal disciplinary measures and accountability. I’m confident he will make better decisions moving forward.
“In addition to sitting out multiple games, Quintin and Jordan will continue to be held accountable to internal standards of conduct.”
The Panthers will open their 2017 season on Sept. 2 against Youngstown State at Heinz Field.
So – what exactly is there to say about this. Well, I can think of a few things with the first one being how bad must have Whitehead and Wirginis’ conduct been that their discipline eclipses Bookser’s, Boyd’s and Blair’s (1st) offenses?
This adds up to something but I’m not sure exactly what it is yet -but I have feelers out.
I will say that I like these moves from Narduzzi in the leadership arena. Not many head coaches would sit down three sure starters (and Wirginis would have started) and dismiss a fourth with two of the toughest games on the schedule being missed – even if they are out of conference games. Add to that out only returning DL starter Taleni’s earlier dismissal also.
Plus a bigger question in my mind at this point is if Bookser, Wirginis and Whitehead are going to be allowed to take part in fall camp. Remember that Tyler Boyd and Blair had to sit out some summer team drills and meetings, I believe a month or so two years ago – and that was even before their suspensions were made public. If they miss fall camp that is a huge setback going into 2017’s schedule.
When Narduzzi says the quote below only three days before camp starts it means something;
““In addition to sitting out multiple games, Quintin and Jordan will continue to be held accountable to internal standards of conduct,” Narduzzi said.”
As I said I have been taking time away from the POV (and I really have been – my POV comments etc. are done on study breaks) to get ready to move into my next phase of volunteer work that I will do starting in August.
That is being a part of the Veteran-to-Veteran team in the “We Honor Veterans” project with the local hospices in my area. I thought you may like to know what that entails so here is some info.
Many community hospice providers have implemented an innovative model for serving Veterans at the end of life – the Veteran-to-Veteran (Vet-to-Vet) Volunteer Program. The Vet-to-Vet Volunteer Program aims to pair recruited Veteran Volunteers with hospice patients who have been identified as Veterans.
Once paired with hospice patients who also have military experience, Veteran Volunteers have the unique ability to relate and connect with Veteran patients and their families.
Establishing a Veteran-to-Veteran Volunteer Program is also a criterion for hospices accomplishing We Honor Veterans (WHV) Partner Level Three.
We Honor Veterans Resources for Volunteer Programs
As you can see that is pretty detailed and important stuff – and that is just the project components as it pertains to the hospices themselves.
What I’m doing now is getting ready to be a general hospice volunteer and that is a large bit of studying and testing in itself. Once I finish this and get working in the hospice itself then I’ll concentrate training for and doing on the “We Honor Veterans” Vet-to-Vet work.
Of course I do nothing without other motives and for this article it is that if any other veterans out there can benefit by being on either end of the Veteran-to-Veteran project then please get in touch with me at email@example.com so that I may be able to help steer you in the right direction.
Thanks for reading this my friends and if I can help in any way please do let me know – especially if you know ill veterans who would benefit from this, or their family – and I’ll go out on a limb and say that every Vet will want this service provided.
Byline: Chris Logue
First, I want to extend a massive “thank you” to the entire Pitt POV family for the wonderful greeting, it was taken appreciatively. This isn’t an Adele song and I won’t get sappy, so back to the main point of congregating to this article.
I was scrambling trying to find a good follow-up to the introduction that Reed so kindly wrote – and correct me at the end if I am wrong, but I think I found it. With that being said, let’s look at some headlines from the media in 2016 that we want to avoid in the upcoming campaign. Here is the first:
At first glance, it’s innocent. Pitt won and climbed to 5-2 on the season with their eyes set on double digit wins. Something, two to be specific, deep down bothers me about this however. I look at “Defense Leads” as well as “…31.” It might be the most insufferable of all headlines written in 2016.
Talking with Reed earlier, we discussed how this defense is actually going to look in comparison to previous seasons; but especially the low-line set by the secondary last year.
It was a consensus hypothesis that the first two levels of the defense should be serviceable and maybe even sturdy enough to create havoc on opposing quarterbacks. That’s where the glee subsided. How about the secondary though?
A Real POV Surprise…
Yesterday my friend Chris Logue emailed me and asked if he could contribute articles to the POV on a regular basis because, well, he wanted to be associated with the best there is.
Chris will be starting today and will take up the quill for one or two days a week article writing giving me a little bit more time for other things I have going on. One series he will be doing will be the “Know The Enemy” Wednesday pieces during the season. His will be better researched and with more detail than mine were I’m sure.
I asked Chris not to hold back on any opinions or observations he has about Pitt football – positive or negative – because that is what the Pitt POV is built on. Please welcome him and have at it.
Here is Chris’ first piece for the POV as an actual staff writer:
Nothing is closing in faster than the beginning of football season. Not just any season however as this is a season filled with weighted expectations for both Narduzzi and our Panthers. We know graduating losses were sustained and the shifting athleticism on the field will have to account for shortcomings that may occur from that. That’s not a jab at the Mario-sized height of Avonte Maddox or is….
True freshman, sophomores, and the underclassmen redshirt players will be the focal points of the Panthers if we wish to contend for the ACC Coastal championship early and then sustain the contention for the course of the season.
Now, back to the position losses; who just steps up – but who really breaks through and relishes the bright lights more than the others? There’s a pair of players on either side of the ball that deserve our attention more than the rest, at least as far as having breakout years are concerned.
One of the last free message board sites for Pitt football has fallen by the wayside and turned into a subscription series so I think we’ll be visited by new members to the POV and let’s welcome them aboard.
I’m talking about the Inside the Huddle message board where I first got interested in talking about Pitt football in public around 15 years ago. I started out posting topics and replying to posts on there and started really discussing Pitt in public.
Our friend Ike and I got to know each other there years ago.
So, for the ITH guys we’re glad you have come over here to find a new home. You’ll see that it is a different format from the message boards in that I post up an article and you guys let loose with whatever you want to talk about afterwards. That’s the beauty of it here on the POV; we have some great in-depth discussions about every aspect of the football program.
We also have a few pretty strict ground rules here; one is that we don’t discuss politics in any way shape or form and two; I limit the post to no heavy swearing which means you can say things like hell and damn but anything further than that will be flagged and sent to me as an email and I will not approve it. That sounds draconian in this free speaking day and age but it really isn’t. It keeps things on topic here at the POV.
In essence we have very few off topic discussions that don’t pertain somehow to the University of Pittsburgh or directly to Pitt football.
Have at it!
This ’17 schedule ain’t chopped liver…
Favorite receiver of all-time:
Will this help?
PSN wants you to buy them a drink…
Some other topics:
Oklahoma State has their wonderful QB Mason Rudolph and their best WR returning after passing on the NFL draft. That’s a home game and I expect us to see 50 plus points on the board for the other team.
Who is the one player on offense and the one player on defense who you feel we can least afford to lose due to injury during the season?
For the love of football
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