Huh, a few things to cover right off.
Our Roundtable was linked to a Rivals.com free message board on Friday and there seems to be a lot of conversation about the posts two of the Rivals readers put up. I want to clear a few things up with that.
Here is the thread if you want to read it. In essence the Roundtable was posted up and the others guys said: “wow, that’s a tough “listen”-none of these guys know much about Pitt FB.”
I think some people expected me to be bothered by that but I wasn’t a bit – but I did want to make a clarification.
First I very much wanted to make clear that what we do over here on the POV is non-professional, unpaid and, believe me, non-profitable in its entirety. I think those posters over there expected it to be a professional recording like some other media outlets like the newspapers and radio stations do… and like Rivals’ own Chris Peak does so well.
Second and specifically I wanted to get across that the whole intent of starting and writing articles for the POV was to generate high-level and civil discussions about Pitt football, the athletic department and the University it’s self. That would be accomplished by my throwing out ideas and opinions and then having the wonderful Pitt fans dive in and talk about the subjects (and obviously more).
So – that was the only reason I posted my reply over there – I think it is important to attract other knowledgeable fans to our site to contribute their thoughts also. I at no point felt I had to ‘defend’ The POV to anyone. That doesn’t really need doing at this point.
I enjoy message boards and used to be on them all the time before I started writing for the Pitt Blather. I still go over and read stuff and sometimes what I read on there turns into an article on here as it triggers more questions in my mind that I want your opinions on. I always try to attribute that source though.
Yes – it is “our” POV but that isn’t a closed circle – I want to attract as many fan friends on here as possible and I think you all want that also.
BTW – that post on Rivals turned into a nice conversation.
OK – ’nuff about that. What a great response on all things Pitt football in the last article’s comment section. Dr Tom’s posting of Q. Henderson’s highlight made me think back to a suggestion I made at the end of last season.
As you can probably tell I am not all that confident in Both Moss and Hall’s abilities to be a featured D1 back. I just haven’t been all that impressed with them… and who knows what we’ll see from the staff as far as Qadree Ollison goes right?
So I’d move Henderson to Tailback behind our stud FB George Aston (“It’s a good day to hit someone in the mouth!!“) and see what happens. He certainly has the straight ahead speed to hit the hole more quickly than any other back we have on the roster; his sweeps are well know successes and he has break-ankle lateral moves like we haven’t seen since … well since Dorsett maybe.
Too small? I don’t think so – if our OL is going to be as good as fans are saying it’s going to be then he’ll have space to maneuver in. Put it this way – Dorsett was 5’11” (really about 5’10”) and 175 lbs in 1973 when he burst onto the scene. Henderson is 5’9″ and 190 lbs – and he’s built like a brick house when you see him out of uniform.
Let’s do it Pat! You get paid to think boldly and hey – the kid has a 10.5 ypc average on 60 carries coming into ’17… Could be the next “Big Thing” in the backfield… and as Boyd also did he can still return kickoff for us.
Besides – I think we are really going to have to rely on our running game this season – much like we did in 2014 with Voytik and, to some extent, in 2015 during Peterman’s first year with us.
On another note: As I have mentioned in the past sometimes I reach out to other bloggers and/or media types to get their opinions on some issues. I also do a lot of talking with, and asking questions to, other people and writers up in the Press Box during the games. I really do try to formulate well-informed opinions whenever possible so to get you the best look at things I can.
So with that I just finished a rather detailed email exchange with two USC bloggers and a junior sportswriter in Los Angeles and asked them for their skinny on our new QB Max Browne. What I got back was interesting and not all that surprising… to me at least.
First off all three sang praises as to Max Browne’s character, personality, teammate and leadership abilities, and an all-around good guy. I think we all figured out that part of him already.
They also said we’d be getting a smart ball player.
As far as the physical traits go it was somewhat of a different story. They all agreed that his arm strength was a bit above average but that he was inconsistent on getting the ball into the receiving windows at the 20-35 yard distance – which encompasses the standard 15-20 yard out patterns. His touch on the short swings was “fine” and his accuracy on shorter passes was “OK”.
His deep ball was “maybe OK” also but that the OCs didn’t call those plays much when Browne was in as, again, he was inconsistent in deeper throws.
That makes sense given his stats when he had his chance at the starting job. His 2017 yards per attempt was a very poor 5.5 and his yards per completion was a poor 8.74. This wasn’t just a pass or two folks but on 112 attempts. Including his 19 attempts before 2016 his career ypa was only 5.8 and ypc was 9.4… they are both on the low side.
For our info compare that to Peterman’s full starting year of 2016 with 9.3 ypa and 15.4 ypc and to Voytik’s starting 2014 year of 7.7 ypa and 12.7 ypc. Browne needs to get up to at least Votyik’s production for us to have success in my opinion.
They also said that his mobility was such that one guy wrote “You better have great pass protection on the OL or he’ll get flustered.” When I asked about that he responded with “Browne will make quick decisions – not always the right one – but more often than not he’ll get the ball off.” He’s not a runner in any sense but can tuck the ball and pick up some yards if needed sometimes.
Browne’s career rushing work is 13 carries for 10 yards at a .76 yards per carry clip and six of those 13 carries were sacks (all in 2016). So he’s no threat to run. Boy, we Pitt fans were spoiled with our last two QBs in that talent area for sure!
When I asked about how they each though Browne would do this season the consensus was that he’ll “work his ass off’ and the “players on offense will really like him“. When I replied to the guy who said that last piece that it was a lukewarm endorsement he replied “The endorsement fits what he’ll do”.
So I asked could him we please have Sam Darnold instead and the answer was “… get behind every NFL team for that!”.
These guys liked Max Browne but when I asked if Browne had stayed at USC for this season would he have been QB2 in a back-up role behind Darnold two of them stated they thought that 3* Matt Fink was the next QB the USC staff wanted to get onto the field. The other said he guessed “perhaps” Browne would be but wasn’t sure that would have happened.
When I asked them about Browne’s 5* and #1 QB ranking coming out of HS back in 2013 each one stated that it didn’t matter once Browne suited up at USC as they have churned out great QBs who were ranked lower than that – it depended all on his play once he got on campus.
When directly asked if he played like a 5* recruit at USC they all agreed he hadn’t.
The only negative issue shared was one writer said that “people were not real happy at USC” when Browne publicly discussed his intent to transfer out of their program after only the 6th game of the season and didn’t wait until the regular season was over as most players do. Apparently that torqued the staff off and bothered some players. As it would have bothered me had he been at Pitt – that move was not great for locker room cohesion.
If you remember Voytik waited until after the bowl game to announce he was leaving Pitt – for much the same reason Browne left USC – he was passed over by another QB.
So, those exchanges told me pretty much what I’ve thought all along – that Browne isn’t missed all that much at USC although he was a fan favorite his first few years and was always well liked. At Pitt he will be a very much-needed addition for us at QB but will most probably not see stardom here or have the ’17 offense built around his passing.
He’s more like a decent D1 QB who is getting a last chance to shine as a game manager type player… and there is nothing wrong with that.
As for our POV commenters’ thoughts that if Browne struggles in the first half of the season he could be benched – I do agree with that. He’s a lock to start the season, not a lock to finish it if he’s not playing well – especially since Narduzzi and Watson have to get another QB ready to play as a starter in 2018.
I think Narduzzi will give Browne a pass in the first three non-conference games but if he’s not doing well in the beginning of the conference schedule; Georgia Tech, Syracuse and NC State, he’ll make a change.
Let’s hope there is no thought of that happening because he’s doing well. But I really don’t believe Narduzzi wants to be 4th in the Coastal Division again when the dust settles. He needs Pitt to be in that ACC championship game.
As a review here is the career stat sheet for Max Browne so far:
Here is that great Henderson video again for your viewing pleasure, thanks Dr T –
Here is a real blast from the past. Take a look at this entry from Pitt’s 1973 Media Guide that mentions Dorsett in the “Some Newcomers to Watch” section:
I think he was a bit faster than 4.5 my friends.
Here is a great link for referencing info Pitt football’s past teams and just for fun to look at as a fan. It is a university website that links to every Pitt media guide in football and basketball from 1950 until 2005. Save that in your bookmarks. Here is a look at the cover page.