Let’s start off with this; we will resume Roundtable Call-in Show tomorrow night at 8 p.m. I’ll be on the air at 7:45 p.m. and you guys can call in at 8 p.m. and thanks in advance for participating.
OK – we lost Aston for the season it looks like – maybe Narduzzi will discuss it in an interview today, maybe not but from all indications Aston’s ankle injury is sever enought to, most possibly, keep him out of camp and then the full season of play.
No matter how we want to spin this, “next man up” or changing the offense to accommodate this personnel loss – however you want to spin this I believe this is a huge deal for the 2017 offense.
Aston not only was a superb blocker, some TV commentators in the bowl game labelled him the best blocking back in D1 – and I agree with that, but he was a real offensive force as well.
Last year he scored a TD in every 4.4 times he touched the ball. That is truly outstanding especially considering his 10 TDs were tied for 2nd best on the team with Jester Weah. He was a force in there on every play and I very much doubt we’ll be able to replace what he brought to our 2016 record breaking offense. See the end of this article for more Aston video…
So – new starting QB, new starting FB, new starting RB, new starting TE, two new starting OL…?? Fingers crossed for those guys.
Here is a bunch of topics covered by Jerry DiPaola of the Tribune-Review. Note he mentions Mathews missing camp for two weeks.
Pitt sophomore wide receiver Aaron Mathews will be absent from practice until the end of next week while he takes care of “personal obligations,” coach Pat Narduzzi said.
Narduzzi did not label Mathews’ situation a punishment. But if the sophomore from Clairton misses the first two weeks of practice, he will fall behind others competing for playing time. Mathews recorded six receptions last season as a freshman.
Pitt is seeking depth at wide receiver behind starters Jester Weah and Quadree Henderson. There is an opening for the third spot, with sophomore Tre Tipton lost for the season after injuring his knee in a bicycle accident.
Freshman Dontavius Butler-Jenkins already has made an impact with his coaches.
I think it is kind of strange that everyone is talking about Henderson being the 2nd receiver out there. I wonder about that – I can see it as a part-time role depending on the play calling, but think that our regular two WR set will be Weah and Mathews (or another WR). That will be an interesting thing to watch come September.
Well, here is another article in the Trib that discusses the above issue and how the team has to ‘grow up’ quickly. Interesting that the beat writers and other media types are more concerned about the lack of experience in the two-deep than fans are. It certainly concerns me and a lot.
But as good teams will do – the older players are pushing the underclassmen to get more involved… Then, there’s Brightwell, whose personality used to lean toward that of an introvert. But as the middle linebacker who must ensure everyone lines up correctly and hears the calls, he can’t afford to sit back.
“He was quiet at first,” junior linebacker Seun Idowu said. “Now, he’s a freakin’ crazy man, going all over the place. He’s getting more comfortable in that position.”
O’Neill said Brightwell is following a natural progression. “You kind of worry about yourself (at first), then it gets to the point where you kind of worry about the guy next to you,” he said. “Then you worry about the whole picture.”
Idowu said players have learned they’re not just along for the ride.