A Few Quick Thoughts on the Pitt QBs

Because this is a Blog and what I and Chris do on here is not journalism per se we can be personal and write our own opinions about Pitt football in more 1st person views and more positive and/or negative terms than can other Pitt football media sites. 

The papers won’t do that in any detail – they keep the writer’s personal opinions almost 100% away from the readers. The free sites that carry sponsorship rarely will do it and the recruiting sites, save Rivals.com sometimes, shy away from it also.

But we ain’t them so we can toot our horn a bit on here… and go out on a limb.

So the POV is different and with that here are my personal thoughts on our current and future QB situation based on the string of reader’s comments we have had on the subject lately… most specifically addressing the underclassmen rsFR Thomas MacVitte and FR Kenny Pickett on the roster.

First off – look folks,  when was the last time you heard rsFR Thomas MacVittie‘s name prominently and positively mentioned by anyone not named Ike?  You really haven’t, especially in discussions of the Pitt QBs in general.  For that matter when have we heard anything at all about MacVittie really after he signed his LOI back in Feb of 2016? 

Hardly a word actually except in passing mention and never in any real context to playing time.  That is understandable when MacVittie was a true freshman last season,  but this year, when fans would expect there to be just a little buzz about him?  Nothing at all.

I wrote after last season ended that MacVittie’s name was going to fade from hearing after Ben DiNucci played in the Pinstripe Bowl in front of proposed QB2 Manny Stocker and that’s what has happened.  As surprised as I was that DiNucci went in – I also figured that was the vote of confidence that head coach Pat Narduzzi was giving DiNucci for the future.

If you recall it was soon after the regular season ended, two weeks before that bowl game, when Max Browne announced his transfer to Pitt back in mid-December.  Between that news, and then DiNucci’s getting the call in the bowl game, it set the stage for the QB competition going into 2017’s spring practices.  That was also when we started wondering if Tom MacVittie was even in the narrowing picture any longer for lack of his being mentioned in the news or elsewhere.

But ever since class of ’17 recruit FR QB Kenny Pickett enrolled in early in January to get a jump on the QB work here it seems like his name has usually been the first (or second) word out of everyone’s mouth – staff’s and sportswriters’ – when they discuss how the QBs have been playing. There is a valid reason for that.

He’s not only opened up eyes on the Southside but he’s also put smiles on all the right faces there- something we haven’t seen happen within the QB unit at Pitt in many years. He’s done that with his quick and good decision-making and his strong and accurate arm. And I mean strong and accurate arm.  He’s 6’3″ and a now solid 225 or so pounds and looks the part when he’s behind Center or dropping back to pass.

Listed as a dual-threat QB out of high school he certainly is that and as we saw in the Spring game he’s a runner also. I liken his rushing ability to past Pitt QB Chad Voytik’s in that our OC (whoever that may be) can and will put in running packages to take advantage of his skill in that area.

So I’m telling you guys – just like I wrote two years ago when transfer QB JR Nate Peterman came onboard and almost no one but me was saying that not only was Peterman brought in to actually compete for the starting job (Pitt fans really didn’t believe that, they thought he was here to be a back-up ) but that he was absolutely going to steal the starting job from Voytik…

Remember that folks? 

It was a huge topic of debate on the Pitt Blather back then, and I took a ton heat from readers and others about my confidence in that happening. Again – no fans and very few writers believed that switch would take place as everyone was firmly convinced Narduzzi would stick with the incumbent rsJR Chad Voytik.

But some of us knew 100% that the switch to Peterman was  going to happen… and I stuck with that unpopular opinion even before the fall camp of 2015 started and then on afterward.

I also wrote back then 2015 when Peterman arrived that he was going to be a star QB for us based on the rave reviews I was hearing from the Southside and from conversations about Peterman with Pat Bostick, who knows a thing or two about QB play. I took a lot of heat for those predictions but stuck with them and we all saw what happened last year.

Now I’ve been writing constantly since January that the same inside buzz that Peterman had coming in is starting to surround Kenny Pickett in the Pitt camps, both in the Spring practices and now in the Fall camp. He’s that good folks – I believe he has the best arm on the roster now and will be, by far, the best passer we have next season.

Where as Browne has been not meeting expectations and then bumbling his chances at USC over the past four years – and that is exactly what happened from the time he got there – Pickett is going to grab the starting job here and be a three or four-year QB for us.

I’m stating that now and I’ll stick with it.

Here’s the bottom line with Kenny Pickett – you know how Danny Marino came to Pitt’s 1980 Fall camp and with his strong personality and super confidence grabbed control of the team right then, even if he didn’t start the first few games? how we saw that Marino had the attitude and the Mojo right away? That is I feel what Pickett is showing now – I firmly believe that.

Any successful college QB needs certain non-physical qualities to effectively lead an offense to be the best it can be out on the field. Three of those are Moxie, Character and Potential.  Dan Marino had them in spades; Pickett has them as a true freshman now and that will continue to strengthen the longer he is on Pitt’s roster.

I truly think he has the “It” factor – a true quality QB needs to lead a team.

I’m sorry to say MacVittie just does not. If he did we wouldn’t be hearing DiNucci’s name at all this fall. And exactly the opposite has happen – it is MacVittie’s we aren’t hearing.

Is Kenny Pickett ready right now though, and do I think he is going to play this year? No, I don’t.

But If our season starts slipping away because of the QBs’ not being able to produce when needed and we are in danger of tanking I wouldn’t be totally shocked to see Narduzzi and Watson go directly to Pickett in relief- but I seriously doubt that will happen.

I believe the competition next season is going to be between Pickett and DiNucci for the starting and QB2 jobs, with MacVittie probably transferring for greener pastures and actual playing time. 

That is not a far-fetched idea as we have seen transfers take place with many Pitt QBs lately from 4* rsSO Mark Myers to 3* rsSO Adam Bertke (three-time Ohio state champion) to 4* rsSR Chad Voytik.  This is what happens when promising QBs don’t pan out as in Myers and Bertke’s cases- they leave for playing time elsewhere.

I wouldn’t bet too much of my money on DiNucci in that head to head competition. That is my early prediction on next Spring and Fall’s camps.


Here is a good up close look at Kenny Pickett coming out of HS after he committed to Pitt.  Note those throws after the 1:30 mark – those are deep outs and longer passes the width of the field – around 25-30 yards and most on a string.  When I had the chance this spring to get an extended 45 minute window at a practice I watched the QBs in actual plays very closely and that is a part of my opinion of Pickett’s arm.  What you see in his arm in the video here is what I saw in game-like play drills against Pitt defenders.

83 thoughts on “A Few Quick Thoughts on the Pitt QBs

  1. I appreciate your optimism on Pickett but a kid can have all the physical tools in the world and be a bonehead on the field under pressure. I have to take a wait and see attitude but I hope you are correct.

    I have been lobbying for him to have a package in this years offense based on his running ability. I firmly believe a running QB in college can be a game changer. Plus, it is fun to watch. Get the kids feet wet.


  2. I agree his arm does look good. By the way, those outs in the video are around 20 yard. Hockey rink is approx 28 yards wide and the receivers aren’t to the opposite boards. Just saying.


  3. Reed, I saw enough of Pickett on his highlight reels to realize he has the makings of a big time QB at Pitt. Not only does he run and pass well his downfield focus on almost every play puts enormus pressure not on the defense in not knowing if he’s going to pass or run(which he does very well). IMO he’s a bigger version of a Doug Flutie at QB. And if some of our old timers can remember Flutie almost brought BC back from a high deficit at the Pitt game when he was inserted after the half.—If I were the head coach at Pitt I wouldn’t wait too long to insert him into the lineup. But I’m afraid we will have to see both Browne and DiNucci have to fail at QB first for that to happen. Unfortunately I think we will all witness that exact scenario.


  4. I’m all on board if Pickett can come in and TAKE the QB job. Hell, I’m a PITT football fan. As far as my comment in the last article it was a response to some who, and correctly so, point out Pickett’s athleticism.

    I did not mention anything about his passing abilities. Although the highlights speak for themselves. What I posted was this and I quote myself.


    I caution everyone not to hold their breath though. That’s just not going to happen. imo, MacVittie runs just as well if not better than KP. PITT will not use Pickett this year and ruin his redshirt at this point. Barring many injuries of course.

    I go on to say if MacVittie doesn’t make a move for the starting QB position soon he may very well end up moving to a TE or H-Back. My point was, he is very athletic. Another point is that neither of these two players are running with the first two teams.


  5. That was a jab Ike… I thought I worked it in very well in that first few paragraphs.

    Of course this is all wait and see with Pickett and like I said I’d be surprised if we saw him this year because even if we see Dinucci this year I think the season’s on the downhill slide… but I think next year we’re going to have a real quarterback battle


  6. about the only thing I disagree with what Reed wrote is that MacVittie is ‘probably’ transferring for greener pastures … I believe this is a bit premature. You really don’t know how a player feels inside; some people take different approaches.

    I admit to being surprised that DiNucci is in contention as well as Pickett advancing so quickly, but I guess I just don’t like the concept of predicting a player will leave.


    1. Agree… didn’t really seem right to say that about Thomas transferring. I’ve seen plenty of good Pitt men not start but stick around to provide depth and contribute however they could when called upon.


  7. One performance in a spring game does not tell the whole tale, but go back and read my spring game post-mortem (I subbed for Reed when Mrs. Reed took ill and they headed back to Maryland early). I echo Reed’s thoughts on Kenny Pickett. In fairness to the others, specifically MacVittie, the fact that the first, second and third team players were all split up in the spring game, did make it difficult to make a true evaluation. But the eyes don’t lie and Reed hit it on the head: Pickett seems to have that something that maybe the others don’t. Too early to make a call on Browne. We know that he has the pedigree, but he certainly won’t have the same tools to work with that Nate Peterman did.


  8. and BTW, we all are developing preconceptions based on incomplete information. Sure, Reed has more info than we do do, and appears to be on the right track. But I will tell you one thing … I will support the coaches decision as to whoever is starting QB because it is their job to do so, and will not let any preconceived ideas make me think they are not acting in the best interest of the team.


  9. LOL Reed, I get what you were up to.. I’m not married to any scenario though. Here’s another thing, DiNucci is a really good athlete as well. I think we all just look past this young man and maybe we shouldn’t?

    I would really like TMac to stay at PITT and if doesn’t make it at QB then move him. I think he could be an asset next year or so.

    Bottom line, I want PITT to win football games and I don’t give two craps how they do it. Well at least legally.. . .ike


  10. I remember the Peterman thing you were right, you are on record for the Pickett kid and I have concern regarding Browne.

    He has been around the game a long time and he better start fast because game 2 and 3 will either launch his career or kill it.


  11. I hadn’t realized that Pickett matriculated early and was here for Spring drills. That up’s the potential for him seeing the field as a true freshman. But truly, not by much.

    I think that it is Browne’s job to lose and he gets a pass from Narduzzi until he loses an ACC game. Therefore we’re 1-3 before we hear rumblings from the coaching staff about who should be our next man up starting QB.

    That being said, Browne gets his chance and he’ll take full advantage of it. Unless Browne gets hurt, I see him as our starter, all season long.

    Now as to our true QB competition in 2018, nobody will be considering transferring. The job will be open and why would any of these three just lay down and entertain transferring until at least that competition was finalized?

    Even then, third on the food chain is the backup with one play resulting in a QB injury. So everybody stays.

    Same speculation concerning Ollison last season. Guess who’s still here???? BTW, the guy’s name is spelled MacVittie.


    1. Duzz gets this team up for big games and we have four to start the season – we end up 3-1 in those first four games


  12. Pitt Football Announces 2017 Promotions Schedule

    Panthers Unveil Promotional Events for All Seven Heinz Field Games

    PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh’s football promotional days have been unveiled for the 2017 season.

    Sept. 2, Youngstown State, “Hail to Heroes” / “Heinz Field Rib Festival”

    Pitt will once again pay tribute to our heroes in the armed services and our community as all active, reserve and retired military personnel and first responders are invited to attend. Our heroes may claim up to four (4) tickets to the game by visiting our Hail To Heroes website.

    The first 20,000 fans in attendance will receive a limited edition “Stars and Stripes” Pitt Script Magnet Decal.

    Sept. 16, Oklahoma State, “Faculty and Staff Appreciation”

    All Pitt faculty and staff are eligible for a special buy-one, get-one free ticket offer to the game against the Cowboys.

    For more details and ticket information visit the Faculty/Staff website.

    Sept. 30, Rice, “Jr. Panthers Day”

    As part of Jr. Panthers Day, kids in 8th grade and under will have the opportunity to watch warmups on the field prior to the game.

    For more details and ticket information visit the Jr. Panthers Day website.

    Oct. 14, NC State, “Homecoming”

    Always one of the most festive weekends on the Pitt calendar, details for Homecoming 2017 can be found at the Pitt Alumni Association’s official Homecoming website.

    The first 40,000 fans will receive a complimentary Pitt Cheer Banner sponsored by the Pitt Alumni Association.

    Oct. 28, Virginia, “Family Weekend” / “Breast Cancer Awareness” / “Band and Cheer Day” / “Youth Football Day” / “Scout Day”

    The Panthers are proud to support the fight against breast cancer by promoting the importance of early detection.

    Parents and families are invited to join us for the University’s annual Family Weekend. For more details on tickets and events with Pitt Family Weekend website.

    High school bands and cheerleading squads add to the day’s pageantry as they participate in Pitt’s pregame concert, March to Victory, Halftime and other in-game performances. All details can be found on our Band Day or Cheer Day websites.

    Scouts and Youth Football teams are encouraged to join us pregame for an exclusive chalk talk and on-field opportunities.

    Nov. 9 (Thurs.), North Carolina, “Star Wars Night”

    Join us for this primetime national television game against the Tar Heels.

    The evening will be highlighted by a Star Wars themed halftime by the Pitt Marching Band. More details to come.

    Nov. 24 (Fri.), Miami, “Senior Day” / “Jr. Panthers Day”

    Miami comes to town as Pitt honors its seniors in the 2017 Heinz Field finale.

    The Panthers will host another Jr. Panthers Day with the opportunity for kids in 8th grade and under to watch warmups from the sidelines.

    For more details and ticket information visit the Jr. Panthers Day website.

    Season ticket, mini packages and single game tickets for the 2017 Pitt football season can be purchased online or by calling (800) 643-PITT (7488).

    Groups of 15 or more will save off the individual ticket price with tickets starting at only $15 for specific games. To make group reservations, call the Panthers Ticket Office at (800) 643-PITT (7488).


  13. PITT also has a new ticket exchange program for season tickets holders this year. In the past when I couldn’t go to a game I gave the tickets away with one stipulation, that they sit in the seats. One game last year I couldn’t even give them away and had to eat them. (tasted terrible)

    Think of the possibilities?


  14. “Where as Browne has been not meeting expectations and then bumbling his chances at USC over the past four years – and that is exactly what happened from the time he got there ”

    That quote is about 10% true.


    1. Peterson did not impress anyone while at Tennessee – Pitt he did – I expect to be impressed by Browne at Pitt


      1. Actually Peterman did not impress a lot of people even when he was selected to start. It took quite a few games for people including POVers to recognize how much better he was than CV.


  15. Deep – how does your version work then?

    A consensus 5*, #1 HS recruit in all positions, can’t hardly sniff the field for three years then gets benched after the two games he’s allowed to start. Spin it how you want – he met zero of the realistic expectations the USC staff and fans had for him.

    Hope he does well here but his track record isn’t that good at all – unless you make personnel excuses while he was at USC. But every QB anywhere has to outplay others to get the starting job… which shouldn’t have been impossible for a QB of his HS credentials.


    1. You could have made a similar statement about Peterman, Reed, and look how that worked out. I appreciate your eye test ability, Reed but let’s give Buster Browne a chance before looking past him.


    2. Reed – neither did Peterman impress us at Tennessee – see how that worked out for Peterman – have some faith in the coaching staff


  16. Look if Browne does not present the run option possibility he’s already behind the 8 ball in college football. Now maybe he’s another Tom Brady look a like that doesn’t need a run option to be successful. Peterman wasn’t considered a runner but he sure was able to strategically use that ability from time to time at Pitt.


  17. I said Peterman would start by game 3 and I’ve said Pickett will start by game 4. He is head and shoulders the best QB in camp, as was Peterman. Browne has most of the tools but their is something that just looks average about him. Dinucci is Voytek in disguise. Cannot hit a throw on the run!


  18. Reed, Max ran into perfect storm last year at USC, a tuff early schedule, which he failed to produce wins, while having the USC future franchise player in RS freshman Sam Darnold ready to begin his reign as their starting QB. Darnold’s immediate success was the verdict returned that Browne would never see the field again precluding injury.

    So don’t be down on Browne because he transferred here in defeat. MadMax could compete for starting time at 90% of BCS schools. Just so happens that USC was in that other 10%.

    We’ll know in a month for sure.


    1. Browne could end up the runner up in the Heisman race – Darnold is that good – I for one can’t wait to see this play out in front of my eyes.



  19. If Browne resorts to the quick pass in order to avoid the rush Weah may never become a long pass threat at Pitt this year. Watch and see if that very scenario doesn’t play out early this season. Absent a long pass threat the opposition will have their safeties between 10 to 15 yards from the line of scrimmage. That will also make it very difficult for Pitt to generate a consistent run offense.


  20. Weah turned a few 15 yard slant passes into long TD completions last year. Just saying short passes could be very big gains.

    I remember Peterman being called a game manager and such at first. A high school QB ranked as a 5 star just doesn’t suck all of a sudden. He was behind a good QB at USC at first and then as Doc posted, thrown into a perfect storm for a good benching. and Voytik was not a 5 star.

    It’s starting to sound like a lot of PITT fans are bagging this one in? Well I thought they would struggle but hearing and reading all this negative forecasts I’m starting to get ready to buckle down the hatches and go to war. Narduzzi will get his 8 wins this coming regular season. The ACC schedule is just not that tough, imo. I’m not ruling out an ACC Championship game at all. Get your chin’s up guys!!!

    Lowering the expectation bar is a good thing for this team. If someone tells me this team can only win 6 or if lucky, 7 games, I’m all over it. I know of one young man that has a very horrible history of speculating. ….. ..ike


    1. Not bagging it in yet – give this team a few games and I bet we win more than we lose.

      Lightning in a bottle is a possibility.

      Believe my friends, believe in the Pursuit.


  21. Reed, excellent stuff, thanks for taking the time to write it. Like all fans here, I’ll be rooting for the best guy to win the job next year, and there will be uncertainty thats for sure. But deep down, I always prefer the highest ceiling guy will win it, and it certainly sounds like Pickett is that guy. If so, it’s hard to imagine we’d burn a red shirt this year.

    And with DiNucci, I hope he provides long term competition and depth to the QB position. I suspect if he wins the job next year, it’s a sign that we’re not far along enough as a program yet to ‘take it’


  22. Hate to sound like a broken record but I sure as heck hope some of the posters who have threatened to join the round-table show up tomorrow. You know who you guys are.

    That’s not to say Reed doesn’t need the regular guy’s to show up as well. Enough room for all. Plus it seems like “We All We Got” Kudos to all have participated and let’s keep this rolling. The round-table is a very special and unique idea for today’s blogs. Reed is Ben Franklin for gosh sake! ….

    Let’s get with it men, and Ladies. (Anne) New and old blood ….. come on the season is quickly approaching!! Let’s talk PITT football….. . .ike


  23. Reed.. I am excited that you are excited .. good to hear some perspective on another QB.. McV looks like he throws a good ball as well… it’s the immeasurables i.e. who does the “O” rally round the best….
    Reed…the POVert who blew the Nate Peyerman horn the loudest was our own Darkie…
    What say you Dark One one all these great QBs we have at PITT… which horse you got yo money on?


  24. I’ve been defending Browne since he got here. Give the kid a chance. Duzz is finding a nitch in bringing in 5th year seniors to fill spots, and so he has got to lean in Browne’s favor. Then next year Pickett will take over, and one of the other QBs will transfer. So Pitt needs to continue to bring in one QB per year, which is what other programs do. By the way, I heard that Florida suspended 7 players recently. I guess it happens to other programs as well.


  25. I’ve been defending Browne since he got here. Give the kid a chance. Duzz is finding a nitch in bringing in 5th year seniors to fill spots, and so he has got to lean in Browne’s favor. Then next year Pickett will take over, and one of the other QBs will transfer. So Pitt needs to continue to bring in one QB per year, which is what other programs do. By the way, I heard that Florida suspended 7 players recently. I guess it happens to other programs as well.


  26. I’m pulling for Browne to be the full year starter for this year as a Peterman/Savage hybrid, and on Team Pickett as the leading QB candidate for 2018 and beyond! Can’t wait to get this party started!


  27. Have not seen enough of any of them to have an opinion.

    Just hope that one turns out to be really great.

    I saw that WV is going with a freshman.


  28. Have not seen enough of any of them to have an opinion.

    It would be nice if Pickett is that good to win the job. A QB for three or four years eliminates a lot of uncertainty.

    WV going with a freshman.


  29. I’m not down on Browne, I think he’ll be able to play decent QB for us. I see a Voytik like Ike season or maybe a bit better… something like 17-20 TDs, 13 INTs and 2000 yds.

    I’m actually more concerned about INTs with him than anything else.

    Plus sacks given up.


  30. Chill out Ike. We’re talking speculations here, nothing more. Results on the field will start on 9/2. Tee creepy valley game will speak volumes to what we actually have at the QB position.



  31. We tend to forget that Oh Canada was very conservative with Nate P. For about the first four games last season. We took no risks on 3rd and long, even 3rd and medium saw some head-scratching runs.

    We probably can’t afford to do that this season, since we won’t surprise opponents with our offensive speed. Hopefully that plays to Browne’s strength – given his “maturity.”

    Go Pitt


  32. Trace McSwirley slings it reclassly and loses games because of it – see Pitt and USC.

    S.Barkley is one of 11 players on offense – the right D can stop him – just saying.

    OK State was beaten by a MAC team last season, early on and Pitt hung right with them in their home stadium. Same team back – Pitt has lots of film and Duzz wants revenge at home.

    The drama builds and the excitement is there. But so are the Debbie Downers who don’t believe Pitt has a chance in the two games.

    The unknowns we Pitt fans speak of can be spoken also by our opponents.


  33. I’m cool EE. Who can get mad at Reed? I knew all along he was busting my chops but I thought the “LOL” and smiley face emoticon gave me away without saying.

    Starting to like this PITT football team more and more. This season could be one for the ages one way or another??? … ike


  34. Erie E is right. This team starts 3-1 (possibly 4-0). Browne delivers and the young Panthers grow up quickly surpassing all expectations. Miami game decides the Coastal champion. Preseason top 10-15 for 2018.
    Gotta believe. H2P


  35. Entertaining thread. Based on the limited opportunity to watch these kids play there sure are alot of strong opinions. Here is one opinion that I did not see from one single post….DiNucci breaks camp as the starter and never looks back. Reed would put those odds at -20%….I put them at a reasonable possibility. This competition isn’t a ploy….it is very very real. They are trying hard to name Max the starter based on experience but can’t get there for some reason. That some reason is simply DiNucci is outplaying him right now. Stay tuned….


  36. Followed Browne since he came to USC. Character guy. I’m rooting for him now he’s a Panther. Pitt coaches a better fit and Pitt receivers just as good as USC’s last year. I think his Stanford game will be the norm, and I think that will be more than enough for 8 wins–I’m looking for 9 and ACC Costal.


  37. Anonymous you just may be right about DiNucci out playing Browne in camp right now. The Trib article today on the QB competition has it a toss up between those two. I agree they want to give Browne the start but that may not end up being the case. My question is has DiNucci is really progressed that much from last season or has Browne now practiced at the 3(not a 5) star level?


  38. Just catching up last night on the reading – OPG and Pittman4 – my prayers are with you both and your families. Be strong and know God is with you.

    Really puts FB back in the “entertainment” category where it belongs.


  39. Can’t wait for Star Wars Night and the Princess Leia wet T-shirt contest…gotta think this is RICHMAN’s idea.


  40. I say we have a ‘Neil Diamond Sucks’ day .. and everyone bring a copy of Sweet Caroline that gets destroyed on the 50 yard line at the end of the 3rd Quarter


  41. Now there’s a car commercial where a Pitt fan starts singing Sweet Caroline (Subaru I think), I guess that means Pitt will never stop using it at the 3rd quarter break.


  42. Pitt can’t seem to catch a break with its top recruits. Whitehead suspended, Hamlin still injured, Ford not yet eligible, last year Hill has a heart problem. All four should have been major impact players. The three d-backs still could be, but when?

    So call me a Debbie Downer, but it does seem like we can’t catch a break.


  43. By the way … Duke just got the top BB recruit for this coming year. Like Ford, he attended 3 different schools in the last 3 years. How much do you wanna bet that he passes the NCAA clearinghouse in time for the first practice?


  44. jrnpitt– don’t know if you saw the spring game, but Dinucci did look like a different player versus the bowl game. He played with a lot of confidence, appeared to be totally in control, and made good throws (though I don’t remember any longer throws).

    I thought he looked more comfortable than Browne in that game, but figured Browne would show up better in fall camp… Maybe that’s not happening, or maybe for the first time in forever, we have two QBs who can play.

    Go Pitt.


  45. With Dinucci practicing fairly well down on the south-side it’s just more proof as to why Narduzzi has to get in the backups during the season. I know PITT played a lot of close games last year and the window was small but these kids need live action to get better along the way.


  46. Heather Lyke should be embarrassed or go handle marketing at a K-5 Private School. How out of touch with reality is this woman?

    Ted – Because Six Flags actually is enjoyable and makes the experiwnde enjoyable.


  47. OK guys, here is another small dose of reality…

    If both “Max has been good. DiNucci has been really good” that is interesting and heartening as far as QB competition wise – although I’ll bet anyone on here $10 right now that Browne starts the season. So – that competition is good for both QBs.

    But take that “good’ with a grain of salt when talking about how well the QBs are actually doing in practices and scrimmages in Fall camp as opposed to what they will do in-season.

    Why? Well, they are playing against the 1st and 2nd string Pitt defenses that in most probability are not that good at all right now – if we think inexperience in the defense will hurt us in the 1st half of the season – imagine what those kids are playing like two weeks into the camp .

    I’d have to say with the big talent and more experience gap between our guys on offense – Browne, DiNucci, Weah, the OL, etc., and that young and (?) who knows how good defense, the advantage goes to the offense every time right now.

    Again and to reiterate – I don’t think Browne is a bad or inadequate QB by any means – I am just very worried he won’t have what it takes to be a real driving force behind scores like our last QB was. I think he’ll be an average D1 player and we’ll have to rely on the running game and special teams play to make up for that.


  48. I like the fact that the athletic department apparently recognizes that a key is to “brainwash” the kids – and I mean that in a good way — into being Pitt fans. I see they are having events to get the kids down on the sidelines and have a chalk-talk for kids.

    It will take a long time, but we need a long-term approach, to augment more immediate measures, to grow the fan base. And I’d give all the kids “Hail to Pitt” shirts as a great starting point…

    As a Pitt letter winner, I’ve had the chance, and to me its a lot of fun, to be down on the field before games… It’s especially neat to be down there when the Panthers come out of that tunnel!!

    Go Pitt.


  49. Reed I would not take that QB bet. Narduzzi almost owes Browne the chance to start against YSU. But if he struggles in that game and come the 3rd Q and the Pitt offense is floundering then I’d expect PN to pull Browne and insert DiNucci. And if Pitt loses that game anything is possible on the QB front going forward.


  50. Max Browne started against Alabama (NCAA pass defense #24); Utah State (Pass defense #11) and Stanford (Pass defense #61). All gave up under 3000 passing yards for the season. Enter Sam D., and while he faced Washington (#15) and Colorado (#20) he also began with Utah (#101) and saw Washington State (#112); Oregon (#113); Arizona (#117) and Arizona State (#128). The Family Man’s group at ASU were dead last in NCAA D1 pass defense and the only team to finish below the Panthers (#127).

    Six of the 10 opponents Sam faced gave up over 3000 yards passing for the season, and a 7th (Cal) gave up 2945 yards. Penn State, while ranked #50, are the only team other than Hawaii in the top 85 to give up more than 3000 yards for the season. Alabama and Clemson each played 15 games and gave up less than 3000.

    For the ugly record, Pitt gave up 4331 passing yards and easily had the most passes thrown at the defense (549) with a completion percentage of 64%. That completion percentage was actually better or equal to 3 teams USC played after Browne was replaced (Oregon @ 65%; Arizona @67%; ASU @ 64% while PSU and Washington State were nearby at 62%. Stanford was also 64%, and as LA Panther noted this could be seen as the real norm for Max Browne (18-28 191 yards on the road in a very difficult venue for visitors), who was partly the victim of really bad offensive line play.

    Time will tell, but if everything falls into place this could be a pretty interesting season for Panther fans.



  51. Reed, thanks for the kind words and prays. Same goes for all of you who wished good health for my grandson.

    Brown, for the second and third brutal games for sure. He has played in big time pressure before. Plus my wife is from Washington State.

    If Pickett is the second coming of Danny Marino; he has to play. If not don’t throw him to the wolf’s (ACC) yet. Moreover I would like to see Brown showcase and develop his talent for the NFL. Nothing wrong with getting talented transfer QB’s and being known for it. This may be the future of the college game.


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