The Burning of a Redshirt

There has been a lot of hue and cry from the Pitt faithful this season regarding HC Pat Narduzzi and OC Shawn Watson’s burning of QB Kenny Pickett’s redshirt in the Syracuse game. I read and hear the complaints about that move every day since that happened and have to smile just a bit when I do.  Why? Let me explain…

You remember that SYR game right? A 27-24 loss in which not only did SYR beat us for the first time in five years but where we went through three different QBs ending up with Kenny Pickett taking his first college snap on a meaningless end-of-game play.

Let’s set the stage here:

That game was the 7th of this season and we sat at 2-4 and 0-2 in conference play. As things progressed during the game we saw starting QB Max Browne go down halfway through the 3rd quarter on a vicious sack, allowed by a mix-up between Ollison and Flanagan on pass protection,  that tore his shoulder ligaments  putting him out of action for the rest of the game (and out of his very short Pitt career).

After that injury rsSO Ben DiNucci came in as he should have because he was the listed two-deep QB and who had been getting QB2 snaps both in fall camp and the season’s regular play’s practices.  That left rsFR Thomas MacVittie and true FR Kenny Pickett on the bench if needed.

And one of them was needed because on the last possession Pitt had a 2nd and 18 with only 52 seconds left on the clock and DiNucci was sacked and his helmet came off.  So with no time outs remaining Narduzzi called for Pickett to take the snap and thus screwed Pickett out of a full year of eligibility.

Why that particular scenario is important and why I’m re-hashing this is because with that scenario, knowing we would lose that game to go 2-5 and 0-3 in conference, Narduzzi already knew that a winning season was already very unlikely and that a division championship was almost certainly out of reach.

So why didn’t anyone else take a snap and a knee or throw the ball on that last play? Remember we had MacVitte, Pickett – and here’s a thought – SO QB Jake Zilinskas standing on the sidelines.  MacVitte, Zilinskas or even Whitehead could have taken that last snap because… and here it gets kind of unbelievable… the play call on that last snap wasn’t either a Hail Mary or a trick play with laterals and such.

At 2nd and 18 it was a run of the mill passing play where Pickett hit Lopes for a 13 yard gain as the clock ran out.

And here is why I smiled at that play and the subsequent angst of the Pitt fans for that personnel move that almost certainly screwed a promising QB out of a year of play.

It is because that was Pat Narduzzi’s plan all along.  What was lost in the all the post-game noise was that he had alluded earlier in interviews that Pickett was going to be the 2nd string QB and MacVittie would be relegated to the woodpile, or in this case Special Teams where marginal talent goes to die…

Here is what our HC said after the SYR game…

As far as Browne’s future, Narduzzi guessed he might be able to start throwing again in seven or eight weeks, if he doesn’t try to rush back. As for Pitt’s future, it might make more sense now to burn freshman Kenny Pickett’s redshirt, and Narduzzi said “there’s a plan” for how — or maybe if — to use him behind DiNucci.

“That’s kind of our thoughts going in, just telling Ben, ‘Hey, this is what we’re going to try to do,’ and try to stick with that plan,” Narduzzi said. “Sometimes you have a plan going in, and sometimes the plans change.”

Note the “Narduzzi said “there’s a plan” for how to use him behind DiNucci.”  Drivel.

But I also think there is something else that we fans are overlooking.  Why would a head coach in his 3rd year of a contract worry at all about what is going to happen 2, 3 or 4 years down the road when there is a good possibility that same coach won’t be at the present school anyway?

Forget about that two-year extension Narduzzi got tacked onto his original contract which hired him until the 2012 season – those add-ons are commonly done not for merit rewards but for recruiting purposes (as it was in this case) and they have minimal buyout clauses written in so either side can easily terminate those two added years as is often done by either the HC leaving or his being fired.  (On a side note;  of course that also locked Narduzzi into a ridiculously low $1.83M salary which was a good move for Pitt if you think he’s worth that I suppose).

So Narduzzi wasn’t and isn’t looking at what Kenny Pickett’s going to be like in his 2019 JR and 2020 SR years because there is a good chance that Narduzzi won’t be here to see it.

Or he could pull a move like Wannstedt did with Pat Bostick in 2008 when he promised that Bostick would have that redshirt he missed out on in 2007 only to put him in for meaningless snaps against Rutgers… when he still had two other QBs on the bench at the same time.  I was sitting near Pat SR when that move was made and it looked like he was launched out of a rocket pad he was so angry.

It’s time we realize that the relationship between a head coach and a player is pretty damned one-sided as far as playing time goes- the player is there to be used or not used at the HC’s discretion.

We saw that writ large when DiNucci was benched in the next game against NC State and Pickett got a few series… then in the post game interviews both DiNucci and the head coach gave contradicting statements about whether or not DiNucci was told Pickett would play…

It is pretty obvious at this point, especially given that Pickett has seen no playing time since the NC State loss four games ago that Narduzzi isn’t concerned with what is best for Pickett at all. This is why I feel Narduzzi’s handling this QB situation exactly the wrong way.

What we have now is a backup QB who has taken a total of 14 pass attempts in 61 minutes of play – a full quarter of a season ago. It’s almost hard to believe.

What happens if DiNucci goes down with an injury against the better, faster and stronger defenses we’ll see in the next two games? That can easily happen given DiNucci’s tendency to wander all over the backfield then darting forward toward oncoming LBs and Safeties.

I suppose it is to then throw Pickett to the wolves without even trying to get him prepared to face those two better teams if needed.

What is obvious, or should be, is that it is the DiNucci and Pickett show now and going into next offseason’s camps. Why Narduzzi can’t see that this season is, for all intents and purposes, a losing year to use in preparation for 2018 is beyond me.  Maybe he literally can’t think that far into the future.

Either way what I fear the most is that somehow he’s becoming so enamored with Ben DiNucci (similar traits maybe?) to the extent that he feels he has to use every snap remaining in 2017 to prepare DiNucci as the true incumbent starter for 2018 instead of DiNucci’s just being the next man up after Browne this year.  When in reality he should be getting Pickett as many snaps as possible to ensure we have an as competitive as possible QB battle for that 2018 starting role.

I have a bad feeling about the QB situation for next season folks… Narduzzi’s ‘come hell or high water‘ approach to DiNucci as the playing QB is worrisome and I feel it’s misguided. And all this is written with the my real feeling that Pickett could probably give us a better chance of winning these last two game than we could with the play DiNucci has shown so far.

When you have a QB who has thrown for only 149 yards per game on average in his four starts with only 2 TDs and 2 INTs… that production can be matched or exceeded by almost anyone with a halfway decent arm and any sort of football brain at all. Regardless if he’s a true FR.

It has become screamingly apparent that Narduzzi hates any risk factor at all in his decisionmaking, that much is obvious.  But if there is any better time to roll the dice and set up Pitt near-future seasons it is in getting Pickett playing time right now however INTs he may throw.  I’d bet a beer that given the time and opportunity to play on any sort of regular basis in this season’s end Pickett will prove to be at least as good as Dinucci if not, I believe, even better.

Either way it is the best move to make now for the good of the 2018 team.


248 thoughts on “The Burning of a Redshirt

  1. “You remember that SYR game right? A 27-24 loss in which not only did SYR beat us for the first time in five years but where we went through three different QBs ending up with Kenny Pickett taking his first college snap on a meaningless end-of-game play.”

    Reed – that last play should not have been meaningless. You downplay it as if there was no chance to win the game. Have you ever seen a Hail Mary pass.

    Pitt is pitiful in it’s two major sports – and until even the coaches prepare Lyke winners, us fans will continue to be greatly disappointed.


    1. They didn’t call a Hail Mary pass Erie – that was even stated after the game and if you watch what the receivers did they didn’t go deep but ran regular routes.. It was a meaningless play and one that could have been done by another QB on the team.


      1. My point is why? If the play was meaningless to the coaching staff, THEN THEY ALL NEED FIRED! NOW – I’ll finish the season as the coach without pay. Give me a few POVers like MajorMajor, Emel, JoeKnew and UPitt. I can loose game just as easily.

        Who said it was meaningless? Show me, cause I’ll get on the phone, write letters, you name it.

        That right there ticks me off…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. What’s interesting come to think of it EE & Reed….I believe Pickett completed his only pass for 13 yards or something….and Pitt didn’t even have one of those completed pass, lateral play to several players….in it’s playbook.

          I thought every college team had that play in the final desperation play category. Pitt of course does not.


      1. Florida FR QB Feleipi Franks threw a 63 yard Hail Mary to beat Tennessee earlier this year.

        My point was, at least make an attempt to win the game. Pitt coaches made no attempt with that 13 yard completion.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Yep, not even my above mentioned…..completed pass, with lateral to trailing players …play.

          God forbid if Pickett was involved in a game winning play. They’d have to start him then.


  2. Stepping out the door in five minutes, so a longer post to come later. There is no question that Pickett time has come. Anyone with a good set of eyes and a modicum of football knowledge could tell you that Ben DiNucci is not the future at QB for Pitt. Season is lost. Get Pickett in there and see what he can do.


    1. At first though seems like a good idea. But since the season is over, barring 2 Miracles, we have no idea how this team will react, are they going to pack it in. Do we want Pickett in there, if they do ? He might get killed, like Max did.

      The time to play Pickett was against the weak teams of Duke (who Army just beat) and UVA. Let the Nooch takes the lumps, since he and Nard Dog think it’s his team. Let them own the 4-8 season.


  3. I would hardly think that HCPN is so enamored with BD (sorry Dinucci family) that he won’t play Pickett. Seems implausible to me. I truly believe Narduzzi believes that BD gives his football team the best chance to win the football game

    I also believe that there will be a fair QB battle all of the off season…. and no I don’t believe in the tooth fairy or Santa Claus.

    The coach is still trying to win football games that most of you already consider losses.

    Again, I want to see Pickett in on some scripted packages next two games. . . . .ike



  4. Some wonder why Narduzzi closes his practices? I suspect it’s to drive us all nuts with speculation. We don’t have a clue what’s going on down on the south-side during the week and how these kids are practicing. None!


  5. Ike – why not start him and do two things…1) get new blood in the offensive huddle and 2) let DiNucci know that the starting job has to be won by playing well?

    Remember how the offense sat up and took notice when Pickett came in against NC? There was a visible difference. Our offense has been going through the motions with no passing game and we saw that in a big way against NC… at this point you can still make changes AND play to win.

    It is as if you feel that 100% of what Narduzzi does is correct and forget that he makes mistakes just like every other HC and human beings do…


  6. Reed, I agree, would love to see KP start and play as BD is not the answer long term. I want Pickett to start

    I’m just giving Narduzzi the benefit of the doubt that he know’s who gives him the best chance to win the game at hand. He’s not playing for the future at all and quite frankly, I don’t want a coach that does..

    If he doesn’t think he will be around then he has to win games. Otherwise, who is clamoring for a losing coach?


  7. About that hail mary play. Maybe Pickett didn’t know what he was doing and was supposed to throw it deep and he pissed the coaches off by running a stupid play? Just a thought cause we don’t know? We just don’t know.. . . . . . .ike


  8. Kinda disheartening that people are giving up on DiNucci already. Whoever it is at QB next year better be somebody recruited and coming up through the ranks or I’m gonna be pi$$ed. Narduzzi fluked into Peterman coming off the transfer junk pile and wasted a year of our lives on Browne. No more junk shopping for a transfer malcontent, play the kids you brought to the dance.


  9. Ike, Please don’t take this the wrong way, but it finally dawned on me . You remind me of those Nitters on the PSU sights. They will always bring up some theory to justify their pie in the sky outlook, regardless of reality. Forget the stats, forget the facts, my school right or wrong. It’s nice to have someone on here that has that outlook, even if it goes against everything I have seen and believe. That’s why the POV is the best blog out there, and why reading it makes my day.


  10. Don’t worry JoeK, I just try and read and listen. A note though, that was in no way a theory. Just trying to point out about how we are in the dark about the goings on with this gestapo of a football team.

    We need to have the FBI / CIA try and crack Narduzzi’s code and when they do it will probably say. “Drink your Ovaltine”


  11. I’m pretty sure HCPN is not on the hot seat with the university admin, nor Heather Lyke. But in one or two years he’ll be gone running the show as is. His D is atrocious.

    So I will write a letter to Mrs. Lyke asking to be apart of the search committee. I will also inquire to Sir Patrick G on how do I get onto the BoT’s without a gov’t appointment.

    Pitt should have hired an established HC instead of a coordinator with ZERO HC-ing experience.

    Take for instance, Curt Cignetti, HC at D1AA Elon University who is 8-2 and ranked #7 in the country. Curt cut his coaching teeth at Pitt under Majors, took over a struggling IUP team as HC and was a 10 game winner throughout.

    He has won at every level of coaching, is a native of Pittsburgh and his father was a FB coach.

    The only negative I see is he played QB for wvcc from 79-82. But, he would bring a winning system to Pitt. He has experience as a successful HC.

    And his price tag wouldn’t break the Pitt bank.

    I’m so mad at Pitt Athletics right now I can’t see straight.


    1. Good post Erie. He was also assistant under Saban at Alabama before taking a pay cut to become HC at IUP or as he noted at the time the ability to cut his own grass and spend quality time with his growing family. Not certain, but he may have been a lead recruiter for Saban at some point. Good coach that a larger program will land in the not too distant future.


  12. There are rumblings coming out of the Southside on a regular basis… Pitt isn’t the NSA you know.

    That said it is besides the point of the article as I never said Pickett must start… Only that he should get as much playing time as possible so that the staff has a body of real work to consider going into the off season.

    A plus to that is we may (probably) get more than Dinucci’s .5 TDs per game.

    One half a passing TD per game Ike… That is all you need to know especially after watching him play poorly in the NC loss.


  13. Reed. I agree with your basic premise that Narduzzi didn’t give a rip about Pickett’s redshirt. What I don’t get is this; if he was going to put a QB into the game that he didn’t give hoot about, why not put in McVittie? Obviously, that kid is not part of any Narduzzi plan. Burning Pickett’s redshirt made no sense unless Narduzzi planned on playing him (which he clearly doesn’t). My explanation is more simple; Narduzzi is over his head. He listed Pickett as #2 on the depth chart and planned to use him if DiNucci got hurt. What he didn’t account for is the situation where he needed a QB for one play. He should have had McVittie ready to go in as a temporary replacement. I just don’t think he was considering this scenario. Then, after he burns the shirt, he gives Pickett a couple of meaningless quarters and then justifies a decision he had already made (that DiNucci is his starter).

    One characteristic that good (or great) coaches have is flexibility. They adapt to the situation, talent, etc. both during a game and throughout a season. Narduzzi is maddeningly stubborn. He makes a decision and never questions the effectiveness of that decision. Just look at his defensive scheme. Narduzzi has a philosophy about defense and he will not change regardless of results. Our defense has been horrible for his three years here, yet he persists. He trots out the same players and hardly ever makes personnel changes. Narduzzi will stick with DiNucci regardless of his performance. I’ll already predict that the QB “contest” coming next spring will be a complete farce. Narduzzi will talk about playing the guy who performs and he’ll start DiNucci (just like he started Browne).

    The bottom line is this. We’re not going to win any meaningful games with a QB who averages less then 150 yards passing per game. Period. That’s what you’re going to get out of DiNucci. If Narduzzi has any intent of turning this program around he better wake up to the fact that he will never do it with a less then average QB. Even if Narducci is already thinking about his next job, he better improve what’s happening at Pitt or his next job will be defensive coordinator at Southwest Missouri Community College.

    At the risk of making this lengthy note even longer, there’s another reason that Pickett should start….it’s simply that the fan base is jumping off the bandwagon in record numbers. The fans need a reason for hope and DiNucci is simply not it. At least playing Pickett would demonstrate that we’re trying some new things that that there is some small reason to be hopeful for next year. The thought of having to endure two more seasons with Ben DiNucci running the offense is simply too horrible to consider.


    Liked by 1 person

  14. My you POVerts are a little rough on BD calling to pull him just when he is getting the 1st down PITT “ POSER “ act together!


    1. Narduzzi doesn’t give two sh*ts about the Pitt fans or the local media.

      He’s arrogant and treats both of them with disdain. You can see it in his press conferences and you can see it whenever he’s validly questioned about any of his in-game or personnel decisions.

      He was a big fish in a small town in East Lansing and now that he’s in a town where we have won championships in different sports, and at Pitt, he isn’t the big dog he thinks he is anymore. He doesn’t like to be questioned and you can see that in his attitude every single time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And he will be gone if next year is like this one.

        Doesn’t it embarrass anyone in the Pitt administration that we are in last place in football or basketball?


  15. Can we hire Butch Jones? Yeah I would rather have a failed SEC middling castoff HC than what we currently have.

    Butch got blown out by the likes of Alabama/Georgia…we give up 34 points to a UNC.




    1. Pelusi has been around a while. Where was he when Nordy let Wannstedt get fired? Too many big names I read about but where are they when bad decisions are made? Juhl as well. Says Pitt invented CPR and can win 10 games in football, well why did you let Nordy listen to Smiley and fire Wannstedt?

      This athletic department would be better off being run by some fans on here. We’d have passionate discussions that could get ugly, but the product would be better served because of it.


    1. Doubt he would leave Iowa State for Pitt. Sorry IMO we aren’t committed to FB as much as they are in the Big12.

      Time and Time again when a coaching change is made the big names get thrown out…they won’t come here because the $$$$ to build/maintain a program aren’t provided.



  16. Davis fired at Tennessee today after a 4-6 start in his 5th season –

    The Tenn DC is Shoop from Oakmont – former psu DC under Franklinstein.

    Note to Heather – demand Narduzzi fire Conklin and hire Shoop. Open the pursestrings and show Pitt fans you care about winning.


  17. One observation from Bens last 4 starts- don’t remember Matthews even being targeted… He was staring to come into his own with Brown….correct me if I’ve missed him being targeted…

    BD doesn’t see the field or feel pressure… we had a 2nd and one and a pass play is called – BD stands stationary for what seemed like 5-6 seconds and took a sack Right where he stood … was hoping for him but at that moment was tha time to prepare KP for a series or 2.

    We should have won.. QH and another costly fumble cost the game… he has trouble at times with securing the pigskin.

    At we have not had to bear witness to snaps sailing over the QBs head- good job Jimmy Morriseys….


  18. btw just to be clear…

    Butch Jones at Tenn:

    2013 –> 5-7
    2014 –> 7-6
    2015 –> 9-4 (won Outback bowl, tied for 2nd in east division in SEC)
    2016 –> 9-4 (won Music City bowl, tied for 2nd in east division of SEC)
    2017 –> 4-5 (down year after 4 years of above .500 performance)

    In looking at his previous lineage everywhere he goes he has had results Central Michigan, Cincy, Tennessee. While it is a down year…honestly folks the numbers I posted above is something I would love to be posting right now for Nard dog.

    Yep he isn’t coming here…but the reason I posted it was very simple…we are sitting here accepting this less than mediocre product when we could actually have better.

    It sucks to be a Pitt fan sometimes…



    1. I Lyke your way of thinking. Pitt is settling for mediocre results. Keeping this staff entirely together is insane.

      Last year a Pitt man was let go – out DLine coach, Tom Sims. Charlie Partridge seemed Lyke an upgrade, but the results on the field say otherwise.

      What changes will be made this year? Fire the recruiting coordinator? There need to be deeper cuts, shake-ups and changes.

      I bet we see little to none…


  19. Reed, again great points and I couldn’t agree more. PN will not change his plan unless BD throws some picks or fumbles. Only then will KP get playing time. BD is getting all the reps with the first team in practice while KP is getting what’s left. It’s ridiculous to throw KP in these next two games and expect results when KP has had no game experience. I live near Cumberland valley high school and spoke to the parents of a senior PN invited to camp. They said PN was the most egotistical person they ever met. He spoke like his program was a national contender and really turned them off. Now I know why we are only getting 2 and 3 star kids with very few offers. When you talk the talk, you have to walk the walk.


      1. I know given your position you cannot discuss the details Reed. But I have to tell you that there is nothing and I mean nothing you have written/discussed that makes me like this guy as Pitt’s HC. I know you suggest that he should not be fired.

        But frankly why? He can’t recruit, He is not a ambassador to the media/fans/HS coaches/families of potential recruits, He cannot not gameplan, he has no clock management skills, he is not a CEO who hand picks A+ coaching talent.

        And from what I am seeing (and this is opinion) the players don’t seem to be growing, their is no gelling and no confidence whatsoever.

        If the reason we keep him is all in the name of stability…what kind of stability? This is not stability…this is insanity.

        btw, I am not criticizing your opinion, I just can’t seem to figure out why we would want to stick this out another year, 2 years given all of the above.



        1. Dave,

          I agree with everything you said.

          When am employee becomes a problem it’s better to cut the chord as soon as possible. Should be the same way with a HC.


      2. IT’S A shame.

        My brother in law is a PSU Fan and he said recuirts think Narduzzi is a tempormental jerk.

        Not sure if that true but I am starting to here it from all sides.


  20. UPitt ready for this tidbit

    The Colts defense, which entered the game ranked dead last in the NFL, has held the Steelers to only 53 yards of total offense through the first 26 minutes of the game.

    I want to petition the league to ban bye weeks from the Steelers. Tomlin doesn’t know how to use the time off.



  21. I’m all for instability. Pitt is mediocre with or without it. So if we think our coach and AD arent going to get us to division titles and significantly improve in those Director Cup standings, I say let them go now. But thats a big assumption that Pitt wants those goals. They do not from what I’ve seen over 35 years. Seriously, 1 10 win season.


    1. Pitt wants to cash ACC checks and talk research with the other ACC schools.

      That’s fine, build your hospitals and pound your chests. How about giving alums and non alums who are fans something to be proud of and look forward to watching. It’s only for 12 days out of the year and a bowl game.

      A university will never be tarnished by what its sports programs do. In Pitt’s case, the biggest embarrassment I know of for not bing a Pitt alum is the professor who poisoned and killed his wife. An athlete or coach to date has never done worse than that at Pitt. Some I’m sure will say Gottfried and the cheerleading coach affair is a far worse story.


      1. Walt Harris and a major booster’s wife;. Haywood slapping his woman around;. All the 2009-10 off field crap… We have a lot to choose from actually.

        Luckily not so much lately and that’s why I do like narduzzi is leadership off the field. He doesn’t hesitate to administer discipline and while it might hurt the team he’s doing what’s right for the program.


  22. Lee P above, What I’m talking about is getting KP’s feet wet with a series of plays he’s practiced for 10 days and not just taking a few snaps as the backup.

    Reading the comments the past few days is a reminder of how PITT got in this position in the first place. The fire everyone mentality is how PITT landed Stallings, Haymaker and Graham. That strategy seems to be working well for PITT. So yeah fire everyone so we we can complain about the next group of cheap hires PITT will revisit.

    On second thought, imo, I’ll keep the current BOT in lieu of some of the over-reacting posters that like to bail first sign of trouble. ike


    1. I am sorry Ike that is complete revisionism…

      Wanny had his problems…and while I thought he was treated badly by SP…erasing the off the field problems that started to manifest themselves under Wanny was the final straw.

      Freddy Krueger was due to the cheapness/ineptitude of the program
      Graham was a response to that ineptitude/cheapness of the Freddy Krueger response by our inept program under Steve P.
      When Teddy Graham saw the writing on the wall that he couldn’t get what he wanted to build a program he bailed in a really classless way. But notice how he actually has stayed at ASU for more than a season.

      People who rail on Chryst…sorry he was what was needed at the point he came in here…boring stability. I remember the names being brandied about Mario Cristabol was one…where is he now? (Oregon and it ain’t in a head coaching position). I mention him because the sexy name does not guarantee success.

      You don’t fire everyone just to blow it up…however if you have enough information to see that going into a year 4 you will get the same thing then you do make the decision because in doing so you agree that year 3’s recruiting class is a bust and don’t want to see year 4 be the same thing because you make the move.

      Ike, let me ask you this…if next year that year 4 we end up 6-6 with a minor bowl that we win is that enough to take a year 5 on coach Narduzzi with a 7-6 overall record?

      Same scenario above but it’s a minor bowl loss and a 6-7 record? Do we stay the course then?

      If both are yes…then what would be the deciding factor for you in a Year 4?

      Thanks for your response in advance.



  23. On second thought therapy isn’t enough for you Ike.

    Keep Turds that suck and accept total ineptness. Smart buddy.

    A village idiot could beat Duke and UVA so Barduzzi because he is clueless thinks it was dinucci. Could of played pickett still won and got him experience next 2 weeks. Losses and not torally wasted his redshirt. Now next year when he beats out Dinucci. It takes a whole year to get good and comfortable. So waste 2018 as well.


    1. Agree, that the handing the ball off to Hall against Duke and UVA could have even done by Whitehead.

      Since this team has anemic passing numbers, probably would have been a smart thing, to have a Wildcat package. We haven’t seen Whitehead on offense for weeks, after Watson called the same play for him like 7 times in a row in Whitehead’s last action on offense. That was sort of setting up Whitehead to fail on
      offense, imo.


  24. Haven’t I made it clear enough that I want Pickett to play and would be fine with him starting? I’ll go to therapy Mark if you sign up for anger management and therapy.


  25. I don’t care how DiNucci does at practice. We and Narduzzi and Watson have seen how he performs in game situations. We don’t know really know how PickeTT performs in a game situation . Pickett really should have gotten a chance to cut his teeth against NC but as that ship has sailed, you got to play him now. Any other choice is not doing what’s best for the team, now or in 2018. DiNucci could always come back in if the QB play is worse, but we can’t know what Pickett has unless he plays. Pickett needs to get 1st team snaps now. Can’t see any legitimate argument as to why DiNucci should start next week .


  26. Wanny got Bostick his RedShirt year back…either the following year or the next I believe.

    It didn’t really matter anyway,……when the legacy got on the field.

    And I believe Bostick didn’t even come out for the team, his final year of eligibility.


      1. True Emel,. it was actually 2009 that he had his redshirt year and at the end of his fourth year at Pitt he had one more year left but he decided to go ahead and finish his master’s and get on with working in the administration and the radio station.


      2. Interesting enough….Bostick’s last significant action…..was being thrown to the Thug U wolves, in a 31-3 beatdown in 2010. Where he was picked twice and never seen again.


  27. We’ll see how this plays out, as in if/when we lose to VT. Is Pickett going to be set up to fail and thrown to the Thug U wolves ?

    We’ve seen these scenarios before so it should be easy to spot !


    1. I don’t think it matters too much how either of them practives at this point, Ike. We know how BD plays in a game situation . If the argument is that Pickett “isn’t ready” he’ll never get ready taking the limited snaps as the backup. Speed up his preparation by giving him 1st team snaps. NC was able to get their 3rd string QB prepared. If Pitt can’t , it’s on the coaches.


    1. Wow, just wow. Do a little research on Jones. Pretty much universally hated by former players and staff. Top recruiting classes yet 0-fer the SEC this year.


  28. Here’s the thing about Ike folks. He’s as big a fan of Pitt you can have and while he and I disagree almost on everything, which isn’t really true but it seems like we do, he does not really have blinders on when it comes to Pitt football.

    And if anyone else calls him a closet Penn State fan I’ll hunt them down and kill them.


    1. lol….what did I miss. Ike’s a closet Pedo State fan ? ???

      That seems pretty insane to me. I think we’re devolving into lunacy.
      Terminal Madness of the End Times.


  29. Reed….I had to read over certain sections of your column, several times.

    I’m sensing, that you wrote in so many words…..that the Narduzzi is playing favorites with the DiNucci.

    Am I reading your inferences correctly ?


  30. I think it is a Marinara Conspiracy supported by the Crime Family. Italians taking care of each other is it.

    Supposedly Pickett is changing his name to Picketella


  31. ….I think maybe the root cause of this QB situation is as simple as “spaghetti sauce!” Yeah, atsa’ right – the answer is in da sauce!
    Think about it:
    “Narduzzi amd DiNucci” – the Italian connection (LOL). Kenny Pickett doesn’t have a chance! Now, if he was Kenny Pichino, he’d no doubt be playing! :>)
    Hey, at least my theory makes sense cause nothing else does!


  32. ….it must be true- what’s the odds that Upitt and Pittman4ever come up with the same reasoning at exactly the same time – No Kidding!!!!!!


  33. “An exhaustive search is under way for a person of the highest integrity and character with the skills and vision to propel Tennessee to championships. This search will be my sole focus, and I will be in regular contact with Chancellor (Beverly) Davenport. I want to make clear that we are intensely committed to hiring the best coach for Tennessee.”

    Sound familiar ? Yes keep in regular contact with Beverly, that will be of immense help 🙂


  34. First, Jones ain’t coming to Pitt. Folks talk about the product being down, when in actuality it is the off the field problems that sealed his fate. Read fellas. They have had a lot of issues off the field. So he is out.

    Next, don’t throw tomatoes at me, but Browne wins the games against Duke and Virginia too. Dinucci did. Pickett probably does too.

    I mentioned this way early in the year. We burned Sear’s, Davis, Pickett, Pinnock, and several other true freshman redshirts. My point was to play them all and get game tape where their competition is going at 100% against them. You take the tape and teach them from December to August.

    Instead, we are letting these young kids go off practice video where the “D” knows the plays and the “O” knows the defense and they go at 75%. STUPID Coaching. You either compete every day or you lose. Every Freshman, RS Freshman, Soph and redshirt sophomore that has already burned their redshirts, should play the next two games to show them what it takes to win against solid ACC competition. Give the kids a chance to get better.

    Reed, recruiting is a cluster. But it is in most places. The difference is in commitment. Pitt is not committed…….to PITT! Our administration is half-in. You need an AD that stops the nonsense and that is why Lyke is not the right person. Big F’ing mistake to turn away Tressel. He would have demanded respect from the fat cats. And that is also why he wasn’t considered. Fat cats like being fat. No disruptions!


    1. TRESSEL would have raised more money in the first 5 days than the last three ADs combined careers.

      He would have also held Narduzzi accounting.

      Right now he is running unchecked.


  35. UPitt
    So I’m at a cocktail party last night with my wife and chatting with this tall dude from Pittsburgh which is unusual in southern West Virginia
    Conversation turns to Pitt Sports. Turns out their guy “Dickie” was your roommate at Pitt once upon a time. Great guy. His wife was fabulous too.
    He told me a few tales on you that were funny funny!
    LH Mustangs rock!


    1. Jesus man please keep those stories between us.

      Steve’s a great guy just saw him at my wedding a month ago. Are you in the medical device world?


  36. I had stated earlier about possible tax changes on Endowment interest, which could affect how all universities handle their money. Maybe BoT is thinking.


  37. Upitt is a one man slur machine today and actually everyday. 🙂

    The secret for Italian gravy is you slice the garlic thin with a razor blade. Makes me hungry for some Gabagool.

    If joe was still around I would spit on the ground if I ever ran into him. I hate that cult…

    Yes I would trade Narduzzi for Mark Richt and PITT’s players for Miami’s. On second thought, I’ll stick with PITT all the way. They are my team and they can count on me through thick or thin… ike

    We All We Got
    We All We Need


  38. Nothing will ever change at Pitt! Not a single coach will lose his job. Pickett will not play a single play the rest of the year, saving him for his transfer to Penn State where he will beat Pitt in 2 years.
    And on and on it goes. Next year more of the same and the following year more of the same!

    Ike I love you and your positivity. Wish I had the drugs you are taking. I’ve seen this movie over and over for 49 years now. Only thing missing on this Pitt Groundhog Day redux is Andie McDowell and Bill Murray. UPitt may be obnoxious but funny….but he’s dead right on !


    1. If Pickett was going to play it should have been against the likes of weakling Duke and UVA. As many of us said that, prior to the Duke game. As most can see, the Nooch does not have the skill set to be a D1 QB.

      Once Pitt got those 2 wins with The Nooch playing, it gave Nard Dog the excuse not to have to play Pickett.

      Funny, the Nooch hasn’t had his helmet ‘pop off’ since Syracuse. So cudos to the Pitt equipment guy for finally figuring out that.

      Pitt is a 33 year running Groundhog Day, another black comedy.

      “When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope”


      1. What I don’t get is why would he be needing/looking for an excuse to not play Pickett..The redshirt is burned. Isn’t the idea to put the best product on the field moving forward ?


  39. I stopped commenting for awhile and slowed down now because it is more frustrating to know how to fix the problem and noone listen, than to sit back and just complain to the complainers. Birds of a Heather I suppose. I am used to doing something to fix a problem and being empowered to fix it versus all the bullcrap that gets tossed out of the Pitt Administrative offices. I can’t accept mediocrity after being in an environment where winning has taken precedence over most everything in my last 20 years of professional life.

    Aww, to be young again.


  40. Congrats is in order for Nate Peterman, Nate threw his first NFL TD pass ! Hopefully he will supplant another marginal NFL in Tyrod Taylor as the starter.


  41. I can handle a loss after a well played game but after a sloppy game I can not take it.

    Thurs night after I listened to Narduzzie commenting that showed he does not know how to fix this team I realized its because he does not know all the things that are wrong. For the first time I agree he is not getting it done and will not and part of that may not be his fault. When you pay your coaches in the bottom 10% of the 125 D1 coaches that’s the type of play you get.When you score 31 points you should get a W.

    Folks I have been watching us get outcoached on the field and I now feel the practice coaching aint so hot either when your team needs a quarter to get up to speed after a bye and they still do not know how to tackle!!!!!

    Conklin should never have been hired. Even in poor seasons Pitt has fielded better defenses and had bettert defensive coaching. This program is not working at the nuts and bolts level and that ultimately falls on the HC who is the GM and the AD who provides the$$$$$ and support. It appears Pitt still has not come to grips withwhat a winning program requires or jus does not give a sh–!


  42. Sitting here having week-end withdrawal ( Annie and the POVert posse are the best) so me decides me needs a toddy.. after 2 this thought/ question cane to me…..

    What if- risk averse Narduzzi was Danny Marino’s HC….. how would that have worked out ? what say yinz?


    1. I can not say I blame Nardo for being ‘risk averse’ with the Nooch’s candy arm. His floaters are a risk to be intercepted on nearly every throw past 10 yards or anything over the middle. I do blame him for not getting Pickett some game time against weakling Duke and UVA.


  43. I know this has been discussed previously but I can’t see how Heather has any fault in this as she inherited her FB and BBALL teams, the clusters that they are. How she handles improving them moving forward will be on her. At least I give her credit for seeming to be addressing issues related to attendance. Very curious to see what if any staff changes the off season will bring.


    1. PITT Pt

      Narduzzi was part of committee that hired Heather.

      Nothing is going to change. She is rubber stamp to his ego.

      He probably was the first to say no to TRESSEL.

      Good leaders want the best people around them. Bad leaders want YES men or in this case on the cheap YES women.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t disagree with any of that, Josh. But to me the fault lies with the BOT and Administration not Heather. She just had the misfortune of getting the job. And I also agree, I would have LOVED to see Tressel get the gig!


        1. I knew Tressel wasn’t going to get the athletic director’s job because of the scandal he was dragging behind him. Pitt is not going to hire people like that.

          Just like they wouldn’t hire Tom Bradley.


  44. Hey Bernie, sounds like you may have had a couple doubles. 🙂 That’s a good question as we don’t know what Narduzzi would do with a good QB and a steady O-coordinator?

    There you go Mark (PittPT) making sense. Thought you got lost there for a second and despite what others think, she made a very good hire with the wrestling coach. << It matters… ike



  45. I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp drizzly November in my soul….”

    Apply to any of you guys? Reads that way. Actually it is a quote from Moby Dick, the great Herman Melville novel. I think of this quote often in these northern Novembers, especially after a devastating Pitt (or Steelers) loss. Will Thanksgiving be anything to be thankful about regarding Pitt?

    Will it instead be like this: “Then all collapsed, and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago.” More Moby Dick metaphors (the sinking of the whale ship Pequod) for Pitt’s athletic ineptitude? I’m out.


  46. Today was Nate Peterman’s first regular Season Action in an NFL game. And got his 1st NFL TD pass.

    It took the Tyrod (isn’t that a car part) 5 NFL seasons to get his first NFL TD pass.


  47. Narduzzi was agnostic on Tressel and didn’t stick his neck out for the university to get better. The writing was on the wall early that a multiple national championship coach, ace recruiter and university president was not qualified to be an AD. Did that sound stupid? I will repeat. A multiple national championship coach, ace recruiter and university president was not qualified to be our AD.

    I’m still trying to figure out where our current AD’s resume even got close to his. He probably didn’t submit a resume because he felt he didn’t need to. He was partly right. He is his own brand, the vest! Pitt could use a sports related brand. Pitt script royal sweater vests would be flying off the shelf. Tressel and Dantonio are the best of friends. As of summer, Tressel, Dantonio and wives were hanging at the Upper Peninsula in Michigan, resorting. Narduzzi would have been fine with the hire. Just real facts folks.

    Notice what has happened to WVU since Gordon Gee went there? He understands that collegiate sports drives applications, better student pool and better academic performance. Pitt thinks old school. Technology commercialization could fund a lot if we did it well and din’t give everything to UPMC. Stupid.


    1. I don’t know about Nardo being fine with Tressel as AD. With Tressel’s contacts, he would have had a bevy of Coaches on the back burner, should Nard….fail. This puts more pressure on Nard delivering.

      With Heather (and her zero football contacts outside EMU), there is no pressure on Nard at all, since he knows Pitt doesn’t want to go thru…more HC coaching changes and they are willing to accept mediocrity.
      I don’t think Tressel as Pitt AD, would accept mediocrity. Which is probably another reason Pitt didn’t hire him.

      Because they are !


      1. What would have been wrong w Nard having accountability?. He has none now. Hire your friends, take your phone off the hook and have a party! That’s Pitt Football it will never change.


  48. what I want to know is why DiNucci lost his helmet two times at Syracuse, but not anywhere else?

    what I want to know is why when he lost his helmet the first time, Narduzzi used a TO to get him back into the game, but yet used the redshirt for just the last play?

    Actually I know the answer of the 2nd question .. he knew by the end of the game that Max Browne was done for the year …. and that Pickett was next in line. It’s not rocket science.


    1. Maybe, but was Max x-ray’d after his injury during the game ? I doubt it. Even after the game, Nardo didn’t know the extent of Max’s injury…so he said. We didn’t know until Oct 12th, the Thursday after the game, Max was thru. That was 5 days after the Syracuse game.


  49. The funny thing is that the Pitt ship hasnt sunk after 35 years of a whale and sea raging against it. I call it dumb luck but the people on the ship are now ghosts or zombies.


  50. It takes more muscles to frown than to smile

    When the going gets tough, PITT fans get going and going and are gone

    Squeaking hinge complains while it still works just fine

    Who abandons the ship first

    Contrary to opinion Benedict Arnold was not a PITT grad

    jus joking with yinz but this one I’m serious about….

    I may not agree with what you are saying but I’ll defend with my life your right to say it…


  51. If Narduzzi was Marino’s coach, the Steelers would have drafted him in the 5th round and would have 12 Lombardis by now.


  52. For those that thought/think Wanny was/is classless after being dismissed by an incompetent AD:

    “A current Tennessee commit told the Orlando Sentinel on Sunday that Jones called him the day of his dismissal, suggesting he “find a place to go” now that he was no longer going to be the head coach.” He went on to say he would contact him if he landed a job quickly.

    Coaches invest their time and effort in players and genuinely care for them…..for as long as they can use them to their benefit. This is not a surprise and Pitt fans should probably re-think the Wanny situation. I had an exchange with old ball coach a few weeks ago when our paths crossed.

    Is Kam Carter around or did he lose his redshirt too?


      1. No, that was discussed after DW made those calls. It happened and I wrote about it on the Blather as did some other websites.

        Ziese didn’t break any news when he did that radio interview.

        As with much of what went on back then Pitt fans pick and choose what they want to believe. But if you watched DW in his gidg as announcer the next year his hatred toward the university and specifically the athletic department really showed… So much so his network put a gag order on his talking about Pitt.

        As I have written many times about HCs, DW was human and had the same feelings and issues just like everyone else might have after drama like he and Pitt had back then. He was pissed about his firing, as is understandable, and it clearly showed in his talkings and his actions.


  53. UPitt
    Yes I’m in healthcare and we were at a hospital foundation gala. Steve is very positive and optimistic about the future of Pitt Football BTW. Perhaps some of his optimism can rub off on you????? Lol


    1. Now I know you are kidding. He thinks they are a mess and I hope you talked Stallings. He said your wife is awesome and a great person. Glad you had fun buddy. I called him today.

      Go Stangs!!


  54. Hey, Wait a minute. Reed, you talking about my post where I say his comments remind me of what Nitters write on their boards?? I said they rationalize everything, and have blinders on. If you took that to mean I said he was a closet Nitter, I’d love to see where I said that! His outlook toward Pitt is similar to their outlooks toward PSU.


    1. I was speaking tongue in cheek about that. However I agree with you observations …

      Ike is eternally optimistic but I will say that in our private emails and private phone conversations I hear and feel a little bit of different attitude toward Pitt football than he shows on the board all the time.

      But that’s what a lot of us do on here… we played point-counterpoint so that we can keep the debates going about different subjects.


  55. We’re talking about drinking Kool-Aid. Ikes is most definitely spiked but I love his spirit. Speaking of spirit, Pitt Spirit and I were hanging out today watching the Steeler and Cowboy games. I still cant convince him to attend a game at Heinz though. But, he and I got around to talking about the Miami game after a few Shiners and he’d like to know if he should bet on taking Pitt and points (maybe 17) against Miami. He did mention there was a chance he would go to Heinz if it would help and more importantly if UPitt thought it was a good bet.


  56. Yes, Narduzzi was on the committee that hired Heather. Do you think he was the one who pushed her through or who said don’t hire Tressel?

    Pat doesn’t have that kind of power

    and you guys think I’m crazy… One minute its the BOT running PITT into the ground and now it’s Narduzzi. Then the next minute Narduzzi should be fired. Are we running a little hot and cold here? . . .ike


  57. Upitt wrote: “Miami now #2.

    Wow that took all of 17 months. Way to go Richt”

    you forgot to mention $4,000,000 for himself and double that for his coaching staff. Get real..


    1. fine. But that’s why having optimism about where Nard Dog is heading is unrealistic. Whether it be his skill or lack thereof…there Is no commitment to this program.

      It will fail until there is a level of commitment from the top down.

      Even if as you state, Nard has a plan it will be useless without the $$$$ resources to hire competent coaches/recruiters.



    2. So what???? Pitt could pay that if they weren’t pussies who sucked UPMC and BOT Teet. You honestly think Miami has more money than Pitt Genius??????? They choose to spend it not hoard it


  58. I think we have all seen enough of Da Nooch. VT isn’t going to lose 3 in a row unless Pitt does something unexpected. Starting a qb that can actually throw would be unexpected. Start Pickett if you want a chance to win on Saturday and let’s run some trick plays, do something risky, f’ing go for it.


  59. Miami has attendance issues like Pitt, plays off campus in NFL stadium like Pitt. BUT Miami cares about football and does everything possible to connect past players to current team, hires big, pays big and now wins big. Pitt could be just like Miami, excellent academics and excellent athletics but for some reason they just don’t. The blueprint is there, do what Miami does.


  60. Miami has the money and culture/commitment to succeed and win championships. The parting of the Mon would need to happen before Pitt reaches the Promised Land. Wandering through the desert for the past 35 years hasn’t been fun.


  61. Pitt doesnt do it because they are elitists. They never want athletics in the same breadth as academics. Athletics is a 4 letter word. Well so is Pitt.


  62. There is a strong possibility the redshirt rule will be changing in January and it will be retroactive for current players. The new rule will allow kids to play into up to 4 games without forfeiting their redshirt. Both Hamlin and Kenny Pickett will get to keep their red shirts that most thought were blown.

    I’d wait to see if it passes before getting too upset … and it’s supposed to pass as it has almost universal support from both P5 and non-P5 members.


    1. That is really good news Tossing. Good seeing you again 🙂 You should hang out over here, we need you basketball expertise bro !


      1. Hmm, maybe not. Tossing and Jackagain thought Pitt looked promising against Navy the other night in losing by 9. Navy lost to Miami by 34 today.


  63. But, wouldn’t it truly be more valuable to the team to get Pickett some starts now, than to redshirt him, so that he would be ready to roll next year? If he is successful he wouldn’t stay 4 years anyway .


    1. I don’t know why fans always drag out that “if in 4 years he’s at good he’ll be gone anyway” theory.

      That rarely happens the majority of college football teams and it happens less at Pitt. I think it is just best assumed players are going to be here for four years.


  64. Unless Pitt is willing to pay 3.5 mill a year for a proven head coach and give 1 mill a year for oc and dc this program will be stuck in neutral like it is.


  65. Thanks, Emel. Nice to see you back as well.

    The redshirt vote was supposed to go to vote in July and if passed to the NCAA for January vote. I can’t find a yay or nay on if it passed in July. As far as I know it’s still up for vote tho and has a ton of backers.

    Lol, Barvo. Promising is to be used loosely. Better than expected and I liked the kids they brought in. 10 wins is probably the bar and I never waivered from that.

    Navy lost by 30 at Miami so maybe the Panthers made Navy look better than they were.


  66. As I have said many times as long as Pitt football doesn’t have scandals and doesn’t have one or two win seasons in a row Pitt isn’t going to do anything to change.

    they’re perfectly happy was having mediocrity as long as it fits inside a budget.


    1. Except changing coaches who never had scandals. See Gottfried, Harris, Wannstedt, who won 7, 8 and 7 games respectively in their final season at Pretentious U.


  67. BTW, I am going to be posting BB game threads for at least the first few games… And if anyone wants to write a few basketball articles for the blog please go ahead and send them to me email. All I ask is you do it on Word so that I can proofread them easily.


  68. Getting ready for my R&R golf trip. Going to try and contact old roommate who was AD at Layfaffe HS in Va. He in large part is the reason I hate Penn State, used to coach at Wm and Mary with the Parkhill boys. Still rabid Nitter from what I hear. Maybe hook up with other roomie who coached Chevy in ?HS as well as Allen Iverson. Lots of golf and b-ball. Have fun.

      Big B, would love to have seen you again, was running on wife time, got in seats as NC was kicking PAT.


  69. Joeknew… see you at the spring golf outing.. was thinking about coming the Miami game when I come back to cut Christmas trees but probably will stay home and visit my mom a few more hours… time better spent


  70. There is a high probability that Illinois and/or Purdue are looking for new HC’s at years end. IL because they are 2-8 and on their way to 2-10. Purdue is currently exceeding expectations at 4-6 (soon to be 5-7) under their new coach Jeff Brohm, who is being mentioned for numerous P5 openings.

    So, I say all that to say, Heather better be on her game, cause my gut tells me HCPN will jump at one of those B1G Joke openings if offered. There will be more money and his schemes work better in the B1G Joke conference.

    Good thing we have former HC Charlie Partridge on staff. Other possible low cost candidates, Curt Cignetti at Elon and Matt Canada (why not?).

    The Pitt admin won’t cut ties with Duzz, but we thought that with Paul Chryst, and he returned to his roots after a sub-par year at Pitt when the Wisky opening came up. Why not Duzz?

    My vote is we have to hire an established HC from a successful program – it will not be from a P5 school as Pitt is at the bottom of that level and no P5 HC will step down knowing the history of the last 35 years.


  71. The Kenny ” the wicked ” Pickett time is here. Stax records. Myustang sally Land of a thousand dances. . Yes the wicked Pickett.




  73. Best line of the thread is by Jackagain:
    “Forever Mediocre” is somewhere in the Pitt fight song.
    Thanks Jackagain


  74. A big reason Pitt must keep the Duzz for 5 years- It’s about the next coach. Good coaches want a 5 year or more contract. But it doesn’t matter much if Pitt will cut someone after 3 years, especially with the low salary they pay. Face it, if Pitt would dump Narduzzi now, they would not get much of a new coach, and Pitt would be in the same boat in another 3 years..


  75. There is nothing in the Narduzzi resume right now to suggest that he would be highly sought after as a “head coach” in any P5 program.


  76. If Pitt thinks they can let HCPN leave and then bring in a new coach to bring fan excitement back with a new coach – forget it. That shows the school’s true mentality about sports. Remember Dixon.


  77. Apologize if this was already mentioned – but if people are saying that they’d want Butch Jones here, I suggest you read up on him. Evidently he is far, far worse with the media than PN ever has been. He was not well liked by many in TN.


  78. I think everyone realizes that in no way is PITT getting rid of HCPN. Although there are a few that think they should. They’re entitled to their opinions but these are the same people who think PITT can bring in a coach like Mark Richt. With the current mindset of the PITT administration that is never going to happen.

    There is a good reason Narduzzi is the head coach for the Panthers and it’s money. I mentioned Scott Shafer as a replacement for Conklin. He’s the ex head coach at Syracuse and now is the DC at Middle Tennessee and only making $300,000 a year. His defense also beat Syracuse in the dome this year.

    Most of you know the downside that Narduzzi and SS go back a ways. Another friendship hire I know but most head coaches practice hiring other coaches they are familiar with. << That’s just not a Narduzzi thing.

    I can see Conklin going along with the D-Back coach, Hill but again who does PITT get to replace him? I do agree with most that a little shakeup would help accelerate PITT’s winning. PITT does look weak at times so maybe another strength coach to replace Andrews but he’s not going anywhere. His resume is impressive. . . . .ike



  79. Voice – it depends upon what sort of payout Pitt has in place to let the HC go.

    I believe Pitt’s is pretty low for a P-5 team (commensurate with Narduzzi’s salary) so that would mean that the receiving school would have that much more money to pay in salary. Plus the receiving school could point to the fact that their new coach wasn’t fired but left for ‘greener pastures’ and a better position.

    One thing that was used in both Graham’s and Chryst’s cases is that their new school defended the coaches’ mediocre records at Pitt by saying two things 1) they didn’t have administrative or financial support at Pitt to be successful and 2) that WPA is not the fertile recruiting ground it used to be.

    Both of which are true.

    Titleman – whether we can afford to cut Narduzzi loose all depends on what you personally feel he is worth and what you feel the immediate future is under him here at Pitt.

    As I wrote in a comment you can look at this year in two ways. One is as a normal dip in the HC’s 3rd year when he gets his kids in place and those players and the coach will jump back up with experience (as a lot of fans tend to think).

    The other, which I lean towards is that the kids in place now are not talented enough across the board to get us championship play and it may be the case we see more .500 ball than bigger winning seasons.

    So the question is how does the administration feel about it? I tend to believe it doesn’t matter all that much to them and that if they are faced with paying a bigger salary to keep Narduzzi they probably won’t pay it… and the buy-out money received for his leaving helps pay for the new hire’s salary.

    This whole issue of college football is a business decision for Pitt and not a sports issue. That much has been made clear for 40 years… As long as Pitt is getting ACC money, any extra TV money and apparel money they don’t care if we win a few more games a year or not. Losing Narduzzi would be just another employee personnel situation for them to deal with.


  80. Forgot to mention the attendance at NFL AND college football games. The pictures this weekend show less and less people want to got to games. Empty upper decks even at so called big games. Digital TV and expensive food at events (even if tickets are free) have softened us. Getting together with friends in a bar or restaurant or a cocktail at home is much nicer. H2P


  81. Ike…help me out here…we bitched and complained about Matt House who’s D were ranked in the 30’s ( I think I read that on the POV the other day), House couldn’t recruit that’s a fact we all agree on Duzz is a defensive guru who has HIS system the typically give up over 30 per game with rankings near the bottom in D categories…so is his system bad or are the players lacking IQs or physical ability..the more I watch the more confounded I become….

    When I watch other teams play I feel like I am watching a football game…not so much when I watch PITT..

    They can’t tackle and hit like pussies…I would take the facemasks off the helmets, eliminate “stripping the ball” all together- total BS along with the rugby move of pushing a runner into the endzone when a play should be stopped….non-sense of LBs AND DBs bumpiong with a shoulder- cut me a break…HIT SOMEBODY, WRAP’EM UP AND DRIVE THEM INTO THE GROUND!!! In a fight ,you can slap someone or you can aim for a point 2 feet behind their nose and punch through to that spot. Get tuff.

    Also no more “icing the kicker BS.” Horsepoop ! Line-up and play the game of re-runs of the 70 and 80’s teams….


    1. Exactly BigB…a few weeks ago I posted on here a game between Pitt & PSU in the early ’80’s that we won and both teams were great at tackling the way you’re supposed to. I even mentioned it when I posted the vid.

      Did you watch the Steeler game? Even the pros like Shazier have no clue how to tackle. It’s a lost art.


  82. I don’t have the answers B, some say it’s the difference between the ACC and the Big 10 offenses. imo, I think it’s important for Narduzzi to be more flexible and I think he changed up at times this year.

    For Pat’s defense to work he has to have all the units running at a high level. Meaning the whole thing starts with the D-Line putting pressure on the QB. Losing Taleni, Blair and Price really hurt.

    The linebackers have to be active in the plays as well and I have seen a slight improvement over this season. The loss of Wirgins hurt the team here as well. If he comes back and allows Brighwell to move outside the physicality for PITT may pick up.

    I know you guys don’t want to hear it but the Narduzzi D-Backs are good and going to get better. Hamlin, Ford, Pinnock, Mathis, Campbell, Garner, Jackson, M Henderson, Stocker, Motely, Briggs and maybe even Whitehead will make for great competition after a year when they all get bigger, stronger and smarter.

    There are plenty other linebacker waiting in the background and all these young defensive recruits will prove Reed to be wrong about Narduzzi’s recruiting. PITT roster is filled with physical athletic talent. ..ike



  83. No coordinator worth his salt is coming to Pitt. They view the program as a dumpster fire and Narduzzi under any other program would be on borrowed time. The decision to blow the red shirt was an indication that the job is to much for Narduzzi. Narduzzi gets a C for the first two years and that is only due to Canada. He had 15 players as starters who were NFL drafted, or had an extended look in a NFL camp and I included O’Neill, Whitehead in that listing. I am not including Officer and Weah in that listing or Henderson. Pitt was a 10 win team with decent Defensive coaching last year. Pitt will get slammed the last two games as the regression grows. With much better coaches, maybe Pitt football can be savaged next year. But who is going to come here unless all have at least two year contracts.

    Liked by 1 person

  84. Pitt is a 3 pt favorite tonight versus the Montana Grizzlies. Va Tech is a 16.5 pt favorite on Saturday.

    I’m inclined to take the dog in both … however VT may be primed coming home after 2 bad road losses


  85. Maybe Ryan Leaf will suit up for the Grizz.

    Gosh if we lost to a team in Montana I’d fire loafers on the spot.

    O/U is 12 games for W’s get your bets in.

    I took Under.


  86. Ike … Just a point in the DBs and the “trick play” that went for 6.. you know- that trick play they knew would probably would come… I played DB in HS as did many in this blog and probably so have many who read and comment… we were taught pass first .. run 2nd .. keep the
    Play in front of you and know one behind you…when the ball is snapped you do a quick check down for a possible reverse, flea flicker… all it anticipation, eye movement and reaction if needed.. Whitehead and whoever else weren’t even in the same zip code…….and those 2 screen passed- looked they were either never coached or saw one in their careers…. our lineman were taught to scream SCREEN when they saw they were being left through by the DL….clueless


  87. From what I viewed in the Navy game I’d take Montana and the points. This is probably going to end up being the worst Pitt BB team in the last 15 years.


  88. You guys can proofread for me .. trying to eat think n type… every time I think that Duzz is a defensive genius and see the results on the scoreboard makes one wonder… House was supposedly weak and had much better results… I am hoping for Duzz to succeed but will have to wait until next year…

    I will take VT and the points.. can’t pass, Hall is still a straight ahead runner and our defense will give up their usual 30+


  89. BigB,
    I don’t think we’ve had a hard hitting D player since Scott McKillip(?). We used to be known for being a hard hitting D! What happened to that is indeed a great mystery!


  90. Bernie, we have always had tailgaters stay at the party and opt out of walking into the stadium…of course you could not get beer in the stadium then. What goes around comes around.


  91. Back to work but will check back in to see what you POVerts are thinking and saying 37 times before I leave for Home.

    ANNIE…. Jeanie B was putting something in the mail for you..Thanks for coming to Fran’s and JoeLs tailgate.. for you local POVerts who didn’t make it… if you snooze you looze….


  92. Pittman… I don’t remember one single consistent rough and tuff in you face team since Sherrill or maybe Gottfried… that Big East Football and the competition was hard to watch… maybe it’s just me …but Syracuse has been fun to watch in spite of their record and that D lineman Robinson will light someone up…probably because we haven’t had solid LB or DE play over the years .. Price was good but you need several to create havoc…that hasn’t existed on a PITT team with any consistent basis for along time… if I am wrong Someone educate me,


  93. Trying to be realistic objective as possible – what should the university do?

    Is it realistic to see a significant change next year in performance?

    Seeing what we are see unfolding this season, particularly from a coaching stand point – is it realistic to expect much more?

    I didn’t have high expectations for this season, but the frustration is coming from games that we should win.

    New ADs usually like to make their mark. Normally, I would think that would put such under performing coaching under a watchful eye, if not all out hot seat.

    Again, I expected this year to suck, but suck winning what what was achievable.
    Add to that the inexplicable red shirt issue/QB debacle.

    What is realistic…?


  94. Legitimate question – some out there are making it sound like they’d rather have Matt House right now.
    I’d be interested in who, if any, would actually want that.
    If you asked 100 CFB coaches who they’d take as their D coordinator, PN or MH I think it would be 100-0. So let’s not get too excited about House.


  95. BB on ACC Net at ACC site at 7 pm. I believe that this is or will be our future FB and BB site until the ACC channel is up or maybe not. ???


  96. Reed, my point was that the buyout for Duzz would be minimal and not a problem, but the next coach would wonder if at low cost and buyout he would be qjuickly shown the exit earlier than his 5 year deal would dictate. With Pitt’s current reputation, most incoming coaches would feel that at least 5 years are needed to turn this dumpster fire around, and it would take all 5 years to build a decent program and recruiting base. If Pitt readily eats a small contract and casts coaches aside after 3 years, who would want to come here?


  97. JJ.. I find it so interesting how we complained endlessly about House and his D’s were ranked far higher than Duzz’s ,,but there are a lot of variable to the ever changing parts…I know it would be 100-0 if we voted for them as a DC…

    If Conklin is dismissed and we get a new DC running stubborn Duzz’s D, do you expect better results- I don’t…and I hope I am wrong


  98. This could be a scenario where someone like Scott Schafer – being close pals with PN – could possibly have enough pull with PN to convince him to do it his own way and actually run what he wants. That would be best case scenario.


  99. Voice – Anyone coming here as a head coach is not worried about 5 years, 4 years whatever. All they want is a resume box that says Power 5 head coach checked off. If they’ll come even one, two, or three years is perfectly fine with them because Pitt is a stepping stone and that’s all it is.


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