Well, Pitt has spun the bottle and instead of getting kissed by the gods of college football we got a rather firm handshake.  Our new Defensive Coordinator, ex-Northwestern LB coach Randy Bates, has decided to jump up a rung of the coaching ladder and I suppose that is a good thing for Pitt.

My first reaction was… who? But then I started to feel better mainly because it means that Josh Conklin really is gone.

NU Headshots July 29, 2013 in Evanston, Ill.I just wish he didn’t look like Vladimir Putin so much – it unnerves me, especially since he probably held a Secret Classification while in the Naval Reserves.

His bio reads in part: Randy Bates has led the Northwestern linebackers for 11 seasons and has spent 36 years overall in the coaching profession. Bates assumed his current role at NU after Pat Fitzgerald was named the Wildcats’ head coach in July, 2006.

Here is the full press release by Pitt last night on this hire.

OK – so he’s not a young up and comer like some wanted… matter of fact he has exactly one year of DC experience with the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs way back in 2005 and the story the stats tell of that work is… well… blah.  Here are those ’05 LSU stats:LSU D

I think Narduzzi likes defensive coaches who do well with the turnover margin because, much like Conklin before him, that’s the thing he did best as a previous DC.

Keep in mind those numbers to the left are from 2005 and 13 years is a long time in college ball.  Lately he has been the linebackers coach for the team that beat us in Narduzzi’s second bowl loss back in 2016 (had to get that in, right?) the Big Ten powerhouse Northwestern University’s Wildcats.

His work there has been good overall. Because I love stats and really – they are facts – let’s look at the NW defenses  over the last few years and I think you’ll see that overall it is rather impressive.  One point to consider though;  Bates’ work was only with the LBs and as we know almost all defensive stats are results of a combination of the whole defense playing as one.

That said two stats jump out at me as being particular to defensive units – Rushing Defense is one that is heavily weighted  by the LBs, then the various Passing stats by the DBs.

So – here it is for the last three years. I highlighted in green what I see as a real positive.

Bates NW D

What is great here (and so much different from what we have seen in Pitt’s defensive ledger book over the last three years) is that 1) there is improvement from ’16 to ’17 in seven of 10 categories and 2) that their Red Zone defense has been so very good.

Hell, just averaging 19th in rushing Defense over the last three years is damned impressive and you know LBs have a lot to do with that.

What about NW’s defense compared to Pitt’s last year?  Again, remember these two teams played in different conferences and had different opponents but the results are striking. Green highlights are where NW bettered Pitt.

NW - Pitt Compar

Again – all this info comes with the caveat that Bates was not the Wildcat’s Defensive Coordinator but a staff position coach of LBs.  In a real way that limits how he affected  these overall results, but his work can certainly be attributed to have influenced those good defenses.

Reading this makes me feel … well a small bit relieved I suppose yet I’m not finding any real joy in this hire. It feels so damn Pittish to me. Instead of targeting a proven defensive coordinator from another FBS school we, again as Pitt always seems to do, settled for someone we can fit into an established budget instead of opening up the purse to attract a valuable known coordinator.

But we know Pitt does things on the cheap, don’t we? That shouldn’t surprise anyone who has followed the Panthers for any length of time.

Look, when a man who has been on the same staff for 12 years, in the same coaching position no less and is in his late 50s, that guy hasn’t been fending off great job offers my friends. This move is a step up for sure but it does make you wonder why no one was offering him substantial pay raises earlier in his career to be a DC on their staff.

Remember a comment I made a while ago saying that when a coach opens his mouth you better have a good supply of salt grains next to you to listen to it? That still applies – here is his first quote as a Panther coach (emphasis mine):

I knew it would always take a special place and outstanding opportunity to draw me away from Northwestern,” Bates said. “After talking with Pat Narduzzi, I knew Pitt was that type of place. It is a tremendous honor to join a program with such a rich tradition and history. But more importantly, it has an even brighter future under Coach Narduzzi. I can’t wait to meet our players and get started.”

My gosh – this makes it appear that Pitt is a great destination job and he was just waiting until he saw area code 412 on his phone to pick up and answer it. Well, that’s less to do with his being here than his looking at retirement in a few years and saying “Hey, I better get a pay raise ASAP because my Social Security checks just ain’t going to cut it.”

Narduzzi’s first public statement about Coach Bates held this thought: “But what is most impressive about Randy is the type of person he is. He values relationships and is really invested in the student-athletes under his watch.”

That may also be coachspeak but one thing we do know about Narduzzi is that he takes off-field issues very seriously.  We have seen that by his disciplinary actions and his discussions about his own role in the lives of the student athletes under his charge.

So I believe that quote and I also understand that a man doesn’t hold a Naval Officer’s Commission from the President of the United States until they retire from Service without understanding what real leadership is and its applications. For me that is a true plus with Randy Bates.

But overall?  I’m OK with LT Bates as our DC.  I just think we’ll probably have the same average-at-best defenses we have already had under Narduzzi because I don’t feel Narduzzi is all that great a head coach to first identify a highly talented DC and then give that coordinator free rein to build and lead a defense which will be adequate to carry us to championship seasons.  That second part is the key for me.

I do not think Narduzzi’s ego will allow that independence to happen no matter who is sitting at his right hand in the lunchroom. No, he wants a Mini-Me sitting there instead.

One thing I absolutely don’t concern myself with is how good or bad a recruiter the new hire is purported to be.  There as so many variables that go into convincing a recruit to choose your school that the individual unit coordinator is a small part of that – they aren’t the ones out there doing the leg work for the most part anyway – unless they are pushing hard for a nationally desired blue-chipper anyway.

Put it this way… is there any staff coach on Pitt’s roster that you feel would be a real blow to our recruiting if they were to take a job elsewhere? I don’t see any.  Recruiting is all about the Head Coach, the overall program and the University itself.  Yes, I know what some NW fans are saying – I dismiss that just as I don’t feel that any singular Pitt staff coach makes big and noticeable difference in recruiting either.

You may hear a recruit say he had a “…great relationship with DBs Coach Smith…” and that helped his decision but recruits, and more importantly their parents, know that coaching staffs always have turnover and that it isn’t a good idea to pin your recruitment on a staff coach’s being there while you’re there also

So if he can recruit well that is a plus – but 95% of any DC’s true worth to Pitt is what happens with his defenses between the white lines on game day.  I firmly and 100% believe that.

We’ll see how that game day aspect of his hire plays out; seeing a halftime adjustment that actually works will be a great start in that.

I’m also interested to see what this guy will be able to do with what I consider the three pretty average recruiting classes which will have preceded him. He’ll be working mostly with Narduzzi’s recruits this coming season (about 8 of 11 defensive starters I think) so he’ll either get them to play above their perceived talent level- way above hopefully – or not.

He has a tough situation right off the bat because our offense is not going to be scoring a lot of points out there next season. He’ll have to force his defense to actually win low scoring games for us – something we haven’t been able to do well in three years.  Last year we averaged 19 ppg in our seven losses while we giving up 34 ppg on average – that sort of defense won’t win many games next year either and has to change.

But I already felt we’d have a bit better defense in ’18 than we did last season and after looking at this hire my feel good prediction needle hasn’t really jumped all that much but it has moved some and to the positive side.

So! Welcome aboard LT Bates, stow your seabag in your Southside locker and remember… there is a blog writer out there who will always outrank you!

NOTE:  You can’t beat the advertisement I just saw above Bates’ profile on the NW Football Bio site:

Just when we were starting to get out of the FBS’s Defensive basement we have to see that! Made me laugh.

250 thoughts on “Meet The New Defensive Lieutenant!

  1. I’m ok with this hire. Not floored but not disappointed. 12 years at a middle B1G school means other schools weren’t beating down his door to hire him. Silver lining – he isn’t a job jumper.

    In reality, Narduzzi’s ego means no one Pitt hires will have free reign on the defense. So we have to hope he can coach players up and recruit strong. The stats (thanks Reed) show he can coach well and it seems he can recruit.

    I read some comments about how his success in TX won’t matter. To quote the legendary coach Patches O’Houlihan “if you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball”. If he knows what it takes, he can do it anywhere.

    I wish him the best and I’m looking forward to see how we do next year.


    1. IE Texas – Relationships takes years to make. By the time he builds relatiinships elsewhere he will be living and gofing in Fort Myers.


  2. One thought before I address the new article. Huff at 2:04 this morning, asked, why would PITT want Calvin Anderson if he isn’t good enough to go into the draft this year?…. Well, he’s gearing up for the 2019 draft and plus if he’s good enough for these teams….

    “Anderson tells PSN that the following teams have reached out to him: Texas (meeting with them today), Auburn (meeting with him today), Michigan (Jim Harbaugh visiting Monday), TCU (this weekend), Oklahoma (next week), West Virginia, Duke and Purdue.”

    PITT needs experience on the O-Line. 36 straight starts.


  3. I have come to the conclusion more yes men who run King Pat’s system. Why he went down to get a guy. Give you another 100k to run my system that works so well.

    Pitt is cheap and whereas 99.9% hire a actual DC we get a cheap LB Coach that will be getting a AARP card in 3 years.


  4. I get the sense that is hire was not a “Same Old Pitt” hire of going the cheap route. I think it had more to do with Narduzzi being comfortable with this guy and Narduzzi feeling he can force this guy to run his defense. Had we gone for a more high profile DC, it would have been less likely the candidate would have wanted to run Narduzzi’s defense.


    1. Maybe because a guy with experience and balls would see King Pat’s System sucked and has for 3 years.

      So let’s get a almost retiree and give him 300k to be my puppet.


  5. He’s perfect for Narduzzi. The money was there most likely to hire a proven and ‘big name’ DC. Narduzzi is a D guy and probably doesnt want too much power or independence given to his DC. Hence hiring a LB coach who will follow the Dog’s D philosophy. So our new DC will be learning on the job and in over his head that first year. I’d be very surprised if Pitt’s D gets dramatically better. It should improve however just due to more experience. Not a surprising move.


    1. That’s a little better Upitt. At least you’re embarrassed now. Now you are beginning to get wound up!

      After reading your first two comments I was thinking, “come on man, that’s the best you can do”, potraying our new DC as a castrated puppet awaiting his AARP card for Narduzzi, the puppet master, to play with? A pretty amateurist description from you. Your better than that!

      Hopefully after that 2nd cup of coffee kicks in, you then can adequately explain the reasons behind your embarrassment. I’ll be waiting for you to step up your game.


  6. Programs that actually care hire DC that are DC’s. Pitt always goes cheap way and hires yes men.

    Narduzzi’s downfall when he is fired is that he didn’t hire better than him bc he has a ego and little man syndrome.


  7. I like that to a man on the NW board they see it as a loss…to a man. That has to say something. Although it is concerning that he has not got a job as a DC over the last 11 years while at NW it has to be noted that he has not been passed over either at NW since the current DC has been there for a decade and is considered one of the best…their Dick LeBeau. It sounds like he would be promoted to DC when the current guy left, but it has not happened and didn’t look like it was going to happen so he now decided to leave. For those who say that he wasn’t offered any other jobs anywhere, you can’t say that because just like you didn’t know he was offered by PITT two days ago you don’t know what happened in the past.

    I have no idea if this will work out but for those of you think they know anything about these guys just look at recent OC hiring at PITT:

    Chaney – What did he do at his last stop prior to PITT (pretty solid at SEC school), at PITT (OK, best thing was bringing in Peterman), and then after PITT (N.C. game)?

    Canada – What did he do at his last stop prior to PITT (fired), at PITT (record setting) , and then after PITT(fired after one year)?

    Who would you hire for PITT if you had your choice for PITT next year between the two and who has the better resume?

    I like that Bates has recruited to a northern urban school with obvious higher academic and moral standards then most…same as PITT in my estimation.


  8. EDR, this is much like Pat Narduzzi’s story.

    Pitt fans were ecstatic when he was hired because they thought ‘well he must have turned down a bunch of jobs to stay at MSU because he loved it so much there’.

    Well the truth was, and I got this from a sports writer up at MSU, that Pat Narduzzi had one serious job offer from Cincinnati and turned that down. That was it, one serious job offer all the time he was there and he turned that down… then he came to Pitt to take the head coaching job and the bigger salary.

    Now I’m going to reach out to some sports writers and bloggers on Tuesday like I did with Max Browne and I’m going to do that with Northwestern people about Bates and try to find out what the story is on him in that regard.

    But I think and I’m almost sure that Bates did not have many job offers at all because he was going to stay at MSU and try to get that DC job.

    I’m good with this hire as I said but also see this move for what it is and that is an grabbing an old staff coach who wants to make some serious money before he calls it quits…and there is nothing wrong with that.

    But you can also understand that the Pitt fans who wanted a spash hire in this important position are disappointed.


  9. sometimes splash hires dont work but Pitt does need experience in these high level positions. Experience and proven results. I dont like AD’s or coaches who learn on the job at Pitt and then when they have the experience and have shown results, we let them walk away. Does the AD have any influence in these hiring decisions?


  10. Narduzzi was indeed a hot commodity when PITT hired him. No he wasn’t a few years prior but he was quickly becoming a known defensive guru.

    I’m now on record as kind of liking this new DC (Bates) Yes I felt a little disappointed at first but what choices do we have? Second of all, this is why I say to be careful wishing a coach out of PITT when we don’t know who is the replacement. This isn’t a shocker at all.

    The same squeaky wheels continue to lambast their so called home school and team. << gimme a break. Although I have to say, some get PITT won’t pay top dollar yet they still complain about the hire? They get it but then again, they don’t get it? Benny never cried as much…

    Give Reed much kudo’s here. He researched Bates and gave him a very fair evaluation. Bates is not a terrible hire at all and Reed out ranks him. Maybe Reed will gain access to the defensive meetings and practices? Just pull rank on him Reed.


    1. Cognitive dissonance.

      Reed states: “Well the truth was, and I got this from a sports writer up at MSU, that Pat Narduzzi had one serious job offer from Cincinnati and turned that down. That was it, one serious job offer all the time he was there and he turned that down… then he came to Pitt to take the head coaching job and the bigger salary.

      Now I’m going to reach out to some sports writers and bloggers on Tuesday like I did with Max Browne and I’m going to do that with Northwestern people about Bates and try to find out what the story is on him in that regard.”

      You deny what Reed reported about Narduzzi. You denied what he reported about Browne at the beginning of last season. You’ve already embraced the new DC but you’ll allow that Reed will give him a “fair” evaluation, then you’ll deny it or claim it is unreliable and proclaim he’s great anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I am underwelhemed by this hire.

    Reeds opinion on it being a safe, cheap hire that won’t rock Narduzzi’s concept of what his defenses should look like sounds pretty legit to me.

    Personally, I would have liked a young up & comer who is currently a successful DC. Why Narduzzi went this way instead, we’ll really never know.

    On to some other points in this article. Yeah, I’ve heard the stock reply from you before Reed, but every once in awhile your opinions come across like statements of fact while you’re predicting the future. Neither you, me or anybody actually responsible for generating offensive production knows what this Pitt offense is going to look like next season yet.

    Just like most off seasons with Pitt, there are just way too many questions at this point for such predictions of point production.

    New QB, a highly rated but untested RS Freshman RB in Sibley getting his first carries in 2018. Losing key guys on the OL as well as losing our two most productive receivers. Then on the bright side, both Tre Tipton & George Aston getting back to active duty after recovering from injuries.

    We could be awful, we could be good. Who knows? Pickett could be the catalyst that lights a fire under this unit and we get surprised with a really good offense by the time the meat of our ACC schedule is upon us? All I’m asking from you is an IMO acronym every once in awhile.

    And of course, I’m no blog monitor here but mentioning that Putin look a like contest just drudges up Russia again which then that leads to the slippery slope of domestic politics pretty quickly, and who wants to slide down into that crap hole? So I don’t know, but kinda feels like tip toeing around the periphery of the politics no no that we all try to avoid per your request.

    As usual, I’m just shaking your cage, cause I can. Just hoping that you’re in a good enough mood not to swat me for doing it this morning.

    Oh, & BTW, Go Stillers!


    1. No politics…just mentioned Putin.

      As to my “stock reply” I think any discerning POV’er who reads me about how our offense is going to suck must know that is an opinion…I know I’m good with predictions but c’mon Tom… That’s nit picking delux.

      Give me back my 3 hours you stole from my life reviewing your last article…

      JK – that was a good one. Now how about another with your take on our offense next season?


  12. Vlad Putin. maybe. How about a Roto Rooter Man.

    Nw’s defense was similar to Pitt’s last year. Meaning they sucked against the pass.

    Pitt was the 105th worst…..and we’re upgrading to 100th, as that’s what NW was.
    I don’t think NW has ever been known for their defense. Can you tell I’m enthralled.


    1. He looks more like a door to door vacuum salesman. Very underwhelming hire. Will hope for the best and expect the worst like always


  13. I like Bates’ experience. Conklin was considered a young up and comer and fans are thrilled he’s gone.

    Bates inherits some depth and experience on defense. His Texas ties should help with recruiting. He just now will be selling a different school without comparable academics.


  14. Will more BigJoke coaches work in the ACC ? Maybe hire one that has studied and knows ACC offenses.

    Ya think !


  15. All I can say is I think we could fit him into our Pitt football assistant budget quite nicely. There may also be be a few pennies left over for Narduzzi to spread around for the 10th coach.


  16. Not picking a written barb with you Ike, but seriously? Which graduate transfer, redshirt senior, sr., or redshirt junior isn’t preparing for the 2019 nfl draft? C’mon now. The quote was from the player! What would you expect him to say in order to get another chance? Something like, hey, I didn’t apply myself and work hard enough for the past four years on a team that was consistently ranked in the bottom 15 each year and to get ready for the 2018 draft?

    Look, I hope he is good if he joins us, but at the end of the day, most of the 5th year transfers are like Flanagan and Hodges. They can play and take snaps away from younger players which goes to one of my bigger points for years. If you don’t have the horses, it’s the programs fault because they recruited em. Get better recruits!

    As far as the hire, good grief! If you spend 11 years and never progress to a higher position. It is typically because you are an average performer, with no desire to move up in the organization OR not perceived by leadership to be a go getter! Or, the coach is just happy being a LB coach. A REALLY good question would be how many promotions did the NW head coach hand out over those 11 years and why didn’t our new guy get em?

    Bottom line is players, play! They are responsible mainly for wins and losses. That is why you hire ace recruiters. This will hurt FL recruiting.

    Pitt pays HC in the 50th percentile. Expect 50% results.

    dilly dilly.


    1. Well, the current DC at NW has been there ten years and it was said that Bates would get the job when he left. So I guess it is now a good hire. Apparently this the first coaching change at NW in five years.


    2. Huff, all of a sudden you’re feeling to me like a brother from a different mother.

      You save me alot of typing. My opinion of the Bate’s DC hire,,,,,,,, what HUFF said!


    3. More cognitive dissonance. Ike doesn’t think Pitt hoops should have kept Rosie Nix because he would have taken minutes from the “promising” freshmen. However he’s all on board with bringing in a grad transfer and non-all conference OT from a bad program in a lesser conference to hopefully start for PItt next year.

      If you really think about, ah forget it.


  17. Underwhelmed by this hire. Trying to stay positive though, so the spin is that he’s better than what we had. I think.


  18. UPitt/Mark: On the BB thread last night, I made you a real attractive offer. I think you may have been asleep on a plane. Check it out and get back to me. Then we can plot our strategy to contact the yellow blouse.


  19. Hi Reed,

    I have no idea how many, if any, offers Narduzzi or Bates had, and neither does the MSU beat writer. I do know that before any of the OC’s were hired at PITT by Narduzzi we knew nothing until they were all but hired, and the same thing happened this time with Bates. Narduzzi keeps a tight lip so I am not surprised the MSU beat writer knew nothing, just like the PITT beat writers knew nothing.

    All I do know is. I have worked for two outfits the last 24 years, 11.5 years at one and 12.5 at my current place of employment. Without looking I have been offered jobs in the States (I am Canadian) and in Northern Canada for more money and higher positions but have not considered them because the jump in pay wasn’t worth moving far away for me. I would say I am at only a positional coach position and have been offered various Co-ordinator positions. I didn’t go. If something local came up I would look at it but I am content where I am so no need to move around or even look around. Maybe that is how Narduzzi and Bates looked at it…maybe not. I have no idea. For every Matt Canada there is the opposite.

    I just don’t get why some PITT fans are calling him a “yes man” without even knowing him. Based on nothing, he is a yes man.

    Again, I have no idea if he will be any good or not, but he does look to have done a good job where he has been and I don’t think he has ever been fired which is rare after 35 years of coaching.

    Not sure if the Conklin being fired comment was directed at me but I do not believe I said Conklin was fired.

    Lastly, I can’t believe people really look at coaches recruiting rankings. I have never looked but I am fairly certain that Alabama, OSU, Clemson are well represented and were last year and the will be again next year and the next year and the year following that but the names will change accordingly.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Norman never left because he ran the bates motel for Mommy.

    What was Norman making at Northwester? 150k?

    Tells me all I need to know.


  21. One thing to note is that this will be the 10th year for the current Northwestern DC … so Bates hadn’t had an opportunity to be promoted in-house since his 2nd year there. NW HC, Fitzgerald, is a very respected man in college circles who has and has a defensive background … so Bates was privy to a lot of defensive wisdom.

    Until Narduzzi hired Partridge last year, Pitt’s defensive staff was pretty low on experience …. Conklin, Hill, Salem, and Sims …. non of them can be termed as veterans. I believe they were hired more for their energy and recruiting. Maybe now, this staff has reached a good balance.


  22. EDR, lots of things said here and worse things said elsewhere under the guise that it’s just’s a blog and/or message board banter. So many experts and so many so called PITT fans no so much more than the coaches hired. It truly boggles my mind.

    Knee jerk behavior rules our days by in large. I get it, this is what we do and please Reed, don’t call me a POV police again or I will never come back here. I have every right to express my displeasure as the constant whiners on the POV.

    Anyone else notice all the good posters that have left this place in their dust? It does get old…..


    1. Not me ike, I’m still a registered optimist on Pitt Football, just visiting the Dark Side on my initial opinion with this DC hire. What’s to be excited about?

      -Not a young up & comer.
      -Not even working as a DC with a decade just as a positional coach.
      -I’m not dissing on Northwestern’s coaching or program, but NW is where we harvested Bates from, & I think you’ll agree that ain’t no OSU, Alabama, etc. elite type organization.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. In case you missed my comment from the last thread:
    I’m sorry but this hire seems a lot like the Pirates hiring another journeyman 250 hitting infielder.

    Will this guy from the B1G suddenly raise his lifelong game from obscurity and suddenly beat the odds, in a passing league?

    Stallings, Lyke, Bates all lackluster hires with poor or no track record of success.

    Sure seems like Pitt is de-emphasizing sports again.

    Coaches don’t seem to want to come here, elite players prefer to go elsewhere.

    The light at the end of the tunnel disappearing in the distance.

    Something is rotten in Oakland.

    Still feel this way after reading Reed’s thoughts and stats.

    Maybe he is a diamond in the rough, but it seems to me a guy that was happy to be a linebackers coach at Northwestern for 11 years isn’t real motivated to excel in his profession.

    Certainly no Jackie Sherrill or Foge Fazio.

    One thing I strongly disagree with Reed on is recruiting prowess. I think the DC needs to have the chops to attract elite players. Sherrill slept on Dorset’s porch as the legend goes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oakland has had a foul stench for quite a long time. Since they stopped the Dirty O’s exhaust fans from venting. Nothing like O fries smell quaffing in the breeze.


  24. At first blush, this hire seems like the defensive equivalent of The Watson hire, although Watson came in with more OC experience.


    1. Jacksonville scores their most points of the season. (well they scored 45 against the hapless Texans as well) And they have a very avg QB, who is not even liked in Jax.


    1. This defense blows. Nothing but talkers who don’t make any plays. Mitchell and Dupree need to go first after Tomlin fires his buddy Butler.


  25. how come the coaches are always the blame? The Steelers are loaded with veteran. talented players. I put the blame much more on the players


    1. Agree, especially the woofers on defense who just talk and make zero plays.

      Haley calls some bizarre plays though.


  26. I am OK with this DC hard… He worked For Pat Fitzgerald a solid guy at Northwestern for many years. He will have no problem pronouncing our head coaches first name.. I wonder what happens with Partridge and Harley… Hope no feelings are hurt…Both seem to be good coaches and recruiters… Need to up the talent level…


  27. Good point Bernie, I hope Narduzzi had a sit down with the guys and formulated a plan moving forward. Same page is where PITT needs to be.


  28. Regarding our new DC – his recruiting territory at NW was Texas and Ohio.

    The ACC competition is recruiting TX. Six teams that I know of have signed TX recruits so far in the 2018 class –

    UVA / nd / cuse / miami / BC / Duke

    And our in state, hated non- rival – psu as a recruit or two from the big state of TX.

    Bates has ties with two potential recruits that have not signed yet for the 2018 class –

    3* Athlete Brant Kuithe from TX 6’3” 208lbs
    4* DE Joseph Ossai from TX 6’4” 210lbs

    Note: Both star ratings are from Rivals – the 4* recruit has a 5.7 grade, but is a 4*???

    Pitt has ten 3* recruits at the 5.7 grade. I’m confused with Rivals consistency…

    Can anyone explain this discrepancy?


  29. What I’d like to know is why, specifically, Narduzzi hired Bates, as opposed to Partridge, or even some other outside candidate. What qualities was he looking for? And how much input does the DC have exactly in Narduzis defense? I suspect these would be tough answers to get, but that would tell us a lot more than gossip based rumors from other schools or speculation based on presuppositions because Narduzzi hurt our feelings or rubs us the wrong way.


    1. We will probably never know, but the Texas connection for recruiting is a new addition for Pitt and Pitt LB is a position of weakness for the past six years. Bates brings recruiting contacts from TX and he had an All-American under his tutelage a few years ago who is playing for the Colts and in 2017 he had an All B1G freshman LB.


  30. Erie – As a Texan Now I can tell you that is a hard sell. Big 12 and SEC territory. Great Talent here but few would go that far unless WVU as they play here.

    Haley is calling a terrible game. 4th and 6 inches let’s throw a 10 yard pass.


    1. UPitt – see my 3:12pm post – six different ACC teams signed 2018 recruits from TX so far and psu has a few as well…


  31. Erie, I just looked that kid up and you are correct, and that is strange as Rivals is usually very consistent.

    Ike, say what you want but remember your advice to me…this is Pitt football doldrums with nothing about games to talk about after a poor season and a ho_hum hire of a DC… So people are bored and testy.

    BTW…not “all the good posters” have left. You are still here and when spring practices come around we’ll see everyone back.

    To all others…the subjects of our comments should be our opinions about Pitt and the football program’s people…not our fellow readers


    1. No no no, don’t say that about Reed. That I won’t stand for… Please don’t diss on Reed. bad things will happen


    2. Well, of all the commenters on here I “dish it out ” hardly at all, and then only at Ike and Erie Express…both men with broad shoulders.

      Believe me I can take anything as long as it is valid.

      P\S: you are banned.


  32. Guys, I have no problem with this hire but I think we all have to admit we wanted Partridge or another established DC.

    This is really the exact type of hire we have seen over the last seven years at Pitt.

    Narduzzi hired another old friend and while he’s apparently done a good job as a position coach…that is all he was.

    I wouldn’t have liked it if Harley was chosen as the DC for the same reason, because he’s never been a DC either.

    Anyway, I’m keeping an open mind with Bates just as I have with Watson because I think with this HC it is way more about the Jimmies and Joe’s than the coaching staff…or the lack of those players we need to win championships.

    Awesome pass and catch by Brown just now…


  33. And we complained about Conklin, yeesh… If I’m Tonkin, I’m searching for a new DC after this season


    1. There was like 2:38 left and we had 3 timeouts. Kick it away, hold them and you get the ball back with 2 minutes to. Lots of Tomlin gaffes. Then he doesn’t go for the quick FG, after the long catch & run by Bryant. Cause you needed 2 scores anyway.


      1. Lots of HC gaffes and I only watched the 4th quarter. If he was Wanny, he’d be ridiculed by entire local media.


  34. Yep.

    Tomlin deserves blame.

    Zero discipline.

    Players talking about Patriots.

    Think Bellicheck’s players would look ahead a week??

    Defense gave up tons of dump offs.

    Offense two 4th and ones and terrible play calls.

    New england will roll these guys. Zero offense.


  35. You just wait. This is the hire that’s going to change everything. Two words – exciting hire! What a diamond in the rough. Just what we need. I can’t believe that he was still available. A gift that fell right into our lap. This was no SOP hire on the cheap, I can tell you that. I bet PN has been watching him develop and waiting for the right moment to jump on this one. The stars are all aligning my friends. Here we go!!

    Liked by 1 person

  36. PGX3, one of the most sarcastic comments I’ve read on the POV…. Wasn’t all that funny either..

    Well onto the abyss of winter in the Burgh. Now, I’m seriously thinking about going to the LOI event early Feb. It’s all I got.. Looking forward to the 4*’s Narduzzi is about to bring in…. so I can rub it in good to Reed!


    1. Geez, I thought it was pretty funny. I put a lot of effort into that. At least as much effort as it took to make that hire….

      I am an acquired taste I suppose. I’ll be at the games either way.

      Just waiting for the day that Pitt makes me really believe that they are in it to win it.



  37. My take is that this is a cheap hire and very typical of pitt. I wanted a proven dc with power 5 school experience. I liked the idea of Scott Shaffer his price tag must have been too much.
    Another reason I don’t like this hire is that he’s from the big 10 which plays aside from psu or osu a decidedly boring pro style offense which does not translate to what pitt sees on a weekly basis in the acc.


    1. Exactly, hiring someone from the BigJoke for a coordinator job in the ACC makes zero sense. I doubt anyone does this kind of stuff in the ACC but us. Well maybe bottom feeders Syracuse and BC.


      1. One positive I thought we might gleen from the Bates hire was his players LB play against the pedos.

        S.Barkley only had 65 yards in the game but 53 on one TD run. And NW lost 31-7 in 2017.

        Not much there I guess.

        Although he coached against the pedos many times in the B1G Joke conference, as has Duzz.

        Two heads better than one?



  38. How bout giving phil bennet a call. I almost would have rather seen partridge promoted. I have an idea maybe Paul Rhoades. SOP cheap hire pray he works put and if he does he’ll go to greener pastures!!


  39. Problem is, this guy sees a good qb once or twice a year. But you know what, at this point I’m just throwing up my hands.
    Remember, Wake is our only chance.


  40. One also has to wonder, why after 11 seasons as a position coach, none of the 129 FBS schools plucked this guy, if he was really good. For 11 years, nobody thought he was Coordinator worthy (apparently).


  41. Most AD’s would discuss hiring decisions with the head coach…I would think. I really think Pitt’s AD is at a huge disadvantage because she does not come from a football background. And she’s probably a bit intimidated by the Coach.


  42. Folks, let me say that I truly appreciate all the articles you have sent in to be posted…and to take some of the load from me in producing content.

    They have all been good ones with interesting topics and even fun to read and write about as in our quick quiz of a few days ago. So please keep it up.

    I’m going to try to put a link on the front page to some writing and style tips if I can so that when you’re thinking about doing an article you can refer to that and it would save me some review and correcting time on my end.

    However before that goes up please send me anything that you think is interesting no matter how long or short and if it isn’t appropriate for this time period right now I’ll hold on to it and maybe post it at a later time. But what I have been doing is posting them up within one or two days after I receive them and thanks so much for doing as this I really appreciate it.

    Some key points though:

    Do it in Word if you can and attach it to the email. If not send it in the email body anyway.

    Remember you are writing for many thousands of people and not just the miniscule percentage of readers who comment on here…

    With that don’t use slang or abbreviations much as a lot of readers don’t know what that is… For example “HCPN” is known to us commenters on here but just confuses others…or the phrase “SOP” is the same way.

    If you know how to put links in then do so – it makes for a better and fuller article. Attach any photos to the email if you want but please look to see who took & owns it… Best to stick with the University’s photos if possible. If you don’t know who owns it best to leave it out.

    Use “I think” or “I believe”, etc if stating your opinion… If something is a fact but hard to believe then try to show an amplifying link if you can.

    If you are including things like stats make sure you are accurate.

    Stuff like that – but manly remember that your work will be read by a rather huge amount of people in up to 100 different countries depending.

    Above all don’t hesitate to send me something because you may get blowback or criticism. You can always ask to remain anonymous or pick a fake name like I did with “Reed Kohberger”.

    Keep them coming otherwise all we’ll have is BB Game Thread discussions and that will lead to mass depression.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. I think I would have been onboard with Shafer or Partridge getting the job…maybe because I know who they are, but if Partridge stays on board (I presume with a pay hike and job title change) all the better. Personally, I expected better recruiting from Partridge this year in Florida. Shafer isn’t exactly getting offers from OSU or Alabama.

    I will not do the research but I believe that NW has probably won more games the last two years than maybe any two year period in the last 40 years. I think the reason for that is coaching stability. Under Narduzzi it has been OK outside of OC and it looks like Bates is a pretty loyal guy and I think that was a big part of the equation. That said, I could see him going back to Northwestern if their DC leaves and the HC is still there.

    Splash hire – Wanny for DC. Now that would have been a lively discussion.


        1. Not at all. They are loyal because no one else is actively recruiting them and offering them big bucks. Coaching is like that Ike.


          1. I’ll argue this with you all night Mark. I’m talking about a real loyal person. Not Canada loyal. I know what loyal is cause, I’m loyal.. ask anyone who knows me……………. your loyal friend ike.. “)


  44. Steelers coaches are to blame for this game.

    The offense scored 42 despite Haley. As for the short yardage 4th down plays. How Tomlin doesn’t go say to Haley and say “spread out the defense and sneak Ben” is beyond me. Has this scenario not been discussed over the last 5 years. Really? Running to the outside over and over again?

    The defensive players were brutal but it looks like they didn’t even consider the passes in the flat.


    1. Only watched the 4th Q, but the Steelers defense looked in pre-season form. Couldn’t even cover dink passes in the flat. Never saw such a lay down performance in a Steeler playoff game sans the O’Donnell SB loss.


      1. The Steelers last TD drive was something else. It’s hard to believe those guys are veteran NFL players. McDonald catches a 4th and 10, makes the first down but doesn’t get out of bounds even though the Steelers are out of timeouts. Ben throws a a pass to DHB in the middle of the field for a potential 5 yard gain and no timeouts at around the 50. Fortunately DHB dropped it. Ben takes an intentional grounding penalty at the Jacksonville 10 on 1st and 10 with like 40 seconds left and no timeouts. AB takes a screen pass down the sidelines with almost no chance at the end zone and fails to go out of bounds.

        I don’t know that I criticize the Pitt players all that often for dumb play, but I will certainly try to check myself.


    2. I’m still not sure who was responsible for the failed 4th and shorts. I have seen multiple people claim online that Ben audibled out.

      Then again, Ben through a pick well inside Steeler territory,. Ben fumbled well inside Steelers territory after holding the ball for what seemed like at least 5 seconds knowing full well how capable Jacksonville’s pass rush is. Ben had just made a horrible throw to and open McDonald on the previous attempt. JuJu dropped a somewhat difficult 4th down catch, but the ball was in his hands. The Steelers had the ball at least 4 times 1st and 10 inside Jacksonville’s 50 and didn’t come away with any points.

      Boswell botched an onside kick.

      The defense surrendered 164 yards rushing (4.7 ypc), 214 yards passing, and allowed Jacksonville to convert 8-14 3rd downs. They allowed 4 drives of over 60 yards for touchdowns.


      1. Barvo, FWIW, it certainly appeared to me that he audibled on both occasions … especially in the 4th quarter when a few of the backs and WRs shifted to different areas


      1. Lets not forget Sibley was a commit to OSU in the spring and went to PITT straightway when he flipped so he didn’t get the offers that one would expect but Michigan and OSU offered a year in advance so I think it is safe to say if he had not committed to OSU so early he would have had a long list.


  45. Defensive lineman Rori Blair actually didn’t suit up for the team in 2017 after being dismissed last summer. But his career isn’t over and he’ll play for Valdosta State in Division II with one year of eligibility left, per the Post-Gazette and Cardiac Hill.


  46. Blair to Valdosta State, MaCVittie to a Community College. Taleni seems to be the most successful transfer in the Narduzzi era.


    1. And one of these guys was a starter and the other one ppl (darkie or someone) were pumping as the next Marino. A community college, oy vey.


  47. Speaking of loyalty…why are Pitt fans so loyal to the program despite the futility and mediocrity over the past 35 years? Are we gluttons for punishment?

    I think loyalty is based on several factors. I have no other team to root for. I’m most familiar with Pitt. I have an investment in Pitt…it is my alma mater.

    I’m sure that Bama would take me as a fan but I’m sure that Pitt values me more.


    1. No offense intended Mike, but I don’t believe bitching about your team “constantly” is being loyal. It’s more like undermining the team you think you’re being loyal to. I believe many of you are disillusioned with your supposed team not playing up to expectations. This happens. It’s called life and competition.

      Your team is not trying to hurt you personally. My own definition of rooting is… Sticking with YOUR TEAM and never waiving. Understand they are not perfect and at the same time know, they want to make you happy as they want to do the same for themselves.
      It brings us all back to the three Musketeers. All for one and one for all. You see, that why it’s called a TEAM!


  48. Watch the intro and 13 min mark and Barnes face and reactions.

    This is probably the worlds worst press conf.


      1. I think there was a hidden meaning in that #15 game jersey, That will be the number of years it will take Pitt to recover from the 2 Stooges and the Bots.


  49. EE and others. I think there a lot to glean from a positive note considering Bates.

    He comes with a military background.. Does this sound like a Narduzzi guy?

    He’s remained loyal to a couple football programs for a good while. I know some feel this as a negative, not in my view. Here’s why. He’s a military guy. Ask Reed how it’s important to finish a job. Perseverance is indeed a virtue.

    He recruits and has coached smart football players. << This is not a bad thing.

    Bates seems like a coach and man that maybe looking for a place to retire? Continuity.

    Which brings me to the one problem I have with Conklin moving on. It’s possible we will hear about the PITT defense sucking again this coming season?? Well, this coming season and the young but fairly seasoned players may have to learn new terminology and possibly a new defense. << I do have some doubts as we all believe Narduzzi wants his style of defense implemented? Yet change will rear it’s ugly head.

    Bates linebackers seem to play hard. Ask Nate and the QB from Northwestern’s last opponent in their bowl game. << knocked out of the game

    There has to be at some point in time when the benefit has to go to a coach that has hired: Chaney, Canada, Harley and Partridge. Now other programs want Hill and maybe others. This should be considered a compliment people.

    If we go looking for problems, often enough we can all find them… hell, I’m sure Georgia fans are finding some.. This is college football… ike

    We All We Got
    We All We Need


  50. Look, no malice intended here and I really just mean this as an observation. (reconfirming my own thoughts) that after 19 weeks of NFL football and really hardly a word about the Steelers until today. Now we hear about how they suck?? This has to be how self-loathing is described??

    Why haven’t I heard a kind word all year about a 13-3 team? I admit to having problems. Why don’t you all join me. It would make for a great group discussion down at the funny farm.. ike


      1. Reed, then why all the fuss about the Steelers only after they lost?The negativity is not my imagination..


  51. Ike – We had the easiest schedule in NFL this year.

    We have a HOF QB, RB and WR.

    13-3 is great but losing in first playoff game at home to a team with a first year HC and 2nd year GM and young is bad.

    Especially when we had ops to get back in after 21-7.


  52. He has hired some good guys but he should be judged by them staying more than 11 months you know.

    Hiring is one thing. Retaining is another.


  53. Does anyone know if Steeler OC Haley has a contract beyond this year? I think I remember hearing that earlier in the season.


  54. Steelers had two of the worst play calls On fourth and less than a yard that I have ever seen…How can a team like the Steelers have no power running formations?


    1. Never understood Jumbo packages when you need less then a yard. All it does is create a clogged up, mismatch for the defense where you have 11-10 or 11-9 scenerio because the QB and sometimes the full back are taken out of the play. Spread them out, one running back, a little motion so the defense is looking around, QB keeper, especially with a guy the size of Ben.


  55. All I know is in the bowl game Northwestern punched Pitt in the mouth and got no response.

    Lack of toughness w/ this defense is major issue. I think Narduzzi is addressing the issue.

    Liked by 1 person

  56. Sure hope no one thinks I’m doing cartwheels with the Steelers losing today while I’m in beautiful freezing downtown Latrobe tonight. Horrible coaching imo. Just wondering why when a team plays lousy it brings out the same commenters when I haven’t heard a word all season about the Steelers? On second thought, I do know why…


    1. I talk about the Steelers every other week Ike. So your passive aggressive act can take a timeout.

      They sucksd today. Rvery facet.

      Watch New England destroy them next week because of Bellicheck.


  57. My Mom died on the day before Christmas Eve. She was 94, and you know it’s coming, but still tough to deal with…

    It’s only sports, but when you’re already feeling down, that’s not a good time to be reading the POV…

    (Thanks to ike for the shout-out…)

    Go Pitt.


    1. God Bless you my friend Majors. Sorry to you and your family. It’s never easy. Keep your chin up, you had many great years with your Mom! ike


    2. Sorry Good Buddy!

      Sounds like she lived a good life and know she is in a much better place now.

      Sorry for your loss!


    3. Major – I’m sorry to hear of your loss. I remember a few stories you shared with me at the golf outing last Spring regarding your mom. I shared one in particular with my wife when I got home from the outing – that helped me prove to her that I hung out with some genuinely good guys that weekend.

      I pray you have a positive and peaceful week.


    1. That last drive that Minnesota pulled off in the last 28 seconds was similar to what I was calling for when Pitt had the ball to end the game vs cuse last season.

      Yet, everyone on POV called me crazy for asking why Pitt did not try to win the game with Pickett’s arm.

      That game’s end still bothers me. It was Lyke the coaching staff gave up and threw in the towel and accepted defeat.

      I’m sending the film if I can find both (cuse & Vikings) with a letter to Watson, Duzz, Heather and Gallagher.

      Why both, right?


  58. Condolences Major Major for your mom.

    Christmas season has always been an emotional time for my family as well, having lost my father
    around Christmas when I was 14.

    It just was never the same again. May she rest in peace !


  59. Some nights it’s just a tough road to hoe… When I feel down and out I listen to music loud and proud. I know I’m old and schitt but I just don’t want to hang up my rock and roll shoes… Here’s to Major Majors and keep on rockin buddy


  60. PGX3, hey what do want from me? You made a great effort making a sarcastic comment and I got it all the way. Keep em coming. Maybe one day you’ll make me smile. 🙂 Either way your comments are appreciated.


  61. Major Majors.. my golf guy! Sorry to hear about your mom. I lost my dad when he was 57 and my mom at 64..it’s rough. I was 32 and 40 respectfully when they passed.. it’s a bitch.


  62. John, sorry for the loss of your mom. My mom passed the day after Christmas in 2006. She was in hospice and told me she would not die on my birthday (23rd) or Christmas. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.


  63. John, so sorry for your loss, My mom will be 87 and in declining health. Heading home to see her this Thursday to spend time together while I can. Hang in there my friend. The sands of time are moving for all of us.


  64. Lastrow.. Thanks. Will try to keep me Ole truck between the lines. Sad, no direct flights between Norfolk and the Burgh


  65. Reed

    I was waiting for your write up. Well done as always.

    Typical Pitt hire. Not what the fans wanted. As usual we are left just hoping he pans out since he has no history as a DC.

    The one positive I see. He coached against the spread offense every day in practice so he will have some fresh ideas on how to defend it.

    Besides that, I got nothing.


  66. Ike, just because just because there is a change in coordinators doesn’t necessarily mean that that unit is going to play less than it did the year before even with the new terminology and play calling.

    We saw this happen when Pat Narduzzi was hired and Josh Conklin took over as DC and they had the best defense that year than we have had two years since once the players when they got to know the play-calling and the terminology better.

    It all depends on the coaches and the players.

    In 2015 we had the 37th best defense… Then we dropped to 101st in 2016 even with the system in place for a full year.

    Isn’t it funny that HCPN’s best defense (by far) was almost all PC’s players and his best offense ( by far) was pretty much the same save the QB …who was a great get on his part.

    (^^^ That last part was just to spin you up this morning)


      1. Narduzzi apologist? Play who is on your schedule. Chryst took over a program in disaray. Narduzzi was handed a solid foundation of a program.


            1. Probably shouldn’t mock. MacLean is the poster boy for supporters of Narduzzi’s recruiting.

              He was a 3 star with a 5.7 rating. He had offers from other P5 schools in 3 different conferences.

              MacLean played as a RS-FR and sustained an ankle injury requiring surgery that shortened his season. He opted to transfer out after Narduzzi arrived. MacLean had 6 tackles, 1.5 TFL and half a sack in 3 games at Pitt. That would make him roughly as productive as Rashad Weaver projecting over 11 games.

              MacLean went on to have 2 good seasons at Eastern Michigan.


    1. 😂

      So waht does that make his recruits? Lumpy’s 2 stars outplay and outrank Narduzzi’s 3 stars.


    1. 18 year olds? Haha. They all show up 18/19 in most cases and are 20 year olds.

      Not sure what program has 23 year olds. Maybe Price? I understand you make every excuse possible for Pat Narduzzi. You were the same on Stallings ubtil you realized we were right.


  67. A sincere “thank you” to everyone for the expressions of support.

    My dad died at 59, my mother made it to 94. I’ve often thought how nice it would have been had they both lived to be about 80…

    Go Pitt.


  68. Again Majors my sincere condolences. There is never a good time to lose a loved one. My Mother passed away before my fourth birthday and my Father was killed at the age of 57 in a work accident. I was lucky enough to have had two wonderful guardian parents that raised me from the age of 4. On the negative side, I had to say goodbye to 4 parents. I consider myself blessed for that…. ike


    1. Ike, that is indeed the proper approach.

      Back in 2000, the company I worked for a company that sold off its production facilities, and I was one of > 2500 who lost their job. 3 weeks later I learned that my mom, who had beaten cancer 19 years before, again contracted it, but this time it was inoperable. I was unemployed for about 9 months but was able to spend so much more valuable time with my mom in her final year … which is especially important since my dad died in 1982 and my sister lives in Philly. It actually was a true blessing.


  69. stability

    Chris Peak@PantherLair

    In the process of research, I learned this over the weekend: Since 2011, Northwestern has had a total of 10 coaches on staff. In that same time, #Pitt has had 37.


  70. Major majors, sorry for your loss.

    OK, so was the Steelers poor play a product of the coaches or the players? Obviously both, but I always point to the players. The blown coverages in the first drive, looked to me to be on Vince Williams not covering his man. Ben, the worst of the greatest QB’s, with a lackluster start, throws an interception, holds the ball too long and makes a bad fumble, fails to make many needed third downs, two fourth downs for a yard when QB sneaks should be unstoppable behind Pouncey and DeCastro and is just dumb sometimes, for a guy that makes the great throws look routine. Was it the coaches that couldn’t stop the fourth and goal? The kicker that blows an offside kick?

    Sometimes you just get outplayed.

    Two WPIAL kids that didn’t go to Pitt made it even worse. They made plays.


  71. Chryst was a good offensive recruiter and a terrible defensive recruiter, but was that on him or his assistants?
    Seems to be pretty balanced at Wisky.


    1. this year, Wisconsin’s # 1 defense included nine 4th and 5th year players who were already there when PC was hired.


      1. Having said that, I have little doubt that UW will continue to get good players on both side of the ball. It is without questions a really good program, and PC is a pretty good coach


  72. Agree with wbb, that coaching stability is crucial. Especially for recruiting and building a pipeline of players. Also for having a consistent playbook. Something that has never existed in Pitt Football, but for a nice period in basketball, until Gallagher and Barnes happened.


  73. Some refer to Heather and others as puppets. Humpy Dumpy Lumpy is just that. I’ll give him credit for putting or getting himself in line at Wisconsin as I can’t deny him that. What he did or how he did it is another matter. I’ll take Narduzzi over PC anytime of the day. To be clear, I don’t dislike Paul… I’m just happy he went back home… ike


    1. I think we all are, but just like Jamie, Chryst is an example of what happens when a coach has deeper pockets, a better organization, and administrative support for sports.


  74. Good trivia question; what was the longest tenure for a Pitt Football coach. I think Carlson holds the record for any Pitt coach.


  75. Longest tenured Pitt football coach was…..the Great Jock Sutherland.
    15 years.

    His won loss total at Pitt was **111 wins ** 20 losses and 12 ties.


  76. Emel..what would it take to be less tenured than Mike Haywood..wonder how that would have played out if he didn’t screw up and actually became our HC ?

    The road to the Super Bowl just became doubly tough now that Jacksonville has their number. I don’t see Tomlin taking them to the promised land again. No way.


    1. Yes Bernie, kind have a hunch, that would have not worked out so well. Was he at Pitt long enough to even warrant an office ?

      And Jacksonville use to be in the same division as the Stillers, when they first came into the league and
      I remember they were a problem back then even. Steelers have a losing record(11-12) now against Jax.
      And now 0-2 in the playoffs.

      Tomlin’s been in 2 SB’s I think, but his decisions in the 4th Q yesterday were horrendous, as even with all the previous bad plays, bad play calling, etc…..the still had a chance to win the 4th Q. His decisions made sure they did not.


      1. I assume we’re talking about the onside kick? I can see it both ways, but I ended up with Tomlin on that one. The defense had surrendered TDs on 61 and 75 yard drives on the Jags’ preceding 2 possessions. They desperately needed stops on both and didn’t get it.

        As it was Boswell bungled the onside kick and the Steelers defense then surrendered 9 yards (very nearly 10) on the ground even though they had to be playing run.

        Lots of blame to go around but the defense and Ben’s turnovers go #1 and #2 in my opinion. Whoever called the pitch play on the first 4th and short gets spot #3.


  77. Whoever the Steelers DC is, he should be cut loose. That defense was clueless and continually gave up big play after big play, against a team who scored 10 points against the Buffalo Bills the previous week,
    Score 20 points higher than their avg of 26 ppg.


    1. 3 Bozo’s learning on the job….Butler, Porter and Lake. Porter was on a Southside bar stool when he was hired…

      All need replaced.


  78. I think it was a team loss … coaches and players. Players mouthing off during the week, team not prepared to play 1st quarter, Ben checking off on two 4th and <1 .. and FB Nix not even in the game on both, the onside kick decision, Jaguars converting on 3rd down time after time, missed tackles, blown coverages, etc.


  79. The Steelers lost this game when Shazier went down. Linebacker play went way down and allowed the running game and tight ends to pick up all those third downs and overall yards. Plus as usual Ben made enough mistakes to not allow them back in the game. If they did win this one Brady and his big tight end would have done the same thing. To not use QB sneaks to pick up those third downs was criminal.


    1. Steelers missed Shazier lately and Timmons all year.

      I think Spence started. Wasn’t he unemployed until Shazier went down?


  80. Just getting around to commenting after thawing out and suffering through yesterday afternoon’s debacle.

    Sorry, we may get lucky here but this feels SOP. Narduzzi stressing “He’s a really good person…and I’ve known him for a long time…”. BS. Let’s get an old, near retirement “friend” that will do whatever I want with no arguments. I was hopeful here but this is worse than promoting Partridge in my opinion. Hope I’m dead wrong.


    1. I like the hire htp but as I have said….. be careful what you all wish for.. PITT fans want to fire coaches so they can complain about the next guy. Not exactly SOP, more like SOP fans..

      What kind of money was PITT going to spend?? The answers are as obvious as the noses on our face.


      1. When someone leaves, Pitt always hired someone inferior and cheaper to replace him. It’s the Pitt way…


  81. The injury that hurt the Steelers almost as much as Shazier was Tyler Matakavich. He threw out his should same game as the Shazier injury. He was no where close to 100%. Caused the Steelers to bring in Spence off a street corner.


      1. Now Reed, that is funny. I think we would all be lucky, PITT included, if the NCAA doesn’t find out that you have been his top endorser and agent.. << meant to be a joke………… I think…


  82. I think Partridge leaves unless Pittsburgh is his home. This is a slap in his face in my humble opinion.


    1. FWIW, when Paul Rhoads and Partridge left after 2007, DW hired Phil Bennett as DC and promoted Gattuso from DL coach to Assistant HC / DL coach


    1. Try to think of some Pitt-centric lyrics

      We were playin’ at Penn State
      With a team that wasn’t great
      And a transfer from the Trojans who was slow.
      So the offense couldn’t score
      The defense could do no more
      They decided Kenny’s redshirt shouldn’t go.

      (Somebody else do the chorus)


      1. I tip my Script hat to the new DC
        Take a bow to the new QB
        Thinking about yesterday
        Hope these new guys can play
        And I get on knees an dpary
        We won’t get fooled again


  83. so I tip my POV flag to all those that who rag
    on my dear ole PITT football team

    was thinking today that i love how they play
    narduzzi really has them on the beam

    PITT is much better off than some of you may think
    a conference championship game is right on the brink

    don’t think like upitt who thinks PITT is sh … is ..um . . poo
    just be yourselves to your favorite school be loyal to our team and try to be true

    listen to me and you won’t be fooled again… like george


  84. Severely off topic and I apologize but…. if anyone out there bought tickets to a pirate game this coming season.. think about returning them. Salary dumping should be exclusive to the BOT at PITT. Hells Bells, Duquense may be the best team in Pittsburgh come August.


  85. Steelers lost because they were not ready to play out of the gate. Our BB team also. Followed by our FB team at times.


  86. wwb… Greg Harrison has been a good coach at every stop in his career if me memory serves me correctly…


  87. Ike–I said I was done with Pitt FB after the Wanny fiasco. But after Frauds line of BS, we bought season tickets for his cameo season. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice…………..I won’t be fooled again.


  88. lol, you have that down pretty well there Mark. However my friend, you still seem a bit tad invested to not be fooled again. Maybe we are more alike then we think… just completely opposite…


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