Football Bits & Pieces; March 31st

Football Bits & Pieces; March 31st

Let’s get back on the football track here.

Post-Gazette has a few interesting articles – this one has been repeated every single spring since I have been following Pitt football – the defense is ahead of the offense this spring.  Honestly, I can’t remember one time when the reverse was said.

“Two weeks ago, on the third practice of spring football camp, Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi made an announcement to his team just before their first 11-on-11 action in full pads.

“Stay off the quarterback!”

That advisory might have said as much about the value of sophomore signal-caller Kenny Pickett as it did about the gap between Pitt’s defense and offense at this point. As the Panthers enter a long weekend of three days off Friday through Sunday, they do so with one side of the ball ahead of the other.

Damn right – stay off the f’ing QB!!

That is one kid we absolutely cannot afford to lose due to injury.  Everyone else on the roster is expendable – Pickett is not.  This bit is interesting – and the first admission in mainstream media I can point to where a writer has said something that has been written on here a hundred times and that is this:  Narduzzi’s defenses have sucked even with his rep…(emphasis mine).

I mean, we had a blitz period today that was a little scary just because of how fast they are on defense right now. They know what they’re doing, and it’s not easy to pick ’em up for an offensive line that’s as young as ours is right now.”

That all makes sense, and it’s a good sign for a defense that still hasn’t consistently lived up to expectations since Narduzzi took over the program, what with his reputation as an elite coordinator at Michigan State. When turned loose in March, a group of “crazed dogs” — as senior linebacker Quintin Wirginis described them — with 130 combined career starts, plus a bevy of young players trying to avoid falling down the depth chart, should be able to terrorize an offense searching for new answers.

I would have dropped the “consistently” above – they have been across the board bad save a few games.  And the fact that they are blowing by the OL in scrimmages isn’t at all hard to believe – the problem will come when our opponents are doing the exact same thing.  And it’s going to happen folks – the only light at the end of the tunnel will be what I call “Pitt’s Hope” and that is that pre-season we know the OL will start off in trouble then we “hope” a light goes on and they mesh toward the second half of the year.

Sometimes it works – sometimes it doesn’t, like last season.

Continue reading “Football Bits & Pieces; March 31st”

The Jeff Capel III Show…

The Jeff Capel III Show…

Unless you’ve been in deep cover or hiding under a rock you know already that Pitt has finished it’s search for a basketball head coach with the hiring of Duke assistant coach Jeff Capel III.

“We are excited to announce Jeff Capel as our head men’s basketball coach at the University of Pittsburgh,” said Lyke. “Coach Capel is a high-energy leader committed to being a part of our university and the city of Pittsburgh. He has a tremendous basketball pedigree and a strong track record of recruiting, developing and mentoring high-quality student-athletes.

His relentless work ethic, passion for the game and clear vision of how to build a program capable of competing at the highest levels in the ACC and on the national stage are impressive. I look forward to our student-athletes, fans, donors and the Oakland Zoo getting to know Coach Capel and his family and watching this program flourish under his direction.”  

My first reaction was that I hoped he wasn’t hard over on the use of Roman numerals after his name because I ain’t doing it.

My second reaction was that it was a good hire – and I believe better than most Pitt BB fans thought it would be. He comes from a strong coaching line as his father, Jeff Capel II (couldn’t just use Jr?) was a BB HC also. Capel has been a HC at two different schools – Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and Oklahoma.   His stint at Oklahoma was tinged a bit due to one of his assistant coaches, Oronde Taliferro, took part in financial improprieties with a player and an investment firm.

Continue reading “The Jeff Capel III Show…”

POV’s Bits & Pieces; 3/27/18

POV’s Bits & Pieces; 3/27/18

Yes, I’m the new Rodney Dangerfield… I get no respect.  I do understand that with an opinion/editorial Blog like The Pitt POV, sitting firmly outside the mainstream as we do here, isn’t considered a completely valid ‘media’ outlet   in the world of Pitt football but sometimes things rankle me (of all people Chris Dokish once responded to my disagreeing comment on his article with a “YOU HAVE NO CREDIBILITY!” answer).

I tend to listen to Chris Peak’s podcasts while I’m working out at the gym sometimes – it’s a good way to get a feel what other Pitt writers are thinking about different issues and it sometimes leads me in directions for articles – and last night I heard the below from him when he was discussing the start of Spring Drills and the 2018 offense (to paraphrase):

“No one thought that we’d see the QB problems coming that we had last season… No one thought Pickett would play… Fans were shell-shocked the offense played poorly, etc…”  

Well, that made me sit straight up and drop a bar bell on my foot.

This is what gets me because I know a lot of other media writers read the POV,  but hell guys – I was screaming all of that from the rooftops way before last season started.

I wrote that Max Browne wasn’t going to be a good QB even before the spring drills of last year; I wrote that DiNucci wouldn’t be a starter lunless Browne got hurt and finally, after I watched Pickett practice,  I wrote that he was by far the best QB on the roster.

And I wrote that our offense was going to suck because of the QB situation and putting a poor OL on the field.

So, yeah – someone did think all those things and even wrote about them. Oh well…

In a comment to yesterday’s article a reader wrote this:

Read the PSN write up on Jacob Gamble(OT Ventura CC) visit to Pitt tomorrow. Quite a story around him IMO. With the offer to the Lackawanna College OT today and the visit of Gamble tomorrow it would appear that Pitt is in a little “panic mode” in trying to shore up the OL numbers for next year with a couple of our senior OL graduating this year.

To which I responded yes – there is panic at Pitt about the OL for this season and next year.

What he was referring to is the recent spate of offers to JUCO and CC offensive lineman to step in and play as soon as they get on campus.  I’m not the only guy who thinks Pitt OL is going to be scary this season – Peak in a podcast addressed this same issue – which honestly got me thinking more in-depth about it.  In the podcast #320 linked above Peak begins talking about the OL and states “the OL is what concerns people the most this coming season…“.   That’s absolutly true – his OL bit starts at the 20:15 mark and I suggest you listen to it.

Continue reading “POV’s Bits & Pieces; 3/27/18”

View From the End Zone Podcast: 3/25/18

View From the End Zone Podcast: 3/25/18

My fellow Pitt fans – time to start the Sunday morning podcasts again.  I hope you like this one – I’m a bit all over the place with basketball and football issues, some predictions and some strong opinions…

It’s a longer one at 60+ minutes but so what? It’s a lazy Sunday…

On a side note: I’m going to visit our local Potomac Curling Club this afternoon to see a sport I’ve never watched live. I’ll let you know if it should be a scholarship sport at Pitt or not.