We’ve discussed the TEs and the WRs over the last two articles so let’s stick with the offense and address what is always an important part of any productive gameplanning – the Running Backs.  Let’s look at what our RBs did last season:

RUSHING STATISTICS
NAME CAR YDS AVG LONG TD
Darrin Hall 128 628 4.9 92 (TD) 9
Qadree Ollison 90 398 4.4 32 5
Chawntez Moss 42 116 2.8 11 2
A.J. Davis 16 40 2.5 12 1

What they contributed to was an overall NCAA ranking of 84th out of 129 teams in Rushing Offense with 148 ypg and 21 total TDs on the ground… pretty poor all around.  How do we get better as quickly as possible? I say back to the future with that.

I’ll say right off the bat that I think rsSR Qadree Ollison has been mishandled by this coaching staff over the last two years and I can’t figure out why.  If you remember he did a bang-up job in relief of James Conner when Conner was undergoing his cancer treatments and missed the 2015 season.

That season Ollison carried the ball 212 times for 1,121 yards (5.3 ypc) and 11 TDs – a great outing for a rsFR and done under pressure to produce because a star RB was unable to play.  Actually his was a better season that Conner’s return in 2016 when Conner ran for 1,092 yards at a 5.1 ypc clip.

Ollison’s work in ’15 was impressive to this writer, that’s for sure…not so much to the coaching staff apparently because they never trusted him at that level of involvement carrying the ball again.

Instead of Ollison returning as a featured back last season we saw now-SR Darrin Hall become the primary and Ollison relegated to the FB position to cover George Aston’s absence due to injury.  Ollision did a good job at FB but he would produce more elsewhere.  Well, Aston looks to return this season so who does the staff want to be the bell cow of RBs?

Last year Hall’s production looked OK on paper with 128 carries for 628 yards (4.9 ypc) and 9 TDs, but that is very misleading.  The fact is that Hall had one monster day against Duke where he ripped off two huge runs of 92 and 79 yards.  No one is complaining about that as we won that game on the backs of those runs so credit is due, but when you are trying to project what a player will do in the future it is important to understand what he truly did in the past.

Take away those two big runs and you see more of what Hall’s norm was in running the ball and that was 126 carries for 457 yards (a poor 3.6 ypc) and 7 TDs which is mediocre at best.  I firmly believe we can’t afford that type of production out of our primary running back again this year and hope to win more than five football games.

Which brings us back around to Aston returning at FB thus freeing up Ollison to carry the ball.  Unless there was something going on with Ollison and the staff that has never been made public why shouldn’t this happen?  There were swirling rumors that Ollison ‘was in the doghouse’ or that he reported to fall camp overweight, but that never really explained the drop off in the coaches involvement of him over the last two years.

We’ll see what goes with that issue this spring and fall but my opinion is you go with who was more consistently successful until someone comes along to yank the job away.

And who might we have on roster to do that?

Well, Chawntez Moss had been dismissed from the team – no great loss there as he didn’t produce much for us at all.  But we do have SO Anthony Davis returning. He grabbed 16 carries last season and didn’t do much with them in gaining only 40 yards total.  There was an air of desperation on the staff’s part burning his redshirt for only spars contributions, but in their defense I think the coaches looked at each other and said “if the other RBs aren’t really doing anything why not throw the heralded 4* recruit in there hoping to hit the lottery with him?”

Davis will be back in the mix this year but I’m not sure how much he’ll play because Narduzzi tends to stick with playing experience in all positions.  Joining the current active running backs will be two other kids to keep an eye on.

First is Todd Sibley, who at 5’10” and 211 is more of a power back than Davis is. Sibley had a roundabout way to getting to Pitt after committing to Ohio State and then getting pissed off because Urban Meyer told him they were going to grayshirt him for a year – which means he would postpone his enrollment in classes until the second term of his freshman year and skip the actual season. He was having none of it and came to Pitt (just to redshirt last year which is ironic in itself).

I’m looking forward to seeing what Sibley can do.  I’m not super high on his jetting into the lineup and surprising everyone, but he may be a 3rd down or pass catching RB we need in situational playcalls.

Now – to the future.

True Freshman Mychale Salahuddin is at the forefront of untested Pitt RBs fans want to watch play right away.  A late Rivals.com 4* commitment, Salahuddin has the type of abilities that superstar RBs at Pitt tend to have – at least the ones not named James Conner. Fast, shifty, turn on a dime stuff. here’s a bit I found on him;

Four players earned invitations to Nike’s Opening finals held later this summer in Oregon. Those were Ohio State defensive line commit Taron Vincent, Penn State running back commit Ricky Slade, uncommitted cornerback A.J. Lytton, and uncommitted running back Mychale Salahuddin. Three of those invitations were no surprise; Vincent, Slade, and Lytton are all five-stars and were expected to be great.

Salahuddin was the surprise of the day. The Woodson (D.C.) product is rated a high-three-star recruit on the 247Sports Composite, with lots of offers but not from Alabamas and Ohio States of college football.  Salahuddin’s currently most interested in Nebraska, USC, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Maryland, North Carolina. He’s a listed 5’11 and 190 pounds.

“I’m a crafty back,” he told me. “I can use my explosiveness. I can use my power. I can use my speed. I can get past a defender. I can go through the defender. Whatever you want.”  He admires Le’Veon Bell’s patience and Leonard Fournette’s complete game, and his teammates call him “Houdini,” which is about the best nickname ever.

Something to watch on Salahuddin: He prefers a pro-style scheme.

That isn’t saying he’s going to be one.  But when I look at the current RBs on roster today he’s the only player I see being able to have that superstar season we have always needed tohave really good seasons at Pitt.

1976 we had Tony Dorsett with 2.150 yards and 22 TDs; 2008 with MC; 2008 we had LeSean McCoy’s 1488 and 21TDs; 2009 Dion Lewis came in with 1,799 and 17 TDs and then in 2010 we saw Lewis and Graham combine for 1,983 yards and 21 TDs.

At Pitt success revolves much more around the RB then it does for the QB or any other position – we get a star runner and we win lots of game…plain and simple. The only question is do we have that type of talent on the roster this year to find a kid who can breakout and carry the offense on his shoulders like those mentioned above did.

We’ll especially need it this upcoming season as we’ll have SO Kenny pickett behind center as our QB and, while we think he’ll be a good one, we have yet to see him take the reins as the season;s starter and produce – our running game just might be more needed than ever if he falters.

HERE ARE OUR RETURNING 2018 RBs:

 

 

229 thoughts on “POV’s Take: Spring Drills – Running Backs

  1. I don’t think the staff mishandled Ollison. He doesn’t gain any yards when touched. Well, he didn’t until the Miami game where he actually looked a little tough. I am guessing he is not a practice performer.

    It is his spot to grab this year.

    I hope one of the young guys explode this year because I think Hall and Ollison are below average.

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    1. NRS, I didn’t see Ollison the same as you did. I watched him run through defenders and always get the extra yd or two after getting hit. Hall was the guy who always went down.

      Coaches have missed on Ollison for two years now. Watson is not the OC for me.

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  2. I like Ollie based on his year filling in for Conner and how he handled himself last year. He developed into a good blocker and had a few runs in the late season that showed some toughness. He is a back who got better during he in which he was the featured back and got a lot of carries. OL was bad most of the year along with the QB play so RB stats would have been low even with one of are heralded heroes toting the pigskin.

    Hall has great break-away speed when he has an open lane like wewitnessed at Duke last year but he seems to lack lateral moves-shiftiness.

    Davis is an un-known at this point…let’s go watch some spring practices…check him out and report back to the POV family. Ha ha.

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  3. I think the issue is that backs need to get enough carries and that the coaches have had difficulty figuring out who to give the carries to. Ollie was given a shot early when the line was bad. Then Hall who did break a few big runs when he got enough carries. I did like Ollie as full back.

    I would agree that neither of these guys appear to be marquis players.

    Hoping that Salhuddin dazzles every one when he gets here. Or maybe Sibley just runs over people like Conner.

    Again so much is dependent on the O-line opening holes.

    Hopefully one of these guys grabs the bull by the horns and decidedly wins the job.

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  4. with all of the production of the 2016 offense including James Conner’s as the principle ball carrier, I have a hard time believing Ollison was mishandled, especially when I read somewhere that he was overweight.

    Now last year was different … he did lose weight and you can make a case that he should have carried the ball more. The argument for using Hall is that is that he definitely more of a home-run hitter than Ollison. There is no way that Ollison scores on that 92 yard TD run vs Duke. And he was also used as a FB in the absence of Ashton.

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  5. Ollie may be best suited in the same role as Aston. Unfortunately both will be seniors and the OC’s do not normally call the FB’s number very often. Pitt is in desperate need of combo power/shifty back that can get outside the tackle with speed. Salahuddin may be the ticket on that front.

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  6. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Salahuddin and Davis get the lion shares of carries as the year goes on. Davis looks like he can get the tough yards while Salahuddin hopefully is that big playmaker that makes all offenses look better

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  7. The one thing about Ollie is that he played a lot of snaps. Didn’t receive many hand-offs but he was in the game for many plays.

    Back to last year first: Some of us predicted that PITT would not have a 1,000 yard rusher and even said aloud that maybe the top runner would only get as many as 700 yards or so. It was to be a running back by committee sort of deal. Even predicted that Hall would be the leader of that committee. Some even (COL, “chuckled out loud) at that prediction.

    I think we see more of the same this year but with more RB’s in the mix. I again think Hall will be a good option for PITT. Problem there is the O-Line and will KP be effective in distributing the football downfield opening up some room for the running game.

    Many forget that Hall goes 5’11” and 220 lbs and is very fast. He hasn’t shown many dip so doddle football often but last year it looked to me that he did gain a little more shiftiness.

    That said, man I hope someone breaks out this spring and summer and Narduzzi sticks with just one back, the good one whomever he may be?

    Bottome line, PITT does have more option at RB then in a long time. Some not battle tested but never the less highly though of back in high school..ike

    Calm down Barvo, I don’t mean to express my positive nature on the POV to bother anyone or get under your skin. Let it be brother

    Yes Wlat, Young MC. Knowing you were choreographing and busting dance moves only a few miles from where I live is kind of scary…

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    1. I’ve no problem with a positive outlook as long as it’s rooted in something other than blind faith and eye tests.

      FWIW I agree with you. Pitt has a lot of depth at RB. I’m not sure it’s been a long time though.

      It seems that Coach Pat can’t seem to decide who he likes. That said there doesn’t appear to be a dropoff but it does make one wonder whether one back would really distinguish if given the bulk of the carries.

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  8. Another good post Reed and some questions that hopefully get answered by late August.

    I thought I read in multiple places the Ollison’s issue was both making the correct blocking reads and his execution of them when he did. Both landed him in the coaches doghouse. Its would seem by his work in the second half of last year and the resulting comments from the coaches that he improved. So, perhaps he’s out of the doghouse now?

    Seems to me that spending that time working on his reads and blocking will only help him earn a spot on an NFL team next year. In that regard, the coaches would be doing exactly what they should for him. And with a suspect OL this coming year, perhaps that will also be good for the team as well.

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    1. Pass blocking was definitely a ding on Ollison in his big year (2015). He wasn’t good and they would pull him off the field. He also wasn’t a particularly good receiver. He’s improved in both areas since.

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      1. My recollection is that some of his lapses with the reads were attitudinal. Didn’t want to block, just wanted to tote the rock. If thats the case and he has atoned, good for him and the coaches.

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  9. Ike, no reason to stick with just one back. If you have two (or three) use them. They will be less tired and less injured. Look at Georgia, they had 2-3 very good ones (Michel and Chubb) and used them all , often.

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  10. As much as HCPN favors a power running game, perhaps the pass catching skills of the RBs (given PIckett’s talents and the OL questions) will be more important this year than in the recent past?

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  11. ^^ You guys make great points and different styles of running may be more effective against different types of defenses. It sure isn’t a bad thing to have 5 capable RB’s that all bring a slightly different technique of running.

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  12. Running back has to be our most talented position group on paper. it seems pretty open to who the go-to guy will be this year.

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  13. Wanted to comment on the 5 BB kids who made ACC BB Academic team. Great for them. It stands out in view of the our BB record and the college BB scandal.

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  14. Richman, when I mentioned sticking with one back I meant that PITT would have found that one special back. Maybe one of the young guns?

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  15. You guys see this group in different eyes than I do – I don’t think we have proven depth at all at RB… unless you think Hall is going to be better than he was last year – I thought he was very ineffective.

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    1. Reed: I’m not a big fan of Hall, but he and the others last year were limited in part by the poor play of the offensive line. And do not discount the fact that other teams could focus on stopping our run game because we had a very limited ability to pass.

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    2. I agree about the proven talent part. My thought is that the running back’s may be our best collection of highly recruited players. But other than Olison, none have really proven much.

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    3. I agree. I could never understand why the coaches played him over Ollison. Davis may not be worth the scholarship. So far he showed me nothing.

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  16. To paraphrase an old adage about QB’s, “If you have 2 starting running backs.. you really don’t have any.”

    Comparing Michel (Rivals 5* 6.1 rating) & Chubb (4* 6.0 rating) to our backs is a bit silly, don’t you think? This group couldn’t even touch the Dion Lewis/Ray Graham combo.

    We aren’t loaded with great backs. We’re loaded with good (meh) backs. Let’s hope the young kid steps in and blows it up. I don’t think any of the current kids are shifty enough to be effective behind a BAD offensive line.

    Just my opinion..

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    1. Not only did Georgia have Chubb and Michel … they had the #1 prospect last year who was an RB from Philly. Pretty sure Swift was his last name

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  17. Good news: We have great depth at the RB position.

    Bad News: If there is a game breaker on the roster, its not yet apparent who it is.

    Neither Ollison or Hall are game breakers, the Duke game notwithstanding. Ollison benefited from having a pretty good O-line and supporting cast around him. I’m hot and cold in my feelings about him. Haven’t really seen Sibley. Unless he’s lights out better than everyone else, Salahuddin will likely redshirt.

    In my opinion, the success of the running game, and the individual success of our RBs, is going to hinge on the quality of play we receive from the offensive line. And that remains a big question mark. Perhaps the biggest question mark on the entire roster.

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  18. As i pointed out to Reed above, a big reason why we had limited success running the ball last year was due to the poor play of our o-line. Plus, because we had no credible passer, teams were focused on stopping our running game, with little risk that they would get beat by our not so dynamic QBs.

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  19. Yes we have talent at the RB position. But at this point in time its only average talent at best absent the unknowns(Sibley, Salahuddin and Davis). I’m with Ike and believe that Pitt needs another headline one back like a Conner replacement. Not so much that the running style has to be a replica of Conners style but his results have be Conner like.

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  20. Line up Michel and Chubb behind PITT’s 2017 OL and throw in the QB play we had last year and their stats wouldn’t be much better than the 3 RBs we had behind the OL…Heck, most of us wanted Chubbs Chaney gone..see how it worked out for him when he had players who could block, run, pass and catch…have to have all 4 fundamental elements to excel. We caught lightning in a bottle with the 2016 O…anyway you cut itthis is a re-building year on the O side

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    1. I COMPLETELY disagree. Would Chubb and Michel had limited production versus what they did at Georgia? Certainly. But to compare A 5* and a HIGH 4* to our backs is silly. It’s almost nonsensical.

      wwb is right .(OMG, did I really just type that?) Wanny said exactly that! As much as a RB benefits from a good OL, the opposite can also be true. Often times the OL creates slight cracks that good backs hit IMMEDIATELY and create yardage where lesser backs see the crack too late to get through the line or miss it all together. And the GREAT RB’s also find cutback lanes that lesser backs miss. Look, I’m not saying our OL was good last year, but Michele and Chubb would have combined for far more than our backs did last year.

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      1. Agreed! A great RB makes any OLine look good. A great OLine can make a good back look really good. A good RB with a mediocre OLine gets you mediocre results.

        A good RB and a good OLine should produce good results.

        Pitt has to find a way to put together a good OLine, cause we sure do have good RB’s.

        Even the three 4* RB’s on the roster are low on the 4* rating scale, meaning they are good, not great.

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  21. Ollison was not Narduzzi’s guy. Plain and simple. When you are not recruited by the head coach, the head coach is not as loyal to you. Head coaches promise parents that they will take care of their kid during recruiting. Narduzzi never promised Ollisons parents anything.

    The current head coaches first big rb commit was Hall out of youngstown and he starts and plays Hall more than anyone. Hall and HC are connected out of youngstown. Hall has great straight away speed. He is the ron flockhart of pitt rb’s. If you will recall, flockhart could skate so fast that he couldn’t control the puck or make moves. He didn’t have “missability”, nor does Hall. Hall does not have great vision. My key components of a great runner are vision and quickness. Hall doesn’t have the vision and as such, is very mediocre. I do like his effort though.

    Ollison to me has the vision and is working on his quickness if he could take care of his weight. He has been productive but should have done better. I am hoping this is his year. Hoping. He and Hall seem to catch the ball out of the backfield similarly.

    DAvis is the darkhorse. I think the coaching staff favored him over Sibley and that is why they wasted his redshirt. He needed that. Davis had some early carries and lost a much needed redshirt as a result.

    Sibley is an unknown. Watched him in Ohio high school before injury and he looked really good. But that was high school.

    Salsunserihuddin is an unknown. Best case scenario is that he redshirts while we go get some offensive linemen.

    We are all quick to blame running backs as I did above, however, when there are 8 in the box and you can’t matriculate the ball north and south, none of our 5 rb’s will be successful, especially with a mediocre line. Mediocre line with a mediocre QB gives you a mediocre rb, even if he is a 6 star.

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  22. Ollison’s lack of playing time is on him, not PN. Ollison would play if he was better than Hall. Doesn’t matter who recruited him. Tons of players from PC played in front of Narduzzi recruits.

    Ollison is no Conner, McCoy, Graham, Lewis, etc. Pitt needs to find an impact RB.

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    1. Really? All I heard coming out of fall camp was that DiNucci outplayed Max Brown…yet PN started Brown anyway.

      Later on it was obvious Pickett was practicing and playing better than DiNucci, yet PN stuck with DiNucci until he absolutely couldn’t any longer.

      Don’t let’s kid ourselves, head coaches sit down or don’t play players for hundreds or reasons.

      Btw…I watched Ollison in camps both ’16 and ’17 and he looked exactly like he did in ’16 and ’15.

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        1. It seems you don’t see things as they really are. Browne (and I feel sorry for him) was not a major college QB. It was a shame he traveled 2,000 miles from home to find out. DiNucci is not a division 1 QB.

          I have no idea what our coaches see in practice. Pickett was clearly the best QB we had last year.

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  23. Right you are Huff and BigB. In order to have one thing great about both the offense and defense you have to be good in all facets of the game. Case in point is the running game needs a passing game. The passing game needs a good QB that’s multifaceted in the short passing game and goes deep when it opens up. This will keep the opposing D honest and not load up in one faze of the O game. Of course we all know that.

    The offense can also be helped out by the defense, like giving the ball back to the O in decent field position at times. Same goes for the defense, if the offense can control the ball it will keep the defense rested. again as we all know.

    I think we saw that backfire a little two years ago when Nate and the O scored often and very quickly at times. Teams needed to catch up and the D got tired of being on the field. That’s why they call it a football team.

    Goes without saying, PITT football is not there just yet. I believe the only way PITT can contend for the ACC championship is to create a team concept other than relying on a star studded lineup.

    I think it’s been drilled in our heads that the recruiting hasn’t been all that great recently but since we are the running backs right now I’ll point out that PITT has 4 running backs that were rated 4*’s by at least one recruiting service when they were seniors in high school. That’s not blind faith, it’s an educated opinion. Hall has the measurable and he should have the learning and experience to have a break out year.

    Yes that’s positive thinking but in no way is that blind faith… ike

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      1. BTW, anyone see the Clapton 12 Bars documentary on Showtime? Pretty dark at spots but what he did in his first decade was fascinating … Yardbirds, Mayall, Cream, B Faith, D & the Dominoes

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  24. Thanks wwb and I did think of linking a blind faith song but some posters already think I’m overkill on the POV. Which is cool by me. I dance to my own drumbeat as bad as it is..

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  25. Emel, wwb , Reed ( stat guys) … turnovers can really hep an O… but my gut feeling from watching games this aspect seems to be lacking … where have we tracked over the past few years compared to Div 1.. ???

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      1. imo…..due to very little pressure on the opposing qb. Intercepts as you know usually occur when the opposing QB is rushed (hurried) and he makes a poor decision.

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  26. As ike says, RB is a deep position with the number of 4 stars. With 5 solid RBs, one will emerge. Did anyone think that Conner would lead the ACC in career TDs when he was recruited? I think there is something to the concept that when opportunity presents itself, the cream will rise to the top.

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  27. VOR let’s just hope there is some RB cream on the Pitt roster. Pickett may loosen up the defense enough to make some of our average backs look a lot better than they have shown in the past.

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  28. jrn as VOR mentioned. Who’s to say that PITT has only average backs? Just like Conner who was recruited as DE as well as RB, PITT really didn’t know what they had in JC until they gave him the rock. Projecting a highly thought of players to be be good for PITT is not much different than projecting them as average when the 4* stars say different. Isn’t that what we all learned on the POV? Stars matter?

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  29. Hey I could be wrong about this but I really put a lot of stock into the older players that have been around in the classrooms both football and real life as well as the weight room. I really don’t think this is a flawed logic.

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  30. We can only hope that someone will take the bull by the horns. If Hall has spent some time in the weight room, he should be able to actually break a few tackles this year. What would his stats have been if he added another 50-60 carries last year? And we don’t know what we have with Sibley. Maybe he is a super stud who couldn’t grasp the playbook last year (one can dream). And don’t be surprised if Aston gets more carries in the Red Zone.

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  31. I said proven depth and since Narduzzi is stuck on playing people with the most game experience we’ll see Ollison and Hall as the most used backs again.

    Bet a dollar that after 6 games they have the most carries by a large margin.

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  32. Reed you put up a dollar that the only two senior running back scholarship players on the team have the most carries after six games? As your jr psychologist I would advise against such bold statements in the future. After-all, it was only last year you scoffed at Hall being PITT’s leading rusher with 700 yards by seasons end.

    Maybe you should stick with your QB prognostications? Hall > Ollison

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  33. Not really NRS. You develop relationships with players and their families during the recruiting process that goes on for years. Narduzzi and most corporate executives reward those that were loyal to them, not necessarily the best at their position. Call it unfair, whatever, it is reality.

    Have you ever worked for an employer and someone else got promoted instead of you, not because of your performance necessarily, but because of a relationship. It’s the same thing in sports.

    Ollison was not narduzzi’s guy. He has a chance to be as he has stuck with the program and been a good soldier for a few years, as has Hall. The best players don’t always play. Life isn’t always fair man. Ollison may be partly to blame here, but we will never know. Discounting the relationship between Hall and Narduzzi is shortsighted in my opinion. To say it is all based on his performance is just silly.

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  34. did I compare our back to chubb and Michel?.. In fact i did not. I said “no reason to stick with just one back. If you have two (or three) use them. They will be less tired and less injured. Look at Georgia, they had 2-3 very good ones (Michel and Chubb) and used them all , often.” It was about using multiple backs. “Smoke’em if you got’em” my dad used to say. But then again he also used to say I was an idiot, or was that my brother.. I forget :-).

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  35. Still in SC. One guy on the course commented on my Pitt gear saying(seriously) “you must be tough, bless your heart”! Well, as far as running back, the returning guys all lack something. If George is back I say play the one who is the best receiver out of the backfield as a bunch of quick, short routes may save Pickett.

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  36. experience seems to matter less at RB than others. While i have little doubt that Hall and Ollie will see their share of the early action, wouldn’t be surprised one bit if the younger guys get a large share of PT this year

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  37. We just don’t have a shifty back — and we haven’t since Shady-Dion-Ray. And don’t tell me JC was shifty…

    So, we have a bunch of guys who are very good athletes, but just don’t have that shifty gene.

    We only beat Duke last year because Hall was the RB on the two long TD plays. Okay, maybe Davis makes it if he reads the blocks correctly…

    What I liked about Hall, even when he wasn’t being very productive, was that he’d hit the hole hard – and even when the blocking wasn’t so great, he’d go forward and get a couple of yards.

    Go Pitt!

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    1. Davis was very disappointing from the get go…when he got put in against the YSU Penguins.
      4 carries for 8 yards. Only avg’d 2.5 ypc overall for season. Should have been redshirted, Nard
      must have promised him, he would play as a frosh…to get him to sign on the dotted line.

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      1. From what I recall, that first game against YSU was his most impressive game. (I know he had a longer run of 12 yards in a later game). The situations they put Davis in during that first game seemed to illustrate a lot of trust. Of course he also had that touchdown.

        To only get 20 yards on eleven of his additional twelve carries probably supports the suggestion that Davis should have been redshirted.

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  38. Hall on paper is most certainly PITT’s best back right now. Although I would love for the new 4* back out of the DC area force us all to come up quick with a nickname as none of us have a clue how to spell his last name off the top of our heads. How about the “Salamander” or “Komoto Dragon”??

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    1. He has a nickname apparently the WAPO gave him…..Houdini. Hopefully he can disappear a few more Pitt losses this coming season.

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  39. Todd Sibley is an intriguing RB candidate. He’s listed as 5-9 and 225#. On video, I remember that he has some seriously big thighs – like he could be a real handful to tackle.

    (There was a terrific runner back in the late 40s and early 50s names Marion Motley. Played for the Browns – ended his career in 1955 with the Steelers. Body-style wise, Sibley reminds me of a mini-version of Motley…)

    Go Pitt.

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  40. Good one Major Majors, I remember Marion but I thought his name was Myron? He was a big dude when there wern’t many big dudes playing the D-Line.

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  41. Two thoughts on this RB thread:

    With George the Animal leading the way our runners will be better.
    Hopefully one of our backs will be shiftier than the Duzz is answering questions at the press
    conferences!!!!!! :>) It will not be a good season if the Duzz is the shiftiest guy in Pitt
    camp!!!

    Like

  42. I am a human version of Google. Millions of trivial items and facts. In history, politics, sports, geography.

    I once won some large coin on Jeoparady 🙂

    Like

      1. I guess both, since I grew up not only wanting to be a major league, but also wanting to appear for some University on the old College Bowl tv show.

        Like

  43. RB—Hall, Davis, Sibley, true freshman
    FB—Ollison, Aston

    Pitt is fine in the backfield and QB. The line has to come together and needs Millin and The JuCo to start at the tackle spots.

    Like

  44. La Pickett is more of a threat to run, as in the option. He was listed as a Dual Threat QB coming out of HS.

    So I wonder if Dr. Watson is going to incorporate more option plays in the offense this year. Having 3 options to run the ball out of the backfield, makes it tougher for the opposing Defense to know who’s getting the ball.

    Like

    1. My guess is we don’t see Pickett running much by design— we’re just too thin at QB.

      I like some naked bootlegs though…

      Go Pitt!

      Like

  45. PITT also has a big O-Lineman and a preferred walk-on juco transfer, a teammate of Chase Brown that bares watching out for. More highly regarded then Chase coming out of high school. Broke his ankle last year and flew under the radar… From what I’ve heard.

    The O-Line may be better than expected but it does take time to jell. Talk about it when Reed gets to the O-Line.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. It appears the downturn in overall sports interest is declining everywhere. Even in the heart of ACC basketball country.

    NCAA basketball fans can score up to 25% off tickets to March Madness opening weekend games in Charlotte…..thru Travel Zoo

    Like

    1. Reed is championing the only back we have that has run for over 1100 yards at a 5+ ypc rate and double digit TDs… regardless of how many stars he had.

      Funny how we had this same discussion about Ollison last year at this time and then Hall didn’t come through as advertised.

      Like

  47. QH and Weah rated as the 35th and 36th best WR’s at the NFL Combine. Both project to be taken between rounds 3 and 5.

    Robert Foster of Alabama is rated as the 48th best. Projects to be taken in round 7 or as an undrafted free agent.

    Like

  48. Erie I love your work ethic up early in the morning almost every day and on the POV to post no less. If I may ask what time do you get to sleep at night?

    Like

    1. Usually by 11 – need six hours – eight is great for an early morning golf tee time.

      I’m not plowing farm fields nor milking cows, just running a manufacturing operation in Central PA.

      Like

  49. As a former stock broker I used to get in the office around 6am each day to read the ticker tape(remember those) that would run all night from the previous days stock market close. The tape would often be 12 to 15 feet in length and sifting through the news and then subsequently researching specific companies would take up the hours before the market opened.—“The early bird gets the worm”

    Like

      1. someone speculated above that Ashton will graduate and become a grad transfer this spring. I believe it was written facetiously but not 100% sure

        Like

  50. I am going to propose that Foster gets drafted in the 3rd round IF he runs a sub 4.4 forty at the combine. It is one of those odd situations where a trusted coach like Saban will work for Foster to get him drafted early. In my opinion, it’s the quid pro quo for Foster coming back for a 5th year at Alabama instead of transferring out. The narrative is pretty simple for Saban to set up Foster for draftability. He will say that Foster is not deserving of a first round pick, but he battled behind multiple number one WR picks from Alabama and never quit. He was always on the cusp and is now healthy. He has the skills to go in rounds 2-4, look at his workout numbers.

    Happy Friday folks! It’s almost Miller time.

    Like

    1. there’s no question that Foster has much natural ability and skill; he wouldn’t have started for two different national title teams if he didn’t. But he was never the primary receiver. I have no doubt that he gets a chance somewhere in the NFL and wouldn’t be surprised at all if he on an NFL roster next season and beyond (provided no injuries of course). But he will likely be the 3rd receiver at best … which isn’t that bad

      Like

  51. Gary Parrish@GaryParrishCBS
    Arizona winning a Pac-12 title hours after its coach denied a report that he was caught on a wiretap discussing a pay-for-play scheme about his best player — and hours after its second-leading scorer was reinstated after a second failed PED test — is peak college basketball

    Unfortunately, an AD using a search firm that he has a connection with that recommends a coach that it has a connection with is peak Pitt athletics

    Like

  52. The fact is that in this decade when a Pitt AD does the sole hiring, it turns out to be much worse than when a search committee does it.

    AD hires: Haywood, Graham, Stallings
    Committee hires: Chryst, Narduzzi

    Like

    1. true. and that may have been the worst hire, although he was certainly qualified. There should be little doubt that the performance of the ADs is why Pitt is in the position it currently is .. although of curse the jury is still out on the current AD (despite UPitt’s standard negative hyperbole)

      Like

  53. Does anyone want to write an article about one of the defensive units; DE, DL, LB AND DBs? The OL also if someone would.

    It would take a lot heat off me as I’m deep into volunteer duties for the month of March with a commitment almost every day.

    Let me know…all you need to do is the basics with your opinion on who will be in the unit two-deep (or just starters you think will play in the opener), how good you think it will be (be honest here) and if it will be better or not then 2017’s.

    Put it in a Word document (or Google docs) if you can…if not just send it to me in the body of an email and I’ll mess with it. I’ll flesh it out with facts, stat charts and graphics, etc…and proof read then post it up.

    I’d very much appreciate the help with this. Thanks in advance.

    If you haven’t already submitted an article to me please do, it’s a lot of fun and don’t worry at all about how you write or your writing skills because I’ll fix all that and make it look pretty…please do, you’ll be surprised at how good you are at it.

    But tell us which unit you want to write about in a comment beforehand so we don’t duplicate efforts.

    Like

        1. Reed – I’ll try the OL – since you are on the offensive side of the ball, I’ll attempt to have my article to you by the end of the weekend.

          And I’ll try to tone down any optimism I might have for this bunch…

          Soon enough?

          Like

  54. PSN reports HCPN has an offer out to a 5* RB…

    http://pittsburghsportsnow.com/2018/03/02/pitt-offers-5-star-running-back-marshawn-lloyd/

    Last night, Pitt threw their hat in the ring and extended an offer to 2020 5-star running back Marshawn Lloyd from DeMatha in Hyattsville, Maryland. The 5-foot-10, 200-pound back also holds offers from Penn State, Michigan, Maryland, Virginia Tech, South Carolina, Kentucky, Rutgers and Boston College.

    Lloyd is just the second 5-star prospect in the 2019 and 2020 Classes to receive an offer from Pitt, joining 2019 running back Devyn Ford (Stafford, Virginia) and 2019 cornerback Chris Steele (Bellflower, California).

    Does Pitt have any chance of trying to land this big-time talent?

    Like

      1. But he’s getting his foot in the door early. I think this season will go a long way in determining what level of recruiting we’ll get in ’19 and ’20… another down year and it could get scary.

        Like

  55. Didn’t we just get 2 DeMatha kids? That won’t hurt our chances.

    The real question? Will Narduzzi still be here to coach him after the upcoming 4-8 or 5-7 season? I’m guessing he will but you never know.

    Like

  56. ^^ Nope, probably not Reed. Although the failure to lure these highly rated young players to PITT will be used against HCPN when the recruiting numbers are crunched in the end game. << That’s why I don’t care one bit about who doesn’t come to PITT with an offer.

    This from my own brain: It seems like every-time a POVer steps up with an article to help Reed out, they are always well received. Off the top of my head we have guys like Huff and Jay that have many great thoughts and can express them way better than the likes of ike, (me) and there are lots more of you out there. So send Reed what’s on your cranium and/or from your heart or otherwise. Like Bob Dylan once said “she put down in writing what was in her mind” From one of my favorite artists and songs: It’s my new reality… It’s not dark yet

    Like

  57. Though not real popular at this point I also agree with Reed that the only RB we have with any impressive proven D1 stats is Q Ollison (like ACC Offensive Rookie of the year for example). Let’s hope he somehow emerges from the deep depths of darkness and like a made for t.v. sports movie becomes a star once again.
    Hey, I can hope can’t I???

    Like

    1. What would be nice if Davis gets the rock early on and shows us he’s 4* material… but honestly my opinion on the OL this season (which I think will be a real struggling unit without much talent) makes me wonder if we can better our poor 3.9 ypc average last season.

      I don’t think fans realize just how bad it was and yes, no real passing threat influenced that also.

      Like

      1. Reed — another factor in that low yards per carry was that, inexplicably, Watson had Browne running some run option plays. I guess because they wanted to keep Canada’s offense, even though we picked a starting QB who couldn’t run.

        Anyway, having a QB who was no threat made those plays predictable and easier to defend.

        Like

        1. Mini Max only carried the ball 16 times which includes attempted scrambles, those few runs he attempted couldn’t have made that much of a difference in the season YPC.

          Actually Ollison’s best games were when Mini Max was QB against YSU & PSU. Where he nearly had 100 yards rushing in each game. Pitt had over 200 yards rushing against YSU and outrushed the Pedo’s and the vaunted Barkley. Ollison ran for 96 yards with a 6.4 ypc to the great (sic) Barkley’s 88 yards and 6.3 ypc.

          So I don’t think we can blame the Season 3.9 ypc on Mini Max too.

          Like

          1. Emel – you’re correct that Max didn’t keep the ball and run on the option plays. My point was that since everyone in the stadium knew Max wasn’t a runner, our RBs were at a big disadvantage on those plays.

            Defenders were not worried about the QB part of the option.

            Like

  58. Yesterday I had a 30 minute conversation with two Ventura, CA sportswriters about our new QB Ricky Town. He’s got a very interesting back story and they had strong opinions on him regarding his HS play, his bouncing around after being so highly rated as a recruit (5* and some pundits had him #1 overall) and what he may or may not do at Pitt.

    What I’m doing is I’ll do a regular piece on the QB unit for 2018… but then do a long feature piece on Town separately so stay tuned for that.

    Personally I think his role as QB2 this year (and he’ll be that as announced by Narduzzi already)m ight be the story of our 2018 season given the type of football Pickett plays.

    Pickett’s a dual threat QB and will be out in the open field a lot – and sometimes that leads to injuries. Let’s keep our fingers crossed he stays healthy all year – he’s that important to the offense.

    Like

  59. Here is a piece from the Trib on Brian O’Neill and the NFL combine:

    ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. pegged O’Neill going to the Baltimore Ravens with the No. 16 pick in his first mock draft, although he omitted O’Neill from the first round in his second mock. The Sporting News recently projected O’Neill to be selected by the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 12.

    The possibility of being a first-round pick wasn’t known to O’Neill in December when he decided to forego his senior season. But he said he received “good feedback” from the NFL Draft Advisory Board.

    Here is a video of O’Neill

    Like

    1. the knock against him is his technique. But that can be coached.
      Lets see his strength though and agility
      most lineman dont need straight line speed but it does correlate into other things like feet work and agility and overall athleticism

      Like

  60. Jay91..I wanted to get my Friday and week-end mini-vacation festivities (back to work on Monday) of to a great mental start,,,then I read your post…bummer….as we would say in the 70’s ” you are such a downer.” Kidding. Think positive my friend.Everybody- have a great week-end !!!

    It’s blowing it’s a$$ off in eastern North Carolina. Are yunz getting any of this storm ?

    Like

  61. BigB.

    Sorry, man. Just REALLY concerned about the upcoming season. I see there is SOME talent on this team but the last few recruiting classes haven’t brought much excitement. I agree Pitt will never be LOADED with 5* players but to be honest, teams with 15-20 4/5 kids, 35 3* kids and 30 2* or lower kids will win more games than a team with 85 3* kids. In a recruiting class, I’d rather see 5-6 4* kids and 5-6 2* or lower kids and 10 2* kids than 20 3* kids. Only 25-30 players usually get significant playing time. Depth is important but we NEED to have a few stars to win games. I don’t see Narduzzi being able to bring those players in.

    And the winds have been BLOWING here in Central PA all day. You want optimism? Maybe these are the “winds of change” bringing an upcoming winning era for Pitt football.. and a new basketball coach!

    Liked by 1 person

  62. Erie, looking forward to your article on the OL. If there is one position where the optimism vs. negativity is all over the place it is with the OL. I think that OL is more of a learned position(s) where average players can grow into the position and develop the necessary strength and skills. If this is true, Pitt has a number of players who have obtained actual game experience, either here or elsewhere. So if you can put some perspective on this puppy and tell us what Pitt actually has for 2018, that would be great. Don’t mean to add any pressure but this position is critical..

    Like

  63. Seems like there is always a lot of hot air blowing on the POV.. jus kidding, Must be the south-easter?

    Looking forward to wwb and Erie Express articles… and the positive spin we all might expect. I do have to say, the POV is back baby. Honest talk from honest people.. Different opinions and not of the same kind of thoughts. It’s what it’s all about.

    Now a days it’s hard for me to remember or think about what day it is but Friday has not lost one bit of it’s feeling

    Like

  64. Playing together for some time usually helps the OL play. Unfortunately Pitt won’t have that scenario going into next season. A major job ahead for the new coach IMHO.

    Like

  65. You are right, jrnpitt. I should have added that category to my list of OL characteristics. Five good guys don’t necessarily play as one solid unit right away.

    Like

  66. I believe the two lineman from Lackawanna are on campus for the spring drills. But I don’t believe the graduate transfer from Kent State will be in house until the summer.

    Like

  67. 70 knot gusts as we speak in MD. Trees down all over.

    Used my “Movie Pass” card for the first time today… One free movie a day for $7.95 per month. Saw Phantom Thread which was beautifully filmed but very strange.

    WBB just sent me an article on the LBs, will post it tomorrow.

    Like

  68. Jay91… I agree this season will be a interesting to watch. I am excited that our D will, not should, be better. Hopefully, the force more turnovers to give the O more chances. Those have been missing for a long time.

    We have a QB we can all be excited about, running backs who we know with the return of George the Animal. Receiving corps should improve with better QB play. OC Watson has a year with most of the leading characters and throw in a few unknowns who look good on paper… maybe we will be pleasantly surprised.

    The big concern for most is the OL- new faces including a new coach. Last year I wasn’t
    Concerned about the OL with 3 returning starters… shows you how much I know !

    Well, it’s 5:00 somewhere .. Cheers Jay91… Bottoms Up !

    Like

  69. hang in there guys. its been rainy and miserable here for 1.5 weeks. finally got a sunny day and 69 degrees
    but twister season is 2 weeks away

    Like

  70. I think our below 4 ypc rushing avg for the season can be more attributed to the fact that after Mini Max went down in the Syracuse game, Pitt had no legit deep passing threat. (ie The Nooch). Or much of any kind of passing threat at all.

    And therefore opposing defenses were able to bring their safeties up to stop Pitt’s run (other than the anomaly of the Duke game were 22’s were wild)

    Ollison had 6.4 ypc against Pedo State and 4.1 ypc against YSU with nearly 200 yards rushing.
    We got behind quickly against Okie State so the run was abandoned pretty much until Pitt was
    just trying to run the clock out in the 2nd half. Avg’d only 3 ypc with mostly Moss toting the rock.

    The Nooch started against GT, and since there was no deep passing threat or not much passing threat at all
    GT could crowd the line of scrimmage to stop Pitt’s run and they did. Pitt had 20 rushes for a pathetic
    less than 2 ypc of 37 yards. YUGE mistake imo starting The Nooch against GT.

    Which the Nard Dog sort of admitted by starting Mini Max in the next 2 games.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good story Pitt-cocks. Too bad he’s not coming back to anchor the line. Can’t blame him for leaving however I liked college football better before it turned into the NBA,

      Like

  71. It was a strange season in the offensive backfield for sure. The feature back went from Big Q in the first few games, to Chantez Moss in the middle, to Darrin Hall and back to Ollison for the Miami finale after Hall’s dismal performance of 15 carries for just 4 yards against VT.

    If this Houdini kid is the real thing and shows his stuff in August, he could be the starter.

    Like

  72. Lastrow… will make the switch to Dark n Stormies when the Carolina spring weather is here full time and I am pirating in my boat on the liquid highway… I am well-supplied… topped off by brother Iek on my visit to Laaatrobe ! Enough to take a few POVer buccaneers with me on my coastal cruising adventures. Puts me in the mood for a little Jimmy Buffet

    Like

  73. Remember this guy !

    Among running backs, NC State’s Nyheim Hines (4.38 seconds) posted a better time in the 40-yard dash than Saqaun Barkley’s 4.40 seconds

    Like

  74. If you want a RB, select one from Pitt, not from Creeppy Valley. Too many Pedo backs have been busts. I hope he gets drafted by the Clowns and rots away.

    Like

  75. Pitt still doesnt have a rec center that many schools have that is used to recruit students. Pitt is behind the times as usual.
    https://www.bestcollegereviews.org/features/the-25-most-amazing-campus-student-recreation-centers/
    http://www.collegerank.net/features/best-student-recreation-centers/

    And nothing is wrong with tarping. Pitt needs to right size a stadium that is 40% too large for its needs. And you can generate ad revenue with those tarps.
    http://www.tampabay.com/sports/baseball/rays/tampa-bay-rays-unveil-renovation-plans-for-tropicana-field/2155269

    Every pro team with smarts (NFL, MLS, MLB) is doing this
    But Pitt because Narduzzi is against it, will not make it happen. And Heather being a puppet that she is

    Again people its to improve on the xperience . build smaller, more intimate, more fun and engaging
    you need to find a way to get ones lazy arse off the comfy couch and their 72 inch surround sound TV with internet real time streaming info

    why is Pitt so stupid. i thought they thought they were an ivey league school that could play D1 sports

    the future of sports is with domed stadiums, small, couch seats, wi fi internet ability at your finger tips
    its not in open air 70k seat stadiums with cramped seating and piss poor scoreboards with you having to use your iphone to get real time stats and commentary
    its about the experience (before, during and after the game)
    Pitt will NEVER understand

    Like

  76. https://www.cardiachill.com/2018/3/1/17065852/pitt-panthers-basketball-draws-lowest-average-attendance-since-1982-kevin-stallings-era

    Pitt built a 12,500 palace in place of old Pitt stadium
    With attendance like this, it should have stayed at the Fieldhouse
    Frankly, basketball should be playing at PPG and Pitt football at an on campus stadium of 50k
    Cornhole ruined Pitt football’s future
    Only at Pitt because Pitt is tops when it comes to gutless leadership, athletic smarts (not) and lack of any vision for the future
    Heather continues the tradition to this day
    I can say with full confidence that Pitt will botch the coaching decision in basketball…again

    Like

  77. Hey Tx, no offense intended but I don’t doubt that last sentence for a second. You already seem to be quite convinced that you’ll hate the hire.

    Like

    1. if its crean, matta or hurley, i am fine
      i’m telling heather dear who to hire
      she should pay me a consultants fee
      all have been vetted
      all are vastly better than mister rockport
      but miss heather will botch it
      in tressell we trust (but pitt didnt listen to me then)

      Like

  78. Iek: How old do you think i am man? Disco was the 70s. I was too young to be cutting a rug at Harry’s in Lay-trobe. Now in the late 80s and early 90s, I could regularly be found at the Attic on Forbes Ave. Bizarre Love Triangle was the big hit of the day.

    Like

    1. the attic was popular back in the day for a brief period. i remember it well. but a bit too high scale for my taste. it tried to be a City (NYC) club.
      i actually requested that song often when i played darts at mollies on UB campus back in 93-94
      we often won with that song playing
      and a good song to dance to at the Pink Flamingo…a Buffalo dance club in the day
      And Buffalo just won the MAC…sorry to rub that in. RPI at 36. Pitt is at 207
      Last time I saw UB and Pitt play was back in 94 in Buffalo. Pitt won by 30 plus. Eric Mobley had a good day
      Sad that Pitt hasnt been this bad since 76 (6 wins then)
      Sad that attendance hasnt been this low since 82 (in 6000 capacity field house, actually 60% capacity back then, at the pete its 40%)
      Sad that Heather will botch the hire on a new coach…yes darling i dont trust you and the compliance Fiat you drove into town with

      Like

    2. Ike and MWlat, my gang used to drive from Belle Vernon all the way to Latrobe (quite a haul for high schoolers) to hit all the Latrobe Dancing hot spots in the late 1970s, including Hardee’s . No better places to meet the ladies in those days. That was a weird era when many clubs would be under 21 until midnight and over 21 after.

      Like

  79. LOL Wlat, I know you’re a young MC. Wasn’t Harry’s called the Kaleidoscope or something dopey like that? BTW, you haven’t seen me post any Night-Fever BS on the POV but you do look like a young Travolta. 🙂

    Like

  80. Guys, I know this is a football thread, and I apologize, but, if Stallings is fired, I can’t tell you how impressed I am with Earl Grant. This guy can flat out coach. My friend in Charleston put me on to him, and the more I looked and the closer I looked I realized this guy is the real deal. I am dead serious. This is the guy we want. Check him out. Coached great defense, then when he got better talent showed he could also,play up tempo. Had a lot of injuries this year, but he is the young up and comer we need. Please,please tell me he is clean. If so, do not pass go, and hire immediately.

    Like

    1. He’s decent but i dont think Pitt will take a reach. To me, it is a reach at this stage in his career. 41 and coaching at College of Charleston. Come 48 and another coaching gig, he would be ACC material possibly. Remember this is the ACC. The best league in college sports. Matta and Crean are your top dogs. Earls making 300k. Pitt will be willing to pay $3M. Its too big of a jump for this minnow.

      Like

      1. I disagree that Pitt will pay $3mill to the next BB coach. Maybe to the whole staff, but not to the HC.

        Therefore, Earl is the Pearl. He comes to Pitt with a good secure contract, maybe $1.8mill – six times his current earnings. This rebuild can happen fairly quickly with the right plan and the right man.

        Like

  81. Hey,
    If he’s currently making only $300.000 he already meets all of our requirements and motto. Which is: “WE ARE – CHEAP”

    Like

    1. We can also chant – “WE ARE – CLEAN”

      At least I think we are, but I won’t chant anything We are…unless it’s with my psux friends and that chant is “WE ARE ENABLERS” or “WE ARE RIDICULOUS”

      Like

  82. Grant can recruit. He took a poor program, recruited his ass off, and turned it around quickly. Can he coach, look what he did to LSU and Simmons. He recruits the south, knows the ACC footprint from time at Clemson. If you think he is a minnow you’re dead wrong. You DO NOT want a retread like Cretan or Matta who are BiG guys. Need to get the southern players in our new league. Kids would love this guy. Do your homework and check him out. He will be moving to the big time very,very,soon. Golden, and I mean golden opportunity.

    Liked by 1 person

  83. If you think CoC is minnow, check out their web sight, puts ours to shame, I mean to shame. Team is 23-7, and all 7 losses away from home. I’m serious guys, this man can coach!

    Like

  84. hes a big fish in that conference against that level of competition
    he would be a much smaller fish in the acc
    he goes from a pond to a big lake…most fish dont survive that
    too me its too much risk but granted pitt can get him cheap and we know pitt’s number 1 thing is money

    Like

  85. Pitt won’t be going after Crean or Matta. Thad’s health could come back to bite him in two years and Pitt would be left finding another coach. I’m sure since he wouldn’t; have delivered a championship some Panther fans would want him fired any way, but needs a younger guy like Grant or Hurley.

    Like

  86. Anyhow, for anyone who cares:
    1) Wild Dunes links course was by far best conditioned and lots of fun to play.
    2) Ocean Course lives up to rep, but without 30mph Wild decent score can be had.
    3) Cougar Point is a nice track, but greens were Awful. I mean the worst I’ve ever played!
    4) Stono Ferry, skip it.

     For those golfer who may want to go to Kiawah next year. We stayed in a condo(they call them villas) with a king bed, full kitchen, pull out sofa, 2 nights, round at Cougar Point, round at Ocean Course for 270 apiece!!! Was good till March 1st. Walk up rate on OC was 265. What a deal. POV golf outing next yr??
    

    Like

  87. I do agree with you guys that this Grant looks like a good one and would be a nice get for PITT. Also like the Hurley coach but I’m thinking that if PITT and Heather cannot or doesn’t try to get one of the coaches your hearts are set on, then the whomever the next coach turns out to be will be in the same sinking boat that KS found himself in.

    Like

  88. Tx, take a look at what he has done with that talent level when he plays the” big fish”. Even though he plays them all away he is extremely competitive and occasionally knocks them off. Think you are dismissing him without really looking at the coaching job he’s done. Plus he has shown the ability to change styles to the type of player he has. This guy is a star in the making. Paid his dues at Clemson and then HC at 36. He is used to playing big time teams fron LSU to. Villanova to Witchita State to Wake. Won some lost a few more, but always competitive, even when decimated with injuries. In this case, getting him on the cheap would be amazing. However, his stock is going thru the roof. If he isn’t gone this year we won’t be able to get him next year, that’s how hot he will be!

    Like

  89. If Pitt hires a retread coach that means Gallagher didn’t want to pay for one of the up and comers. It would suck ending up with Crean, but he won’t take the job for less than $3 million a season. That is a high number for the misers at Pitt.

    Like

  90. From Wbb’s Rivals.com link to Chris Peak’s article above…

    https://pittsburgh.rivals.com/news/the-panther-lair-com-3-2-1-column-lyke-on-stallings-tarps-and-more

    Whose team is it anyway?

    We’re less than two weeks away from the start of spring football, and inevitably one of the bigger and more relevant storylines this spring – and this season – will be the makeup of the team.

    It’s Year Four for Pat Narduzzi, and that’s the time when talk of “inherited players” really starts to fade away and “it’s his team” becomes a common phrase.

    So just how much is the 2018 Pitt team one of Pat Narduzzi’s making? Well, we’re at the point where it’s easier to count the players Narduzzi didn’t recruit rather than the ones he did.

    To wit:

    George Aston
    Qadree Ollison
    Alex Bookser
    Conor Dintino
    Mike Herndon
    James Folston
    Shane Roy
    Seun Idowu
    Jalen Williams
    Quintin Wirginis
    Elijah Zeise
    Phillipie Motley
    Dennis Briggs

    That’s 13 scholarship players out of the current projected total of 87. Obviously they still need to cut two scholarships to make it all fit, but I think we all know they’ll figure that out. If all 13 of those guys stay and the attrition comes from the underclassmen, then you’re looking at 13 out of 85 – or 15.3% of the roster.

    Hey, POVers, this is Pat Narduzzi’s team without a doubt. So whatever happens in 2018 is 100%on his shoulders. I wrote and felt 2017 100% was on his shoulders also, but Pitt fans tend to point backward when defending s coach they love.

    This will be fun to watch….

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    1. just one minor note ….. Aston and Idowu came in as walk-ons who in the past 3 years earned scholarships. You may want to keep this in mind when we read about preferred walk-ons coming in…. you just never know.

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  91. It is Year Four of the Narduzzi era and definitely his team. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

    Never would Chryst or Graham have a solid two deep along the D-line, linebacker and so many promising players in the secondary. And most important, a quarterback that previous Pitt coaches couldn’t recruit.

    Now if the O-line can just come together to block for a capable stable of backs.

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  92. It is interesting to look at the coaching carousel that brought HC Narduzzi to Pitt.

    Nebraska fires Bo Pelini who was 9-4 in 2014.
    Nebraska hires Mike Riley from Ore St after the Beavers were 5-7 in 2014.
    Riley had three seasons at Nebraska of 6-7 / 9-4 / 4-8 -> Terminated in 2017

    Ore St hires Gary Anderson from Wisconsin after the Badgers were 11-3 in 2014.
    Anderson had three seasons at Ore St of 2-10 / 4-8 / 1-11 -> Anderson steps down in 2017

    Wisconsin hires Paul Chryst from Pitt after the Panthers were 6-7 in 2014
    Chryst had three seasons at Wisconsin of 10-3 / 11-3 / 13-1

    Pitt hires DC Pat Narduzzi from Michigan St with no prior HC-ing experience in 2014.
    Duzz had three seasons at Pitt of 8-5 / 8-5 / 5-7

    Only two remain as Riley and Anderson failed.

    Chryst has been very successful with a program he inherited that hasn’t had a losing season since 2001 going 5-7 Barry Alvarez’ 12th season.

    Narduzzi is building a program that was 6-6 for many years prior to his arrival. I’m excited that the majority of players on this current roster are his guys.

    H2P!

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  93. The complete turn a round is nearly complete. We should be a defensive team this year

    Instead of hoping the defense could hold on to a lead, we may be wondering if the offense can score enough points to win.

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  94. A kid in a good program will gain nearly 50% of his body mass. Thats due to diet and lifting. These kids coming out of HS are 250 pound weaklings. They grow to 340 pound studs in the right program and if done right without sacrificing speed or agility. Plus these guys need the proper technique taught to them. Most underrated position coach is the line.

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  95. If Matta is healthy, he gets the job. I like Hurley as well.

    Granted, grant looks good. He will come cheap. Another thing to consider.

    But if Heather keeps Rockports, she won’t have any booster on her side. I think she already knows this because she’s been told. So it’s an easy decision. Not so much the new hire.

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  96. Wins and losses are what matter, but I’d sure hate to see Crean coaching Pitt BB…

    Erie Express – we missed on the Oline coach hire (Jim Sweeney), but I like some of the names on your BB coaching list…

    Go Pitt!

    Like

  97. My guess is with the young pups nipping at his heals and it being his final year, Ollison will bust his butt to reclaim his job…but if he lets his foot off the gas, the kid from DC will be in the next series. Hall could be a good 3rd down or change of pace guy, as he doesn’t have great wiggle but can block and big-time straight speed. Sibley might have to wait till next year, and he and the DC kid might make one of the best tandems in college ball.

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