Here are some POV’ers photos and post-scrimmage quotes and interviews.  One category I forgot to  add to that table yesterday were 3rd down conversions where on Saturday we went 2 for 20 attempts.

Pitt just got a walk-on QB for the 2018 recruiting class.  Non-ranked 6’5″ & 233 QB Jake Cortes from Peters Township.  People are keeping their fingers crossed that Nick Patti can play well enough if needed in a back-up job this season.

TE Chris Clark is officially off the Pitt roster…Gee, never saw that coming did we??

BB tweet

I want to say something about Chris Clark and the coaching staff.  Last spring I watched Clark in drills before a spring practice then had a chance to have a short conversation with him afterward – I wrote that I thought he was too thin for a TE and that it looked like he couldn’t block all that well.

Soon after that Pat Narduzzi came out the next day and specifically stated in an interview that Clark was one of the better blockers on the offense front line… something that wasn’t really true and was proven not to be during the season.

I mention this not to call out Narduzzi – I knew exactly why he said what he did as a confidence builder, but to point out that when you hear effusive praise for any singled out players during spring drills (and sometimes in the fall camp) I advise you to take it with a huge grain of salt.

But this article last year from Batko of the P-G lays out exactly what went on with Clark before he got here and what happened since he arrived and is an indication of what type of person Clark was.  That why it was completely unsurprising when he took off.  The are warning flags waving when kids bounce around like that before they get to Pitt.

POSTGAME VIDEOS

 

Head Coach Pat Narduzzi

Spring Game Press Conference | April 14, 2018

 

Opening comments:

“Beautiful day of weather, that’s for sure. Not much offense but great defense. We came out really healthy. That is probably the most important thing. There was 2:35 on the scoreboard today, and I said, ‘just give us two and a half more minutes of health.’ We’ll go into summer conditioning as healthy as we have ever been. I know you guys didn’t see a whole lot of things together, but it is easier to play on defense in a scrimmage like that than it is to protect. Our depth is not as good on the O-line when it is scattered out like that and have one good player. I don’t think [Alex]Bookser played even the last quarter and a half. I took George [Aston] out as well just as precaution to make sure we were healthy. I don’t know if you remember, but Brian O’Neill hurt his shoulder in the fourth quarter last year. I wasn’t going to let that happen this year.”

 

On if consistency stood out with Connor Dintino this spring:

“Yeah, just talking to Coach [Dave] Borbely and the consistency he has put together. Coach Borbely really just got him to the next level. He was the guy that could get us out of the game a year ago. He can start at center, left or right guard, he is that smart and is fundamentally really good, and he has built himself that way.”

 

On if overtime was a possibility:

“Oh yeah, we were going into overtime. We have worked that drill in practice, and we were going into overtime. It would of have been interesting. I was hoping it would go that way; I didn’t want it to go pick six the other way.”

 

On if he was happy to avoid overtime to keep the team healthy:

“You like to compete and it would of have been fun to get into another situation. Situations are good for our kids. Kenny [Pickett] ends that scrimmage the opposite of what he did against Miami, being the hero. All of a sudden now, you are out there 55 plays in really moving the offense pretty well in the first quarter. He had some drops. On the other side, we had some late DQs out of Tre Tipton. Some kids were sacred that he wasn’t going to play, and Rafael Araujo-Lopes we thought would play and it was precautionary to get him out of there as well to make sure he was healthy. Ricky [Town] didn’t have much to throw at today either.”

 

On Pickett’s interception at the end was a bad thing:

“It is not a bad thing at all, sometimes it is good. Kenny ended so well and you have to learn to deal with that adversity. I think it will be great for him. I know how he will take that and it will motivate him in the summer; it will not happen again. He tried to make a play and push it in there and sometimes bad things can happen in a 3-3 ballgame.”

 

On if he thinks this is the best defense he’s had at Pitt through the spring:
“I do a little bit, but I am cautious saying anything because you will find out in September. That is when you really find out how good they are; you don’t win a championship in the middle of April. I think we have depth. Are we a championship caliber defense yet? I am not sure yet, we will find out, but I think we can be pretty good and I know that we will be deep. At every position, we are two deep back there and can line up with the twos and make things happen. Are we great? I don’t know. We will find out.”

 

On the goals for this spring:

“The number one goal was to be more knowledgeable about what we could do offensively and defensively. Defensively we got a ton of defense in, and offensively we got a lot in. To be better football players, be smarter, and understand the concepts of what were doing offensively and defensively, that was one of the goals. The other goal was just building team chemistry and playing together, working together as a team. I think if you watch the way we practice, the way we interact with each other that we got that goal as well.”

 TG4
 TG3
 TG2
 TG1

187 thoughts on “Some More ’18 Spring Game Bits

  1. Just want to thank Fran for the hospitality at Saturday’s tailgate! So glad that he got to see two of our mutual friends Rick and Crawford!! What a small world!! Got to meet some of our fellow POV’ers also!! Thanks again! We will try and stop before or after the opener!! We always meet up for the away games so if you need to fellowship with Pitt fans maybe we can hook up? Thanks again!!

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  2. Perhaps most concerning to me this Spring was the WR situation. This is a position where we supposedly had numbers and some of the recruits were highly sought after. Maybe it will significantly improve in Fall Camp (it has to), or we will see teams stacking against the run. Just not sure that Tre Tipton will contribute much this Fall, and some of the younger guys don’t seem to be impact players as we thought.

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  3. In case anyone missed it, the “most improved player” awards went to:

    Offense — Guard Conner Dintino

    Defense — Linebacker McKee.

    Go Pitt.

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  4. Taysir Mack will probably be eligible to play this year. And I expect that those WR’s unable to play in the Spring game will be an upgrade when the fall campaign begins. I previously posted that our WR’s will need some grey matter between their ears to be successful with Pickett at the controls. When a QB can extend the play called by getting outside the pocket their gray matter comes into play when running to some open area’s where Pickett can find them. Those that can excel beyond what the play called should be very productive. Lopes, Tipton and Mack(?) hopefully will be able to provide that needed ability.

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  5. Remember we said Clarke and the PSU kid from the TV Show wouldnt make it a year. Well, we were right. The past is usually the best indicator of the future is the past.

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  6. We will be fine at WR.

    Mack will most likely NOT be eligible this year.

    Fran: love the bucket cap.

    A blind man could see that Kam Carter was a mistake from the start.

    Clark was a lesser risk when we took him on. Not a trouble maker. Just a kid who clearly has some issues.

    I tend to believe that the Spring Game is great for the fans, but doesn’t really mean much. You do get to see that certain kids have improved or have talent. But it doesn’t really tell me how we are going to play collectively in the fall.

    I didn’t need to see the game to have the thought that our defense is likely to be better than the offense in 2018. That was my feeling before spring drills started.

    I am concerned about the offensive line though.

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  7. I’m most worried about the run game. Pickett will complete passes, mostly shorter ones, but unless Sibley or Salahuddin can really shine we have thin talent there behind a very suspect OL.

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    1. If you are concerned about our running backs, it makes you wonder how accurate Rivals Star ratings are. Darrin Hall and AJ Davis were 4 stars on Rivals. Todd Sibley was a high 3 star. You can’t say Narduzzi hasn’t gotten highly touted running backs as he has now recruited 3-4 star running backs and has also gotten Sibley.

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  8. Agreed, Reed. I guess I’m not the only one who is about to give up on Ollison. I just don’t see the fire in the belly. He will be passed by this year. Don’t agree with Missing, however, that WRs will be fine. Other than Lopes who is a possession receiver, there is no experience and no one seems to be stepping forward.

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  9. Not real sure about Pickett’s arm on the Ddeep pass routes either.

    So I have concerns about the wide receivers also , seems like nobody stepped up over the last 2 years and should have had those kids up there. If they were that great recruits they should have been in there catching passes.

    We have only three WRs with career catches – Lopez with 43, Ffrench with 23 and Mathews with 16. One catch by a TE…

    Good news is that there is room for new receivers to get in the mix…someone will surprise.

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    1. Pickett connected on some medium and a couple long passes during 4th qtr of the scrimmage. they had nice zip on them and he got the ball to turn over on those throws. In other words, they weren’t ducks.

      I don’t really have concerns about his arm strength at all. More concerned about him having time to get the throws off.

      One thing that really hampered our ability to see what he can do under pressure was the one hand touch rule in place during the scrimmage. He eluded a few potential tacklers, only to have the whistle blown because they were able to pat him while he was moving past them. We saw last year that he can use his legs effectively and that was apparent (to me at least) on Saturday. I hope he is able to avoid getting hurt while the OL has time to find itself during the early part of the season.

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      1. Regarding Town – at the beginning, he struggled to get any passes off and I’m not convinced that was entirely on the OL as he appeared indecisive. Later in the scrimmage, he finally a completion on a nice long throw (over 40 yards). The ball looked good. He looks like he will struggle in games under pressure.

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  10. From what I read Pickett threw a few passes with great velocity and as a result many were dropped by the WR’s. I see no problem with Pickett throwing long but I believe many will have to thrown when he rolls out as he may have very little time for long pass plays when setting up in the pocket.

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  11. I’m not concerned about the rb position. Without the sacks, the gold team ran for 4 per carry on mostly vanilla plays.

    Biggest difference from prior years with rb yardage at the spring games was Henderson, who declared for the draft.
    Hoping Ollison will be ready come fall.

    I’m not counting out some of the redshirt freshmen and freshman. Comming into college they looked really good. Lets hope they know the playbook come fall, and learn to block when needed.

    Someone in that group is bound to have playmaking, run you over, zip past you, make you miss, and watch me dash into the endzone ability.

    Sometimes all it takes is one good game to spark a kid into a career of excellence. Time will tell, but hoping for the best.

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  12. Crazy weather eh, I can’t remember too many 80 degree days in Burgh in mid April. Maybe I’ve been gone too long and Pittsburgh became part of the tropics.
    However a Burgh Bud told me it’s expected to snow up there tomorrow. Oy vey how nutty is that.

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  13. The Top 11 Reasons why Pitt’s Offenses stunk on Saturday ( i was going to do 10,,,but alas
    they’re getting everyone for copyright infringement on the Internet these days)

    1) The kids were just too freaked out it was 82 degrees at game time.
    2) Freaky high temps led to team wide heat stroke.
    3) 2 of our better Offensive players didn’t play
    4) Rah Rah
    5) Last Q Standing
    6) Nard Dog wanted to get Flowers some catches before he graduates
    7) Splitting up of the starting (at this point) O-line
    8) All part of larger ploy by Nard Dog to build up the confidence of the D
    9) As we all know Nard Dog plays 4 dimensional chess
    10) Nard Dog wanted to convince everybody, the new DC was a good hire
    and finally
    11) Nard Dog knew Pitt’s new punters needed to punt…..alot

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  14. For those of us sitting behind Anthony McKee’s parents at the game:

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  15. I hope you don’t mind this, Reed, but Carson Long stopped by the tailgate. He’s on a mission. And the mission is the upgrading of Jock Sutheland’s grave site. Yes he was looking for donors to help with fixing up and maintaining the grave site.

    Below is the information from his handout – if anyone is interested in pitching in…

    “Save Jock’s Grave!”

    “Hi Fellow Panthers,

    Dr. Jock Sutherland, the Pitt coaching legend, is buried in Homewood Cemetery in Pittsburgh. Carson Long visited his grave a few years ago and was saddened when he saw the grave site. It is a fairly large structure, but due to its age and neglect, is a sad sight. Carson has also visited Knute Rockne’s grave site at Notre Dame and says it is a beautiful shrine for Rockne. The maintenance of it is proudly supported by ND alumni. We have a similar opportunity now.

    Checks can be made payable to the “Sutherland Restoration Fund” and mailed to: The Sutherland Restoration Fund, Box 506, Ashland, PA 17921″

    Hail to Pitt!

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  16. I thought it was funny when in Coach Duzz’s post-game remarks he said that A. J. Davis is a “slippery” back.

    If Davis is “slippery”, what in tarnation were Shady, Dion and Ray?

    Davis does give you a hint of a “move” once in a while, but his “slipperyness” is not in the same universe with Shady, Dion, or Ray…IMHO.

    Go Pitt.

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  17. If you guys don’t mind, here’s a question really off topic about Pirate baseball. A few years ago the Pirates had a young relief pitcher who had been really wild with the strike zone early on in his career. He was extremely tall and had a great fastball that no one seem to hit. He may have been from West Virginia? Anyone remember this kid and his name? thanks.

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  18. Sluugger…you’re most welcome. Good to see Rick and Crawford…it’s been a while. I need to get Shady Grady to a game this year too. Tell those guys for for real games the sausage sandwiches are $2 each. 😎

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  19. Was that the guy from Australia or New Zealand who played in the Washington Wild Things Frontier league? What ever happened to him?

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  20. Reed, always enjoy reading your updates about PITT. However, today I take offense of your comments about Chris Clark. Why are you so brutal on this young man? Reed, this is a kid! Were you so perfect growing up? I have no idea what this youngster is about, but certainly labeling him at this stage of his life is not right. How many kids get the chance to play major league football and find out it is not them.

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    1. Agree. Who the heck is Reed to be so harsh on a kid? I didn’t know Clark leaving was going to affect Reed’s day-to-day life that he had to call out the kid again. The nerve of some people.

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    2. Almost 23 years old is not a kid by any means…

      Each time he accepted a scholarship he kept another player from getting one that season then he didn’t have the will to carry those commitments out. That is a real problem for me.

      Its one thing to be young and on your own and act in selfish ways then you hurt no one but yourself, but when you are in a situation where you are competing with others for a chance at an education and act in such a cavalier manner toward it then you are throwing away an opportunity that others might need and have used to make a real difference in their lives.

      The majority of HS recruits don’t have a long list of scholarship offers for schools the academic caliber of Pitt to choose from and he very well may have bumped off another recruit who would have taken football, an education and apparently life much more seriously then he has.

      If that HS senior missed out on a decent scholarship somewhere because Clark took that Pitt scholarship for granted and then didn’t do anything with it that is a problem. If he did that just once it would be normal but he did it three times.

      I don’t expect perfection from anyone, but I expect someone to be less self-centered when they get past the age of 18 or so.

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      1. Why would Clark, or you, worry about a stranger who didn’t get the schollie instead? Maybe a kid who received the scholarship wouldn’t pan out and instead would be called out on this forum. Lose-Lose all around.

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      2. Just read your reply, Reed. Don’t know if you will come back and read this, but you are so off base on this one. Clark gave up HIS SCHOLARSHIP not someone else’s. The coaches gave the scholarship to him, not someone else (and rightfully so.) This kid is from an area of New Jersey who’s family can pay to go anywhere. PITT and a number of schools CHOSE to offer him a ride. He didn’t demand one.

        This young man has/had a dream and so far it hasn’t worked out. Sometime dreams don’t. I wish he is happy with his life and proud of who he is

        My grandson had 45 letters for track from colleges/ universities before he even ran in his Junior year. Sometime dreams don’t work out! By the way, PITT and 4 Ivies were on my grandson’s list.

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  21. Well it looks like we got our man from the College of Charlestown for Pitt Basketball. It’s Milan Brown the assistant coach at the school. Not the head coach that was advocated for by some of our POVers. That I believe rounds out Capel’s coaching staff and now it’s time to fill out the roster with some recruits that may help a little for the 2018/19 season.

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  22. Reed… You’re right. Usually have at least an inkling of a positive vibe. But watching the Pitt Spring Game from near the sidelines, it seemed apparent that the Talent Level across the Board has been DEPLETED.

    Wish it weren’t the case… but I have a strong feeling that this fact is going to become very EVIDENT come Fall.

    The question is no longer can Narduzzi recruit? It is why can’t he recruit?

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    1. Well I don’t think the talent level across the board is depleted. But I think that we are deficient in a lot of spots, especially on the offense, which will be a problem.

      And I’m not sure at all that we are as deep as some fans think we are. I think we hinge on a few injuries that could make our season go into the crapper pretty quickly and not just at QB.

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  23. Then again this is college football where every season we see kids come out of nowhere to play well and contribute.

    So that’s going to happen this season at Pitt just like it does every single year. I’m just hoping that’s going to be at some key positions where we’re actually going to be able to have one person make a difference in the overall tenor of play. For me on defense a lot of times that’s the defensive end position as we saw not too long ago with Price.

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  24. Well, New assistant coach! Guess all these guys like their buds. Brown was on Jeff Capels staff at ODU. Coaching is indeed a small, closely knit fraternity. I will try to get some info about him from my bud in Charleston! Hope he can coach AND recruit!

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    1. Perhaps Milan Brown was the man behind the Curtain, so to speak at Charleston. Guy has tons of Head Coaching experience, he took Mt. St Mary’s to the NCAA’s once (which is an achievement by itself) and once to the CBi (hey Pitt was in it too) and also had a stint as HC at Holy Cross. Between all these former HC’s on the staff, Capel at least several choices to run practices, while maybe he is out closing on recruits. Tons of coaching experience on this staff. Might be the most a Pitt bball staff has ever had.

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  25. Clark obviously has “issues” that seem not to be related to football. Hopefully he will be okay. You really have to want to succeed to be a great player

    James Harrison, the perfect example, he just would not quit and out worked every one.

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  26. Agree with Reed about kids coming out of nowhere to succeed. Kids develop at different rates. Some athletes peak early and don’t get better and some mature later both physically and mentally.

    Some do it with hard work. Hopefully this will be true of Herndon and Dintino. It could really help a weak O-line.

    Some just need to stay healthy. Hopefully Tipton won’t be another Saddler.

    Price another example.

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  27. Looks like the coaches have a lot of work over the summer. Still am very,very concerned about S&C. If I could put together coherent thought I’d do an article, but we all know that’s not gonna happen,lol. Seriously, I’m very concerned, and it does not seem to be getting any better over the past couple years.

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  28. Another offer for a Lackawanna College DL man from Pitt. That’s 3 offers from Pitt to that school this year reports PSN. With 2 already on the roster maybe Pitt just should make Lackawanna their JV squad going forward.

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    1. https://pittsburghsportsnow.com/2018/04/17/pitt-offers-lackawanna-c-c-star-savion-williams/

      And this is so indicative of the problems with recruiting we have been discussing on here over the last two years. In the 4th year of tenure a HC should be more than able to pull his own recruits onto the two-deep without continually shifting players’ positions and plugging recruiting gaps with transfers – especially ones from lower level JUCO and CC play.

      What is bothersome to me also is that with a lot of these JUCO and CC offers Pitt is the first, and some cases the only, Power 5 school to want to player.

      All this leaves me with a gut feeling Pitt is shifting into panic mode over this off season… I get a key transfer every now and again but we are having to do it rather than being able to land quality recruits and make them ready to contribute in a year or two.

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    2. There is depth at D-tackle, so this kid must be pretty good to get an offer. He could even redshirt due to the tackle numbers.

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  29. No doubt strength and conditioning is crucial to success. Especially on the lines. It seems our O-line is big and soft, while our D-line, is light and was pushed around last year.

    Let’s hope that Wirginis is one of those guys that finally comes into his own. If he does he could be a real difference maker.

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  30. i am okay with the Lackawanna players. The issue with many of the players is not athletic ability but rather academic ability. The quote from the Williams athlete student is that he had to get his grades in order. I think that is fine. I actually like the fact that Pitt is going after talent versus academics. I am probably wrong, but I think i read on either HUDL or Maxpreps that Williams was top10 in Md his senior year and top 150 in the national rankings. Not sure. You can’t teach his size at 6’5″ 310 pounds with a 5.0 40. Academically, if he can’t make it with the tutoring help at Pitt, he would need to go. But for me, I take the chance at talent over academics.

    As far as rb’s are concerned, I like Davis over Hall personally. Hall is primarily straight ahead. Lacks vision which is what Shady, Dion, Ray and Dorsett had….alot. We may not ever know who is most talented in the rb stable at Pitt because of the current state of the offensive line. Hopefully, things change there.

    Was talking with two Pitt supporters this week in San Antonio. They brought up a good point. Give Steve Pederson $3M – $3.5M to spend on a coach and he would have done better. Same with Barnes. Now everyone is saying that the AD has hit a home run. Disagree. Chancellor hit a home run by giving money to the program to spend. The talent pool is different at 1.5m than it is at 3.5m. Not my thought, but very interesting thought.

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  31. @NRS – It isn’t whether they are ripped or heavy in my opinion. It is whether they are effective at their craft. Our OL has not been effective at their craft lately. A dominant OL can cover for weaknesses at rb, qb and wr. When they are average, (which is what I think they have been), they don’t cover for other areas of the team that is also average. Let’s get a 1st or 2nd round draft pick consistently and I will tell you we have very good to great lines. The NFL is the litmus test for OL talent. Biz and DJ are battling to keep on a roster. Is Mike McGlynn our last OL that stuck in the nfl for 5+ years? I am sure I am forgetting someone or two.

    Now, if you want to have a debate on a soft unit, I will continue to say that our entire defense has been soft for years. I am still waiting for anyone to show me a hit made by our defense where you sit in your seat and go WOW, what a hit, etc. in the last 5 years. Some might argue that a couple of miami players went off with injuries. I don’t think those were results of hard, fottball hits. We all know you can go out injured after very little contact (example james conner vs. youngstown st. etc.).

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    1. Wow, I looked back over the last 12 years since McGlynn played on the 2006 Pitt team.

      So many Pitt O-linemen busts in the NFL since McClynn, it’s almost unbelievable how many didn’t make it and then the couple that did like Jeff Otah (1st round pick) and Jason Pinkston…..careers ended in a short time after career ending injuries or in the case of Pinkston, medical issues.

      We might be having a tough time recruiting O-linemen, because Pitt hasn’t had many examples of any or many becoming NFL starters or even making the team.

      I know bball players look a lot of playing for schools that put players in the NBA. The football studs do to.

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  32. Nard Dog needs to pull a few rabbits (or Brandon Hodge’s) out the hat this summer me thinks..or Pitt is really going to struggle to score points and therefore win games.

    I know Hodges didn’t do that much (mainly cause of injury I believe) but at least he came from a P5 school that is usually loaded with talent. Not a bottom dweller from the MAC or some community college in the middle of Pa. With no push from an O-line a straight ahead runner like Hall is going to go nowhere, as he did in the Spring Thing.

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  33. After looking at the lack of talent in many positions, that DW had in his last 3 seasons, amazing he was able to win 9 games in 2008, 10 games in 2009 and 8 games in 2010. And no real QB talent either.

    In hindsight that was a real magic act.

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    1. Agree. The lack of depth on the 2009 team that won 10 games is eye opening. The whiff on Thaddeus Lewis cost Wanny more wins from 2007-10.

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  34. I guess the Brandin Knight inducement process is officially over. With the final BB assistant coaching slot filled, Brandin has apparently decided to stay at mediocre Rutgers instead of moving back to his alma mater and ACC. Capel seems to have put together a much stronger assistant coaching group without him.

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    1. Concur VoR…..3 of the 4 have been HC’s at very places albeit with mixed results. Of course they wouldn’t be available as Asst’s if they would have had better results. What it does do, is give Capel several very experienced coaches who can run practices and such, while maybe he is doing what he does best…closing on talented players.

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  35. We all know the kind of man Reed is and would never question his character.

    When he calls out a student like Clark, it’s not to put the kid down.
    Instead, it is disappointment in another young man needlessly throwing his life away when he was given all of the opportunity in the world to get a great education and have a potentially rewarding football career.
    He calls them out like a parent would. At least that is how I see it.

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  36. It’s not only that the lineman seem slow, it’s that they seem to wilt late in games that speaks to their conditioning. You have to be able to move at whatever size you are, if not it’s a waste. Lifting is one aspect, but only one, which makes the S&C coach so important, at least in my opinion.

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  37. Generally speaking attending Lackawanna College is not an indication of a poor football player rather than a player who needs to work on the academia side of the coin.

    Kevin White played there, as well as ASU recruit DeChavon Hayes. Good players can be found there.

    PittPT, sorry I missed your question last night. Holdzom is from California, he was a little backward. Just disappeared, guessing his control problems returned?

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  38. Emel, I hope you are right that Capel is out there shaking the bushes. Things are getting a little dicey right now, with no recent current player announcements and the possibility of needing walk ons to fill out a roster. I mentioned the Zach Johnson PG from FGCU that is looking to transfer as a senior if he graduates in June. He is an all league player- 16 ppg. Maybe Capel will check him out.

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  39. Pittfan28…Clark joins the ranks of many in the “Teenage Wasteland”..as an employer I run into them everyday..hope they all find their way sooner than later.

    JoeKnew..I though JJ Smith losing a some spare luggage to get into shape for the NFL combine spoke volumes for the S&C program at PITT. Greater body fat adds nothing to performance. Fire the currennt S&C coach and hire recently unemployed James Harrison and get a 2 for ! deal.

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  40. Why blame the S&C coach? If the players are not motivated when they are in school to keep to regimen there is almost nothing the S&C coach can do. A heart to heart talk by the players position coaches and Narduzzi is what’s called for IMO. Absent that doing any good it’s time for Narduzzi to call the player into his officer and suggest he find another place to continue his college education.

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  41. Mark Duda HC at Lackawanna was named to the NJCAA Football Hall of Fame this past January. HC of Lackawanna since 1994 has sent 15 players to the NFL with the biggest names Bryant MacKinnie(U of Miami) Outland Trophy winner 2001 and Kevin White(WVU) and first round choice of the Bears 2016.

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  42. Do not pick on Lackawanna, it’s one of those schools that recruits with the caveat of how many players they get into D1 programs. Another subject. I do not think Pitt has had a good strength and conditioning program since Buddy Morrris left. And yes I will emphasize CONDITIONING. I also worry about recruiting.Listened to Jimmie Johnson interview this week. He stated he produced good college teams because of recruiting top players although it was difficult at O. State and just the opposite( he had 4*s asking when are you going to come see me) at Miami. H2P

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  43. Just found out that my nephew scored 42 of his team’s 47 points on Friday for his aau basketball team. He’s a freshman at Central Catholic.
    Was really amazed and wanted to share.

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  44. I can’t speak to what the new OL coach prefers but I agree, the OL could use a little more lean and less bulk. sometimes the body shape is what it is. But next September we will see who can do what. NCAA transfer rules won’t apply in 2018. Not good for Mack WR, but helps the BB players considering leaving.

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  45. Savion Williams was unranked coming out of HS and wasn’t listed by any of the recruiting services out of HS either.

    His other offer coming out of CC is Alabama State.

    I ain’t jumping up and down, sorry.

    Like

    1. @Reed – there was not a rivals ranking. There was a HUDL ranking if i remember correctly. As I mentioned, he says academics were a mess which often leads to ZERO offers.

      Like

      1. That is partly true Huff…

        The recruiting sites start ranking kids early, sometimes in the kid’s JR HS year or earlier.

        Also, if a player is any good at all they get offers in their SO and JR years and academic standings aren’t considered by the colleges at that point because the kid won’t commit for at least a full year and academics can change, and do in most cases, over that time period.

        Then, even if a kid’s academics are not qualifying the colleges keep offers intact so that they get the first shot at the kid when he does finally qualify post-HS – that happens all the time. This is what Pitt did with Todd Thomas, K K Smith and Jevonte Pitts to name just a few..

        But kids who go to CC, JUCO or prep school have two Rivals listings – one for thier real HS time and another after post-HS time. So Williams was totally unranked during his HS time.

        Like

    1. I was talking in terms of players that had any substantial NFL career. I only see Dion Lewis and the best one Jabal Sheard. Well I love Dion, he’s only amassed 1500 total NFL rushing yards since his last season at Pitt in 2010.

      The rest either were extremely marginal players or on taxi squads or whatever they call them now. Or busts like Jonathan Baldwin.

      Like

  46. They must have looked at film of this guy Williams. I guess he gets Clark’s scholarship, and the “Truck” gets the shaft.

    Like

  47. I don’t believe this CC player Williams accepted yet, so I guess he doesn’t yet get a hold of the Clark scholarship. I also suspect that with the semester ending this month we will find out that a few kids didn’t get the grades to stay in school. So a few more scholarships could possibly open up.

    Like

  48. Just so we know Lackawanna College is a jr college that does offer some bachelor degrees. There are also plenty of community colleges that operate as a football grooming facilities among other things such as an education.

    Like

  49. Reed, the 21 td’s – 3 int’s stats came in Tino’s red shirt senior season. Pickett has thrown one more TD pass than Tino did at this point in their career’s. 🙂

    Like

  50. @wwb – Savion Williams graduated high school in 2017. His grades were poor at best. Not sure why there is such an issue with this as it happens all the time. He put in one year at Lackawanna so far. I found his max preps ranking in high school because everyone wants to be right and not respect others that may have done some homework. Granted, it is not a rivals ranking and that is because he didn’t get offers or get evaluated because his grades were so bad he couldn’t get a legitimate scholarship.

    He will need tutor help which is fine. I am fine with the offer and hopes he joins the team. Played 4A at Wise. Watch his film.

    http://www.maxpreps.com/athlete/savion-williams/kuKWZzMXEeS00gAmVebEWg/default.htm

    Like

    1. I am not passing judgement on him on anything …. I’m just pointing out he if he comes here, it will be in next year’s class. There seems to be some confusion here about that

      Like

  51. RIP Bruno Sammartino 82

    He immigrated from Italy to Oakland when he was 16.
    From wiki ….. His high school, Schenley High School, did not have a wrestling program, but he worked out with the University of Pittsburgh wrestling team under storied coach Rex Peery

    Like

  52. What’s with this concentration and discussion on Williams? Right now Pitt probably has offers out there for over 150 players for their 2019 class. None of which has accepted their Pitt offer as of yet.

    Like

  53. Local TV up my way with comments about PS upcoming spring game.Still feeling effect of some of low schollies era only constant on offense is McSorely. rest is serious ??. D line is best strength of team,like Pitt signal calling LB is gone on D. Sounds like mirror image except their level compared to Pitt in these comments. Miles Sanders( local boy Pitt wanted) to be their feature back. Hope we get it together better than them. On Jo Pa . I will never forget a TV interview re Sandusky, on campus, one of the last times he was seen, where he said” In hind sight I should have done more” and hung his head. To me that was his admission that he had serious regrets that he passed the buck and did not want to know anything more about it like the CIA plausible denial approach.H2P

    Like

    1. he passed on the information from McCurley to his AD and school president. Fact is that all of the PSU 4 … the school president, the AD, the head of security and the iconic HC … were not only guilty of non-action / enabling a child predator, they were even complicit in doing so.

      Every one of them were in a very responsible position …. and yet there will only be about 60 days served among them collectively (in prison)

      Like

      1. He passed on the information only because he finally had to – when the red-headed coach/ex player showed up with his physician father at Joepa’s doorstep, JP’s hand was forced. If JP had his way, he would have quashed it like he had done from the early 70s through the early 2000s.

        JP didn’t want to know anything more. He wanted to tamp it down and hope that it would go away on its own. Irresponsibly and corrupt at a minimum.

        Like

    1. that is creepy. how could they just let a person lie there like that without even calling for help. It would have freaked me out to no end that a body was laying there in the building that they were living in

      Like

  54. Bruno was such a Gentleman, he and my dad were friends, so sorry to hear of his passing. Last time I saw him was back in 2013 at Rico’s in North Hills, he came to my mom’s post-funeral dinner

    He will be missed…..Rip Bruno.

    Like

    1. Opps Not sure how to add it as an image/link – this is from facebook.

      Pitt Alumni Association
      21 hours ago
      Meet new men’s basketball coach Jeff Capel, football coach Pat Narduzzi, and Pitt athletic director, Heather Lyke in Pittsburgh, Erie, or Philadelphia.

      Tuesday, May 8 – Pittsburgh, PA; 7 p.m.
      Fairmont Pittsburgh | 510 Market Street | Pittsburgh, PA 15222

      Wednesday, May 9 – Erie, PA; 7 p.m.
      Millcreek Brewing Company | 4102 W Lake Road | Erie, PA 16505

      Thursday, May 10 – Philadelphia, PA; 7 p.m.
      Field House Sports Bar | 1150 Filbert Street | Philadelphia, PA 19107

      Space is limited so registration is required! Have a question for one of our special guests? Submit it >when you register, and it may be asked during the event.

      Buy season tickets, stock up on new Pitt gear, meet other Panther fans, and have your photo taken with >the coaches.

      Photo booth times are limited so arrive by 6:15 p.m. for a photo opportunity with the coaches. The photo >booth will close by 7 p.m.

      http://www.alumnionline.pitt.edu/…/2-pittsb…/index1col.aspx…

      Like

    1. Dokish thinks this is a good hire. I hope he’s correct. I want to trust Lyke. I want to be encouraged about Ebenezer Pitt’s promise to the ghost of Pitt’s future. – Hobie

      Like

  55. Ya, he sure has a lot of experience. Seems to stay put, not hopping from job to job. Has to have a better personality than Suzie. Wonder what the local girls AAU situation is like. Used to be one main club, WPa.Bruins, now who knows. Hope he does well, as all Pitt teams should!!

    Like

  56. Heather had the money to entice a good men’s basketball coach but no more than Barnes did. She managed to find a surprisingly good coach that wasn’t on anyone’s radar. It looks like she may have done that again. Out of the box for sure. It’s looking more and more like she was a good hire herself.

    Like

  57. Well one year I don’t expect miracles. PITT worked hard to get to the bottom, it will take time to rise above it, don’t you think Tx?

    Like

  58. I expect to see consistent improvement each year. Its pretty embarrassing to be ranked this low. Makes me wonder why Pitt even bothers to participate in sports.

    The ACC’s mission is to balance sports with athletics (and a bunch of BS stuff about integrity)…says it on the Directors Cup site.

    If Pitt’s academic ranking can be 50-60, I dont see why its sports ranking cant achieve that level. Pitt does have a long way to go. So which program will be ranked higher at years end? My ranking is:
    1. Volleyball (W)
    2. Soccer (M)
    3. Softball (W)
    4. Football (M)
    5. Wrestling (M)
    6. Swimming/Diving
    7. Baseball (M)
    8. Basketball (M)
    9. Track/Field
    10. Tennis
    11. Cross Country
    12. Gymnastics
    13. Basketball (W)

    Pitt gets hurt in these rankings since it does not have scholarship sports like hockey, lacrosse, etc
    Takes an AD to raise funds to support additional programs

    Like

  59. The women’s BB hire sounds decent — Assistant of the Year award and long experience with winning programs sound promising.

    He has very little talent on the roster right now to work with. With the success he’s had as an assistant, he’s probably not used to selling “playing time”, but just like the men’s team, that’s where we’re at right now with the poor recruiting Suzie did…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

    1. I was hoping he’d stay, but it has been a turbulent ride for Ryan at Pitt, so going to Tucson for a year is a good decision. Sanctions might hit the program, maybe not, but a change of scenery for a year is never a bad thing for a youngster.

      Like

  60. @ike-are you sure Barnes had $3m+ to hire a b-ball coach. That is interesting news. One. reason coaches aren’t necessarily on the radar would be that Pitt wouldn’t have been able to bring in Capel at $2m. Of course a $3.2m coach wouldn’t have been on anyone’s radar at Pitt. She didnt think outside the box. She was allowed to open the safety deposit box. She offered Hurley for goodness sake.

    The bar has been set so low that some see a hiring, any hiring as a positive. Capel hasn’t won a game yet nor landed a recruit. He lost Luther and I am good with that. You don’t build around Luther when you are in the ACC. I like Luther, but he is a good 6th man at best. I wish him well.

    Reed may end up walking on at Pitt since he probably has some eligibility left. Hopefully we hear some news’s this next week in both major programs that Pitt is It.

    With regard to the dairy college student who died in the frat house, it is truly sad. Kids are put in a bad situation by universities where they can go in front of disciplinary boards for being inebriated and trying to help. The schools need to change. More on that if anyone is interested.

    Like

  61. I wish Ryan Luther only the very best!! He was a solid kid during his time at Pitt. Thank you Ryan!
    Medically, his leg has broken twice thus far. Therefore, I will not bid him farewell as if he was majoring in Theater:“Break a leg!”

    Like

  62. I dunno what happened with s&c between 2016 and 2017. Let’s use the example of the offensive line.

    In 2016 the offensive line was in incredible shape. The only real gut I saw was on Alex officer and even that wasn’t much of a gut. They were still huge but by God they were strong, they werent carrying much fat for their size, they were light on their feet and they had a ton of stamina. Some of that is talent, genetics, whatever, but genetics gets you not very far without putting the work in.

    2017, officers gut had exploded in size and the rest of the line wasn’t much better looking. The strength and stamina was largely gone. I’d love to somehow see the body fat percentage numbers for those 2 years. The jump would be startling. The only one who I thought looked even remotely the way he did in 2016 was o’neill, and his injury in the spring game meant he was still weaker for most if not all of the 2017 season than he was in 2016.

    Obviously some very bad changes happened in diets and commitment to working out.

    They need to be fixed if they haven’t been already. I hope borbely is acting like the most helicoptery helicopter parent when it comes to what the OL is eating and is working very closely with Andrews on the gym front

    Like

  63. Go look at some NFL offensive lineman and you will see plenty of them with guts hanging over their belts. What’s really important is their upper body strength and quickness off the snap along with coordination with the other line teammates. That’s why keeping a solid core of 5 together and with the added experience is often the key to at least putting together a decent OL.

    Like

    1. Geno Auriemma was an assistant for 7 seasons (2 at a high school) before taking over at UConn. Kim Mulkey was an assistant for 5 years before taking over at Baylor. I’m not suggesting White will match those careers, but there is no reason he can’t have success just because of his history.

      Locally, Dan Burt was an assistant for 15 seasons before becoming the head coach at Duquesne. Burt is 114-54 overall and 56-24 in conference with 5 postseason appearances. That includes 4 straight wins over Pitt.

      McConnell-Serio guided Pitt to a 10-42 conference record over the last 3 seasons. To most it wouldn’t appear to be all that good of a job.

      Perhaps White and Lyke deserve a chance.

      Like

  64. PA’s stud recruit for 2019 was written off of Pitt’s list last week by the Pittsburgh media. They listed his top 4 as tOSU, nd, Wisconsin and clemscum (but not Pitt). Low and behold Andrew Kristofic shows up at Pitt yesterday with his dad, who happens to be a former Panther OLineman.

    https://pittsburghsportsnow.com/2018/04/18/andrew-kristofic-makes-appearance-at-pitt-facility/

    A great example (to me) that shows Pitt has a lot of extra work to do to combat the negative Pittsburgh media.

    Some won’t agree with me – that’s why God made sand…

    H2P!

    Like

    1. just another local kid who is very well aware of all the yellow seats .. and, for all we know, may have already had conversations with his HS teammates how great it would to play in constant sold-out venues (as all the above have)

      Liked by 1 person

  65. It seems like OL are expected to be 300+ pounds. Unless you are a once in a lifetime freak athlete or taking PEDs you can’t carry that weight without a gut.

    Maybe Reed can interview Andrews about this subject. 😊

    Like

  66. Still feel bad for Luther having to play as a freshman, then all the injuries. Sorry to see him go, but probably makes no difference at this point. Even with his rebounding, this team is year(s) away from any success.

    Like

    1. Don’t feel too bad, the kid had marginal bball talent, got a free education and played in the best bball conf in NCAAB, when he probably belonged in the Patriot League.

      Like

  67. 25 years an asst coach in womans hoops? 25. In 25 years if you are worth your salt you are running a program not playing second fiddle.

    Like

  68. Played King’s North yesterday, Heritage today. Finally some warm weather but windy. If you are coming here Prestwick CC has the best greens, stay away from Grand Dunes, they lost their greens. Wearing my Penguin hat today.

    Like

  69. Upitt, concerning your statement and the way you worded it. “In 25 years if you are worth your salt you are running a program not playing second fiddle”. He is.

    Like

    1. Let’s put it this way. If the men’s program would have hired someone with the same background, there would have been an uprising against Heather.

      I give all coaches a chance, but not every hire can be perfect. They could have done better.

      Like

  70. Huff, I looked everywhere before posting that comment. All I could find was the buyout figures, so I went with my memory. So, I could be wrong but I thought he made somewhere in the 3 mil per year range?

    Like

  71. Here is an excerpt from a Dec 2016 article linked below (apparently asst coaches make much less than HC)

    “Combined with head coach Rick Pitino’s annual salary of nearly $5.1 million, U of L spends more than $6.3 million on its hoops coaches. Only Duke, which pays head coach Mike Krzyzewski $7.3 million annually and associate head coach Jeff Capel $525,785 a year, is believed to have a higher salary base for its coaching staff.”

    https://www.courier-journal.com/story/sports/college/louisville/2016/12/15/university-louisville-tops-acc-basketball-assistant-coach-salary/95466384/

    Like

  72. txpanther – wow, just catching up and noticed your dimwitted comment from Tuesday, I’ll just assume it wasn’t one of your better days since you’ve made good comments otherwise, but let’s not start throwing up fake news that’s not even sports related, there’s already enough of that crap everywhere else.

    Luther to Arizona? I don’t blame him, and I can’t really say that anyone cares that much, but Luther is not exactly going pro, so I do have to wonder why he wouldn’t continue his education at Pitt. Either way, best of luck to him.

    Like

  73. About JP II and JoePa?
    Both looked the other way
    Both sought to protect their institutions and hide pedophiles
    Both their legacies are stained as a result
    But lets pretend it didnt happen shall we?

    Like

  74. Txpanther, although you have no idea what you are saying, I think the overarching point was that this is a place to discuss Pitt sports, not spread fakes news on politics or religion. If you want to spread gossip, there are other forums for that.

    Like

  75. I fall somewhere in the middle as there is a proper place and time for politics and religion to a lesser degree. We can all be religious everyday without expressing it in exact terms. ike

    Like

  76. Ike – I personally don’t have a problem with religion or politics playing a background role in discussions, but that’s this Reed’s policy, it’s a good rule, and we should comply. More importantly in my opinion, before we defame someone’s character, whether it’s a Pitt player, the Pope or whoever, we should have our facts straight too, instead of spreading gossip.

    On another topic, I wonder if anyone knows where to get those white Pitt tee shirts with the script in yellow outlined in blue? If you know what I’m referring to? I see the players wearing them on the university site quite a bit…

    Like

  77. TX Panther – you make valid points but this is not a democracy on here nor is there any expectation of Free Speech – although I don’t ban people like other sites do with regularity I keep a tight fist on the rules.

    Ike – you are crazy anyway so when you write stuff I just delete every other word and it makes much more sense.

    New article up….

    Like

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