Submitted by Mark Kerestan (PittPT)

It is that time of year, right before the start of the pre-season football camp, when Pitt seemingly discloses a bombshell as to someone leaving the team for any of a number of reasons. This year unfortunately is no different, with the team announcing that Charles Reeves, monster (sized) 4-Star Tight End recruit, will no longer be a part of the team.

Some POVers have pointed out that this happens at every school, but to be honest I don’t pay enough attention to what is happening at other schools to know if that is true or not. Somehow it has seemed to happen at Pitt yearly since around 2010.

We will soon have plenty to discuss regarding the Two-Deep and offensive/defensive strategies with the players comprising the 2018 Pitt Squad. In the meantime I thought it might be interesting to discuss what promising recruit sticks in our minds as the biggest disappointment, whether the recruitment failed to play to expectations, was injured before achieving expected greatness, or couldn’t get on the field due to grades or other off-field issues?

I’ll start, and as I’m kind of tired and can’t seem to think too far back at the moment, I’ll pick the disappointment that is/was Rushel Shell. Here we had a very promising local HS star, coming to play for his hometown team.

There was a great article in Sports Illustrated before the season started hyping his potential. And then boom, he was part of the Panther group that didn’t get on the field for the first game of the Paul Chryst era, a group of six contributing players held out for disciplinary reasons. There were questions regarding Shell’s work ethic and attitude and he decided not to return to Pitt for his sophomore season.

One may wonder if James Conner would have gotten on the field as a running back if Rushel Shell played to his potential or what a tandem of the two might have looked like. If Rushel Shell did become a star for the Panthers, I suspect that it could have opened the pipeline for getting more of the top players in the WPIAL to commit to Pitt.

So Rushel Shell is my player choice for biggest Panther disappointment…What say you???

260 thoughts on “Biggest Personnel Disappointment(s)

  1. Here is Athlon’s Top 30 Coordinator Hires for the 2018 season… Pitt’s new DC Randy Bates is not among them although two ex-Pitt staff coaches are mentioned: Canada as the co-OC at Maryland and Patterson at co-DC at Utah State.

    https://athlonsports.com/college-football/college-footballs-top-30-coordinator-hires-2018?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=pick6nl20180713&spMailingID=19894260&spUserID=MzgwODU4NzA0NjI2S0&spJobID=1300703440&spReportId=MTMwMDcwMzQ0MAS2

    Canada keeps landing on his feet, doesn’t he? Too bad he can’t drag Nate Peterman around with him wherever he goes…

    Two of our ’18 opponents have new coordinators – PSU with a new OC and ND with a new DC

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  2. @PittPT

    I am not sure there is another school that has had more turnover than Pitt in last 10 years. I.e. I am with you that Pitt seems to lose more than most schools.

    There has been so many disappointments over the years that I decided to make a top 5.

    Dustin Picciotti 5* never played but a few snaps before concussions ended his career.
    Tommie Campbell (All world Athletee who made NFL but didnt do much at Pitt cuz he was always in trouble)
    Rashard Jennings another Wanny Rb who made the pros but only played his true freshman year at Pitt before leaving for family issues.
    Daren Dinkins local kid who was a freak athlete on a team with none. Loved watching him throw the ball in warmups 70 or 80 yards in the air. Ended up playing some safety and then was rescued as senior and played TE for Walt Harris. He made the pros too.
    Elijah Fields. He was an awesome athlete just could not stay out of trouble.

    Honorable Mention:

    Jwan Walker
    Tony Zimmerman
    Joe Flacco
    Jerimaia Taleni
    Eric Williams
    Brandon Williams i.e. the next Tony D. Ended up being a contributor at LB but wasnt Tony D
    Etc etc etc etc

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  3. So many choices. Back when Rooster Jones or Roger Kingdom didn’t live up to their potential, it didn’t seem to matter as much. The recent fails like Clark, Pugh, (Hill although a separate category) are much more troublesome. Even Hamlin’s slow start, Ford’s late start, and Whitehead with a great start didn’t live up to his promise. Hamlin and Ford can redeem themselves this year.

    Lat year’s team of four and five star transfers certainly fell flat, Hendrix the only one that still has a chance to do something big this year.

    I think Bryan Davis is in the same category as Shell and Wiley, with way more potential. But we had Ironhead, Gladman and others to ease the loss, just like Conner negated the loss of Shell.

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  4. Pitt 4-star disappointments 2006-2016

    Tony Tucker (personal issue -family issue)
    Tommy DuHart (actually contributed in the 13-9 game)
    Chris Burns (behind Shady and LSH on depth chart … and then came D Lewis and R Graham)
    Jack Lippert (saw very little action)
    Mark Myers (had a heck of a career at John Carroll)
    Bryan Murphy (did play some but not much)
    Rushell Shell (actually had a decent freshman year)
    Daysean Rippy (never made it to campus)
    Travon Chapman (never made it to campus)
    Adonnis Jennnings (good career at Temple)
    Mike Grimm (medical)
    George Hill (medical)
    Kaezon Pugh (transfer)
    Reuben Flowers (transfer)

    There are a few current 4-stars on the roster that are pending …. since they have not been here more than 2 years, it is too early IMO to judge

    Honorable Mention — Bostick, Saddler, Hale, Chris James (contributed more at Wisc)

    wwb

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    1. Tony Tucker — strip sack to seal Iowa win I think.
      Tommy Duhart — played well as a backup. Forced Wanny’s hand in his dismissal. Hurt DT depth.
      Chris Burns — not good enough.
      Jack Lippert — couldn’t beat out a walk on at center in 2010 says it all.
      Mark Myers — He and his teammate tight end weren’t D-1 material.
      Bryan Murphy — could have been a solid starter and helping out Donald.
      Rushell Shell — I liked him but Conner made Shell a memory.
      Daysean Rippy — pencil thin frame whose offer from Florida must have been a joke.
      Travon Chapman — similar offense to the LB kicked off in 2010, but Moose still wanted his QB admitted.
      Adonnis Jennnings — he was a loss.

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  5. @WWB

    Your list says it all. The swings and misses almost make it seem like a fiction novel about a cursed football program.

    Thanks

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    1. Pickett to Aaron Mathews.

      George Aston will get 10 TD’s both running and catching the ball.

      The TE transfer from Arkansas will get 10 TD’s.

      Looking for Paris Ford and Shocky Jacques-Louis will get 5 TD’s each.

      The RB by committee will combine for 10 TD’s.

      Scoring will be up in 2018 over 2017.

      We have the players – just need the OC to be better.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Sorry that Mike Grimm was never healthy enough to see the field. Dan Mason is another one that comes to mind..blew his knee out sustaining a nerve injury.

    I hope Arron Matthews doesn’t fall in this category. He has a lot of time on the field but little to show for it…maybe 2018 is the break-out year.

    Thanks for the article Mark.

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  7. Mark, thanks for the great thought provoking article getting our minds back to PITT football. Lot’s of names mentioned so far that ring that bell. Bryan Davis would be my number one pick, that dude was really special. One name I didn’t see was Tyree Young, also special.

    Most of the names talked about were 4* players which begs the questions? Why the failure rate ratio with PITT? Are these guys not 5* because of outlying issues? Does PITT get the 4* players left over with a little more baggage then some other teams that didn’t want to take a chance on? Is it really essential to PITT’s success to sign 4* players?

    I’ll throw out another name here…… Max Browne . . . . . .ike

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  8. One could also say that many of the 4 stars Pitt was able to recruit may have been flawed prospects that other programs avoided. Shell was one of those. And with an Athletic Dept. rated 95, it is clear that Heather has much to do about cleaning things up internally before Pitt will reach prominence once again. Is it any wonder they have fund raising and ticket selling issues?

    ike, I was referring to the Scott Barnes’ 5 year plan that is a joke. And by the way, EJ was on the team to execute that plan, which I assume Heather will scrap and start over. As for Victory Heights, what kind of publicity have we seen since the announcement of that project?

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    1. ike – thanks for posting that clip. I’ve been a big Wirginis fan — used to watch him running down to cover kickoffs and he was always in on the action.

      Got a photo of Weaver at the spring game — the man’s got some serious genes…

      Pickett is a gamer — I’m thinkin’ John Congemi…

      Go Pitt.

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  9. I no doubt deserved it, ike. 🙂 I’m just frustrated that a top ranked school like Pitt (one of top 10 public schools in the East) has an Athletic Dept. that is ranked 95. I know that EJ is your buddy, ike, but some of these old dinosaurs need to be shown the door. It isn’t just about taking some fat cats to dinner anymore.

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  10. Brian Davis was the name from the past that I couldn’t remember . Among more recent players and failure to improve, Jordan Whitehead, Jester Weah, and Brian O’Neill are all recent grads who fall in that category for me, with Aaron Mathews and Q Ollison being 2 current players that need to step it up this year.

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    1. Mark — I understand, but think you’re being a bit rough on Weah and O’Neill. Weah went from not being able to catch to an excellent threat to a mediocre senior season – but he didn’t have a QB as a senior…
      O’Neill supposedly was nursing an injury…

      Appreciate your article.

      Brian Davis was a big one because he looked like another TD…

      Pat Bostick (sorry Pat) was big because I expected that Matt Cavanagh would know what a good QB looks like — alas, apparently he didn’t.

      George Hill may have unbelievable in Canada’s offense — as fast or faster than QH.

      Go Pitt!

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      1. John, I get York point on Weah but I remember him making great outstretched cafches, then dropping balls right in his hands. I suppose if this throws got to him late that would make those catches more difficult . Also regarding O’Neill, two years ago opponents had to deal with/cover both he and George the Animal Aston. It probably got easier to spy on O’Neill with Aston out of the picture ( Iñ addition to his injury ).

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  11. Aaron Matthews can be a big time player. Keep in mind. Browne may have kept a lot of the PITT players from emerging last year and we have to really remember the suspensions didn’t help one bit. In fact it shaped the whole season to the tune of 5-7. << I’m a realist that way. 🙂

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  12. Now that I mention it, how about OC Matt Cavanaugh as a “personnel” big disappointment?

    Loved him as a player and had high hopes for him as OC when Wanny hired him…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. You see what PittPT (Mark) did here? Brilliant! Let’s continue to help Reed out with even short articles that have clever ideas like PT. Thanks again PT, great article that got us all back on the track! ike

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    1. Thanks ike. I like to write but am aware that my knowledge of college football couldn’t fill a thimble so I just think of a topic that should elicit some discussion and let you all enlighten me. Can’t wait for September 1!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s no true Mark. I know better than that. Your biggest downfall is that you think I know what I’m talking about. BS has no boundaries… ike

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  14. I think we are trending upward.. if my math is correct our in conference record was 70 W’s vs 86 L’s in the Big Easy… in the much tougher ACC we currently stand at 21 W’s and 17 L’s… with a couple of signature victories …

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  15. Adonis Jennings was one of my greatest disappointments when Pitt lost him for several reasons. 1. He committed to Pitt and was thrilled, then another coaching carousel and I think it was Chryst withdrew the offer. 2. Jennings was a local boy and although Johnstown High is no longer a quad A school Wannstadt gleaned occasional gems here and had a good coaches relationship. 3.Jennings was stunned by the withdrawal and elated when he got the offer from Temple(the offer was withdrawn in the summer right before camps start). There are 5,000 Pitt students here and it was awful PR in the whole town. 4.Every time he made a big play for Temple especially their win over PS I would think we screwed the pooch again.

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    1. By the time they arrived at Pitt the 5 star status was looooong gone. One was a complete head case and the other nobody wanted when he decided to transfer. Supply and demand….I talk about this all the time. when the vast amount of coaches don’t want a player, it raises a red flag.

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      1. This is the case with almost everyone of Narduzzi’s transfers. I believe he’s had 13 or 14 his first three + years and one became a star (Peterman) and one is average (Lopez) ..all the others played poorly when a Pitt recruit would have done the same or better and should have had first shot.

        But if you want examples of scraping the bottom of the barrel it was Narduzzi getting Kam Carter and Chris Clark.

        Those moves were national embarassments.

        This is why I say Narduzzi isn’t a risk taker. He seems to have no confidence in his own recruits.

        If you want to see just how bad it can get wait until you see the OL this season…another transfer at LT and possibly an average transferred CC player in the starting five…

        Listen to Peak’s podcast with Bostick last week…even those guys, and Bostick is a Pitt employee, are talking about how the OL will be the biggest problem on the team.

        We may not even reach the 24 ppt we had last season.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m counting on better QB play helping not only the line but also the receivers and running game. Better play calling couldn’t hurt either. 26 ppg or bust!

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          1. Ra-Ra has a nice knack for finding open spaces in zones. Plus he has surprising speed.

            But he can be a tough target, being no taller than I am… Met him after the spring game. Very likeable…

            Rooting for Ra-Ra to have an excellent senior year.

            Go Pitt.

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  16. ike- if I’m picking a WR to step it up this season, I go with Aaron Mathews. I remember seeing his video at WR from some camp as a HS senior and wondering why in the world he was being talked about as a safety.

    I remember he was very crisp in his cuts. With his size and decent looking hands, I predict he’s going to be a “go to” guy for KP this season…

    Go Pitt!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Pat Bostick, WPIAL legend Brian Davis, Rushel Shell, and for being the High School Gatorade Player of the Year Curtis Bray didn’t come close to the success he had at Pitt that he did in high school.

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    1. Bray contributed his first two years. His knee injury was too much to overcome. A redshirt year in 1990 may have helped him, but the program was in shambles quickly under Hackett and had few numbers so Curtis had to play through it.

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  18. Some WRs better step up because the two-deep at TE has disappeared.

    Now we have a singular Pitt TE with one catch and a transfer TE with a total of 6 catches. There goes Pickett’s safety valves.

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    1. The few catches of the tight ends means they cannot grow into safety valves? Better off with Aston, Ollison and a tailback on the field at the same time a lot if the time anyway.

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  19. You know Narduzzi was hired by a committee comprised of Cochran, Juhl and Sanft
    I dont find disappointments in players since its the Coach that recruits them
    But Narduzzi says stars dont matter anyway
    but management of the staff and players does
    Up to the Coach to develop these players, provide them with playing time, put them in the right places at the right time to succeed
    Up to the players then to be receptive to teaching, maintain the right attitudes, work hard and stay out of trouble
    I’m just not seeing good management
    We need a real AD to hire a real coach
    My apologies to the Yinzers in Youngstown Ohio

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  20. I think having Aston back is huge for extra Pickett protection and offensive leadership. He will have a big year. I also think Tipton can have a breakthrough year if he stays healthy. He has to know the offense well and probably can’t wait to get back in action. I’m actually not overly concerned with the receiving corps, and I think we’ll see some players emerge with Pickett throwing to them this year. The OL is obviously a huge concern, which is why I see Aston and whatever tightend is in being used more as blockers and less as offensive threats. Hopefully that will be sufficient.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Jeremiah Taleni
    Kazon Pugh
    Adonis Jennings
    Rushel Shell
    George Hill

    All for different reasons.

    My high risers with low star ratings –

    Aaron Donald
    James Conner
    Dion Lewis
    Rashad Weaver
    Brian O’Neill

    Liked by 1 person

    1. you have been reading a little too much of Reed IMO. I do not consider a 3-star a ‘low star rating’ In addition to Donald, Conner and O’Neill … Revis, Sheard, and Q Henderson are just a few of other recent 3-stars who were as productive as any 4-stars we have had

      And I can go on and on …. Blades Session, McKillop, … and how about Mick William swho I believe was a co-BE defensive player of the year?

      wwb

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  22. ^^Great post EE…………. but guess what? There’s a few more on this PITT roster that may take the extra year to be high risers with low stars. No, I not including myself in the mornings either. << inserted a perverted joke there.

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  23. The most hyped recruits who I recall did not live up to expectations were Brian Davis, Pat Bostick, and Curtis Bray. I do remember Dustin Picciotti. I can’t remember why/how he left the program. Did he ever play?

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  24. Dustin had a very severe ankle problem late in his senior season in high school and took awhile to recover. In my memory though, he had home sick and other issues he had trouble dealing with. I think I remember he transferred to his girlfriends college???

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  25. Just googled it Eicher. He had concussion problems. It was reported that he was quitting football when he left Pitt. But he did resurface at Rhode Island, where he played one year at fullback and then moved over to defense. He was PA Gatorade Player of the Year his Senior Year of HS.

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  26. Before he gets too bad a rap, Brian Davis had his share of troubles, not all of his making. Feel real sorry for the kid. And he was that huge of a talent!

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  27. Here’s a blast from the past…Princell Brockenbrough, WR. Vernon Smith, LB. Conredge Collins, although fairly solid, he was a 4 star..no OL around him. Kevin Collier, RB, same thing. Pat Bostick, uggh! Jack Lippert, double uggh! Chad Voytik, sorry Ikester. 4 stars equal higher expectations.

    Mine are all 4 stars that just didn’t cut it in my opinion. You guys hit all the others.

    My 5 star that underperformed in my opinion was Jon Baldwin. Had he ever decided to block and run hard routes when he wasn’t designed to get the ball, he would have been an all time great at Pitt and also the nfl. Had he had the Fitz work ethic, bonzers!

    I thought Picciotti got concussions in his first practice and never regained his health. Tough story there.

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    1. I thought of Jon Baldwin too. I remember the night game here against ND. JB made three spectacular catches – like among the most impressive catches I’ve ever seen.

      But where was that ability on a regular basis??

      Go Pitt!

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    1. Why would Martin want to stay another year and play for an awful program? Pitt was God awful then and the administration was okay with it. Most fans were also okay with it because academic integrity and the Mission Statement weren’t soiled by athletics.

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    1. Brian Davis could have been a Heisman Trophy winner, IMO… he was that good. I remember his one big game, coming off the bench when the starter was injured. Pretty sure Ironhead was suspended for beating a dental student upside his head with a crutch. Davis was better in any case.

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  28. Narduzzi’s strategy is to recruit and develop players for one or two year before they play. Thus the abundance of RSFR and RSSO on the roster that have seen little playing time.
    This is the year many must shine and prove they have developed. It will make or break Narduzzi. It will answer if they are evaluating and developing players correctly.
    Does a 3 star, developed with weight training, nutrition, and time in the system stack up in the ACC? They better.

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    1. So spot on. In college football the most important stat is how many seniors and red shirt seniors are on the team. Just look at NC State last year. Of course if you do have an abundance of such players that does not mean you will win the National Championship. Just look at NC State last year. The point is that with seniors the team will be say 50% better. If Pitt can be 50% better than it otherwise would have been for two or three years it will get better recruits. See Clemson.

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  29. Biggie, I was thinking of asking Michael the same question…did you ever go into Zivics or Stokans bars in Lawrenceville? Stokans was a block from my house and a shrine to Fritzi and boxing in general. Great place back in the day.
    EE, I share your enthusiasm.
    Mark, great thought provoking article. Too late to think of anyone that was not already mentioned but Brian Davis would be my #1 pick.

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  30. kids need real time game situations to develop
    practices on the south side dont cut it
    gaining weight and muscle dont cut it (unless you are on the line)
    Narduzzi is wasting 2 years of these kids time and its stunting their growth
    kids grow into their position…they dont have to be fully grown to play
    all other schools play frosh
    all other sports starts 18-19 year olds
    only at Pitt do we start 25 year olds and transfers

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    1. Why don’t our coaches see this?

      You’d think they’d want to win more games and make more money… Only at Pitt!

      Go Pitt!

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  31. Too many misses and too few Donald’s and Conner’s.
    Agree with Huff that the redshirt guys need to start producing.
    However, the majority of real stars produce as true freshmen.
    We haven’t been getting enough of those lately.

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  32. Lastrow…I remember my dad and uncles talking about Fritzie Zivic when I was a kid. Boxing was part of the culture back then….a local guy(Al November) fought Fritz and lost. Never in your part of town as a young and was a non-drinker so never in that bar you mentioned…as you know, I am a reformed “teatotaler.”

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  33. Speaking of disappointments, I see Gabe Rivera just passed. In the ’83 draft, the Steers, thinking that Bradshaw had a few good years left, passed on Marino and selected DT Rivera as their #1 pick

    Rivera looked like he was a worthy pick as he became a starter early on as a rookie …. then about mid-season, he wrecked his car and was paralyzed for life. Sad, such a waste of talent

    BTW, I met Friitzie Zivic when I was about in my early teens. Seemed like a great guy but was shocked just how little he was. He wasn’t any bigger than I was … but obviously was a tough SOB (unlike me)

    wwb

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    1. A run of bad luck for the Steelers starting in 1983:

      Bradshaw’s elbow
      Rivera’s accident
      Lambert’s toe injury in 1984
      Franco’s holdout and subsequent release
      Pinney and Jim Smith to the USFL

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  34. Agree that some kids should produce as freshman but I think that mainly applies to skill positions. Pitt is lacking there for sure.

    I pray Pitt will finally get a dynamic RB to put Ollison and Hall on the bench.

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  35. Not to change the subject, but here’s an interesting take on breakout players for 2018:

    https://247sports.com/college/pittsburgh/Article/Predicting-Pitts-2018-breakout-players-119845503/

    I like the upside for many players on this team and I do think we will see more players “breakout” than many are predicting.

    We especially need guys like Drake, Warren, Ford, and Huey to contribute to the OL this year and if they do, maybe we can eventually start talking about the line like we are the defense…a group with growing potential. One can hope right?

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  36. Not to push others to write, but I think a similar article on breakout players might be cool. Would love to hear the POVer perspective on this, especially with the positions of need everyone’s talking about. Might get some more positivity flowing through the veins preseason.

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  37. Two thoughts on the discussion at this point. I suspect that Narduzzi, or any OL coach, can see in one practice whether or not a young offensive lineman will be able to cut it. They can tell if it is a strength or technique issue holding them back or if they just don’t have the necessary quickness and athleticism to play the position at the P5 level. Hence the closed practices at Spring ball because others will see it as well. Years of development can partially, but not completely compensate, and many of these OL recruits will never be above average. We may see a DL moved over to OL in Fall camp, but not an ideal situation to count on.

    Secondly, recognizing what Reed was saying about the TEs, we may start to see a shifting of some bigger WRs, like Matthews, to the TE position to provide depth at certain down and distance situations, or maybe in the red zone passing game. These adjustments are poor substitutes for having highly recruited players at these positions.

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  38. It is hard to imagine all of you extremely knowledgeable and passionate POVers have gotten the wrong answer here all along! Really now….

    Tino Sunseri.

    OK yeah that was a little trollish. 🙂 Just having fun. But imagine where we could have gone if he lived up more to potential/expectations….

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  39. I apologize for never realizing that Tiny had potential and or expectations? I have always believe he played right to his level which in reality wasn’t bad at all. . . . . ike

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    1. what a total joke of a list? How in the hell does Pat Bostick rate ahead of Rutherford and Stull?

      And that is just the start …. this is has to be one of the biggest jokes I’ve ever seen

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  40. Fade…we have become specialists on the negative side of PITT FB…there are positives and not much news to drum up excitement which is part of the reason that “we are who we are.” I see our QB, and Mr. Weaver being able to play with best. I have seen Tre Tipton at his best and if his light body can survive the blows, he will be a solid receiver. On D,.. Dane Jackson is solid and hopefully Paris Ford lives up to his billing. Wirginis should be solid a MLB and the D should step forward as a unit. i need to re-familiarized myself with the incoming freshman class and this years redshirt sophomore who haven’t seen the field yet. Hope we get 1-2 contributors from that group especially on the O.

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    1. True Bernie – but all those kids you mentioned are ‘hopefuls’ in that we hope they will play up to potential. The fact that we have no returning players who played a full season and is worth getting really excited about because of their past play is what leads to the dampening of outlooks for 2018.

      This is just like at the same time last year when everyone was saying our offense was going to be just as good, or almost anyway, as ’16’s because we had a 5* USC transfer in at QB. Pitt fans, and a lot of guys on here, thought Browne was going to light up the field from the first snap onward.

      I looked at that and said ‘show me’ before I get excited about the guy.

      I like Pickett and have since spring drills last year but I don’t think he’s going to be the superstar take the offense on his shoulders and win a bunch of games player…not with the surrounding cast he’s going to have.

      I like Weaver but in all honestly he had flashed but not solid good play all season.

      I think Wirginis is a great physical specimen… but he was that 2 -3 years ago when he couldn’t beat out Mudfoot Galambos for the starting job.

      So – some fans look at things and think we need some real breaks to have a good season and that we have some real and present personnel issues on the two-deep. We Pitt fans think highly of our players because we are so familiar with the, but the reality is that the vast majority of the two-deep are average at best football players.

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    2. BigB— please, let’s not try to be positive or hopeful about the Pitt Panther football team. You must be realistic, please!

      Our players are all mediocre; our coaches are all mediocre; the money we pay them is mediocre; our stadium is mediocre.

      As a fan, we have no choice but to be mediocre fan.

      Go Pitt! (Or should I say — Go Mediocrity!)

      Liked by 1 person

  41. Rashad Wheeler, played tight end for PCC. He’s athletic for a big man. I can see him coming on strong. One of the young D-Lineman has to emerge this year for PITT. The problem gauging their performances with stats is that PITT substitutes so much along the D-Line. ike

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  42. My bad on Adonis Jennings. I crossed two bad events over each other. My brain started functioning when I drifted off to sleep last night.The kid from Johnstown also went to Temple but that was either a year or two before Jennings happened. Both resonated as bad for Pitt in my mind. At eighty yrs some times your brain short circuits. There were about 1/2 dz. losses like that resulting from coaching changes at Pitt like Givens, Apke and Sherrife Miller who all ended up at PS after it seemed they would be wearing blue and gold. Not Fake News just bad wiring.

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    1. I meant no harm there, just corrected. Wasn’t Steven Howlings also from Johnstown? Saw ZZ Top there back in the 70’s before most ever heard of them. Dy no mite

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  43. LaRod Stevens Howlings was a Johnstown High player during the Wanny connection Pitt got him. A real speedster kind of Hendersonesque. Johnstown High also was the undefeated4A WPIAL champ about 1960 that prompted another Pitt coaching screwup as Pitt hired Dave Hart the Johnstown head coach as Pitt’s Head Coach and you all know what a horror story that became!

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  44. Pitt FB Kickoff Luncheon is Friday, August 24th at noon at Heinz Field.

    Speaker will be Louis Riddick.

    I’ve enjoyed this event. Fun to hear the seniors speak.

    Go Pitt.

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  45. It’s really great to hear that a class act like Louis Riddick is still close to the football program.. He can be a real asset to PITT.

    Like

  46. Offensive Line:
    Right now you have Bookser RSSR and Morrissey RSSO returning. That leaves three open positions that make Reed more nervous than a pig at a bacon factory.

    Candidates:
    Grad transfer – I see him playing just so there isn’t three inexperienced OL.

    RSSR:
    Herndon – defense
    Dintino – possible at OG. Rather see a younger player.

    RSJR:
    Chase Brown – JC transfer, expect him to RS although he was enrolled in January.

    RSSO:
    Justin Morgan
    Brandon Ford
    Bryce Hargrove

    RSFR:
    Gabe Houy
    Carson Van Lynn
    Owen Drexel
    Kenney Rainey
    Jerry Drake
    Carter Warren

    FR:
    Kradel and others not yet at school.

    Now you see why Narduzzi grabbed a JC transfer and grad transfer. There is no upper class.
    IMO, for the future of the program, Pitt needs two of the open positions manned by RSSO or RSFR.

    Like

    1. I would guess Herndon starts at a guard spot.

      We have a ton of other defensive tackles — I’m expecting the DTs to be improved this season.

      Go Pitt!

      Like

  47. Alcofan..thanks for chirping in on your Uncle Fritzie…the men in my family liked to box and they told me what a tough bastad !!

    Like

  48. Sorry to burst your Araujo-Lopes bubble guys but in two full seasons he has a total of 46 catches for 567 yards at a very low for a WR 12.0 ypc and 2 TDs.

    https://pittsburgh_ftp.sidearmsports.com/custompages/sports/m-footbl/stats/2016-2017/teamcume.html#TEAM.IND

    His first year Perterman was the QB so there goes the ‘no QB to throw to him” – he was just buried on the depth chart that season by:

    Weah
    Orndoff
    Henderson
    Aston
    Conner
    D. Ford
    Tipton
    Mathews and
    Parrish

    Two FBs, a TE and RB had more catches that season.

    He was a starter because we had no one better than him other than Weah to put out there – which is one of the reasons I’m also worried about our WRs this season. He’s OK – like I said an average ballplayer – but honestly if we had any true talent at that position he’d be sat down.

    Like

    1. but he (Lopes) was the leading receiver last year with 43 …. two more than Weah. And he didn’t Peterman throwing to him.

      Like much of the offense this coming year, WR is a question mark. In addition to Lopes, we have Matthews, Smith and Shockey as possibilities. But my choice for break-out WR is Ffrench. He is fast and talented, and not stuck behind QH (who was much more of a runner than receiver.)

      wwb

      Liked by 1 person

  49. this year is setting up to be a mediocre season brought on by mediocre recruiting classes and mediocre coaching.

    No wonder why there is no buzz

    Narduzzi is a Buzz Kill

    Like

    1. Just because there is no BUZZ at the POV doesn’t mean there isn’t a BUZZ outside this blog. Pickett is the real deal and if he stays healthy there is plenty enough talent on this O roster for Pitt to make waves. It’s going to be a day and night differences between Pickett and QB combo put out on the field last year IMO.

      Like

  50. Just an example for you downbeats ask yourself what kind of receiving yards do you think Antonio Brown of the Steelers would rack up if Landry Jones was his QB all year long versus Big Ben?

    Liked by 1 person

  51. Lopes had a very good year considering the QB in charge of throwing him the ball. but??? That brings up a whole different topic. If Lopes can come in with 43 catches last year, what and how many catches will he have this year? I forget his jr college numbers but I believe they were really good.

    Liked by 1 person

  52. I’ve been practicing my “I’m sorry you guys were right, Narduzzi sucks speech” but fear not my positive friends. I’ve also been practicing my “you guys were wrong about Narduzzi speech/song and dance” !!

    Like

  53. Considering Herndon? Half glass full or glass half empty? You know you’re a negative Nancy when you ridicule a player that took snaps on both sides of the ball last year along the O-Line and the D-Line. Does anyone think a slouch does that? Myself? I think it speaks loudly but I’ll keep my mouth shut right now about that. ike

    Like

  54. Being an ike optimist, it appears that there were no other grade casualties from the Spring semester. So we only have one additional scholarship to give out for the 2018 season. Will it be an OL, a TE or some other position?

    Liked by 1 person

  55. I never felt this site was characterized by excessive contentiousness. What I do think is that commenters too often misuse or misconstrue statistics. Take RaRa for example because I don’t feel my bubble is burst in the slightest by what he did two years ago. The real question is how are his routes and hands. I don’t give a rat’s behind how many catches he had last year because from what I saw his routes were darn good and his hands were excellent. And he’s a tough kid who is hard to tackle. With better QBing and play calling a case could be made for him being capable of having caught 70 plus passes last year. Any body remember him dropping a pass he should have caught because I remember him catching quite a few passes where he got hit immediately after ball contact and he made the catch. The kid has game. Don’t need statistics to know that.

    Liked by 2 people

  56. Does the kid pass the eye test
    Does he step up when needed
    Screw saber metrics
    There are lies, US president lies and statistics.

    Mark Twain

    Like

  57. Reed — I must say I’m surprised and a bit disappointed that you feel the need to belittle a former Panther player with a disparaging nickname. And I’m being serious, not sarcastic.

    “Mudfoot?”

    Did that guy play his heart out and give all he had for Pitt? That’s what I saw.

    I’ve come to expect this from others on here, that’s their thing, but not from the Commander…

    Go Pitt!

    Like

    1. There seems to be a couple inconsistencies with what I had read in the past …

      Dan Rooney claimed that after Elway, Marino was the 2nd QB on their board but opted for DT Gabe Rivera because they thought Bradshaw would be around for a few more years and also thought Rivera had a chance to be the next Mean Joe.

      Don Shula said he called Foge before the draft about Marino’s drug use and Foge assured him there was nothing to it.

      But then again …. who knows what is fact or urban legend

      wwb

      Like

  58. 4-8?

    Narduzzi is going to need divine intervention to reach 7 wins. It is early. Who else does Pitt plan to kick of the team?

    Self-sabotage University.

    Like

  59. Right Tony, every year it is something. Last year Taleni after a great performance vs Clemson, kicked off, Bookser acts the fool. Wirginis blows his big opportunity. Whitehead, always something and now gone.
    Boyd a few years ago and plenty of others we don’t even know about.

    What’s going to happen this summer to dash our chances?

    Like

    1. gc – you are correct about ‘plenty of others we don’t even know about”. if anyone believes that four players all of a sudden decide to “transfer” on the same day I’ve a bridge to sell you. Narduzzi doesn’t screw around with disciplinary issues.

      Like

  60. Pickett has thrown for 1 TD and 1 interception in the early going. Tipton has 1 catch so far. Hopefully both players have a really good year in this upcoming season.

    Like

  61. Honestly, we just better hope that the staff reins in Pickett’s desire to tuck and run so often. They shouldn’t make him a pure pocket passer as that would hinder his abilities but in this case, with a back-up QB who has never thrown a D1 pass even after being on two different D1 teams, we need Pickett to play every single game.

    And that is going to be hard to do with our OL this season. He’s going to get heavy and constant pressure like we haven’t seen a Pitt QB get in ages and I don’t think our run game is going to be good enough (again pointing to the OL) that the defense will have to worry about it.

    They are going to tee off on Pickett early and often and I’m predicting now we’ll see a big number of sacks given up by a Pitt OL…even with Pickett’s good legs and instincts. This is why I was hoping we’d have decent TEs this season so that Pickett could dump off to someone who could catch the ball in the TE position. Reeves was probably going to split starting time (or alongside) Clark this season.

    Speaking of sacks allowed we have really been up and down with that from a low of 10 in 2016 to a high of 64 in 2011. Thanks Todd!

    Like

    1. Watson would have to be one of the dumbest OC’s in the business if his offensive game plan was focused around making Pickett primarily a pocket QB. Like Ike said spread the field with some fleet footed midgets that can change direction on a dime and let Pickett by extra time with his feet. If you try to force feed a running game with a less than average OL your asking for a boat load 3rd and long plays this season.

      Like

      1. Like I said, not a pure pocket QB but Watson is going to have to do something to keep Pickett from getting killed.

        We have to have a lot of short quick-hitter passes because he’s not going to have time for the deeper routes.

        Like

  62. Reed, I know you know this but here goes anyways. You don’t need a tight end or and extra tight end to have an effective running game. Spread the defense out with a good passing game and get the linebackers dropping into coverage. Instead of a tight end put another WR on the field and the interesting part about that is…. PITT has a slight abundance of slot type receivers on the roster capable of seeing the field this year in Ffrench, Tipton, Lopes and Shocky who enrolled in January. Spacing is the key here and I believe PITT has the QB to see the field most importantly to make decisions quickly plus the added bonus of his legs to tuck and run. A PITT running back is set to have a big year this coming season if Narduzzi sticks with one back, if not PITT will still get their rushing yardage. ike

    Like

    1. You are much more optimistic about the passing game than I am. WRs are the 2nd biggest problem area on both sides of the ball. We are coming off our worse scoring offense in a decade and lost four of our best playmakers in Weah, Henderson, Whitehead and O’Neill. That’s a lot of talent to make up for.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ^^ Reed:Not much of a shocker there?? btw, Henderson was not a good wr and running the jet sweep had already run it’s course. Pickett’s arm and legs will be the ticket the next couple years.

        Like

  63. I wonder how many Pitt players the Steelers have passed on who became NFL stars, even in the NFL HOF? I understand that some were already gone.

    Like

  64. Not that the Nard Dog would do this, but if you have a weak OL, and a mobile quarterback, then you invoke the spread offense. H2P!

    Like

    1. dont underestimate the stupidity of voters
      these pre-season lists are bunk
      Hall had 1 good game
      I’d like to see Ollison again since we consistently proved it for 1 full season
      But he’s in the Dog’s doghouse

      Like

    2. There’s 62 names on the 2018 preseason list.

      The 2017 winner, Bryce Love, didn’t appear on the 2017 preseason list.

      Your point was?

      Like

      1. Why was Hall named on the list ? Do t you think the Pitt coaches realize that they need to improve the O line and have the players to do it. They have two freshmen coming that may be able to beat out some of the players you feel are inadequate . We will see won’t we.

        Like

  65. For being a High Octane guy, Todd had a much better defence than our current defensive guru
    Narduzzi thinks a spread belongs on a sandwich.

    Like

    1. the 2011 had Wannstedt’s defensive recruits

      Careigin, Donald, Hargrove, K Williams, Gordon, Gruber, Thomas, Lindsay, Holley,Jackson, Reed, Taglianettii plus walk-on Alexcih

      Like

  66. Going a little OT here but I have a question for the good Commander, Reed. Reed I consider you a great friend of mine and I was thinking over the stove as I made a taco dish for my wife and two of my grand-kids, (I think to myself while I am cooking, showering and one other place yous will have to guess at). None related to each other btw. << That’s important.

    Reed, do you remember back in the mid 2000 decade when we practically agreed on everything from A to Z? Which one of us do you thing has changed the most as it seems to me we can’t agree on much anymore. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I was just wondering?

    Like

    1. Years of watching Pitt do what they do out on the field Ike.

      This program finds ways to sabotage itself. The years I thought wed be really moving forward always seem to have another side to them.

      Case in point…the two 8 win seasons Narduzzi had were good…but I felt his recruiting was poor from the moment he took over the job. That, and his insistence on so many transfers works against the program in the long run. Peterman was great but I think he sacrificed some positions with knee jerk transfers.

      He didn’t recruit any TEs in his first two classes and had to kick around with has been and now we are. One out 3rd TE transfer…personnel issues like that have made me skeptical of him as a HC working with his own players.

      I find Narduzzi to be an average at best HC and don’t think he’s going to make the program better than it already is.

      You seem to feel like he’s the long term answer. That is the difference between us now.

      Like

  67. Darrin Hall is 5′ 11″ 225lbs with above average speed. Rivals ranked him 4*’s. Yes it looks like his vision may not be the best. I watched him run a lot though and most of the time it wasn’t his vision it was a virtual lack of space he was given. Along with Hendrix, Wirginis, and Hall, PITT has a strong nucleus for this coming season. I’ll throw in Roy just for fun…. ike

    Like

    1. 10-11 wins should be the standard
      That 8 season win should have been 10 regular season wins if Pitt had any form of D
      and both 8 seasons resulted in no icing on the cake – bowl wins
      major disappointments those 8 wins were
      also considering that 3 wins each year are from patsies
      really not impressive when you think of it that way
      but we’ve been spoiled by 6-6 mediocre seasons under Graham and Chryst so 8 wins is like hitting the jackpot
      i think any more than 6 wins this year will be like winning the Lotto since this team has 5 wins written all over it (Vegas line at 5.5)

      Like

    1. TCU and Michigan St had 5-6 seasons like this
      very good run
      very good bowl invites
      why cant Pitt do the same

      Nardoozle came from Michigan St. Didnt any of the Spartan rub off on him?
      Limpy Noodle Nardoozle

      Like

      1. MSU is all in with winning (see the school digging in its heels over the gymnastics coach and all of Izzo’s thugs raping girls). You think Pitt is going to let stuff like that slide and rcruit the bad seeds needed to win big?

        No chance. The Mission Statement is too important to jeopardize.

        Pitt can be a program where it has back-to-back 10 win seasons then dip to eight the following year. That would cause an uproar amongst those who didn’t get their 10-win fix for a third consecutive season and would then want Narduzzi fired.

        Like

    2. and Va Tech and Stanford
      It can be done
      But Pitt doesnt have the right coach
      And doesnt have the BOT support
      And frankly few 4 star players want to play among 25k empty yellow seats

      Fire Coach
      Build an OCS
      Burn the BOT

      My recipe for 10 win seasons
      Otherwise, you’re stuck with a very mediocre hamburger
      I’m giving you Porterhouse Steak

      Like

      1. Tx— IMO you don’t know if you have the right coach at Pitt because of the major recruiting drawback presented by the ever so conspicuous empty yellow seats.

        I say that if you put Coach Duzz at PSU, he’d be a great recruiter.

        Which is why I expect Coach Duzz to leave once he has a good season and gets an offer from one of the football factory schools. Course many will be elated to have Coach Duzz gonzo.

        Go Pitt.

        Liked by 1 person

  68. Tx_ with all due respect as always with you. but I feel you’re all over the place like a Texas jumping bean. First off it was two 8 win seasons and to say that 11 wins should be the standard? How should I put this. You’re nuts! I mean that in a good way.

    I’ve read on this blog that talking about how tough the schedule is and how it’s excuse making and now I read the schedule is a reason PITT won 3 games against cupcakes. Again. Narduzzi and PITT live on a one way street and he is always driving the wrong way in so many eyes. That sounds goofy to me.

    Looking forward to the upcoming season. Hell, if PITT goes 0-12 I’ll still have a blast with Fran and the boys and girls and the tailgates….. Hope you make it up to PA for a game friend…. ike

    Like

  69. ……and we wonder why so many people are so disenchanted with the PITT football program. Well I don’t and that was a hypothetical question. When someone gets a brand new Chevrolet Impala under the Christmas tree every year and they are disappointed because they didn’t get a silver Mercedes Benz, they are rooting for the wrong team…. . . ike

    Liked by 1 person

  70. 10 regular seasons wins should be the standard at Pitt. If TCU and Michigan St can do it with consistency, why cant Pitt? Sure you get a 6 win season every once in a while, but these teams quickly bounce back up. You think Pitt will bounce up from last years 5 wins?

    Like

    1. Tx

      I appreciate that you want a winner. However, TCU MSU and Pitt have very little in common.

      TCU HC Patterson has been there 18 years

      Like

      1. Mich St Danatonio has been there for 10 years.

        Both TCU and Mich St have clearly made winning in football a priority. Check out their athletic budgets. Then, check out their OOC scheduling.

        Like

        1. Their budgets aren’t much bigger than Pitts.

          I’ve posted links to Pitts budget. It ain’t shabby.

          You are finding excuses

          Yes I agree that our ooc schedule needs to change

          Yes I agree our BOT is poison

          Yes I agree that off campus stadiums detract and are a huge hindrance

          Yes I agree that more money can help

          But you need to make a commitment. Take advantage of opportunities.

          I believe pitt has by giving narduzzi the money and staying out of his way

          He is out of excuses now

          Tex

          Like

      2. Look at Stanford,mich st, va tech

        No long term coaches there

        And Tcu doesn’t have the resources of Pitt. But they believe in sports. Renovated their ocs. They are tiny but relevant. I know since I live here. They have more obstacles than pitt. But they find a way.

        Pitt finds a way to make filet mignon into chopped liver.

        Tex

        Like

        1. Without ever being on the TCU campus I’d guess it has more resources and $$$ than Pitt. It build that new stadium not long ago. And you’re right, they also care much more.

          Stanford and MSU both have long-term coaches in this day of age, and I can see Fuente staying at Tech since the school is hell bent at winning.

          Like

  71. The ACC bowl line up is the absolute worst. It reflects the days when they were a small regional conference. There has been no upgrade in my memory. A crappy BiG team will go to a better bowl than a higher rated ACC team every year. If you want to complain about Pitt going to crappy bowls sure, some of it is on them, but with the same record teams from another conference have much better bowl tie ins.
    Remember, a lot of ACC teams are city teams, not state land grants. Following isn’t as large, we have to excell as there are only 2-3 good bowls available to the whole conference, period!

    Like

  72. Agree with WR assessment: marginal talent. Second weakest unit on team.
    Tipton- recovering from injury.
    Shockey – true freshman.
    Lopes – caught passes only because no one else would ( AND HE IS MY FAVORITE OFFENSIVE PLAYER).
    Florida kids – unproven.
    Mathews – good hands but lacks separation.

    I hope I am wrong.

    Like

  73. I really wish some of you you would stop being delusional and saying Narduzzi has already coached four seasons at PITT. Seriously? Narduzzi has run out of time?? Nuts! His recruits are still young. Let’s let this season play out, you tell on yourselves and what PITT did 25 years ago is not on HCPN, so let’s stop that to. ike

    Liked by 1 person

  74. Ike, Nuts is what you say to the German commander when asked for your surrender. That’s in war

    For Pitt, Nuts is thinking narduzzi will finally find a way to recruit a 4 star, win the division, win a bowl game, and make Pitt relevant again.

    Tex

    Like

    1. But you miss the point
      Narduzzi isnt those guys

      Hell Saban didnt win big until year 4 at Mich St
      You think Nardoozle is going to win 10 games this year?

      Dont be Nardoozled.

      Like

  75. I say this not to sound smug. But those other coaches were bringing in better assistant coaches and recruits

    I dont see anything special about Narduzzis recruits
    I dont see any impressive assistant coaches

    Narduzzi needs all the help he can get and he’s not getting it…because of his inability to manage

    You cant pin the blame on the AD now or come up with some crazy conspiracy theory that Gallagher is out to destroy Pitt football

    Heather gave him a fat raise and stays out of his way

    Vegas says 5.5 wins and they are normally right

    I’ll give him this year and next but based on what I see given how he manages, he wont be around past year 5.

    Tex

    Like

  76. I’m guessing one is your stage name PT? I suppose I’ll hear your name on the Espy awards tonight but under which name?? 🙂

    Like

  77. Couple things and Reed first cause he’s my man:

    How many times do I have to say I don’t have the love for Narduzzi that so many think I do. I admit to having higher hopes than in the recent past in PITT’s head coach and I do have a good feelings in the perceived changes in the PITT administrations about how they want to go about conducting their entire athletic programs. I say perceived because that could be all hogwash but unlike you, I have faith that it could be true untested. That’s how I roll… As far as Narduzzi goes, yes, I “think” HOPE he could be the long term answer but I ain’t betting a dollar on it. How can I make that more clear. I’m just wanting to give the coach the chance he deserves unconditionally.

    Yes Tony, Narduzzi is starting year four. Let’s judge him on year four when it’s over. Not to mention his half recruiting season he had to start with because of Lumpy, the not allowed unmentionable former coach.

    Tex and I say this in a half joking matter,. You better pray PITT doesn’t have a 7 win season cause I’m coming after you on the POV round-table hard 🙂

    Like

    1. And yet you mentioned Chryst again because somebody questions Narduzzi’s abilities. It’s reflexive for you. It also demonstrates your true passion and zeal for Coach Pat. You’ll do anything to deny or deflect criticism of him.

      So does Chryst only get 2.5 years of recruiting? 6 members of his “half” class became starters for Narduzzi in 2015. Then there is the 2013 class and it’s connection to the successes of 2015 and 2016. Now I understand why Reed does this. You’re right, let’s keep bringing Chryst up in year 4 of Narduzzi. It’s really productive. It also undermines your argument. Narduzzi should be standing on his own by now.

      Like

      1. and so your stalking continues barvo. You’re a weird dude. Why do you worry about me so barvo?

        Did Narduzzi have a full recruiting season before his his first year? Everyone know the answer and I don’t even know why I’m addressing a sicko like you. You’re obsessed with me, get lost.

        Liked by 1 person

  78. I stumble across this video from yesterday’s ACC media day –

    https://mobile.twitter.com/ATH_UNF/status/1019749031008964608?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1019749031008964608&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fpittsburgh.forums.rivals.com%2Fthreads%2Fidowu.134087%2F

    Per LB Sean Idowu – coach Duzz is passionate, consistent and cares about his players, the university and the FB program at Pitt.

    Sean is a well spoken young man, 2nd team All-ACC LB in 2017 and a former walk-on.

    H2P!

    Like

  79. Starkey PG has a column today on how Revis’s retirement brings up memories of Pitt’s greatest plays. Since I do not subscribe to the PG, I have no idea what he lists as the greatest Pitt FB plays, but off the top of my head, here is my list (in no particular order)

    — Revis’s punt return vs WVU in 07
    — Marino’s TD pass to Brown to win Sugar Bowl
    — Pete Gonzalez’s 4th & 17 completion vs WVU
    — Blewiitt’s game winning FG vs Clemson
    — Dorsett’s long TD run from the FB position to break the game open vs PSU in ’76
    — Pitt freshman kicker’s (forgot his name) last second 50 yard FG to tie Syracuse (in early 80s?)
    — the interception return vs PSU in late 80s where HC Gottfried ran down the sideline ito the endzone
    — Donald sacking both the Duke QB and RB in ’13

    I’m sure there are many more. wwb

    Like

    1. There aren’t nearly enough great plays and great wins as there should be. That’s what destroying one decade (90s) and being cheap will do to a program.

      Like

    2. a few corrections to my list above (wwb)

      Revis punt return was in 06
      Freshman FG kicker was Pat Viancort and it was a 43 yarder to beat Cuse in ’83
      Billy Owens interception return in 1987 to stun #15 PSU .. (with Gottfried chasing)

      Like

  80. Generic plays

    A Hugh Green tackle, (I once saw him grab a guy buy his shoulder pads and throw him down like a rag doll, never saw anyone else do that)

    A Dorsett run

    A Fralic pancake

    Big plays are important, but guys that make them routinely are priceless.

    Liked by 1 person

  81. Gotta include the interception to preserve the win vs PSU 2 years ago! BTW, Just heard on the Fan an audio clip from Narduzzi from ACC media day, throwing Conklin under the bus for Pitt’s meh recruiting, saying essentially “there was only so much we could do, given our coordinator at that time. (Unless he meant Recruiting Coordinator ). Wow, he does divert criticism !

    Like

    1. he’s the one who hired him (Conklin). But, defensive recruiting does seem to be on an upswing … too bad you can’t say the same about offensive (at least so far)

      wwb

      Like

  82. Pitt’s WR. Again, based on PN’s preference to play older players, you would think the starters at the beginning of the year may be the trio of Lopes, Ffrench, Mathews. The problem with that trio is that Lopes and Ffrench are kind of the same player. Smaller slot guys. I think Ffrench will only give Lopes a breather and run the jet sweeps this year. Mathews seems to have potential but I question his speed. If he isn’t fast he has to learn how to block out DBs and high point the ball.

    Honestly, I hope the jet sweeps slowly go away. Canada had the perfect personnel to run it. You must have a strong inside run game for it to work. He had James Connor and a good OL.

    Next man up is Tipton, who is coming off of an injury. His second knee injury. I don’t think we saw enough of him to know how good he is. He was a great all around athlete in high school.

    Besides Tipton, the candidates are going to be the three RSFR. Michael Smith got a lot of praise from other players last year. Even if Tipton ends up a starter, one of the three RSFR have to step and play occasional snaps.

    I think the wild card is Jacques-Louis since he has been enrolled since January.

    At first glance, it is an unspectacular group. There is one proven guy. PN needs another solid guy and one that is a star in the making. My picks, Michael Smith or Jacques-Louis.

    RSSR
    Araujo-Lopes

    JR
    Ffrench
    Mathews

    RSJR
    Tipton

    RSSO
    Taysir Mack

    RSFR
    Michael Smith
    Butler-Jenkins
    Street

    FR
    Jacques-Louis – January enrollment
    Cam O’Neil

    Like

    1. Ffrench has shown glimpses of having Tyler-Boyd-type ability. I remember Ffrench making a catch along the sideline with his upper body leaning way out of bounds. An exceptional play.

      Question is, can he do it consistently.

      On Tipton, I worry that he may not have the burst after his injury. Hopefully he gets back the speed.

      Could Street be a sleeper? He’s probably skinnier than his brother!

      Based on the spring game, Smith didn’t look ready. His routes looked rounded off versus sharp. Hope he’s working on quick cuts this summer…

      Go Pitt!

      Like

  83. I have been very positive on what the program and in fact Pitt is doing weather told to pick it up by the ACC or finally getting it with hiring a competent AD. Posted good things are happening and pessimism, while understandable, is misguided. By the end of fall camp, we will see how things look,but get in the boat folks, you will be pleased with this years team. Good things are happening. Pickett is the real deal and Milano blew his team mates away with his strength. Pitt is solid now in the leadership area and that is big in having success this year. There is talent and a sense of urgency that hasn’t been at Pitt in a decade. .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Chet, can you say the OL/TE/WR/RB will be the real deal this year?

      Kenny might turn out to be a really good player but he’s going to need a lot of help. He’s started one game(bad move on the staff) and he’s going to have his growing pains this year with some ups and downs.

      Like

  84. Hey barvo, I just wanted to say…………………………………… wait…………wait?? I think I’ll hold off for now although I know you hang on my every word, you will just have to wait. At least you’re using your screen again and not under an alias you sneaky fellow.

    Like

  85. Clemson DC just agreed to a 5-year $11.6M contract. Pretty nice chunk of change (but the way it’s going, he may claim to be underpaid come 2023)
    wwb

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  86. TX – my point is that it’s too soon to tell. Another 5 win season and maybe you’re right. Another 8 win season and maybe you’re wrong. 3rd and 4th year dips are very common in the industry. He can’t have two down years in a row, however. Good coaches bounce back. Bad coaches don’t. Let this season play out.

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    1. I agree
      I’m just more on the side of believing he wont bounce back
      I just dont think he has the right stuff but I hope I’m wrong

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      1. That’s fair but don’t you don’t think MSU message boards were blowing up when Dantoni won only 6 games in his 3rd year and had a pass defense ranked 114/120?

        This offseason reminds me of Narduzzi’s first year. Everyone expected a 5 win season and Pitt ended up with 8 wins.

        If he wins 5 games again, he’ll be on the hot seat next season. If he wins less than 5 games this season he has a real good shot of being on the street.

        We’re finally at a cross-roads with Duzz. Let the season play out. We’ll know what we have … and you may have been right all along. For Pitt’s sake, hopefully, you’re not.

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        1. We are definitely at a cross roads. I pray pitt can become bowl eligible and then the next year we take off like a rocket to mars.

          Tex

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  87. Although he was before my time following the program, Brian Davis gets my vote for biggest disappointment, based on what I understand.

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  88. I’m still leaning on the side of 6 wins for PITT and that may be a stretch. Hate to say it but in a worst case scenario, it but it could be another 5 win season but not anything less than that. My boldest prediction, if Narduzzi only wins 4 or 5 games he’s not going anywhere. That ain’t happening.

    Although PITT is as deep at almost all positions this upcoming season than in a long time, they will not be able and afford to lose Pickett. The O-line should be ok but no injuries there either. Then again, maybe time to throw the young wolves into game action and see how it goes?

    The defense looks to be swarming and more aggressive with better athlete’s. I see good things from that unit. If the stars align, PITT could win 8 regular season games again this season. << Maybe more? ike

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  89. Pitt’s has 7 games that are very winnable.

    Albany
    GT
    UNC
    CUSE
    DUKE
    UVA
    WF

    Pitt has 2 more games that would be small upsets but not jaw dropping.

    UCF (personally, I’d have this in the winnable category but I think I’d be in a clear minority)
    VT

    Pitt has 3 more games that would be considered pretty big upsets … but nothing on the scale of beating of beating Clemson.

    ND
    PSU
    Miami

    If Pitt beats 6 out of the 7 winnable games, 1 small upset and 1 big upset … Pitt’s at 8 wins. If Pitt doesn’t win 8 games, Pitt fans have every right to be upset. Narduzzi is in his 4th year. The schedule shouldn’t matter. You play who is in front of you.

    I’ve said it several times this offseason. Good coaches get their teams to overachieve. This is finally, mostly, Narduzzi’s team. He has to get them to play better than they are on paper. That’s the only way Pitt will ever be able to take the next step.

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  90. Early thoughts
    7 wins with losses to PSU, UNC, GT, UCF, ND
    A very bad September
    But 6-2 wins Coastal
    Have to beat Mia for title

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  91. TT — agree with everything you posted except “The schedule shouldn’t matter “

    That’s true for a handful of teams, certainly not Pitt. The schedule can easily be the difference in 5 wins versus 8 wins.

    Go Pitt!

    Liked by 1 person

  92. MajorMajors – But they have 9 winnable games on the schedule and only 3 that would be considered a tall order? Why should the schedule be an excuse?

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    1. Pitt could play well and lose to ND, PSU, and maybe UCF.

      If we instead played 3 teams like say PSU, Illinois, and Rutgers, could be 2 more wins.

      Not an excuse, just getting the most wins out of the season like lots of other schools do.

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

  93. MSN top 10 over rated teams this year. 1. Notre Dame 2.Penn State 9. Central Fla. Idea is they will not as good as pre season hype and will probably get ranked better than they are and will be .

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