If you all remember I did a series of articles in June of 2017 that looked at the departing starters from the 2016 season and who I thought would be replacing them for 2017.  With that I assigned a grade of “Upgrade“, “Downgrade” or “Draw‘.

What I’ll do first is look at each position, or unit, along the offense or defense as of today and write down who I think will be the starter and why it will be that guy.  Then I’ll assign a ranking of “Upgrade” if I see an upgrade in player quality, “Downgrade’ if I see a lessening of talent or “Draw” if I think we’ll match last year’s player(s) in the position or unit. 

OK – we have looked at just about every position unit on the team except for the interior of the Defensive Line (Defensive Tackle and Nose Tackle) and the Special Teams.  Let’s concentrate on the defensive linemen first.

Here is what we fielded as our two-deep along the interior defensive line for the Miami game last season:

DL Interior '17

As you can see they will all return with the exception of Kam Carter who transferred (told to I believe) earlier this season. Good riddance to someone who shouldn’t ever have been taken on at Pitt in the first place.

Returning are starters rsSR Shane Roy at Nose Tackle and JR Amir Watts at Defensive Tackle.  I have no reason to doubt that those two will be the starters again this coming season but I hope it changes.  Now, rsSO Keyshon Camp started off playing the first eight games at Defensive Tackle, was surpassed by Watts then injured for the last two games against VT and Miami.

The reason I think Watts starts in place is because of the way he played against that good competition and really overall.  While none of our DL players had gaudy, or even good, individual numbers last year Watts produced well when he had the opportunity.  Here is an interesting bit of statistical info from SBNation regarding the effectiveness of our defensive linemen:

DL Stats 17

* Stuffs are rushes stopped at or behind the line. They are not necessarily tackles for loss (since they include zero-yard gains), so adding sacks and stuffs won’t necessarily equal TFLs. Also: the figure is based on how many stuffs a tackler has taken part in — solo tackles and assist tackles count for the same amount.

** For defenders, Success Rate is defined as the offense’s success rate on plays in which the defender made a tackle. The lower the number, the better for the defender. On average, due to proximity to the line of scrimmage, defensive linemen will produce lower success rates than linebackers, who producer lower rates than defensive backs.

That seven ‘run stuffs’ for Watts along with his five TFLs (with one sack) was pretty darn good considering he was 2nd string most of the year. He is an effective player and I think should get a lot more playing time.

So you can see the DEs accounted for more Tackles, Tackles For Loss and Sacks. That makes sense as they are the more active players and their job is to get into the backfield on every play.  The “success Rate” for our interior linemen is deceiving because of the low number of actual tackles they made – that stat is more for the other units on defense like LBs and DBs.

The interior linemen, especially in Narduzzi’s 4-3 alignment, are basically there to clog up the middle to allow the LBs to get forward and make rushing tackles – at least that has been the case under Narduzzi’s defenses. But here is a good description of what should be happening:

Nose tackle (also nose guard or middle guard) is a defensive alignment position for a defensive lineman. In the 3–4 defensive scheme the sole defensive tackle is referred to as the nose tackle.[2] The nose tackle aligns across the line of scrimmage from the offense’s center before the play begins in the “0-technique” position.[3] In this position, frequently taking on the center and at least one if not both of the guards, the nose tackle is considered to be the most physically demanding position in football.[4] In five-linemen situations, such as a goal-line formation, the nose guard is the innermost lineman, flanked on either side by a defensive tackle or defensive end.

According to Pat Kirwan, a traditional 3–4 defense demands “a massive man who can clog up the middle,” while a 4–3 defense is looking for “a nose tackle who relies on quickness to penetrate and move along the front.”[3]

Get that last bit?  “a nose tackle who relies on quickness to penetrate and move along the front.”?  Well, that ain’t Shane Roy my friends.  I know I have been singling him out a lot on here but I am truly astounded that Roy was the best we had to put out there last season. I’m sure he’s a great young man and probably a good leader of the younger players…but let’s all be honest here.  We’ll be much happier if we see Camp, or another youngster out there starting instead of Roy.

Perhaps rsFR Jaylen Tywman can fill in there or maybe my pick, local Central Catholic product rsSO Rashad Wheeler?  I think we need fresh blood in the DL and that is where I’d begin change – with Rashad Wheeler getting the start.  If it is indeed Roy starting again then either Narduzzi is dead set on experience or his recruiting of DL players isn’t as good as fans think it is.

Overall our defensive line play was better last season then it was in the two years before under Narduzzi and that is a bright sign.   We already covered the Defensive Ends in a separate article but the fact is that we were a good solid 41st in rushing defense at 142.4 ypg ast season.  We still were very poor at Tackles for Loss (99th) and Sacks (74th with only 23) and some of that is on the interior DL, but the DEs should have been much better than they were at getting quickly to the RBs and putting pressure on the QB.

So, what do I expect this year’s interior DL unit to be as compared to last season’s?  I’ll say that with an extra year of experience for Camp and Watts; Rashad Wheeler having played in all 12 games as a Nose Tackle (and ready to make a move to start) along with getting rid of Carter to make room for another younger player… I’ll label this an:

UPGRADE

141 thoughts on “POV’s Win, Lose or Draw for 2018’s DLs

  1. Link: Pitt-PSU Sold Out

    Pitt-Penn State Primetime Clash at Heinz Field Sold Out

    PITTSBURGH—The highly anticipated September 8 clash between the Pitt Panthers and Penn State Nittany Lions at Heinz Field is sold out, University of Pittsburgh Director of Athletics Heather Lyke has announced.

    The game will not only be viewed by a sellout crowd at Heinz, but also a national primetime ABC television audience. The game will kick off at 8 p.m., and can be seen locally on WTAE-TV, Channel 4, in Pittsburgh.

    Although the University of Pittsburgh is no longer selling tickets to this game, fans can still take advantage of Pitt’s partnership with StubHub. Throughout the season, Pitt season ticket holders are able to utilize StubHub’s website to sell their unused tickets. “The StubHub Promise” ensures each transaction can be completed with the highest level of confidence and security.

    While the Penn State game is sold out, tickets are still available for the Panthers’ other five home games this fall. Mini packages and single-game tickets, including group experience packages, are available for purchase by calling 800-643-PITT (7488) or online at PittsburghPanthers.com.

    Pitt Athletics is proud to unveil a number of enhancements to its game day ticket operations at Heinz Field this fall.

    · Game Day Ticket Sales have been relocated to the Panthers Ticket Office at the southeast corner of Heinz Field, adjacent to Gate A.

    · Game Day Will Call is now located in the Steelers Ticket Office at the northeast corner of the stadium near Gate B.

    Through longtime ticketing partner Paciolan, Pitt is now able to sell tickets online up until kickoff. Previously, online sales were halted three hours prior to the opening kick, allowing only for walkup ticket sales at the stadium.

    · Additionally, Pitt season ticket holders now have the opportunity to take advantage of an array of new features right up until kickoff, including the re-issuing of misplaced tickets (allowing you to reprint them on your own), posting tickets for purchase through StubHub as well as the ability to transfer tickets to friends and family.

    Bid on an exclusive game day experience for the Pitt-Penn State game. The package includes four tickets, four pregame field passes and one parking pass. Stand on the sidelines under the lights and watch warmups prior to kickoff! Money raised benefit the Pitt Football Championship Fund. Bid here: Pitt Panthers Auctions

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  2. …………………………………………… STOP THE PRESSES!!………….

    Reed going with an upgrade. You do outline your reasoning very well Reed. There is some young potential along the D Line. I also agree with the Roy assessment, I doubt he will be much improved but where I disagree with you on him is I don’t think he played all that bad. Pressure from a nose tackle is pretty much a luxury most of the time..

    These are big boys and they tire easily so I know PITT substitutes plenty along the D-Line, which the should. So most of the young kids should see plenty of playing time this year and this is where the upgrade may come from. I would like to quit harping on Narduzzi’s recruits not playing until we see after this season. Watts Tywman and Camp are thought of in fairly high regard. Bentley will be a true freshman and the new rule will put him on the field. He’s a good one as well.

    UPGRADE

    btw, Claijah Kancey is going to be a good one down the line, just watch this young man get off the ball

    https://wwe.hudl.com/profile/6172608/calijah-kancey

    Like

  3. I wonder what Pine’s weight is up to now? He’d be the fifth end playing mostly on passing downs, so being quick is what is matters most.

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  4. Reed – the material on the nose tackle above looks like it came from Kirwin’s book, “Take Your Eye Off the Ball”.

    That book is an excellent read and a must for anyone who’d like to decipher some of the lingo used on TV such as B gap, 3 technicque, etc.

    Agree with you conclusion on the DL and a good read. Thanks.

    Like

    1. Not much news on him or any other of the freshmen tackles. Perfect scenario where he and the others redshirt and get stronger and the upperclassmen log the snaps.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Fans like to ;project NFL type players who fit a certain set of parameters. Pine is not quite what a typical DE is in Narduzzi’s scheme but then again neither was Price. He adds depth and a pass rusher with the possibility of playing in 2019 as a DE. Pitt staff fells good about the line backing this year so makes sense.

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  6. Great article Reed. I see this unit as an upgrade because I think watts tylman and camp will take Roy’s place. Interesting comments on Borbley by Narduzzi claims he heard some things were happening. Maybe Ming is a good coach maybe he butted heads with Durkin that’s why he was demoted.

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  7. OT, If I have two club seats in section 210 right between the 45 and the 50 yard line. I have a gold garage lot parking pass and a reservation at the Residence Inn for the night of the psu game next to the T. How much could I get for the complete package? Just curious. and I’m including psu fans who may pay more?

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      1. Ike, seriously don’t sell those until we talk…soon.

        BTW, had to put our 14 year old cat down today. Vet actually came to the house to do it.

        Wife is pretty down about it but it was a good decision.

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        1. Condolences to both of you, Reed on the loss.

          Three years ago, we had to put our dog down, followed by the cat a few months later.Its not fun and I feel your pain.

          Like

        2. RIP for your 14 year old. Pets are no less family than the human components in there too, & often they’re much easier to get along with. Sorry for your loss.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. OT: Watching the Pickett video today, he comes across with the maturity of a Red Shirt Senior.—-DL Upgrade as Reed will finally get to see some of Narduzzi’s recruits develop into 4 stars before the season ends.

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  9. For the question asked Chas Pine is 6′ 2″ 240lbs. My guess is Bates and Narduzzi will be trying to get max speed into the lineup to pressure the QB on 3rd and longs.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sorry about your cat Reed, that’s a tough one. Things can go from bad to worse when you don’t think can. Please tell your wife R that I send best wishes..

    Reed, I said “if” and I have a disagreement with a certain member of the family (i know here we go again) no its a friendly half wager. I can’t miss that game for no money. Big B and the whole gang will be there. Reed, Reed let me know if you need a ticket but I think they are all gone. We’ll talk.

    Like

  11. excerpt from today’s Trib article:

    Assistant athletic director Ben Smith said his office has sold “about 50,000 season tickets,” including 10,000 allotted for students who now will be spread all the way across the end zone farthest from the Ohio River.

    That’s pretty good unless half of them are PSU fans

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  12. Pine being moved and Narduzzi has mentioned this, means Elias Reynolds is stepping up his game. Good news. Also, PITT loves to have fresh legs at all times along the D-Line. I see progress in the process…. ike

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  13. The 3 hyphens are running 1st string WR today. Dontavius Butler-Jenkins, Rafaeul Arago-Lopes and Shocky Jacques-Lewis. Has Narduzzi turned over a new leaf in potentially playing a RS freshman and a true freshman come the season opener on offense?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The coaches have faith in both Dontavius and Shocky. One is tough and runs precise routes and the other is fast with the ability to get over the top of the defense.

      Like

    2. Dontavious and Shocky have both caught the eye of the coaches. Butler-Jenkins is tough and runs precise routes. Jacques-Lewis has the speed to get over the top of the defense.

      Like

  14. Chase Pine was a HS qb who was moved to lb now to DE. His size has not really changed much if you can believe listed measurements. Take away what you will. Reason why we were rated so high against the run is everyone passed on us. Unless scene changes or we are cat quick I don’t think we have the size to effectively stop the run. No pressure, no tackles for loss, no more wins than last year. PUSH

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  15. Paterno once said he liked to get HS QBs for defense because they were good athletes,usually good heads for the game and usually right physically(tall enough). Hopefully Pine will prove that theory. Reed,s summary sound right on for D line.H2P

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  16. Reed, terribly sorry about your cat. Been there buddy with our dog a few years ago.
    Ike, are you coming to the Albany game?

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  17. BTW Fran and JoeL. It’s getting close to the time for a roll call for the Albany game. How exciting is that to say… 3:30 start is kind of weird for the opener for PITT.

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  18. Is anyone else getting annoyed with the positivity? I know Upitt breeds it but from the podcasts and different articles from typical Pitt haters, cheers to you Ron Cook, I am wondering is this city I used to know?

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  19. It’s not that you express your thoughts articulately or successfully, it’s the mater that you tried, otherwise you will dry up like a plum on a tree and become a prune …………. ike

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  20. Two things… 1. I got my season tickets today yay! 2. Regarding that trip to Haiti…I received a wonderful letter from Dintino describing the trip , lessons learned from it, pictures, and a thank you for my contribution to help make it possible. (Small contribution). Anyway, I agree that the charitable contributions these players make (trips to Haiti, trips to hospitals, camps, etc.) are not publicized nor appreciated nearly enough. Maybe I will bring the letter to one of Fran’s tailgates and let you read it, or not. Guys like Connor Dintino make me proud he is from my prep school, and proud that this is the type of student athlete that attends the University of Pittsburgh.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Your crusade against Shame is weird and creepy

    If you ever see these kids in person you’d see that outside of maybe Twyman Roy is the most physically impressive tackle. His neck is the size of some dudes thighs. He’s locked in as a starter for a reason… unlike every other interior lineman

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    1. He pretty much plays because there was no one else to start in his place. He’s been a below average NT for his time as a starter.

      Hopefully we’ll see a younger guy bounce him in the openeand who give a crap what he looks like.

      Ask WR Mathews how much that and a cup of coffee costs.

      Sorry if that offends you but it’s the truth. You may want to give him a participation trophy though.

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  22. Reed – sorry to hear about you family’s loss

    Sorry Anon but I’m with Reed on Roy. He is slow off the ball and appears to allow OL to get inside and tie him up, resulting in a stalemate at the line. Not what you need if your looking for the pocket to get pushed from the inside.

    Hopefully Twyman or Camp can OCCASIONALLY do for Pitt’s interior defense what AD used to be able to do REGULARLY. The best pass rush comes from the inside, preventing the QB from stepping up.

    As for Pine, that sounds like there may be a FS LB (maybe Cam Bright) stepping up to provide enough depth to allow Pine to change positions. Zeise/Brightwell, Idowu/McKee, and Wirginis/Reynolds can be a solid 2-deep, but you still need a 7th piece for injury protection. Its also possible that Pine’s move may be foretelling a 3-4 alignment once in awhile on obvious passing downs.

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  23. Oh yeah, I agree and actually think it a no-brainer, definitely an UPGRADE on the DL this year.

    Experience gives confidence to the returning DL allowing them to play more quickly at the snap.

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  24. The Miami game was the first example of what the D-line will be like this year. Looking for big things.

    Pine can always move back next year if needed. Narduzzi has recruited a lot of D-ends in the last two classes. Now has a solid pipeline.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Link: Panthers Reach Day 10 Mark of Training Camp

    Pitt Football Camp: Media Recap, Day 10

    Videos, Quotes and Photos from Pitt Training Camp

    POST-PRACTICE VIDEOS

    Head Coach Pat Narduzzi

    Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line Coach Charlie Partridge

    Quarterback Kenny Pickett

    Wide Receiver Rafael Araujo-Lopes

    Defensive Lineman Chase Pine

    PITTSBURGH—The Pitt football program held the 10th practice of its 2018 training camp on Tuesday morning at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on the South Side of Pittsburgh.

    Head coach Pat Narduzzi met with reporters prior to the session, while assistant head coach and defensive line coach Charlie Partridge, quarterback Kenny Pickett, wide receiver Rafael Araujo-Lopes and defensive lineman Chase Pine answered questions from the assembled media after the workout.

    Videos from each media session are available above, while a transcript of Coach Narduzzi’s media availability can be found below.

    Head Coach Pat Narduzzi

    Opening statement:

    “Practice number 10 today. We had our day off yesterday, so our guys had a chance to freshen up. We’re going to get after it this morning—have a couple of live periods and a couple of thud periods. We had a solid scrimmage on Saturday. I was happy with where we ended up in every aspect—emotionally, physically and strategically. I think that we did some great things.”

    On if he found out anything new about the team during Saturday’s scrimmage:

    “Nothing new. There are no surprises right now. You get surprises the first few days when you’re opening presents and all that. I think that we know who we have. It’s not a surprise that they start to get better every day. That’s what we encourage them to do and hope that it happens.”

    On if wide receiver Dontavius Butler-Jenkins is better than before his injury in 2017:

    “We didn’t get to see much of him. What we saw of him early, he’s there or past that. It was one of those first four days [of camp last year] and it was indoors, on about the 15-yard line, when he went down. It’s not like he’s not where he was, let’s put it that way. He’s where he was or better, and I’m assuming that he’s better.”

    On how Chase Pine performed in the scrimmage:

    “Chase Pine did a nice job. We had a nice talk two days ago. Chase, we moved him to defensive end for now. He can always move back to linebacker. But we just thought, as big, strong and physical as he is, we need to get him onto the field. Which means Elias [Reynolds] was doing really well there, and it wasn’t as if Chase wasn’t doing well, it was just like we had a two-way battle there. I think that mentally, Elias was a just little bit ahead of him. It was like, ‘okay, how long do we need to have three really good Mikes when we can put another guy on the field?’ So he’ll still be a linebacker in some of our third-down and nickel stuff, but we’re going to see what he’s got here today. He had practice at night, so he has already been out there a day.”

    On Pine breaking in at defensive end with the competition at the positon:

    “He’s big, he’s athletic. We have some different styles of defenses and defensive ends that we like. He fits into the mold, so I don’t know if it will take a while. He’s pretty smart, so we’ll see.”

    On the depth at defense with players switching positions:

    “Yeah, if we can do that, those are all, in my opinion, positive moves. That means that we are not as worried at Mike. That tells you that Elias [Reynold] is playing well. We feel good with Quintin. And it tells you that Wendell Davis, a young freshman from Virginia, is doing a nice job as well. I told him that this puts pressure on you. You need to keep progressing. You can’t hit a wall in two days, or we’ll be moving Chase back.”

    On finding a balance in coaching discipline without being too tough on players:

    “I have been coaching for over 30 years. I’m not going to get into [the Maryland] situation, what they did and how they did it. I’m not going to speculate what happened there. But one thing is that when I hire my staff, I hired good people. I tried to hire the best people that we can. That was the number one objective, was to hire good people, then good coaches. I think that when you have good people and the head coach has a culture that, ‘this is how we are going to do it,’ we don’t have to worry about going on the edge. To me, if I had to motivate everybody in this media section here today, it surely wouldn’t be by cussing at you or treating you with disrespect.

    Again, I don’t know if that happened or not. But to me, the only one way to coach to get the best out of kids—I don’t care if it was in 1952 or 2018—is to treat them respectfully. I don’t know any other way, so I can’t do it another way. I don’t have to pretend. After period five shuts down, we don’t turn into different coaches and all of a sudden start doing something different. What you see in period one, two, three, four and five is the same thing you’re going to see in 17, 18 and 19. To me, it’s be who you are. To be who we are is to bring the best people onto the field as coaches and surround yourself with the best equipment people and trainers.

    They better all have it the way that I want it run, or we have a problem. It all starts with me. If I start doing it, then everybody else is going to say, ‘hey, coach did it. I can do it.’ That is not what is going to happen here.”

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  26. Is Chase Pine anything like “riding the pine?”

    Sometimes when a coach makes a player position switch, you immediately see where this makes sense as a way to maximize the players obvious talents. For example Brian O’Neill going from End to Tackle… and T.J. Clemmings before him going from Defense to Offense.

    In these cases, predicting success for both O’Neill and Clemmings was easy.

    However, with Pine, I don’t have anything close to the same feeling. It might just be more of moving a Player who was never going to see the field to a position where some depth is badly needed.

    Chase, feel free to prove me wrong.

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  27. I believe it was Pine that made a stupid play that cost the Panthers a chance of winning a game. I don’t really remember the penalty but it means Pine was playing at a very important part of a winnable game. So the staff must have had some confidence in him at the time??

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  28. Ike, I will ask Connor if it is OK and if so will bring it. He also had pictures included with the Haitian family he was helping. Family of 4 in a 100 sq ft shack with a curtain for a wall.

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  29. Agree with Reed’s assessment of the DTs —- should be an upgrade with Camp and Watts and maybe Twyman maturing into play-makers.

    We need a couple guys to step up like Soto did his senior year. He hadn’t done much of anything at DE for 3 years, then had an excellent senior season at DT. It can and does happen…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  30. Hey John, interesting take. That goes against Reeds thoughts and expressions though. Weren’t we expected to know what Soto could or wouldn’t do? You know, if he hadn’t been a good player by the time he is a senior he ain’t gonna be any good his last year. Tongue in cheek comment…. ike

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  31. Ike, there will be many POV posters that will owe you an apology come season end when Pitt clearly out plays the downbeat POV predictors for the 2018 season. Oh yea and add in many of the same that wants to fire Narduzzi one year into his newly signed 2024 contract.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. https://pittsburghsportsnow.com/2018/08/15/which-pitt-freshmen-are-in-line-for-playing-time/

    Here is an article that may answer a couple recent inquiries that I have seen posted here.

    It’s quite possible that the emergence of LB Wendelll Davis led to the decision to move Chase Pine to DE. Elias Reynolds is the back-up to Wirginis but with the new rules, Davis can see time in 4 games without ruining his redshirt.

    There is also the first mention that I have seen of FR DT Devin Danielson. wwb

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  33. Sorry about your loss Reed.

    There was 1 nfl scout at practice Tuesday.

    Then today, there were 6 more nfl scouts watching practice.

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  34. The PG released the days it will not publish a printed edition, those being Tuesday and Saturday. Now, those days make a lot of sense, but coverage of Friday HS football used to be huge. Now it will be in Sunday’s paper. The gradual eroding of Western Pa. high school football will continue. The digital age will be the death knell for athletics, mark my word. I still say in 40 years football will be a thing of the past, at least the way we currently know it. Think the original movie “ Rollerball”.
    As the CMU prof said, games will be played in virtual stadiums with a in home virtual experience which will closely simulate attending a current game. Brick and mortar stadiums will no longer exist. How’s that for bat sh*$ crazy?

    Liked by 1 person

  35. JoeKnew – No one reads printed newspapers. I read several every day, but online. Printed media isn’t dying, it’s just evolving.

    There is a ton of stuff on High School sports, btw … http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/highschool

    Sports will still be here. They’ll just evolve as they always have. Every generation says the world is ending … one of these days they’ll get it right.

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  36. I’m hoping the lights turn on for Hendrix, if they do him and Weaver will be some great bookends on the DL.

    Watts is Watts, you watch the joy he displays in blowing up offensive linemen and taking guys down and you know this kid is a football player. Same thing with Weaver and with Wirginis (obviously he’s not on the DL lol).

    Other DT spot I’m hoping for Twyman to get a lot of time. Hendrix-Twyman-Watts-Weaver will hopefully be the standard and I think it will be a high standard.

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  37. I like the energy coming from camp. Very positive and enthusiastic. It sounds like a lot of youth will be playing all over the field.

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  38. I get 2 papers delivered daily to my driveway. Wakes me up to go outside in the morning. I also read on line.

    I guess I am an old guy who is stuck in his ways. For me, printed papers are easier to read and formatted better than on line layouts.

    As for sports, there is so much to read that you become confused. H2P

    Like

  39. Major Majors… Roger Roger,.. what’s our vector Victor….
    are you a penn state fan?.do you like movies of gladiators
    ,..like it when a dog humps your leg?…
    EVERYONE relax,.. these are just quotes from Airplane. the fact that they just happen to be relevant to Penn State and more recently the Catholic church in PA, makes me cringe and want to take a shower ,.. oh wait,. no shower…
    I crack myself up.

    Liked by 2 people

  40. Ya, I read the paper and on line stuff, but just like books and e-books I prefer the printed medium. It sure is changing, which is why I believe the virtual stadium stuff. Brick and mortar is just going to be phased out, in athletics as well as academics.

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  41. jrnpitt..

    Keep playing the same tune. Everyone that disagrees with you is a “downer”. They’re not REAL Pitt fans, like you. Maybe they just see things differently.

    At least ike brings something to the table- even if I disagree with him.

    Like

  42. Any fan routing for the failure of Narduzzi and Pitt football just so they can pound their chest to tell everyone how right they were is a downer in my book. And that description certainly fits for a no namer like you who posts Anonymously to this blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. FWIW .. The above two posts are the reason that you have seen less and less posts by me on this site. I’ve become quite tired of seeing the same old rants from the pro- and anti- Narduzzi posters …. and yes, that certainly includes yours truly.

    Don’t get me wrong …. keep posting if you enjoy it. That’s what this blog is all about. I’m just become tired of it …. just like I’ve divorced myself of the all incessant political rants (from both sides).
    wwb

    Like

  44. Just realized Ribfest is happening the same weekend as the Albany game… tailgate question:
    What beer goes with ribs? Any beer goes with ribs. Just sayin. not intending to polarize the wineheads…Haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Ribfest always makes opening day more festive. A good marketing device even if unintended.

    They ought to have some kind of “fest” for every game.

    So wbb is now Switzerland, pretty funny.

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  46. Little tip when getting some ribs at the rib-fest. Go to the longest line. You may have to wait but you will get fresh ribs off the barbie, otherwise you may get ribs from last Tuesday.

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  47. Interviews are up from day 11. Really encouraged to hear that Pickett has not thrown an INT. When asked about it Watt commented, that must be because he was sacked..

    This certainly is the time to be positive. It does seem that there are fewer uncertainties this year than last. Much more competition at many positions, but at a higher level. Waiting for the O-line coach and player interviews. Like to hear comments from the D-linemen about the O-line. They are the ones that really know.

    Will they be ready for PSU?

    Like

    1. From what I gather he’s been chased and sacked rather a lot. I’m not sure I like the no INTs that much either. We need them from our DBs this year. Good & Bad I guess.

      I don’t think well be able to gauge how our DL is going to be until actual game time. Right now they are going up against a bunch of stiffs.

      Like

  48. Link: Panthers Daily Camp Media Roundup

    Pitt Football Camp: Media Recap, Day 11

    Videos, Quotes and Photos from Pitt Training Camp

    POST-PRACTICE VIDEOS

    Head Coach Pat Narduzzi

    Defensive Coordinator Randy Bates

    Defensive Back Paris Ford

    Defensive Back Dane Jackson

    Defensive Lineman Amir Watts

    Linebacker Quintin Wirginis

    PITTSBURGH—The Pitt football program held the 11th practice of its 2018 training camp on a warm Wednesday monring at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on the South Side of Pittsburgh.

    Head coach Pat Narduzzi met with reporters prior to the workout, while defensive coordinator Randy Bates, defensive back Paris Ford, defensive back Dane Jackson, defensive lineman Amir Watts and linebacker Quintin Wirginis were among the Pitt representatives at the post-practice media availability.

    Videos from each media session are available above.

    Head Coach Pat Narduzzi

    Opening statement:

    “Practice 11. We had a good one yesterday. It can always be better, but we’re looking at getting three percent better every day.”

    On how much Shawn Watson’s offense last year was based on Pitt’s 2016 success:

    “Maybe not enough, I don’t know. I think that every offensive coordinator or defensive coordinator has got to put his stamp on what we do. We have some adjustments this year, but we’re going to continue to do what’s going to help us against certain defenses. It’s not necessarily what you want to do, but sometimes what an offense or defense gives you.”

    On if Watson tried to call plays outside of his comfort zone last season:

    “I don’t think so. I think it’s trying to find out where you are personnel-wise and trying to do well. I think that when we went down to Duke, we found out who we were last season. But that was last year. I just watched yesterday; we had a team run period, and our offense did a great job against our defense. So I don’t think that it’s too bad as far as a unit. I was impressed with the way we ran the ball yesterday at a certain period.”

    On if quarterback Kenny Pickett really hasn’t thrown interception this training camp:

    “Kenny has been really good. He’s sharp. He doesn’t make bad decisions. He scrambles with the ball when he needs to. He’s got a great pocket presence—as good as I’ve seen—just knowing when to get out of there and not throw it. So he doesn’t force the ball. We want that. Ask me that in December, and I’ll be happy.”

    On if it’s okay for the secondary to not intercept a pass from Pickett this camp:

    “Yeah, that’s fine with my secondary. We talked about critical-to winning. In the last three seasons here at Pitt, if we are plus-one, plus-two or plus-three in the turnover margin, we have an 88-percent chance of winning. I think we are 15-2. Turnovers are critical, and Kenny knows that. We work hard trying to get more turnovers, but I think that it is a great job by our offense with him being smart at the helm there. And running backs, ball security, we’ve been pretty sound with that. But as a head coach, our guys are working at it defensively to get them out, so it’s not a matter of trying or dropping balls. They’re catching it, they just aren’t from Kenny right now.”

    On defensive back Paris Ford:

    “Paris Ford is doing a nice job. He’s getting better. He’s picking up the defense better in a couple of different spots. I just had a little meeting with him last night, just asking him about safety to see if he knows what he is doing there yet, but he’s still working on it.”

    On what he has told Kenny Pickett about using his feet:

    “I don’t tell him anything. That guy has an instinct. Coach Watson works drills, you guys have seen some of the drills that he does over there with rolling balls. You can teach all you want, but he’s got a knack, too. I’m just watching sometimes the pressures that are coming, how he steps up and weasels around and gets out of them like, ‘holy cow.’ It’s different. You can coach all you want with six guys or five guys coming after you and you’re heated up. It’s different.”

    On if he has ever seen a quarterback be as mistake-free as Pickett has been this camp:

    “I don’t know. Not here. I wasn’t watching it anywhere. I wasn’t watching Ben [Roethlisberger] back in the day. It wasn’t my job, but that’s pretty amazing so far.”

    On how the two-deep depth chart is developing:

    “Yeah, two-deeps are starting to materialize, for sure. We started to narrow down kind of where we are, but there’s still a lot of work to do. We’ll have a pretty good idea of where it is after Saturday’s scrimmage. That will be the last big scrimmage that we get into for camp. We’ll start to taper back and get healthy and prepare for game day.”

    On if there is a true freshman on the two-deep depth charts:

    “Yes. It doesn’t matter right now. We’ll find out later.”

    P

    On how many looks Paris Ford is getting on offense:

    “I don’t know. I haven’t counted them yet, but he’s getting some looks.”

    On how linebacker Quintin Wirginis fits back into the linebacker corps:

    “Like a glove, a tight one. He’s done an amazing job. I can’t say better things about Quintin Wirginis about how he has returned from an injury, returned to really take over as a leader of the defense right now. He’s a guy that you can count on. He’s been consistent when he’s out there. He hasn’t thrown a pick all camp, either (laughs).”

    Like

    1. sounds about right to me. Unless Kenny is Danny Marino, he’s going to take his lumps this year. And the D should be better BUT its been very bad for the past 3 years. So 6-7 wins I think. Pitt will not be winning the Division this year but this year could very well set them up for a legit run at it next year.

      Like

  49. PITT’s defense has had plenty of interceptions this fall. Just none on KP. Paris Ford is said to have had 6 just this past week.

    Like most all of you, I’ve been around the block a time or two when it comes to this PITT football program. There seems to be a different sort of confidence emitting from their locker-room this year. Not cocky or over excited but like they know something we don’t. If I heard it from one player I heard in from a half dozen, “Just wait” seems to be the theme here. I get it that all teams think this may be or will be their year but something seems different about this particular team. or maybe it’s just me getting excited moving towards the season opener.

    Still haven’t decided on my final record prediction.

    Randy Bates states there will be depth chart changes coming this week. He wouldn’t name names but said we will find out soon enough.

    The potential depth on this team is the best I’ve potentially seen in years. Potentially speaking. . . ike

    Like

      1. It was a quote from the DB coach, I believe. I can’t remember if I read it or head it tho. Paris Ford and 6 interceptions was referenced, however.

        Like

  50. A lot of things have to go right for Pitt this year. The depth on D is real and the skill positions are improving as well. Ol obviously is key and hopefully Borbs can bring them up to speed on technique and fundamentals. Pickett upright with his play this year will advance the program as well. Pitt’s margin is still small so we will see how it plays out.

    Like

  51. from Pantherlair

    Wat have you seen from Paris Ford after 11 days?
    Bates: Well, Paris has probably had in the last three days five or six interceptions. So he is a guy who makes a lot of great plays and we’re looking just from consistency out of a young guys like Paris. Paris hasn’t played a lot; the more he can play, the better he’ll be. The better he’ll be, the more he’ll play.

    Were you able to get an interception from Pickett yet?
    Bates: That’s a great question. I really don’t pay attention; they’re all in red to me. But we had several picks, so you’ll have to ask those guys, because I’m sure they keep track of it better than I do. But Kenny’s a tremendous quarterback. He makes great decisions. So if anybody’s difficult to get one from, it’s certainly Kenny.

    https://pittsburgh.rivals.com/news/bates-on-the-defense-competition-and-more

    Like

  52. Paris Ford’s academic problems a year ago must have been simply a lack of effort.

    Watching his interview, he comes across as one of the most cohesive thinkers on the team. No problem getting his point across.

    Given his physical skills, this is ONE player I believe you will see performing up to the level of the competition on Saturdays.

    Now as for the others.

    Like

    1. if memory serves, he went to 3 different schools his last 3 years in HS. And then it was determined that he had to take a summer class to complete his requirements …. and it took a while (too long) for the NCAA Clearinghouse to certify him. He became eligible sometime during the season but it was decided to just redshirt him

      Like

  53. POD – It wasn’t an academic issue it was a qualification issue because of transfers and questions about if credits transferred over. He got cleared but camp was essentially over and he was too far behind the 8 ball.

    Like

    1. I’ll take the bait. I think upgrade since 5 wins was pretty bad. The offense should be better if Kenny stays healthy. The D should also be better. So that might be two extra wins. So I say 7 wins. That’s one more than Vegas odds. And I predict Pitt will upset either the Pedos or Domers.

      Tex
      You know who I am ike. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  54. Wasn’t it mentioned that Paris Ford had something like a two digit number of interceptions in the spring practices? What’s that make like 16 or 17 picks in the combined camps this year? Is that not a freaky number? I predict we will see Ford………………… a lot!………. this coming season.

    Like

  55. I don’t understand why people who comment cannot get behind a screen name. Make a name up, any name. Jack Lipschitts or something. If you can”t figure out how to do that, at the bottom of the page then think about signing a name after your comment. Otherwise I’m not interested in reading your comment. IKE!!!!!

    Like

  56. Things seem positive from camp reports, but as I recall, Narduzzi was quite optimistic last year at this time. Without eyes on practice, it could all be smoke he is blowing. Given the many different group evaluations of upgrade vs. downgrade, I think that on paper we are looking at a net upgrade on the field due to increased depth and experience. QB is tough to valuate based on Pickett’s limited playing time. They are protecting the red shirts, and we had a 5 star Sr. transfer last year that everyone was raving about. I still follow the old axiom: Do we believe Narduzzi or our lying eyes…

    Like

    1. If Pitt blasts Albany, you can make me believe that the Earth is flat. Albany will be a good test. They are no pushover. Good Upstate team. I’m part New Yorker remember.

      Tex

      Like

  57. TX, if the Albany game is close we are in for a long season. With so many SRs playing, they may have reached their shelf life date. It will be a long hard slog in 2018 if Pitt struggles in the opener.

    Like

  58. Saw on Pirates game tonight that the “Tickets for Kids” is a group in Pittsburgh. Maybe Pitt should look into it. Sounds good to me.

    Like

  59. They should do a Family Day where a family of four gets tkts and some concessions for a fixed price like $50 or $75 just to get new people in the stadium to watch a game.

    It is ridiclous when they announce attendance at 45K when you can see it is way less than that. But you have to make it affordable as a family outing.

    Like

  60. Reed, sorry to hear about your cat. To the rest of my POV friends- looking forward to seeing you at the Albany game!! I’m happy that the home games are being played in what should be great football weather. That makes for good tailgating!

    Liked by 1 person

  61. Pitt tickets are not prohibitive depending on how many you buy—referring to packages. Paid $300 for 15 seat package for 50 yard line upper away side seats. It would have cost me about $80 more for 9 of those seats as single tickets so I told the ticket office give me the 15 pkg. I will give 5 tickets to grandkids friends to put fans in seats. If they put a package price like that on a number like 6 or 8 That would make it more family friendly. Do anything to cover the yellow seats!H2P

    Like

  62. Right you are Annie and John. I have plenty of friends that just aren’t interested in going to the PITT games like I like to do. What happens? The POV happens. Now I have plenty of family and friends to share PITT moments with. I challenge anyone to walk up to Fran, Richman, Scooter and all the other tailgaters and see their smiling faces and not smile yourself. It’s impossible. Looking forward to seeing you all! .. ike

    Like

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