What a great 24 hours it’s been for Pitt.  Last night’s win at the Pete electrified the fan base, and the icing on the cake was the hire of what is considered to be a very solid Offensive Coordinator.

Here is the article I wrote last night regarding Whipple:

….

Pitt has an Offensive Coordinator.  In the space of ten days Pitt Head Coach Pat Narduzzi fired and replaced Shawn Watson.  The new coach, Mark Whipple is widely regarded by the fanbase as a solid hire.  Certainly not a splash, but certainly better than Shawn Watson.  According to one survey, a full two-thirds of Pitt fans approve.  Another one-quarter had no idea who he is.

screen shot 2019-01-14 at 9.48.34 pm

Whipple, who was the head coach at the University of Massachusetts until recently is widely regarded as a quartback guru.  He should be near and dear to most Pittsburghers’ hearts because he was the first NFL coach to tutor Ben Roethlisberger.  He’s also coached for the Browns (boo) and the Eagles (personal favorite of mine), and did a stint at Miami as their OC back in 2009-2010.

While Whipple has received mixed reviews from the Miami fanbase the conventional wisdom was that his quarterback talent was marginal (Jacory Harris anyone?), and Whipple still managed to coax 5000 yards per season out of the team.  It should be pointed out that Miami’s 2010 yardage was outstanding at 5493 but scoring was lackluster at 26.3 points per game.  Still, both figures would be an improvement at Pitt.  For comparison’s sake, Pitt put up just about 3600 yards last season and 25.6 PPG.

The bottom line is that wherever Whipple has gone in the NCAA, yards and for the most part points have followed.  Apparently it’s because he understands how to scheme receivers open.

screen shot 2019-01-14 at 9.49.17 pm

screen shot 2019-01-14 at 9.49.37 pm
You’ll have to pardon the swear word. Normally not allowed but I don’t have the editing software to blank it out.

The other thing you have to like as a Pitt fan is the fact that when given enough time to game plan, Whipple can score against good teams even while he has lesser talent at his disposal.  Case in point:

screen shot 2019-01-14 at 9.47.49 pm

Granted, UMass did also lay some eggs during the season, but the potential is certainly there.

One big question about Whipple is can he recruit?  While he has not recently been in a position to recruit four and five star players at UMass, he did reel in his fair share of three-stars at a school that has no business reeling in three-stars.  Additionally, he appears to be an excellent evaluator and developer of talent.  First there is the professional recommendation from New England Sportswriter, Josh Walfish.  He’s written an excellent article on Whipple, which I’ve excerpted below.

screen shot 2019-01-14 at 9.49.59 pm

Regarding the development piece.  I want to point out a couple of players on his 2018.  First his leading receiver, 5’10” Andy Isabella.  Isabella was a three star “athlete” from Ohio.  Anybody want to guess how many receiving yards he posted in 2018?  How about 1698.  This is very nearly more than the entire Pitt receiving corps posted in 2018.  Sure, but he was doing it against MAC level talent…  Not exactly.  Here’s Isabella’s 2018 game log.

screen shot 2019-01-14 at 10.19.31 pm I see a guy who either caught 10 balls, 100+ yards or a touchdown in every single game.  And as an added bonus, there are a lot of SEC teams that didn’t have a guy go for 200+ vs the Dawgs.

Second if you look at UMass quarterback play, it’s pretty dang solid.  Whipple used a three-quarterback system in 2018.  I’m not sure if that was due to injuries or just a situation where he needed to keep everyone happy, or some other reason, but the results were good.

screen shot 2019-01-14 at 10.25.07 pm

I’m curious and hopeful to see what Whipple can do with our stable of young arms.  Davis Beville supporters will be out in force this spring, no doubt, and don’t sleep on RS Freshman Nick Patti, or Jeff George Jr. for that matter.  Should be an interesting April.

Two big question marks in my mind are the running game (it doesn’t figure to be as prominent under Whipple as it was this year), and most importantly the offensive line.  Does Whipple keep current OL coach Dave Borbley?  I think the answer may be no, but if yes, can Whipple teach him to teach the guys how to pass block?  It’s tough to teach an old dog new tricks (and Borbley is an old dog…) but Whipple’s going to need to if he wants to throw the ball around.

As far as reeling in the big fish (i.e. four and five star talent) it remains to be seen what Whipple can do.  Also it does not appear he has a lot of history recruiting Western Pennsylvania.  (Yes I know that the title of this post is extremely misleading…but I just couldn’t pass it up).  Regardless of Whipple’s ability to land four-star recruits, Pat Narduzzi has shown a propensity to land more three-star talent than four(much to the chagrin of many posters on this board, and Reed in particular).   If you are going to survive on that type of strategy you better be able to identify the diamonds in the rough and coach them up.   For the first time in a while, it looks like Pitt might actually have the right guy for the job.

Hail to Pitt

Michaelangelo

PS if you want to learn more about the new OC, you can tune into 93.7 the Fan on Tuesday at 9 a.m.  I will be in meetings at that time, but I hope to catch the replay.

 

 

175 thoughts on “You can’t say WPIAL without “Whipple”

  1. Well, the new OC has been hired and if forced to give a one word opinion on him, my word would have to be he’s a SAFE hire. Is safe what Pitt needs right now? I fear not but time will quickly tell if Mr Whipple can successfully squeeze the Charmin or not.

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  2. I don’t know who Whipple is, but I’m charged up that Pitt beat FSU. I’m hoping that both Pitt basketball and football is on an up streak (it clearly looks like Pitt basketball is) and am going to regard Whipple as another win for Pitt. – Hobie – PS. H2P!

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  3. Welcome Coach Whipple! If he can elevate the passing game even to mediocre status, then the offense should improve. There is every indication he can do that at a minimum.

    HTP!

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  4. — I bet the Pitt WRs are happy, and the QBs…

    — I suggested a while back that Pitt should break the mold and have a Head Coach of Defense = Coach Duzz; and a Head Coach of Offense. With Coach Whipple’s Head Coaching experience, OC experience, and QB coaching experience, I’ll take this…

    —Nice job on your article, MM.

    Go Pitt

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  5. Whipple has no alliances to any of our QBs so Kenny is going to find himself in a competition for playing time I think. And if Narduzzi offers his two cents that experience trumps all else while giving Pickett his vote of confidence, all I have to say about that is Trey McGowen.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Not a splash hire but still solid. At this point in his tenure, Narduzzi doesn’t have the luxury of taking any chances on an up and comer. He needs a stable offense now. I prefer the OC to have head coaching experience. Narduzzi can hand the entire offense over so he can stop taking notes on the sideline.

    I’m interested to see if there are any other changes offensive coaches.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Good informative and balanced article, MM ….. thanks.

    I do know who Whipple is and he is what Pitt needs at this point in time …. a QB/pass guru. I don’t see him as a dynamic recruiter, especially in WPa, but the local talent is dwindling anyway.

    There may have been better candidates but of all the names I saw listed, he is as good as any …. and better than a few

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  8. His WR coach at UMass is a young guy who played for a while in the NFL. Probably not the perfect candidate due to his inexperience, but ntl a consideration

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  9. The wr coach at Umass is also the assistant hc and special teams coach.
    Looking forward to hearing Whipple at 9 on the FAN.

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  10. Hey PG’s Brian Backo and Caig Meyers … just in case you read this blog!!

    10 years ago, Ronald Ramon hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to beat rival WVU. And if there ever was a time for The Zoo to storm the court, that was it … but they didn’t. This is not what they do, and I applaud them.

    Court storming is passe … in fact, it is way past passe, and completely overdone. It can also be dangerous. Shame on you for even suggesting it. Grow up.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. His son has been WR, TE and QB coach for him. It would be beneficial for him to bring an assistant to speed up installation. Being that he is 61 and has been coaching forever, he has crossed paths with many good assistants.

    Watch some game film from when they played Georgia. He does some really unconventional things, I would not call it a pro offense.

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  12. To quote Mike Lange, “Michael Michael Motorcycle” ! What a great article! You got me fired up for the arrival of Coach Whipple. Gotta get to the car to listen to what he has to say during my commute. Kudos!

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  13. this was Whipple’s WR coach at UMass. He is very low on experience — one year GA, one year position coach. But he is a (1) Florida native from one the top high schools in So FL, (2) a star WR at U of Miami, played 5 years in the NFL and (3) only 30 years old who probably can relate well to recruits and Pitt receivers.

    No, not the perfect candidate … but certainly a consideration

    https://umassathletics.com/coaches.aspx?rc=1195&path=football

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like it wbb, especially the Florida connections. Thirty years old is not too young for a position coach and he has a great players background. Florida is definitely a place to find a star receiver.

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  14. Still savoring the victory of last night. No doubt Capel is an exceptional coach, teacher, and motivator of men, but that wouldn’t count for much if he wasn’t a great recruiter. The fact that he got McGowen’s Johnson and Toney to come to a Pitt a year after their worst conference record ever is nothing short of a miracle. Also getting N’Dir is a big plus.

    Considering how late in the game it was, when most had already committed it is near Fab Five level recruiting. Really hoping he can follow it up with something special this year.

    What he has done with the holdovers from last year is also amazing, considering the lack of coaching and bad habits that had to be unlearned.

    I said early on that I thought Chukwuku was most improved, but Brown has surpassed that with his shot blocking, rebounding and some scoring. He is showing a little more aggressiveness and another year in the weight room will make him a real contributor for the next two years. His and all player development is due to the fantastic staff that Capel has assembled. He is getting good contributions fro Davis, Ellison, and Wilson- Frame on a team that is out-manned in most games.

    Get to the Pete to see the X and Trey show it will make you totally forget last year and proud to be a Pitt Fan once again.

    UPitt and Emel, I hope you are well and enjoying these games.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Whipple Summary:
    He runs a pro spread offense
    Starting install already with players
    Good friends with new WVU coach (he played and coached with Whipple)
    Looking forward to recruiting

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I always take a wait see position with new coaches, although I am still concerned about recruiting, Whipple has a strong resume in all other regards. Also glad the decision was made quickly so that he can hit the ground running since there is a lot of work to do. Maybe he can close on a couple transfer linemen to help protect our QB. As I said above I would like him to bring his WR coach with him, a star from Miami with 5 years in the NFL, should be able to teach our guys how to get open and hopefully convince some of those South Florida guys to come North.

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  17. NRS, a few more things I heard in his interview on The Fan:

    — he had ‘crossed paths’ with Narduzzi through the years but was not an acquaintance

    — he thinks a balanced attack is a good thing but “at crunch time when you have to run the ball and can do so, you’re going to win a lot of game” Yet he also said that “on 3rd and 7 and 3rd and 8, the QB has to be able to make a play”

    — lastly he mentioned that in this day and age, you have to be able “to throw the ball around the lot”

    Note that quotes above are probably a bit paraphrased

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    1. He said all the right stuff about running the ball but he definitely has a passion for passing the ball which is good to hear.

      IMO, Pickett is not a shoe in for starting QB. The best passing QB will win the job.

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      1. did you note than wen asked if he talked to Pickett, he responded “yes, all the QBs called me last night” But he never mentioned Pickett by name in any part of his interview.

        Maybe I’m being anal here but I do think he will not think twice about replacing Pickett if the situation calls for it

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  18. Despite the excitement of last night’s game, Wilson-Frame just wasn’t into it. He seems to be just going through the motions. What is with him? This team is not deep and everyone needs to contribute

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    1. He was “into it” when he was yelling at and clapping in the face of one of the guards(X or TM, I forget who) when he had a bad pass/turnover near the 5 min remaining mark.

      That was where we had about 5 possessions in a row with either a turnover or bad shot where I felt the Jamie Dixon butt pucker coming on yet it never happened….thanks Coach Capel.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Here is all you need to know about Whipple written by a sportswriter who covered him over the time Whipple was at UMASS.

    https://pittsburghsportsnow.com/2019/01/15/mark-whipple-pitt-football-umass-steelers-offense-gameplan-coaching/

    Not a glowing endorsement by any means and not a guy I would want in that position here…

    We needed all the recruiting help we can get, especially on offense, and PN hires a guy who sucked at it.

    Bland, safe and boring hire… He has no record of sustained success in his career so far except a decent stint at Miami when his offenses there were 30.3 (31st) and 26.3 (67th) his last stint in FBS.

    After that the Bumbling Browns and then Mighty UMASS.

    This is Josh Conklin in reverse…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. UMass did finish in the Top 20 in passing the in the last 2 years. He is what everyone here said was mainly needed … an OC with a passing / QB development background. But otherwise there is nothing to jump up and down about

      But still, is there a better candidate that Pitt can get? Possibly but Canada will be here and gone, Rudolph has no passing background, Getsy has little experience, etc.

      as I have been saying this past week, no matter who gets hired will be criticized here and rightly so. But there is also some positives that must be recognized

      Liked by 3 people

    2. I agree with the recruiting aspect (has Pitt had a coordinator that was a great recruiter since the 70’s?) and that he had no sustained success as a HC. However, he was hired to be an OC, which he has had sustained success.

      I do think this is a glowing endorsement from the article…

      “He has a great system and that system has had a lot of success while at Miami and a lot of success in the NFL and at least offensively, UMass was pretty good the last four years under his direction. His offense isn’t going to have a lot of the new trends and wrinkles and is still a lot of what he’s done the last 7-8 years and has taken the evolution of the modern day spread offenses. It was an offense that was effective, but wasn’t revolutionary.”

      Certainly a safe hire. I hope PN did his research because his HC career is riding on this hire.

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  20. Reed. you didn’t get your hopes up that Duzz would go outside his box and make a splash hire, did ya ? This is classical Duzz with maybe the exception they haven’t run in the same circle in the past…If he can scheme guys open maybe we win a few more and crack the top 25 and get noticed..

    Seems like Heather knocked it out of the park with JC…I was ho[ing for something along those lines for the FB hire…oh well, wait and see…time to get cracking on the POV winter training program. Won’t be long before the spring game..I want to be at my best when the season rolls around…it’s a tough group to hand with on game-day- those POVerts !!!

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  21. Ummm, Reed … Direct quote from that article …

    ““He’s not going to be someone that’s going to re-invent the wheel when it comes to the spread offense. He has a great system and that system has had a lot of success while at Miami and a lot of success in the NFL and at least offensively, UMass was pretty good the last four years under his direction. His offense isn’t going to have a lot of the new trends and wrinkles and is still a lot of what he’s done the last 7-8 years and has taken the evolution of the modern day spread offenses. It was an offense that was effective, but wasn’t revolutionary.”

    Emphasis on “he has a great system that has had a lot of success while at Miami and a lot of success in the NFL”

    The guy is surprised that anyone wants an old-school pro-style OC. That’s why he was surprised about a P5 school because he assumed they would want someone more modern.

    That is not what this job description was.

    Like I said before he was hired, I’m not a pro-style fan, but if that’s what we’re stuck with (and we are with Duzz) then Whipple is an excellent choice.

    He’s legit probably a top 3 to 5 pro-style OC in the college ranks.

    Outside of Canada, you will not find any revolutionary pro-style OC’s. They’re all in the NFL. I’m shocked that Canada hasn’t made that leap to tell you the truth.

    Even the NFL is moving away from this type of offense.

    The good news is that he’s pro-passing. One thing MM forgot to mention above is that he is one of the most balanced coordinators in the country. He’s had more success passing but that could be circumstantial too. Generally, his run to pass ration is almost 50/50.

    Regarding recruiting, again, there just will not be many great pro-style OC recruiters.

    So, it sounds like you have a bigger issue with the type of offense that we run … and I would agree … but to expect something different is just not reality based.

    What OC’s are known as great recruiters anyways? The reason they are OC’s is because they just want to focus on x’s and o’s.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. My mind is still a little undecided on this Whipple hire. I do remember him being Ben’s fist pro QB coach though, which means a couple things. One, he’s been around for awhile, which is obvious 61 years old. The bad rap on his recruiting sticks out to me but PITT can afford to have a coordinator who’s really only good at what he does. For example, Whipple was UMasses HEAD coach and his defense sucked. << That cannot happen but since he will only be coaching the offense that should be ok?

    I was also hoping for a designated qb coach but Whipple has the background to do both and do it better than Watson. So I’m still a little underwhelmed right now but I’m gaining confidence little by little. I honestly think Whipple is a better choice than MC or JR. So I wait to see some results moving forward.

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  23. You all thought practices were limited before. PN will be hiding a new offense this year. All access denied, LOL.

    This year is it folks. We have heard how the recruiting (especially on offense) supposedly sucks. This year tells all. Whipple is at a minimum a good OC, so if he can’t put up the same numbers he has in his other jobs, we will know it is the talent level. I personally think the talent is there. Can’t wait to find out.

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  24. TT..the offenses we see today in the pro and college level are hybrid and includes many aspects of various..heck the wildcat is a single wing with more wrinkles (usually I see the snap to the back and he runs) When I was youg the only time your saw the “shotgun” was when you were in an obvoius passing situation..offensive football has a lot of elements and unfortunately for PITT we were missing about 40% of those elements last year with no passing game…if he can improve on that benchmark the Panthers should improve (I hope)

    I hope the D scores a few more points this year…did they score any in 2018 …I can’t remember.

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    1. No – I get it. I’m speaking from a “traditional” or “purist” sense. Whipple runs a more traditional pro-style west coast offense. Not a heavy run-pass-option offense with signals and codes coming from the sideline. That’s what I mean. This team will huddle up and go. Not line up and look at the coaches for the play.

      I prefer the latter but if we’re stuck with the former, and we are, then Whipple is a great hire IMO.

      To emphasize … I would prefer a modern RPO offense that focuses on play makers instead of plays.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. I agree with all you have written NRS. I think this O will be plenty good; keep in mind we are not a BIG 12 team that is uber pass heavy. With an improving and maturing D this is going to be a great compliment. Look for a TE transfer and recruit for the Feb LOI day.

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  26. While I am a Whipple optimist, this particular paragraph in the PSN interview scares me:

    “They’ll be a lot of moments where Pitt fans are going to be angry at Mark Whipple for not running the ball more,” said Walfish. “He’s definitely a pass-heavy head coach. Late this past season, he was talking about he really needed to find a way to be more balanced on offense and even after that he passed the ball a lot and didn’t find a way to establish the running game a whole lot. However, when they did run the ball, they were very effective, which really confused me. They appeared to have the running backs and didn’t run the ball a lot unless they were winning”

    Also I moved around some meetings and listened to the radio interview. Didn’t get a lot from it. They did ask Whip about recruiting though and his take was ‘well as a head coach I only get to talk to them once’. He then took credit for almost getting Drew Brees to sign at Brown. I have no idea how true that is but pretty ballsy for him to throw it out there.

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    1. MM – It’s a passing era. I’m not nostalgic. Let the forward pass shine …

      This run the ball, ToP, fewer possessions, and win it in the 4th philosophy is just as dangerous as the air raid. When every game is close going into the 4th quarter, you’re going to lose some. When you get behind and can’t catch up, you’re going to lose. Passing the ball increases your odds of winning both significantly.

      Besides, his play calling was 50/50. Literally. This season, they had 34.3 passing attempts per game vs. 34.0 rushing attempts per game. WTF is that guy talking about running more?

      https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/schools/massachusetts/2018.html

      The 2017 season was similar … 37.3 passing attempts vs. 34.8 rushing attempts. That’s pretty balanced.

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  27. I wouldn’t worry about Whipple not running the ball, I have to figure Narduzzi will have a say in the game plan BUT!! I hope it’s only to a certain degree. Actually I hope HCPN plays the laissez faire game with Mr Whipple. << Get it? That was a double entendre. Hands off Mr Whipple for the slow….. ike

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  28. If, and it is a HUGE “IF”, KP has a good year, Watson should never cash another paycheck for coaching football again….NEVER, EVER. And frankly, that reflects on the guy that hired him.

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  29. Don’t know him or of him. Therefore, no comment.

    I do know that most everyone was saying that this would have our AD’s hands all over it but all of a sudden, since it is not a splash hire, it is all on Narduzzi. So did the AD point the Nard and say go for it, or did she not? You guys confuse me at times. Bad week to stop sniffin glue.

    Tossing, I am not sure where you got the notion that he is top 3-5 Pro Style OC’s.

    Capel III is doing well on the court. If we can get some big time big men, that would be helpful. That said, you win tourney games based on guard play and we have a few of them.

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    1. I think it as duzz’ decision. There was a good piece by Brian Batko in the PG about Heather and Duzz. Ironically it used the exact same photo I used on my ‘coaching search’ post and addresses many of the opinions of the posters on this board. A salute to Messers Batko and Borgetti!

      https://www.post-gazette.com/sports/Pitt/2019/01/14/pat-narduzzi-heather-lyke-shawn-watson-pitt-offensive-coordinator-pittsburgh-panthers-football/stories/201901140088

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  30. ^^ Not so fast my friend….. question: Pickett isn’t allowed to improve in his own right from his true sophomore year to his junior year? I’ve witnessed many players improve as they get older. In fact many players do in spite of coaching… but I’m happy you brought that up… I’ve been asking myself how I really feel about this hire. Two things:

    I have decided I like it better than the Watson hire. Is that’s really saying much?

    Another thing.. Everyone views the WR coach hire as secondary. Again, not so fast friend << talking to myself there. This wr coach hire could bring more clarity to the Mr Whipple hire. Maybe it will check the recruiting box? Perhaps it will check the route running box? Hopefully it will check all the remaining unchecked boxes….??

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  31. I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that formerlywwb will be complaining about Whipple this year, just like he did about Chaney in 2015, for abandoning the run so fast and passing too much.

    Nonetheless, all I read this past week on POV is that the number one priority for Pitt’s new OC is to develop the QB and improve the passing game …. and I doubt there was any other candidate out there that is more adept at this than Whipple.

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  32. A good coach takes advantage of his teams strengths and takes advantage of the oppositions weaknesses.
    Need to use the run and pass game to do this. Last year we were one dimensional with the exception of the Wake game. Hopefully Whipple will be able to coach up a more balanced attack.

    I still blame the quality of players more than the coach last year, and think it will continue to be that way this year. We will have an inexperienced O-line which may or may not have talent. Either way, I see it as a big problem.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. One comment about the BB team…never followed the game since the early 80’s except for the NCAA playoff games..tried to watch PITT but could never get into Jamie Dixon BB…After last night I am a fan again “Damn the torpedos-full speed ahead ..”…Capel is a Godsend…Let’s Go PITT..!!! When the last time a PITT team drained them at the foul line like last night…Capel is in the right place at the right time..he is made for the citae….

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  34. I know BigB uses dictation so I’m not sure if his spelling of the city was on purpose or not but I liked it either way. So I couldn’t help myself of course. Living for the citae

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          1. Too easy for you, ike.

            Saw Simon and Garfunkel at the arena when our kids got us seats in the fifth row. They brought out the Everly Brothers as a surprise. Pretty cool.

            Go Pitt.

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  35. Still need a WR coach, and hoping that Whipple can turn over a few rocks to expose some new talent. At 61, he should know just about everyone out there, and I think that the WR coach should have some NFL experience to teach disciplined route running. With the projected OL, Pitt will need to implement more hot reads and passes to the still-to-be-found TE.

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  36. The BB game kept me up til the end..the latest I’ve been up on a work night in years….the team puts on quite a show…woke up with a smile on my face. dan72’s in game comments really add to the experience…like having our own POV coach with his clipboard…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Capel was on the Fan around noon today and said of JWF that he has been a real good teammate despite his shooting slump of the past few weeks. He told JWF not to judge himself based solely on sport but his all around character.

      No matter what …. I bet Capel will be forever grateful to the few who decided to stick around … JWF, Brown, Davis, Chukwuka and Ellison.

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  37. A little off topic but this morning I’m on a treadmill watching some you tube music videos when a video featuring a girl in a Pitt tee shirt comes on. I thought it must be a Pittsburgh group. But after investigating I find out it’s the Australian duo, Savage Garden. The song is a 90’s hit called “To the moon and back”. Everyone else is probably aware of it, but it was the first time I heard or saw it. Anyway, I took it as an omen. Just don’t know if it is a good or bad omen. Here is the link: https://youtu.be/HCm6gRHINqA

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  38. Thanks for the info, wwb. That sounds like his minutes are dwindling. I just didn’t see the fire last night. I was at the game and watched him away from the ball, and he didn’t seem to be mentally engaged or looking for a shot. Perhaps he sees the handwriting on the wall, but there is still a shortage of depth which should guarantee he continues to get some minutes.

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  39. Question and a apology if I asked this before. Did Whipple resign, step down or was he fired from UMass? I know he was no longer the head coach in late November.

    I’m liking Whipple more and more by the hour. Pitt-cocks is on to something. I think he’s the type of coach Narduzzi needed at this time. (young QB’s and all)

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  40. JWF is very instrumental in keeping the freshman firecrackers on a more even keel. He’s doing a good job of keeping X-man’s temper under control and Trey’s exuberance in check.

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  41. Ike from what I read Whipple resigned in November. BUT in reality he was going to be fired and would have been entitled to 500K. My guess is U Mass and Whipple probably reached a settlement on his buyout and was probably entitled to the money received even if he was hired elsewhere without any payback to U Mass. So I guess you can say Whipple probably hit a small lottery in keeping his U Mass check and now getting paid by Pitt 2 months later.

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  42. BTW, Pitt is now a Women’s Volleyball / Wrestling / Gymnastics school. The wrestling team is 14th in latest rankings while the gymnastics team is the points leader in EAGL — East Atlantic Gymnastics League (apparently no gymnastics in ACC)

    The EAGL consists of Pitt, NC State, UNC, Towson, George Washington and New Hampshire ,, quite a mix

    Liked by 1 person

  43. I am going to say something positive lol.

    I like this hire. I think anytime you can add a guy to your staff with heading coaching experience it’s a plus.

    In addition I listed to the interview on 93.7 and liked what I heard. He basically said the goal is to pass when D thinks run and run when they think pass. Sounds a lot like Walt.

    We could have beat Standford and Miami if only we could have passed a little.

    I like his NFL resume as well

    Recurring tip 101 show em that 05 Super Steelers ring.

    Liked by 6 people

  44. I think if Pitt can find an excellent recruiter and teacher of the WRs, and find a way to get the offensive line to step up, Pitt has a chance to become very good.

    They still have another assistant of something or other coach to hire to.

    At the very least, Whipple seems to understand the x’s and o’s. Time will tell as to how that translates to our football team.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. From a BC writer years ago. I like the “Whiplash Offense”.

    Save for a stint with the NFL’s answer to Charlie Brown (Cleveland), Mark Whipple’s helped turn losers into winners. He’s developed a reputation as a fixer, a Dalton-like cooler who could turn the Double Deuce into a respectable bar. Whether it remains to be seen if he can do it to UMass at the FBS level, he comes with a pedigree. It’s a blueprint, one where he’s made existing players better and one with an offensive playbook that’s helped rewrite record books.

    The offense, known at times as the “Whiplash,” utilizes a Pro Style setup with multiple formations. The sets and formations disguise play selections, just as any NFL team would. It requires maximum efficiency, utilizing different schemes to deceive a defense, and it allows for both the running game and the passing game to get its motor running behind a zone blocking scheme.

    A simple YouTube search can reveal the Whiplash as fitting that wide array of formations and selections. Whipple isn’t afraid to trot out multiple wide receivers, three or four guys with multiple slot catchers, and he’s not afraid to double down on multiple tight ends and extra blockers.

    Liked by 3 people

  46. Last line in a story about Lamont Wade on PSN states Wade posted a picture of his empty locker with the caption “not my decision, but hey”

    Like

    1. franklin had “the talk” with him. Hopefully Pitt can bring him in as we need athletes……..i would take a flyer on him unless there is something off the field that wasn’t his decision.

      Liked by 1 person

  47. MM

    Thanks for handling the POV so well since Reed stepped away. I enjoy your posts and your general good nature. I have not posted much, since I have not had much of value to say. I rarely (maybe never) do. But, I enjoy reading the comments. So, thank you, thank you.

    H2P

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I call bullcrap pmd. I’ve read a few comments by you and you know your stuff. Keep jumping in.. you cannot win if you do not play… having a rough day so I play it loud.

      Like

    1. I don’t like Ron Cook — I guess mainly for the way Cook used to totally worship “the great Joe Paterno.”

      But Cook’s article about Rich Donnelly and the Chicken runs at midnight was outstanding. I rarely read his column but the chicken line caught my eye and I was glad I read the piece.

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I heard Cook’s interview with Rich Donnely, and got a lump in my throat. Later, at dinner I told the story to my family, and could barely get through it. That family has been through so much tragedy.

      Liked by 1 person

  48. Dear Povites,
    My wife and I are in Reisterstown, MD for the birth of our FIRST grandDAUGHTER, who was born this morning @ 3:15 a. m. And weighed 8.17 lbs. We now have 4 grandsons and a baby granddaughter. We are excited. Thank you all for being an extended family!!!!
    Pittman4ever Jim

    Liked by 5 people

    1. pittman4ever- Congrats to you and your family. A great, joyful moment. Best wishes to everyone.

      (And we need more Pitt fans! Please get to work on your granddaughter!

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  49. Congrats pittman4ever!!!

    Hey, pmd, I am probably near 500 posts and still nothing resembling value has appeared,,,I do make good use of the “like” button too. We are all fans and I for one appreciate all posts, just some a lot less than others, LOL!!!

    Anyone know if upitt is ok? I miss him the least, but do.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Congrats pittman – Great news thanks for sharing that.

      Tvax – UPitt is doing well. Remember, he married up.

      I currently have no opinion on the latest “whipping boy”.

      Liked by 1 person

  50. Watching a bit of WVU versus TCU. Looks like a snow game – TCU has a whitish floor…

    TCU up by 15ish – WVU playing poorly with lots of turnovers…

    The announcers mentioned a couple of Texas players who JD tried to recruit to Pitt, but they didn’t want to go to the cold weather, but then they ended up at TCU…

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  51. UPDATED FROM ORIGINAL COMMENT:

    ** As some suggested a different direction — not a retread established coach but a young “innovative” gun now making a splash; even if it is from an FCS school

    Not young but is a proven coach at many levels = an upgrade from SW

    ** A coach who has the ability to convince PN he has the ability to be an above the line offensive coordinator which would allow PN to continue the successful collaboration with Randy Bates on the defensive side of the ball.

    I will say yes *^^ PN will defer most decisions to him

    ** A full time quarterbacks coach

    Best of both worlds

    ** An assistant offensive line coach who can teach pass blocking 🙂

    If jrnpitt is correct about Borbely & zone blocking – here’s hoping it will work out

    ** An OC who will stay minimum 3 years.

    Not a problem

    ** No Matt Canada

    Absolutely…..

    ** An OC who will start the best quarterback.

    Whipple will make the right decision

    ** A good recruiter

    Can’t have everything

    Liked by 1 person

  52. Major, am I right that you were the prognosticator who called in the Whipple selection? Pretty good call, my man!

    And Jim you are one lucky guy to have that granddaughter! Always good to have a rose among the thorns! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Voice – no, I’m not that smart. I was pretty much expecting a return engagement by Oh Canada, which I had mixed feelings about…

      But it was Tossing who had identified Mr. Whipple as a good hire if the Duzzer wanted to stick to a pro-style offense.

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No prediction, just that if we went the pro-style route, he was a good hire. Haha. I can’t take credit for anything. I just wanted to squash any backlash early because I knew on paper he didn’t look like an inspired hire when in fact, he kind of is.

        Liked by 1 person

  53. He’s a pass guy. It is almost always better to have a pass guy as your OC than a run guy. For the simple reason that pass guys seem more capable of successfully scheming that magical run-pass balance than run guys are. Watson is a run guy. He couldn’t scheme a productive passing game two years in a row. Whipple is a pass guy. I think he’ll have more success scheming a productive run game than Watson did scheming a productive pass game.

    Liked by 4 people

  54. pmd, get your butt to a Fran tailgating where you will be indoctrinated…it will change your delivery… see you in September…we are a brotherhood led by our lady …Annie

    Liked by 2 people

  55. This WR hire is big, IMHO.

    We need someone who teaches and demands that the WRs go up strong for the ball on every pass play.

    No more just keep running your route and look back as the ball comes in short. You slow down and you go up strong for the ball. Easiest play to get a pass interference call on the DB, but we don’t take advantage. (I always thought these calls were unfair – the DB has good coverage and the WR stops and gets plowed into…but we need to take advantage of these situations like other teams do.)

    No more just running and waiting for the ball to come down to chest level to catch it. High-point the darn ball. This is WR 101 basics but we don’t do it.

    We need a tough but savvy WR coach. I actually think we have decent enough talent at WR if these guys are coached up properly… Has the potential to be an area of big improvement next season.

    Okay, I feel better now. 😊

    Go Pitt!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. MM, I totally agree. However, there are few NFL receivers that do it and they are the pro bowl guys. As big as some receivers are it blows my mind. Every weekend I watch football I am perplexed by the lack of WRs high pointing the football. Fitz was, is the best at it.

      Like

    1. Yeah, Fran, or like Lynn Swann did.

      Swann was listed as 5’11” (so probably 5-10) but remember the hops he had — and how he used that ability to get himself highlight reel catches, Super Bowl rings, and into the Hall of Fame…

      We have a couple of tall freshmen WRs coming in. We need to get them – and all the WRs and TEs – doing drills to go up and get the ball… Someone should call Brookhart… 😊

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  56. Stood shoulder to shoulder with Swann entering the gates for a Steeler game a few years ago… I am 6’1″
    5″10 for Swann sounds about right. Congrats Pittman and family! I just found out that my wife and I will be
    1st time grandparents in July. Super excited! Both of our daughters are Pitt grads and living in the ‘Burgh. H2P!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  57. My kid and his entire team were taught to high point the ball even as 10/11 year olds on their youth team…and they drilled it every practice(2x or 3x per week). The coaching WAS good, but to think these kids aren’t coached on this is absurd. Now whether they perform? That is the issue…and with shorter guys THAT is a problem.

    Like

  58. Tossing, you’re being far too humble on the Whipple selection. There are literally hundreds of guys out there who could have been candidates for the OC job at Pitt, but you nailed it. Kudos, TT! Now find us some additional FB or BB recruits!

    Liked by 2 people

  59. And who will be the WR coach, TT? Congratulations, Shek on grandparenthood. My big news is my son closes on a house today, making my wife and I officially empty nesters!

    Liked by 1 person

  60. shek, congratulations !! I have 2 of grand-kids and have enjoyed every minute watching them develop. When I had kids I wanted to see them get educated, grow into fine adults and able to take care of themselves..I look at my grand kids through a different lens- I hope to live long enough to see what they become,,have a 5 yr and 3 year old …I am 67..hope the good Lord let’s me hang around long enough to see them reach their 20’s. Maybe for a bonus He will through in a National Championship,,,just kidd’n

    Liked by 2 people

  61. Here is this years schedule boy and girls, times TBA

    8/31 UVA
    9/7 OHIO
    9/14 at PSU
    9/21 UCF
    9/28 DELAWARE
    10/5 at Duke
    10/18 at Syracuse (Fri)
    10/26 MIAMI
    11/2 at Ga Tech
    11/14 UNC (Thu)
    11/23 at Va Tech
    11/30 BC

    Like

  62. I like the early start to the season… I guess with the early Labor Day we get a late Thanksgiving day? I don’t like PITT playing at home over the holiday break. but if they are winning???

    Like the first game against Va. Secret squirrel will be in high espionage mode for that game season opener. The schedule sets up for a better start than last seasons schedule.

    Will PITT get an earlier start to the fall practice camp this year?

    Let’s hope the Steeler’s and PITT’s home schedule doesn’t collide as often as last year’s

    Let’s hope the home games brings a little more WPA fall weather than last year..

    Like

  63. Strange we are opening with an ACC opponent … two weeknight games including the dreaded Tarheels …. ending up vs BC (also unexpected)

    a further note. Last year UCF played FAU at home the week before Pitt. This year, they play Stanford (yes Stanford, in Orlando) before Pitt. Of course, we’re at PSU the week before.

    Like

  64. something to think about. Bama QB is transferring to Oklahoma. Meanwhile, Okla backup QB Austin Kendall is transferring to WVU. Both are grad transfers,

    Right now, Oklahoma is blocking Kendall from going to anyone in B12, meaning he would have to sit a year if he wants to go to Morgantown. This is the same situation as Cam Johnson last year. We’ll see if WVU is ultimately allowed by NCAA to do so, and if the pundits give Oklahoma the same grief that they gave Pitt for the blocking him.

    Like

  65. Jon Rothstein@JonRothstein
    Pitt freshman Trey McGowens has already attempted more free throws (113) than any player on the Panthers’ roster during all of last season. Most attempted was 112.

    You may remember that under the offensive genius the last 2 years, Pitt rarely drove to the hoop … just continued to throw up perimeter shots, whether they were going in or not

    Liked by 1 person

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