Spring Practice 2019: 10 Things we Learned on Day 1

Predictably, not a lot of concrete information has emerged from spring practice thus far, but a few useful nuggets have been dispensed.

  1. Rashad Wheeler moved from DT to OG. Jimmy Morrissey said he’s doing pretty good

  2. Kenny Pickett was named the starter. He’s excited about the new offense (shocker)

  3. Davis Beville threw an interception in practice

  4. Guys are working hard

  5. Paris Ford is excited

  6. Phil Campbell has officially moved to linebacker

  7. Some guys have changed numbers.

  8. Pitt’s marketing department is clearly responding to the anti-narduzzi sentiment on this blog by publishing this spring prospectus cover:

  1. Reed is a grumpy old man (but we still love him.)

  2. I am just reporting the news

hail to Pitt

Michaelangelo Monteleone

100 thoughts on “Spring Practice 2019: 10 Things we Learned on Day 1

  1. I think Reed’s Shakespearean Theatrical Group is doing a modern adaptation of Julius Caesar, renamed Pat Narduzzi. Reed will deliver the eulogy line, “I come here not to praise Narduzzi, but to bury him”.

    Liked by 7 people

  2. Heather has to justify her contract extension of him
    Marketing made no mention of zero bowl wins
    12-14 record over the past 2 years
    4 blow out losses last year
    a very poor recruiting class last year
    some of the lowest attendance games last year

    Lets not even try comparing Narduzzi with Sherrill

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Tx, how in the hell do you know it’s a poor recruiting class last year? Has any of the recruits taken the field as of yet? And I think you know what you can do with your star numbers at least from my perspective.

      Like

      1. i look at teams that are consistently successful in college football
        these teams have at least 50% of their class rated 5.7 and above based on Rivals
        Prior to last year, Pitt nearly reached this number…the year Pitt had 10 recruited 5.7 and above
        the most recent recruiting class had only 3 or 15%
        you wont win with these recruiting results

        Like

  3. You know, with the interviews of Narduzzi, Whipple, Ford and Pickett as well as Backo’s tweets, just how much info do we need … especially for a practice without pads?

    I have contended for a while that this closed practice situation is a bit overblown, and that we fans certainly don’t have to know everything. So Beville threw an INT in his 1st practice! If I recall, Paris Ford made a lot of practice interceptions last year … how did that work out?

    Just remember back in 2009 in pre-season camp when we all were made to believe that a freshman QB was better than the returning starter … and all the trouble that ensued. I bet looking back, Wanny wished those practices were closed

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I know it’s super easy to blame the qb…but Kenny just doesn’t have it to star at the Power Five Level. I think he has a lack of arm strength, he has trouble reading receivers, and goes for the check downs quite a bit.
    The only team he really tossed the rock around was against Wake Forest.

    I will predict by game 8, Davis Beville or Nick Patti will be the starter and that Mr. Pickett will be transferring to an American Conf or Mac school for next season.

    Like

    1. He hit ffrenchy in stride with a pass that looked like it traveled 50 yards in the air in the duke game. I’m not saying that Pickett is a world beater but is sag arm strength is probably not the issue. I agree his reads are poor as well as his pocket presence

      Liked by 3 people

      1. yeah, I never understood the occasional arm strength dig, that’s not Pickett’s problem at all. Now reading defenses? I don’t know, but I think we’ll find out more about that this year.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. ^^ Tx, Narduzzi’s 28 wins are the most of any PITT head football coach since Jackie in their first four seasons and an ACC Coastal Division Championship. Seems like enough justification to me?…. … . but we all see things a little bit different.

    Like

    1. for Pitt football, i’m a glass half empty guy
      until I know I’m drinking some good bourbon
      this program is bad moonshine right now
      Marketing would rather have you drink that so you are blind to all of Pitt’s warts

      Like

      1. Haha you are quite jaded I can tell. And you clearly don’t know your spirits.

        Let’s try to look at this objectively.

        There is quite a gap between bad moonshine and good bourbon

        10 wins+ regularly – Woodford Reserve
        8-9 wins – Bulleit Bourbon
        6-7 wins – Jack Daniels
        4-5 wins – Jim Beam
        2-3 wins – Old Crow
        0-1 wins -bad moonshine

        I refuse to accept your bombastic analogy

        Liked by 2 people

        1. those are some good choices
          Heres some Texan choices

          12 plus wins – Garrison Brothers
          10-11 wins – Whitmeyers
          8-9 wins – Firestone and Robertson
          5-7 wins – Ranger Creek
          3-4 wins – Yellow Rose
          0-2 wins – Tequila (with worm)

          Liked by 1 person

    2. I believe Mike Gottfried would have had continued success if Chancellor Posvar would have allowed him to relax the academic standards in regards to recruiting. The Paul Hacket Experience was the beginning of the end for Pitt football.

      Like

      1. agree, this was the beginning of return to mediocrity. Pitt has never been on an even keel as to how athletics should fit in the university. Especially unlike PSU and WVU which had always given its teams a high priority.

        Back in the 60s, the FB program certainly provided its share of professionals …. doctors, dentists and lawyers. In the mid 90s, there was even talk of lowering Pitt’s FB program to D2. After Wanny’s 9-win season (2008), the recruiting budget was slashed. And through much of Nordy’s admin, academics took a higher priority than on-the-field results …. there is nothing wrong with this but if so, it should be stressed to the alumni

        And now the FB program is paying the rice for years of indifference … and it cannot rebuild with 85 man classes and a great local recruiting area

        Like

  6. this is interesting …

    Paul Zeise@PaulZeise
    We just had president of the Pittsburgh Basketball Club on, @escape3 , and he announced that the PBC is bringing back the Roundball Classic as it used to be long ago – with the main game being USA All Stars vs Pa All Stars on April 13 at Moon HS. That’s exciting news. @937theFan

    Of course back in the day, I remember the game being played at the Civic Arena, and it being the only national all-star game around. I attended a few of them, The last one I attended, Pat Ewing and Mugsy Bogues played for US and destroyed PA. But I also remember when PA beat US and MVP Gene Banks handed his trophy over to Sam Clancy

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Just got back from the Sunshine State. Sixteen days of Hot sun and one of cold rain. high of 60.
    Back in dreary cold Pittsburgh, another recruiting hurdle.
    Glad they didn’t broadcast the Pitt-Miami game in Orlando, going to the game tomorrow, glad the season is over. What happened to recruiting while I was away? Crickets…

    So this is Spring Football? What happened to spring? Can’t get here soon enough. Gotta love the marketing department. Truth to Power. The mention of Sherrill is over the top, why not Jock Sutherland? Did Sherrill ever recruit the 50th rated class? Lose all his bowl games? Seriously Narduzzi could not hold Sherrill’s Jock Strap. By the way, was it named after Sutherland? Did he invent it?

    I digress, great to come back to football, wondering how much our boys matured and muscled up over the winter. That is our best hope for improvement right now. That and Whipple.

    Also saw a lot of people wearing their Michigan and PSU clothing in Florida. Steeler stuff too. As prevalent as the local teams and Alabama.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. sadly, the same here in Cranberry with the PSU apparel. In fact, 2 weeks ago, I walked into a local pizzeria for a pick-up and had a Pitt hat on. And the guy behind the counter said that it was refreshing to see a Pitt hat, all he sees anymore is PSU stuff

      Like

      1. and yes, he recruited some of these guys but anybody who thinks it’s just as easy to recruit out-of-towners to the current Pitt program a sit was to a Top 10 team back then is out of his/her mind

        Like

    1. Also technically they are just saying he’s the best since Sherril. Nowhere does it say “as good as sherrill”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mike, that is literally what that comment says. Best since Jackie Sherrill and for anyone to think otherwise tells on themselves.

        Like

  8. I think naming KP the starter is a good move. No need for a QB controversy. Most of KP’s problems were caused by a porous O-line and his inexperience. Also receivers that couldn’t get open and didn’t come back to him on broken plays. Some blame also goes to Watson’s lackluster play calling and not getting the play to KP in a timely manner.

    Is KP without fault? Of course not, but he is still our best option. If Patti was all that, there would be a QB battle and DB just got here.

    The big question again is, will the O-line provide decent protection so that KP can plant his feet and throw?
    He also needs to get better at throwing the ball on the run and his receivers need to help. Hopefully Whipple gives him an outlet pass when plays break down, which never seemed available in Watson’s offense.

    Overall, the year of experience should give KP a better understanding of how to read defenses, there is no substitute for that.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The story is that Sherill slept on Dorsett’s porch to get him to come to Pitt. Today he would be arrested for stalking.

    Like

  10. ^^ Tx, I have to confess. If I was a half glass empty kind of a guy and being a PITT fan? I would do what a lot of the other glass half empty commenters have already done and retire from the POV. But I’m not so it doesn’t drive me mad when everything doesn’t go right for PITT. BUT. This is where I give you all the credit in the world, you keep plugging away and continue to be a great PITT football fan. Your screen name should be “PittPlugger” . …. 😉

    Like

  11. About my now infamous list. I only included out of towners that I have met, either through the round-table, texting, email, phone calls and/or Frans tailgates. The comment was actually giving the POV a nice pat on the back and I apologize if it offended anyone. I was going to include Huff as I think he fits that description (round-table) but I wasn’t sure of where he lives?

    Like

      1. wwb, well, considering many of my positive comments simply rub some people the wrong way. I never understood why a PITT fan posting positive things about PITT football on a PITT Blog is so terrible? Bottom line though, In reality, I think I drive my POV vehicle in neutral most of the time.

        Like

        1. quit feeling guilty for your own point of view. You have the right to your opinion the same as everyone else here

          and btw, there is a story in PG today about N’Dir applying for an extra year of eligibility — so you were right about that

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Please give Sidy another year!!! Next year has the potential to be bad. We need a shooter or two and a big man. And that’s just for starters. Say what you want about JWF, but we will miss his ability to knock down a three.

            Like

  12. Regarding the recruiting of Dorsett…

    A lot people like to talk about Pitt Coaches camping out at Dorsett’s home and Hopewell High School. However, just as instrumental to luring Dorsett were some Pitt Power Brokers with connections to Aliquippa.

    This is something that has remained below the surface. However, I’m sure there might be at least one or two POVers who know what I’m talking about.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will guarantee you that if Dorsett didn’t live 15 miles from Pgh, we weren’t going to get him. If he lived in mid Ohio or Mich, eastern PA or anywhere in the South, he would have gone elsewhere

      Like

    2. I remember Tony motoring around Oakland in a new, pimped out black Monte Carlo….I’m sure he bought it by saving his money from his summer job at Isleys.

      Like

  13. I can say this… Dorsett had a lot to do with my decision to go to Pitt.

    Attended two Games as a Recruit in 76… Louisville and WVU.

    Louisville was a bit strange because it POURED the entire Game. On the other hand, WVU was a BRIGHT sunny day which made the turf at Pitt Stadium a FAST track.

    Remember standing right at the edge of the sideline with some other Recruits when Dorsett took a toss and split two WVU Defenders running within a few feet of us on the way to the end zone with the winning TD.

    I was hooked.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Because the academic pinheads at Pitt would be against it
      They fear what this could lead to – prioritizing athletics over academics, cheating and scandal, straying from the mission statement, a brand based on sports

      Like

    2. GC – I think this is an extension of the Alabama athletic department & is comparable to the Panther Club. A lot of the staff have titles like “associate athletic director” or something like that. There foundation is for all sports not just football. It also funds scholarships.

      I believe the Championship Funds do the same thing. Only difference is PITT funds can be directed to a specific sport.

      Like

  14. off topic but just watched the noon news and saw 2 things of interest

    — Penguins are beginning construction at the Civic Arena site to build office buildings as well as 2000 living units …. of which 1400 are said to be affordable?

    — there is a proposal for a zip line to be constructed from the West End Overlook all the way to North Shore (not kidding). Might be a fun way to get to the stadium, but getting back may be a hassle

    Liked by 3 people

  15. couple more things wwb: << I did see the news

    How is it a good idea to put “affordable” housing right next to “luxury” housing? I’m thinking the “affordable housing will be built closest to the Hill District with the hotel and office buildings in the middle and the “luxury” housing on the complete opposite side? Modern day segregation, moving on up!

    The Zip line will come down from west Mt Washington and land on a rooftop near the Carnegie Science Center. Where there are big plans to construct some sort of mammoth lagoon kind of attraction with a giant pool right smack against the Ohio river. A hotel and a giant Ferris Wheel is going to be built at the attraction as well.

    Like

  16. When your marketing department points out things like the “third most wins”, they begin to sound like the Pittsburgh Pirates. And that comparison will never be viewed as positive. I’m still a little lukewarm about HCPN. There are good arguments to be made for him and against him. But in the long run 7-7 doesn’t cut it. Nor does failing to make a bowl, or losing once you get there.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. He lost me last year at Penn State. We should cancel the game on them this year and end it on our terms.

    I digress, winning the coastal got him 1 more year for me, but with the terrible recruiting he better win or he is gone.

    Like

    1. Narduzzi will be around a lot longer than many POVers think. What year was his extended contract signed to 2024? If so I think he makes it to that year with Whipple by his side.

      Like

      1. Pitt will not pay a coach $3.5M for .500 seasons and no bowl wins.
        He needs to start winning bowl games and having the team ranked by year’s end
        Pitt could hire 35 professors at that coin and the BoT knows it.

        Like

  18. Agree Kman. That PSU game was tough to take as a fan. You cannot get embarrassed by your in-state rival like we did. 8 yards passing in the ACC championship also sucked. But that may have been a blessing in disguise. But for that, we probably still have Shawn Watson.

    Like

  19. Missing, I had to look a few times to see where PITT is promoting the third most wins, then I found it up at the very top. Yeah, that’s not exactly the greatest ringing endorsement until you realize that one of the teams ahead of PITT has played in the National Championship game 3 of the past 4 years and won the National Championship twice. Naturally I see this a little different way. The blow out losses aside, which weren’t always ACC games, PITT is fielding a very competitive football team. Also, looking at the big wins against psu and Clemson at the their house just games before they go on to win their second National championship of 3 (first in 1981) brings me a wait a littler longer and see attitude. No surprises there I’m sure.

    Like

  20. Why did the athletic marketing department have to put Sherril’s 39 wins on the cover? They are stooges! They should have just left it at Narduzzi wan conundrum, has won the most since Sherril. Unfortunately they post the big 39 wins versus the lowly 28 wins right in everyone’s face. I learned this during my third year of fourth grade math, but 39-28=11. 11 divided by four years = almost 3 wins per year difference. OUCH!!

    Way to go Athletic Department! Gosh dang people, those numbers are no where close to being close! I need a drink!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. “New, Funky Stuff” on offense. Coach Bates was asked how Campbell is adjusting to the LBer position. His reply was that Coach Whipple is messing with all his new funky stuff on offense.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. @Ike – I fit the description. Out of towner now! Actually, I attended two of the roundtables, the first with upitt, you, reed and others. The second one we were playing Youngstown State and I was wearing my Penguin Halloween outfit and I think Reed blew a fuse laughing and hung up on me or something…..not sure anyone connected the outfit to our opponent other than me, but my wife laughed her tail off.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Interesting Basketball recruiting tidbit…. 7 footer Diallo was said to be down to three schools: Pitt, Ohio
    Fake and LSU. I’d say eliminate LSU from the mix, as that pesky wiretap caught the coach talking about paying a player. Suspended indefinitely. Come on Coach Capel, close the deal.

    Like

  24. Did not read the Miami game post, but after reading the above, the suspense was killing me.
    So, like a fool I went back and read it and all the comments. That actually did kill me.

    TX – Lenten fish fries sound like a good fundraising opportunity in Texas. They are really missing out as it stands. There used to be an iPhone app that would show one the nearest Lenten fish fry in the Pgh area…in case of an emergency of course.

    Reed – I’m glad you are finding good things to do with your time. Good luck with your performances.

    Mike – Please continue with your balanced approach to the posts. Your writing style and perspective is exactly what this reader enjoys and appreciates.

    Like

    1. Thanks Joe. I write not to please the readers but to please myself, as I am sure Reed did as well. It is no surprise that our different outlooks attract and repel different people, that’s life. I’m glad you are enjoying my work.

      Like

  25. off topic for you old-timers. Dick Allen’s oldest brother died yesterday, and as Dick put it, he was the first of mom’s four all-state basketball players. He was also the only one of the brothers who didn’t play in MLB.

    A couple of them were Don Hennon’s teammates at Wampum, who of course also was an all-stater. Wampum was the smallest high school in PA but won 3 state tiles in the 50s. The coach was Don’s dad, L Butler, who received a masters agree from Pitt in 1933. He was also the Wampum baseball coach, the high school principal and taught Sunday School at Wampum Presbyterian Church.

    Dick was NL Rookie of the Year in 1964 and AL MVP in 1972 playing for Chuck Tanner who was born apporx 10 miles away from Wampum

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Went to a college (’69-73) in Chicago right across the Dan Ryan Expressway from Comensky (sp) Park. Every home Wednesday afternoon they would have student day. Sit in the centerfield bleachers. Bad point – 440′ to straight away center. Good point – Harry Carey (yes the Harry Carey of Cubbie / northside fame) would broadcast from the center field bleachers. $1 to get in & beer was cheap.

      Watched at least 5 games a spring cheaply. Cut more than a few classes. Richie Allen was the star. Batted third behind No Neck Williams, Jorge Orta, Richie Allen, Bill Melton & Carlos May. Good times. Continuous arguments between cubbie fans & white sox fans in my fraternity.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. and knuckleballer Wilbur Wood was the ace. Saw the ’72 version of the Sox at the old Mistake on the Lake in Cleveland. Chuck Tanner’s 1st managing stint

        Like

    1. Wasn’t there a big controversy on what he wanted to be called?

      I know I didn’t like to be called Dick. After a while I was only called by my nick name – Chardo. In fact, for my upcoming 50’th high school reunion, the class organizer sends out emails that has me named as Chardo Hefner. Everyone else she uses first name.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Regarding Nard Dog: I guess the thing that confuses me most – yes, I hate the fact that we’ve lost some games we had a good chance to win – is this.

    When Chryst was coach, all I read about here and the Blather was how all (read “most”) of his recruits were only pursued by Mac-type schools. Very rarely (comparatively) did we compete for players with D1 schools.

    So, it seems that the last 4 seasons, an unexpectedly large number of these low recruits have been drafted and invited to rookie camps.

    If Nard is a bad as I have been led to believe, how does that happen?

    And one more thing. I’ve read here how bad of an offensive field general he is. But yet, when Oh Canada was here, I don’t recall anyone saying how great a field general Nard was. Musta been sick that day.

    I AM so-o-o-o confused!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Although Chryst’s overall recruiting was mediocre, Chryst was able to get some elite recruits that made an impact. A few elites on each side of the ball can make all the difference.

      Like

  27. Saw this tidbit in the paper today — the WPIAL high school baseball player-of-the-year from last season went to………………………not Pitt……………………….but Wake Forest.

    Was in the paper because he’s starting as a frosh at 2nd base…

    Really can’t blame the kid for going south to the milder weather. No fun playing BB in cold weather.

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  28. Mike Gottfried indicted tonight in the pay to playNCAA scandal. Former NC St Coach. The tipof the iceberg. Sean Miller is next. Glad Pitt is clean. Love to see Pitt win tomorrow but they can’t go down 15 to start.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Pitt currently has 3 DT’s that are 300+ lbs – Amir Watts, D.Danielson and Bentley. Only one with experience, but we had none last season even though these three were on the roster. None of these three hit 300 lbs in 2018.

    Clemson had 4 or 5 DT’s over 300lbs in 2018.

    H2P!

    Like

  30. Tailgating in the OC lot…where is everybody? Waiting for the sunrise.
    Scooter is bringing victory cigars.
    We’re glass 3/4 full people. 😎

    Liked by 3 people

  31. Fran: If you are tailgating for this basketball team at 8 am. Heather should drop by and give you one of those awards she’s always handing out. Enjoy the game.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. here is more insight on the Champagnies … for a program that badly needs bodies, a 3 and 4 star would be a major coup for Capel. On Thursday evening, he traveled to Brooklyn to watch them and also to offer another player in the game …. a 4 star junior point guard

    While I’m all for having coaches who can recruit within the ACC footprint (McGowens, Johnson and Toney) .. I would love to re-open Pitt’s channel to the NYC/NJ area which has served us so well from 2000 thru about 2013. The ACC is popular enough

    https://nothingbutnylon.com/brooklyn-champagnie-twins-justin-julian/

    Liked by 1 person

  33. All kidding aside, they just don’t make many PITT fans like Fran and Scooter. Here is Fran telling his story of his younger days.

    Like

    1. We just need another 20,000 Frans and another 20,000 Scooters!

      And if we did, we’d really have home-field-advantage no matter where our stadium was located…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

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