Reading Between the Lines: Spring Practice #7

Back by popular demand, here’s another episode of “What they really meant” at Spring football practice.

Pat Narduzzi
  • What he said:  There’s positions you’re happy with…(mumble mumble change subjects and talk about the offense)
  • What he really meant:  …annnnd there’s positions you’re not.  Like Tight end or Offensive Tackle, for example.

  • What he said:  I think we’ve got a fast defense.  Of course they think they’re fast.  I hope they’re smarter.
  • What he really meant:  If they are smarter, then I too will appear to be smarter.  


  • What he said:  I was just talking to coach Borbley yesterday (about the o-line) and he’s like ‘we’re way ahead of where we were last year.’
  • What he really meant:  But I mean last year we were teaching two defensive linemen how to block, so the bar was set pretty low.


  • What he said:  [The Tight Ends] have got to be better blockers.   I mean you talk about a position you want to step up, but they have to be run blockers first.
  • What he really meant: I’m still not sure if I trust any of them to catch a pass in an actual game situation.


  • What he said:  (When asked about Rutgers grad-transfer TE, Nakia Griffin-Stewart) Nakia’s going to be a really good football player for us.  Kind of like another Flanagan.
  • What he really meant:  He might be a guy that I would trust to catch a pass.  I mean did you see his two catch highlight reel?  That’s more highlights than we got out of the entire unit last season!


  • What he said:  (When asked about Coach Whipple) I think he fits in great.  I think he’s been a lot of places.  He’s fun to be around, and I think he’s a ball coach.  I don’t know if he sleeps at night, I think all he does is watch football.
  • What he really meant:  He better not be sleeping, because I basically told him if we finish 120th in scoring offense this year we are both out of a job.


Rob Harley
  • What he said:  (On Phil Campbell) He’s doing well, but he’s an instinctive football player.  Any player you have to give the techniques and the fundamental. Sure there are things he’s going to slow down on a little but he’s playing fast.
  • What he really meant:  Well he doesn’t really know the playbook, and he misses a lot of tackles, but man that guy sure can run.


  • What he said:  (on if Chase Pine will start at Linebacker) We’ll find out
  • What he really meant:  No


  • What he said:  (When asked about the group as a whole):  We’ve got a lot of speed.  Speed.  They’re aggressive.
  • What he really meant:  Coach Whip is burning us regularly with counters and screens, and I’m not 100% sure I can fix this before Virginia.


  • What he said:  (When asked about Elias Reynolds):  I thought he played really well last season…at times
  • What he really meant:   I saw exactly one passing down where he played well, but that was against Virginia Tech when the rout was on, so it kind of doesn’t count.


  • What he said:  (When again asked about the group) I think you’re younger, you’re faster, I think you’ve got guys who can flat out play.  I think we have a lot of guys who have some juice, have some speed.  I think we can get 11 guys to the ball on every play.  If we want to.
  • What he really meant:  I mean, would could get 11 guys to the ball every year if we played the same OOC schedule as Syracuse.  Western Michigan, Uconn and two 1-AA schools.  This ‘8th hardest schedule in the country’ crap is killing me.


Wendell Davis
  • What he said:  I go home to my room everyday and watch film for 45 mintues – an hour.
  • What he really meant:  And then I fire up my xbox…


  • What he said:  (When asked if he was surprised he was seeing the field)  Surprised no.  That’s what I came here for.
  • What he really meant:  Well Pat sold me on this deal, and believe it or not, he actually came through.  It was pretty clear that if I applied myself I could be the #2 guy as a redshirt frosh and maybe even push the starter.  Plus I’m 6’2″, 245, and I can run, hoss.  Damn right I’m going to see the field.  Pitt hasn’t had a linebacker like me since HB Blades.


  • What he said:  (When asked if liked the scheme)  I love the scheme, you know.  It really brings the athlete out of you.  To be an LB in the system, you gotta be an athlete, you can’t be some stiff old guy.
  • What he really meant:  Stop asking me these dumb questions you stiff old guy.


Chase Pine
  • What he said:  You gotta come with a different edge, you gotta be more humble
  • What he really meant:  Last year I thought I was The Man, but I wasn’t really The Man.  This year I have the chance to be The Man, and I’m hoping to actually be The Man.


  • What he said:  (When asked what’s humbling)  You gotta go in there not really stay 1st 2nd down.  But this year I gotta learn how to go the whole game mostly.
  • What he really meant:  So uh yea, conditioning.  Like man it’s hard to play every down.  Makes you tired.  I’m not going to stand here and tell you I was out of shape, but I am going to tell you that it sure was nice to have a break.  Basically they told me I have to stop taking the bus up Cardiac Hill, and now they make me walk to Sutherland, so I uh, you know, should be good to go for the season.


Jim Medure
  • What he said:  Whatever I’m asked to do I’m going to do to the best of my ability, so lets get after it.
  • What he really meant:  Yes I’ve moved around a lot.  Please stop patronizing me.


  • What he said:  I’ve probably seen more film of George than anybody in the country
  • What he really meant:  Well I mean nobody is really watching film on a fullback.


  • What he said:  George is a mean dude, he’s a tough guy, I’m trying to adopt those personality traits
  • What he really meant:  Coach Powell has actually signed me up for de-sensitivy training.  He’s also set me up with this internship at the physics department.  Not quite sure what that’s all about, but I’m game.


  • What he said:  I think every walk on on this team and every walk on in the nation is really a tough guy.  It’s not easy coming in and competing with these scholarship players, and I think you’ve got to have a chip on your shoulder.
  • What he really meant:  Look George Aston was legend okay.  A freakin’ legend.  Do you know how hard it is to follow a legend?  It’s freaking hard.  Guys like George, who walk on to a team and then go to the NFL draft come around about once in a generation.  That’s like a freakin’ unicorn, alright.  Do I look like a freaking unicorn?  I’m out here busting my ass, watching film on a freakin’ fullback, running into people and full speed every day just so I can earn a scholarship.  Damn it these questions are making me very angry.  I AM NOT GEORGE FREAKING ASTON.




19 thoughts on “Reading Between the Lines: Spring Practice #7

  1. The Chase Pine quote is really funny to me. Look, these kids put 100% effort into each play, which lasts about 5 seconds. Then, they rest for 25 seconds (most of the time). How can anyone be gassed when you are supposedly in the best shape of your life at that age? Exerting full effort for 4-5 second bursts and then resting seems like a manageable task. 60 defensive plays at 5 seconds of exertion per play, means you only worked physically for 300 seconds, or 5 minutes. All the other time was standing around, halftime, rest while your offense is on the field,etc.?

    This to me is why time of possession can be very misleading. If you go no huddle and run 80-90 plays that’s one thing (80 plays x 6 seconds per play = 480 seconds, or 8 minutes of physical exertion in 3 hours). Based on that, how are the players not in shape. Why don’t coaches explain it that way? Makes for better buy-in from the kids if it is broken down that way.

    Just looking at the comment differently, that’s all.

    Happy birthday belatedly Mike. Good stuff here. Looks like Capel had the talk with one of the players. That makes me happy to see that and I wish nard would have those conversations earlier too, so he can max out schollies each year. Been advocating for that for a longtime on here and met with “Pitt is better than that, etc.”.Better chances of successful recruiting by having the talk and opening competition/schollies instead of being slowed by your weakest links.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think most of us here pay more attention to Maestro’s translation than what the coach/player actually says. And since this is spring football, that is exactly what we should be doing


  3. Thanks Mike, another great piece!

    Here’s a hoop recruit that is said to be warm on PITT but without an offer. He has PITT in his top three. I wonder why that is?


  4. Here’s another OT post. In this mornings Tribune Review on the front page it states that “Walmart wins bid for booze in Fayette” There’s got to be a joke in there somewhere and no offense to our folks from down there but I had to chuckle to myself when I read that.


    1. there is a liquor store (whiskey/wine) up here in Cranberry that is an annex to the Giant Eagle. (just bought a bottle of Woodford yesterday( You can walk directly into it from the GE.

      I’ve lived in Ohio for the past 8 years where you could buy beer in just about any store … and you could buy wine/whiskey in GE, Costco and I’m sure in some Walmarts.

      You know you’re from PA when ….. you walk into an out of state convenience store and exclaim “they sell beer here?”


  5. ^I don’t know g? He seems to be a bit of a hotdog as well. PITT does need a bonafide go to man as well when it comes to crunch time in the game. He lists Georgia as one of his schools he’s liking.


  6. in practice today, RS FR Kaymar Mimes has flipped from TE back to this original DL

    Half-full interpretation: TE position is in much better shape than before
    Half-empty: DL needs more help than TE


  7. Thanks wwb… will start setting up the tailgate when the gates open at 10:00

    Another good job Maestro…don’t know how you find the time young man.
    “What he meant” should be a standard part of the post game discussions.


  8. Mark, (from the previous srticle) I would like to be 41 again… but the world is a much safer place that I am not.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Fran, I’m glad I’m not college age again with all the cellphones around these days!


  9. MM, great again, each and every one of them. Probably ought to be a regular column theme,,,,oh, 2 in 2 weeks, maybe it is. On second thought, don’t burn it up too fast. haha

    Lovin’ it!!!!!!!!!



    1. I think we will see a lot of the same themes emerge if I keep doing it


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