Well actually you can, but it kind of rhymes and I’m bored.

Here’s an excerpt from Pat’s most recent interview that caused me to come up with this catchy headline:

How important are things like that – the association with Nike, new uniforms – how useful can those things be when it comes to recruiting? 
Narduzzi: 
Well, I don’t think we had ugly uniforms in the past, and we have the best: Nike is the best. I don’t care what color your uniforms – your uniforms could be purple and black, it’s that we have Nike. There’s no other shoe – I’ve worn other shoes before, but there’s no other shoe that’s like Nike. There’s nothing like Nike. Now the branding and whatever we have new, I can’t wait to see it because I haven’t seen it – you know what I’m saying?

You haven’t seen it?
Narduzzi: 
I don’t know. I say I haven’t. It’s just going to be interesting to see what comes up this weekend. I think it’s going to be neat. But Nike’s unbelievable. We’re great to have them as partners, that’s for sure.

He also waxed eloquent on the passing game:

What’s this ‘Air Narduzzi’ offense I’ve been hearing so much about?
Narduzzi: 
Don’t believe ‘Air Narduzzi’ offense. I mean, we’re gonna run the ball; don’t forget that. They think when you complete a couple passes, it’s ‘Air Narduzzi.’ But I guess they’re not used to catching many passes or completing them. 

He called Will Gragg out a little:

We talked to Will Gragg earlier and he said that you and him had a lot of conversations, maybe during the season and after the season when he produced less than he was hoping for. What did you see from him through the year last year and what are you expecting out of him this year?
Narduzzi: 
I don’t remember a lot of conversations, but – 

Some conversations.
Narduzzi: 
Yeah, maybe some, I guess. But Will’s an athletic guy that can catch the ball and can run down the field. He’s got to be a better blocker, really. That’s the conversations I remember having with him; it wasn’t about catching the ball or running routes. It was really about blocking. Because you’re either going to be a big receiver or you’re going to be a tight end. We don’t need a big receiver; we need a tight end. And he’s had a nice spring so far and he’s getting tougher in there blocking. He’s got to be able to block. If you’re going out there and they know you’re going to throw it, then you’re going to be in trouble.

He clarified what the hell is going on at linebacker:

We talked to Saleem today, too; a guy like him that’s been around so long and played different spots, what is his role on the defense right now?
Narduzzi: 
It’s interesting that you asked that. You know, Saleem, I was ready to jump all over him the first few days. We moved Saleem back and forth from Mike – he’s played Mike a couple years ago and then we moved him to the Money position because we wanted him and Chase Pine to battle for that. He wasn’t playing great right there, so we moved him back to the Mike and he’s really taken off. It’s really his natural position. He’s just better, at least at this point. We still want to get him better at that boundary position because you never know, but right now, he’s competing for the starting Mike position. We played three guys a year ago and Elias is a really, really good football player as well, but Saleem is battling for that starting Mike position. I think he’s pretty good. 

Phil Campbell’s working to the boundary a little bit as well to the field, which is amazing. I didn’t know if he’d be physical enough to do it, but not only is he physical, he’s tough and he knows how to leverage his body and play with leverage. So I’ve been happy with those guys.

Is Chase inside?
Narduzzi: 
No, Chase is outside. Chase and Phil are battling out for that boundary and Saleem and Elias are battling for the middle spot there.

How much subpackage stuff do you do in the spring or is it mostly the base defense?
Narduzzi: 
There’s a lot of sub. I think we put it in Day Four, so we’ll do quite a bit. We’ve got some new wrinkles on third down that we kind of got in the offseason, so we work a lot of it. Matter of fact, we had two nine-minute skelly’s today and one was all, really, subpackage today. We work quite a bit of it.

Thinking of the linebacker competition you just discussed, I guess the outlook’s pretty bright for Cam at the other side. 
Narduzzi: 
Cam looks good but Phil can go over there and play, too. It’s really coming down to, Phil got a lot of work to the field, then we’re just trying to get our three best on the field and Phil was playing so good it was like, ‘Hey, let’s put Camp and Phil in at the same time.’ So it wasn’t that Cam couldn’t physically do it; we just saw more out of Phil when he was in the box as opposed to out of the box. But Phil can play both. He’s really good at both. But Cam’s playing good. Really, just putting those two guys on the field at the same time is what we came out of last week’s scrimmage – but we have a long time to go and Chase Pine’s going to continue to work. He’s still a young guy mentally but he’s so much better than he was a year ago. 

And he fluffed for the offensive line:

How do you feel like your offensive line has come together? And how important is it for you to have some guys separate themselves so you can start to build that continuity?
Narduzzi: 
It is. I mentioned Carter Warren the other day, but I think the offensive line is playing well. I’ve been impressed with what they’ve done after 10 practices. The inside drill today – I’ve got to go back and watch the tape, but our offensive line ran the ball pretty well there, better than normal. So I’m impressed with what Coach Borbely and Coach Whipple have done with the run game and what they’re doing with those kids. It looks good so far.

Once, a reader pulled me aside in Charlotte and said “don’t believe anything you read in the spring”. I would say that applies to probably 50% of the above. Which 50% is anybody’s guess.

Hail to Pitt

Michaelangelo Monteleone

43 thoughts on “You Can’t Spell Shoe Salesman without Narduzzi

  1. Coach Doozer actually talks too much sometimes. 😊

    Some spring practice positives, IMHO:
    —I hear Coach Whip as well as the players talking about “tempo.” I think we see us running a faster offense this season, at least at times. I think the capability to speed it up on offense is a good thing.

    —Seems like the receivers are catching way more passes. A couple of players have mentioned that — like WAY MORE passes. Even the few passing drills we see are at a high tempo…

    —Sounds like they are honest-to-goodness throwing the ball deep. Who knew that was permitted? Both offensive and defensive guys have mentioned it. Maybe we’re just bluffing to “throw” off UVA…

    Some negatives, again, IMHO:
    —LBs being tried at every LB position. I’d like to see a couple of them master their best position and stay there.

    —No talk at all about the RBs, except for V’lique Carter. What’s going on with the upper classmen at RB??

    —No word that I’ve heard on our man Paris Ford. The grand mystery continues.

    Go Pitt.

    Like

  2. This is the time to experiment with low numbers. I like where Pitt is at with its linebackers for once as this position has been an Achilles heel for a long time in terms of talent and depth. Not much chatter about the linebacker from Ohio with the so-called funny nickname though.

    It would be incredible to have a passing game again, so hopefully Kenny’s excitement for the offense translates on game day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. agree … looks like a lot of experimenting going on this spring in a few areas. Pitt hasn’t had speed at the LB position for a long while, so I definitely expect an upgrade here.

      Like

  3. First commit is in: DE, Samuel Williams from Florida. He’s thin at 6’4″ 205 pounds but fast. Weight won’t be an issue after a couple years.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is some very good news. Samuel is a 3* prospect who says that speed is one of his strengths per Rivals.com

      Charlie Partridge is the Pitt coach who is the main recruiter for this DE.

      Pitt signed 6 recruits last year from Florida.

      H2P!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This kid does look fast in going sideline to sideline.

        He actually looks pretty darn good at TE too, with his speed, but of course it is a highlight video.

        Be nice if he grew another couple inches…

        Go Pitt.

        Like

  4. Refs missed a double dribble by UVA – Guy should have never been on the free throw line.

    Pearl the cheat got cheated…

    Like

    1. Saw that — said to myself you’re not allowed to do what the UVA player did. And it was right in the middle of the floor with a ref trailing him. Puzzling that they missed it…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

      1. Can you imagine being an Auburn fan right now? The booing at the end was not for the foul on the 3 point shooter, it was the missed call at half court – clear double dribble with three refs looking on.

        Can’t stand UVA in any sport, especially men’s basketball.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I was impressed with UVA’s Guy — he coolly sank all 3 free throws to win the game like it was nothing. Then in the post-game interview he said he actually was terrified.

          Guy’s a cool guy.

          Go Pitt.

          Like

    1. Three refs were looking at that double dribble. I’ll give you that, there were three humans also looking at that double dribble.

      Three…

      Like

  5. Pearl the cheater and Izzo the rapist cover-up coach both lost. All is good with the NCAA as they feel “clean” right now. Lol

    Meanwhile, the FBI files are littered with filth beyond our imaginations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dixon’s assistants, whom he had not consulted or listened to all year, were screaming to him to get the Pitt players off the foul line in the Butler Game. Still, as a ref you just can’t make that ticky tack call that determines the outcome of a tourney game.

      And at the Nova Game, there’s not a HSchool coach alive that couldn’t have set up an effective defense to keep Nova from succeeding on that inbound play and keeping the Nova guard from catching that ball on the run!!!the only way they could have scored in time.

      I will never forgive Dixon for either of those coaching blunders

      Liked by 1 person

      1. nonetheless, it was clearly a foul by Nasir at the end of the Butler game, and it was even a more clearer foul last night, There is no doubt that the UVa guy was fouled, and further the contact altered his shot. And unlike the Butler game, this one last night needed to be called.

        To put a feather in my own cap, as soon as I saw the last few seconds of last night’s game and while the foul shots were being made, I texted y buddies and told them that a double dribble was not called … and sure enough, a bout 2 minutes after my text, Gene Steratore confirmed it

        Like

        1. The double dribble was a bad miss by three refs positioned correctly to make the call. Seeing it live was a no brainer, but to see it in slow mo, from opposite angles makes you sick for the Auburn faithful. Even though Pearl is a cheater, he handled his press conference with class.

          The UVA team is loaded with juniors – Pitt won’t sniff the NCAA tourney for another three to four years. Recruiting is on par with FB. One 4* Rivals recruit currently on the team. Not ACC ready…

          Like

      2. To be fair Villanova’s Wright tricked Roy Williams with the same last second tactics in the title game 3 years ago. I remember seeing that UNC did not have a man guarding the inbounding player and saying to my wife that Nova was going to pull a Scotty Reynolds and win the game.

        Like

  6. Pitt baseball (2-10 in ACC play) entered a double header yesterday vs 3-9 Duke and were swept by the Blue Devils 0-2 and 5-6. The final game of this series is today.

    The Pitt softball team split a double header non-conference (P5 opponents) – lost to Oregon in the first game and beat Missouri in the second game yesterday. Their season record is 6-31. They finish the weekend this morning vs Oregon.

    Oy vey!

    Like

  7. Pitt got a commitment who wasn’t a four star recruit with big time offers. Here comes the predictable tirades about how Narduzzi can’t recruit.

    Like

    1. Cuse and SFL offered
      at least he’s not getting offers from Holy Cross and Elon
      Unless he can gain 80 pounds, I dont see him playing DE
      Looks more like a TE to me or lanky receiver

      Like

  8. BigB, As I’ve been saying, I think the colors will be closer to what you like. Just a little darker shades than the retros right now.. The other word is the new logo will be the Panther head on the Cathedral of Learning. OR We could all be surprised. Bring on the rain T-Pain….

    Like

        1. I don’t think it’s going to be the head in the cathedral. That was just some random speculation from a random fan…oh wait. Looking at twitter actually there are some panther heads that may have leaked. Hmmm

          Like

      1. good catch nate … just another example of how the Pitt admin has been run over the last 3 decades.

        There is a difference between trying to dissuade a player from entering the draft and turning your back on him after he does. Allegedly, Majors did the vey same thing with Curtis Martin.

        Like

        1. Yeah, Hackett was a real prick to Marc when he declared. Great move by Spindler not putting his body and NFL future on hold for an incompetent coach and a university that had no interest in Marc and in winning football games.

          Marc mentions how the NCAA was coming down hard on Pitt, yet in 1992 or ’93 the NCAA cleared Pitt of any transgressions. Amazing how Pitt reacts to the NCAA, as if it is like dealing with the IRS. Panic, panic, panic to those four letters is Pitt. Nowadays schools tell the Association to F off.

          Like

  9. FWIW … re: new commit Sam Williams. Below is the last 2 paragraphs of SBNation’s write-up of Pitt’s new commit …. kind of makes you wonder how he will be used

    On the offensive side of the ball, he came up with 13 receptions for 222 yards and four touchdowns, averaging 17.1 yards per catch. His longest reception of the season went for 46 yards.
    It’s unclear how Williams will be utilized by Narduzzi and the Pitt staff. The team is still thin at the tight end position but may like what the Calvary standout brings to the table as a member of the defensive line.

    Like

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