ACC Media Days Interview Transcripts

Some good articles out already.  Here are the words straight from the horses’ mouths.

Transcripts courtesy of ASAP Sports

ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE FOOTBALL KICKOFF

 

July 18, 2019

 

Pat Narduzzi

Maurice Ffrench

Dane Jackson

Charlotte, North Carolina

^ Start Pitt

THE MODERATOR: We are joined in the room by the Pitt Panthers.

We will spend some time with Maurice Ffrench, wide receiver for the Panthers. Questions, please.

Q. What can you say about Coach Whipple, what he’s doing with this offense, in your opinion, to make it better, get more out of this season. How do you feel the team has responded offensively?
MAURICE FFRENCH: Well, Coach Whipple is a mastermind. Every time I’m with him, I try to pick his brain. He been through a lot of football, he knows a lot.

With us, he goes through everything, make sure that we know the details of a route, why we’re running this route, making sure we do it to full speed, full detail. We’re just taking that and going a hundred miles speed with it. We just trying to have a way better offense and come out stronger than we did last year.

Q. Pitt lost four senior starters from last year’s offensive line. Who do you think are the leading prospects to help fill in and rebuild that unit?
MAURICE FFRENCH: I feel last year our leader of that O-line was Jimmy Morrissey. I know he got hurt towards the end of the season, but we got him back now. I feel like he’ll still be our leader, pouring his leadership skills into the other younger offensive linemen.

Q. I have to ask you about the shoes. They look awesome. Is there a story behind it or just something you like?
MAURICE FFRENCH: Just something I like. I was back home with my mother. We actually went out shopping for the suits, shoes. I seen ’em. They caught my eye. I was like, Ma, we got to get those (smiling).

Q. Your teammate here Dane, obviously you match up against him in practice on a regular basis. Can you give us a little scouting report of what he brings to the table.
MAURICE FFRENCH: First I want to say Dane is a good corner. Every time we go against each other, nothing but a battle. We compete at a high level. I would say Dane is really smart. His technique is very sound. You really have to work a move on him. Like I say before, he’s really smart.

If you try to slow down at the top of a route, he know where you’re breaking. He going to be underneath you. If you’re breaking out, he is definitely undercutting it and he will pick a ball. If you’re not a good quarterback, you don’t have a good arm, don’t get it there, Dane will be on that ball.

Q. What can you say about Pat Narduzzi, what he’s been to this team, how his message gets across to the entire room? Secondly, what are some things we wouldn’t know about Coach off the field, maybe his attitude off the field?
MAURICE FFRENCH: Ever since I got here, I definitely noticed a change. We went from having average seasons to not a whole team caring, spurts of people, like, trying. But I would definitely say he definitely changed the attitude within our locker room. The coaching staff, as well.

I feel like now we have a whole unit of smart people who want to get better, want to know the game, want to win games. Not just games, but go to the championships, go to bowl games.

I would definitely say, second, him as a person off the field, he’s great. I feel like I get along with him well. Ever since I was in high school, it felt like we clicked automatically. Until this day, we just keep getting better and better within our chemistry.

He’s like that with everybody on the team. If you a starter, if you a third string, it’s the same, there’s no difference.

Q. Last year you accumulated 1222 all-purpose yards. Is there a facet of the game you like playing better?
MAURICE FFRENCH: Honestly, no. I just love the game of football. I feel like if I have the ball in my hands, I can definitely make something happen for the team. I just want to win. Yeah, just want to win.

THE MODERATOR: Good way to finish it out. Maurice, you can switch places with Dane.

Questions, please.

Q. Could you tell me a little bit about what Maurice brings to the table. Obviously speed, I know.
DANE JACKSON: Obviously speed. He’s fast, he’s physical and he’s very smart.

I think a lot of people under stilt his physicality just because he’s fast. He’s able to push off at the top of those routes, get that separation he needs to get a good judgment on the ball.

He’s smart. At the top of his routes, it’s like he’s sticking one way, still go that way, it’s kind of a gamble that you have to take, that you have to feel.

All around, he’s just a great player. He’s deadly in the return game, a great leader. All around great guy.

Q. For this season’s Pitt defense, some words you would use to describe it as you head into the 2019 campaign.
DANE JACKSON: One word would definitely be physicality. I feel like if everyone does their job, we can be a good defense this year. Just swagger, trying to bring that swag to the field, allow everybody to join in on the fun.

Q. There’s a lot of buzz out there that says this could be the best defense in part Narduzzi’s five seasons at Pitt. Why do you think there’s so much optimism floating around right now?
DANE JACKSON: I’m not sure, honestly. We knew what we bring to the table. In our room, we keep it all close. We try to ignore the outside noise, focus on us mainly.

Q. When you think about Rashad Weaver, ranked among the best productive pass receivers in the ACC last year, what makes him so different than anybody else in the league?
DANE JACKSON: I would say definitely his work ethic. He comes in every day, day in and day out, he works his butt off. No days off. He’s trying his best to be a great leader. He’s just smart. He’s smart. He tries to learn every aspect of the game, and he’s picking coach’s brain.

Q. You led the team in pass breakups last year. How do you become a better cornerback in the off-season?
DANE JACKSON: I think the main emphasis for me on the off-season was leadership. I think that leadership will take me a long way. Leadership being, like, coaching the young guys. That’s also helping myself with the fine details. When you’re explaining to a young guy, you have to get really detailed because everything is fresh to him, everything is new. You have to get really detailed. That translates over to you.

Just being a better leader, more vocal leader, putting all my tools from last year, taking them to another level.

Q. Do you have to win the Coastal this year to call it a successful season?
DANE JACKSON: We’re just playing it by ear honestly. We had a pretty decent year last year. This is a new year, new team, new goals, new mindset. Wherever the wind takes us, we’ll be ready.

THE MODERATOR: You can switch places with your head coach.

Questions, please.

Q. What can you say your takeaways have been from your time at Pittsburgh so far? The four seasons you’ve had maybe some words that would describe what you’ve been through, kind of where you’re at right now.
PAT NARDUZZI: Where are we after four seasons going into the fifth season? I feel good about where we are. I felt good every year. I think we’ve got great kids, I think we’ve got great character. We’re going to find out what’s season has got.

After four years, you get to a championship game, I think things are going in the right direction. The question about winning the Coastal, is it a success or not, I mean, nothing is a success unless you win a national championship. I think that’s the ultimate success is when you do that.

Obviously we’ve done that in the ACC.

But, you know, are you happy with 10 wins and no championship, no Coastal championship? Are you happy with seven wins, a chance to play in the championship game?

I like where this football team is, to answer the question a little bit more direct. I think it all comes down to chemistry, how hard they work.

I think we’re together, okay? I think that’s the most important thing. I think we got the culture right in the Pittsburgh campus. I love where we’re going. It’s just like every environment. I evaluate this room as I walk in here. I think a head coach normally naturally does. Every question has come from the front row so far, except one, my man back here.

I said this when we got to Pittsburgh. We all got to be on the same page, going in the same direction. I got to have all you guys in. Can’t be just the guys in the front row asking the questions. I hope our guys learn something from sitting in class. The guys sitting in the front row are locked in and engaged. What’s happening to the third teamer in the back? Are you guys awake back there? What’s going on today?

I think we’ve got a team of engaged guys. We got to get everybody on the same page to win a championship.

Q. What’s the influence of Coach Dantonio on you now that you have yourself established at Pitt, how that helped you along the way? He’s three wins shy of breaking Duffy Daugherty’s career for wins at Michigan. Talk about that achievement.
PAT NARDUZZI: Go Green. I guess we got a Spartan in the house.

Mark Dantonio obviously has been a major influence in my life. You work for a man for 11 years, he becomes like your father. He’s just been a major impact.

You learn things that you want to do, you learn things you don’t want to do. You learn things, I’m going to do things exactly like he’s doing it, I may tweak this here or there.

He’s an incredible person. He’s a great coach. I wish him luck in the 2019 season. He’s three wins shy of Duffy Daugherty, which is a Michigan State legend. He’ll get it done after the third game of the season. That’s what they do up there. Thanks for the question.

Q. I wanted to get your impressions of the transfer system the way it is now. They’re still making tweaks to it. How do you see this year with the changes they made to the waiver system, transfer portal?
PAT NARDUZZI: They’re making changes to it. It’s something I’m really not worried about. We’ll give input when we get to meetings about what it should be, what it can be.

My focus is on making sure I don’t have anybody on our team that wants to transfer. We were fortunate enough at Pittsburgh this year that not one scholarship football player has come into my office and said, Coach, I’m leaving. That tells you what our culture is at our program. I think it’s a great measuring tool as far as what we have culture-wise.

Whatever they want to do, what’s best for the kids… If a kid wants to transfer, needs to transfer, wants a change of scenery, I think kids should be afforded that opportunity. I think they need to be educated. It’s all how you treat your players.

Again, the honesty and truth that’s going on in your building. I believe when you have that, you really don’t have to worry about the rules and regulations.

Q. What can you say about bringing in Mark Whipple as the offensive coordinator, what you saw that you wanted to change a little bit, what Coach Whipple brings to the table.
PAT NARDUZZI: Mark Whipple, our new offensive coordinator, went through a great spring with our football program. I think he’s instilled a lot of confidence in our kids. Again, the first thing he’s done is really shown leadership. I think Maurice talked about maybe our strength coach being the head coach of the weight room. My head coach can’t do it all by himself. I think any great team has great support beneath the head football coach.

I have an offensive coordinator that I believe is the head coach of the offense. I have a defensive coordinator that’s the head coach of defense. I have a recruiting coordinator, head coach of the recruiting, so forth.

Mark Whipple has been a head football coach. He’s won a national championship, he’s a leader. I need someone to come in and take the offense over, grab it. Again, it’s not about the X’s and O’s. It’s not about the scheme, but the guy that can lead that portion of the football team, to go out on Saturdays, play the best they can play. If we have a head coach on offense, defense and special teams that can go out and take their unit, make them the best they can be, make sure they’re prepared, I think we have a great chance to be successful.

I’m excited about him. I’ve coached against him in the past when he was at Brown and UMass. I was always as a defensive coordinator puzzled by what he did, how he did it. I fits in with what we want to do, pro style. I’m excited about what avenue we’re going down this season.

Q. Six different champions in the Coastal in six years. Who do you view as the favorite going in? Who is going to be the toughest? Kind of an up-for-grabs thing?
PAT NARDUZZI: First of all, I don’t think they have a coach’s poll pre-season where we rank each other. So I won’t get into ranking who is going to be the champion of the Coastal at this point.

It’s a great conference. There’s some great divisions. I think top to bottom, the Coastal division is as competitive as you’re going to get. I think anybody can win it every year.

I think one of the reasons I took the job at the University of Pittsburgh is because we had a chance to win a championship. I didn’t want to go anywhere where I couldn’t win a championship. I’d have no fun. It’s hard to sit in front of the kids in a team room and say, Guys, we are going to win a championship. They look at you with four eyes. When I came to Pittsburgh, I knew we had a chance to win a championship.

That’s the beauty of it. Our goal obviously is to always win championships. That’s what we’ll start with when August 1st starts, camp starts, is working towards that goal.

I don’t know who it’s going to be. It’s been six different teams in the last six years. I think that’s a great thing for the division.

Q. In your recruiting, is the new ACC Network talked about amongst the kids and their families? What do you think about it?
PAT NARDUZZI: Well, the ACC Network, we’re obviously excited. I’ve been around some big-time networks like the ACC Network. I’m excited about getting back into a big-time network.

I think our kids are excited about it. We have a new studio obviously in the Petersen Event Center. We have a new one under construction right now in our building on the south side. I think our kids are going to enjoy it. It’s going to bring exposure not only to the University of Pittsburgh but to the ACC.

Raise your hands, who has the right providers, who has the ACC Network? Let me see some hands. I got it. Looks like a lot of you guys better get going here.

I think it’s a great opportunity for the league. I think it’s time, for sure. I think the deeper we get into it, the more fun and exposure that we’ll have.

Q. I’m always curious to find out what players learn from year to year in their experience. What have you learned this coming into your fifth season about yourself as a coach, as a leader, as a recruiter?
PAT NARDUZZI: Geeze, I must not be very smart. I don’t know (smiling).

I think as coaches, you learn daily. I mean, you learn daily. I don’t think we have an hour, two hours in here to discuss this point, that point.

I think the biggest thing is there are minute things you learn. You build your philosophy as a football coach through your career. I’ve had 20-some years of a career prior to being a head coach. Even as an defensive coordinator, assistant head coach. You either know how to lead or you don’t know how to lead.

Little details you learn in the coaching profession that I think make you better every week and every year. Those are the little things that I think are critical.

It always comes back to ground zero. Just be who you are. Don’t try to be someone different. Don’t try to be Lou Holtz, Ara Parseghian, just be who you are. I think it is the most important thing.

THE MODERATOR: Alex Kessman had four field goals, up 50 yards last years. What kind of luxury is that for you knowing you have that type of scoring threat?

PAT NARDUZZI: Alex continues to get better every year. He has an explosive leg, he’s confident. He’s a former boxer, so he has a little swag and competitiveness to him.

He’s not shaking when he’s going out on the field. I don’t talk to him either.

But his leg is going to be more explosive this year. It’s a comfort whether it’s a kickoff going into the end zone or knowing when he lines up, as long as he has a good snap, a good hold, there’s a real good chance that ball is going through the upright.

THE MODERATOR: Probably a one-game-at-a-time type of answer, but if you look at the schedule over your left shoulder, there’s a weird rhythm to it. You have an open date that starts a series of three games, then another open date to finish out the season with three games. I don’t know that it’s a concern, but do you give much thought about how the rhythm of the schedule shakes out?

PAT NARDUZZI: No.

THE MODERATOR: I knew I was walking into weird waters (laughter).

PAT NARDUZZI: Back row anybody? You guys into it today or not?

Hail to Pitt.

THE MODERATOR: We wish you the best.

PAT NARDUZZI: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

 

118 thoughts on “ACC Media Days Interview Transcripts

    1. Sadly print papers are going the way of the dodo. Do I love to read a good newspaper? Yes. Have a bought one in the last ten years? Maybe. Literally maybe 1.

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  1. FWIW, here is my favorite response

    Q. Do you have to win the Coastal this year to call it a successful season?

    DANE JACKSON: We’re just playing it by ear honestly. We had a pretty decent year last year. This is a new year, new team, new goals, new mindset. Wherever the wind takes us, we’ll be ready.

    Like

    1. Here’s mine

      THE MODERATOR: Probably a one-game-at-a-time type of answer, but if you look at the schedule over your left shoulder, there’s a weird rhythm to it. You have an open date that starts a series of three games, then another open date to finish out the season with three games. I don’t know that it’s a concern, but do you give much thought about how the rhythm of the schedule shakes out?

      PAT NARDUZZI: No.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. a couple of notes of concern

    1) 4-star commit Javante Royal from Ft Lauterdale just received an offer from Miami

    2) 4-star recruit BB DJ Gordon, a Pittsburgher who is thought to be a Pitt lean, was just offered by UNC

    you have to keep recruiting!

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    1. Aye. And I’m sure Royal will receive quite a few more enticing offers along the way. Let’s hope the young man is truly sold on Pitt. Nobody has a life skills program like ours! And nobody has as much connection with an NFL team. Even Chris Long said it , “they guys from Pitt, they are really NFL ready”.

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    2. Gordon did get a UNC offer?

      I didn’t see that on the Lair and if true it would have been posted on that board for sure. The sky would be falling on there.

      If true and Capel could still land him that would be huge. I did read on the Lair after the Peach Jam tourney Gordon received more offers and was going to push back on cutting his list to take more visits due to more options now available.

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      1. the same coach that wasn’t even ranked as one of the top Big 10 coaches by the 33 sports writers who cover the conference. Fitzgerald was number 1. Franklin even got 2 votes…must have been for recruiting. Dantonio has always recruited mediocre and found a way to develop players. Its TBD with Narduzzi. I would have asked him why it took so long to get a head coaching job. Its just like Capel being a 10 year assistant with Coach K at Duke after 2 coaching stints. Why so long? Those are red flags to me. I just hope Capel isn’t named in any Duke infraction. The NCAA has names from the FBI investigation and those names will be spilled very soon.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. in 2015, Dantonio’s Spartans made it to the national semi-finals. Yes, they were blown out by eventual champ Alabama … but they got further than any of those B10 coaches named ahead of them. In fact, I would not be surprised that these media types vote depending on the likeability of the coaches … thus, the low showing for Dantonio, Harbaugh and Franklin.

          Probably Dantonio’s closed practices, which are resented by the media, is a big reason for his low rating. Look at the recent media poll where Narduzzi was ranked 11th …. despite the fact that he has a combined record of 8 and 1 against the top 3 rated coaches.

          Tell me .. how in the hell does Duke’s Cutcliff earn a #2 rating? The answer is likeability …. and certainly not accomplishment

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Man these are some good points. I think the one thing Cutcliffe has going for him (besides likeabilty / having coached Peyton Manning) is that he’s winning (for the most part) at Duke. Not exactly a tradition of football excellence down there in Durham.

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          2. maybe likability is a factor but they looked into last season and the ‘momentum’ of the program. Fitzgerald has done more with less than any other coach. Frost is turning Nebraska around. Harbaugh and Franklin have under-achieved.

            Overall, Narduzzi is probably closer to 8th than 11th. I just dont know how much the media outside Pittsburgh really knows about his personality. I would think most media look at win/loss and recruiting results. I’m sure Narduzzi was hurt by a #50 class last year and three straight losses to finish the season.

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            1. So here is a question. If Narduzzi has the third best ACC conference record in the last four years (which he does), shouldn’t that put him closer to third?

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              1. you just cant look at ACC record. If it was based on ACC play only, then yes. But coaches know he’s never won a bowl game. They know he’s been blown out at home by Penn State. They know his team faked cramps against CFU. They know about that OSU shallacking at home. And if these were ACC coaches and not the media, I’m sure some coaches just dont like him for various reasons (cockiness, abrassiveness, italian, northerner, etc). I’m sure the media would have rated him better. I personally placed him at #7 despite my biases. And Cutliffe is raked too high.

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              2. Pitt is going to get the short end of the stick in the National and ACC media no matter what. On that point we agree

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        2. The coaching question has been asked a million times. They both had opportunities but didn’t think they were good ones. Hardly a red flag.

          There is absolutely no reason to think Capel committed any infractions unless you like pondering the negative about everything Pitt. 🙂

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          1. Lets hope Capel is clean. Coach K isnt an Angel or Saint like many portray him to be.

            I’d like to know what those opportunities were and what made them ‘not good’

            I would think that any assistant would jump on a chance to coach. Big jump in pay and allows you to get noticed for a bigger coaching gig down the road if all goes well.

            Narduzzi was in over his head the first few years at Pitt. Pitt needs to stop being a proving ground for head coaches. Few are able to make this leap seamlessly and successfully. I’d rather have Pitt coaches cutting their teeth elsewhere.

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            1. Well it’s a sunk cost now and he’s learned on the job. Btw if we can hire a coach that goes 8-4 while “being way in over his head” and learning on the job, I’ll take that every time

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              1. In those years Pitt had special players. Should have won ten or eleven games. We have narduzzis defense and stubbornness to thank.

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        3. TX – Capel’s time was probably due to the issues at Oklahoma, although he was not implicated and it never came out that he was involved in the payments. He may have had offers and didn’t act on them as well.

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  3. If PITT and Narduzzi should lose Javante Royal to Miami who’s going to blame them? I sure hope they don’t but ????

    From what I understood when Capel was hired is that he had been approached many times before hoping to lure him back into head coaching turning them all down. That was until Heather went on vacation to Durham NC along with Gallagher to convince JC to come to PITT.

    Narduzzi was also approached over the years before accepting the PITT job.

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    1. I agree Ike. Both Capel and Pat profess to have been waiting for the right situation. And I think this for the most part rings true. If you are a talented and successful senior manager in a corporation there are probably a lot of opportunities to be promoted to director. But someone who really has it together is going to be very selective.

      Like the old saying goes, “you don’t want to be like the blind dog in the meat locker.” (He went in and took a big bite out of the first thing he smelled. What he didn’t know was that the choicest cuts were kept in the back!)

      Liked by 1 person

    2. most P-5 schools dont hire long time assistants though. they look for proven head coaches mostly at a lower level. Or if they do hire an assistant, its someone already on staff or some hot shot coordinator from an elite program.

      if Pitt was his dream job, then it worked out for Narduzzi. But he also could have cut his teeth first at a MAC or AAC school and then probably landed at a better program than Pitt in less time.

      I really have never liked the hiring of assistant coaches or career coordinators. Head coaching experience matters.

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  4. Tx, I don’t disagree with you there buddy but who wanted to come to PITT, who did they miss on? and btw, wasn’t Chryst a career asst coach? We can wiggle our noses or click our heels all we want, doesn’t mean a miracle will happen. We can always wish in one hand as well. PITT hired a couple of good solid coaches, now they have to show patience and stick with continuity.

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    1. Walt was also a career assistant and did a pretty good job. On the other hand, Fraud was a successful HC … but he did have a brief history disloyalty

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          1. He was also head coach at Pacific. So Pitt wasn’t his first head coach gig. Big step up for him. But he came prepared given his experience under Johnny, with the Jets and at tOSU.

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    2. The thing about Narduzzi is that even though he’s not from Pittsburgh, he strikes me as a “Pitt” guy. He’s from the region. He seems to value stability (stayed long with Dantonio / MSU). He probably doesn’t want to move his family around. He’s got the opportunity to win championships (at least coastal division championships and who knows if he wins enough of them he might just beat Clemson again). As long as he is successful and Pitt is giving him what he’s asking for, why would he leave?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. He’s not going to leave. Unless fired. He has it good at Pitt and I’m sure Pitt is happy with his overall performance…getting to bowls, no sanctions, graduating players, 35-40k attendance.

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    3. If Pitt offers good money, many coaches would have been interested. Chryst stabilized it. Narduzzi checked Pitt’s boxes. He came cheap. Thats no way to run a program.

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      1. He’s not cheap now…now he’s average. And for Pitt that’s a lot. If he can break into 9-10 win territory (and that’s an IF) does Pitt pony up to keep him? I bet they do

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  5. If Narduzzi can produce a string of 9-11 win seasons which includes bowl wins, they will need to pay him more. No program can pay below market and expect to keep coaching staff particularly if the program is above market in performance.

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  6. In reading the presser, it is obvious that Narduzzi has an outward disdain of the media. People then wonder why Pitt can’t get a break with the same media. He openly mocks them throughout his interview and ends it with another jab.

    Pitt needs to get with him and coach him on how to be an influencer of the media (and 4 star recruits, ha!). People don’t like to get made fun of, let alone, publicly. He needs to understand that, especially with “Gerry” in Pittsburgh. It’s just not funny. It’s just not cute. It’s Narduzzi being out of his element, nervous and then turning into a bully. Get em with kindness coach.

    Speaking of recruiting, the Miami offer of our verbal is troubling. Typically, after an athlete gives a verbal and the athlete is talking to a different team, before the new team coach extends an offer, the question/conversation is something like…”Hey, we really like you and feel you can put us over the top for a championship. That said, we would make you an offer if you tell us that you will consider us and come to campus for a visit”. The slick recruiters will say that “coach don’t want to offer you after your verbal because we don’t want to cause you any trouble with your current team, so tell me not to offer unless we have a good chance to get you”.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha. I agree. I think he likes to joke with them. I also think he has his way of calling out dumb questions. He also did go a little overboard with Jerry at one time from what I understand. But he’s a ball buster. That’s who he is. It’s an Italian thing. My dad is the same way. Sign of endearment but you have to have a thick skin . As a fan I think he’s entertaining as hell.

        Liked by 4 people

    1. Show me a coach that loves the media. Please.

      I’m not sure I agree with your take on the press conference as I watched it live. Thought he came across just fine. Not, “wow what a great job!” fine, just fine…OK. I didn’t detect disdain. In fact, he even said it was nice to put a face with a name to one of the questioners.

      Now, this guy could use a bit more polish and I think you are spot on that some public speaking and media mgt training would serve him well. For all we know, that may have already happened and he’s not progressing. Who knows?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Agreed JoeL. I don’t get it either. From my personal past history… If I found something about someone I didn’t like. I also found everything that person did or said disdainful. It’s a personality flaw I have. On the other hand, if I like someone, I go to war for them..

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          1. You know I have your back my smiling friend. as I know you joke……. Just drop me a line when the war starts, reach out and I’ll be there.

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    1. So maybe the question back to the group is why do each of you complain about the lack of positive Pitt stories in the media, if he is so beloved and there is some type of inside man crush going on? There’s always other excuses. Oh, it’s because Diary College runs the place and the reporters are told by their bosses not to like Narduzzi.

      It’s a one way ball bust if you ask me Mike, but again i am troubled. I am sure the reporters in the last row couldn’t wait to go write something positive about Pitt and Narduzzi. I’ll wait to read those stories on a different day.

      Watch Tomlin constantly pick at a guy during a presser….or Sullivan, etc. Keep looking for it….nah, don’t waste your time. Just keep whining about the coverage and do nothing to try and change it. #lockhislips.

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  7. Does Pitt employ this tactic? Offer a kid after he’s accepted another school’s offer. Pitt should be doing this with every Rutgers and Maryland recruit.

    What kid from the Miami area turns down a Miami offer for a Northern school like Pitt?
    That would be like a Pittsburgh kid turning down a Pitt offer to play in Maine.

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      1. But not warm weather, hot girls, extra curricular activities, football culture, close to his homies. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t decommit.

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        1. Maybe he’s been a lifelong Steelers fan.

          Maybe he wants to get out of Miami after being their for 18 years.

          Maybe he has parents that care about him and don’t want him going to a “party school” and care about his job placement if he doesn’t make the NFL.

          Maybe he wants to Major in something that Miami is not strong it.

          Maybe he was captivated my the cathedral.

          Maybe he bonded better with the team and other recruits at Pitt than he did.

          Maybe he likes the depth chart at Pitt better.

          Just because Miami offered doesn’t mean they are a lock to get him. Now that doesn’t mean he won’t flip, bud dammit Jim there are a lot of reasons to pick Pitt over the ‘Canes.

          Liked by 1 person

              1. No Mezcal! Looking forward to toasting Pitt’s first bowl victory and top 25 recruiting class with your tequila 😁

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          1. The girls in Southbeach and Miami are 50k times better than at Pitt. That isn’t even devateable. A Dog in Miami is a Supermodel in Pitt.

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            1. Not like Miami. Not even close. Spend a week in Miami and we can talk. Europeans, Brazilians, Argentinians, Locals, Blondes, Venezuelans, Russians. Pitt has some locals and half of China on Campus.

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          1. I wont be blaming Narduzzi if we lose any Florida kids. I blame him more for losing Pittsburgh kids but he’s landed two very good ones recently…assuming they sign.

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    1. I know for a fact that Jerry’s colleague in the Pgh media did not care for the way Narduzzi treated Jerry at the beginning of his time at Pitt, heard it directly from a couple members of the 4th estate. I believe you are correct though that he and Jerry have developed a pretty good banter since then. Jerry does a good job and gives Duzz and Pitt the benefit of the doubt in his reporting.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Kind of like the players were in some sort of uproar and division down at the south-side. Meanwhile, PITT is one of the few teams that didn’t have a player single ask to leave or enter the portal. Like Mark Twain said….“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”

    Narduzzi will not be fired for years. He could scoot on his own though.

    Tx, maybe Narduzzi doesn’t want a player that committed to Rutgers or Maryland? What makes them so special? I think the opposite.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. People share those kinds of insights on a blog – the most widely-read blog on Pitt FB – and then wonder why practices are closed for the most part and why they are referred to as the enemy by the HC.

      Which is not to say (that’s a phrase Smizik loves to use BTW) there wasn’t an uproar of sorts. But if there was, the sun still rose in the east so someone must have handled it. Nothing to see here folks; keep moving….

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Narduzzi should not view criticism as somehow being un-Pitt. Is he going to ‘Send Me Back’? Because if so, I’ll be in Pittsburgh and he will rue the day.

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  9. Because those schools are close, beneath Pitt and not in conference.

    I don’t like the tactic against acc schools.

    I’d do it for every Nitter recruit knowing we stand little chance. But it would piss franklin off.

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  10. I agree that Narduzzi is a bit gruff with the media. I guess that’s who he is.

    Now, rank all of the Pitt FB HCs of this millennium according to their press conference abilities. Not exactly the hall of fame of orators. IMO the only one who seemed comfortable with the media is the one whom I disliked the most; in fact, I referred to him as a snake oil salesman after his very first press conference as a Panther HC

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    1. Another reason for 40 years of mediaocrity…… get it, media ocrity! You all get your panties in a wad a lot over things you wouldn’t be able to determine if i was serious about or getting your goat. I am so Narduzzian at times.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. TX – I suspect a big factor for Coach Capel staying at Duke may have been his closeness to his father. The senior Capel died in Nov. 2017 (at age 64) of Lou Gehrig’s disease. Jeff took the Pitt job in 2018.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I think my point JoeL and others is that it’s time to move forward with this Narduzzi is the devil talk. I absolutely see a difference in the way he handles the media. Like Joe say. yes he could use a little polish. BTW. << is that a double entendre

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Coach Narduzzi is a classic old-fashion IF-You’re-Not-With Me-You’re-Against-Me guy. I think that quality colors everything he does.

    And he doesn’t think the Press is on his side. (Just like I imagine he was suspicious of the POV’s “We’re Keeping Our Eyes on Pitt Football.”)

    Coach does try to deflect and get thru questions by being too flippant and clever – which often doesn’t come off so well. (Though not nearly as painful to me as Coach Chryst and his constant “you knows.” — but I still was a Chryst fan…)

    We hired these guys to coach, not to orate. Look at Clint Hurdle – one of the best ever at talking to the media before and after games; not so good at coaching the fundamentals or managing during the games…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. speaking of Chryst, he may have gotten off the line of the week. He lost 3 year starter Hornibrook to transfer. Now he has a 4-star natural freshmen and a couple of inexperienced QBs on the roster. When asked about the QB situation, he responded “well, we’re going to have one”

      BTW, Hornibrook is coming to the ACC — FSU

      Liked by 2 people

        1. That’s an old Paul Johnson quote when he was asked about the upcoming season and the need for either an offensive or defensive coordinator and his response was, well we’ll have one.

          Good quote by chryst. Hornibrook to me was not impressive….ever!

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  14. Using Rivals’ data, Michigan State has an avg. star ranking of 3.21 over the last 5 years (2015-2019 classes). That places Dantonio’s avg. class at 25’th of 65. Throw out the 11 4 stars in the class of 2016 (MSU made CFP during the 2015 season), he consistently pulls in 4 or 5 4 stars per year,

    While avg. star rank is at the low end of Tx Panther 3.2 – 3.4 that he thinks Pitt should be at, the number of 4 stars is right on his target. The problem with Michigan State is that Michigan, Ohio State & Psu all out recruit by a margin comparable to Pitt vs. Miami.

    It’s amazing what happens when you have time, excel & raw data to put stuff in comparison.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Michigan State, Wisconsin and TCU are some of the few programs that consistently outplay their recruiting rankings. If Pitt is going to be successful it has to be through a similar model. That is why I think Narduzzi is the right guy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I dont think any of these coaches at the schools you mention are all that great at developing talent. They are probably better than most however. But I would think other factors cant be ignored such as scheme, coaching staff, schedule, annual competition. I can speak for Patterson at TCU since its my backyard. He’s a very good coach but he also lands some very talented players in key positions like QB and RB. 70% of his 2020 class is rated 5.7 and above. Pitt is at 15%. Its more an urban legend now that TCU cant recruit. TCU is now on the radar and in the Big 12. It often goes head to head with the Horns and Aggies for recruits. They also renovated their OCS instead of tearing it down to play at Jerry World.

        They have a three finger claw as their hand symbol. All the schools have some hand symbol in Texas like some gang sign. Tech has the pistol. Texas has the horns. Aggies have the gigem thumb. What does Pitt have? Maybe a middle finger for Cornhole for nearly destroying the program. 🙂

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        1. yes – schedules matter. The myth of player development and finding diamonds n the rough is just that…a myth. Superior talent wins in the end. There has NEVER been a NC winner in the BCS era that did not have a 5 star starter. NEVER. NC winners have 70% of their team 4 star and above.

          Coaches only get in the way. 80% of a coaches job s management. The other 20% is X’s and O’s.

          Find me a coach that can recruit and I’ll find you a championship. Unless you’re a charlatan like Franklin who doesnt have an once of coaching and game management in his brain.

          You’re BIG on Heather ike. I know that. Yet she is directly responsible for OOC schedule. She still has TN and WI on the schedule. Remove those teams immediately. Schedule 4 patsies at home. Attendance wont drop too much and revenues from attendance dont matter as much when 70% of your revenue is from the ACC media rights anyway.

          And dont being letting Narduzzi off the hook for not getting those elites. 4 star talent matters. I dont want to hear about some 2 star he plucked out of Ontario with potential. I’m not saying this in a mean way. Just passionate.

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            1. I cant wait. If Pitt has better talent than most Coastal teams and their coach is competent and I think Narduzzi is, Pitt should win 5-6 games every year in ACC play. Play an easy OOC and theres another 3-4 wins. Win your bowl and you finish with 9-11 wins. Where Pitt fails is with not enough elite talent (only averaging two 4 stars each year or less than 50% rated 5.7 and above), and having one of the toughest OOC schedules. Pitt is so close. Damn Lucy.

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    2. Michigan state has been recruiting much better recently. Along with whisky and TCU. They have to now because they are being outrecruited by wide margins. Again if fifty percent of the class is 5.7 and above, you should be a top 25 team unless injuries and bad coaching gets in the way. For Pitt that means they need about four 4 stars and an avg overall around 3.3 stars each year. It’s very doable. Miami is recruiting to be elite again. They don’t need to cheat with all that talent but I bet they still do. It’s in their nature.

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  15. have you guys watched a tomlin press conference. there is no one more arrogant. the media is afraid to ask him tough questions. it is a joke.

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  16. Pitt FB Kickoff Luncheon will be on Friday, August 23rd at the Westin next to the Convention Center. Coach Duzz and the Senior Class will be there.

    I have gone to several of these and enjoyed them — especially the chance to hear each of the seniors say a few words.

    (BTW, the practice of having each senior say a few words was started by Coach Chryst – I figured so that Coach Chryst, himself, wouldn’t have to speak very long…😊).

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 4 people

  17. Replying to Tx above. Question, you know what else is a myth? ….. That I’m big on Heather. I wouldn’t say that’s true as I’ve tried to explain in the past. The truth is, when Heather and Narduzzi are attacked and I feel it is unwarranted (my problem) I just try and point out what and again, I feel is more in line with the truth. I think Heather has done a good job up until now and right about now is when the more critical evaluations should be taken more serious. Same goes with Narduzzi. Hated the Stanford loss last year but he did deliver a division championship against one of the toughest schedules in the nation.

    Tx, we’re always good and I’m just trying to keep it real myself.

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    1. I’m more a Narduzzi fan than Heather fan. I do respect them both. I’m just a firm believer that Pitt needed a head coach with experience and an offensive background. And I’m a firm believer that Pitt needed someone with a CEO background to run athletics and not somehow who checked the politically correct boxes.

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  18. Mark (Upitt) spent a lot of time in the Ft Lauderdale area years ago. You can have pretty woman but there is too much other crap that comes along with it. Take care buddy.

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  19. I think Heather is getting a bit too much criticism for stuff not of her doing … also, there seems to be some unrealistic expectations as to how fast programs can be turned around. Not that I am any kind of expert but I thought her baseball coach and wrestling coach hires were really good although it is much too early to tell. I have no idea how good or bad her other hires were except for Capel which I still heartily approve of

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hiring is just one responsibility and I agree that its too early to judge. But what about marketing? What about season ticket sales? Sponsorship’s? Fundraising? Facilities? Scheduling? Budget?

      I wont mention the Directors Cup or her meet and greets.

      Theres plenty to criticize.

      Like

  20. Just returned from a road trip of Canadian Cities. Saw a guy with a Pitt shirt in Quebec City. One of a kind.
    One observation, PA interstates are in the best shape of most anywhere I went. I guess the high gas prices are worth it. Quebec City is definitely worth a visit, lucked out with it being their week long music festival, an unbelievable event, with multiple venues, all kinds of music and people of all ages. Brought back old memories smelling pot at concerts. Next time I’m going to fly there though.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. not to mention the (ultra) high turnpike tolls

      Big fan of Canada …. been to Vancouver twice, Toronto 4 times and Montreal once. My future plans include a trip to Quebec City and a railroad trip thru the Canadian Rockies

      Like

  21. “..he did deliver a division championship against one of the toughest schedules in the nation.”

    Umm. True but very misleading. The Coastal title is based only on ACC games. That schedule had ONE ranked team (Syracuse). In FACT, Syracuse is the only team Pitt played in conference that was in the Top 40. Pitt’s SOS was only high because they played PSU , UCF and ND. Reminder.. they lost all three (two in BLOWOUT fashion.)

    If a team plays 3 top 15 teams and 9 in the 45-60 range, SOS will be HIGH. But if they go 9-3 (beating the bad teams and getting stomped by the good ones), all we know is that they aren’t great and they aren’t terrible. They are… mediocre. Which is why Pitt finished 2018 rated #50.

    http://sagarin.com/sports/cfsend.htm

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    1. Just a few years ago I kept reading from the previous POV owner that you play who is on your schedule. umm. Yea it’s a catch 22 for sure. I would have much rather PITT played two more powder-puff games and finished with 9 or ten wins but that was last year.

      How you been Jay? You should post more often, you’re good.

      Like

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