Things to talk About


Things are slow.  Should be a new round of interviews up today, so stay tuned.

In the meantime:

On Saturday’s scrimmage:
“There were good plays and bad plays. Everybody got them. We’re just trying to eliminate all of the bad plays. Deslin [Alexandre] was a guy that stuck out to me just as far as details and doing more than what I’ve seen from him. That’s what you expect when something like that happens. You expect for somebody to step up and take over, and he really did.”

On being encouraged by the defensive line’s scrimmage performance:
“It’s very encouraging, but that is what you expect to happen. It naturally happens. I think some people go, ‘I’m not the guy. Weaver is the guy. Patrick Jones is really good. Everyone is talking about 91 and 17.’ Then all of a sudden, you see a window open. You get a new breath of fresh air and go, ‘let me inhale this and let’s go.’ You expect to see it happen; it did happen. But not just him (Alexandre). John Morgan did some really good things as well. Habba [Baldonado] has gotten even healthier. It’s going to be a battle.”

On if they coached the defensive ends harder after Weaver’s injury:
“I sure hope not. I don’t’ think we changed our tune. You have to coach the way you coach. I don’t think we need to add any pressure to anybody’s plate there. We don’t coach them any different. I think maybe they have little bit more urgency because they go, ‘I could be the guy.’ I think it gives the guys a little more juice.”

On if he had individual conversations with the defensive ends:
“Some guys you do; some guys you don’t. There are one or two guys that I said, ‘hey, let’s go. You need to get your tail going.’ I sat them down and said, ‘you need to put more effort into it.’ And I am not talking on the field. I am talking in the classroom, knowing what you’re doing. Once you know what you’re doing, the word knowledge allows you to play faster. If you’re out there playing slow because you’re not sure… There are so many different defenses to apply to the different fronts and formations on offense and different plays. There are a lot of things going on and a lot of moving parts. You play faster when you know what you’re doing. So that urgency has opened it up for some of those guys.”

Pitt Football Practice

On how he feels about Pitt’s special teams:
“I feel really good. [Alex] Kessman is really kicking the ball like we expect him to. With Kirk [Christodoulou], I expect more out of him. He’s not a rookie anymore. We have to get him a little bit more consistent. He’s had consistent days, but when it’s gameday or scrimmage day, we expect you to wake up that morning, feel good and punt it well. He’s got an explosive leg. Cal [Adomitis] really snapped the ball well. We’re moving along trying to find a holder as well. Special teams have been sharp.”

On what range he trusts Alex Kessman to kick field goals at:
“72 … 74, maybe (laughing). I mean, who is going to kick a 60-yarder? If he can kick it from 55 yards or 56, that’s good. That’s about where it is.”

Pitt Football Practice

On how the younger corps of linebackers is learning the defense:
“When I look at what our linebackers are doing right now, there are some talented guys in that room. But their knowledge is pretty good right now, too. You try to match it up to the older guys [from last season] like [Elijah] Zeise, Seun [Idowu] and Quintin [Wirginis]. They know it like they did, they just lack the experience. I don’t think it comes down to the knowledge part of it; I think the knowledge is there. It’s just them going out on gameday and doing what they know how to do. They know what to do as good as our guys did last year. They can run; they can make tackles. It’s just a lack of experience on gameday, that’s the only thing.”

On which true freshmen could play this season:
“There are some young guys that popped. Vincent Davis had a heck of a scrimmage; he played hard. He’s a guy that we’ll look at to play four games. He was the one guy that really stood out. We talked in our staff meeting prior to the scrimmage about who has a chance… Matt Goncalves has done a nice job. He’s an offensive lineman, so is he going to play this year? No. But he’s done a nice job of picking stuff up and pass protecting really well. Kyi Wright has done a nice job. Gavin Thomson from Central Catholic is a guy that has made some nice play; the guy is a football player. Calijah Kancey has done a good job; he’s a guy that I probably should’ve mentioned earlier. Leslie Smith has done a nice job at the linebacker spot. We had him in camp; what you saw in camp, you see out there. He’s very smart and has picked up the defense. I could see him playing four games, maybe five, six, seven… who knows? The guy is a football player, but as a rookie, he just needs to finish plays. But he knows what to do for a young guy. Brandon Hill obviously has a chance, too.”

Pitt Football Practice

On playing true freshmen four games and redshirting them:
“That’s an option for everyone, even for offensive linemen. You could be a guard and be on field goal team. You could put a guy in a different jersey number and have him be at wing if someone else is banged up.”

On if Kirk Christodoulou is the leader in the holder competition:
“I would say Kirk is probably the leader. We have other ones, too. I don’t want to anoint anybody. I want to make sure it’s thought out. It’s a long season. It’s an important spot. I want to make sure Kirk does his job first. I don’t want him worried about two things. Kirk can do it; we know he can do it. Kirk has great skills. I just want to make sure we don’t put too much pressure on one guy.”


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Best Case Worst Case

 Some news on fan favorite George Aston:

28 thoughts on “Things to talk About

  1. I think the prediction of Pitt’s season shown immediately above is pretty accurate, and the author seems to have done his homework … much more than others IMO.


  2. The Weaver injury really has taken the wind out of our sails. That and a ridiculously difficult start to the season has silenced the pros and cons of POV.

    It looks like the offense is really going to need to gel early to prevent another 5-7 season.


    1. I agree, though for me it’s less of the Weaver injury and more of the new offense, inexperienced OL and especially the difficult start to the season.

      VA is solid and a tough team to start with. We should beat Ohio in week 2, but they are a top team in their league so it won’t be easy. PSU is crazy talented on defense – not a good match up for our new offense. And, the game is in Creepy Valley giving them at least a 7 point home field advantage. UCF runs an offense that is difficult to defend. They are preseason top 20 and even top 15 in one poll. Our defense is solid and our offense may hit its stride in week 4, so we could pull an upset against UCF perhaps. Brutal start for us. At least 2 and as many as 4 losses right at the get go…


  3. A 2-0 start is crucial. Both are at home yet since Heinz is a neutral field Pitt doesn’t benefit from having a true home-field advantage. Imagine a 3-1 start heading into Delaware. The makings for a terrific season would be there for the taking.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I continue to be impressed with these PITT players and how they conduct themselves on and off the field along with their interviews. I will now knock on wood.

    Again, it seems as though Jerry D and Pat have become best friends forever? Narduzzi has most definitely change his tune with the media….. or most of the media. However, he still runs a secret society down on the south-side.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think Jerry D has consistently given the program a fair shake and if I am able to find out that the rest of the 4th estate in Pgh believes Duzz was treating him well, Im sure EJ and finally Heather found out. Everyone needs a little coaching every now and then and it certainly appears that Duzz has adjusted.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. JoeL a couple things:

    He starts out saying escaping a 1-2 start? I first took that as not starting with one win and two losses by beating UCF, however, UCF is the fourth game. So I figured in his “best” case scenario PITT has already started out 1-2. So I assume he’s saying PITT loses to UVA….. or Ohio. He writes like Joe Namath. Which brings me to my second thing.

    Man does JoeN bounce around a lot. Still enjoying the book though. It’s just one minute we are in snowy WPA and the next sunny Florida. Which kind of makes me chuckle because that reminds me exactly of Joe Namath. Still remember his interview at a super bowl I believe when he was loaded making a pass at the lady interviewing him. I hope he addresses that later on in the book. 🙂 Thanks again JoeL…


    1. I saw it live when he tried to kiss Suzy Kolber. That was a bit sad.
      Don’t care for how Joe Willie is approaching his story – back and forth, back and forth.
      Too much of the book thus far is focused on the Super Bowl vs the Colts.
      Would appreciate hearing a bit more about his high school playing days, how he got recruited to Alabama and why he chose to go there. And a truly great memoir would address his off-field antics in NYC in a candid fashion. We’ll see.

      I think best case for Pitt at the end of Sept is 4-1 and worse case is 2-3.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m trying to figure out if the Penn State shirt grammatical issue in the picture above was intentional or not: “WE ARE’NT PENN STATE”


  8. Good question Dad and I think it is a play on words but I wouldn’t want any shirt that says penn state on it unless I need am extra rag to wipe my dog poo shovel off with. (I really don’t have a dog anymore) 🙂


  9. I don’t want to read too much into PN’s comments regarding the freshman, but there were some real surprises to me, including Leslie Smith (due to him being undersized) and Gonclaves (due to his low recruiting interest)- always nice to see some surprises, hopefully…

    Ike, regarding Narduzzi’s demeanor, we sometimes forget that he’s till learning to be a head coach in some facets, and I hope he has recognized some of his shortcomings with regard to handling the press & people in general (regardless of his motives), and is improving in that regard (at least, I hope). I think he may have already burned some bridges in that area, which has obviously affected how some view him (and root against him).

    Nate, I could easily see us losing our first 2 games as well, bringing us 0-3 out of creepy valley, but I like your thoughts instead, so I’m going with that.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Starting 0-3 would be a disaster – I would not be able to read the POV for at least a month – but unfortunately, an 0-3 start is certainly possible.

    I’ll say this — I feel much better about this season with Coach Whipple steering the offense and Coach Bates directing the defense. (Imagine if Watson were still here – then an 0-3 start would have a much higher chance of happening…)

    Got to find a way to win that opener…. Simply GOT TO…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Called Comcast again today, third or fourth time, and asked about the ACCN. Lane the agent, acknowledged there were ongoing negotiations but nothing new to report. I asked again about ESPN3 and he confirmed that games should still be able to stream. I’m a little doubtful about that or at least wary so I’m still thinking of alternatives. I also put in a demand/request for Comcast to add the ACCN to their channel listings. I suggest you all do the same. No, I’m not Heather……………….

    Liked by 1 person

  12. JoeL, I read somewhere where Namath was to go to the Terps but SATs were too low which didn’t matter at Alabama even in the 60’s.
    Namath seems to be kind of a. “ made up” dude… too much Hollywood in him. He left Pa a long time ago.

    My Sr year HS HC was Dean Sekeres who served on Bruno’s staff at Beaver Falls when Joe was there.

    Joe was also married to an Elizabeth City NC girl Debbie Mays…WAS….


  13. Biggie, I don’t know if Joe Namath is made up or not, he just seems to fly by the seat of his pants. He’s wacky. Maybe smoked too much wacky tobaccy. Trust me on this one, that can make someone wacky!


  14. I live in central PA and Comcast carries the SEC network which I have no interest in on my cable package.
    The closest SEC school is many, many miles away.
    IMO, Comcast should drop the SEC in my viewing area and replace it with the ACC network.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Tried to post two links to articles from CBS Sports website. Of course, they haven’t posted to the POV. The first article was that Maurice Ffrench was named a second team All American as a kick returner.

    Does this end the long national nightmare of HCPN never haven’t a true commit named to a 1’st or 2’nd team ACC or national team?

    The second link was CBS Sports “All Time All American” team. Only 2 teams & honorable mention. Pitt has a few players listed.

    What I found interesting was that Hugh Green made 1’st team DL but also made the HM list as a linebacker.


  16. When Rashad W. got hurt, I listed the DEs on the roster. Lots of backup candidates, with four of them being red-shirt freshmen. The RFr are John Morgan, Kaymar Mimes, Noah Palmer, and Habakkuk Baldonado (BigB’s favorite!). We also have Chris Maloney, who is a RFr walkon at DE.

    I remember wondering why we were taking so many DEs in that recruiting class. Now it kinda makes sense…but we need to do a better job of position distribution in the recruiting classes…

    Go Pitt.


  17. The ACC has announced that Spectrum(Charter/Times Warner) has agreed to carry the ACC network.

    I’m relieved. Played out just like Spectrum did with carrying the SEC network – waited until the last minute.


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