Practice interviews are up.  Enjoy.

INTERVIEW VIDEOS

Head Coach Pat Narduzzi

Some good commentary on Kenny Pickett and the O Line here.  Yes it’s typical positivity from the ‘Duzz but for some reason this year I believe him.  Okay well actually I believe him every year, but I believe him more this year.

Offensive Line Coach Dave Borbely

Still one of the best interviews on the staff.  Very good and what I believe to be true information on the state of the offensive line.  Form your own conclusions though.  Here is Borbley after practice 18 last fall.  His second sentence is “We still have along way to go.”  I’m not hearing that this year.  Also noteworthy at about 4:30, he goes through all the young backups (who are now potential starters).

Quarterback Kenny Pickett

Man is he good at saying stuff without staying stuff.  Clearly he’s got more confidence.  Clearly he’s focused on the season.  Gosh I hope his maturity shows through on the field.

Offensive Lineman Carter Warren & Gabe Houy

Carter has some swag.  Houy is just a humble dude.  They are both who they are, which is what you want.

Linebacker Leslie Smith

Honey Badger 2.  I’m just going to start calling him that right now.  If course if the hype isn’t real this name won’t stick…

Original Honey Badger video – for all you old timers this was a youtube viral phenomenon several years ago.

Tyrann Mathieu (LSU Safety) the original “Honey Badger” Highlights.  The video is little bit overproduced, but I’m sure there is some football in there somewhere.

 

Head Coach Pat Narduzzi Transcript

 

Opening statement:

“As you can see, we’re going with a 20-minute walkthrough in the morning instead of a 10-minute walkthrough just to give the guys more work on the field and work on the details. That is a little bit of a change the last four days. I was happy with yesterday’s practice. I challenged the guys, and they came out yesterday and really played well. Obviously, I challenged them and our coaches to do it again today. We have an hour and a half, and we have to go. We have work to do. Don’t look back and say, “I wish I would have.’ I’m happy with where we are.”

On Kenny Pickett’s progress:

“I’m happy. Yesterday, he was throwing the ball on time. We had a blitz period yesterday. Our defense has been pretty good at blitzing, but our offense picked up all the blitzes. He got the ball out quick. There was one play yesterday where he was looking to the left, didn’t see what he liked and went all the way back and threw a dart to Taysir Mack on the comeback. That was big time. I’m happy with where he is. Ultimately the test is on August 31st and every Saturday thereafter.”

On why that play is a positive sign of growth for Pickett:

“It’s a great sign. First of all, he’s throwing the ball on time, making quicker decisions. That all takes time to do. I don’t think that’s something that every freshman quarterback comes out with. That’s probably the hardest thing as a quarterback to do, have trust in your receivers that they’re going to turn around. He threw the ball before the receiver came out of his break. Those are all things that take time.”

On his confidence in Carter Warren at left tackle:

“Carter has done a great job all camp. We sit in staff meetings and talk personnel every single evening. Carter has not come up like, ‘What is he doing? Can we survive over there? Is Kenny going to get hit?’ We’ve got faith in Carter right now. But for everyone out there, we can have faith in practice, and I’ve got faith coming into the evening of August 31st. But then the test comes. That’s the great thing. We get to go see what we’ve got.”

On Kylan Johnson and the battle for time at linebacker:

“Kylan Johnson is doing a great job. I think him and Chase Pine are still battling it out. I didn’t expect there to be a decision today or tomorrow or yesterday. Kylan and Chase are fighting it. Phil [Campbell] and Cam Bright are fighting it. Another guy that I’m impressed with is Leslie Smith. This guy has not hit the wall yet. Most freshmen are like, ‘boom!’ He has not hit a wall mentally yet. He’s still engaged. He’s still having fun. He’s not like, ‘oh my gosh.’ That guy is maybe one of the most impressive freshmen so far, just the way he’s hung in there and really gotten a lot of reps.”

On how much he dictates what new offensive coordinator Mark Whipple does:

“It’s the structure of practice and knowing that we want to run the football, obviously; that’s about the extent of it. Coach Whipple is going to run the offense. I take that from my old Michigan State days. You learn from who you’ve been around. If Coach Dantonio would have meddled with me, it would have hurt me. I couldn’t have called a great defense. I’ve learned to let those guys coach. Even on defense, I give my little tips because I’m capable of that. On the offensive side of the ball, I’ll give my things about what hurts a defense. If they want to do it, that’s great; if they don’t want to, that’s great, too. Offensively, Whipple’s going to run it. It’s his show.”

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163 thoughts on “Pitt Football 2019 – Fall Camp Practice 12

        1. As a long time reader and minimal poster, Reed…what is your outlook on the season? I very much value your opinion (I actually truly value all of the POVers points of view, especially since I am from a different era…2002-2006- hence the username). Not necessarily a win total (to not take away from a predictable future article), but I would like to hear your positives/strong points and the opposite to get your feel for the season. Thanks to all for your insight and I promise that a younger generation cares just as much as you do.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. MM — great job of putting that info together.

    Coach Duzz definitely has a different demeanor in his interviews now. More businesslike; less snarky. Maybe even snarkyless. 😊

    Encouraging to listen to Coach Borbs. Course we know he can’t coach pass-blocking worth a crap. 😊.
    Hope he has learned a thing or two — we find out soon…

    Nice to hear Coach Borbs list some backups and sound pretty good with them – especially since he seems to be an honest, no BS type of guy…

    LB Leslie Smith — what a cool and confident sounding dude. Could have gone to Harvard or Princeton – but chose Pitt. That’s a small fraternity…

    Go Pitt.

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  2. Not sure if Narduzzi meddled with the offensive scheme of things much in the past, well that was until this past off season when he told Watson, get lost my dear friend. WE shall see how this coaching staff does this coming season, especially considering that PITT will have a more experienced QB starting this coming year. The fact that KP had only started one game prior to last season is and was very under-rated. imo

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  3. Since Olineman Carter Warren is in the news – let’s review…

    CW was a 5.7 three star. He’s from NJ; he’s a red-shirt sophomore.

    He was highly recruited. Rivals reports offers from:
    Miami
    Maryland
    Kentucky
    Michigan
    Mich St.
    UNC
    PSU
    So. Carolina
    Syracuse
    Tenn.
    VT

    And finally — Carter is a mere 6’5” and 320 pounds! 👍

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. It sounds like LT is his job as of now. So much rides on the ability and execution of the OL. I’ve got a good feeling about them though. I’m starting to get a little excited for 8/31. I’m hoping it’s not a bout of kool-aide fever.

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  4. I’ve noticed a difference in Narduzzi’s approach to interviews this year. As someone mentioned above, he’s much less snarky than in previous years. Not sure what changed but I like his new approach much better. I was really beginning to get tired of the way he would snap back at reporters and try to make them look stupid. I especially disliked his snakiness with Jerry DiPaolo, who goes above and beyond with his Pitt coverage. Hopefully Narduzzi will continue with this newfound interview style.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It’s August 16th…For all you old bastads who played HS FB in WPA back in the 60’s it was on or around August 16th that we strapped on our gear and began 2-a-days…no getting acclimated, no days of just shirts and helmets-full gear from the get-go, one ladle of water from a dairy farm metal milk container, salt pills/salt candy per practice( whoever heard of hydration- we worried about losing salt-” pass me a shaker of salt”- and a bunch of young kids learning to stick their face-mask into the ball carriers #’s with heads connected by 14-15 inch necks…..those were the days my friend…..

    Liked by 1 person

  6. things have changed BigB, I’m actually going to the opening game next Friday where a good friend of mine is the HC. Thus, WPa HS camps opened a week ago.

    This is because of the extra long season now that PA high schoolers play. For the teams fortunate (?) enough nowadays to make it to the state final, they will have played 16 games total …. 1 more game than even Bama and Clemson plays these days but without any byes … let alone the 4 week layoff that Bama and Clemson has between the conference championship and the playoffs.

    Now, high school FB start even before many schools start class …. so they don’t end up the with the state final being played a week before Christmas, which actually happened a handful of times in the past

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Nooooo John, doesn’t surprise me one bit. Like so many here on the POV Big Bernie’s heart is also BIG, just like yours is John. btw, Thank you again for the kind email…. ike

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  8. I still can’t get a feel for this team. We get quite a few puff pieces based on controlled publicity from the Pitt administration. Enjoy hearing from the players, but the good feelings we get seem to contrast with the national press. With an over/under around 6.5, it seems we may be looking at another mediocre season despite the improved experience level at DL, WR and QB.

    I would like to think we could get at least 8 wins out of this group, but not sure the offense can average 28-30 points based on new RBs and OL. Passing should be better, and the OC should do a better job of mixing things up, which should help in the early games. But is there sufficient depth on this team to sustain the performance if a few more players go down? Much to worry about, and I’ve never seen an opener that is as important as this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. wbb, our generation played a 9 game regular season unless you were at the top of the Gardner Point System which meant going throug the season undefeated . We started practice in mid-august with 2 scimmages during the pre-season leading up to an 8:00PM kicki-off when school resumed after Labor Day (we were all ready end the 2-a-days at return to the classrooms.) Once the season ended in early November, we suited up for basketball -played that out then onto track before switching to baseball over to summer…it’s hard to imagine all that fun is being replaced by a cell phone in a lot of kids lives…..I see these kids now who only play one sport and to me its sad.

    Kiski Area fielded some really good teams when Dick Dilts coached there in the 60’s- 70’s. They were one of the 1st schools in the area to start regular weight training…I think we had 2 or 3 guys who liked to lift and did it on their own…for the rest of us, we just threw our God-given bodies into the fray..to busy playing the games of youth to waist time in a gym lifting…wouldn’t it be great if the game was played from that perspective- the natural man out their on the field…a young human being is not made to carry poundage a couple of standard deviation above the norm..it’s unhealthy…!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. BigB, not making this up by when I was a sophomore in HS, my school (New Castle) went undefeated in ’67 and won the WPIAL title game vs Mt Lebanon at Pitt Stadium on Thanksgiving Day. Why … I don’t remember. I assume Pitt played PSU that weekend and maybe the Steelers played at the stadium on Sunday … but can’t remember.

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      1. yes, we went up against yinz a couple times in the WPIALs during that era. I went to one of them in the early 1970’s

        We also played Kiski Area in a WPIAL championship game at that time.

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    2. Some serious truth BigB. But, times change. Part of the flow of time and evolution. We were lucky to get a chance to be more free range chickens

      Never underestimate the impact a great coach can make. The Whip knows his stuff. Particularly his history of varying game plans week to week based on what his opponent does. I look for his wisdom and experience to improve the offense significantly.

      It will come down to the QB. If there are struggles early pull and replace. My thinking is a year of experience likely helps Kenny. But, need to see his vision improve. Which is where Whip’s game plan and scheme come in to help him progress. Or his backup

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  10. VoR, keep in mind the pros who pick the top 25 each season usually don’t have a very good feel for what to expect either….We will learn one week at a time…I hope PITT jumps out like a “jack in the box” and pleasantly surprises the pi$$ out of us…

    Liked by 2 people

      1. LOL Mikey, you trouble maker you. 🙂

        Darrius Bratton, a starting corner-back for UVA could be out for the season with an injury. Maybe that levels the playing field for PITT missing Weaver?

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          1. Not even close IMO, Bryce Hall is the VA star CB that many project to be a first round draft pick. Bratton may have been expected to start but from reading some of the Va blogs they seem to be pretty deep in their backfield much like Pitt.

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    1. PoD – on the other hand, RB is one of the few positions where a rookie can step in and have an immediate impact, at least in the running-the- ball-down-the-Field aspect…

      The fine points, like blitz pickup, is another matter, but one of the veteran seniors we lost wasn’t so great at that either…

      We have RB numbers; we need two of them to stay healthy and actually play like 4-stars….

      Go Pitt.

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  11. Agree with VoR, there are too many unknowns on this team to make any predictions of outcome.

    While the defense is a very experienced bunch, the offense is a total guess with so many new guys at key positions and absolutely no continuity with last year. However, that has been pretty much the norm under Narduzzi. New Coordinators and QB’s almost every year. Lot’s of changes on the O-line seems routine.

    With the exception of Peterman’s second year, it feels like every year we are starting over. Even that year, we had a new coordinator, who for once, brilliantly put all the pieces together.

    Whipple doesn’t have the maturity of core players that Canada had, so much more of a challenge with 4 new linemen, new running backs and a QB that hasn’t shown that he can get it done.

    It truly will be a “pleasant surprise” if somehow it comes together, early and often.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Canada really stepped into a seasoned O in 2016…wonder why he didn’t use the forward pass much in the 1st 3-5 games..cost us the Carolina game..he opened it up in the 2nd half of the season and the O rolled…and with that D, PITT has to put up numbers to win.

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    1. BigB – that’s a great point. I think they didn’t trust Peterman enough early on in the season. I remember scratching my head when it was 3rd and 6 and we’d run for it…

      Maybe at that time Peterman was being the Buffalo Peterman and throwing too often to the wrong shirt color…

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. People talk of stability with head coaching. But stability is more a product of schemes and systems and players.

    Having consistency in those things is more important. Pitt is hurt with the turnover of coordinators, playbooks and players. Pitt always seems to be in some sort of transition. This creates a rebuild situation instead of a reload.

    The revolving door of coordinators has hurt Pitt. And losing players with experience always hurts but have replacements been groomed and prepared to go?

    This is a transition year for Pitt. Don’t get your hopes up.

    I do predict Pitt to win their bowl game. Next year has a chance to be special.

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    1. Don’t be too quick on picking that bowl win just yet. One has to be bowl eligible before you can win that bowl. Prior to Weaver going down I had no doubt Pitt would be in a bowl. Now I’m not so sure, especially if Pitt has injuries to some additional key players.

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  14. If the Coastal is evenly balanced, it might be possible to sneak in as Champion with a couple of losses. Say UVA loses to Pitt in a first game surprise, and then goes on to defeat Miami later in the season. Miami loses another game they are supposed to win, and Pitt loses two games. If UVA loses to rival VT, then we have a three way tie at the top with tiebreakers picking the winner.

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    1. I held on to the 1st one who would keep me…Debbie (picture-taker and hot dog cooker at the tournament) put our beach towels beside each other at the swimming pool when I was a ninth grader and she in 8th…she never came back for more “LittleB”……maybe I wasn’t aggressive enough !

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  15. Not that recent, but I ran across this Philly Eagles posting about one of my favorite Panthers…

    “Avonte Maddox played relatively well as a rookie, and Kempski writes “he was one of the best players on the field” during the offseason program. Assuming they are healthy, Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills should have roles, but Kempski believes Maddox has shown well enough to play in base packages in addition to his slot job. “

    On another front, I saw where Nate Peterman was 8 for 8 in this week’s Raider’s game. Not many yards, but 8 for 8 sounds good…. BTW, The Raiders completed 21 passes to 14 different guys – none of whom were Antonio Brown…

    Hoping Nate can hold on to be the third QB with the Raiders…

    Go Pitt.

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  16. Did Hall have a good game with 7 carries for 31 yards, or did he have one good carry for 28 yards and then 6 carries for 3 yards.

    To me, i don’t think it was a good game. He had one good carry. What i take from it is that as a fan, i would be disappointed in 6 out of his 7 carries, and happy with 1 of his carries. So therefore, I would be disappointed with the overall result. Is that negative or just putting it out there as what actually happened?

    Also, not happy to see any injuries for sure and I hope the virginny db comes back strong, but I think it really helps the gameplan and would assume that Mr. Charmin squeezes the db replacement, early and often to see if there is a weakness to exploit.

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    1. Valid point on Hall’s performance. Subtracting 28 pretty much trumps M’s subtraction of 14 yards from Ollison if that’s the rationale here.

      But both Hall and Ollison had more than one good run. And they LOOKED good making those runs… especially Hall on his 28 yard scamper.

      A “4 Plus” average per carry… even for an NFL Pre-Season Game… is pretty darn good.

      And may I add better than any of the CURRENT Pitt Backs… in a Pitt Intra-squad Spring Game!

      LOL

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      1. Not sure about that as I understand freshman Vincent Davis took a hand off all the way home last Saturday. But at 5’8″ and 170 he may fit into a category to be given many chances in any game. Supposedly he has V’Lique Carter’s speed and shiftiness that Whipple may find useful if need be.

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        1. Vincent Davis has as good balance as any football player I have ever seen. He’s a human gyroscope. Unfortunately he’s a 170 lb human gyroscope.

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    2. No question that Hall, like Ollison, needs good blocking. They don’t make people miss, but they do bulldog their way for tough yards.

      Hall reminds me some of Willie Parker, the old Steeler back…

      Go Pitt.

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      1. Down here in the A they are saying Ollison reminds them of Michael Turner. He’s got a knack for seeing the holes open up in the zone scheme and exploding into them. Not sure how his skills translate against the 1’s and 2’s, but he seems to be running well against the 3’s and 4’s.

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              1. Willie Parker’s college career is interesting…

                “In his first year, Parker had some success at UNC with 355 yards on 84 carries, but was only used sparingly in his last three years due to decisions made by former head Coach John Bunting to restrict Parker’s playing time until he “bulked up” to fit within Bunting’s attempt at establishing a power running game. In addition, Parker’s father has stated that he thought the murder of Parker’s best friend from home during Parker’s sophomore year made it difficult for him to adapt to the new system at North Carolina.

                Sophomore Year Willie started the first three games of the season and played in nine games. He was able to finish the season second on the team in rushing with 400 yards but only having 83 carries and had three touchdowns. He did not play against Florida State, NC State or Georgia Tech, but was a crucial part of the offense towards the end of the season.

                Junior Year Willie played in 11 games and started only two. Parker was able to start the season-opener against Miami (Ohio) and at Virginia. He was able to finish the season second on the team with 70 carries for 236 yards and one touchdown.”

                As a senior, Willie only had 48 carries for 181 yards.

                Shows what a crazy journey a college football career can be. Maybe Willie should have entered the transfer portal — but he went from this to an eventual Super Bowl hero – unless you subtract that one long run…😊

                Go Pitt.

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          1. Hey I’m just telling you they say.

            To wit though turner turned in a 4.49 40 in the combine. Ollie was nearly a tenth slower at 4.58.

            But…turner played the back half of his career in Atlanta so he may have lost a step by then…

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    3. Huff the Third, no I don’t think you are wrong. 6 carries for minimal yards is not good at all. Such is the life of a running back with Halls style of running. Not comparing the two but Barry Sanders was tackled behind the line of scrimmage many many times but he broke off long ones all the time. It comes with the territory I suppose?

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        1. Barry has walked down the hall many times, that’s about as close as they can be compared. 😉
          That’s just crazy Ike….and I only say that out of love.

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            1. Yeah, but….
              Ok, I wouldn’t even bring up the name on the same blog thread, or blog, or within the same day of saying RB names, or mentioned whatsoever by the same person in the same month, no year, no….LOL

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              1. Hey T, it was sort of a reverse slam on some that want to take away a players long runs but have no problem including the runs for a loss. No, Hall is not Barry Sanders in any way shape or form but the young man has taken an unfair beating on the PITT football boards for 4 years now. So I stand up for a player that gain over 1,000 yards with one of the highest YPC in the nation last year. It’s not rocket science.. 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

  17. Hoping that the balanced offense offsets a probable drop off in running back talent.

    Also hoping that Whipple is good and sticks around for a while. I think the constant change in coordinators has hurt in the building process vs the defense, which seems to have a little better talent and experience every year due to Narduzzi having been a defensive coach.

    This year and next year should tell us a lot about the quality of offensive players Narduzzi has recruited vs the defense.I do think having 4 coordinators in 5 years has not helped.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. VoR, the POV gang, all of them,is a great bunch of people to hang out with… even better when you get to meet them in person !!! This is my happy spot no matter the tone of discussion…hope to meet you and a few others at Fran’s tailgate…Hopefully, have a big group for the opener so we can pray at the Johnny Majors alter for victory and the circle our wagons around our fellow POVert, missingwlat who will finish the season with a new kidney. He will be coming to our Friday pre-tailgate golf outing brought to you by gc……….

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  19. I will stick up for Ike. Remember those 2 long TD runs Hall made at Duke that were disallowed on this site? Well, I’m not sure Sanders would have scored on those as I think he was incapable of running in a straight line for more than 10 yards at a time. He was no doubt an all-timer but his initial inclination was to take a jump step left or right which is why, as ike stated, he took many losses.

    (and I don’t believe I’m being facetious)

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    1. and yet, having a scoreboard that has ketchup bottles pouring ketchup through it is allowed!

      Still not as hypocritical as the manager of the Andy Warhol Museum claiming that building a Pirate ship outside of the right field grandstand would be ‘tacky.’ Think about that one a while

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A silly decision. You can’t make Heinz Field look any worse from the outside as far as it’s architectural-structure goes.

        Now Pitt Stadium had a classic look from the outside…

        Go Pitt.

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    2. Stupid rulings like this will convince the Steelers to move and build their own stadium. Signage on seats are not roof signs. Only in Pittsburgh. Signage on seats is used in almost every soccer stadium for branding purposes and advertising revenues. And many NFL stadiums have it as well. Pittsburgh is very backward in thinking.

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    1. Couple of their husbands died, got old or sick…. ever hear of the “ last man standing?”
      Like Clint Eastwood sexy” Don’t let the old man in!!!” Believe it or not Toby Keith turned that phrase into a tune…..

      Liked by 1 person

  20. VoR, BigB didn’t need me to attract his high school sweetheart wife (JeanieB) of 50 some years.

    BTW, I got the bug and reserved a room at the Hyatt for two nights for the UVA game. 30 and 31, I didn’t want to miss all the POVer’s at the fantabuolus Fran tailgate. Getting to the game may be a different story but I’ll bust my ass to be there..

    Liked by 3 people

  21. tomorrow, Pirates-Cubs at PNC at 1:30 and Stillers at Heinz at 7:30. And of course, all Steeler parking passes are all presold so they want the baseball traffic to move out as soon as the game is over. Hope the game goes 23 innings.

    To make matters worse … temp supposed to be in upper 80s in late afternoon, and Iron Maiden concert at PPG Paints Arena

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  22. https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/warhol-museum-director-tom-sokolowski-talks-about-his-resignation-his-15-years-in-town-and-public-sculpture-in-pittsburgh/Content?oid=1380647

    “Sokolowski’s targets have included a proposed large-scale pirate ship outside PNC Park, which he called “a cheesy, fiberglass, Good Ship Lollipop.” He made national newswires critiquing a new statue of Fred Rogers, and once predicted that a proposed Downtown statue commemorating Gene Kelly would recall “a fourth-rate amateur bowling-league trophy.”

    Andy would have loved all of these

    Liked by 1 person

  23. https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/27379180/the-50-best-college-football-programs-150-years

    Pitt is ranked 33rd in ESPN’s all time football programs in the 150 years of college football. Here is their analysis:

    From 1915 through 1938, under the legendary Pop Warner and under Jock Sutherland — a coach Gen. Robert Neyland thought to be the best ever — the Panthers walked among the college football elite. In 1937, they won the second AP title despite a tie with Fordham; they might have won the first, in 1936, if not for a tie with Fordham. (The teams tied in 1935 too, but there was no AP poll.) But Sutherland resigned in a dispute with the university after the 1938 season. And save for a decade under Johnny Majors and Jackie Sherrill from the mid-1970s to mid-1980s, the Panthers have been just another program. It’s hard to win in the shadow of an NFL team; Pitt is a tenant at the Steelers’ Heinz Field.

    Note that the last 2 sentences could have been written by me

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    1. Funny that the administration not supporting athletics foes also they way back to 1938. Mind you I think they are supporting now (at least more than they did) but man does history ever repeat itself

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  24. Yep
    Pitt is a renter playing in a NFL stadium off campus
    Tough to be taken seriously given those dynamics
    Yet Pitt played their best ball when the steeler shadow was much larger
    OCS, players, coaches
    Now Pitt plays in a mediocre stadium and has been mediocre for the past 30 years despite tons of NFL talent
    One of the top ten underachieving programs

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      1. What teams would you place ahead. UCLA. Tennessee. What others.

        Underachieving is a sign of poor coaching.

        Pitt seems to have the talent.

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          1. This goes back 15 years. Players in the pros today. Back to the Walt days. Can you say that any coach since Jackie has been exceptional? No denying that Pitt has underperformed. Avg wins at 6.5 over past 15 years. Yet pro talent rosters. We have two bowl wins for it. And one end of season ranking. Inexcusable. Poor hiring decisions.

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              1. Exceptional players. Mediocre coaching. Mediocre results. Pitt wastes high end pro talent. That’s the point.

                Fitz
                Reevis
                Shady
                Conner
                AD

                That’s a Mount Rushmore of players just in the last 15 years

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  25. Still worrying about the DE position with Rashad’s injury. Jones should cause some havoc; Alexandre hopefully can hold his own.

    What about the main backups – where we have 4 inexperienced red-shirt freshmen looking to get on the field… I did a little digging on their recruiting.

    John Morgan looks like the first backup now. He’s 6’3” and has gained 20 pounds since he came in to get to 255 pounds. He was a 5.7 3-star from Maryland (Dematha). He had offers from Maryland, PSU, Rutgers, Syracuse, VT, and Temple. Not a bad resume.

    Kaymar Mimes was a 3-star from NJ. He’s got great size at 6’5” and 245 (has gained 15 pounds). His offer list is not impressive at Wake, Rutgers, BC, and Temple. (Although I always like to see Temple offering because they seem to get some good players…).

    Noah Palmer is a Pittsburgh area guy. He’s 6’4” and has gone from 225 to 265 pounds. Seems like a big jump (headed to DT?). Noah was offered by several MAC schools plus Army and Pitt.

    Finally, Habakkuk Baldonado. from Florida. We all have to root for a guy with a name this cool to become a player! He has ideal DE size at 6’5” and he’s gone from 230 to 250 pounds. He was recruited as a raw, inexperienced talent. His other offers were from Nebraska, Mich. St., UMass (!), Illinois and UCF.

    One or two of these young guys will likely play a vital role for the Panthers this season…

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Coaching is importantTex, especially from a consistency standpoint. No doubt Pitt had some bad coaches, but constant turnover among assistant coaches doesn’t help either. Winning in college football is hard enough when everyone is on the same page, not where Pitt has been over the past 30 years.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Correct. Cheap pitt wouldn’t allow a budget to hire good assistants and to retain them. But times have changed. No excuses now.

      It’s just now pitt doesn’t have the elite talent but they have an above mediocre coach.

      They need both.

      Like

  27. Not to be religious, but Habakkuk is very religious/biblical, if i recall. Sister Mary L. Ephant would be proud…i think.

    I think the running back debate is interesting. Will be interested to see if the packers feel the same way. I don’t particularly like his stat line due to the distribution of yards, but the Packer brass hopefully views it like everybody here except me. I hope he makes it. .

    Like

  28. Tex, you are always trying to take a positive and turn it into a negative. Yes, Pitt has had some great players, but who were the rest of the guys on those teams? Let’s take Aaron Donald for a minute, two time pro player of the year, a major difference maker, but at Pitt on a team that didn’t have much else except for some good young guys. Or Conner and Boyd, who played on teams with no defense, when they were at their best.
    You can say the same thing about Fitz and Revis, the supporting casts were average at best. Or even Ollison and Hall who played on an offense with no passing game, because of a one dimensional line.
    We were extremely lucky to have had those kind of guys at Pitt. To infer that the average play of their teams was on coaching is a stretch.

    I think today we have just the opposite, we have a pretty sound surrounding cast, but we are missing those superstars. We have also just lost our probable best player to injury.

    To have a great football team, you must be sound top to bottom with very few weaknesses and multiple great players on both sides of the ball. That is what we had for a brief period of time in the seventies and what Alabama and Clemson and a few others have these days.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You made my point. It’s up to the coach to not waste away a future HOFers talent. Pitt has wasted away given poor coaching and recruiting of a balanced team.

      Think about what a person not familiar with the program thinks. You had Aaron Donald and you sucked? AD today can win a pro game single handily. That’s what people see with Pitt. Don’t believe me, ask any non Pitt fan. It’s 100 percent coaching.

      Pitt needs both very good coaches and players on both sides and it has never accomplished that in 40 years. Again it comes back to coaches. They coach. They recruit. Right now the coaching aspects might be there. I don’t see the elite talent you need on each side. Just one or two players can make all the difference.

      Pitt just has done a poor job building a team around their elites. You know GMs in pro football get fired for this thing.

      Like

  29. 2 weeks from this afternoon, Havern shows up at the Pitt POV tailgate as promised. And he runs into a group of guys who have been there for a while, and already ‘primed for the game’

    Havern: are you with the POV group
    One of the Group: yes, who are you?
    Havern: Dave
    One: Dave? Dave? Dave’s not here
    Havern: No I’m Dave
    One: Dave? Dave? Dave’s not here

    Liked by 1 person

      1. do you remember the interview Coach Tyrone Shoelaces before that song?
        Interviewer: Coach, let’s talk about your record?
        Coach: what you want to bring that up for? Heck, I didn’t know she was 15

        Like

  30. On those seventies teams, you didn’t just have a few great players, you had some of the best lines that ever played with Hugh Green on one end and Ricky Jackson on the other and three guys in the middle that all played in the pros. On the O-line you had Mark May, Russ Grimm, Bill Fralic, You had Danny Marino an all-time best and guys like Tom Flynn and other future pros in the backfield. Guys that didn’t miss many tackles or blocks when needed. Guys like John Brown who made crucial plays when needed most. Earlier you had TD the greatest college running back of all-time, who elevated everyone around him.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yet, that 76 title team had very few stars except Dorsett, Jones, Dawkins, Walker, Cavanaugh, Brzoza, Holloway, Romano, Logan, Wilson, Jury …. and most of these weren’t exactly household names

      The influx of talent immediately after included some the greatest ever in Pitt history. It’s my contention ad the records show it …. all Top 10 finishes and three 11-1 records. They deserved another NC in ’80

      Like

    1. I was there too ,,, but that was 81, not 80. In 80, Pitt lost at FSU which finished ranked 5th. ND which played Georgia for NC, had tied Georgia Tech which ended with an 1-8-1 record, and then lost at USC 20-3. ND lost to NC Georgia 17-10

      BTW, give PSU some credit. In those years, they played for the national title in 78 and won it in 82.

      Like

      1. I give them ZERO credit
        Sandusky was gazing at his players in the showers during those days and later preyed on innocent boys all while Joe Knew

        Like

    2. We have all experienced many Pitt disappointments, but none will ever match the abject devastation of that day. The lowest of the low that I will ever feel as a Pitt Fan. Especially when we were up 14-0 moving towards a third TD, feeling a blow-out going our way.

      Like

  31. I forgot to mention Carleton Williamson who went on to star for the 49ers Super Bowl teams and Lynn Thomas also a pro. So many great players at the same time.

    Like

  32. But, granted… the Post National Championship Teams were DEEP at every position. Made it tough for local high school Players like myself who came to Pitt with the intention of walking on.

    Not that all of the Players recruited were that good. There were scholarship Guys that I and others were actually better than.

    But getting fair treatment from the Coaches was difficult given their bias to doing EVERYTHING they could to get THEIR Players on the field.

    Like

    1. Not better than the Starters or necessarily the Second Team.

      But in those days there were a lot of scholarship Players who NEVER saw the field. There were more than a few Guys who everyone would question how they ever managed to get a scholarship.

      This shouldn’t be too difficult to grasp.

      Like

  33. Do agree with TX though… the problem with Pitt Football has been Coaching and the Admins more than Players over the years.

    GOOD Coaches find ways to pull a couple of upsets with the Players they are dealt initially. The upsets lead to getting BETTER Recruits who then lead to more WINS.

    Of course, this is provided you have a GOOD Coach and an Administration that makes it a priority to ensure he sticks around.

    Like

    1. they would have beaten eventual NC Notre Dame in the opener …. that’s for sure. And when Cavanaugh returned, they were unbeatable until PSU which finished 5th

      Like

    1. I did…always wonder where people are coming from. Part of my clinical background I guess.
      Was not intended to be mean spirited. Hope you didn’t take it that way.

      Like

  34. PoD, I hear you and agree. Not many players from Class A or B ball ( AA, A ,B and I think East Brady might have been C classification in those days) received scholarships. Cindrich from class B Avella was a top recruit for PITT. His Avella team was soundly whipped by Leechburg who a year earlier won the WPIAL Class A championship- the Blue Devils were coached by Frank Cignetti who went on the be HC st WVU, beat cancer and finished his coaching career at IUP- the FB field is named for him.

    Like

  35. Pitt has had its share of upsets and near upsets thru the years and certainly recent dating back to 12/1/07. But the Pitt teams over the past 30 years consisted of some great players surrounded by mostly average players. Sean Gilbert, Reuben Brown, Curtis Martin, Antonio Bryant, Shawntae Spencer, Larry Fitz, Gerald Hayes, Darrel Revis, Shady, Sheard, Lewis, Donald, Boyd and Conner

    But it still produced mostly above average results – at best. Donald’s last 3 years were 6, 6 and 7 wins and he had Boyd for that last year.

    Like

    1. There has been star players for a while now, but two crucial pieces have been lacking: quarterbacks and depth. There have been OK guys under center and all the coaching changes kill recruiting and there is the lack of depth.

      Like

  36. Scrimmage Saturday!

    Which makes me think about the Panthers and hope that we have no significant injuries today.

    Which makes me think of the POVers who have medical issues, or who have loved ones with medical issues. May they become healthy again.

    And please be thankful for the blessings you have…

    Okay, back to the Panthers!

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. As I process PoD’s comments regarding the difficulties that walk-ons encounter in getting a fair shake/look, I both want to give the coaches credit for giving Jimmy Morrissey and George Aston a shot, while recognizing how incredibly thin on the OLine Pitt had to be for Morrisey to get that shot.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. That Pitt team with Gilbert and Hamilton, Israel were underachievers…think they started 5-0 and folded starting with a loss to the Pirates of ECU…Burt Grossman , the Goose and Spindler were mixed in somewhere in those years…I have seen them lose so many times down here in the ole North State (sighhhhhh)

    Like

    1. the one Pitt team started 5-0 or 6-0
      I think was ranked in the top 5 or 10
      Then we played ND in South Bend
      I was there
      The Pitt team was never the same
      I think that game alone started the long downhill slide to mediocrity

      Like

      1. that year 1991, they started out with an impressive win at WVU … then a home win vs Southern Miss which finished 4-7. Then 3 straight wins against teams that each won 2 games that year … Minnesota, Temple and Maryland. They were ranked 12th going into ND then lost 42-7.

        The only other win that year was home vs Rutgers by 5 pts

        Like

        1. plenty of talent on that team
          gottfrieds last year
          the man could recruit like wanny but couldnt coach a damn
          also plenty of players that had no business being enrolled at Pitt
          those were the wild west days
          the football factory days ended that year

          Like

    2. Zero depth on that team. The Hackett purge had taken affect. Imagine Gottfried allowed to recruit how good that team would have been with more better players? Richard turned pro because of Paul and Truitt left in a fit of rage.

      Good times. Thanks, Pitt leaders.

      Like

      1. was that Hacketts first year? I guess it was since Hackett won a bowl game after Gottfied was canned.
        Either way, neither Gottfried or Hackett could coach. But Gottfried could recruit

        Pitt went all ‘Ivy’ after Gottfried with higher admission standards and focus on players of character
        Pitt did have some thugs back in those days
        Could have rivaled the U
        Grossman, Goose and others were not choir boys

        Hackett did bring discipline back though

        But I think Pitt clamped down too hard and then they became very cheap

        Like

        1. The 1991 season was Hackett’s second. He brought nothing but terrible football in his three years. He was a lazy recruiter, too. Gottfried was a better coach and was implementing a passing offense that I think talented kids would have liked to play in. He even had Sid Gillman as a consultant.

          Mike was 2-2 versus Lou and JoePa, but 2-2 versus Temple, too. Being from Ohio he could pull kids from that state and there were many stars on the horizon. Pitt was better than Ohio State in 1989 and Cooper’s turnaround at the school didn’t start until 1993. PA, Ohio and Detroit were enough for Mike to build most of the roster.

          Pitt decided to pull the plug and let Pitt stadium rot. It was hopeless with men like Bozik, Billick, Mary Brascoe, O’Conner and the awful AD who came from Auburn.

          Even if the 90s produced an average of seven wins a season, not having a decade lost would change the perception of the program from 1973-current. This decade would have been the worst by far in my alternate world.

          Like

          1. Pitt gave up on football when they hired Hackett. They further cemented the coffin when they went Back to the Future with Majors. Walt pulled Pitt out of the abyss and then Pitt became a basketball school. I remember most of the 90’s well when sober.

            Like

  39. Per Author: (Lincoln Financial Field, Raymond James Stadium and Heinz Field are perfectly nice, but they won’t be ranked here as top-50 college venues.) They are judged based on aesthetics, history, tradition, atmosphere and scenery.

    Like

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