Finally some Camp News

Pat Narduzzi got in front of the media today and did a Zoom interview. So did Joey Yellen and Rashad Weaver.

Here is the Pantherlair link

Pat Narduzzi

on Jaylen Twyman: He had some things family-wise that he had to take care of that were pretty important…to him and to me. I mean it was like, you know, I might have to kick him out the door to take care of it. As much as I didn’t want to. When we talk about family it’s the most important thing, period.

Instant Analysis: I’m no face-reader, but someone’s expression and tone of voice can tell you a lot about where they are coming from. This one rings real to me, and I think part of the reason why Narduzzi is reputed to have such a strong bond with his players is because of his authenticity. Good for him. And good for Jaylen for picking Pitt and not having to deal with a coach who might have given him a guilt trip.

On Whether player Opt-Out decisions are considered Final and whether he gets guidance on that from the NCAA: I’m not going to write out Pat’s entire response here, but he gets really worked up. As worked up as I’ve ever seen him, and that tells me two things. One, he just really doesn’t know, and two, he’s not ready to make anything final, three he’s borderline exasperated with all this COVID stuff. I guess that makes two of us. Here are a few of his more choice quotations:

When asked if he’s getting guidance from the NCAA: Ah no. The NC-double A, Who is the NC-double A? I don’t even know who they are. They’re nonexistent. They can’t even fine me. The ACC, they can fine me, but the NCAA I don’t think they can fine me.

If a kid’s got to take a leave for a couple days, and he’s got to get his mind right and he’s got to think about some things, then he’s got to go. If the kid says “hey I’m going to opt out” and then he wants to come back and play, how can i say no? I can’t say, “No you can’t come back.” I mean, what’s he going to do all day up on campus, he’s going to be miserable

We weren’t even supposed to practice today. [says some other things] The calendar? The calendar I’ve thrown out. I’ve just got to say one day at a time.

On kids opting out: If they come back then that means there somehow is a bad mis-communication. [says some stuff]. I’d like them before they leave to make a GOOD decision and be firm where they are. And I think that’s going on across the country. I’ve talked to a few coaches and its, everyday it’s something else. [takes nonchalant swig of water with the cap on]

On if they are going to fill in the Sept 12 date (formerly Miami of OH): The ACC protocols are going to get more strict not less strict. I’m not sure that some of the teams are going to be able to do what we want them to do.

Notable: Pitt is managing their COVID protocols with a custom app. Sounds like they manage a lot of team activities with that app as well.

15 minutes in, after a bunch of COVID questions to open it up: Does anybody want to talk football?

On Joey Yellen: We’re in a COVID situation. You gotta get as many guys ready as you can at every position

He claimed that the offense is running the ball “a little bit better“, but he kind of winced when he said it…ruh roh. But overall “There’s some good football being played

On DT Kalijah Cancey: Wait till you see this guy. This guy’s electric. This guy’s fast, and he can rush the passer.

Joey Yellen

On getting a wavier: I knew the compliance department was really good here.

On getting the offense: I’m starting to see it a little bit better now

More on the offense: I went from a spread back to more of a pro-style. (chuckling a bit) Saying the plays was really kind of difficult at first.

Sounds like the guy is all business: When asked about being in Pittsburgh his response was basically “Well I’ve pretty much spent all my time in the facility” (I’m paraphrasing here)

Rashad Weaver

On frustation from COVID: As long as we get to go play some games I’m good

On his health: My neck hurt more than anything else. The leg’s good! I’m just back getting used to hitting people.

On COVID Risks: Learn to live with it, and protect myself. Wear a mask, avoid big crowds, not go out and stuff during my free time.

On if he considered opting out and preparing instead of playing: They would just have tape from 2018 to watch on me, and that would be nothing like I am now. [Says stuff] I’m stronger faster, all last summer I worked on pass rush a lot more. A more complete player just focused on being violent out there.

On Protocols and Priorities: Maybe you see a girl and you want to see her face or something, but you’ve got to keep the bigger goal in mind.

On the Emotion: You know it’s great, just the other day we were just sitting out there after practice on the ground and Damar walks up to me and he’s like “I don’t even want to go inside. You don’t have to think about anything while you’re out here.”

Defensive Prediction: Well predictions don’t really do much, but last year we wanted to be a top 10 and now we want to be the number one this year. If you don’t want to be the best then what are you out there working for honestly?

68 thoughts on “Finally some Camp News

  1. I’m wondering who currently is considered the number 2 QB at this point. With not much experience among any of them, it’s probably the one who knows the playbook best. I’m guessing that Yellen May have the most experience as a starting quarterback, one game which isn’t much.

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  2. Nick Patti played a little last year and look decent but not enough to show he could be the man at QB. Yellen could be the guy but I keep hearing Beville is going to be a good one.

    Not surprised about Kancey being recognized and David Green, both are going to be great players for PITT. They both will bring a tiny bit of Hugh to the PITT team but on the inside. << AD like!

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    1. While I kinda agree, I also think Kenny has also had his pull it down and run too quickly and poor pocket awareness and most importantly not SEEING open receivers enough moments to deserve criticism. The weak line is of course important in all three for those to be able to improve and they have been inconsistent at best over his career.

      I mostly think he has been good with flashes of great and his dropped balls probably have hurt him most.

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    2. Speaking of Pickett:

      Pro Football Focus has him ranked at #33 best in NCAA this year.

      “With Jamie Newman now gone, Pickett is in the conversation for the most accurate quarterback in the ACC, as his uncatchable-throw rate on passes thrown past the line of scrimmage was first in the ACC in 2019. His performance under pressure was exceptional this past year, too, as he converted pressure to sacks at the third-lowest rate in the Power 5 while earning a 27th-ranked passing grade under pressure. That said, Pickett failed to crack the top 100 when it came to big-time throw total, so he’ll want to change that in 2020.”

      https://www.pff.com/news/college-football-quarterback-rankings-all-130-fbs-starters

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am looking for a better offense as well. A more seasoned O-line and a tight end that doesn’t drop passes will make a world of difference. A few long runs will also make a world of difference. No I don’t know who will make those runs, but the interior of the O-line will make holes this year.

    Ffrench is the only guy that will be missed and hopefully not that much with multiple guys picking up the slack.

    The major concern is the D-tackles, don’t know what to expect there.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You can probably expect incremental (albeit small probably) improvement over last year.

        For better or worse our LT is the same guy. We can only hope he’s worked to become more agile and update his technique.

        RT is probably an upgrade over Ulizio…who was pretty bad. But how much? Worst case we get Houey who would probably be serviceable if nothing more. The transfer is the wild card. Seems athletic. How does he handle the step-up in class?

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  4. 4 Pitt students out of 450 have tested positive so far. This is during the phase-in of students coming for fall term. Random testing is being applied. All students (commuter and on-campus) are being requested to some type of quarantine (good luck with that)

    It appears right now that the FB players will attend classes.

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    1. So that’s 4 percent. Not a bad number if it was random. But sample size is small. You want to be no higher than 5 percent to avoid outbreaks.

      Is pitt going to be testing all students daily or at least weekly and then quarantining and contact tracing?

      The more testing with rapid results the better.

      Then it’s up to the students to be responsible.

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          1. LOL!…………… Tex statistics and math? It’s why I don’t take anyone’s opinion verbatim. People have to think for themselves. Which Tex does and I’m fine with that. I don’t have to agree with someone and still respect his/her opinion.

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    2. the randomness is important AND with the poor reliability of the tests, should be using 2 with each person tested and frankly 3 or 4 would be optimal

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  5. On the testing front, there are 3 rapid tests of promise. The Yale test, the Illinois test and the Rutgers test. Most interesting is that Rutgers and Illinois are having licensing delays because they want to make a bunch of money up front. The Yale test is “open source” so anyone can use it. Obviously, from a cost perspective I would expect Pitt and other schools to opt for Yale.

    They are hoping to have a saliva test that can get you results in 3-5 hours later in September.

    Start looking for universities to be transparent and to publish results in near real time. Technology like VAULT is moving forward quickly. Agree with Tex that sample size is low (may be pool tested) ansd is not an indicator…yet. Dont agree with Tex on his math. LOL with Tex, not at. Hoping same math skills weren’t used when pricing out OCS. You da man, tex! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One of the first things I do in the morning is use the iPhone to read. Unfortunately I’ll still half asleep and my eyes are still blurry. 🤠

      But speaking of math. Will schools like unc which have shut down and now will only offer online provide tuition discounts? And then what is fair?

      I think they should since students aren’t getting the full campus experience and there is no way online classes are better than the real thing. Or we’d all call ourselves university of Phoenix.

      But I also think this is good for football. It creates a bubble for the players. Easier for them to stay out of trouble if students sent home. No likelihood of catching covid in the classroom assuming they would attend anyways

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Raging hormones.

          When alcohol and opposite sexes meet, it always spells trouble. Smart kids do stupid things when drunk or in love.

          Moving 100 percent online is the best thing for a football season.

          I’d also recommend no fans in the stands

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          1. I don’t agree Tex, As far as attending football games, I think everyone at least deserves a choice. As far as classes go, are the schools prepared to give a discount for on-line only learning?

            Is this the end of all brick and mortar colleges? I know that’s a ridiculous question to ask but if the can do it this year then why not forever? I’ll answer my own question, NO! college is an important part of American tradition. Give me an Army vs Navy game any-day of the week or in fact 7 days a week!

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            1. I don’t believe online learning is as effective as in person. Plus you miss out on the campus experience, social aspects and clubs.

              Texas tech knows this. They recruited my son for engineering. I still get their literature and in it states their well thought out rationale. But I have my doubts if they can pull it off.

              There is tremendous value in being taught in person along side fellow classmates. Very difficult to communicate and engage in real time discussions if online. Until we get no delay holograms. That day will be here soon.

              But this campus closing will improve the chances of a longer football season. It creates a mini bubble. Will be up to the players to stay disciplined and not venture too far off campus.

              I think Pitt football is now at a disadvantage relative to unc.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. If you’re talking about fans in stands, I’d want them to pass a temp check and prove to me they’ve been tested within the past week with negative results.

              Or I’d give everyone an instant test

              And require social distancing and wearing masks. Mandatory period.

              The premier league played outside a bubble. Their secret? One percent positive rate in the community and testing. And despite that, no fans allowed

              This league is far smarter than any US school at running a safe and profitable business.

              Yet Kansas state allowing 25 percent capacity is smarter?

              As a player, I’d opt out.

              Liked by 1 person

    1. As far as tickets go, I’ve already opted out this season and if I were a student this year I would also opt out. Now if I was a player…… I would stay in my dorm and mitigate, mitigate, mitigate. Opting out wouldn’t be an option. I’m loyal like that.

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  6. The scientists are finding new stuff about the virus every day. it is everywhere. It is like dust. We will eventually beat it. Hopefully soon. H2P

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    1. Top third performance for a top third spend. So the value is there based on ACC results only

      But how much hardware has pitt won. Only one division title. Few if any meaningful bowls.

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  7. Has anyone seen the headline in yesterday’s UNC student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel ??

    Dokish re-tweeted an image of it. Don’t think it would be allowed on the POV.

    Along the same lines, the images from the Alabama college towns . . . .

    What a mess, right from the get go.

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  8. Another way of asking the question about who the number 2 QB would be is, which of them would perform best with only an average offensive line. The quickness and evasion skills may be more important to success than skills of a pure pocket passer. Long ball accuracy may not be as important if there is not sufficient protection time. But arm strength is still important to hit the out passes.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. PITT has two highly rated O-Lineman and one plays one of the most important positions on the entire team Center, the OL will be greatly improve, especially considering KP knows the offense better and improvements all the way around. Ffrench was good as an all around player but wasn’t a game changer as a WR. Bottom line…. I’m not worried about this PITT offense.

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  10. The question is, are these students bringing COVID onto campus with them when they arrive, or are they rapidly spreading it among themselves once on campus. With an approximate 5-10 day incubation period, and with very little testing going on at home for asymptomatic students before departure, it is quite likely that this is more of a public at large situation. Pitt is experiencing a 4% positive situation among random tests, so these universities should see maybe 40 positives out of every 1000 students tested. If athletes go back into the general population, they too will be exposed to the public infection rate.

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  11. IMHO, unc sent all the kids packing, not in the best interests of the FB team, but to allow the BB playaz a bubble in which to practice.

    I wonder if any schools are doing follow up studies as to students’ recovery times, after effects, etc. Would be critical to know, in case an effective vaccine is a long time coming. A slew of post-teen kids around the country getting sick, virtually at the same time offers a very large sample size for study.

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    1. You make a great point BL. We all know UNC’s priorities. PITT still beat them last year with their dumb-ass QB. The ACC is afraid it would have happened again this year so they took PITT off their schedule.

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    2. Notice that UNC did not send the kids packing until they had their tuition money, their dorm money, and their athetics fee (hundreds of dollars). How many students would have opt out for this year had they known about the “study from home ” decision before hand. Smart timing UNC!

      Liked by 4 people

      1. As a student I would create a petition for monies back. I’d also be calling my local news station and politicians offices. They would be forced to reimburse the fees and lower tuition.

        The university’s also could comeback saying you always had the option to sit out this semester. That is true. Buyer beware.

        On campus learning is very expensive for schools. The cost of testing, masks, sanitation procedures, distancing, enforcement, signage, tracing, etc is enormous and a unplanned budget expenditure.

        Schools really need to use covid as an opportunity to downsize and reprioritize. Schools are too bloated, wasteful, inefficient and bureaucratic as is.

        This applies to both academics and athletics.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. A petition for room and board may go to the same circular file that the Big 10/11/12 parents and players petitions went to. According to the Daily Tar Heel (I didn’t make that up… I wouldn’t!) in the COVID-19 FAQ’s website dated June 22, 2020 it states:

          “We recognize this language has been interpreted as a comprehensive decision not to issue refunds in any circumstances. We would like to clarify this position,” the update reads. “Consistent with UNC System guidance, we are advising our students of the possibility that refunds may not be available, particularly absent state or federal financial relief, to aid in student and family decision making … However, if we are able to find ways to offer financial relief – in the form of refunds or other measures – to support our students, we will do so.”

          That should make everyone feel better, a definite maybe! So the students were forewarned. Except no one said the Get out of Dodge”” decree would happen only one week after school started. And of course, students who signed private housing leases got their heel in a tar pit, so to speak.

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  12. And under the category, “It Can Get Worse”, UNC is sending these kids back home without testing them, so they can give any COVID that they may have to their parents and family. Talk about getting your monies worth!

    Liked by 4 people

  13. College football, when played this fall (not if), should have fans in the seats. It will not affect the players in any way. Cheer at your own risk. Limit the crowd size. Beer sales only 🙂

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  14. Paris Ford on the fence at this time? It looks to be the case and he could be following Twyman on the opt out list according to Chris Peak. Here’s hoping he decides to stay on the team this year.

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  15. There are plenty of class action lawsuits already from students wanting their monies back from the spring. Same will apply at UNC. The theory is Breach of Contract and some lawyers were smart enough to include failure to educate, although that typically doesnt come into play until someone pays 100k for an education and can only get a 20k per year job.

    These lawsuits are all transferred to insurance if structured correctly. Again, not a huge loss. But my huge is different than most everyone else’s huge.

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    1. Wouldn’t then the cost of insurance rise dramatically for schools. Many insurers will just drop schools come renewal. Some may even find ways out not to pay.

      I hated paying insurance as a small business owner. It was and still is a racket.

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      1. Yes, maybe Tex. As we like to say, it depends. Let’s say Pitt pays $2M per year to insure itself for liability and has a $1M retention/deductible. For most slip and falls, car crashes, and assorted issues, those claims are handled internally and never hit the balance sheet. Something very catastrophic has to happen to trigger insurance and C19 is one of those black swan, 100 year events.

        Carriers have been profiting for years with higher ed and to make a payment of $20M or $30M doesnt worry them. They actually re-insure alot of their exposure out to multiple carriers. So the lead insurance carrier typically retains only about 10% of the risk (depending on policy limit) and the re-insurers get the rest. The lead carrier keeps about 25% of the premium and pays the other carriers to take on a percentage of the risk. If you think about it, it is hard to do something where you pay someone $1M.

        Breach of contracts typically arent covered under a liability policy, but sometimes a defense is owed under a reservation of rights. Too technical to explain all the details of this, but insurance controls the world in a weird way. Insurance impacted football tackling and hits to the head. All the safety protocols in sports are because insurance companies stopped insuring the bad hits, not because any university or team was interested in protecting the player. Just my 3 cents, inflation.

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  16. With Ford and Twyman and all others that opt out, their argument for doing so is week.

    Look, if they test positive for C19, great, they can recover. If they test positive for the C19 and they get a debilitating after effect, it wont matter if they sat out or not. If they test negative, it is a better chance for them to stay negative if they are in the athletic bubble.

    Jones and Hamlin indicated all classes are online. Its been that way for awhile for athletes. They are in a bigger bubble already than most think after their first 1.5 years.

    I would suspect that agents are getting to these kids and noone, not even Pitt is having the right discussions with parents and players. There is one “runner” making the rounds that is particularly bad. Our AD and coach need to get on the ball and shut that down.

    Top 3rd ACC wins just means you did well in the worst division of college football. Unfortunately, Narduzzi and Pitt get ranked on their full record. Stop cherry-picking stats. We are what our record says we are. Mediocre.

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    1. If I was a player, I understand what you said huff. It makes sense. But why attend online class if I don’t have to. Why risk injury. Why play in most likely an abbreviated season always marked with an asterisk. I’d go home. Work out. Take it easy until the indie combines. Prepare solely for that. Just don’t see much upside in playing.

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    2. fact is that Pitt had to play FSU the year it won the national as well as Clemson bot years it won the national title. And played Notre Dame the last 2 times they finished in Top 10.

      And now, the first time Narduzzi has 3 winnable OOC games like his peers have every year, those games are cancelled. Hell, Pitt probably won’t even get an OOC game this year like everyone else ….. Va Tech plays No Alabama, UVa plays Old Dominion, UNC plays Charlotte, egtc

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    1. Hopefully he is not referring to the increase in covid spread……

      Actually, locking the gates was an idea before its time on how he should handle covid….instead he locked the gates so the compliance police led by our AD wouldnt catch him cheating.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Remember Tex, it takes more facial muscles to frown than it does to smile. I will say vinegar does have it’s health benefits though. Kool-Aid on the other hand……… not so much. Laughter and music are the best medicines you can take, I highly recommend those 4 times a day. Hey, they are keeping me alive so far. That and my family……… Although the family is another story for a different day.

          Been thinking of moving but every-time I think of a good place I want to live they either have a hurricane, flood, drought, snow storm or a terrible heat wave going on. The south isn’t appealing to me anymore and the west isn’t either and I ain’t moving further north. I think I’m stuck in WPA for the rest of my life. omg! Could be worse I guess?

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  17. PITT will really miss Twyman and Ford would be worse……… But they won’t miss Paris as much a I would, this kid is worth the price of admission. He’s all about passion, hope he has one more year of PITT passion in him. Finish off the mission Paris Ford. The money will follow…….!!

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  18. RIP Alex Kramer

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