A shorter Mother’s Day podcast today – reviewed the last two articles about the RBs and QBs and threw out other assorted ramblings.
(This is the second of a longer series looking at our individual positions that need to be re-filled in 2017 and whether we will meet the PRODUCTION we had in those positions. We will not factor in true freshman at this point as we have no idea what they can and cannot do).
Much like in 2016 when we were faced with the prospect of having to put out a passing game without Tyler Boyd, we are revisiting that situation with this season’s loss of James Conner at running back.
At the risk of being unpopular (again) I’ll say this. As I wrote many times during last year’s offseason that we wouldn’t miss Boyd much at all – and I took major heat, some of it from the more mainstream media, for saying that I’ll repeat that thought for this year’s running backs.
We won’t miss James Conner’s 2016 production as much as fans think. I love Conner, have had great personal conversations with him and feel that as a human being he’s one of the finest men I have ever met – and that is saying a lot given my professional career. Pitt and his peer players will miss his wonderful human traits and his friendship no doubt. Those are the intangibles James Conner brought to the Pitt football program and will continue to bring to any organization he is affiliated with for the rest of his life.
Unlike Tyler Boyd’s leaving, Conner’s departure is going to cost us big time in the leadership and role model areas.
I truly wish he’d have stayed at Pitt for his 4th year of eligibility but understand completely why he declared – and what a grand decision that was given the relatively high round in which he was picked and by the Steelers to boot. Pittsburgh fans will have a lot more time to watch Conner play football I’m sure, just not in a Panther uniform.
But as a running back on our team last year, and the production he had out on the field, he’s replaceable and it will most likely be by committee. Again I’m speaking of what he did out on the field production wise.
We’ll make up for Conner’s statistical production, especially rushing yards and TDs by this year’s batch of RBs, although his 20 TDs all told last season won’t be met by one player, that’s (maybe) for sure. Continue reading “2017’s RBs; Upgrade, Downgrade or Draw”
I have a few Pitt POV car magnets left – the big ones like this:
Let me know if you are interested – send an email to me with your contact info (address & phone) and I’ll get one out to you if I have enough. Please put “Car Magnet” in the subject line.
Don’t forget Tuesday night’s POV Roundtable Call-In show. It has been a resounding success and growing by leaps and bounds. Here is last’s weeks recording if anyone missed it – we cracked ourselves up until Ike peed his pants.
I’ll post up the participant particulars in Tuesday’s article. I start a meet around 7:45 or so then start recording when everyone is set and ready around 8:00.
News for the uncaring: Rushel Shell was chosen by the Steelers as an undrafted Free Agent… now it gets even more interesting.on the Southside in May – July before they leave for training camp. BTW – Shell and Conner didn’t overlap on the Pitt roster.
RS: Hi, I’m running back Rushel Shell. I went to Pitt too.
JC: Hey, I’m James Conner – you know, the guy who made you an answer to a trivia question.
Also – The Doctors and I are talking about back surgery, up until now they have been giving me the 50/50 walk again line, which I told them to cram where the sun don’t shine. I kind of hope we can do it but if so I’ll be calling for more donations for booze and earplug money if I’m to be trapped in the house for weeks with my wife.
Correction: Staunton, VA to Blacksburg, VA is actually 117 miles so it would be a ‘going to or from’ stop.
The two teams battling in a football match always try to control the play clock.
They do that for a variety of reasons but the main ones are that if you have the ball the other team can’t score and the longer you hold onto possession of the ball the better chance you get to score. Pretty basic stuff.
Another is the more tired the opponent’s defense gets by being on the field for so long makes the odds for catching them in a mental or physical mistake thus taking advantage of that for quick scores and points on the board.
That is the theory anyway. I suppose it works that way but I’m just not sure that helps get a “W” in the win column any more than striking into the end zone quickly and often to garner more points than the other guy does.
Time of Possession, or TOP, is easily the most misunderstood statistic in football I think. Since our 2016 season ended I have read many Pitt fans say that our defense was on the field too much and got too tired to be effective. Thus the imbalance in TOP was responsible for the large amount of points per game our defense gave up. Hmmm…
I wondered if that is true so I did some digging. My findings are this – I really can’t tell if TOP is all that much of an indicator in the outcome of a game. I know that sounds very wishy-washy but hold on. Here are some facts to think about first.
Because I felt left out and had to hold down the Quicksilver bar all by myself when others were out having fun golfing, I went out yesterday and bought myself a complete set (used of course) of Jack Nicklaus’ Golden Bear Tranzition clubs.
So, after this podcast I’m off to a driving range to see if my lower back will actually explode if I hit a bucket or two. Get this – I bought them used at a local Play It Again store and they asked $90 as is. The bag was crappy and the club’s grips were in bad shape also. I told them I’d come back last evening to pick them up. They re-gripped all the clubs and gave me a very nice new (used) bag… and gave me 20% off for a military discount.
My daughter had said she’d pay half as a small present and so Ta Da! – These clubs cost me $39 total.
Not even a transfer; Aaron Thomas is refusing to board the sinking ship.
Here is the competition RB Dion Lewis faced in his freshman year at Pitt. If you remember LeSean McCoy had declared early for the NFL draft after only two years at Pitt (2007-08) so he was gone by Lewis and Graham’s first year.
Not a whole lot to worry about there but the other, more highly ranked, Ray Graham. Lewis was a 3*, Graham was a 4* and returning RB Chris Burns was a 4* also. Lewis blew their socks off that year.
I invited readers to send in their impressions of the Spring Game and Eric Wassel took advantage. I will put his article up under the Monday Morning QB piece that will be posted tomorrow morning.
Well, after all that talk from me about ‘if you are going to discuss the Pitt team in detail after the offseason then you really should get to the Spring Game so you know what you are talking about’… I missed the whole day even when I was up in Pittsburgh just this morning.
But we here at the POV had our “stringers” at the game so you know we’ll be getting detailed reports as soon as they put the beer cans down. Here is one group who showed up at the modified tailgate: see if you can guess who they are (I’ll answer in the comments section later):
Bunch of blood thirsty SOBs right there I tell you. BTW – I’m doing up a separate Golf Outing article today also – pretty interesting and fun as hell day for everyone – I’m really proud of the turnout at the golf club but also at the number of commenters who wrote me saying they wished they were there.
We’ll find something else to do during the season I’m sure.
Here are the Pitt’s detailed stats for the scrimmage this afternoon.
as provided by the Post-Gazette’s Craig Meyer on his Twitter feed.
Note: Every so often we’ll have guest writers contribute some articles for a different Point of View toward the football program and the team. After all – we are called POV, right? well, this is a good one from Dr. Tom Richards.
Well it finally happened.
Reed has decided to give me some extra rope. By that I mean, he extended me the invitation to contribute an actual article for submission to the Pitt POV. Imagine that? He even gave me the subject he wanted me to expound on, that being last season’s abysmal performance by our defensive secondary.
He also informed me that, just like Jack Webb used to state on the old TV series Dragnet, to give him the FACTS, just the facts, on why I’m expecting last year’s horrendous secondary performance to evaporate come 2017. No optimistic smoke & mirrors, just the hard facts, not even any alternative facts, just the hard ones.
But I know his true intentions, I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck ya know. He’s supplied just enough rope so that I can hang myself with it come about mid December, by then when we’re all bitching and moaning once again on why Pitt had such a sad repeat performance by our defensive secondary, keeping us from winning the ACC Coastal Crown yet again.