POV Sunday Podcast; June 25th, 2017

POV Sunday Podcast; June 25th, 2017

4. Pittsburgh
Sept. 9 at Penn State, Sept. 16 vs. Oklahoma State, Sept. 23 at Georgia Tech

There won’t be any easing into the 2017 schedule for Pat Narduzzi and the Panthers. In Week 2, they hit the road to face No. 5 Penn State. You think the Nittany Lions will be motivated after losing at Pitt a year ago? Then comes a home game against No. 6 Oklahoma State, which throws the ball all over the park with the returning combo of quarterback Mason Rudolph and receiver James Washington, and the Panthers open ACC play a week later by going on the road and having to deal with Georgia Tech’s triple-option attack.

Name Pos Location Ht Wt Stars Rating
Matt Alaimo TE Montvale, NJ 6’5″ 235 3 5.7
Blake Zubovic OL Belle Vernon, PA 6’3″ 308 3 5.7
Chase Brown OL Scranton, PA 6’6″ 310 3 5.6
John Morgan DE Hyattsville, MD 6’3″ 235 3 5.7
Judson Tallandier DB Hyattsville, MD 6’2″ 180 3 5.7
Wendell Davis LB Richmond, VA 6’2″ 215 3 5.5
Jake Kradel OL Butler, PA 6’4″ 270 3 5.7
Noah Palmer DE Jefferson Hills, PA 6’4″ 225 3 5.6
Nick Patti QB Montvale, NJ 6’3″ 190 3 5.5
Jay Symonds TE Cambridge, MA 6’4″ 248 2 5.4

Steel Valley safety Paris Ford will not start classes on Monday with the rest of the incoming freshmen, multiple sources told Panther-Lair.com. Details of the situation are unclear, although it appears Ford could have an opportunity to qualify this summer and enroll closer to training camp.

If he doesn’t qualify this summer, Ford could spend one semester or a full school year at a prep institution like Milford Academy in New Berlin (NY) before enrolling at Pitt.

What is the NCAA Eligibility Center?

The NCAA Eligibility Center was created to bring academic and amateurism certifications together under one roof. Its purpose is to ensure that college-bound student-athletes, as well as coaches and administrators, understand the requirements to participate in NCAA Divisions I and II athletics.

All incoming freshman who plan on attending any NCAA Division I or II university MUST register with the NCAA Eligibility Center, meet all academic and amateur requirements and be certified by the NCAA Eligibility Center.

What are the NCAA Eligibility Center standards I must meet?

The standards issued by the NCAA Eligibility Center are slightly different for Division I and Division II but are based on the same four principles:

You must graduate from high school.

You must successfully complete all core courses.

You must have a minimum 2.000 GPA in core courses; and

You must have a minimum qualifying score on the ACT or SAT.

Military Bowl Presented By Northrup Grumman

Thursday, December 28th, 2017

Navy-Marine Corps. Stadium, Annapolis, MD

ESPN, 1:30 pm

Pitt vs. Navy

39. Pitt Panthers

Relative Strengths: Passing Game, Special Teams
Relative Concerns: Pass Defense, Linebacker
Why Are They Here? Will the Panthers ever stop a passing game? USC transfer Max Browne will keep the offense going, but against so many good ACC QBs, all that matters is the beleaguered secondary.
2016 Final Season Ranking: 35 (8-5)
2016 CFN Preseason Ranking: 32

2017’s WRs; Upgrade, Downgrade or Draw

2017’s WRs; Upgrade, Downgrade or Draw

This is the seventh of a longer POV series looking at the individual positions which need to be re-filled in 2017 and whether we will meet the PRODUCTION we had in those positions in ’16. We will not factor in true freshman at this point.

Wide Receiver will be a position of strength for us in this coming season almost surely.  I say that because as we wrote about the QB position early in this series I think we’ll have a downgrade there – so the ripple effect may impact the overall production of our WR corps for ’17.

To start let’s look at who departed Pitt over the off-season.  rsSR Dontez Ford and rsJR Zach Challingsworth.  Well, that was pretty simple wasn’t it? 

Of course our main WR coming back is the exciting and inconsistent – which is part of the excitement because we hold our breath hoping he’ll come down with the ball – rsSR Jester Weah.

Weah is a great example of kids who are just average in their recruiting rating (3*, 5.5) and don’t burst right out of the gate in college… but learn the new game and flourish in their upperclassmen years.  And yes, that is what a good player will do. 

Great players usually do make an impact earlier and Weah may have also if he hadn’t been stuck behind Tyler Boyd and Dontez Ford for his first few years.  But for now he’s pretty darn good and may just be great this season.

Weah has had the catching yips and was publicly open and refreshingly honest about that which I like him even more for.  He has great downfield speed and good moves – but his hands used to let him down when it came to gameday.  More on that later…

Continue reading “2017’s WRs; Upgrade, Downgrade or Draw”

POV Sunday Podcast; April 30, 2017

POV Sunday Podcast; April 30, 2017

I have a few Pitt POV car magnets left – the big ones like this:

20170214_152831.jpg

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.

Save

POV Sunday Podcast; April 23rd

POV Sunday Podcast; April 23rd

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.

1

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.

Pitt BB:

Not even a transfer; Aaron Thomas is refusing to board the sinking ship.

Stallings Fault.png

 

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.

Dion Lewis

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.

Save

POV: BB Issues & OL and TE Questions

POV: BB Issues & OL and TE Questions

Have to apologize for lack of articles lately – between going to Virginia for two days on Tuesday then having to drive up to PGH for two days for a funeral on Thursday I couldn’t find computer time to write anything.

BB News: Cam Johnson is indeed leaving the Pitt BB program as one of the many who have seen the handwriting on the wall with the Stallings hire.  I think that Pitt BB fans are much like the Pitt FB fans in that they find it hard to point fingers at the coaching staffs when there are players to blame.

To me this mass exodus from the BB program is all on (dearly departed) ex-Pitt AD Barnes’ and BB Head Coach Stallings’ shoulders. From that initial press conference announcing the hire until now the Stallings era has been on a downward slope.  Multiple players from a small roster don’t leave within months of each other unless there is great institutional instability.

This is NOT what you want a new AD to have to deal with in the first part of her time at your university.  We saw a Pitt FB head coach leave Pitt when there was the same type of institutional instability back with Todd Graham. 

Continue reading “POV: BB Issues & OL and TE Questions”

Pitt’s First Spring Practice

Pitt’s First Spring Practice

March 16, 2017  (here is the original)

Offensive Coordinator /Quarterbacks Coach Shawn Watson

On fitting into his role with the team:

“It’s going great. I’ve been really impressed with the job the coaching staff and Pat [Narduzzi] have done here and really it’s easy to come in and fall in love with the guys. There is not a selfish bone on this team, and the guys are into what the team is trying to do and that’s being ACC champions. We are getting on the same page. I have come in and not tried to change anything for the kids in terms of nomenclature of football, and I have needed them to teach me and they have been awesome.”

On his relationship with the quarterbacks:
“It’s really important. We spend so much time together just by the nature of the position and the need the position has. What you are trying to do as a quarterbacks coach is trying to develop another assistant coach on the field. That position makes, in this game, so many critical decisions for the entire team. We spend a lot of time together and I love them already because they want to be around football, so when they have free time, they spend it with me, which has been pretty cool. It’s been awesome, we have gotten to know each other really well and I really like that room.”

On his impressions of quarterback Max Browne:
“I think what I’ve grown most appreciative about him is how humble he is. He came in here and just really cared. He is very respectful of the team, very respectful of the job Nathan [Peterman] did a year ago, very respectful of everybody in the room. He wants to earn his way. That’s what’s really cool about him. He obviously is a very talented player. I remember him coming out of high school as a very, very talented kid. He is so humble and I think that everybody gravitates to him because of that. We are going to keep building and advancing and every day we are going to press him with more install and see what he’s got.”

On the running backs corps:
“Honestly, I’ll have a better opportunity to see when they put pads on, but watching them in the conditioning period, athletically they are very skilled guys, all of them. Seeing them out here today, they’ve got a real work ethic. In their assignments, they’re smart and are really detailed guys. Andre [Powell] does a tremendous job with them. They are very detailed players and it’s a highly competitive room too, which is really good, because those guys need to take a lot of pressure of the pass game by being effective in the run game.”

Defensive Coordinator Josh Conklin
 
On the biggest things that stood out looking at last year’s tape:
“For the most part it came down to guys making plays. I felt, to be candid with you, as we go through the season we are going to hang our hat on what we do. We’ve always said that. The thing we have to do a better job is finding ways to put guys in better positions, and then we have to coach to finish better than we have. It’s a two-way street, we understand that. The coaches have to coach it better and the players have to play better. When you look at some of the breakdowns we had, I told the guys this today before we came out, it’s one or two guys on any given play. The level of consistency we play at has to heighten. We did some things well. We defended the run well. But the big passes hurt us. I think the guys are eager to get out here and do some of the things we put into place. We haven’t wholesale changed, but we’ve done a few things to help ourselves out and put guys in better positions to finish on those plays.”
Continue reading “Pitt’s First Spring Practice”