POV Roundtable Call-in; May 24th, 2017

POV Roundtable Call-in; May 24th, 2017

 

Speaking of Todd Sibley – Rivals.com has an excellent series going with some of the incoming freshman who will be arriving on the Southside in August.  This one is about our (semi-) transfer from OSU’s class of 2017.

Here are two quotes from that article – one is rather funny and the second is very serious.  Here is the first:

What was the craziest thing a coach said to you?

“I don’t know if this is crazy or not, but it’s coach Harbaugh. He said that I looked just like Frank Gore. I still don’t know how I feel about that [laughter]. He said I looked like Frank Gore and I didn’t know what to say after he said that. It’s just that my friends had told me previously that I look like Frank Gore and I run like Frank Gore. When he told me that, I instantly told my friends ‘Yo, you won’t believe what he just told me.’”

Well, Gore is 5’9″ and 217 – Sibley is 5′ 10″ and 211 so there is a similarity there.  let’s hope this is the case because with him and A. J. Davis I think we have a bright future at RB.

And this next issue is one we talk about a lot on The POV. I have written before and maintain that what the recruits and their parents (and grandparents in some cases) weigh just as heavily, if not more in some cases, are the positives of a university external to the football program when deciding on a school…

What shocked you most in the process?

“I guess how serious it is. For a young kid, it’s something that you’re not really used to. You don’t really understand the value of the decision you’re going to make – I didn’t really understand the value of it. You know, this is where you’re going to spend the next three to four years at and possibly where you find your wife at and develop into a man and achieve your dream, so this is a really tough decision. Once it sets in for all of the kids, they’ll understand it too.”

Many times I have spoken to current and alumni players and their parents and have been impressed with how level-headed their decision to come to Pitt was – focusing on the off-field and external issues from football.

Players may dream about the NFL and some have a better shot at it going in, but the majority of them realize that Pitt is going to be the school where they grow from an 18-year-old into mature into a young man.  That getting ready ‘for the rest of their lives‘ is paramount in a lot of cases.

I’ll have another article tomorrow then I’ll do a Sunday Podcast  but will take a longer break afterward for a family vacation.

POV Bits & Pieces & Call-In; 5/24/17

POV Bits & Pieces & Call-In; 5/24/17

Some semi-interesting news lately:

In football, as was talked about but I wasn’t sure if it had been etched in stone yet, – it looks like PSU is taking a hard line against really renewing the football rivalry.

There are a lot of terrible outcomes from the mass realignment of the earliest part of this decade, but this is by far the worst: the breakup of longtime rivalries.

Pitt and Penn State — or is it Penn State and Pitt? — are in the midst of a 4-year reunion, and it’s been great so far. The Panthers’ 42-39 win over the Nittany Lions in Pittsburgh last season was not only a thrilling game, but it kept Penn State out of the College Football Playoff. This is what college football rivalries are all about, no? Who wouldn’t want to make this an annual thing again?

Penn State, that’s who.

Speaking at a coaches’ caravan event last week, Penn State AD Sandy Barbour told Nittany Lions fans that the earliest their team would start playing their rivals to the west again after the current agreement expires in 2019 would be 2026.

You know what?  Any school that makes over $125+M off its football program as Penn State does can buy out games which have already been scheduled… and make it worthwhile for three different schools.  The smaller schools who get bumped will receive a greater paycheck – which is why they play schools like PSU in the first place. 

Then Pitt and PSU can reap the rewards of a long term series.

Here is something that is selfish and I think going in completely the wrong direction.  Apparently there is a rule proposal on the table to allow true freshmen to play up to four games their freshman year and still have a full four years eligibility left afterward.

But a new college football rule could allow redshirt freshmen to participate in four games during their first year on campus without surrendering a year of eligibility.

Coaches in the Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference are in favor of the rule, first proposed by the American Football Coaches Association in Phoenix in early May. The rule might not go into effect until early 2018, but coaches see many significant benefits to the idea.

Fisher, who was the ACC football coaches’ chairman during this week’s ACC spring meetings, believes amending the redshirt rule to allow players to compete in four games can help improve player safety.

With now-NFL first round draft picks Leonard Fournette from LSU and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey deciding to skip their bowl games last season to preserve their health, coaches feel players who decide to go that route can be replaced by younger teammates instead of giving another player a greater workload.

This topic has been in discussion for some time but it always was about the situation above – letting freshman play in a bowl game with penalty (loss of one year as a redshirt)

Student athletes become redshirts for many reasons. One reason is that the athlete may not be ready to balance the demands of academic requirements with athletic requirements. Redshirting provides the opportunity, with tutoring, to take some classes and get accustomed to the academic demands.

In 2016, a new status can apply called the academic redshirt. In 2016, the NCAA starts enforcing new, stricter admissions requirements for incoming freshman athletes. Under these new rules, a student-athlete who meets the school’s own academic admission requirements, but does not meet the NCAA’s new requirements (primarily a 2.3 GPA in 4 years) can enter school as an academic redshirt. This student can receive an athletic scholarship and practice with the team, but may not participate in competition. An academic redshirt does not lose a year of eligibility, but can take a later injury redshirt. Academic redshirts must complete nine credit hours in their first semester and can participate fully in the second year.[1]

Continue reading “POV Bits & Pieces & Call-In; 5/24/17”

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:

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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.

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POV Bits & Pieces and Roundtable Night; 4/25/17

POV Bits & Pieces and Roundtable Night; 4/25/17

First off, as promised, here is the donation of your golfing money to the Grassroots of Howard County Day Resource Center.

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It was a check for $300, was well received and is needed – as you can see by the missing drywall in the ceiling of the rooms behind us.

I can’t thank you guys enough for chipping in the way you all did and I will say that I made sure your donated fees are being expressly used to support the homeless services in our county. Not only did we all have a great time – you probably put some new boots on, or food in the stomach of, someone living out in the woods.

Continue reading “POV Bits & Pieces and Roundtable Night; 4/25/17”

Narduzzi’s First 2017 Season Presser

Narduzzi’s First 2017 Season Presser

NOTE:  Here is the Pitt 2017 Spring Prospectus.  I seriously believe that if you are going to be discussing Pitt football from now until the Spring Game then this is a valuable download to have at hand.

http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/pitt/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/2016-17/misc_non_event/PittSpringGuide2017.pdf

Below is the video of Pitt HC’s first press conference… let’s break down his major points.  If you just want to hear his opening remarks then watch this bit from Penn Live).

I have to be honest here – with the exception of the leadership issue discussed this is almost the same info we all have written about and discussed in the comments there really isn’t any ‘news’ imparted.  But it is a nice long presser and it’s about Pitt football so here goes.

Some main issues discussed:

The leadership void left by the graduation of Peterman, Galambos, etc. has to be filled.  HCPN mentioned DT Jeremiah Taleni and MLB Quintin Wirginis for that on defense; Browne on offense.

Kazeon Pugh will be at DE this season and looks good so far in workouts.  He was the Scout Team tailback with terrible ball security. 🙂

TEs – may be in a no TE situations more than before – until  someone steps up?  rsFR De Andre’ Schifino  was specifically mentioned at the TE position.  He was a walk-on last season and redshirted.  However in the past when Narduzzi has mentioned guys early on like that they bear watching.

He talked about Darrin hall’s injury and his partial attendance in spring practice.

A real example of ‘coach-speak‘ was when he talked about competition at all position… “even if Peterman had returned there would be competition at that position“.  Wink, wink, nudge nudge.

He slide a bit of a knife toward Ollison as he referred to Ollison’s work in last year’s spring practices when he referenced that Ollison was ‘feeling good‘ after being ACC Rookie of the Year then came into spring practice as “just OK“. Hmmmm.  Well, coach’s prerogative based on attitude I guess.

I do suggest he get Ollison the ball early and often in the camps leading up to the opener though.

“Ollison seized the opportunity by becoming just the fifth freshman in Pitt history to achieve a 1,000-yard season…rushed for 1,121 yards and 11 touchdowns on 212 carries (5.3 avg.) and also had 14 receptions for 77 yards (5.5 avg.) and a TD…”

He also said new FR Charles TE Reeves was going to get as many snaps as possible; DE Hendrix is OK and practicing; New OC will not mirror Matt Canada – there will be new terminology and ‘structures’ whatever those are.

I hope one change is running Henderson out of the backfield sometimes.

Here is something referring to just what we talked with Dr Tom and Ike about on Tuesday evening:

“Narduzzi hopes returning quarterbacks Ben DiNucci and Thomas MacVittie, who were freshmen last season, will provide depth this season.

“We had one guy (Nathan Peterman), hoping he’d stay healthy,” Narduzzi said. “He didn’t in that bowl game and we saw what happened (Pitt lost to Northwestern, 31-24, after DiNucci threw two interceptions in the fourth quarter).”

Well, coach.  If you hardly ever play any QBs at all other than Peterman then don’t bitch about your back-up failing in a bowl game… which is exactly what he is alluding to here.  I don’t know why Pitt coaches never seem to do this but it would have been a easy thing for at least a few series to get the “never played” butterflies out for DiNucci if he was indeed the ‘hidden QB2‘ as some fans think (he wasn’t).

BTW – The official 2016 Pitt stats has Ben DiNucci playing in two games this season. Huh?  He only played QB in the bowl game so he must have been on special teams in another… or in the Victory Formation but that didn’t happen.

We were ahead 42-14 going into the 4th quarter against Duke. At the 11:01 mark in that quarter it was still 42-14.  Matt Canada did play Manny Stocker for that last two series… but then apparently sat him on the bench for the rest of the season. 

I’ll say this again – Manny Stocker should have been the QB against NW when Peterman went down.  He was the ONLY QB on roster who took any real game snaps to that point.

The old saw I’m hearing that there was no choice but to play DiNucci in the bowl is bull-crap.  DiNucci is no more the QB of the future at Pitt – even in a back-up role than I am.  If Stocker wasn’t the guy then he shouldn’t have been the guy to get those snaps against Duke.

What is refreshing and honest though is Narduzzi admitting that not playing DiNucci earlier was a mistake and well; “we saw what happened…” Two INTs on the final two series is what we saw and that my friends was the difference between 8-5 with a bowl loss and a 9 win season and a ranking in the teens.

Here are some article covering the conference.

Five Questions from the Post Gazette.

Coverage of the Presser by the P-G.

Jerry DiPaola’s Trib-Review coverage of the Presser

POV Sunday Podcast; 3/12

POV Sunday Podcast; 3/12

Note – I said “Reese” when I meant “Reeves” in talking about our young TEs for 2017.

Just How Bad Have Our Defenses Been?

As I said above I think it is funny that fans who pilloried Paul Chryst for in-staff hiring of Matt House as the DC and then hated House with a passion… while we gave up only 26.3 ppg in ’15 and 27.2 ppg in ’14.  In ’13 Chryst’s defense gave up 21… and that was without a real DC on board.

Let me go deeper – in 2014 we gave up 27.2 ppg against a strength of schedule rating of 3.49… compare that to last year’s giving up 35.2 ppg against a 3.51 SOS. So much for the “harder schedule” argument there.

Year Conf W L SOS PPG Nat’l Rank Coach DC
2016 ACC 8 5 3.51 35.2 106th Narduzzi  (8-5) Conklin
2015 ACC 8 5 3.78 26.1 54th Narduzzi  (8-5) Conklin
2014 ACC 6 7 0.97 26.3 59th Chryst      (6-7) House
2013 ACC 7 6 3.49 27.2 70th Chryst      (7-6) House
2102 BE 6 7 2.05 21.1 23rd Chryst      (6-7) None

Continue reading “POV Sunday Podcast; 3/12”