What a weekend. It all started on Friday when Pitt announced that Aaron Donald was giving a seven-figure donation to the program. Then, for the first time in a long time, the spring game actually produced some offense. Paris Ford culminated the afternoon with an INT and then Pat Narduzzi anointed him the starter. To top it all off Pitt got their second commit of 2020, an offensive tackle no less. And to top that all off, Tiger Woods won the Masters. Continue reading “Pitt Spring Game Weekend Wrap Up”
Practice #4 is in the books. The interview focus was Defensive Line. Here’s 10 things I took away.
- Pat Narduzzi is underselling Patrick Jones. So is DL Coach Charlie Partridge. “Is he ready to be an everyday starter?” was the question. The unanimous answer was “Not yet”
- Devin Danielson, David Greene and Tyler Bentley were three young guys mentioned by Partridge, when asked who might be able to contribute.
- Rashad Weaver’s pass russ got “more appropriate” as the season went on, per Partridge. To extrapolate, he explained that young DL often only have one move, and when other teams figure it out, they tend to shut him down. Players that can change it up as the season goes on see more consistent success. Weaver was able to do just that.
- According to Partridge, “We are a vertical attack defense”. That means they want to see all four linemen in the backfield. If Pitt can get that to happen consistently this defense could be fun to watch.
- Deslin Alexandre is being played exclusively at end, and Chris Maloney was mentioned as a walk on that bears some watching. Partridge also mentioned that some DT’s were being cross trained at end. No names were mentioned. My guess is Jaylen Tywman is one of them.
- rsFr QB Nick Patti made his debut on the interview circuit, and he’s a pretty good interview.
- According to Patti, all the QB’s are getting more reps at practice. Whipple mentioned something to this effect when he was interviewed during the offseason. It’s one of the main reasons why most of his quarterbacks tend to develop, especially after a few years in the system. If we can keep Whip around for more than a year or two, this will really pay dividends down the road.
- According to Patti, Whipple “puts the quarterback in better situations”. Not sure what this means exactly, but reading between the lines I would think it means that Whipple’s play design is better than his predecessor.
- rsSo Jaylen Twyman will be wearing #97 this season. The Duzz said it’s okay as long as his work ethic matches that other guy… BTW, Twyman is listed at 300 but said he’s down to 285.
- 3 out of 3 Pitt players picked Duke to win it all.
Hail to Pitt
- Both Pat Narduzzi and Randy Bates see us as having three starting corners.
- Chase Pine is playing both the Mike and the Money position. There is a good chance he’ll see time at Money, because Wendell Davis is backing up Elias Reynolds at Mike
- They guy who best learns the position at Star will probably get the start. “I like the talent, but they’ve got to know what to do” – Narduzzi
- Narduzzi has no idea who will start at RB. “We’ll continue to get better”. “It’s Long time to August 31st”. “We’re going to find someone to carry the ball”
- Sounds like the staff is lobbying the NCAA for another year of eligibility for Damar Hamlin
- Jason Pinnock never played press-man in high school
- Jason Pinnock and Dane Jackson both believe that the D will pick up where it left off. “It’s way more comfortable for the defense this year with the second year of Randy Bates” – Pinnock. “This is the best we’ve ever felt since we’ve been here” – Jackson
- Phil Campbell may not be the starter at Star LB, but he is certainly in the mix. “He’s spending a lot of time off the filed watching tape.” “His weight is good. He’s farther along than you might think.” – Randy Bates
- Rashad Weaver is a leader, and a character guy.
- The 1920 Pitt Football Squad (undefeated, 6-0-2) were all about the size of Major Majors and Fran, and Pop Warner was recruiting Kiski Academy hard.
First if all, my son, Raphael (no turtle jokes, please), celebrated his one-month birthday this past Saturday, and what better way to commemorate the occasion than to suit him up for spring ball. As you can see young Raphael is expecting big things from the offense this season, because he is already working on his “touchdown” gesture. (The actual truth is this one of the few shots I could get where he wasn’t crying, so one way or the other, I suppose he’s preparing for the season…)
And the other truth is that we might all be crying, because there are so many question marks on offense. Although with OC Mark Whipple at the helm, this is less likely than it was with Shawn Watson. Nonetheless, there are many questions to be answered. And so…where to begin? In my opinion (as well as the opinion of Barry Alvarez, from whom I stole this quote) “It all starts with those big palookas up front”. Continue reading “Pitt Football 2019 Spring Preview: The Offense – Part 1”