Spring Practice 2019: 10 Things we Learned on Day 2

Spring Practice 2019: 10 Things we Learned on Day 2

 

  1. Both Pat Narduzzi and Randy Bates see us as having three starting corners.
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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”
  5. Sounds like the staff is lobbying the NCAA for another year of eligibility for Damar Hamlin
  6. Jason Pinnock never played press-man in high school
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. Rashad Weaver is a leader, and a character guy.  
  10. 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.
Pitt 1920 Football Roster
Image courtesy of Bernie Blystone

 

 

Pitt Football 2019 Spring Preview: The Defense

Pitt Football 2019 Spring Preview: The Defense

Pitt’s spring practice starts on Wednesday, and all I can say is, “Man, that came up fast”.  Seems like just yesterday we were complaining about what went down in El Paso.

And yet here we are, just a few days out from fourteen closed practices and one glorified scrimmage that will tell us very little about how good this team actually is.  Nonetheless, all of the information that comes out of spring practice will be both controlled by Pitt’s  Coaching Staff and much discussed by the fans – thanks to Pat Narduzzi’s unpopular closed-practice policy.

In the meantime, we can speculate as to what will happen, and who will emerge, and how good the team will be, and speculate we shall.

But first, lets kick it off with a little rah-rah:

Continue reading “Pitt Football 2019 Spring Preview: The Defense”

Are Pat and Staff Developing Players?

Are Pat and Staff Developing Players?

Here is a well-researched article by Brian Ferrari, aka “notrocketscience”, and it should give some good food for thought as we head into spring ball in the next couple of weeks.

We have much discussion about Pitt recruiting on the POV.  This year’s class is considered too low in rank by almost everyone.  Some believe all of Narduzzi’s classes were ranked too low. I am not one of those people.  I feel all of the classes, with the exception of this year, were on par for what Pitt can accomplish with their football budget.  I also feel Pitt football can reach a level of success we all expect with those classes. For me, that is eight to nine wins per year with occasional ten win seasons.  Top 25 rankings should happen.

Let’s forget where Pitt’s classes have been ranked by Rivals.  After all, it has zero impact on how the players are ultimately developed by the coaches.  An eighteen year old kid changes a lot in four to five years. Instead, let’s look at the players on the current roster that contributed last year and are poised to contribute more this coming year.  How good are they? Has Pitt developed them? Do we see potential NFL draft picks?

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How National Media Think About Pitt

We have a continuing argument on here about the impact of last year’s 31-26 bowl loss on Pitt’s national reputation after the 2016 season’s dust had settled.  More importantly perhaps is what impact all of last season’s games, won and lost, had on the national media’s perception of our program going into this 2017 season. 

But wait – let me backtrack a bit here.  This isn’t about Pitt’s football program per se – but is about how the national media viewed the Pitt football team at the end of 2016, then again now and how the team might be gauged going into battle in September.

The people on the Southside I had conversations with when attending spring practices three months ago sure felt… no, they sure knew… that the bowl loss cost us dearly in perceptions and in the actual standings.   By that I mean not only the final 2016 standings but our 2017 preseason rank (or lack thereof).

Here is the AP Final Top 25 list for last year:

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I believe that had we won the bowl game combined with our big PSU rivalry win (which is a match-up of historical importance to the national media) and win over #3 ranked Clemson; both games nationally televised and both teams finishing high in the final rankings with one as champs, we would have been ranked between #13 and #17 at the end of the season.

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2017’s RBs; Upgrade, Downgrade or Draw

(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”

Some More POV Golf Outing Stuff

As we wrote earlier the golf outing was a ton of fun… so here are some photos to look at until some of the other attendees send me their photos of the event (my cell phone camera skills leave a lot to be desired…)

First off the 1st and 2nd place teams were  Fran Lokar (Lastrowinsection4) and three friends who were 3 under par.IMG_20170414_150954436

Second place tie with Richard Tencza (Richman) with three friends and Randy “JoeKnew” and two friends at 2 under par.
Here is one of our four teams of golfers on the right. They didn’t win but may have had the most fun of all… from left to right they are Erie Express (Rick Caldwell), Jay91 (Jason Smith), MajorsMajors (John Fredland) and Dan72 (Dan Davis).
All Pitt fans of the finest kind.  As you can see this is one of the tee signs Erie Express had made up for the course.  There were a few other and one had the Grassroots logo in the bottom right corner to go along with the POV eyes.

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Rick (Erie) was the workhorse of the event and between he and Fran Lokar (lastrowofsection4) they had everything set up and the POV golfers out to the links in a timely fashion.

Here is the Prizes Table with goody-bags, auction items and some POV items for the golfers to grab on their way out.  The star of the show was Jason Smith’s (Jay91) donation for auction the autographed “Ditka” uniform jersey.  That went for a very nice chunk of change and was so very generous of Jason to do.  BTW – that is what Jason does for a living – sports memoribilia, sports autograph conventions, framings and such so if you are interested drop me a line and I’ll give you his contact info.

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Continue reading “Some More POV Golf Outing Stuff”

Sunday Morning QB and Podcast

I invited readers to send in their impressions of the Spring Game and Eric Wassel took advantage.  This is his take…

RMonday-Morning-QBeed is a stats guy. Regular readers of the Pitt POV know this. I sometimes think that statistics do not lie, while at other times I believe that they can be misleading.

For example, one of the most statistically successful QBs in Pitt football history is TS (it pains me to say the name). Yet I am not alone in my belief that he was nothing more than a mediocre QB who was a Wanny favorite. We all know that he NEVER in three years led us to a come from behind victory. So in his case, the stats are both misleading and deceiving.

I happen to believe that statistics from a spring game, (particularly one where the first, second and third team players are spread out evenly across the two teams) are mostly meaningless. I mean, when your purported first string QB (Browne) is being protected by third string linemen and throwing to second string receivers (no disrespect meant to Tre Tipton, who is going to contribute this year), it’s dangerous to take too much from a game like this. So yes, stats can be misleading.

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