2017’s RBs; Upgrade, Downgrade or Draw

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”

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Historical Pitt 4* & 5* Recruits’ Careers

Historical Pitt  4* &  5* Recruits’ Careers

We have talked many times about the need for highly rated recruits to build a high-quality nucleus for a successful team.  There is no doubt that the longer a HC stays at a school, especially during his first contract, he gets better recruiting opportunities.  We saw that with Dave Wannstedt when his recruiting took off after the 13-9 win in Morgantown during the 2007 season.

But recruiting young players isn’t enough and is truly just the beginning.  With all the standards, rules and regulations, both internal of the university and external of the NCAA and ACC, it makes a college career into a minefield for a lot of student/athletes.  Some thrive at Pitt to become the star players they were projected to be and some fall by the wayside due to either inattention to responsibilities, bad actions, injuries or by just plain being recruited over so they feel they must look for playing time elsewhere.

Just to show how this player attrition works let’s look at who of the 4* and 5* blue-chip players Pitt has landed over the years either left on their own accord or were forced out before their eligibility expired (those who departed the program are in bold): 

Continue reading “Historical Pitt 4* & 5* Recruits’ Careers”

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”

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.

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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.

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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.

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Now That His Yips Are Gone…

Now That His Yips Are Gone…

The player who made us forget about the loss of Tyler Boyd is returning in peak form for next season’s round of football games.  rsSR WR Jester Weah closed the door rather firmly maxresdefaulton the question of who was going to be able to replace Boyd with his superb 2016 season. Boyd’s early departure worried us fans – it didn’t seem to bother Weah one bit.

Granted Boyd missed the first game in 2015 for disciplinary reasons then had a sub-par season (for him) afterward and but within a few games last year we were completely satisfied that our receiving corp was indeed better suited for a new OC’s offense than the previous year.

Right before last season’s fall camp I had written that I personally didn’t think we’d miss Tyler Boyd much at all in the ’16 season because he just hadn’t been productive as he had in the past in 2015.  Chris Peak alluded to my saying that as “totally ridiculous“.  “Hah“, I say. (Chris is 99% right on the money usually but I think I was correct in this one).

NCAA Football: Georgia Tech at PittsburghBoyd had a lot of receptions but his yards per catch average dropped to only 10.2 in ’15 and with that he had only six TDs.   We saw a true football example of the ‘elephant in the room’ disappearing when he left us and thus Peterman had more receivers to use as primary targets… even in the fewer attempts he had passing.

Part of that reliance on Boyd was the fact that old OC Jim Chaney was joined at the hip to him. He wanted him to be the primary, secondary and tertiary targets on almost every pass play.  Matt Canada came in and didn’t have that problem, if that isn’t too strong a word for it.

Continue reading “Now That His Yips Are Gone…”

POV Sunday Podcast; This & That

POV Sunday Podcast; This & That

Below is a copy of the Golf Outing flyer I sent out via email email yesterday.  The POCs are Rick Caldwell and myself.  For the actual Golf outing issues; reserving spots, sponsorship, “will attend”, etc.  please either call Rick at 717-838-4855, x246 or email him at rcaldwell@whiteoakdisplay.com.  

Please make any check payments out to either Reed Kohberger or The PITT POV.

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For other stuff you can call me at 410-997-0388 (H) , 410-782-9981 (C) or email me at rkohberger@gmail.com.

We really hope to see you all there  and have the gifts, prizes, food and drink ready for you.  BTW – we need suggestions for the name of the trophies.