One For The Money, Two For The Show…

One For The Money, Two For The Show…

have talked a lot about what Head Coach Pat Narduzzi will do in his third year at the helm of Pitt’s football program.  We have heavily debated whether it truly is “his team” in terms of players he either recruited or acquired by transfer (it is in my opinion). 

We speculate on how well his own guys will do in terms of the previous head coaches’ players they are replacing. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we go around and around as to whether experience or talent wins out in the end when it comes to the quality of play he will get out of his roster.

First let’s take a look at what some previous Pitt head coaches have done in their third year. We’ll go back to the time period right after that great winning run Pitt had from 1974 to 1981.

I highlighted the 3rd years of the respective coaches and only showed their first three years.

3rd revised.png

So – here is the first Pitt HC to review in Foge Fazio:

I think we all remember what happened in Foge Fazio’s 3rd season in 1984 – it crashed and burned as the offensive and defensive wings fell off and hit at 3-7-1… and that was the end of his time here.  We started that crappy year at 1-7-1 with a win over lowly East Carolina.

Continue reading “One For The Money, Two For The Show…”

What Really Matters to Pitt in 2017

What Really Matters to Pitt in 2017

A voice from the past, Kevin Gorman of the Tribune Review, used to be the Pitt football beat writer and a reporter who I always made sure to read every word he put out because I thought he was that good and very detailed.

He’s back with a piece looking at our 2017 season’s ultimate goal.

In this Trib article Gorman makes a point that The POV has been singing all along since Pat Narduzzi became the head coach of Pitt, and that was the main goal of any season is to win the ACC Coastal and then the ACC Championship. That is the only way we have a chance to be in the football playoffs at the end of the season. Anything else is nice but an unfulfilled season.

I love that 2016 Penn State win I love our Clemson upset also, but the bald fact is that if we don’t get it done in the ACC matches we’re not fulfilling the mandate that Pat Narduzzi has been given as a head coach at Pitt…play championship football.

The question going into Year Three of Narduzzi’s tenure is if he can pull that off. To which I say “sure he can” – if he’s what we think he is as a head coach.

There is a big disconnect from how the Pitt fans view the football program and how the coaches, staff and players view the football program. We fans love those emotional wins, and those two great OOC wins last year were certainly emotional and  were great to watch.  But, and there is always a “but” involved when comes to Pitt football, in the long run they didn’t really advance the program as much as a championship would.  Any type of championship.

Continue reading “What Really Matters to Pitt in 2017”

Here’s the Latest POV Roundtable…

Here’s the Latest POV Roundtable…

We went back to the regular Wednesday night Round Table show last night and Richman, Pitt-Cocks and I conducted a lengthy psychological assessment of Dr. Tom’s conversion to objectivity and deemed it appropiate as based on reality and honesty.

All kidding aside it is refreshing to me to carry on a call-in show with Tom under any circumstances of course and last night was no different.  Some topics we discussed:

Aston injury; suspensions, QB depth, most important game of the year, better or worse on offense and defense and anything else that popped in mind.

Enjoy!

Some other Pitt news – Mike Vukovcan wrote an optimistic piece about Ford’s  academic status then deleted it and put this in its place.

UPDATE (7:01 AM)

**Forget my previous post, I’m being told Paris Ford won’t be on the field today but the target for his much anticipated debut is next week. His grades are being submitted to the NCAA tomorrow.

Which means two things;   1) Whitehead isn’t cleared to play by the NCAA yet and with that three different high schools journey he made he might not end up being eligible and 2) the does NCAA takes some time, even a long time actually,  reviewing these submitted cases. Remember the NCAA has to look at every athlete in D1 and D2 in every sport who is submitting to the academic clearing house. From what I read they take the individual cases as date stamped and not by school urgency.

I still have a gut feeling he’ll miss part or all of the year. If it gets too long into the season for the NCAA to decide his status he’ll probably get a redshirt.

Here is a good “Five Takaways from PSN’s Alan Saunders…

Here are some tidbits from the Trib this morning…

Sorry guys but this cracks me up:

Increased swagger

Narduzzi sounds cautiously optimistic his secondary will be better.

“I like the swagger I see out of the secondary,” he said. “I don’t know what it is. Is it more confidence, more knowledge? Are they stronger, faster? Even if a ball goes over their head, I see them come back the next play and make another play. I see a swagger I didn’t see a year ago.”

Huh! Someone needs to tell the HC that it is his and his staff’s job to have gotten get those 2016 DB’s swagger going.  it sounds like he just stood back and watched them mail it in last season.

Last thing – here is a bit on the injuries…

Pitt fullback George Aston and cornerback Phillipie Motley — both atop the pre-camp depth chart at their positions — have not practiced and were on crutches this week.

Coach Pat Narduzzi offered little insight into the players’ injuries.

“It’s still being evaluated right now,” he said. “I’m not going to comment on something that’s not a fact yet. It’s way too early.

We fans have forgotten JR DB Phillipe Motley has been out of action also – he’s a returning starter at the CB position opposite Maddox – and another we can’t really afford to lose even for depth purposes should he not be the starter.

Roundtable Call-In’s Tonight; August 9th

Remember tonight we are back on our regularly scheduled Wednesday evening Roundtable Call-In show.

Here is how to get into the mix:

 POV Roundtable Call-in
 07:45 pm09:15 pm
 
Meeting ID
303520973
 

 

Phone Call-In number is:

408-740-7256   then  770439# – (don’t forget the pound sign!!)

We have a lot to discuss with the suspensions, new OL, injuries, QB battle (?),  what can the AD to get UPitt off her back, etc…

Which game is the most important given all that has gone on over the offseason?  And how about these questions to players on Media Day?

http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/Pitt/2017/08/09/pat-narduzzi-pitt-football-survey-penn-state-rivalry-clemson-death-valley-CTE-NCAA/stories/201708090106

POV Bit and Pieces; August 8, 2016

POV Bit and Pieces; August 8, 2016

Let’s start off with this; we will resume Roundtable Call-in Show tomorrow night at 8 p.m. I’ll be on the air at 7:45 p.m. and you guys can call in at 8 p.m. and thanks in advance for participating.

OK – we lost Aston for the season it looks like – maybe Narduzzi will discuss it in an interview today, maybe not but from all indications Aston’s ankle injury is sever enought to, most possibly, keep him out of camp and  then the full season of play.

No matter how we want to spin this, “next man up” or changing the offense to accommodate this personnel loss – however you want to spin this I believe this is a huge deal for the 2017 offense.

Aston not only was a superb blocker,  some TV commentators in the bowl game labelled him the best blocking back in D1 – and I agree with that, but he was a real offensive force as well.

ast2.png

Last year he scored a TD in every 4.4 times he touched the ball. That is truly outstanding especially considering his 10 TDs were tied for 2nd best on the team with Jester Weah. He was a force in there on every play and I very much doubt we’ll be able to replace what he brought to our 2016 record breaking offense.  See the end of this article for more Aston video…

So – new starting QB, new starting FB, new starting RB, new starting TE, two new starting OL…?? Fingers crossed for those guys.

Here is a bunch of topics covered by Jerry DiPaola of the Tribune-Review. Note he mentions Mathews missing camp for two weeks.

Pitt sophomore wide receiver Aaron Mathews will be absent from practice until the end of next week while he takes care of “personal obligations,” coach Pat Narduzzi said.

Narduzzi did not label Mathews’ situation a punishment. But if the sophomore from Clairton misses the first two weeks of practice, he will fall behind others competing for playing time. Mathews recorded six receptions last season as a freshman.

Pitt is seeking depth at wide receiver behind starters Jester Weah and Quadree Henderson. There is an opening for the third spot, with sophomore Tre Tipton lost for the season after injuring his knee in a bicycle accident.

Freshman Dontavius Butler-Jenkins already has made an impact with his coaches.

I think it is kind of strange that everyone is talking about Henderson being the 2nd receiver out there. I wonder about that – I can see it as a part-time role depending on the play calling, but think that our regular two WR set will be Weah and Mathews (or another WR).  That will be an interesting thing to watch come September.

Well, here is another article in the Trib that discusses the above issue and how the team has to ‘grow up’ quickly.  Interesting that the beat writers and other media types are more concerned about the lack of experience in the two-deep than fans are.  It certainly concerns me and a lot.

But as good teams will do – the older players are pushing the underclassmen to get more involved… Then, there’s Brightwell, whose personality used to lean toward that of an introvert. But as the middle linebacker who must ensure everyone lines up correctly and hears the calls, he can’t afford to sit back.

“He was quiet at first,” junior linebacker Seun Idowu said. “Now, he’s a freakin’ crazy man, going all over the place. He’s getting more comfortable in that position.”

O’Neill said Brightwell is following a natural progression. “You kind of worry about yourself (at first), then it gets to the point where you kind of worry about the guy next to you,” he said. “Then you worry about the whole picture.”

Idowu said players have learned they’re not just along for the ride.

Continue reading “POV Bit and Pieces; August 8, 2016”

POV Sunday Podcast; August 8, 2017

POV Sunday Podcast; August 8, 2017

As I wrote our 2017 home game tailgating plans are firming up nicely. We’ll be at every game in Red Lot 5A and will be there hours early and about an hour after the game.  I already put up one article and as we get closer to the end of camp I’ll pin the info to the top of the blog.

One thing – we’ll have a donation box for POV’ers who attend (and anyone else actually). One POV’er is donating a lot of time, effort and a parking space and the others are putting out some up front costs – so we’ll reimburse them… OK guys?

You all are the best and I have about another week before I settle in with my new volunteer work – I’ll try my best to be up to the Pitt Media Day on Tuesday then I’ll try to get more articles out on a regular basis…

https://pittsburgh.rivals.com/news/mailbag-8-4-2017-qbs-wrs-board-games-and-more

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2725571-preseason-college-football-rankings-2017-teams-that-will-exceed-expectations

Preseason Amway Coaches Poll

Typical Coach speak – RB coach Powell

Here is an example…

PAT SAID QADREE NEEDS TO PLAY BETTER THAN HE DID WHEN HE RAN FOR 1,100 YARDS TWO YEARS AGO.

POWELL: Sure.

CAN HE DO THAT?

POWELL: I don’t know. He was a redshirt freshman and that was two years ago. So I think he can. That’s the bar. We’re trying to raise the bar. He rushed for 1,100 yards, a little bit wiser, a little ability to anticipate and see things before they happen, receiving the tips that the defense gives you, he could have had more yards.

Hopefully he knows those things now or is learning them now, and when it comes to the time to play, hopefully he’ll be a better player.

OK Coach – now tell us what you really think.

 

Continue reading “POV Sunday Podcast; August 8, 2017”

Pitt Fall Camp Day 3

Pitt Fall Camp Day 3

2017 Pitt Football Camp, Day 3 Recap

The Panthers Wore Shells for Thursday Morning’s Workout

 PITTSBURGH—The Pitt football team put on shoulder pads for the first time of training camp during the Panthers’ third practice of August on Thursday morning at the UPMC Sports Performance Complex on the South Side of Pittsburgh.

 Head coach Pat Narduzzi held his daily morning media session before practice, and special teams coordinator/running backs coach Andre Powell and linebackers coach/recruiting coordinator Rob Harley answered questions after the workout.

 Pitt men’s basketball head coach Kevin Stallings also stopped by for a visit during practice.

 Interview Videos: Pat Narduzzi | Andre Powell | Rob Harley

 Below are transcripts of all three media sessions.

Head Coach Pat Narduzzi

 Opening statement:

“The first thing we do is compete against ourselves. We’ve had two great practices, obviously in shorts. Today is the first day in pads, which I always think is a big day. And our kids have done a great job of practicing. I think sometimes you overlook how important that is, staying healthy and keeping your guys on the field. The last two days, just staying up off the ground is important.

Today is just shells, so they have everything on except their pants [pads]. When you look at it overall, the guys have stayed up, and we expect them to stay up today. There should not be a lot of guys on the ground. We’ve done a great job talking about “thud.”

Today is a “thud” day; it’s not a live day. Just because we are in pads doesn’t mean we’re going out there and going crazy. Our guys have to practice smart today, and that is what we are expecting of them. This is real football, and we’ll see guys coming to the top today—young guys, old guys. I’m excited to see what we have.”

On if it makes more sense to skip shell days and go straight into full pads:

“With the acclimation period, we have two days in shorts. Our guys have been acclimated all summer. They’ve been here all summer. I think the NCAA will eventually get rid of it because we really don’t need it. We’ll try to take the heat off it early. Early on, we will just give them two plays. So the ones will get two plays, the twos will get two plays and the freshmen will get two plays.

Then we just break back into individual so they get it out of their system early. If we have 20 plays, it could end up in a scrimmage situation. It turns into, ‘I hit you low, and then you hit me low.’ All of a sudden it turns into a lot of competition.”

On which players can provide depth on the offensive line:

“It’s so early. They are out there blocking in shorts, but Bryce Hargrove, [Jerry] Drake Jr., [Connor] Dintino. Jimmy Morrissey has done a great job through spring and all the way up into this fall so far. And that’s just to name a couple, so I feel bad throwing names out there. That will be easy to settle, and we hope to have an addition here soon.”

On how Bricen Garner and Jazzee Stocker are performing at safety:

“They have done a nice job, but it’s covering guys in shorts. Those guys have done a great job competing. They all have to step up really at every position, and especially back there. Jordan [Whitehead] will compete when he gets back. I’m sure he will be hungry, too. There’s always competition at every position. There’s nothing given to anybody. You have to earn it. Earn that Pitt jersey and play the day.”

On whether Mike Herndon will be playing on offense or defense:

“Mike is going to do a little bit of both. We’ll start him off on offense because he started out on defense in the spring. Mike selflessly said, ‘Coach, I’ll do whatever you need.’ I think he’ll be a great addition. He was originally there and we moved him over. I really think he can do both, and impact both sides. He’s got defense down. I think defense is easier to play at that position. As we move forward offensively, I think he will be great.”

On Aaron Mathews’ practice status:

“I expect Aaron. He’s a guy who has some personal obligations to take care of right now, like some other guys I mentioned earlier. He has some things going on that he needs to take care of. We expect to have him back here in the next week.”

Continue reading “Pitt Fall Camp Day 3”