March 26, 2007

Cracking The Whip

Filed under: Coaches,Football,Practice,Wannstedt — Chas @ 7:38 am

Well, the nebulous, “suspended for violating team rules,” is still a vague reason, it has claimed 3 casualties this year. Tommie Campbell (Junior, Linebacker) and Corey Davis (Junior, Nose Tackle) are no longer expected to return to the team — unofficially. The third, sophomore safety Elijah Fields gets to begin attending meetings again today, and practice with the team on Tuesday.

I have to be honest, I didn’t think it was a big shock that Coach Wannstedt was serious about following team rules and staying out of trouble. His multiple game suspension of Darrell Strong last year for flipping off USF fans was a rather clear message when most schools let it go with an “apology” by the player (Syracuse and VT come to mind). For the most part, it’s not like Coach Wannstedt has been lax in kicking kids out of practice or sitting them out of games if their effort or attitude is in question. So, it’s not totally news, but in the spring practices you take what you can get.
The suspensions for all three, in part at least, stemmed from the off-season workouts overseen by Buddy Morris.

That didn’t last long. Morris created accountability among the players by separating them into groups by position. When one player missed an assignment, his group mates had to run early the next morning. A second miss required the entire offense or defense to run. A third offense?

“You wouldn’t want that,” quarterback Bill Stull said, “because it would mean the whole team would have to come.”

That, apparently, played a role in the suspensions. Some players went to Wannstedt after repeated slip-ups to demand action be taken; otherwise, they said, they would take it upon themselves.

“It got to a point that you were ready to fight the person who was missing – ‘we’re going to beat you up’ – because we were tired of running,” Phillips said. “Things got really heated because we had to run for one person. It got the message across.”

Vigilante justice in the locker room. Love it.

Its about time they show some fire and anger.

Comment by Rex 03.26.07 @ 7:51 am

Maybe DW can convince the team that WVU is the reason they have to run. Lets get mad at our opponents for once.

Comment by ME2001 03.26.07 @ 9:46 am

I think the coaches should have to run everytime somebody flubs a tackle.

Comment by bill 03.26.07 @ 6:03 pm

Hopefully Tommie Campbell doesn’t snap and pull a Pvt. Pyle on the Coach because of the group punishment.

7.62 mm, full metal jacket.

Comment by Ryan M 03.26.07 @ 7:05 pm

Haha Ryan I was thinking the same thing. The whole team is going to put bars of soap in towels and take turns beating anyone who’s sleeping through class.

Comment by bill 03.26.07 @ 7:20 pm

can’t seem to get excited about either sport anymore,….either I’m getting really old at 33 or I’m just sick of the same old same old shit at Pitt…we better put a winning season together or I’ll stop sending my money to them…maybe I’ll take a trip to the Carribean instead….

Comment by Marco 03.26.07 @ 7:27 pm

Marco, yeah I’m about the same age and I say the same thing every year but our teams are pretty much the lethal accident going the other way on the interstate that you can’t help but look at.

Comment by Jon C 03.26.07 @ 9:08 pm

Sooner or later, in Spring a man’s thoughts turn to fancy – or in PITT fan’s minds- expectations.

As a fan who is not totally into the PITT BB team, I have to say I’m kind of shocked by the negative comments by so many people after the NCAA run ended for us. 29 wins is somehow just not good enough for us, and I have a hard time believing that. I know everyone is disappointed about both the Big East and NCAA tournament play, but – for this season – you have to consider who we lost two. G’Town and UCLA. Two Final Four teams with more talent and better coaching. PITT came up short is all their Big Games – and to me – that just shows the actual level of competition the team was capable of. And that’s not being critical – just realistic.

PITT fans are better served to take a good look at who and what the PITT sports program really is. We are a University whose sports programs have always been slightly ahead of average, with some years being better than others, and some worse. This is pretty much the reality of what we are. The BB fans that thought we should contend for the NCAA championship were over reaching, and the football fans that call the last two years a ‘disgrace’ are unrealistic.

Would I like it if we were at the tOSU or Florida level – contending in both sports at the top of the pile? Sure, but I know – for PITT – that it would be an aberration. We’ll talk about how we all feel the football team will do with our posts and comments for the next 5 months – and then we’ll watch to see how it turns out. We’ll do this even though we were disappointed (or disgusted) by the result of last season’s play. But, I won’t go into this 2007 season with the hopes of anything other than progress on the field and the prospect of a winning season. Starting this season of watching this football team, already assuming it will be a wreck, would make me wonder why I expend the energy to be involved at all.

Comment by Reed 03.27.07 @ 5:24 am

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