March 4, 2008

Football Notes, 03/04

Filed under: Football,Practice — Chas @ 10:11 am

A few items to get out of the browser tabs.

Spring practices are looming, Pitt’s gets underway on March 25. Auburn is already well underway for spring practice. USF was the first team to start spring practice in the Big East.

A couple things from There’s a “primer” on spring practices.

What to watch
• As a true freshman last season, quarterback Pat Bostick earned the starting job out of necessity after Bill Stull fractured his thumb in the season opener, but Stull will be back this spring to push him. Junior college transfer Greg Cross, who joined the team in January, will also compete for the job, along with Kevan Smith, who started two games last season after Stull got hurt, but lost the job to Bostick.

• Both offensive tackle positions are wide open, and it will be tough to replace Jeff Otah and Mike McGlynn, both NFL prospects.

• Former defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads, who directed the Panthers to the top overall defense in the Big East and the No. 5 ranking nationally, left after eight seasons to join the staff at Auburn. Can former SMU coach Phil Bennett maintain that success?

Ranking wise, I’m not sure Pitt will be #5 on defense. Consistency and overall balance, I think Pitt will be better.

A power ranking of teams in the Big East “based on what we know, and what we don’t.

6. Pittsburgh Panthers

What we know: Two of the best players at their respective positions return in linebacker Scott McKillop, who led the country in tackles, and tailback LeSean McCoy, the leading freshman rusher in the country with 110.7 yards per game.

What we don’t know: The Panthers haven’t been an effective passing team because of the inexperience. Can this year’s quarterback change that, and who will it be?

How the Panthers can win the Big East: Find the balanced offense that was missing last year and play the same stingy defense.

Meanwhile,! have their own Big East spring practice preview.

Greg Romeus is listed among players expected to emerge. The QB spot should be the biggest battle for Pitt. Center Robb Houser

A CFN/FoxSports list of 25 players who will emerge from the “scout team” to impact players.

23. DE Myles Caragein, Pittsburgh: Caragein was born to play for Pitt, the type of blue-collar lineman that really gets Dave Wannstedt thinking nostalgic. An intense competitor and former wrestling champ in Pennsylvania, he’s got a non-stop motor and the size and power to move inside if asked. Caragein is an old-school Panther with the personality and work-ethic to be a big hit in the Steel City.

6. RB Shariff Harris, Pittsburgh: Obviously, LeSean McCoy is the franchise in Pittsburgh for the next few years, but it never hurts to have a complementary change-of-pace in the backfield. Harris flashes the potential to be that type of a back for the Panthers, a powerful, north-south runner that could have contributed last season if he was needed.

Finally, a profile piece on the sports psychologist who works with Pitt football.

Fields should be on the list of 25 players!!!

Comment by Gilbert's Future Agent 03.04.08 @ 11:29 am

Pitt should be ranked 3rd. Lville lost their star QB and replaced several coaches. RU lost the heart and soul of their offense (Rice). Cinci did not beat us last year, they are certainly not going to be better than us this year with or without Mauk.

Comment by HbgFrank 03.04.08 @ 12:39 pm

Frank I agree but we have yet to prove we can win. 3 seasons under DW and not one winning season playing a below avg schedule. Hopefully this is the year we break the stereotype.

Comment by Rex 03.04.08 @ 12:44 pm

It is impossible to figure out where this team will finish in the big east. We have a HUGE ?’s at the QB position and the offensive line. Until we have a feel for what the offense is going to do/not do I don’t feel anyone can say how this team is going to finish. Our defense will be better next year but can anyone say the same for our offense? Matt C is still running the show and he has yet to show me an offense that puts up points week after week.

Comment by Tony in Harrisburg 03.04.08 @ 12:58 pm

harris? what? who saw that one coming?

Comment by Carl 03.04.08 @ 6:42 pm

“the type of blue-collar lineman *that really gets Dave Wannstedt thinking nostalgic*” Oooh, I don’t think they realize what a low threshold that is.

Comment by Brian of Brooklyn 03.04.08 @ 7:36 pm

Pitt has a very difficult no-con swchedule next year, 8-4 is a possibility, anything less is a failure.

Comment by Bugsby 03.04.08 @ 8:11 pm

Myles Caragein is a beast. He could be terrific.

I’ve heard that sports psychologist speak before … he’s excellent.

Comment by Dan 03.04.08 @ 8:34 pm

How bad would this hurt us


Former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher is expected to get back in the football coaching game in 2009. Most likely, that would involve working for whatever NFL owner is willing to give him the best combination of multimillion-dollar salary and control over personnel decisions.
But Cowher could also decide to coach in college. And we’ve heard from some Penn State fans who are extremely excited about the possibility that he could return to Pennsylvania.
The Penn State football web site reported Monday that Cowher was on the campus at Penn State on February 24 and 25, and that he stayed overnight at the home of Athletic Director Tim Curley. And then the site reported today that this real estate listing is for Cowher’s home in North Carolina. Might Cowher be putting that home on the market because he plans to be coaching elsewhere 10 months from now?
At this point, it’s too early to say. Joe Paterno is 81 years old, and some observers think he’s heading into his final season. Then again, “some observers” have thought that for the last decade. But taking over for Paterno would likely be seen as an attractive opportunity for Cowher, and Cowher would definitely be seen as an attractive candidate for Penn State.

Comment by cdmoore25 03.04.08 @ 9:51 pm

I can’t see a Super Bowl winning NFL coach going to coach college by choice. He has had too much NFL success to take what would be a tremendous step backwards. And while his name alone might draw recruits, it is a real stretch because there is nothing to suggest that Cowher has any connections anywhere to high schools that would allow him to be a good recruiter. I would actually like to see PSU do this because it would be a gimmick and a total disaster. The whole idea reminds me of Pitt hiring Johnny Majors back for a second tenure just to try to spark something.

I know that Pitt has a former NFL coach. But at least he couldn’t hack it in the pros so there was a reason to go back to his alma mater.

Comment by The Prowler 03.04.08 @ 10:33 pm

The supposed real story is that one of cowhers girls is thinking of attending psu.

I’m sure though that the ghost of lombardi and cowher are both going to fight over the single most presigous job in all of football…then again, maybe he thinks he can get all the fighting they do on the street to translate to better than 4-4 on the field…

I hope they get their hopes up so that they are crushed with another year of mediocrity while we pass them by….

Comment by Stuart 03.04.08 @ 11:48 pm

[…] Pitt (Not At All) Surprisingly Back To Talking Football: All it took was one ass-kicking to get them off basketball immediately. After last game? Football didn’t exist. I’m surprised it does this time, considering ESPN picked them 6th in the Big East. […]

Penn State tight end Andrew Quarless becomes 6th player suspended this off season for the Nittany Lions.

link to

What else is new….

Comment by Ryan M. 03.05.08 @ 11:42 am

It’s actually sad how permanently and deeply scarred WVU fans are from the 100th Backyard Brawl. Truly pathetic and fantastic at the same time.


Comment by Dan35 03.05.08 @ 1:00 pm

This just in… West Virgina has found out about computers. Next thing you know they will be modifying a tractor to compete against CMU’s Hummer robot.

Comment by ChrisA 03.05.08 @ 1:00 pm

I can’t believe this…PSU criminals…WVU inbreds…what’s this world coming to….

Hopefully the team is hard at work on defense this week…there can be NO excuses after a week layoff…

Comment by Stuart 03.05.08 @ 6:00 pm

ChrisA, I think the more impressive news here is that West Virginia finally found spell-check. Finally, a troll post I can actually read!

Comment by Brian of Brooklyn 03.05.08 @ 7:04 pm

In re-reading that, only now do I see the zinger I set myself up for. It was like a Tim Wakefield knuckleball pitch that Didn’t. Quite. Knuckle. Enough.

Comment by Brian of Brooklyn 03.05.08 @ 7:07 pm

I’m thinking that the Pitt offesne will have a little Wing T to it with Cross at QB.

link to

Comment by Fcuk Paterno 03.06.08 @ 4:41 pm

Anybody just watch LeBron blow by Aaron Gray? Not a matchup you want…

Comment by Stuart 03.06.08 @ 7:44 pm

After last year’s sub par O-line loses its 2 best lineman, a 6 and 6 season might be a more reasonable expectation. Hopefully Robb Houser will step in and upgrade the center position. Nix starts as a freshman? A couple of beasts need to step up on the O-line. Can Myles Caragein block? If the O-line isn’t up to par it won’t matter who the qb is or what offense (wing-t, Arkansaw, pro-set or anything else) they run, there won’t be any passing game with the qb running for their lives. Look for more of the same unless that o-line drastically improves. Somebody needs to open some holes for Shady and the other rbacks.

Comment by shadyforpresident 03.06.08 @ 8:02 pm

Just want to point out that 2.5 minutes to half time, Gray is tied for the team high in points with 7, in 7 minutes. Yikes.

Comment by Stuart 03.06.08 @ 8:12 pm

Providence crushes UConn

Comment by MelbaPlace 03.06.08 @ 9:30 pm

Depaul won AT Cinci…we had better be careful…

And UCLA just scored 18 points in the first half…they must suck…

Comment by Stuart 03.06.08 @ 11:53 pm

I went through as many scenarios as i could, looked at the tie breakers, and i’m pretty sure on these. A lot of games don’t effect who we play in the first round, there is just one important game: Providence v. Nova.

If Prov beats Nova, we play Nova.
If Nova beats Prov, we play Seton Hall.

After that first game, we play the loser of the LU/GU season finale, then winner of ND/WVU, then winner of LU/GU season finale. This assumes no crazy upsets in the tourney.

This also assumes we beat depaul.

Now, if syracuse upsets marquette, back to the drawing board. Pray for MU to win.

Comment by Stuart 03.07.08 @ 12:57 am

Finally, State Penn decides not to suspend their own players….er, “student athlete” for beating up other students at their school.

And ANOTHER State Penn football player arest, this one for DUI…Joe Pa not pleased the laws apply to players, unlike “the old days” where he swept everything under the rug…

Comment by Stuart 03.07.08 @ 1:09 am

Penn State’s full of scumbags, we can’t endict their whole FB team just because their entire student body, fanbase and some athletes are total jagoffs..
can we?

Comment by ChrisA 03.07.08 @ 5:23 pm

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