masthead.jpg

April 11, 2011

SPRING PRACTICE ODDS & ENDS 4/11

Filed under: Uncategorized — Reed @ 7:11 am

Here’s another view of Coach Graham’s post practice video done on Saturday afternoon.  This is the first time that he really seems to be telling it like it is and details the problems that he’s seeing out on the practice field.  Not that they are insurmountable by any means, but it is refreshing to hear him speak plainly on the progress of the team and on what actually transpired during the scrimmage.   For some reason I can’t find it on any normal PITT websites so this one was done on PITT’s Facebook page.

I love this Facebook comment on the video:  “Frank C. Rizzo: Very Bad not only is the body language indicating bad news but the speach indicates Depression. Look for a 2 win 10 loss season.” Wow, not only is the ex-Governor a football critic but he’s a practicing Psychologist to boot!  Must be a Penn State fan.

Bostick has another article on the individual units, this one dealing with the Defensive Secondary.  I think most of us are pretty worried about this part of our game and are taking a real ‘wait and see’ attitude toward how well the DBs do.

We’ve discussed Buddy Jackson and what the staff thinks about him at this point, but apparently Antwuan Reed is catching the staff’s eye also.

The perimeter of the Pitt secondary showcases a crop of talented corners. The most battle-tested member of this group is senior Antwuan Reed. Reed has 12 career starts, and has picked off two passes during his career. Reed’s combination of experience and dependability will serve the Panthers’ secondary well this season. “Looking at last year’s film, Reed, he’s very steady and dependable,” Coach Graham said. “There is no substitute for experience.”

Well, coach, there actually is and that is learning how to do something differently.  Reed seems to have been a penalty flag magnet whenever he was in the games last season.

And in what might be labeled “The Most Optimistic Thought of 2011” Bostick writes this: “The Pitt secondary has enough skill and experience to provide great coverage behind a blitz-happy front seven.” We do have some talent back there with Holley, Hendricks, K’Wuan Williams, Tags, etc… Let’s see if they can really produce to expectations this season.

I can name this tune in five notes… the P-G has an article on WVU’ Holgorsen installing a new offense and the fact that the WVU TEs are nervous about it.

“I watched (Oklahoma State’s) bowl game as soon as I got home from our bowl game, and I looked at their roster and saw nobody within 30 pounds of me in the position I’m playing,” Urban said. “I was definitely worried.”

Holgorsen, Oklahoma State’s former offensive coordinator, didn’t have a tight end on his roster last year. There wasn’t a fullback, either, which is what Urban played at Norwin High School.

Holgorsen and inside receivers coach Shannon Dawson ended Urban’s fears of being lost in the offense, telling him they want to use him in the slot, in motion to take advantage of his blocking skills and as a third-back in the backfield.

Plus they told Urban that it looked like his family and friends would be allowed to drink beer during the games next year and that was what finally convinced him not to transfer.

On a side note, there seems to be an influx of Swedes into the area’s football programs lately – Peterson, Pedersen, Holgorsen, Anderson, Ahrenhold, Troutman (maker of those red Swedish Fish we all like so much), etc…  Ahrenhold may have German origins but after the German ‘troubles’ in the 1930s &40s the family identifies themselves as Swedish.  There must be some awesome football being played in ‘The Home of the White Peoples” or “Mellanmjölkens land” as it is affectionately known to its snow-blind inhabitants.

BTW – if you want to know why PITT is going to a no-huddle offense look no further than what Notre Dame did to us last season.  I ran across this post-game interview with Wannstedt after that loss…

Coach Wannstedt:

“They did a good job. They had us off balance defensively with the no huddle offense at a faster tempo than we could have ever practiced. That kind of got us on our heels a little bit the first half.

Or:

Q. Did you make some adjustments on defense?

COACH WANNSTEDT: You know, we did. We changed a few things, but the biggest adjustment, truly, to be honest with you, was just getting used to the tempo and getting the calls in quick and getting in their type of fast rhythm.”

Q. Coach, you talked about their tempo on offense. Can you just expand on why that’s so difficult to practice for?

COACH WANNSTEDT: Well, it’s tough to simulate that with scout team guys. We work tempo period. We do some tempo stuff ourselves. But when the lights come on and it’s for real, they did a good job. They were very efficient early on.

Then, just for old time’s sake I’ll give you this tidbit to refresh your memories of why Wannstedt is the LB coach for The Buffalo Bills…

Q. You said you were going to go for it on 4th and 4 if it was manageable. You used the timeout there before you punted. What were you thinking there? Were you thinking of going for it and then changed your mind?

COACH WANNSTEDT: Yeah, we were. In the situation, yeah, and I made the decision that let’s not, we weren’t real comfortable with the plays we had and the situation. We felt our best option to win the game was to punt them down there and try to stop them, which we did, and give our offense a chance, hoping we wouldn’t have to start on the 7 yard line.

Sorry to ruin your day.  Folks,  that type of coaching is why we fans are hoping Graham brings an aggressive offense to Heinz Field. It is what is needed in college football.

Speaking of Notre Dame, The P-G has an AP story on WR Michael Floyd’s problems with booze and arrests and how they are being handled.

Kelly emphasized that Floyd has a long way to go before he can return to the team.

“Everybody has jumped to conclusions that Mike Floyd is going to play football. Mike has so many things on his plate that he has to handle before he can even think about football,” the coach said. “Academics, and personally, he’s got a lot of things in front of him that he has to go through before we even start thinking about football.”

“There is a (stated alcohol guideline) that I have used over 22 years that I think is an effective way to educate and teach how to make good decisions,” Kelly said. “And it’s not just me. It is the utilization of the resources that we have. I’m not a professional counselor when it comes to these things, but I’m pretty good at reaching out and finding the people that can come up with those answers.

“… Football is not even in the equation right now, it can’t be.”

Say what you will about our arch-rival Brian Kelly but I like the way he’s approaching this issue… life rears its ugly head sometimes but there are things that are just way more important than football and Kelly has recognized that with this situation.

Late entry: Bennett over at ESPN has a short article on the BE chances in the upcoming NFL draft.  Sheard is rising, Baldwin looks to be falling.

Who is the author?

“Oh the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all.” “So… be your name Devlin, Donald or Ezell or Holley, Hendricks or Ifill, you’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way!”

Next Practice: Tuesday, April 12th.





Dr Seuss

Comment by Marco 04.11.11 @ 7:41 am

Frank Rizzo was the former Mayor of Philly and was never Governor.

Comment by Frank 04.11.11 @ 8:05 am

Apologies to Dr. Seuss. I like the way Graham communicates with the fan base. I was opposed to this hire but he’s won me over and I wish the best for him.

Comment by The Hagen 04.11.11 @ 8:18 am

Just saw that Villanova has postponed their vote on joining the Big East for football, purportedly because of objections from certain members about their stadium plans.

link to espn.go.com

So once again, the Big East is waiting for Villanova, even though officially the Big East is not waiting for Villanova.

Comment by Pantherman13 04.11.11 @ 10:22 am

REED this is what I heard and saw sat. bad off. day but also situational def.Gonz . doing better, sunseri rough day [coach long ball bad recievers may have helped more],myers didnt play.Graham would like a Gabbert proto type qb ,and no talk of transfers in the least.Only 10-15 plays,with an unorthodox play [gadget] often.Offers nation wide no leadership problems at all in lockerroom, noplayers with different rules or long leashes.Totally different feel, so used to pro style really tough to like or dislike. Graham is in total control but guys donot kid yourself so is Peterson.Second child at pitt [accepted students day] baseball fac remarkable, pitts academics out of control.Defense is attacking at will, hale and clemments animal size but will they show up.

Comment by paul shannon 04.11.11 @ 10:27 am

Per the comment on Villanova’s decision to join the league in BCS football being delayed, I think the Big East should just go ahead and invite UCF. After the UCF addition the next logical step is adding two more teams and splitting the Big East between BCS teams and non BCS teams. Sooner or later it is going to come down to that anyway.

Comment by John in South Carolina 04.11.11 @ 10:38 am

vuhoops.com has more on the delay in the vote. They claim that the league is asking for more time to study the stadium situation before deciding whether to approve it or not. Villanova will not vote to move up to Div. 1A without having the conference approval in pocket.

My guess (purely a guess) is that the conference had been informally letting Villanova know that the stadium was a problem, but Villanova was hoping that the objections were coming from a minority of schools that would either be out-voted or convinced that the 18,000 seat stadium, which might be upgraded to 30k at some indefinite point in the future, was sufficient. Clearly, Pitt was not the only school that was concerned about this.

My only question is why does anyone need more time to study this issue?

Comment by Pantherman13 04.11.11 @ 11:01 am

Paul – that’s a great recap thanks… interesting shorthand you have also.

Comment by Reed 04.11.11 @ 11:41 am

Frank – I was in Guam at the time, who knew?

Comment by Reed 04.11.11 @ 2:38 pm

First thing that I hope these new secondary coaches teach this group of defensive backs from this point further is to TURN THEIR HEADS TO SEE THE BALL when they observe the receiver’s eyes getting as big as saucers. A sure tell that the ball is incoming in the next second or two. Once that skill gets practiced with proper timing, not only will interceptions start falling into some opportunistic defensive backs laps but also half of the needless pass interferece penalities go away too. Often times, with the exact same body to body contact, a no call results when the defender’s head is turned looking for the ball rather than never locating the ball and just playing the receiver, attempting to disrupt the catch once it has come in, almost always resulting in a flag coming out.

Comment by Dr. Tom 04.12.11 @ 3:03 pm

Powered by WordPress © PittBlather.com