September 27, 2011


Filed under: Coaches,Football,Players — Reed @ 6:21 am

   After reading Graham’s press conference yesterday I felt that if we put the recurring storyline to rhyme it would be easier for us to recall after each game and will save us the time of having to actually listen to him talk.

“O” is for offense, believe it or not

“F” is for FUBAR and that’s what we got

“F” is forget to get rid of the ball

“E’ means elusive like winning at all

You get the picture.

   Zeise of the P-G has an article and a blog on Graham’s public display of disaffection yesterday and both detail what is a very candid and, hopefully, honest assessment from Graham about what the ills of the offense are at this time.

It’s becoming a recurring theme that the players aren’t able to fully grasp what this offense requires of them and, in turn, they lose any chance at being consistent in any form.  This is what he states and this is what we have seen when we watch the games.

We’re just not executing the offense. [Against Notre Dame], we had guys not run the right routes, we had more mental mistakes then we had in the games before so we have to eliminate those things and get better. We haven’t been consistent, [Sunseri] hasn’t been able to get the ball out on time to be able to execute what we need to do. We have at times, but nothing close to what we need

It’s no secret that Sunseri has been holding the ball too long.  Every PITT fan has said exactly the same thing over the course of the first four weeks.

He must have used the phrase (or some version of) “not getting the ball out quick enough” no less than seven or eight times (including when someone asked him about the sacks the line gave up) in this news conference and he is clearly irritated by it. But he also knows this – looking at the quarterback position right now, there really isn’t another option yet. Trey Anderson may be the guy soon, but Graham said he needs experience and until he gets it, Sunseri will continue to be the man”.

Then, to give us a glimmer of hope we read this about a possible change:

“Pay particular attention to the underlined part in this quote – he is saying that Anderson isn’t playing yet because he is still learning.

“Tino Sunseri still gives us the best opportunity to win a championship,” Graham said. “For every person it’s a process and for some players it happens faster than others.. I like getting [Anderson] some experience because he has a different skill set. He also walked here in August so he is still learning. He is a talent and I am thankful for him. We will give him some series from time to time like last week. He will play but our starting quarterback is Tino. We have to get some things corrected but he has the most experience. We have to put the person out there who gives us the best opportunity to win and that is Tino.”

   That is unless Graham is blowing smoke of course.  Its one thing to talk about getting Anderson some experience and it is a whole other thing when he puts the kid in for a total of three series out of 16 quarters of play.  You have to wonder if: 1) Graham is serious about having this option of a different QB at all and 2) even if he is serious is he ever going to have the guts to do it?

It isn’t like we are going to be producing any blowout wins where the second string guy can come in for an extended period of time.  No, Graham has to insist in his own mind that sitting Sunseri down and trying the alternative is important enough to face any risk in doing it.  As many of us have said before, where is the downside at this point in doing so?

   Fans take note.  This is week five now and there has been no mention from Todd Graham about Myers at QB.  That might not mean anything if we were seeing even decent production out of the QB and the offense but we know it is in shambles.  The fact that week after week we hear Graham talk about Anderson as the only alternative to Sunseri defines what the reality of the QB situation is.

   But it isn’t only the woes at the QB position that is holding the offense back.  When asked about what was wrong with the offense Graham said: “Someone asked me today, what do you think is wrong with the offense?,” Graham said. “We’re not running it. That’s what’s wrong with it.”

Well, short, sweet and to the point I guess.  As our commenter wbb mentioned yesterday, a lot of the problem is just wrong execution of the plays themselves.

“The biggest thing that happens is that our offense is one that is very technical and very specific about what you’re supposed to do,” Graham said.” If the route calls for you to release outside, you have to release outside. It’s not optional. So we get a lot of that, because before it was just ‘best release;’ well, you can’t do that. You know they know that, but what happens is that players with all the right intentions operate outside the system. It’s just little silly things…

“Two times in the game, Devin took the wrong release,” Graham said. “Okay, there’s two things that messed up a play. Then we didn’t read the right cover-down guy on the pass concept, or we misread the read-zone, and then all of a sudden you get done and you have 17 plays where you didn’t have a chance to have any positive yardage. And that goes back to just being sold on what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. I think the kids want to.

Fix some of that and you take a little pressure off the QB and allow him to complete the play as designed.  It’s really a breakdown in both the player’s following the script and the coaching staff being overconfident about what this offense could actually accomplish coming out of training camp.  The fact that we were lining up, getting the playcall in and snapping the ball in 15 seconds means nothing if you perform a Chinese fire drill right afterward.

   Contrary to the article I put up yesterday (and Chris Dokish’s blog the day before) Graham said ‘he also doesn’t want to see too much quick game” passing even if the Panthers can’t protect Sunseri. He said he wants to see the ball “get out on time” and get down the field because that’s the only way the offense will work.

Now, I’m not sure what he actually means by ‘quick game’ passing when he’s been singing the mantra of “One, two, go!” every time he opens his mouth.  But he states he needs to see us stretch the field vertically… which if you have a QB who can’t pass accurately over 20 yards isn’t an easy thing to do.

We’ll always have Shanahan, Street and H. Graham getting intermediate passes and I can’t imagine that Graham wants to start flinging deep balls every chance he gets so, my assumption is that we’ll see the quicker receivers working seam routes and crossing patterns where the shorter passes can be effective in getting yardage after the catch.  In other words, less passing horizontally, thank God – get rid of those silly quick passes along the LOS, and more short-intermediate routes to get the ball to the players who can motor and move vertically.

   One last thing.  The HC wants to see Ray Graham carry the ball 30 times per game.  No mention of Zach Brown or Cory Davis getting some plays at RB.  Well, OK.  How about doing something different then running Graham into the teeth of the DL every play then?  What exactly was the pitch out to Graham when you have a 3rd & 1 at the two yard line supposed to accomplish when we never run that play at any other point in the season?  It looked like he was shocked when that play was called. Use Graham’s speed to effect around the end.  Then when you try something different at the goal line at least everyone will be familiar with the play.

It’s your argument wbb….you go do your own research and post it. Don’t expect me to do research to support your argument. lol

Comment by melvinbennett 09.27.11 @ 10:56 am

giveitarest — Zeise debunked that theory in one of his blogs on the PG website. If you really think about it, all that is wanted is a good QB. If Trey is so good that he would beat out Voytik for the job, then who cares if Voytik doesn’t come. And if Voytik is THAT good that we need to resort to desperation and sabotage our team this year to get him, then he should be good enough to beat out Trey anyway. Besides, if Voytik is any kind of football player, he should have the stones to believe that he will come in here and win the job no matter who is playing this year or how well.

Comment by JCE 09.27.11 @ 10:58 am

The REST of the Story:

Several people then approached the car and began assaulting the driver. The three others in the car were also assaulted.

The Charleston Daily Mail reports that the most seriously injured LSU fan, Marcus Mason, of Pittsburgh, sustained a broken nose, a crushed eye socket and other injuries. He was taken to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center for surgery. The newspaper reports that his wife, Hannah, who is 22 weeks pregnant, also was involved in the altercation.

Morgantown Police are investigating the attack with the university’s Department of Public Safety.

Read more: Pittsburgh man, pregnant wife attacked after WVU-LSU game – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review link to

Comment by melvinbennett 09.27.11 @ 10:59 am

Dan 72, I believe losing to Bowling Green in the opener then beating an undefeated Iowa team in the 3rd game is showing improvement .. you asked.

In 2001, Pitt started 1-5 and then ended 5-0 including a win over Va Tech 38-31 and Nc State and Phil Rivers in Tangerine Bowl 34-16 … you asked

Comment by wbb 09.27.11 @ 11:00 am

Thanks for the headsup on this story giveitarest.

Disgusting fans they have.

Comment by melvinbennett 09.27.11 @ 11:02 am

Correct Coach Ditka

In answer to your first question in Post #1.

I’m getting damn close.

Comment by melvinbennett 09.27.11 @ 11:08 am

I will be curious to see if any of these WVU criminals were served any beer during the game!!!!!!

Comment by giveitarest 09.27.11 @ 11:10 am

melbennett; here goes – Iowa 4th quarter

02:14 IOWA 27 7 73 Passing Touchdown
01:37 IOWA 36 7 64 Passing Touchdown
01:31 IOWA 36 7 64 Passing Touchdown

Totals: 201 yds, 21 plays, 3 TDs all within 5 minutes 22 seconds (longest drive took 2:14)


Comment by wbb 09.27.11 @ 11:12 am

@Dan 72

Defense seems improving (or was it ND’s offensive ineptitude)
Offense seems to be coming apart at the seams, so that indicates it’s regressing.

Thursday is make it or break it time, in my opinion.
They have got to get this offense back on track and the defense has to do whatever it takes.
The LB’s actually tackling would be a good start.

Comment by melvinbennett 09.27.11 @ 11:12 am

Very good wbb

But I admitted in an above post this:

Certainly the defense caved, but they were gassed.
The offense didn’t keep them off the field enough.
Comment by melvinbennett 09.27.11 @ 10:40 am

Comment by melvinbennett 09.27.11 @ 11:16 am


I was looking back at the historical series with the Hillbillies, as we’ve played like 103 times.

For like the first 30 years of the series, we hardly played them in Hooterville. 25 of the first 30 games were played in Pittsburgh.

I guess there were no roads that went to Hooterville back then. Pitt probably had to take a mule team down there for transport. haha

Comment by melvinbennett 09.27.11 @ 11:24 am

JCE I personally don’t subscribe to taht theory and agree if Voytik is the QB and leader he is supposed to be it is a non issue. Though I did hear from and insider that there was concern on the timing of Anderson coming and Voytik’s commitment

Comment by giveitarest 09.27.11 @ 11:25 am

@melvinbennett never knew that but I guess it was too hard to clean the cow patties off the field back then. I have never gone to a game there and never will given the atmosphere there. Supporting your team is one thing but these people make the Dawg Pound look like a class act.

Comment by giveitarest 09.27.11 @ 11:29 am

Wbb you must have missed this part of what dokish said and it was Tino is slow footed and a slow thinker which means he cant get it done.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.27.11 @ 10:06 am

You posted this several times on the last post too, as if it proves that Trey Anderson should be playing. Yet Dokish also said that Trey Anderson was too raw and not ready to play. He said that our QB situation, all the way around, is pretty much screwed for this season. So you can’t just point to one thing (Tino is slow footed and slow decision maker) and make that into “The almighty Chris(t) Dockish has said that Tino sucks and should be benched and Trey Anderson should start in order to turn things around.” That simply isn’t what his post said.

We have a real problem at QB and that problem appears to be that we don’t really have one right now who is ready to run this system and run it well.

I, for the life of me, can’t figure out why so many people on here believe that a coach that is so frustrated with his team’s lack of execution on offense would intentionally start the worst QB on the roster and tank his season- especially when he said he wants to win now, not later. I sure as heck hope that one of these QBs pick it up, and soon, because this is getting painful to watch. But I trust that Graham is going to put out there the personnel he thinks will give him the best shot at winning. He has made moves at other positions. Why wouldn’t he at QB if he had a legitimate option?

And why do people assume that if someone like me says that Tino appears to be the best option, that somehow we are Tino apologists? I don’t care who starts. I want to see the offense step it up.

Comment by kanyon40 09.27.11 @ 11:31 am

Check this out, Voytik is only listed as 6’1″
I thought I saw somewhere he was 6-4
Another site has him at 6-0

link to

Well maybe he’ll grow 3 inches before next year.

Comment by melvinbennett 09.27.11 @ 11:33 am

Some good news for a change:

Voytik, who has verbally committed to the University of Pittsburgh, had the breakout game he’d been waiting for this season. He scored on runs of 44, 2, 9 and 21 yards and rushed for 149 yards on 11 carries. Those scoring runs capped drives of 81, 66, 69 and 51 yards.
The gutsy Voytik’s 12-yard touchdown strike to D.J. Jones ended a relatively short 44-yard drive that pushed the Blue Raiders’ lead to 28-0 with 3:32 left in the third quarter.

Read the whole story, of Voytik’s team trashing the #4 ranked team in the state:

link to

Comment by melvinbennett 09.27.11 @ 11:40 am

kanyon, that’s a point I’ve been trying to make here for a long time. I come off sounding like a Tino apologist but I actually have no issue with playing Anderson if and when he is ready.

The other issue is booing a college kid when he is out there trying his best. I believe booing is much more reflection of the person doing the booing opposed to who is being booed.

Comment by wbb 09.27.11 @ 11:48 am

Graham clarified the the use of the “Royal We”

Comment by Freebird 09.27.11 @ 12:22 pm

[…] @ 1:14 pm That while he confirmed much of what many fans thought regarding Tino Sunseri and the offense in yesterday’s presser, the buck still stops with […]

KANYON AND Wbb the point is and you just dont get it is you lose with tino.

So why not let trey play a half if you lose with him what is the diference.

when trey is on the field you can see he moves better than tino he can run and he can pass.

why dont you want to give him a chance. you most of all Wbb is tino your cousin or something.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.27.11 @ 1:39 pm

melvinbennett i posted this weeks ago you must have missed it Voytik is five foot 11 just maybe a little shorter. That is why he wont be going to ND or say LSU or UCLA OR the outher big schools

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.27.11 @ 1:49 pm

While everyone is having opinions about the quarterback and the coach, I am more interested in about the game this Thursday. Against Notre Dame Pitt’s defense played its best game yet. Yes, they could not hold them at the end when it mattered but Notre Dame’s overall talent finally kicked in. If the defense can hold USF to 15 points and keep Daniels as confused as Notre Dame’s QB then I see us winning the game. Hopefully the defense is now at the point it is simplified enough for everyone to grasp.

On offense I think the system has been simplified as much as it can be. It needs to be executed properly. I think we are taking sacks by the QB for two reasons. One is that the Sunseri is holding the ball too long for whatever reason. If he does not see anything he has to make a quick decision to either throw the ball away or run if there is a lane. The second reason is that the receivers are still not sticking to the script for a given play and running the routes as designed. Coach Graham needs to keep pounding that into the receivers’ heads.

As for is Coach Graham the correct guy, I agree with Dokish. Give the man and his staff at least two years before you condemn him. At least he did not lose to a MAC school once yet let alone twice.

Comment by John In South Carolina 09.27.11 @ 2:56 pm

posted on college sports info louisville has invitation from big 12

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.27.11 @ 4:56 pm

Pitt should be 4-0 . But if Pitt had played decent competition in weeks 1 and 2 Pitt could be 0-4 . Imagine that !

Comment by Spindler's Spirit 09.27.11 @ 8:49 pm

Pitt should be 4-0 . But if Pitt had played decent competition in weeks 1 and 2 Pitt could be 0-4 . Imagine that !

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