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October 17, 2011

“WHAT AM I, CHOPPED LIVER?” ™

Filed under: Uncategorized — Reed @ 8:11 am

After waiting for a few days to completely absorb the latest failure, and it takes that long to actually digest what we saw, Chas’s excellent take of the Utah game and the team’s disposition needs expounding on.  Since football is more than just statistics and how they affect the overall won / loss record, this is the perfect time to really look at what shape the football program is in and how the team represents the tip of the overall iceberg that is PITT football.

It wouldn’t hurt to reread what Chas had to say in the previous post because he hits the root cause of what is happening between the whistles and makes great points about the pieces of the puzzle that are missing during the execution of playing the games.

But, and since my educational and professional background revolves heavily around psychology and sociology (two worthless degrees except when following PITT football apparently); I see cause and effect around every corner and under every rock.  Some of those jump out and bite you in the face. To wit:

The 2010 off the field problems — the on field problems — Wannstedt’s firing — Haywood’s hiring — Baby Daddy smack down — Haywood’s firing — Graham’s hiring — Radical changes in style of football — uncertainly among the players — poor results on the field — dissention in the rank and file — Same Old PITT.

Last Friday we had some great discussion on here about what we saw and what we thought about after the Rutgers debacle.  In the comments was this exchange of two views on the team’s problems

I wrote:

The issue of team chemistry has been on the knife’s edge since Wannstedt was fired back in December. These seniors have been through a lot over the last 10 months and then to institute such sweeping changes in the style of play… well, you can see how the seniors may just be saying “Let me just get through this year”. And it isn’t like 2010 was such a great year that they were really looking forward to 2011 in the first place.

But none of these seniors are in the team’s future anyway or are really benefiting from this 2011 season. The new offense and defense systems haven’t showcased any of their individual talents.

There isn’t a bunch of motivation to be found for the seniors there anyway especially when considering that the HC who nurtured (pampered) them for three or four years was ingloriously (fired).  Top that off with those big changes, Graham’s emphasis on playing newcomers and our close losses, and those had to be morale killers especially with the grandiose promises we heard from the staff, and it’s a real formula for senior apathy IMO.

I really do think that that loss last week (Rutgers) wasn’t the end of the season but I wonder if it didn’t just make those seniors more apt to care less about the team’s present and future and the underclassmen, then they would in a normal non-drama filled year…

Answered by Dr. Tom with this:

Reed, I don’t think your spin on this team’s mindset is valid at this point in the season.  I didn’t see any “Quit” in the team in general against Rutgers. I just saw a team getting their asses whipped by a team that wanted it more and they couldn’t recover due to poor performance on their own part. 

Now after you get kicked in the teeth like that, how you respond, especially in a non conference game, the next week DOES demonstrate the mindset of the team going forward.  Football, like life, tends to be just a series of problems strung together that routinely screws with your head. How you pick up the pieces and move on spells the difference between success and failure.

Coach Graham has a big job ahead of him. This game will be a tough one if he finds that the team is still hanging its collective head after last week’s loss. It could also serve as a wakeup call and a rally point to challenge these kids to get up off the floor and get back into the fight.

Both valid opinions and Dr. Tom hit the nail in the head with the key point in that last paragraph. Which do YOU think happened?

Chas wrote about it as referenced by his view of how the offense performed and Paul Zeise of the P-G gets into some detail with this in today’s Red Shoes Diary:

EJ Borghetti did his best to coach up the players who came into the interview room so as to make sure they showed a “united” front and didn’t point fingers, etc., etc. Both quarterbacks were not made available to the media today and it was clear there was more “kumbaya” being sung by the players – real or forced – than at any youth group retreat I ever attended when I was a kid….(Note: watch the first minute of the kumbaya video and imagine Steve Peterson after the last game)

What is important to understand is that this is unusual for the PITT SID to do; Borghetti very much takes a hands-off attitude with player interviews and allows the players (all adults BTW) to individually express their thoughts.  Not this time though.  That raises another warning flag on my horizon.

We knew one of the key issues coming out of the camps was the level in which the players ‘bought into’ Grahams philosophy and the dramatic playbook changes he was instituting.  All looked well as the team was getting up to Graham and staff’s expectations of what needed to happen with the players and how they executed during camp.  So we have to assume that reality began to not match theory during five weeks of actual play.

Whether this is an offensive players vs. defensive players situation as the defense is certainly playing well enough for us to have won our last three games and the offense has crapped out, or a loss of confidence of the players with the QB and/or the staff, one thing is certain – what we have seen in games six and seven should scare the hell out of us fans.

As we all said after the RU game, ‘one incident could be an aberration but let’s wait until the Utah game to see if it constitutes a trend’.  Folks, there is a definite direction in which this team is moving and it ain’t a good one.  To me, the most interesting thing to watch for as PITT goes forward is if Graham is going to stick to his stated goal of getting his offense installed at all costs .  This brings us to…

Mark Myers! The Cleveland Kid! The Scion of St. Ignatius!  The Punter With the Golden Arm!

The howling is in high gear for the third string QB to get his shot and it certainly isn’t unfounded based on what we have seen from Sunseri and Anderson so far.  You’d think this would be an easy decision for the HC to make… if you didn’t realize the multitude of reasons Graham has in his brain pan not to do it.  What has transpired between Myers and Graham over the last seven months none of us fans truly know, but one obvious reason is whether Todd Graham is going to stick with what brung him to PITT and his $2M salary.  If so Myers will stay on the bench.  We discussed this in an article after the Notre Dame game:

 “I believe strongly in the system,” Graham said. “As we progress and become more mentally and physically conditioned, then we will get better. I looked at the film, and our mistakes were not made from being too tired or playing too many snaps on defense.  “An offense is about running a rhythm and you can’t just change the rhythm and expect to be successful.  “Our tempo is not why we lost the game, but because we turned the football over and made too many mental errors.”

The message here, and it’s been repeated over and over by Graham, is that not only does he want to win games but he wants to get his offense (and defense) in place as soon as possible so as to have a head start on 2012 and beyond.  I’m not surprised at this at all.  That is what he was hired for and what the PITT administration expects.

In the maritime trade we place a bar of zinc anode directly onto the hull of the ship as a “sacrificial waste piece” so that bar will take the corrosion before the hull does.  In a real way I believe this season is serving as Graham’s waste piece for the future seasons.  Not that he doesn’t want to win in 2011, but that isn’t the end all be all in his plans.

This pisses some PITT fans off to no end but in the long view, which I believe the PITT administration is taking, what happens in 2011 is nowhere near as important as what happens in 2012 and beyond.  This is what PITT paid that big money for, to have Graham get his systems in place and running as soon as possible and at this point it will only happen if the returning 2012 roster players have as much experience with it as they can.  IMO Graham doesn’t believe playing Myers will expedite that happening.

Of course, Graham could always adapt his offense to accommodate Myer’s abilities and get him in there.  On one hand I’d like that to take place.  He could also bend to pressure and change his line of thinking but I strongly doubt that pressure will come from the people who pay his salary which, at this point in time, are the only ones he needs to listen to. But Graham is as stubborn as a Texas mule and I don’t see him doing it, he could of course, but we’ll see.





On Zeise’s report yesterday he quoted TG: “there will be an open competition for the quarterback spot.” I hope this is true.

Comment by Pittastic 10.17.11 @ 8:46 am

Basketball school, folks.

I can hear the zooooooo…..

Comment by H.landPitt 10.17.11 @ 9:08 am

There is no doubt that Graham needs much more time. However, how can the average Pitt fan not be concerned with the regression of the Pitt offense after what we saw a couple of weeks ago vs USF? Apparently, Schiano devised the formula for how to stop this offense.

The team and staff now have 10 days to work thing out, and we do have the right to expect a better product.

One more thing .. if you read Chas’ article yesterday, he noted that the issues on the offense are far more than just the QB. Along with the failure of the O-line, it should be noted that Street and Shanahan only have a few receptions between them over the past 2 games.

Itshould evident to all that these guys aren’t getting open.

Comment by wbb 10.17.11 @ 9:10 am

Two thoughts and one makes me sick. TG said in the post to day tino needs to make faster decisions.
Which means no open competiton at QB AND THAT MAKES ME SICK i wont watch a game that tino is the QB i just cant i become to upset and mad.

Second thought WVU is running a new system with a new coach and they are haveing no problems. But they do have a real QB.

And we have a real QB also but the TG wont play him MYERS but tino gives us the best chance to win.
But if you belive that as EMel says i have a bridge i want to sell you. Iam sick of loseing i am sad for PITT i am embrassed every time i see WVU record then look at ours and when we are on tv.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.17.11 @ 9:17 am

All I can say is, a few weeks back, the Panthers looked like they begining to turn the corner, now it looks as though the wheels have fallen off. They have to make make some decisions and stabilize the situation before things get away from them. What looked promising after the South Florida game now looks like mirage. There is still time, Walt Harris did it when they were 1 and 5 when Harris scrapped the no-huddle offence and they went on to win the last 6 games.

Comment by Justinian 10.17.11 @ 9:19 am

All good points above about playing for the future. I would say though its not 2012 they are playing for, but 2013. Even with ‘his’ recruits, TG is not going to win playing true 18-year old freshman on his OL,QB, and RB. Shell may have an impact next year, but I doubt Voytik or any of the incoming O Line will have any real dominance their first year.

Chances are we see Mr Sunseri next year as well starting. Plus..in the back of my mind…I cannot help to think that TG does not want Myers to look better than his current crop on the field. It may keep Myers around another year and Pitt would have four (4) scholarships being burned by QBs alone. Maybe that is just the grassy knoll inside of me coming out.

I guess we’ve just have to admit to ourselves this is a 6-6 team for the next couple of years until a switch in personal occurs. Admitting the truth to ones self sucks.

Comment by Oliviapitt 10.17.11 @ 9:28 am

Look guys the two quarterbacks we have see are horrible and we said the same thing about Trey Anderson “lets put him he is so much better then Tino” but we got same results. How do we know Myers is any better then those guys we have. I say we open up competition to all 3 quarterback not including Tino (Trey, Myers, and Gonzalez) and see who does a better job managing the game.

Comment by humza 10.17.11 @ 9:35 am

Well at least we know why Trey Anderson wasnt put in sooner. He looks just as terrible and what is he 5’8 12 years old? The guy may know this offense but he had not one single other football offer from any school and I think we clearly see why.

If it is truly an open competition at least gige Myers a chance. Can it really hurt at this point? I think the “nothing to lose” point is rapidly approaching.

Lets also not forget that all these richrod disciples that failed miserably in Michigan are now our overpaid problem.

I wanted Tom Bradley as our next coach and this season reminds me of exactly why I felt that way.

Comment by Coach Ditka 10.17.11 @ 9:42 am

Chas/Reed – Very good thoughts. I also have a worthless Psych. degree and would like to offer my 2 cents. It is only my opinion but I think TG is a very good coach who simply over-rated his team’s chemistry and talent. I have seen a much better defense than under Wanny and almost a complete lack of stupid penalties (aka. 2# 5’s)
He will not be the first coach to watch his team in practice, see old tapes, and not be aware of the quality of the competition. No matter how long I coached, I was always amazed at how poorly I judged my teams (both good and bad)until I saw them against real competition. My understanding is that Tino just tore it up at practices. TG has to be in a state of disbelief at how bad he really is in game situations.

Again, just one man’s thoughts.

Comment by Dan 72 10.17.11 @ 9:46 am

Well, we had heard that Gonzales was such a terrific athlete, and now he seems to be completely out of the quarteback discussion. Was he that bad at quarterback? Or was he behind for being in the dog house. Hey when Jackie Sherill went to Texas AM and saw what he little talent he had, he held open try-outs 12th man tryouts.

Comment by Justinian 10.17.11 @ 9:47 am

Congrats to Todd Graham for scamming the University of Pittsburgh out of millions of dollars.

Now thats what you call a high octane bullshitter

Comment by Coach Ditka 10.17.11 @ 10:04 am

Coach Ditka, I was also a Tom Bradley guy, because I knew how difficult it is to completely retool a team. I thought, if Bradley was hired the first time that he might be able to preserve Wannstedt’s recruiting class and would work with the systenm that his talent was recruited for. This team was assembled for a traditional drop back passer and a power running game with a fullback to block in both the running game and for pass protection.

At this point that’s all hindsight, and it has become apparent that Tod Graham doesn’t have the talent to run the system that he wants to run. From what I’ve seen it typically takes 2 to years to 3 years to sucessfully make the change. It’s not just teaching your players a new system, it also includes recruiting players whose abilities fit those roles and then developing them. Tod Graham is a good salesman and he did a good job selling his program, unfortunately along with that came unrealistic expectations.

Comment by Justinian 10.17.11 @ 10:05 am

Hard to believe this is only 2 weeks removed from the South Florida game. Can one loss to Rutgers really do that much damage? Here are 14 thoughts based on the points scored by the special teams on Saturday…

1. The last time Pitt faced a Pac12 team, they were shutout 3-0 in the Sun Bowl to Oregon St. That is 8 straight quarters without an offensive score against the Pac12 – a conference that has not built its reputation on defense over the years.

2. Worst offensive line since 1998, but the Wannstedt supporters keep telling everyone he was a “great recruiter”

3a. Without any threat of a vertical passing game, defenses can key on the backs and the intermediate passing game.

3b. See #3a. Receivers have difficulty beating DB’s off the line, and coupled with the lack of vertical passing ability, this team has become completely one dimensional and a defensive coordinators dream.

4. Not to beat a dead horse, but would Sunseri have realistically been offered a Pitt scholarship if his last name was Smith? I don’t follow recruiting that closely, so I don’t know. I seem to remember Louisville was recruiting him as well. Scholarships are too valuable to be handed out as favors for legacy Panthers and nostalgic reasons, especially at the QB position.

5. I cannot believe some people expected a 17-year old freshman with ZERO scholarship offers to be the solution to the offensive woes. It is clear he is not ready for this level of competition at this point. However, he is the only QB that has shown he can read the D-End and execute the zone read running play – the fundamental principle of this offense.

6. Not searching for scapegoats, but pointing out that Todd Dodge (QB coach) went from legendary high school coach to North Texas head coach and ran UNT football into the ground with a 6-37 record. When he was fired mid-season last year, the team improved.

7. The marketing campaign and expectations were totally mismanaged from the start – UNDER PROMISE and OVER DELIVER, not the other way around. I would have thought the University would have learned its lesson after “Back to the Future” with Johnny Majors.

8. Wannstedt lost to Ohio in his 2nd game and started 0-4 against Rutgers, yet the critics were never on him this badly midway through his first season

9. Todd Graham turned Rice around. For those of you that don’t live in Texas, trust me, it is a monumental achievement. However, when trying to compare the situations, the major difference is that Rice is a private school that doesn’t lower its academic standards for football players. He was coaching much more intelligent players and student athletes in the truest sense of the word. Maybe that had something to do with Rice’s ability to quickly implement the offense.

10. Todd Graham also turned Tulsa around, another private school, but with academic standards lower than Rice. I think the major difference with this situation was that recruits from Texas and Oklahoma have grown up in this region playing in spread offenses in high school. I can’t speak for Western PA anymore, but maybe the transition has been difficult because the players have not grown up in the spread system. The bottom line is that Graham has a proven track record of offensive success that has worked over the years at different stops. The transformation at Pitt might take longer than expected, but he should be afforded some time to recruit players to fit his system.

11. The transition from pro-style to spread did not work at Michigan, and that program has never had trouble recruiting talent.

12. Walt Harris was a convenient whipping boy during his tenure, but looking back on things, the guy developed quarterbacks whether they were highly recruited or not.

13. Michael Haywood is thanking Pitt for firing him at this point.

14. To look for some hope and a model for success, I would point to Manhattan Kansas. Bill Snyder goes out and recruits a roster of JUCO talent and COACHES THEM UP year in and year out! Nobody likes the JUCO route, but Snyder has built a career on it. Considering the current talent and the restless fan base, maybe that is the direction Pitt needs to take rather than trying to slam square pegs into round holes.

Comment by dallas mike 10.17.11 @ 10:06 am

One thing you are forgetting regarding the theory that this season is being bastardized to prepare for ensuing seasons and that is ticket sales. People will buy tickets for two reasons: excellent product or hope there is one coming. Graham has demonstrated neither. If this continues, good luck selling season tickets for this team. Surely SP and TG could not be that myopic.

Comment by wally 10.17.11 @ 10:08 am

Our defense is the bright spot on this year’s squad, but to say that “I have seen a much better defense than under Wanny” is ridiculous Dan 72.

This year’s defense is currently 55th in yards/game and 49th in points per game.

Wannstedt’s defenses finished with the following stats in yards/game and points/game respectively:

2010 11th, 25th
2009 26th, 21st
2008 31st, 46th
2007 7th, 43rd
2006 88th, 62nd
2005 32nd, 31st

By the numbers, 4 out of 5 of Wanny’s defenses were better than TG’s. Let’s try to minimize the revisionist histories.

Comment by FitzPanther 10.17.11 @ 10:25 am

Heinz Field will be at least half empty the rest of this season as if we didn’t already have attendance problems. Pitt strung me along with expectations for years and I bit every time buying my season tickets. Last year I finally accepted reality and refused to buy tickets. This year thank god I didn’t take the bait on Todd “Billy Mays” Graham’s high octane national championship sales pitch.

I expect to see Todd on infomercials next year selling pocket fishermen and rubber in a can.

I have NEVER been more embarrassed or disgusted to be a Pitt football fan and alum. The espn announcers actually apologized to their audience for having to watch Pitts performance in the Utah game. Its a very sad day for Pitt football.

Its official, Marshall Goldberg has just turned over in his grave.

Comment by Coach Ditka 10.17.11 @ 10:26 am

Michigan is a good example as an analogy. RichRod was fired due to lack of defense, not lack of offense .. of course, having Denard Robinson certainly helps (just like Pat White.) A mobile QB is definitely an asset here.

Also note that Ryan Mallett, pro style QB transferred out, and was very good at Arkansas.

(One caveat is that Graham’s offense needs a better passer than Richrod’s.)

Prediction: surprise starter for next game vs UConn will be Anthony Gonzalez, who best fits this system even though not a great passer .. but Pitt offense will still struggle if OL keeps breaking down and gets penalized, and receivers don’t get open and drops passes.

Comment by wbb 10.17.11 @ 10:39 am

The comparison to WV can not be used because they have a QB who can throw and can strecth the field vertically. The morale on this team was shot in my opinion when they recruited a high school level QB who does not have the skills/strength or paid any dues to play at this level. They gave him a schloarship and annoited him #2 QB – It was obvious that not only was he terrified out on the field when he threw the ball down field with all his might 25 yards off his back foot immediately ducking on his release. The obvious disdain by his teamates could be seen when he went to the bench no other players would come over they instead obviously separated themselves from him. Second no offense can work at this level (maybe in the USA conference without a QB who can stretch the field veritcally – he can be in a wheelchair if he can throw. Cavanugh was a pro style QB who made Pitt more dangerous than Haywood a running QB when Pitt ran the veer in 76. Pitt will not win another game and Graham will not be a factor as he wasn’t in the Rutgers or Utah game if Tino and Tiny play QB. Reason Cigniti knew that Tino could not throw long and could not believe Anderson was even on a college roster. So he played the recivers man to man brought up his safties to function as linebackers forming a 7 man front. Graham blames it on the young offensive line and we by it. If Cam Newton had the arm strenth of Tino and Tiny he could not have been effective as a running QB. Every QB at this level who can run also has a strong arm (Vick, Newton, QB at Oregon, etc.). Utah employed the same defense as Rutgers – coaches watch tape – and the other coaches will be aware of this. USF played a zone pass defense to hide the weakness of their secondary mistakingly beleiving Pitt could throw -Zones permit pockets within 5 to 15 yards down field – then the safties move back Grham can run. Unless Voylcik has a strong arm he needs to go to Tulsa (despite his ranking few big time schools showed any interest – mostly Arkansas State and equivalents).
So points – streching the field horizontally and having a running QB is far less important at the BCS level (not USA conference) than a running QB. That bringing in Anderson destroyed the morale of this team and had the players question the judgment of the coaching staff. Everything points to the destruction of Louisville when they hired Grahams more succesful predesscer who brought the same style to Louisville that failed miserably – he was fired after 2 years and they are still rebuilding.

Comment by DRW 10.17.11 @ 10:41 am

You can’t judge Trey Anderson on performances when he was not prepared to be the starter the previous week. Give him a week as the named starter, taking all the reps, then judge his performance.
This O needs a QB that can run and is willing to run. Tino is not willing to take the option or can’t read it. His confidence is now gone. Myers is NOT the answer.

Comment by notrocketscience 10.17.11 @ 10:42 am

I think the most dissappointing thing is that this season is mostly over. The chances of them going to any type of bowl game are slim. A 7-5 season is probably a pipe dream.

After we were all looking forward to greener pastures we are left with a season which is going to be a complete washout. No progress will be made at all because it is apparent that they do not have the tools to run this offense.

We are officially in a transition. Not the type of transition that will have a quick turnaround. We are talking about a 3 or 4 year transition.

With Pitt changing conferences for their sports I am sure we will here a ton of people tell us that we will not compete in the ACC and We should not have let Wanny go. I on the other hand am willing to wait and see what happens.

We will be in a better conference, with better recruits, and hopefully if things turn with type of coach who can turn this around.

Remember all of us complaining about the offense of Wanny not being the type of Offense that was creative or “College Football Type”

Sunseri, Street, Shanahan, Do not fit this offense. They have done pracically nothing all year. I am not bashing them they just dont fit. Even Baldwin would have had trouble in this offense. I remember watching many of games and though…. These guys cant get off the line and get into their patterns quick enough. Now it’s even more noticable.

What are our next options? There are none!

We can just sit back and see what kind of resolve Todd Graham has to make the changes neccessary. Its tough times that bring out the best in people…lets see what he does about it.

Comment by Pitt Man 10.17.11 @ 10:50 am

Sorry, Reed, nice post, not buying it. If Stevie wanted to throw this season away, he should have sold season tickets for $1 each. No. Graham was made by his offensive coordinators not his genius. This particular offensive coordinator and the quarterback coach totally suck. Graham looks over-whelmed and although analysis is interesting, it doesn’t make Graham any smarter because he is one stubborn son of a bitch. If the seniors have given up, and we are supposed to be building for 2012 – by the way, that piece of P.R. follows not being successful on the field after promising we would be – then play your 2012 squad as best you can now. I know you like Stevie; many of us can’t stand him. This is all Stevie’s handiwork. What’s been the biggest fuck-up of Pitt football since Jock Sutherland left in 1938? The Pitt administration – they’re the anti-Viagra drug for any successful campaign.
Do some research on that topic. It’s enlightening.

Comment by TonyinHouston 10.17.11 @ 10:52 am

I was in the Alumni Band on Sat. and sat under the jumbo at the goal post. On almost every offensive play, there was a 15 yard wide 6′ high wall of red, white and blue. No breaks, no openings, could not even see the ref behind the defense. No wonder we only have success (?) on swings, flairs and screens. Unless our QB is 6’5″ you can’t see downfield. No gaps, no openings, no sight lines. Both QB’s were in the same boat, 2 steps, oh crap! I can’t see a thing, eat the ball or throw it to ????? (a spot). If Tino and Trey are what we have, we need to roll them on every passing play. The OL is not pushing the DL in any direction to allow ANY QB to have a chance at a progression.

Comment by CompLit 10.17.11 @ 10:55 am

1. I question people who clamor for the hiring of Tom Bradley, either back in December or now. How many games has the man spent as a head coach? There is zero evidence he would be better for this program than Todd Graham.

2. To criticize Graham for “over-promising and under-delivering” is ludicrous. Kudos to him for actually having a pair and raising expectations upon himself. The criticism of the “high octane” marketing campaign reeks of the self-entitlement that has become common among this increasingly diseased fanbase.

3. Talking about attendance is a waste of time. Win often, the place will be full. I remember in 2002, a week after upsetting VaTech in Fitzgerald’s breakout game, there were 55,000 people at Heinz to see TEMPLE of all teams. I don’t really care how many people attend – I’ve made it to all but one game since 2001, and I go because I love my alma mater and I actually enjoy football, regardless of how many people are watching with me.

4. Let’s be realistic – this team is missing its two best and most experienced linemen, and by any objective analysis, does not have a good Division 1 QB on the roster. Good luck scoring points and winning games under those circumstances, no matter who the coach is.

Comment by Hollywood 10.17.11 @ 10:59 am

The theme on this site is that Tino is a high school QB that cannot compete in NCAA. Here aer his stats from last year: (a 137 rating)

Name Yr Pos G Att Comp Pct. Yards Yards/Att TD Int Rating
Tino Sunseri SO QB 13 346 223 64.5 2557 7.4 16 9 136.59

No, he is not a great QB and is a misfit for the new system but please quit making him out as all that is wrong with current Pitt FB.

Just remember, he was much more productive in his very 1st college start against the same team that he looked so bad against the other day

Comment by wbb 10.17.11 @ 11:01 am

I also question the mindset of those in the fanbase who are so devestated by what is happening this season. Do you forget 05,06, and 07? People are treating this season as an unforgivable offense by Graham…guess what, this program has only made a bowl in 3 of the last 6 years, and only mid-level bowls at that. If these are the results in Graham’s third year (as they were in Wannstedt’s), then I think we can pass adequate judgement.

Comment by Hollywood 10.17.11 @ 11:07 am

Tonyinhouston, I think I agree. Aren’t Graham’s previous coordinators, Auburns coach, and another prominent BCS coach, can’t think of him right now.

That is a concern, what are Curtis McGhee’s credentials???

Maybe some did, I myself never said Anderson was better than Sunseri. What I and a lot of people said, is that we’d like to see what he could do.
Look my posts up if you’d like, how would I have any idea if he was better???

We’ve now seen Anderson, and allthough I agree with above poster, that he should get a week with reps before final judgement is given, he looks like he probably is not the answer either.

Is Myers, Gonzalez, Gary Jones ???? I have no idea. We’re not winning with what we have in there, what could it hurt to see if someone “gets” it and can help out???

Yes, the whole offense is poor, line, receivers, etc. etc., but it starts, and is the most important posistion on the field, the QB!!!

My point, is, if we’re going down, why not???

What are the negatives. Put one of them in and still implement your system for the future.

Does Tino have to be the starter to implement your new system.

I’m not even mad, at wit’s end, what the hell do I know.

I’m one more disaster away from going full time hoops and waiting till next year.

Comment by Dan 10.17.11 @ 11:08 am

Tino was babied every step along the way last year. Ultra conservative offensive game plans. Now he is in a system that is all attack… again not trying to bash him. Merely pointing out the fact that he has no foot speed for the read option. How nice would it be to pick up a first down or two with the legs.

To make matters even worse his ankle is injured, which is severely hampering his ability to be even a threat to run for 5 or 6 yards here and there.

Comment by Pitt Man 10.17.11 @ 11:09 am

Hollywood, Most of us on this blog are Pitt fans that show up for games whenever we can. I was in favor of Bradley, for many reasons including the system that was already in place. I knew then that totally different system would take time to implement, recruit for, and develop. I don’t believe that Tod Graham is a failure because we’re not doing well. We may have take some lumps along the way, but when you go with a new system you have to see it through. So hopefully we’ll some improvement this year, and if not this year then next year. We need to be realistic and to support the program, because whether we like it or not, it’s going to take some time.

Comment by Justinian 10.17.11 @ 11:15 am

Well said @hollywood only one of a few making sane comments. I want to thank everyone for giving me more time during my day as I can see there is no reason to read anything but the article.

Comment by giveitarest 10.17.11 @ 11:24 am

Dan & Tony In Houston,

Graham is using co-offensive coordinators this year. Calvin McGee is one of them. He was the architect behind the spread/option that WVU ran from 2001-07. That would encompass the Rasheed Marshall/Quincy Wilson/Avon Cobourne era up through the Pat White/Steve Slaton/Owen Schmitt era that gave us fits. In 2008, he moved on to Michigan and was there through last season. He was mostly responsible for the offense that brought about the emergence of Denard Robinson.

The other OC, responsible primary for the passing game, is Mike Norvell, who served on Graham’s staffs at Tulsa, primarily as “passing game coordinator and receivers coach”, according to his Pitt bio. He was at Tulsa for four years, and for what it’s worth, that means he worked under both Gus Malzahn (07-08) and Chad Morris (2010), the two OC’s primarily given credit for the most explosive offenses that Graham had during his Tulsa days. Norvell may not be directly responsible for building those, but he’s certainly seen the blueprints for what Malzahn and Morris worked up.

I know it flies in the face of what we’ve seen so far but there’s a track record there, especially with McGee. I think it speaks to the importance of having the right personnel in place to run this offense, and McGee certainly doesn’t have it yet in terms of a quarterback. By all accounts, Voytik runs a similar spread-option in high school, which is probably why he had offers from Clemson (where Morris is currently OC) and Mississippi State (Dan Mullen) as well.

Comment by Stoosh 10.17.11 @ 11:53 am

As a Graham supporter, I think he has lost some players on the team. I think that a lot of carry over players have gotten over the initial hype of a new coach and “high octane” offense and can see the writing on the wall that they do not fit. I would not be surprised if we see a larger number of players leave the team this offseason in comparison to the last…I was surprised more didn’t leave this offseason and I think that was Graham selling himself to the team. That grace period is clearly over.

Carswell and Jones played a lot this past week and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Street and Shannahan (mostly Shannahon) phased out – he just isn’t the type of receiver they need to run this offense and appears to have lost interest.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 10.17.11 @ 12:02 pm

DRW – to add to your point, the kids at WVU were recruited for a very similar system to what drinkin’ Dana uses. We’re doing a complete change at Pitt. I would expect WVU’s transition to be easier.

Comment by KeyboardKev 10.17.11 @ 12:11 pm

@Stoosh. Thanky you for the excellent, informative answer!!

Comment by Dan 10.17.11 @ 12:48 pm

I thought I’d never see another Sun Bowl again. I was wrong. So much for High Octane.

Maybe next year with more system experience and players better suited for the system. I think the system will work if given time and personnel.

But, Graham must of thought he had the players to pick up the system quickly and execute it successfully without too difficult a transition given his bravado at the beginning of the year. Guess he was wrong as well.

On another matter, Pitt’s mindset has been in the gutter for a few years now. Pitt needs to learn how to win again and rid themselves of this loser mentality. It if takes cleaning house, then clean house. Graham has been a winner. Unfortunately, Pitt’s players have not been. And, that’s winning the big game, winning the title outright, not losing to inferior opponents, winning convincingly and occassionally pulling off the upset. That’s the new Pitt way.

Talent, experience and mindset produce results. Pitt appears to be lacking by some degree in each of these areas.

Have faith in the future my friends. However, drink heavilly this year to forget and numb the pain.

Comment by TX Panther 10.17.11 @ 12:48 pm

DRW not to repeat myself with my comments from the last entry but I really disagree with your observations of the team reacting to Anderson. Ray Graham was in his ear more often than not, encouraging him with fist bumps and high fives, etc. (I can’t believe I’m analyzing a college kid’s fist bumps.) Again, if the rest of the team isn’t following the lead of your best player, who’s killing himself to get every yard possible, then it’s not that the “coaches” lost them, it’s that they aren’t high character enough to begin with.
(And I don’t really agree with that, either. Like I said, maybe we’re looking at different things, but I saw none of the “disdain” that you are mentioning.) I did see an overmatched, unready QB (actually two of them) and that was bad enough.

Comment by JW 10.17.11 @ 12:54 pm

Stoosh:
I appreciate your analysis. The high quality guys who gave Graham his success were Malzhan and Morris. Without these guys in 2009, Graham was 5-7 in Conference USA. We’ve seen these transition experiments fail miserably – Callahan, Stevies’ boy at Nebraska, and Rick Dick at Michigan. I disagree with the notion that you trash a season to bring in a new system. To me, it’s the equivalent of Brian Kelly leaving Cincinnati before the biggest bowl game in that school’s history to go to Notre Dame. Graham is a very dishonest man. He lied to Rice and the anger at him has not disappeared in Houston. He lied to Tulsa – always willing to take contract extensions but back out for more $$ at the last minute. Of course he could care less about lying to Pitt fans about the “experimental” “working in a new system” for this year. He won’t admit that lie just as he won’t admit he is fast becoming a failure at transitioning this team. Why does Sunseri even start if he is really building for next year? I think what we’re seeing here is the emperor, in this case Graham crackers, has no clothes.

Comment by TonyinHouston 10.17.11 @ 12:55 pm

Agree, its way too early to start the our coach stinks talk. That will take me a few seasons of this…But at the same time, it is legitmate to say that 10 points from your offense in the last 120 minutes of football, against two teams that were not named Alabama or LSU or anything close to them, is pathetic. The only “starter” left on that offense should be Ray Graham. All other positions should be open to competition.

Comment by HbgFrank 10.17.11 @ 1:00 pm

@giveitarest, I think you should keep reading. It’s a blog, your gonna have opinions, especially when things are not going well.

I for one, can tell, most people on here are still giving Todd Graham a chance. People are rightfully upset with the way the season is going, but, the overwhelming posts are that he deserves a couple seasons to see what he can do.

Yes, a couple silly “wish we had Wanny”, or a couple not so silly “maybe we should have went with Bradley”, we’ll never know on that one.

Some peoples ire is up with the season, but in no way have I seen any lynch mobs after Graham.

Most reasonable adults know a coach gets several years in any sport to see what they can really do.

@Hollywood, excellent points, I agree with them all. So you know though, there are many of us on here that are with you, and believe the same.

I’m behind Graham for 3 or 4 years till we see what he can do.

People are venting though, and, rightfully so I think. It hasn’t been good, is an understatement.

Even I stated above I’m about one disaster away from going to hoops. Maybe that wasn’t the best way to put it. I will still go to the remaining games, and I will still enjoy myself.

Mentally though, with nothing left to play for if that happens, I will not have my heart in it for the final games, and will be waiting on some new arrivals and the second season.

I will also be upset, if the season does completely tank, and he doesn’t start playing a lot of the sophmores and freshman that will be here for him, for a couple years.

Unless, saving redshirt seasons of course, don’t want him burning any of those, but those that allready have and sophs, put em’ in.

If we’re going down, go ahead and get ready for next year!!!

Comment by Dan 10.17.11 @ 1:02 pm

This is a 5-7 team at best. We can’t score. No way we make a bowl. We need the extra practice big time though

Comment by Tony C 10.17.11 @ 1:14 pm

After reading the text of TG’s presser – he plans on sticking with Tino- and falls on the sword saying the switching of QBs has caused confusion. Well he gave AG the back-up spot after the spring gave and then made him an H-Back. This team is in offensive disarray.

Comment by markp 10.17.11 @ 1:39 pm

We can put our heads into the ground if we want but the national media has already defined Todd Grahams football teams.

Off the NBC Sports page this weekend:

“Big East football on Saturday was largely unbearable (again) with games like a 16-10 victory by UConn over South Florida and yet another second-half collapse by Pitt in a 26-14 loss to a very average Utah team; a 21-20 come-from-behind win by Rutgers over Navy was the league’s only redeeming game”

Everyone and I do mean everyone has labeled this team (mainly coaching) as unable to win or close the deal. This is eventually going to stick to Todd Graham. Enough of the “I going to take the blame” speech during the press conference. WHAT ARE YOU DOING DIFFERENTLY?

TG is losing the fans and to get a good idea of how bad it is (or could get) just wait until two weds nights from now on a nationally televised game. 20K fans?

I agree that it is early in TG coaching time at PITT but he is not leaving a lot of room for confidence in his abilities as a head coach. Having an 8-4 season at Tulsa is a long ways from the same 8-4 at a BCS conference.

The PETER PRINCIPLE may be in effect here. For those who are not familiar then I will help you out.

“The principle holds that in a hierarchy, members are promoted so long as they work competently. Eventually they are promoted to a position at which they are no longer competent (their “level of incompetence”), and there they remain, being unable to earn further promotions” Is the Peter Principle in effect for TG? Let’s hope not.

link to en.wikipedia.org

Comment by PittFanInAtlanta 10.17.11 @ 1:40 pm

I expected a transition year. I expected losses. But I was told there was going to be scoring. 80 plays on offense and 30-plus points on the board. As a season ticket holder since 1999, that’s what I’m mad about. As I told my friends at the beginning of the year, if we lose every game at 38-35, I won’t be thrilled, but I’ll be satisfied. Where the hell is the offense? What is the system? Is there a system? All I hear is system, but all I see are sacks.

Comment by RedRooster 10.17.11 @ 1:41 pm

@ Dan I know this is everyone’s opinion as I guess my post was IMHO. Just don’t understand some mindsets of some posters. I too will give TG a few years but many are ready to run him out of town. BTW if he came in and down played expectations I would have had more concern that what he was preaching. I am sure not an easy job given the circumstances he inherited. Not just personnel but the politics of everything that went down. No matter what others think, what has happened so far all of the Couldas Wouldas Shouldas this season are not even close to losing to OU and BG by very talented and experienced coaches.

We have a QB problem( No Myers is no the answer not even playing for next year.He has not earned the right to start from what I hear anyway.) as well as other problems. It almost looks like the returning players may not have really embraced the change and as was mentioned here and other places that the Sr.s are just trying to survive and get this year over with. I hope that is not the case but wouldn’t be shocked if it is.

I still think this team could go 7-5 but need the O needs to be like they played USF and the D to keep getting better. Punting scares the crap out of me, but otherwise Special teams seem to keep improving. Anyway this is just my opinion

Hail to PITT

Comment by giveitarest 10.17.11 @ 1:45 pm

My main concern, is that we hear this phrase from TG next spring and next fall.

‘Tino gives us the best option to win’

Because if that is said, we ain’t winning much.

The huge, gaping, enormous gulf between WVU’s offense and last year’s Michigan offense and Pitt’s offense is the QB. They have a legit D1 QB and we don’t. It’s that simple.

Even the walk-on freshmen ONLY got sacked 1 time in about the same playing time as Sunseri who got sacked 5 more times. What don’t some understand.
You can post last year’s stats all you want, who cares. Bottom line in 20 games, we are 11-9 and 4 of those wins were RENT-A-WINS. So against real (well some of there were) legit(if you count some of the BE teams as legit) D1 teams we are 7-9.

Poor QB play from a walk-on freshmen is not totally unexpected. In fact if the kid played well and led us to victory, it would be one of those Rudy or Walter Mitty stories, that movies are made of. From a 4rth year redshirt junior with 20 games of experience……

Comment by EMel 10.17.11 @ 1:45 pm

Hollywood dont underestimate what is happening this season. This isnt a growing pain or a fluke. This is turning into one big disaster – yes disaster. One thing is clear, Graham is losing this team and there is clear divisions on the side lines.

Expectations arent high because the fan base created them. Graham stole, I mean demanded, a ton of money for him and his staff and said we will win right away. Not only arent we winning but we are a joke. When you set the expectations prepare to live up to them.

Comment by Coach Ditka 10.17.11 @ 1:47 pm

Don’t mean to harp on the OL, but their job is to play low and be “in the chest” of the DL. They executed this in the USF game. Running lanes for RG and line of sight for “the arm”. Rutgers and Utah stood up our OL, controlled the gaps and used our OL and themselves to block field of vision. This is probably 70% experience and 30% strength.

For (Rutgers) Pitt’s starting offensive line had five players who had combined for only 27 career starts — 15 by tackle Jordan Gibbs.

Until this is resolved. The QB “controversy” is just blowin’ smoke. We’d be calling to pull Marino or Montana, I suspect. Are the QB’s stars? Not by a long shot, but I don’t think they are useless either. And I feel for RG, either bounce to the outside or into a sea of uncontrolled defensive humanity.

Comment by CompLit 10.17.11 @ 1:50 pm

@DRW,,,,again guy, your posts look like the Dead Sea Scrolls. My eyes can not handle that, so therefore I don’t read most of it, like some of my fellow bloggers. Breaks, paragraphs, anything would be appreciated. Thks.

Comment by EMel 10.17.11 @ 1:56 pm

I thought anderson was better than tino he does some things tino cant is he the ansewer probley not . but i think he should have a full game before we write him off.
but iwould really like to see myers at least he can throw the ball like a dart and could see over the line men. Like outhers have said it cant hurt to give him a chance what is he going to do stink up the place the outhers already do . what the hell give myers a chance.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.17.11 @ 1:57 pm

I think Anderson may do better if he gets to prepare as the starting QB. Meaning he gets the majority of the first team reps.

There was one play in particular that if Anderson doesn’t get tripped up he goes for 15,20 or more yards instead of 1 yard then play maybe some momentum would have been created. I surely would have put Utah on notice of his running.

I hope he gets his shot as the starting QB.

Still no where close to buying that Myers is the answer or is even worth a shot since.

Comment by giveitarest 10.17.11 @ 2:02 pm

Coach Ditka –
How do you know there divisions on the sidelines and Graham is losing his team?
Is there a clause in Graham’s contract that he “win right away”, in his first year? Do you honestly believe him to be a thief because of his football team’s poor performance?

Comment by Hollywood 10.17.11 @ 2:03 pm

@FRank

I’d like to see MM as well. But if he can’t run the Triple Option, he’s not going to see the field unless both Tino & Trey get hurt.

As the Triple Option is the basis of this offense.
They would lose like 40% of the playbook, which is already limited since our main QB can’t throw downfield and can barely make the DE read option right 50% of the time.

I would be totally amazed to see them junk their offense. Walt did it cause they started off 1-6, but he just junked the no-huddle part of it I believe.

Comment by EMel 10.17.11 @ 2:06 pm

So every new coach gets a bad year.

Walt Harris came in and took a bunch of rag-tag castaways to 7-5 and a Liberty Bowl berth. Then he went 2-9. You can blame the quarterback. Anyone remember Matt Lytle? yea…

Wannstedt came in and lost his first four including that loss to Ohio. I think we were 5-7 that year. This one is on the coaching staff. We had Palko and a decent nucleus. They underachieved and the oh-so-simple scheme probably didn’t do them any favors. Although if I remember the O-line was an issue that year as well…

So this year, the combination of the wholesale changes that Graham’s system requires AND the fact that we don’t really have a serviceable quarterback is going to land us at 4-8, MAYBE 5-7 if we’re lucky. Tino ain’t no Matt Lytle (or is he???) but he’s certainly no Pete Gonzales or Tyler Palko either. And systemically I’d say TG and co have the edge on DW and co. Or at least I’d like to hope. So in accordance with Hollywood’s level-headed an very rational post, I’ll give Graham a free pass this year. It’s next year and the year after that will really tell the tale.

Also … not sure if the details, but I think Frank Beamer had 3 or so bad years before he turned VT into what they are today… Just sayin’

Comment by AtlantaPanther 10.17.11 @ 2:06 pm

EMel how abought it give mayers a chance and if not give anderson a whole game . Just no more tino.
I mean how many times must you be hit on head before you say no more it hurts. No more tino it hurts.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.17.11 @ 2:10 pm

Coach Graham said in the Big East teleconference today that playing two quarterbacks on Saturday was not the correct thing to do. He is going to stick with Sunseri. I can hear the applause from all the readers now.

I agree that this is probably a lost year. Unfortunately if Graham is sticking with Sunseri for the rest of the year where does this leave us for next year? Remember our “all world??” freshman quarterback will not be enrolled in time for spring practice. Next year I think I am going to the FCS team game.

Comment by John In South Carolina 10.17.11 @ 2:14 pm

There was one play in particular that if Anderson doesn’t get tripped up he goes for 15,20 or more yards instead of 1 yard then play maybe some momentum would have been created. I surely would have put Utah on notice of his running.
Comment by giveitarest 10.17.11 @ 2:02 pm

Yeah that was so Pitt. He gets tripped up by one of his own players. That could have been a big play. Much like the 40 yd pass he threw to Shanahan in the ND that went thru his hands. Another chance for a big momentum change play, that was missed. Street has also dropped some long passes that would have been big mo changer plays.

Explosive plays or the lack of them have killed this offense. 3rd down conversion rate the last two weeks combined is like 5 for 30 which KILLS any chance to get into any type of offensive rhythm.

You know you’re almost better off just putting a running QB in there and just running the ball 3 times in a row. And ala the old wishbone offense occasionally you can sneak a WR out there for a wide open TD pass.

Comment by EMel 10.17.11 @ 2:16 pm

Coach Graham said in the Big East teleconference today that playing two quarterbacks on Saturday was not the correct thing to do. He is going to stick with Sunseri. I can hear the applause from all the readers now.
Comment by John In South Carolina 10.17.11 @ 2:14 pm

Well what happens if Tino plays in the 1rst half like he did vs Utah and RU, where we scored 3 points total by the offense? Continue to play him? LUDICROUS…..this is why some are questioning his overall coaching ability.

Along with of course the pooch punts on the opponents 35 yard line, the misguided attempt at 2 point conversions when the quarter and score didn’t dictate it and some god awful play calls.

The whole thing with Tino is so bizarre.

Comment by EMel 10.17.11 @ 2:22 pm

Excellent feedback and strong opinions. Here are some more of mine.

I don’t remember the overwhelming sentiment on here being that Anderson was better than Sunseri – but lots of fans thought Anderson deserved a shot in the games to see what he could do, especially since Sunseri was regressing at QB. That feeling was strong on here, on the message boards and by the beat writers, and I’ll tell you what – I’m not writing him off 100% either. He sure has played poorly, almost as bad as the starter, but without the benefit of taking 1st string snaps in the camps and practices. Perhaps he may be better given an actual chance to work with the offense prior to going up against an opponent.

DRW – I’ll disagree wholeheartedly with this quote of your: “…bringing in Anderson destroyed the morale of this team and had the players question the judgment of the coaching staff.” If you couldn’t see the change in attitude and energy that the offense had when Anderson went in you just turned a blind eye given your predilection towards Myers.

Believe me – Anderson has nothing on Sunseri when it comes to breaking down the offensive player’s morale. Sunseri did it last year and he’s doing it again this season. Graham wasn’t kidding when he said that in the Spring he didn’t think Sunseri could be voted captain – the players had real problems with him last season on top of the poor play.

Tonyinhouston – you can disagree of course but how else do you explain Graham’s public comments and his actions? There were loads of opportunities to modify the offense to suit Myers many times earlier in the season, so you have to ask yourself why it is that this didn’t happen?

You mention playing more of the 2012 kids that would fit this offense and I think Graham has already begun doing that starting with the WRs. This offense, as noted before, relies on quick passes to players who can separate within three seconds – neither Shanahan nor Street are built for that. Jones is getting more PT. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Brinson play more than he has lately and his PT has grown every week. Darius Patton will see more time on field also. Factor in his playing Anderson more each week and that leads me to believe he has a weather eye on 2012.

BTW, I don’t like or dislike Stevie – I just don’t foam at the mouth condemning him when I don’t there is a solid reason to so. You project greatly when you assume that Todd Graham is going to be an abject failure and thus the albatross around Peterson’s neck… and after seven games, three of which were wins? Give me a freakin’ break.

P/S: Did you completely miss my dig at SP with the Kumbaya video?

Comment by Reed 10.17.11 @ 2:24 pm

EMel what I would do if I was Coach Graham would be to put in Gonzalez as quarterback along with Graham and Brown. With this backfield I would run the WVU offense they had with Pat White. It would be heavily run oriented with zone blocking. We have the WVU offensive coordinator from that offense so it makes complete sense.

Comment by John In South Carolina 10.17.11 @ 2:25 pm

QBs make or break an entire team. Name one good team – pro or college – that succeeds consistently without a good QB. You can’t… it never happens.

Until Graham gets a good QB to run his offensive scheme, he will not succeed. The QB he puts in there will make into a legend or geth im fired. And since we have a complete mess at this position, I am not going to put a whole lot of blame on Graham. At least not yet…

All I know is that he better figure things out quick. New coaches come along all the time and win “without their players.” Graham needs to find a way to do this… and fast!

Comment by Panther3321 10.17.11 @ 2:30 pm

@ John in SC,

Yeah I was thinking the same thing. Gonzo is supposed to be an excellent runner and he has a lot more size than Anderson. And he can pass just enough like White where you can occasionally get a wide open WR for a long gain or TD. WVU with White hardly passed since they rarely got behind.

They also played with a fullback, Owen Schmitt, who would bust it up the middle to keep the defense honest.

I like it John. I doubt it happens, TG is the Sunseri’s biotch. haha

Comment by EMel 10.17.11 @ 2:33 pm

Hollywood I will address your points:

How do you know there divisions on the sidelines and Graham is losing his team?

You’re correctI cant say 100% but having watched the games the past two weeks it is clear this team is not a cohesive unit. Typically when a player struggles you see his teammates on the sidelines encouraging them and talking to them. Anderson and Sunseri are on islands on the sidelines. In the Rutgers game, the OL walked off the field while Sunseri laid on the turf and had trouble getting up. Not one of his men even bothered to ask if he was ok (Taglienetti did run over) but his OL could have cared less if he was dying. Its little things like that that tell you where the mindset of this team is. And finally, even the announcers said “it looks as though this team has quit”. That is not a good sign.

Is there a clause in Graham’s contract that he “win right away”, in his first year? Do you honestly believe him to be a thief because of his football team’s poor performance?

Of course there is no clause and yes he is entitled to some growing pains but this is a complete disaster. I look at a coach as a ceo. This is not a volunteer position. Coaches are paid VERY well and with that pay grade comes performance standards. I was willing to give him an 8-4 or even 7-5 year. The Big East is weak and so is Pitts non-con. Absolutely no excuse not to win a bare minimum of 7 games. Again, I understand it may take 2 or 3 years to see the full results from this “system” but that doesnt mean the team should completely implode in the mean time. This is inexcusable and when you are the $2 million man the blame falls on you.

You can continue to believe it will get better but in my opinion we are in for a long and painful couple of years. Is Todd Graham a thief? I guess that depends on how you define a thief? If you hire an expensive contractor to remodel your home and they dont deliver what they promised is that stealing?

Comment by Coach Ditka 10.17.11 @ 2:34 pm

@Panther3321

the current qb got Wannstedt fired. lol

Dan Hawkins insistence on playing his son at QB at Colorado got him fired.

Blood is thicker than water and in this case money as well.

Comment by EMel 10.17.11 @ 2:37 pm

@John in SC

Gonzo also ran the Spread in HS and he looked good running it in the Big 33 game as well.
Surprising that TG moved him to H-Back, since the #2 QB job was supposed to be so wide open. (heck a walk-on came in and won it in 2-3 weeks)
Think you would want as much competition there as possible.

Additionally, that would be the case if you had some doubts about your #1 QB’s ability to run the Triple Option.

AND I CAN’T BELIEVE A COLLEGE COACH OR FOR THAT MATTER A POP WARNER COACH WOULDN’T HAVE HAD DOUBTS THAT YOUR #1 QB MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO HANDLE THE JOB, after watching him for 9 months.

HE CERTAINLY HAS TO KNOW IT NOW!

Yet, we’re still getting the same crap we got since training camp. ??????

Comment by EMel 10.17.11 @ 2:46 pm

I’m not quite sure how Graham stole money by demanding $2MM/year. Should he not have asked for a raise from his current job? Is that not Pedie’s job to say yes or no?

And whoever, in one of the above posts, suggested that Bradley would have been a better choice because he ran the same pro-style offense, I think is incorrect. I do not remember exactly where I read it, but Bradley had told those close to him that if he got the job, he would have brought in an OC who would install the spread. Maybe not this exact version of the spread, but…

I would be curious to know the thoughts of the posters like DRW, Coach Ditka, and BigGuy, who are Wannstedts backers, how they felt after the first few games of his tenure. Were you guys terming it a “disaster”? Not trying to be a d*ck, just wondering your reasons for jumping on Graham so quickly, when Coach Wannstedt’s first season was no masterpiece itself.

I understand that Graham came in spewing high expectations, but I don’t think I read anything other than “We expect to win Big East Championships and eventually National Championships.” Regardless of a rebuilding year, how could you justify a coach expecting less?

Again, not trying to be a d*ck, and not trying to insult anyone, just thinking through the keyboard…

Comment by Big Bill 10.17.11 @ 2:47 pm

LOL, Coach Ditka. Bring on Holmes on Homes. I’d follow him anywhere.

link to makeitright.ca

Comment by steve 10.17.11 @ 2:47 pm

Panther3321– I agree mostly with your thoughts about the importance of a QB, although I think you can go back through even the past few years and argue that “serviceable” is often enough for a really good team to win. (Alabama comes to mind, although McIlroy had his moments.)

The problem with Pitt’s new system is that it places even added importance on the QB, and our lot right now is nowhere near even adequate.” For better or worse, Wanny’s (and Cavanuugh and Cignetti’s) systems downplayed the QB spot. Not to blame, just a fact. Graham’s system NEEDS not just a “manager” but a playmaker, and that is obviously missing.

Comment by JW 10.17.11 @ 2:48 pm

If it rains or is around 40 degrees against Uconn, Heinz is going to be near empty at kickoff.

That will send a message.

Comment by EMel 10.17.11 @ 2:49 pm

People please just take a moment and breathe the frustration of this season out a little. Can you please tell me how different the record would look with an actual Division-I worthy QB? Maybe two (or three) less losses (Utah, ND, & maybe iowa). **[If Pitt was a legit/worthy Big East contender and if the conference was actually legit (AKA if a half decent SEC team had Pitt’s schedule) they would probably be undefeated.]** This IS a rebuilding year for both the system & mentally. The players loved DW. He was a family guy and a perfect fit for coaching the university. Unfortunately, he didn’t win when it mattered and so Pitt invested in an up and coming coach. Pitt has shit the bed this year. Maybe the players are still somewhat bitter about DW. Maybe it’s 90% on the QB as Dokish has said in his blog. Maybe the rest are some bad coaching decision, some poor linebacker/secondary play, and growing pains with just an overall defensive/offensive transition. The defense in my opinion is fine, they keep Pitt in games. I know their stats suck but for the most part I am not very concerned about that. It’s the offense, and I know everyone already knows that. But let me point out, when it works (even with Suckseri and QB), Pitt has marched right down the field (E.g opening drive of Rutgers, Iowa, USF, etc.). It just sucks that its so inconsistent because Tino is so horrible. Forget this year. Get Voytik as many reps in the offensive as humanly possible when he can. Shell will be a nice replacement or if Graham stays, a nice compliment. Corey Jones at WR seems to be a nice catch for Graham. Still some good guys out there that Graham could land for this system. This year’s class is Top 25 worthy for those who care about rankings (I know that was the case with DW, but he used players talents ineffectively). All I can say is patience is a virtue. I know its runnin up half a decade, but let’s just wait and see what happens in one or two years.

Comment by Timmeh 10.17.11 @ 2:51 pm

I can hear the ESPN announcers now. That could be a PR nightmare, because you know they’re going to, more than likely, go thru the whole litany of Pitt’s dirty laundry since last year.

The only thing that might save us from a typical ESPN trashing is: the move to the ACC.
Would ESPN want to tarnish Pitt’s ‘brand’ with them being big business partners with the ACC?

Anything is possible since the ACC/ESPN contract is in re-negotiations . Going to be very interesting how ESPN chooses to handle this.
And what kind of ‘talking points’ they give to their broadcast crew.

Comment by EMel 10.17.11 @ 2:57 pm

Big Bill, just for the record I hated the wannstedt hire from the first second I heard the announcement. I am certainly no wanny backer, in fact probably exactly the opposite. Although right now he is looking a hell of a lot better.

I am jumping on Todd Graham because it is now week 8 and not only is this team not winning or even improving, they are actually getting worse by the week. That falls squarely on the coach.

Yes I do believe he is a thief and eventually you will probably come to agree with me. If I promise to deliver certain results and still take your money after I fail then that makes me a thief.

Comment by Coach Ditka 10.17.11 @ 2:59 pm

EMel i think i am ready to by into your theory on why tino is playing unless it is that TG is nuts and blind playing tino makes no sence. unless he wants to lose and this is not the NFL and there is no draft i just dont get it do you.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.17.11 @ 2:59 pm

A thief has an easier time stealing from you when the door is left wide open.

Comment by TX Panther 10.17.11 @ 3:03 pm

Timmeh I would not be surprised at all to see some of these players like Shell decommitting if things continue on the way they are. For top notch recruits that have options why would you subject yourself to the torture of Pitt football?

Comment by Coach Ditka 10.17.11 @ 3:03 pm

TX Panther – no argument there. As Crazy Joe Davola says he leaves his door open because “he likes to encourage intruders”

Comment by Coach Ditka 10.17.11 @ 3:05 pm

eMel – I think your memory of what Pat White did at WVU is in error. He threw the ball more than you think and was damn effective at it. His SR year he averaged 21 passes per game and threw for 1842 yards with 21 TDs and 7 INTs for a 65.7% rate and a QB rating of 142.

His JR year he had a 151.4 rating and his SO year he was at 159.7. All very good years.

Gonzalez couldn’t touch that with a ten foot Pole, or an eight foot Hungarian. There is a reason Gonzalez is at 3-back and it’s his passing abilities. Sunseri and Anderson both throw better than he does. It wasn’t his suspension or Anderson jumping him on the depth chart that triggered the switch, it was the fact that Graham doesn’t see him a QB in this system. Now, if you put him in to have three RBs as you state, I could see that but we would effectively abandon the passing game in doing so.

Again, it would be a ‘what could be worse than we already have’ situation but for my preference if Graham is going to let go of the triple option offense I’d rather he go to Myers and balance the passing game against the running game. But that would mean going pretty much back to a pro-set with Myers and my belief is that Graham will not delay instituting his offense for a season to do that.

Comment by Reed 10.17.11 @ 3:14 pm

We should all be grateful that Big East football is so mediocre this year that no one of the conference’s teams could get arrested with their on the field play. It’s been incredibly mediocre for so many years now.

That way, there is no ESPN story about us and our lost year(s).

And then we can argue next year or the year after, if/when Graham’s system works or doesn’t, whether this year mattered at all.

Honestly, it won’t, when we’re in the ACC in 1-2 years.

Comment by Rieur1114 10.17.11 @ 3:17 pm

Coach Ditka,
I apologize for the false characterization and I respect your opinion.

I’m not ready to jump off the wagon yet though. Its darkest just before dawn…
Keep the faith man!

Comment by Big Bill 10.17.11 @ 3:17 pm

Ditka – when was the last time a recruit verballed to PITT then de-committed because of poor play by the Panthers?

Not because he got a better offer or because of a coaching change but because the team played poorly.

I honestly can’t think of one case.

Comment by Reed 10.17.11 @ 3:18 pm

Coach Ditka you are right the team is not improving and they are getting worse.

If they were improving i could live with things but they are not. But what realy drives me nuts is this thing tino is my starter. WHY PLAY A KID THAT SUCKS.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.17.11 @ 3:22 pm

Good one Ditka!

Graham did himself no favors by setting very high expectations and many fans (including myself) bought some of the hype.

Now we see that the expectations are nothing close to reality particularly on the offensive side and we’re getting critical, nervous, and upset. Fan behavior that is perfectly understandable.

I just hope that Graham learns from this as well as the fans. Coach manages expectations better and places the right players in the right positions at the right time in order to succeed. And we fans ask for progress over the course of the year, have some patience and understand that this was never a 10-2 team but more like a 6-6 or 7-5 team…another same old Pitt year and very frustrating to say the least.

Am I disappointed at how things have turned out thus far? Yes.

Am a bitter? To some degree.

Am I still hopeful? Yes.

Will I continue to support Pitt? Yes.

However, next game I might have to go with a bottle of Jack instead of the 6-pack of Shiner. I cringe when I hear that Graham is sticking with Tino. I don’t call that progress. I call that Texas stubborn.

Comment by TX Panther 10.17.11 @ 3:23 pm

I hope that we all learn to put offensive lineman recruits up in lights the same way as the “Russell Shells’ of the world!

Comment by Dan 72 10.17.11 @ 3:25 pm

@Reed,

I do remember White passing more as he got older,
do you have his stats for sophomore year, which is more adaptive to what a Gonzo lead offense would look like. Which would rely a lot more heavy on the run would look like.

Also Reed, what is your take on TG’s comment today that John in SC posted?

That he is not going to switch QB’s in the next game. Thks.

Comment by EMel 10.17.11 @ 3:29 pm

Hey, who knows, maybe Myers and Gonzalez said “no way” with this OL.

Comment by steve 10.17.11 @ 3:34 pm

Thanks FRAnkie,

That theory is the only thing that makes sense.
I’d rather have ineffective QB play from a freshman or redshirt soph that have some UPSIDE.
Than effective play from a redshirt junior with NO UPSIDE.

Unless you are also planning to stick with that ineffective junior QB for another year. And I’m sorry to say, I think that is what in store.

Comment by EMel 10.17.11 @ 3:35 pm

whoops. typo

Than ineffective play from a redshirt junior with NO UPSIDE.

If we had effective play we’d be sitting pretty now, at 5-2 or 6-1 and we’d all be looking forward to the rest of the season and beyond. Now…..

Comment by EMel 10.17.11 @ 3:38 pm

@Reed,

Thanks I saw your link to White’s stat’s.

What I remember when he first started playing was more on the order of this:

2005

Passing 114 Atmpts 65 Completions 57.0
828 Yards 8 TD’s 5 Intercepts 132.4

131 Rushes 952 Yards 7.3

Don’t expect Gonzo to do what White did as Junior or Senior immediately or EVER, but he could do something on the order of the above, if given the opportunity. The key is that last half of sentence. If one remember Big Ben’s story and Joe Flacco’s story, IF GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY.

Comment by EMel 10.17.11 @ 3:45 pm

Lots of unrealized potential and talent, never get the opportunity to show it.

We all should know this.

It is said the best basketball talent is on the playgrounds of NYC, yet these kids never got the opportunity to show it. For whatever reason.

Coach’s and recruiting rating services are all based on OPINION. And everyone has one. Some opinions(if not most) are influenced by a whole variety of reasons, motives and agendas. Try to find an unbiased OPINION in business or politics.

Good luck with that!

Comment by EMel 10.17.11 @ 3:54 pm

EMel some info for you and a change of pace.

Rivals team football recruiting rankings PITT has class number 31 and numer 1 in big east.

And if in the ACC this year we would have the sixth beast class there.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.17.11 @ 4:01 pm

I hope everyone has accepted the fact that not only is Anderson not the answer he should have never been inserted into the question (I base this remark not on what the coaches tell us about him but from personal observation. It is not his fault that he is at Pitt. That said in 45 years watching college football I can not remember seeing a QB who had a weaker arm and played so frightened. I checked on Trey’s high school awards. Despite being the QB of the state champion Trey received Honorable mention for his conference. Of course he played on a team with four Division1 major school recruits. After Utah and Rutgers it is apparent why Trey was not even the third team QB in his conference in high school. school conference. We keep hearing in this blog and implied in the press if Myers must be no better than Anderson or he would be playing. On the surface considering size, high school accomplishments, a year working out with the strength coaches, a year coaching with Cigniti,an proven QB coach, not Dodge 2 1/2 college experience (fired) and 13 years high school coach I find this undefined statement questionable. Slow release debunked by a blogger who has seen tape of his high school games and another who saw him warming up with the other QBs on the sideline and said he was a man among boys. Slow footwork – unlikely. As a basketball player and coach today someone starting and starring on a highest level high school basketball team has to have good lateral and backward footwork. Basketball demands much more stop and go footwork and athleticism than football. Something that the coaches have not made public may be occuring (riff between Graham and Myers). We probably will never know and just hear the constant refrain if he was better than Anderson he would be playing. There are at probably 20 WPIAL quaterbacks in highschool now better than TA.

Comment by DRW 10.17.11 @ 4:02 pm

missed some keys number 1 and best

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.17.11 @ 4:06 pm

You gotta love Pitt fans. Not to be condescending or anything (but I’m going to be), but if you know anything about football you should know that this stuff cannot change overnight. Not even within a year or two. If Calvin is going to run a WVU/Mich offense we need a QB to do it. We don’t have one now and if we get one (maybe Voytik?) then you need to allow a year for growing pains. The personal attacks on Graham are ridiculous and insulting to the knowledge of Pitt football fans.

The coach tried to drum up some excitement from a pathetic fanbase and a team with average talent. I’m sure he knows the talent isn’t there. I over-estimated Pitt’s talent this year, but now it’s obvious how wrong I was. Graham’s goal should still be to win the Big East and it should never change, not from day one. What is he supposed to say? “We have no talent, expect 6-6″

If you long for the days of Wanny consistently failing, just quit being a Pitt fan, you are the problem, not Todd Graham. I firmly believe Graham will win at Pitt, and it might take 3 years, but so be it, that’s how long it took Wanny (with a BCS team). Just a reminder, Pitt won 7 games last year, SEVEN! When they start winning I’m sure you all will be back on the train.

Pathetic…/rant.

Comment by The Incline 10.17.11 @ 4:07 pm

Reed, Under RichRod, most of Pat White’s passing were quick screens thrown at the line of scrimmage. That offense was great at turning a pass at the line of scrimmage unto 10 – 20 yard gains and longer.

In White’s senior year (08), under new OC, Jeff Mullen, White did become more of a down field thrower with some success.

Comment by wbb 10.17.11 @ 4:10 pm

Reed: If you were at the Utah game or watched it on television you would know Pitt has already abandoned the passing game due to pure incompetence! A triple option offense with minimal passing seems to be our best option now. It also allows zone blocking which helps mask our line play deficiencies.

Comment by John In South Carolina 10.17.11 @ 4:14 pm

@DRW, your last sentence is totally ludicrous.
And it makes most of your other argument seem that much more weak.

We understand you don’t like TA, but I don’t think the kid played frightened AT ALL. He ran the ball several times for first down pickups, including a long run of 12 yards. He hung in the pocket BEFORE it collapsed. He’s 17 years old and being that he walked on, TG thought he gave us a better chance to win than a 23 year old young man when we were in a one possession game.

Myers isn’t going to play in this offense. While I would like him to maybe get a look-see. It AIN’T gonna happen.

Comment by EMel 10.17.11 @ 4:14 pm

@DRW, the WPIAL is garbage. Let’s not bash the kid. He made a college roster, a better one than most WPIAL kids will make.

Comment by The Incline 10.17.11 @ 4:18 pm

Actually Pitt should have abandoned the passing game in the Utah game, with the wind & the choices at QB. Especially in that crucial drive that started at the PITT 48 and had a 3rd and 3.

That they didn’t abandon the pass on that crucial series (with the short field) and with the 40 mph wind gusts, again adds more questions than answers.

And that is why this board is exploding with hits.
Lots more questions than answers.

And the answers we’re getting are so bizarre it only leads to more questions.

Comment by EMel 10.17.11 @ 4:21 pm

Emel: Good point about trying to pass in those conditions on Saturday. Even though I was there it slipped my mind how bad the wind were.

Comment by John In South Carolina 10.17.11 @ 4:28 pm

The kool aide tastes much better if mixed with some vodka.

Comment by longsufferingpittfan 10.17.11 @ 4:30 pm

I really hope no true Pitt fan believes the head coach is a “thief”, “carpetbagger”, “snake oil salesman”, or any of the other ludicrous terms that have been thrown out there during this season. If any portion of the fanbase believes these things, my worst fears about this fanbase are true, and as a fanbase we don’t deserve a winner.

Sometimes it is a good idea to take a step back and detach yourself from the situation and think rationally. Otherwise, you’ll start to believe that a coach who is 3-4 in his first 7 games with a school is a liar and a thief.

Comment by Hollywood 10.17.11 @ 4:34 pm

with the wind conditions, the leading ground gainer in the nation gets 12 carries?

Comment by wbb 10.17.11 @ 4:35 pm

this fanbase doesn’t deserve a winner .. that has been a given for a lng time. Too many Pitt alums and fans show up on Sunday at Heinz instead of Saturday.

The ‘snake oil salesman’ term was inevitable in the way he presented himself in his first 3-4 months of interviews — whther by design or not.

The thief and carpetbagger yersm are out of pure fristration probably by those who really bought in to the pre-season promises and hype.

Comment by wbb 10.17.11 @ 4:40 pm

Fun fact: Pitt has not won a game which it has trailed in the second half since the 2009 Car Care Bowl. Pitt is 0-9 in such games in that span. Infer what you will.

Comment by Hollywood 10.17.11 @ 4:42 pm

John – I don’t know what you mean by that… we passed 30 times and ran 30; it was a 50/50 balance. As a matter of fact everyone and their brother was screaming to give the ball to Ray Graham and the HC & OC kept calling passing plays. 11 of those 30 passes were in the 4th quarter.

Of course, some of those passing plays was Sunseri using the pass option on his own.

DRW – you just make crap up don’t you? Honest to god – when did you ever read on here where someone said Anderson was better than Myers? Never, that’s when.

What has been written over and over is that Graham feels that Anderson fits what Graham wants to do with this offense and that is the reason Anderson is playing before Myers. Graham himself said so publicly after the RU game.

But you continue to twist each and every fact or discussion to support your unbending opinion with no regard for what has actually been discussed on here. I have to tell you that is pretty insulting to the people that you want to read your comments.

Comment by Reed 10.17.11 @ 4:45 pm

Blah Blah Blah. We are all pro’s on this blog.

Here is my advice: Start Tino this week, give him another chance, b/c as some of you are saying, he has shown his ceiling (USF Game) and obviously has the potential to manage a game. If he fails and we lose to UConn, we ought to play Trey the rest of the way b/c the season is practically over at that point.

You may not realize it, but the Utah game was a freebie..no consequence at all..just a bunch of pissed off yinzers, thats all, REALLY!

Theoretically, we can run the table into the Orange Bowl..one more loss and its curtains. Boy, id turn down the beef o’ Bradys bowl..(yes, it all about the Benjamins)

If we dont give him snaps in place of a faltering Tino, we will be stuck with Tino again next year b/c Trey will have had no experience and (barring a de-Commit) Chad V. will not be quite ready to start.

This is logical, no?

It is easy to see that the offense def got a spark from Trey and he can only improve from where he is…Tino is only getting worse. Trey is 5’4″, but he can run and run the offense, (No Pun). The kid exudes confidence, it is easy to see. He is a champion with some great mechanics that will improve as he continues to implement the offense.

Todd is only hurting himself by being so stubborn. I respect that he doesnt want to create a full blow/media inspired QB controversy(even though Tino created that for himself), but Todd needs to understand the impatience of Pitt fans. He has three other State Champion QBs on the roster and naming Tino as the starter after playing like Jamarcus Russel isn’t helping his cause.

I feel bad for Tino; there is nothing i want more than for him to excel into a storybook Pittsburgh/coaches kid…but this season is all but over and we need to look forward to next year.

And to be fair, its not all his fault, at all. The Oline is, well, pathetic. The Wideouts are slowly giving up. Ray Graham is now getting depressed(postgame comments)

Lots of moving parts that are falling like dominoes. It sucks. Its Pitt Athletics. Its Heinz Field, Not Pitt Stadium. Its the Big East, not the ACC. Its a Southern Boy who talked a big game. Its not a Mustache. Its not a Cignetti.

..And its certainly not UPS or WVU.

HAIL THY ALMA MATER.

HAIL TO PITT

Comment by H.landPitt 10.17.11 @ 4:47 pm

My hair thins more and more after each game. I think Graham is stealing it. He said at the beginning of the year that my hair would be full and lush. He flat out lied to me. I’ll be bald by season’s end if I endure more games like this.

Comment by TX Panther 10.17.11 @ 4:47 pm

I hope this blog is a forum that can avoid an unproductive discussion about changing logos, team colors, and tearing down Pitt stadium. That belongs elsewhere – this is (usually) a place to rationally discuss direct football matters.

Comment by Hollywood 10.17.11 @ 4:50 pm

@ Truth Hurts

You say get a life?

Yet you are the one trolling our message board. Define irony…

Comment by Big Bill 10.17.11 @ 4:55 pm

Reed: We did try to pass on Saturday but were totally incompetent at it. We passed 30 times, completed 9 of them for a total of 50 yards. That is about 1.7 yards per completion. We had two interceptions which resulted in one touchdown and 55 yards for Utah. In other words, our passing resulted in more yards for the opposition that it did for Pitt. I stand by my statement the we abandoned the pass due to pure incompetence.

Comment by John In South Carolina 10.17.11 @ 4:57 pm

@Truthhurts, ya, but, WVU will still be in the Big Least, or at best, being the outsider in a southwestern conference.

WVU stinks, they will be more irrelevant as the years go by.

The university is one step up on a community college, why they didn’t get an ACC invite, and hell, even the SEC with questionable academic standards didn’t want them.

13-9 sorry about that National Championship!!!

LMAO!!!

By the way, they weren’t competitive with LSU this time. If you watched the game, it was only a matter of time.

No, WVU steeeenks, in all areas!!!!

Comment by Dan 10.17.11 @ 5:01 pm

P.S. truthhurts. If so good and popular, can you tell me why, you only had 40,000 people at the game against Bowling Green??????

I believe your coach even commented on that!!!

LOL.

I’m sure you’ll do better with UCF and SMU, especially for those marquee hoops matchups!!!!!!!!

LOL!!!

Comment by Dan 10.17.11 @ 5:04 pm

John – I totally agree our passing was pathetic but, again, I don’t understand what you mean when you say we abandoned the pass when we were passing (11 times) more than running (7 times) in the 4th quarter.

To “abandon” something means to purposely not do it any longer. Perhaps you mean “we just sucked at it“.

I think I’m misunderstanding what you are saying.

DRW – Anderson wasn’t playing scared out there at all, if anything he was very aggressive in his run option and probably tried to force the ball too much in his passing. His passing was ineffective, not hesitant and his rushing was fine… which feeds more fuel into the QB decision or Graham I’m sure.

Comment by Reed 10.17.11 @ 5:13 pm

@Reed,

But you continue to twist each and every fact or discussion to support your unbending opinion with no regard for what has actually been discussed on here. I have to tell you that is pretty insulting to the people that you want to read your comments.
Comment by Reed 10.17.11 @ 4:45 pm

Your comment is spot on guy. This DRW obviously doesn’t read what others’ blog.
Several including yours’ truly has requested that he add some breaks, paragraphs, indentations, common things used in writing English and it never changes.

It is one thing to attack a 23 year old guy that’s played 20 games now, but a 17 year old who has played what’s amounted to maybe one complete half and a quarter is beyond the pale.

And that one almost complete half was in FORTY (40) MPH wind gusts. The kid almost was placed in a situation, where it would have taken a miracle for him to succeed. And there was no RG this time to even make the kid look better or give him a slightly better chance to succeed.

I mean,…..’LET’S GET REAL FOLKS’.

Comment by EMel 10.17.11 @ 5:16 pm

I agree that “abandoned” was the incorrect word to use. “Pitt was inept at passing” would have stated it correctly. At this point in the development of this new offense, the forward pass should only be used as a “trick” play. It is not something we should plan to do on a regular basis. In WVU first year with Pat White the forward pass was somewhat of a novelty. That is what we now need to do with Gonzalez.

Comment by John In South Carolina 10.17.11 @ 5:22 pm

Fun fact: Pitt has not won a game which it has trailed in the second half since the 2009 Car Care Bowl. Pitt is 0-9 in such games in that span. Infer what you will.

Comment by Hollywood 10.17.11 @ 4:42 pm

That’s NOT a fun fact.

So what I infer is you are a TROLL<

Comment by EMel 10.17.11 @ 5:23 pm

You may not realize it, but the Utah game was a freebie..no consequence at all..just a bunch of pissed off yinzers, thats all, REALLY!
Comment by H.landPitt 10.17.11 @ 4:47 pm

Hope you’re not referring to most of the bloggers on this site there guy. Most of us have never been nor will be yinzers. When I use the word Ain’t it’s just to emphasize a point.

Pitt for the most part has never attracted the Yinzer fan base in Pittsburgh. That’s mainly the Stiller crowd. The only yinzers in Pittsburgh (for the most part) that follow Pitt, are the ones that like to mock Pitt. You know they didn’t go to college and dislike anyone that did.

While we don’t mind yinzers, they for the most part are too caught up in the Stillers, Pens & the WWF (is that still around?) to be concerned about PITT.

HTP !

Comment by EMel 10.17.11 @ 5:34 pm

EMael – DRW has very strong opinions and he explained why he feels the way he does the other day, and I appreciated his doing so. There is nothing at all wrong with that.

But my point with him is this; he assumes Myers is automatically going to waltz in and be the answer to all our QB problems based on – as best I can make out – the fact that Myers has a strong arm.

If arm strength was the overriding factor in college football he’d have had offers from perennial Top 20 schools but instead he has this on his offer resume (from Scouts.com):

PITT
Toledo
Bowling Green
Ball State
Akron

Hmmm, his best offer was PITT. OK, I don’t know about you but that isn’t a ringing endorsement for guaranteed success at this level. DRW makes a lot of noise about Anderson’s lack of offers but in reality Myers’s best offer is exactly the same as Anderson’s. Where were the established football schools when it came to wooing Meyers? Looking elsewhere. Believe me, if this kid is as good as DRW seems to think he is the big schools would have been beating each other back with a stick to get to Myers’s house, regardless if he had verballed to PITT or not.

However, I do understand DRW’s wanting Myers to get a shot to show what he can do, but I’ve also written thousands of words explaining why he hasn’t gotten it so far. DRW just doesn’t want to accept that.

Myers throws a nice ball, but that isn’t all a QB has to do in this, or any, offense… if Graham backtracks and truly ‘opens up’ the QB competition Myers will again get his chance (I do wonder), but he also had numerous chances throughout spring practice and summer camp, it isn’t like he was invisible when those were going on.

Comment by Reed 10.17.11 @ 5:35 pm

Go get em Dan-o..

right on bro.

Comment by EMel 10.17.11 @ 5:40 pm

Anderson lost us the Rutgers game. I was there. The score was 6-3 when he threw the touchdown interception.

When I saw him in the game against Utah, I felt we were in trouble. Graham has this team confused. The offense doesn’t know what to do.

Concentrate on defense and work on making less mistakes on offense. SunseriGonzalesolas which ever of the two that can run. Keep Anderson on the bench.

At least, I got to see one national championship team in my lifetime.

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 10.17.11 @ 5:58 pm

You must have been asleep then Old Grad.

Anderson didn’t throw a pick 6.

Tino did !

Comment by EMel 10.17.11 @ 6:06 pm

What are you complaining about. That’s one more National Championship than Hoopie fans will EVER see.

Uconn, Rutgers, Cincy, L-Ville, USF, USF & WVU all have one thing in common.

They have never won a NC in football and will NEVER will a NC in football.

Comment by EMel 10.17.11 @ 6:26 pm

I do not understand the angst of the Pitt fans whatsoever regarding this season. How is it that you folks didn’t realize this was going to be the case? Graham is a carpetbagger who was hired by a fool, a fool who was run out of Nebraska on a rail after his Calahan hire. And then there was the Heyward debacle. But somehow, Pitt folks that this hire would be different? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
Oh sure, Graham sympathizers will say he won twice before, and he just needs more time; he needs to bring in HIS players for HIS system. That is called magical thinking: children and my sister-in-law believe that magic will somehow occur i.e. I will win the lottery and all my financial problems will go away. Sure, Graham will bring in his magical recruits that accompany his magical system and all will be right with the Pitt world. You betcha.
The time for angst was last January. The time for protest was last January. Pederson should have been fired and a competent selection process initiated. And a coach who wouldn’t come to Pitt for $1.4MM but would come for $2MM should have immediately been crossed off of the list.

Comment by Gas 10.17.11 @ 6:42 pm

@Gas

Graham is not a carpetbagger.

link to en.wikipedia.org

If you were going to try to label TG (and I’m not in that camp), I would say Flim Flam man would be more apropos.

link to en.wikipedia.org

And as far as SP, most of us agreed he should have been shown the door as well, after the dissing of Wanny & the Mac Daddy sordid affair.

I think with SP his biggest beef with Wanny was,
HE DIDN’T HIRE HIM !

No other way to explain that, because Mac Daddy was/would have been a real downgrade from Wannstache. (this should get this board sparking)
haha

Comment by EMel 10.17.11 @ 7:07 pm

Graham would have been hired originally if it weren’t for $$ and I believe that falls on the Nordy and the Board of Trustees. Had SP been the driving force behind this, I think he would have been fired. He’s the face of the Athletic Department and took the heat.

Having said that, he was the driving force behind getting rid of Wanny, which was absolutely the right move. Read the piece Dokish wrote below…shocking how rational it is.

link to panthersprey.blogspot.com

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 10.17.11 @ 7:16 pm

REED and all outhers who dont think we should want myers.
Let me just say to you tino is no good you have all said that.
And anderson is not ready even if he is better than tino. so what do we have left myers so let us hope he gets a chance. what is wrong with that.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.17.11 @ 7:35 pm

espn reporting that Tino is staying the starter, looks like a long season, can’t believe that Myers won’t get a look. Really says something about how bad the QB situation is if this is the case. I quit for 2 years-after that time hopefully graham will have a better group more suited for his system. this sucks!

Comment by henryhudson228 10.17.11 @ 7:35 pm

So much for an open QB competition…ESPN is reporting that TG is sticking with Tino. Apparently winning definitely is not a priority this year.

Comment by upittman 10.17.11 @ 7:36 pm

FRANKCAN, because Myers is in the doghouse and most likely transferring out next year. Why play someone who isn’t a part of the future and hasn’t taken first team reps since the beginning of August? He clearly never endeared himself to the new coaching staff and won’t be given a shot. I remember Ziese and the Trib beat writer saying as much in their coverage of training camp.

He’s a slow footed 6’5″ redshirt freshman QB who would be playing behind a porous offensive line…Do you really expect anything different than we’ve already see. I see more sacks and int’s in his future. The threat of the QB run would be non-existant enabling opposing D’s to focus even more on Ray Graham.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 10.17.11 @ 7:54 pm

Give Tino some protection and he’s serviceable. See South Florida.

Yes…we’re all very disappointed but better days are ahead. I can’t wait for UConn as I’m confident we’ll do much better with Nix back in the fold and hopefully the attitude of this blog will improve as well. Be patient….focus on the positives and support your team next Wed. I’ll be there. I’ll also stand and clap when they come out of the tunnel…these kids could use some encouragement.

Comment by FG 10.17.11 @ 8:15 pm

AND TINO IS BETTER HE CANT THROW MORE THAN 15 YD COM ON MAN MYERS CAN AT LEAST SEE OVER THE LINE AND EVERY ONE SAYS HE CAN THROW SOMETHING THE OUTHERS CANT

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.17.11 @ 8:17 pm

So the interesting question is if/when we are no longer bowl eligible will we see some major changes to get younger/future Pitt players reps? I mean does it really make sense for Graham to keep going back to Tino after it’s all for naught.

DaveD

Comment by DaveD 10.17.11 @ 8:31 pm

@Tossing Thabeets,

Actually I think Groh was their number 1 choice at one point in time.

Perhaps $2 million at the very outset would’ve gotten him to go to Pitt.

who knows though.

DaveD

Comment by DaveD 10.17.11 @ 8:33 pm

Sure….Myers is tall so he must be better! Throw in Gonzo the Hback…he looked good in the Spring Game!! Maybe Greg Cross has some eligibility left. He looked great on that touchdown against Iowa in 2008…

It is what it is….which is what Graham keeps telling us. Unfortunately Tino is our best option…always has been and will be for the remainder of this year. Moaning and booing won’t help. Calling for the backups will only make it worse. If we have our starting O-line intact it’s a very different year. Take out the two best on a weak line with no depth and you get the offense you’ve seen the last two weeks. It’s pretty simple.

Comment by FG 10.17.11 @ 8:41 pm

There are no instant miracles, so I really can’t understand all the harsh criticism. Changing the system and getting the players for the system takes time, as many have pointed out. An apt analogy, to me at least, is Steve Sarkisian at U. of Washington. Came in with great credentials (OC at Southern Cal) and brought the Southern Cal DC with him. First season (2009) 5-7, second 7-6, this season so far 5-1 and in the top 25. Patience, patience.

Comment by Pitt73Pete 10.17.11 @ 8:42 pm

Darelle Revis 101 int return for touchdown. He’s a real Pitt man

Comment by alcofan 10.17.11 @ 9:03 pm

thank GOD for Jamie Dixon!

Comment by PittFanInAtlanta 10.17.11 @ 9:28 pm

Info for you all on Feb 28 1940 PITT played in the first ever televised basketball game.
And yes we won.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.17.11 @ 9:33 pm

@ Pitt73Pete

No one with moaning about losing. That is expected with a new coach. The real disappointment comes when you manage on 50 yrds passing and the nations top RB only gets the ball 12 times. Getting the players for the system? What do you call Ray Graham? IT was a coaching decision to only give him the ball 12 times. He got the ball 18 times less than necessary. Why? because he is the type of player that can break one on any carry.

50 yrds passing for this HIGH OCTANE FOOTBALL? TG could have let the players call their own plays and they probably would have had more than 50 yrds passing.

Call it what you want but this isnt simply an issue of a new system or getting the right players. This includes having a coach that understands how to get the most out of a bad situation. TG was unsuccessful at in-game adjustments against a bad Utah team. His teams have squandered three second have leads (Iowa, ND, Utah). At what point do you call it what it is? Coaching failure is contributing. Now I am not advocating firing the guy but let’s call it for what it is.

Coaching IQ? Maybe he really is a High School coach after all (remember – Jerry Faust?)

Comment by PittFanInAtlanta 10.17.11 @ 9:35 pm

Regarding the ESPN ticker reporting Graham is sticking with Sunseri… why are you all so surprised? It has been discussed on here for weeks, this is just an extension of what Graham has been saying and doing all year.

FRANKCAN – you need to show me where I said anyone shouldn’t want Myers to play. You won’t be able to. What I’ve been continually saying is that Todd Graham doesn’t want Myers to play. There is a big difference.

You are drifting into DRW’s sphere of influence here. There are two schools of thought on this board.

One is guys like you and DRW who are demanding Myers because you think he can do a better job than our other two QBs.

Then there are the other commenters who are saying personal opinions in this case don’t really matter because the HC has already stated that he is sticking to a course of action that precludes Myers from playing. Wanting something is one thing; knowing it won’t happen is another all together.

Is this impossible to understand? Graham believes he has a reason for doing what he’s doing and it is with sticking with the offense he wants to play for this season, 2012 and beyond.

I’ve said it before and many may disagree, but I believe that the way this season is shaping up bothers PITT fans more than it bothers Todd Graham and the PITT administration. They aren’t stupid and they know that what Graham is building isn’t going to reach real success until he has his own players in place for this offense.

You don’t think that was discussed during Graham’s interview? Let’s not be naive, of course it was. Graham was hired for the run of his contract – a bad first season isn’t going to mean much to the administration.

Personally, and I’ve said this in another thread, I’ll bitch the loudest if Graham goes 5-7 in his third season as his predecessor did. Until then I’ll watch the team Graham wants on the field being built.

Comment by Reed 10.17.11 @ 9:55 pm

Unfortunately Tino is our best option…always has been and will be for the remainder of this year. Moaning and booing won’t help. Calling for the backups will only make it worse. If we have our starting O-line intact it’s a very different year.
Comment by FG 10.17.11 @ 8:41 pm

Thank you for that ringing endorsement, Roxanne.

All kidding aside, we had our starting O-line intact for Buffalo & Maine and maybe Iowa.

Tino was not exactly sterling in ANY of those games. In fact this year he has thrown a measly 5 TD passes in a High Octane offense. Throw in 7 interceptions and 35 sacks.

If it wasm’t so pathetic it would be laughable.

Comment by EMel 10.17.11 @ 10:01 pm

OH btw the way, I think most people on this board could have coached Pitt to wins over Buffalo and Maine. So with that in mind……

Comment by EMel 10.17.11 @ 10:03 pm

Dave D, I never heard that about Grohl…that would have been worse than the Haywood debacle.

FRANKCAN, no need for the all caps hate…you asked why he shouldn’t be in there and I presented an argument to state why. If he was a valid alternative, he would be in there.

FG, right on.

Pitt has been mediocre for way too long. Pitt has a chance to modernize and join the rest of the 21st century in playing football but it’s going to take some time. This isn’t the 70’s and 80’s any longer and it’s time to move on and shake the stink of the 90’s and 00’s.

The only way to do this is to blow this piece a shit up and that’s what Graham is doing. Has anyone seen Clemson running Graham’s offense…this system is legit once it’s implemented and proven.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 10.17.11 @ 10:10 pm

On Zeise’s report yesterday he quoted TG: “there will be an open competition for the quarterback spot.” I hope this is true.

Comment by Pittastic 10.17.11 @ 8:46 am

@Reed

Was this true or what? If it was… how can TG say it’s ‘Open competition’ one day and then the very next day say ‘Tino is the starter’

Did TG get a visit from Luca Brasi or what? lol

link to godfather.wikia.com

Comment by EMel 10.17.11 @ 10:13 pm

“Hyman Roth has been dying from the same heart attack for the last 20 years.”

Comment by Dan 10.17.11 @ 10:22 pm

@ Tossing,

Yes I’ve seen Clemson, I live not far from their campus. Problem is, Chad Morris (Clemson’s OC) did not come with TG to Pitt. And neither did Graham’s first OC, Gus Malzahn.

We got the 2 headed hydra of McGee & Norvell.

link to en.wikipedia.org

God knows how that is going to work out. So far they turned Tino into a crouching fetal position prone QB that spends more time laying on the field than in his dorm bed.

Comment by EMel 10.17.11 @ 10:22 pm

“You know I knew your father when you were a baby”

Comment by EMel 10.17.11 @ 10:24 pm

Beneath the waters was an entrance to the Underworld, and the Hydra was its guardian.[2]

They could have used these guys in the basement of old Pitt Stadium. Hey maybe that’s why they built Heinz Field next to the River.

Comment by EMel 10.17.11 @ 10:34 pm

“You have to pay for what happen to Santino, Todd.”

Comment by PO'd Panther 10.17.11 @ 10:51 pm

Yesterday is but a memory, wringing our hands in worry about the future is a venture of wasted energy. The only reality is the present. What happens here and now is the only way tomorrow’s result is determined. Here and now Todd Graham starts really earning his money.

BTW, the studies of sociology and psychology are anything but worthless IMHO. I hope that Graham has degrees in both because this is where he wins or loses today. Right now that playing field is in the heads and hearts of his players. He has to win the fight to keep this team’s spirit intact.

If he can’t win that battle, he loses this team. If that occurs, that psychological, sociological meltdown of this organization, well that has repurcussions for years to come. What happens now writes the legacy of Todd Graham as a head football coach at Pitt.

As Reed referred to in a previous post of mine, “Graham has a big job in front of him”. After this Utah loss it has become huge!

His team got beat again on Saturday. It was ugly, poor offensive execution in general. Team spirit down, moral has bottomed after getting punched hard in the stomach once again. Just plain embarassing.

Now we are going to see if this guy can coach or not. Because now he has to get these kids to keep putting out 100% when it is obvious that things just are not as was advertised. But that was yesterday. The question he should be asking every single player and coach in the Panther organization today is what can you offer me today that can change that result for tomorrow?

I still didn’t see any quit in this team. Just because they lost, doesn’t mean that they are losers, that doesn’t happen until you quit inside.

Graham is looking for answers, he hasn’t found them yet. Will he win another game this season? I don’t know. But what I want to see is a head coach who continues to look for the answers necessary to get this team winning football games while still keeping the players motivated during the process.

Good luck Todd Graham. It is a tough job when you’re losing ugly, I hope that you can pull it off.

Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Dr. Tom 10.17.11 @ 10:51 pm

Mizzou to SEC (according to NYT). BE doubles exit fee to $10 mil, conditional on Houston, SMU, Air Force and BSU accepting. CFU offered BE invite and expected to accept (according to ESPN)

Glad Pitt will have no part of this joke of a conference. Guess WVU, LU and CU would rather stay put than chase a Big 12 spot

Comment by Ghost of Hornman 10.17.11 @ 10:52 pm

lmao Po’d Panther

TG got the offer you can’t refuse. Or else.

Comment by EMel 10.17.11 @ 11:07 pm

$10 Mill is still pretty much pocket money for some of these schools. It’s tax deductible anyway. lol

Comment by EMel 10.17.11 @ 11:12 pm

LET’S GOOOOOOOO PPPPPPPIIIIITTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by Tony Dews and Don'ts 10.17.11 @ 11:51 pm

Myer’s offer list was week because he committed to Pitt during after his Junior season when he wasn’t a major prospect yet and all he had were offers from MAC schools.

During his senior season, he became a star and was upgraded to a 4 star recruit by most services.

At this point, most major programs didn’t bother offering him bc he’d already committed verbally to Pitt and showed absolutely no signs of wavering.

Comment by Jimbo Covert's My Dad 10.18.11 @ 12:54 am

His offer list wasn’t just “week”, it was also “weak”!

Sorry, I shouldn’t post while half asleep. But my point still stands, to the guy that says that nobody good wanted Mark Myers.

Comment by Jimbo Covert's My Dad 10.18.11 @ 12:56 am

this season is officially done as TG threw the towel in on any open QB competition. How can he really honestly say that Tino gives them the best option at winning, and how can he say that QB rhythm is interrupted when it never even gets started? I am frustrated like many of you and will probably go back under the stone I crawled out from till next season. Hopefully TIno is nowhere to be found at that time!

Comment by chicken little 10.18.11 @ 5:01 am

so in a sense, the sky has fallen on this season, but i will wait for 1 -2 years for anymore judgment on TG.

Comment by chicken little 10.18.11 @ 5:15 am

Jimbo’s Dad – sure, you can speculate on that but when a school really wants someone they keep on him until LOI day, it’s a common thing to do. But the facts are that the schools who actually offered him a scholarship to play football for them was minimal and of low caliber.

How many times have we PITT fans sweated out the week leading up to LOI day until players actually sign on the dotted line… because other schools are lobbying them, regardless if they are a ‘hot’ recruit or not, to go to their school instead of PITT right up to the last moment. It happens all the time to players of all star levels. Our school does exactly the same thing with recruits we want. A player like Ejuan Price comes to mind right away as does Jabaal Sheard but we’ve discussed many other players who have said something like “PITT kept the pressure on but I just felt I had to go to XXX university in the end.”

But it didn’t happen in Myers case at all. Either he didn’t get the offer in the first place or the teams that did offer him and would have kept the pressure on to switch were MAC schools.

Hey, what I’m stating is no indication that the kid can’t get on the field and do well. But for every Dion Lewis (two weak offers & great success) we have guys like Pat Bostick and Shane Hale who had great offers and didn’t pan out.

My original point stands also. PITT fans drastically wanting the third string QB to play is no indication of guaranteed success. If he didn’t show it in his second year in the program and through two camps and countless practices the odds are that it’s a long-shot that the player gets in the game and seizes the starting job on the way to stardom…especially in this offensive system. Put it this way – if DW was still here Myers would be riding the pine behind Sunseri until 2013 anyway and that’s in his comfort zone pro-set offense.

BTW – only Rivals upgraded him to a four-star, Scout had him at three and ESPN thought so poorly of Myers they gave him two stars and a 103rd best QB rating. So he was all over the board from a 11th best to a 32nd best to a 103rd best. Hmmm, makes you wonder doesn’t it?

Grand success could happen, anything is possible in sports but he’s not a lock for it by any means and we’ll probably not find out anyway before he transfers.

Comment by Reed 10.18.11 @ 5:18 am

I actually don’t have a problem with Graham saying he’ll stick with Sunseri. He did give another QB a decent chance and Anderson didn’t answer the bell. Myers is off the radar screen as is Gonzalez unless drastic QB injuries happens. Hey, anyone who has watch Anthony Gonzalez in practice and in scrimmages understands exactly why he is at receiver now.

At this point putting the only player who has had any success in the position back on the field isn’t that bad of a thing to do.

Comment by Reed 10.18.11 @ 5:29 am

As Pitt football fans, let’s look on the bright side; at least we have this forum to commiserate on. The day will come when Pitt football will make us proud — hopefully, before I die. ;-)

HTP!

Comment by MariettaMike 10.18.11 @ 6:42 am

Time to change the subject

link to pittsburghlive.com

I think having a low post presence will be welcome

Comment by wbb 10.18.11 @ 7:36 am

From what I’ve seen Sunseri is the best option to get this offensive system running. There have been glimmers of hope with some significant production with Tino in there. The O line is a mess with Jacobsen and Nix both out, but this could be a blessing in disguise, since we’ll have Jacobsen back for a 6th year and the back ups are getting the reps needed to develop them into the future starters that we will need next year anyhow.

What else can Graham do? He has given Anderson a real opportunity in the last couple of games and Trey has not responded.

The O line depth was an issue before the injury bug hit. Now it magnifies the problems at the QB position with the injuries that we’ve had.

You just got to play the cards that you’re dealt and keep on swinging. The mental side of the equation is the real quandry now. Easy to practice and prepare fresh off a win. Tough when your still hurting from getting your ass kicked the previous week.

Like I said before, These next couple of games could be the tipping point in the fight for the soul of this team not falling into a dark, ugly mindset.

We’ll see.

Comment by Dr. Tom 10.18.11 @ 7:40 am

Tino is the starter for the rest of the year. YAY! Enjoy 4-8 And guess what, He’s going to be the starter next year too!!!

Tickets should literally be free for the rest of the season because nobody deserves to pay to see this national embarrassment.

Hey, if we double the offense from last week we can throw for 100 yards and run for 70!!! Now thats high octane!

Comment by Coach Ditka 10.18.11 @ 7:42 am

Dr. Tom – Jacobson isn’t guaranteed a sixth season at all. Most appeals for that to the NCAA get refused I believe.

Comment by Reed 10.18.11 @ 8:12 am

TG said he’s commiting to Tino the rest of the year. Just great. When does BB start again?

Comment by Pittastic 10.18.11 @ 9:03 am

I don’t say how anyone could say that Anderson was given a “real shot”. that is a bunch of BS. He was given opportunities but not a true shot. This is a lost season, Sunseri is not the answer and I’m not saying that Anderson is either, but we can kiss bowl eligiblity goodbye-that may be a blessing. I recognize I am not the coach, but what is the harm in opening up the competition and see who truly wants it. Sunseri in many of our opinions has played himself out of the job, unfortunately no one seems to want to seize it from him. My thoughts on Myers is to throw him in a game situation and see what happens, who knows maybe he practices poorly but performs in game situations. I still stand behind TG, but I am going to try to not be as emotionally vested in this year as I have been. ONe step to do this might be from avoiding the blog and the postgazette. Can’t say I am looking forward to BB cause i am in the middle of ACC craziness and don’t have a team to pull for yet. TG standing behind Tino is like the trainer throwing the white towel in on a player that is already beaten. Will be a long rest of the way.

Comment by henryhudson228 10.18.11 @ 9:10 am

Jimbo’s dad made one of the first objective statements about Meyer’s – about having to wait his turn behind a succesful upperclassanat the end of the year he had offers from Wisconsin and OSU. Transgering to Wisconsin would be good for him so he could recive coaching from a real college QB coach Were any of our other QBs 1st team all state (fact), participated and started and threw the winning touchdown in the USA high school all-star game. Finally the grap about his slow feet is simply guess on why Graham has not played him. The blogger obvious never played basketball as Myers did and excelled. As a basketball player in my youth and a basketball coach for several years no one succeds in basketball at the top high school level without good footwork. Basketball players make excellent players (not necessarily the reverse)because they have to develop quick lateral and backward movement with their feet and be on their toes at all times to effectively guard their man. Also they have to devlop quickness of their feet to rebound effectively. Since Myers was an all-conference basketball player it is unlikely he has problems with his footwork. He may have mechnical problems with his delivery but I am not sure Dodge would recognize this and regardless it could not be worse the Tino’s and Anderson could have Marino delivery but still could not throw the ball beyond 20 yards. If Myers as rated coming out of high school by NFL scouts as a possible NFL caliber QB in four years (this is arguably not a science -based I image on size and arm strentgh)he needs to transfer from Pitt immediately. With the Pitt QB coach and the system they run no aspiring NFL QB would consider Pitt.

Comment by DRW 10.18.11 @ 9:34 am

Post script – I am a Pitt fan of 40 years. I am embarressed by what I saw against Rutgers and Utah. It is obvious what we all believed for 2 years that Tino is not a D1 college QB. As for Anderson as Smeisck admitted in an email return yesterday that Anderson does not have the skills to play at the college level. He ended with the same nebulous remark about Myers “I assume that if the coaches are not playing him they must think he has not any better than Anderson.” The point is from the press who covers the team is “I assume.” This coaching staff is like the Nixon whitehouse – no transperancy. Last time I will say the obvious -watch the defensive formations against Pitt 7 within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage. It does not matter if the QB can run if he can not pass at least 30 yards without the ball floating like a dead duck.

Comment by DRW 10.18.11 @ 9:51 am

Nixon Whitehouse?? Why use such an archaic reference, when you could have easily used a contemporary reference, the Obama Whitehouse???

For God’s sake, use your return key and use the break, and give us a break reading. How many times do we have to ask??

“Last time I will say the obvious”, ya, and I got the proverbial swampland in Florida for sale!!!

You’ll be sayin’ the “obvious” tonight around 5:00, 10:30, tomorrow morning, Thursday afternoon and all of next week!!!

“keep your friends close, and your enemies closer”

Comment by Dan 10.18.11 @ 10:06 am

Good Dokish article out under Smizek’s blog this morning.

Comment by TX Panther 10.18.11 @ 10:50 am

Scheme or no scheme….

No QB + No LBs = Poor performing Offense/Defense

No Player Leadership + Underacheiving Talent = Inconsistent play from week to week basis

No wins = No butts in seats

Same old Pitt.

Graham made the fundamental sales job of overselling and underdelivering. Instead of coming in and saying that we’re going to blow this up, take our lumps, and be better for it…he sold us on excitement, innovation, and change…to help sell seats. His next error was trying to run his rinky dink system with marginally talented pro-style players. Square peg, round hole. What scared me is he NEVER considered adapting to the talent until he “bred out” the Wanny players NOR did he say…we’re going to build this with my guys and this is going to be painful, but buck up.

News flash….noone gives a damn about style, just win, baby. Winning will fill seats. Period.

I keep coming back to Brady Hoke. His first week on the job at Michigan…he came in with his Pro-style DNA and said…”Guess what guys, I can’t make this change overnight. I gotta dance with the girl I got. We’re going to run this thing until I get my players and system in place over time. I got kids that are built for the spread, so we’re going to run that for a little bit. If I put my system in place today, with the kids I got, we won’t win ONE GAME. Period.

Where was this realization/Flexibility on Graham’s part?

Comment by PaulyP 10.18.11 @ 10:51 am

It’s kind of comical to me that so many people are looking to Myers to save the team now. Not going to happen

Comment by Tony Dews and Don'ts 10.18.11 @ 11:03 am

I read Dokish’s article. It was good. Thanks TX Panther.

link to panthersprey.blogspot.com

Comment by Pittastic 10.18.11 @ 11:03 am

Dokish is right on in his assessment. However, the one part that he consistently ignores is how Graham’s exuberance and over-selling of the system is what got him in hot water to begin with. You have to be realistic in your assessment. If you’re going to make a wholesale change in scheme/system, then you can’t sell people on the IMMEDIACY of an impact. Don’t get me wrong, I love being positive and him not being a Debbie Downer like Wanny, but come the eff on….

High Octane will be on his tomb stone. What a stupid, silly, moronic ploy by Slippery Steve (AND GRAHAM) to sell tickets and reenergize a morose fan base.

Just shut the eff up about style and bring wins. IN the meantime, EXPLAIN what you’re doing and be realistic. We get it. Stop with the “selling” Todd… try something like this…

“Guys, I’m exicted about the great tradition and great potential at this University. We want more from our football program, and I believe that I can get us there. I have an innovative system that is going to produce wins and make us a consistent top 10 team. It’s going to take a little time to implement, and we’re going to have some growing pains…but rest assured, we are going to play hard, we are going to keep teaching and implementing the system overtime we will have players and a system in place that WILL produce consistent wins. And, I will make proud of this team and how we win. Day 1 is today, and I look forward to the challenge and I am excited for the future of Pitt Football. Let’s go to work.”

IS THAT SO EFFING HARD? Why all of the High Octane buzz word crap.

Comment by PaulyP 10.18.11 @ 11:20 am

Pauly P,
We’ll just have to disagree on this.
As others have alluded to in the past on this board- What player and recruit would not want a coach coming in with all the excitement in the world? I don’t fault Todd Graham for bringing excitement- it’s his style and we’ll see if it pays off.

Comment by Tony Dews and Don'ts 10.18.11 @ 11:42 am

@Paulyp. Would have been an excellent opening for Graham.
Great job.

Steve had a lot to do with this, what he doesn’t realize, we’re honest people, we understand, the ultimate goal is to win, and you will have fans. Winning, that’s it!!!

Will we ever have 65,000 sell outs for every game, no, of course not, we’re not Alabama or Texas or the Nitters. We’re not, no need to be mad about that. Reasons have been argued ad nauseum…city school, pro teams in city, huge population loss etc. etc.

If you win, you would get a nice, consistent crowd of 40,45, 50k, as simple as that. You would usually sell out for ND, PSU, and WVU. We may lose those games because of realignment.

Hopefully if he can get the program going, maybe we’ll get some sell outs for Clemson, Fla. St, Miami or GTech, whoever may be in the top 10 at the time.

With a good team, that wins, is exciting and an ACC home schedule, one solution, just win baby, you will have some fans in the seats.

Some would say, those people are bandwagon jumpers, yes, they are, and we need them.

We need the guy, that is going to take his wife, his buddy, and his three kids that only brings them when we are winning. So, what if thats the only time he brings them. Win, and he’ll bring them to several games. WIN!!!

Detroit Lions!!!!! Anyone see their stadium Sunday??? SRO!!! Guess why???

Heinz Field is too big for our fan base, but, win and be consistent in the top 20, you’ll have some good crowds, for Pitt games.

Hopefully, Graham will end up being thrilled to have “High Octane” on his tombstone. We shall see in the next few years.

Comment by Dan 10.18.11 @ 11:55 am

If O Line depth is a problem, and we’re stacked pretty well on the D Line, why not…?

Never mind. It’s not in the system to do such a thing.

Comment by steve 10.18.11 @ 12:21 pm

I agree with Dokish that graham needs much more time, but his disain of Wanny is obvious and even exceeds Chas’s (but not Reed’s)

He went way over the top in a few areas like saying that Pitt spent the money on its program like many of the elite programs .. when the fact is that Wanny and staff were the lowest paid in the BE, and as such, was most probably near the bottom of all BCS programs.

Dokish then claims that Pitt should at the level of Ok St, Stanford and Clemson (3 schools who are currently having really good years.) Fact is why doesn’t he pick Kansas, Tennessee and NC State. Another facts is that Ok St, Clemsonand Stanford are not only in more attractive conferences, the are privy to MUCH better recruting areas than what Western PA is now.

Lastly,and most revealing, is Dokish’s characterization of the lack of leadership Wanny showed when leaving the program as he did. I would like to know how Dokish would like it if he had to hold a press conference to announce his resignation of a job that he really like, just to make the guy who fired him look good. Both Pederson and Oliver Luck should have learned a valuable lesson on having the guts to fire someone instead of wimping out the way they both did.

Comment by wbb 10.18.11 @ 12:50 pm

I agree Stevie should have handled Wanny’s dismissal better, but Wanny could have shown some more class on the way out as well. Wanny dragged us along for weeks as to whether he’d coach the bowl game even after his emotions died down. A bitter root he was. But bygones. With Pitt now in the ACC, cheapness shouldn’t get in the way of finding and keeping good coaches. Wanny took a hometown and alma mater discount. Hopefully we get what we paid for in Graham. $2 million can buy alot of jelly doughnuts or fish samiches.

Comment by TX Panther 10.18.11 @ 12:57 pm

I have to bow to the judgment of the coaches on this situation. I am aware of Myers’ credentials. But if he couldn’t even beat out Anderson there must be something significantly lacking in his game. — Bob Smizik
Sorry guys to beat a dead horse /the comment that stated that Graham never mentions Myers when he has a medicore QB starting and #2QB who should not be at Pitt befuddles me. As I said I was excited about Myers being the highest rated QB Pitt had recuited in a number of years. If you read Smizik response to me about Myers – I wrote it to be placed as a comment in the paper since reading the comments it was obvious that the writers were unaware that Myers was on the team and more importantly that he was a top QB recruit. I listed all his ranking and awards to inform the Pitt fans who do not use the blog. It was obvious by his response that he is avoiding the issue as the coaches have. The statement concerning his abilities and Andersons is ridiculous based on any objective measure and that there must be “something wrong” with his game is the same assumptions not based on observation as “he has slow footwork” or a “slow release” His response as a sports writer in Pittsbugh is an insult to Pitt fans stating conjecture (as ridiculous as it was) rather than stating that he or other reporters have watched Myers in practice and his glaring weaknesses are
1.,2.,3., The press seen as evasive as the coaching staff.

Comment by DRW 10.18.11 @ 1:24 pm

10.18.11 @ 1:24PM LMAO!!!!!!!!!

Comment by Dan 10.18.11 @ 1:37 pm

You got it, Dan. BTW– when Pitt was great in the mid 70s to early 80s, our crowd was just as fickle and just as picky with a shitbox stadium on campus….

Just win, baby.

Comment by PaulyP 10.18.11 @ 1:48 pm

Today’s Trib Article with TG saying Tino is the starter is filled with contradiction. I won’t even go into it.

Suffice it to say: How does putting a kid who didn’t take many or ANY snaps with the 1rst team for a whole week of practice, then insert him in for a Quarter, then yank him, then put him back in with the game on the line, QUALIFY AS AN OPPORTUNITY. And then on top of that, you put him in a game because Tino couldn’t throw in the 40 mph wind gusts. And on top of that, you have the kid throwing 50 yard bombs, down & outs and other types of passes which is asking much of qb with no 1rst team practice, BUT IN THOSE CONDITIONS WITH THE 40MPH WIND, it’s totally ludicrous. Certainly someone in the media most have noticed how ridiculous that whole situation was.

I have managed people, and you have to put them in favorable situations where they have at least some potential to succeed. IMHO, this kid was put in with the least favorable situation and conditions one can imagine, which 90% of the time will lead to failure.

That IS NOT GIVING ONE AN OPPORTUNITY, THAT IS SETTING THEM UP FOR……FAILURE.

Comment by EMel 10.18.11 @ 2:08 pm

I hope TG can win out being 8-4 which is exactly his winning percentage (66%) for the 5 seasons in the brutal USA conference. Anything less will be below his past college coaching standards. This does not include his record at Rice of7-6 or Pitt 3-4.

Comment by DRW 10.18.11 @ 5:11 pm

DRW – please show me anywhere…anywhere, where it states Myers had offers from OSU and Wisconsin. I even provided you links to all three of the recurting sites so that you can see for yourself what his actual offers were.

Here it is again in case you just skip over anything that has my name attached:

BTW – only Rivals upgraded him to a four-star, Scout had him at three and ESPN thought so poorly of Myers they gave him two stars and a 103rd best QB rating. So he was all over the board from a 11th best to a 32nd best to a 103rd best. Hmmm, makes you wonder doesn’t it?

Go on those links and show me any offers other than Toledo, Bowling Green, Akron, Ball State and PITT. That’s right, you can’t because there wasn’t any. We can speculate until the cows come home but offers are offers.

It does kind of crack me up though that you hang your hat on one scouting site’s ranking of Myers at 11th, but disregard the other two rankings of 32nd and 103rd.

Cherry pick much?

Comment by Reed 10.18.11 @ 6:53 pm

wbb, why do you love Wanny so much? Yes he loved Pitt, but Pitt wasn’t any better than they were under Harris. In fact, Pitt was actually fun to watch under Harris.

If your pissed at the way Wanny was dismissed then fine but we weren’t even in the ballpark of being on the cusps of a top 10 or 15 program. People are pissed about Graham not adapting and this is coming on the heels of one of our most inflexible, stubborn coaches of all time at Pitt. The guy refused to deviate from his coaching philosophies on both offense and defense. A coach who believed in a base defense to stop a pro-style attack even though 3/4 of the schedule was against the spread. Give me a freakin’ break. Wanny got fired and deservedly so. It sucks because he had a connection to the school but he dug his own grave. His departure was messy but it was always going to be messy…He quit midseason as the Dolphins coach.

Attendance was stagnant because there was no excitement. Graham overhyped the excitement aspect leading to a let down but IF he does implement this offense successfully, the fan base will be rejuvenated.

The ACC has been dissed almost as much as the Big East for football and the Pac 10 wasn’t far behind until Oregon and Stanford stepped up the competition to USC.

Recruiting hotbeds are overrated. Penn State has no issue recruiting – coaching is another story. Wisconsin doesn’t seem to have a hard time recruiting. Boise State doesn’t seem to have a hard time recruiting. There may be some advantages but as many as you would think…start winning and the recruits will come.

Who would have thought 10 years ago that Pitt would have a top 5 recruiting class in basketball…they do next year.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 10.18.11 @ 7:19 pm

DRW – I’ll keep beating that dead horse with you. Beat writers and columnists will almost never criticize a particular player unless that player has publicly shown his errors and faults, as in a public scrimmage (spring game) or during the season. At best they will allude to certain things and couch it in terms like “needs work on…”, “has to have a fire lit under him” or “has a problem with consistency”.

They certainly won’t come out and really criticize an individual, even if it’s warranted, based solely on what they see in practice as that pretty much bites the hand that feeds you.

So, I’m not sure what you expected Smizik to say that you already haven’t either read yourself or had quoted for you. Speaking of which, Smizik doesn’t have the PITT beat for the P-G, Zeise does and Smizik doesn’t attend practices or scrimmages. He very well may have never seen Myers in action at all thus his non-committal response to you.

This is almost like you are shopping your question around to the writers until you get the answer you want, which probably won’t happen.

And exactly how can you use the phrase “by any objective measure” when talking about Myers and Anderson as you have never once watched Myers take a snap in practice? Have you, ever? Hell, just a few days ago you based your opinion on Myers’s abilities because a friend of yours told you he looked good in warm-ups before a game. Do you know how silly that actually sounds, especially when beat writers, scouting site reporters and others who actually have seen him in action are telling you something different.

OK – so here are some takes on him based on what I saw in some practices and remember I’m not a QB coach so these are my impressions as a fan watching him practice.

1. His footwork/mobility was such that he had problems avoiding pressure. He wasn’t too good at escaping pressure and throwing on the run or at rolling out. He’s a 5-7 step drop back QB for sure.

2. His passing timing wasn’t much better then anyone else’s on the roster (save Gonzalez). He threw some easy picks when I watched him. His release is slower then the others and even though the ball gets going quickly when thrown it takes some time for that action to happen. Not like Bostick’s wind up, but slower than the others. I would think he has a problem with the “one, two, go” requirement.

3. He had some problems with getting the signals from the sidelines and getting the players lined up and executing. Sunseri grasped this right away early in the spring and cemented the #1 spot; Anderson did the same and landed at #2 because of it.

4. IMO, because I wasn’t in his head, he looked to be going out there with no real energy for practicing. The other guys were very vocal and jumping around wanting to get their reps and Myers was just kind of there. As stated in comments above though, there was probably a good reason for this due to the external circumstances he’s found himself in. He’s a big guy but he looked to be carrying more pounds then he did last season which probably didn’t help his mobility.

I’m not saying anything that hasn’t been discussed at other times during the seven months from April until now by guys who watched way more practices than me. Of course he also has positives such as a strong arm and better accuracy on the deep ball then anyone we’ve seen, his deep ball truly is ‘deep’ he won’t underthrow his receiver. He throws a nice strong out pattern also.

The other QBs sure have some problems also, we definitely have seen that over seven games. But really, from what I saw I wouldn’t say that he is a lock to play any better than what we’ve already seen. He could do of course but it isn’t like he’s superman with a football in his hand. We have to remember that whatever ills the offense has, such as the OL, will still be there if Myers plays.

Comment by Reed 10.18.11 @ 8:21 pm

sociolgy 78, ssw 2004. it is not a waste! love your analysis. too many “fans” go overboard. it is frustrating, i agree.

Comment by nw pa pitt fan 10.19.11 @ 11:06 am

Reed here are two -Myer’s offer list was week because he committed to Pitt during after his Junior season when he wasn’t a major prospect yet and all he had were offers from MAC schools.

During his senior season, he became a star and was upgraded to a 4 star recruit by most services.

At this point, most major programs didn’t bother offering him bc he’d already committed verbally to Pitt and showed absolutely no signs of wavering.

Comment by Jimbo Covert’s My Dad 10.18.11 @ 12:54 am
Mark Myers, a four star quarterback from Cleveland (Ohio) St. Ignatius, played against some pretty stiff competition throughout his high school career.

And he’ll be facing even tougher competition in the Big East next year at the University of Pittsburgh.

But even Myers, who has seen a handful of his high school teammates go on to the collegiate level, was surprised at how talented his fellow players have been as he’s prepared to line up under center on Team USA in Saturday’s “USA versus The World” game- the game will be aired on NFL Network live at noon eastern.

“It is so wild,” Myers said. “There is no drop off. There is no one on the field that is not good.

“Everyone is going to be a college football player.”

Myers was not alone with his surprise.

“I keep forgetting I am not coaching a typical high school team,” Team USA head coach Chris Merritt said. “The talent level here is amazing.”

Merritt, who also was on the staff when Team USA played an international tournament in Canton, Ohio last year, says this collection of players is something he has never been involved with.

“The interior lineman are baby giants,” he said. “When we did the tournament last summer, the kids were very good high school players, but this group is something else.”

The group of miniature mountains includes six Rivals.com three-star players as well as three four-star players on the offensive line. None of the group is smaller than 6-foot-2 and 256 pounds.

The defensive linemen are also huge, standing on average at 6-foot-4 and weighing on average at 246 pounds.

Adam Shead
One of those players is three-star lineman Adam Shead.

Shead, who has been committed to Oklahoma since May 2009, has been taken aback by his teammates.

“Everyone is so impressive,” Shead said. “For me to be involved with this group is a tremendous opportunity.”

The experience was not lost on the 6-foot-4, 315 pounder.

Shead and at least nine other teammates from Cedar Hill (Texas) High will be signing a letter-of-intent to play college football next Tuesday, but even he is impressed with what he has seen from teammates.

“We have two very good quarterbacks,” he said. “The offensive line is great. And our wideouts are all on point.

“This really is special.”

Coach Merritt, who coaches at Miami (Fla.) Columbus, thinks the depth of this team could push Team USA over the edge in the upcoming contest.

“When we take out our running back that is going to LSU (Jakhari Gore) we put in one that is going to TCU (Ethan Grant),” Merritt said. “Our first group is outstanding.”

So is the second.

And third.

Five to watch

With all of the talent Merritt has on the field, separating who deserves more time than the next could be the hardest coaching job he has this weekend.

Merritt says that while many people have stood out on the practice field, he has been impressed with a select handful of players.

Players he expects to have a big game on Saturday:

Kendall Montgomery – The 6-foot-6 tight end has not yet committed to play for a particular college and could use this game as a launching point for more offers. Merritt says Montgomery has great hands and can run like a deer. He added that Montgomery will be a big part of the pass game causing a mismatch in the middle of the field.

Keiwone Malone – A four-star wide receiver committed to Alabama, Merritt said that Malone is one of the most explosive players on the roster and thinks that he will be involved early and often in the passing game.

Sam Gagliano – The two-star player from Waxahachie (Texas) High has yet to commit to a school but has multiple offers. Merritt said that he has run very crisp routes all week and as the third receiver could be tough to cover.

Keion Payne – One of the local players on the roster, Payne is from nearby Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas and is committed to Miami. Merritt called him the best “cover guy” he had on the defense and expects a “lock down” performance on Saturday.

Kevin Schloemer – The lone offensive lineman singled out by Merritt, Schloemer, who coaches simply call “Cincy” because of his commitment to the University of Cincinnati has been physically imposing all week. The 6-foot-7 tackle will most likely be lining up to protect the blind side of future Big East foe, quarterback Matt Myers.
Friends off the field

Quarterback Mark Myers is making the most of his experience getting to know players that could end up as friends off the field, but enemies on it.

“It is really cool getting to hang out with all these guys,” Myers said. “Some of them I will be playing against in college.”

Myers also is spending time getting to know his opponents for Saturday’s game.

“The international guys are really good guys,” he said. “They have a lot of different experiences and some of the same. It is neat sharing stories with them.”

The 6-foot-4 quarterback says while the experience is something that he will always remember he hopes that his friendships can last.

“I am rooming with Tyler Smith and he has been really funny,” Myers said. “He is headed to Maryland so we may play each other but I think we can stay friends.”

Shead ready for signing day

Offensive lineman Adam Shead has been committed to the University of Oklahoma since May 2009 and he is ready to sign his letter of intent and focus on college football.

“I knew as soon as I got my offer I was going there,” Shead said. “I have been ready to sign since I committed.

“I am really excited just to get the formality of it over but I have been ready for months.”

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Reed you will have have to take my word and
Jimbo’s Dad, and for what it’s worth as someone mentioned Graham is not going to play him and after getting caught up for the first time in the mania of technology which in my opinion outside of specific areas prompts a cultural and intellectual waste wasteland I think I need to get the junkie off my back. As an one who values the worth of athletic competion and live and die with Pitt I just have not taken to Graham because of his manner and style of play. His record at the lower college football levels is above average 66% (not counting Rice or Pitt) so I fear farther problems because I do not think his sytem will work at this level and in Pitt’s recruiting area. His coaching abilities have shown to this point to be questionable. Finally based on my experience in athletics I can see no argument that Anderson should be on the team as for Myers and his offers before his senior year – Voylcic has susprising few offers from big schools., but he appears big enough to compete at D1level. But what high school QB would come to Pitt who aspired to play in the NFL? Myers mirros Flacco in that he did not get immediate attention in H.S. but he is the only QB on the current roster and next years roster with any outside chance of a pro career simply on his size and arm strength.
For me its back to the real world.
I think Pitt is going to be very tuff in basketball this year/they will not be a surprise to those who know the game.

Comment by DRW 10.19.11 @ 2:40 pm

School Interest Offer Visit Recruited by
Pittsburgh COMMITTED (09/29/2009) Offered 12/11/2009 Dave Walker
Ball State None Offered None
Cincinnati None None
Iowa None None
Notre Dame None None
Syracuse None None
Toledo None Offered None
Wisconsin None None
Reed as Jimbos dad stated Myers stayed with his commitment to Pitt so at the end of the year the other schools made no offersHigh School: Lauded by Rivals as the top quarterback prospect in the state of Ohio following an exceptional senior year at St. Ignatius…arm strength earned national recognition by the scouting services…was rated No. 4 on Rivals’ “country’s strongest arm” list…named the No. 11 pro-style quarterback in the country by Rivals…threw for 2,127 yards and 20 touchdowns with only eight interceptions during his final season at St. Ignatius… completed 54% of his passes (140 of 261)…selected first team All-Ohio Division I (largest classification)… Northeast Lakes District Co-Offensive Player of the Year…led St. Ignatius to an 11-1 record and the regional semifinals of the Ohio Division I playoffs…played under Coach Chuck Kyle…selected to play in USA Football’s “Team USA vs. The World” game, which matched USA Football’s 2010 Junior National team (45 of the country’s top high school seniors) against a world team comprised of 45 of the best players aged 19 and under from eight other countries…also selected to play in the prestigious Big 33 Football Classic…also was a letterman in basketball and track and field.

Comment by DRW 10.19.11 @ 4:26 pm

DRW – I completely understand how you think about this. What I don’t think you understand about my points are that it isn’t Myers himself so much – he may well turn out to be a very good QB – but that it is Todd Graham and the offense he is installing that precludes Myers from playing, not that Myers is a ‘bad’ QB – he isn’t.

Those observations I posted about were written in the context of how he practiced when I saw in IN REFERENCE to what is needed in the read-option offense and IN COMPARISON to the two QBs who Graham has lined up to play in it.

I’ve said many time that I think Myers would thrive had DW been here still or if he transferred to a school who’s offensive style fits his abilities.

Regarding the scholarship offers – I’ll say again that if a HS senior is a valuable prospect schools will continue to communicate with him and offer him scholarships. We’ve seen it happen often with lesser rated players. The fact that it didn’t happen speaks for itself – just as the three wildly divergent ‘national position ratings‘ he received from the scouting services.

You fixate on the highest one and conveniently disregard the other two, one of which is average and the other just flat out substandard. If you looked at Myers in the frame of those two ratings you wouldn’t question his offers at all.

But again, don’t think that I believe Myers can’t be a good QB – he sure can be just like anyone else can rise to the occasion. My point is that for Myers to see extended playing time Graham would have to change his offense and IMO he won’t do that.

Comment by Reed 10.19.11 @ 4:36 pm

DRW – just as a follow up to my comments about what I saw from Myers in practice… Here is a Q&A from Paul Zeise today:

Q: The question I have is how far off is Mark Myers at quarterback and does Graham ever state what’s preventing Meyers from being in the rotation, I mean he can’t be any worse then Tino or Trey can he?

Sean Farr, Pittsburgh

ZEISE: Mark’s sense of urgency and focus was lacking for much of the summer and into camp and as a result coaches felt like he didn’t seem particularly that interested in truly competing for the job. So he fell way down the list — Todd Dodge thought that moving Trey Anderson ahead of him would be a wake up call during camp and light a fire under him. It didn’t work and he became the odd man out.

I will say this — he seems to be getting more reps now in practice and he is working in the rotation a little more, so perhaps he has worked his way out of the doghouse and he has indeed thrown his hat into the ring again.

So – play close attention to that last paragraph as I’ll be posting an article tomorrow discussing some changing issues….

Comment by Reed 10.19.11 @ 10:11 pm

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