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October 23, 2011

Paul Zeise has some thoughts from Todd Graham this morning as to the state of the coaching staff, players and the season so far, found in this article. While discussing the rather sordid state of affairs he finds his team in Graham chips in with this observation – not a new thought by any means but just as deflective as always:

We only had two weeks to recruit this past year, and I thought we did a good job given that,” Graham said. “This year is very critical for us.  “We really need to upgrade the volume of players, and the biggest thing that we need is speed. We need more speed and explosiveness at every position — and you can get faster by either recruiting speed or developing speed. But we have good football players here.

Smashing backhand drive to the far corner – he follows up with a strong forehand topspin!

As you come to a new place, there are so many things that are different in your program. It takes some time to master that, and sometimes, it takes longer than others.”

Asked if Pitt will be a different team in three years, he said, “Oh, I think there is not any question.”  Graham said the challenge will diminish with each season.  “It will less challenging a year from now,” he said. “It will be less challenging two years from now, when every year it’s just ingrained in them: This is how we do it. This is the system.”

Hmmm, OK.  We got our asses kicked in the last two games because RU and Utah had faster players than we did?  Not because out QBs played like crap or the OL pirouetted instead of blocking or the WRs put on cement gloves before the game, or… perhaps most importantly, you put a horse collar on our best offensive threat in the Utah game? What about that Todd?  I can just hear it now…

‘Of course not.  We do need more speed to win these games, that’s for sure, but hey… the players we have are just great.  Really, they are and I wouldn’t kid you about that at all.  Closet was bare?  Who said that, I didn’t say that!   This is the best group of players I have ever had (remember that one?) and I’ll march through hell with them.   Except at QB, I ain’t marching anywhere with them two.  It’s possible we may have a problem there but we need consistent play out of  ‘the shorties’ as we call them, buy. you know, you dance with who brung ya…’

DiPaola of the Trib has an in-depth article of Graham’s thoughts also.  Here it is.  I’ll let you guys read and decipher it – I began having vertigo when Graham starting linking death to winning football games.  Funny thing that… for PITT fans the opposite seems to happen; we start losing football games and we either threaten to pull our eyeballs out of the socket and bleed to death, or we turn to the person sitting next to us and say “BuddyI’ll give you a five second head start…” .

Todd Graham did expound on the QB situation a bit.  He didn’t address Mark Myers by name but we can infer he’s been a topic of conversation with Graham…  “I know fans are upset, and they should be — I’m upset, I go home my wife is upset, my mom is upset and my brother is giving me input on who the quarterback should be.”    I though Todd Dodge was doing that, but maybe he’s referring to Dodge in the street slang sense like “Hey my Brother, who we got slingin’ and shufflin’ back there today?”.

Who knows what is really going on or going through Graham’s head at this point in this most disappointing season?  In what may be Dante’s tenth circle of Hell: False Hope, we fans have an extra four days to ponder and discuss PITT football before the UCONN game.  That in itself primes the pump for reaching out to get the eyeball scoop.

Anyway, before I start crying, here is a positive thought to end this on, written anonymously and abridged here …

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
… When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must—but don’t you quit.
… Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup.

 We PITT fans can but hope.

Note: For us Blogger commenters and Message Board posters we have these Circles of Hell.





I’m with Tourman on the lame BCS bid for Pitt or any Big Least team. We are better suited if(and at this point, it is a HUGE IF) we limped a 7 win team into a Beef O’Brady Bowl game against a Maryland or Illinois or Ole Miss (or someone of that ilk)and let Toddy boy get another 4 weeks of “implementation” time for his system.

A 8 win Pitt team in an Orange Bowl game against Boise State or a one- loss SEC or Big 12 team would be painful!!

Comment by PaulyP 10.24.11 @ 11:31 am

Bring on the pain then. I’d rather be in Florida playing a legit team than the styx for some lame bowl again againt a lame team in a lame location.

Comment by TX Panther 10.24.11 @ 11:49 am

Pat White was 6′ like Tino is 6’2 .. nonetheless, White was the most effective QB of the pasr decade in the BE (and maybe all of NCAA)

Myers rankings had much to do with that he didn’t start until his senior year, expecially with college offers since the big schools already had their QBs committed. No, I’m not claiming that he is the 2nd coming of Marino .. just that recruit rankings seem depend more on the junior year than senior year

Comment by wbb 10.24.11 @ 11:49 am

wbb-

Pat White may have been 6 ft but he ran a 4.3 What TG needs is a QB with an arm that can toss it 60 yrd and legs that can out run everyone on the field. His “high octane” offense requires the latter.

Unfortunately none of the current QB’s have 4.3 speed and Voytik doesnt look like he has it either.

Either make the players better or change the system to fit the players. TG must decide.

Comment by PittFanInAtlanta 10.24.11 @ 11:59 am

so all we need is a QB that can throw 60 yds and can run 4.3 .. no problem!!

I hope if we can’t find one, this high octane offense can’t be effective

Comment by wbb 10.24.11 @ 12:02 pm

No one said he was 2nd comeing of Marino what was said was he can throw the ball for more than 15 yd .
which is all tino can do it was said he can see over the line which anderson cant.
so you all want tino great he has done a great job of losing games.

all we said was myers can throw the ball for 40 or 50 yd and see over the line and the outhers cant.

and you keep saying he cant run this offence and what we say is tino cant either .

so why not go with the QB who can at least see over the line and pass the ball one who can make the outher team give up the 8 in the box the one who can hit a deep pass

but no tino and anderson are doeing a great job in there dreams but not on the field . like we said before what would myers do lose the game tino is doeing that all ready so what do we have to lose.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.24.11 @ 12:15 pm

Pauly P and Tourman,

This is the same stuff I talked about in my first post…all this negativity and donwplaying the program we have.

You play the games to win your conference and get the AQ to pay for all the marbles; Every dog can have its day against any given opponent.

Comments like yours only perpetuate the mediocrity that continues to plague the perception/communal feeling of the program.

Please stop right now. We are in an AQ Conf and we play the games to win and play on the biggest stage during the first week of January.

End of story.

Enough of this settle for Domino’s Bowl or Beef Jerky Bowl Crap!!!

Comment by H.landPitt 10.24.11 @ 12:25 pm

**AQ to play for all the marbles**

Comment by H.landPitt 10.24.11 @ 12:25 pm

Kyle Bollar can throw the ball 70 yards from his knees .. BFD. How did he do yesterday againsta pretty weak KC team?

In fact, how did he do in his entire 10 year career? A- better than Jamarcus Russell is reported to have just as strong an arm than Bollar. Again, BFD!

But everyone continues to think that just replacing a QB will cure all ills … that ain’t the way it works. Voytik has a strong arm and is a decent runner … and his teamw as shut out the other night.

Comment by wbb 10.24.11 @ 12:30 pm

I only put the recruiting stuff up to show that we have no idea how good or talented Myers is. I’m pretty sure the coaches who get to see Myers practice every single day are better equipped to decide if he is ready to play and if he would help the team win.

Comment by Wardapalooza 10.24.11 @ 12:49 pm

My list to Santa includes some O-linemen that can zone block and some speedy receivers that can quickly get open and catch the ball. My QB and RB presents have already been delivered.

Comment by TX Panther 10.24.11 @ 12:56 pm

Wbb right and tino holding the ball till he gets knocked on his ass, and throwing the ball for 15 yd if he is luckey is better. and both thoes qb were great in college we are not talking pros here.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.24.11 @ 12:59 pm

I had to use those two for examples because we would have never heard of the strong-armed QBs from college who never succeeded .. I guess we can point out A Morelli and maybe Tom Savage, who was the frosh wonderkind at Rutgers just a few short years ago.

I’m not against Myers .. I’m just saying that (1) no guatantee that Myers wil be good, and (2) that we need much more than just QB play (see Chas’

Comment by wbb 10.24.11 @ 1:19 pm

Ouch!! The Trib reports that Brooklyn raised, sophomre CB is lost for the season. I hadn’t seen that news in the PG. A pity that yet ANOTHER panther regulat is our for the duration. The one player I really thought would be a great help this season, Chris Jacobson , is much missed. Both Nix and Thomas have been sidelined. The much-hyped Dan Mason, linebacker from Penn Hills, haS NOT RETURNED to the healthy list. Yet,to his credit Coached Graham HAS neither whined nor cried. hEY! There is much to like about the young Texan who holds the reins at Pitt. Give him 3 to 5 years, THEN RENDER your verdicts. Rev> george from columbus where they are already talkung of offering u\Urban Meyers the job as Buckeye HC. iSN’T HE THE ONE WHO CLAIMS TO HAVE TAUGHT THE PRESENT HEAD COACH (AT Utah) “aLL HE KNOWS ABOUT FOOTBALL’? That must also include illegal blocks. Whatever happened to good sportsmanship?

Comment by Rev. George Mehaffey 10.24.11 @ 1:26 pm

It seems that very few people know what TG’s offense is supposed to look like or what type of quarterback is needed to run it. I highly recommend that you find a way to watch the replay of the Clemson/NC game from SATURDAY:

http://video.theacc.com/highlights/football/all/1232820561001/North-Carolina-vs-Clemson—2011-ACC-Football-Highlights/videos/

Clemson’s QB, Tajh Boyd (6’1″, 225″, 4.6) put on a clinic on how to run the offense. Boyd was 27 of 46 passing for 367 yards and 5 TDs. He rushed 11 times for 8 yards and another TD.

In case you were wondering why I picked Clemson’s offense, it’s because Clemson hired Todd Graham’s OC from Tulsa (Chad Morris) the day before Graham took the Pitt job.

Other Tid Bits:
Clemson ran a power I formation offense last year. Finished 82nd in the country (20 spots behind Pitt). Their offense turned the corner in the 2nd half of their 2nd game this year, which was Tajh Boyd’s SECOND START EVER AS A RS SO. Tajh Boyd was a 4/5 star out of VA, the #4 PRO STYLE QB in his class.

SO, the $1 million question is:

How can one guy, go to Clemson and teach the triple read option to the team and all of the other offensive coaches and have success almost instantly?

I hope for the sake of Pitt Football that the answer is that we have much worse talent, physically and mentally than we ever could have imagined. If it is because our coaching staff after week 7 still can’t do what Chad Morris did in 6 quarters, we are SCREWED.

Comment by cnorwoodaz 10.24.11 @ 1:37 pm

@H.Land Pitt–

We just have a differing opinion. Pitt limping into a BCS, selling 4K tickets (opposing team selling >50K), losing miserably, and ultimately not giving us a chance to win it all (it’s not a playoff) does not help our brand.

We deserve to play in the bowl game that other mid level BCS programs are at this year. When we produce a team that has quality wins on the field in non-con, stays in the top 15 all year, and wins its conference outright…then we should be happy to be playing in those games because fans will travel, we will perform well, and the entire thing will be a net positive outcome.

I get your “every dog has it’s day” stuff– but that possibility is the exception and not the norm.

Comment by PaulyP 10.24.11 @ 2:32 pm

Oh…. and it would be an injustice to a 3rd or 4th best SEC to not be offered the BCS over a 1st place 8 win BE team.

Comment by PaulyP 10.24.11 @ 2:34 pm

cnorwoodaz, according to Rivals team recruting rankings

2011 – Clemson 8th Pitt 32nd
2010 – C 19th P 33rd
2009 – C 37th P 47th
2008 – C 12th P 28th

Comment by wbb 10.24.11 @ 2:39 pm

wbb
Those class rankings do point to a significant disparity in the talent. It is mind boggling how much more devastating Clemson is at the offense considering the transition situations are pretty much the same. Tulsa’s offenses were as productive before Morris arrived (he was only at Tulsa one season) so it can’t be all coaching, can it?

PaulyP
I hate to say it, but I kind of agree. Unless the team that shows up Wednesday and the rest of the season is the same or better than the one that played South Florida, it will be an embarrassment. The only thing I would disagree with you on is the Pitt fan base. It doesn’t matter what bowl it is or where it’s held, Pitt fans will find some lame excuse not to make the trip.

Comment by cnorwoodaz 10.24.11 @ 5:24 pm

Pauly P,

I understand what you are saying, i really do. But even if we perform well all year and win outright, Pitt fans will still not travel well to a BCS; that is the moniker of the fanbase.

No BCS bowl wants Pitt b/c of this reason..we cant sell the tix..no matter how well we play.

Once again, its the perception of mediocrity and dismay of the of the program.

All of this ’embarrasment’ type of stuff is difficult to read…

You go to a BCS and build interest towards next year, sell more tix for next year and keep the momentum rolling.

You dont sell tix and garner respect by harping on a win at the Beef Jerky Bowl.

Its that simple; arent you sick of the same old same old? The Jiffy Lube Bowl? The BBVA Flask Bowl?

I know I sound crazy, but its the truth. This program will never get the support it needs by hoping for a Dip Stick Bowl. The Big East looks soooo bad and we can only help ourselves by winning…carry respect to the ACC in however may months.

Hey, we all love Pitt(except upittbaseball, who will be watching lsu/bama on Nov 5th, lol)and thats why we post on here..atleast we can agree there!

HAIL TO PITT

Comment by H.LandPitt 10.24.11 @ 6:56 pm

Land – I agree also and wonder how someone can even entertain the thought that by winning the BE and going to a BCS bowl – even if we get smeared in it – can be any more embarrassing then not doing it.

I guess those who think that way feel it best to run and hide instead.

A BCS game is the ONLY goal the PITT team has a realistic chance of meeting season in and season out. Those that say MNC or bust don’t seem to realize that won’t happen without a BCS appearance.

On another note, Myers is now the firm QB2 this week and maybe for the rest of the season according to Zeise – Anderson’s tendinitis is keeping him from practicing.

So, the prophesies are true – Myers will rise only through injuries – although Graham also stated that there are no ‘special packages’ to get him game snaps as there was for Anderson.

I guess keeping fingers crossed for a Sunseri injury will have to suffice for some fans.

Comment by Reed 10.25.11 @ 6:22 am

AS far as the QB situation goes, i wish nothing but the best for Tino..Id love for him to flourish in this offense, regain the leadership he had just a few short weeks ago…and keep progressing.

The reality is that next season Tino will still be here, (his senior year, a potential third year starter)…but while everyone is calling for Votyik to start..that’s not a guarantee, in the slightest bit…the kid could simply not be ready to start right off the bat..i don’t care how high he is ranked, etc, the kid will only have the summer and fall camp to get rolling in the offense.

With that being said, yes, I am praying that Tino will get better for the long haul, because as Reed has pointed out(and we’ve all bitched about, including myself), he is the best option right now and may not even change once Voytik get here.

Dream scenario is Tino explodes on offense starting tomorrow night, runs the table, and creates a quality QB competition in the summer..with the best man winning the job.

Nightmare scenario, Tino gets hurt tomorrow night b/c he is sacked more than any other QB this year(by more than 15 times I think)…Meyers is forced to play and, well, it would likely be bad.

Soo, lets hope for the best!!

WE need a healthy dose of Ray Ray tomorrow night!!!

Comment by H.LandPitt 10.25.11 @ 12:36 pm

**But i will also admit that at times i wished Trey had developed into the player he was for Pearland HS…HS, i know.

Comment by H.LandPitt 10.25.11 @ 12:40 pm

wbb is right, the fan base is morose and easily excuse-ridden when it comes to travelling but people need to understand that there are at least 15-20K Pitt fanatics in this country that can/would show up for a team that deserves to be in a Final Four or BCS– and to this date, it hasn’t happened. Part of me wishes that Pitt made it to Detroit for the Final Four just to prove all of the “pitt doesn’t travel well” peopl at bay. Pitt fans will travel when the team warrants our hard earning money. Hook and Crook mediocre teams that limp or scarf because of the system are not going to get Pitt fans to spend money. Not now, not ever. Put a worthy team on a championship stage and our people will come out, until then, no thanks….my dollar is better suited for other entertainment. Hail to Pitt, but not for Beef O’Brady and NIT.

Comment by PaulyP 10.25.11 @ 2:09 pm

for those saying they weren’t impressed with Chad bottom last Friday, did you watch all of the dropped passes?! his team dropped mor perfect throws than they caught and his o line couldn’t keep someone out of the backfield if their life depended on it. and when Trent dilfer has an entire competition to evaluate the best WBA in every aspect of football and says Chad bouton was number five, the kid has what it takes.

Comment by pk 10.25.11 @ 8:16 pm

voytik, qb. damn auto correct

Comment by pk 10.25.11 @ 8:18 pm

Pauli p, when’s the last time Pitt went to the nit?

Comment by pk 10.25.11 @ 8:19 pm

pk – did your computer change “Voytik” to “bottom” automatically? Very strange.

Comment by Reed 10.26.11 @ 4:48 am

reed. I quickly typed it on my iPod with a tiny touch screen so who knows what letters I hit.

Comment by pk 10.26.11 @ 6:47 pm

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