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.

Graham is certainly feeling the heat for all of his talk about big expectations for this year’s team. And to his credit (I think) he still is talking the talk, saying that this team still can turn it around and win the BE .. only this time, he has less believers. Here’s hoping that the team still believes.

Comment by wbb 10.23.11 @ 8:42 am

In response to the “we Pitt fans can but hope” comment, as of yet, this is NOT the most disappointing season for the Panthers to this point in the season. With the developments of this week the BE continues to prove that it’s Championship is up for grabs and Pitt remains in the hunt with both WVU and Rutgers losing.

Based on the performance of this team against Utah and Rutgers, how are we NOT at 2-5 instead of 3-4 on the season. And still in the hunt for the BE Championship at 1-1, seriously???

But considering that I’m still trying to figure out “who were those guys” that I saw on a Thursday night a few weeks ago dismembering the then ranked 16th team in the nation?, hope does spring eternal.

If Todd Graham can get those guys back in uniform for an encore it would be greatly appreciated by the Pitt faithful, especially if he could get them to hang around for the balance of the season.

Ah, to hope, perchance to dream……

but in any case , Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Dr. Tom 10.23.11 @ 8:57 am

Mmmm DiPaola’s piece is another fluff article, nothnig in-depth as you claim, Reed.

Its funny b/c us Pitt fas are dealing with an animal we arent used to, and vice versa for Graham. People/fans in the south are a little more generous and laid back…Graham ist used to the type of fanbase in the cold-stubborn rust belt of America that is already calling for his head.

Can any of you honestly, honestly, be surprised at 3-4? Tino Sunseri at the helm? This team is depleted and in-ept at the position Wany never sucessfully(sp?)recruited at(O-Line)!!!! those two combinations will equal 3-4 or worse!!!

And of course, our D has been decent if not great; they have kept us in EVERY SINGLE GAME, yes i am serious.

I know you need somethig to write about, but come on, stop writing pieces like this. Lets not critique every setence the guy says at a presser, backhaded, blah blah blah. Its this type of crap that perpetuates the perception/persona of the pitt fan; stubborn, ureasonable, unrealistic, etc. I know we have been dealt a crappy hand for the past 20yrs, but get over it.

Todd Graham(barring any de-commits) is bringing in Pitts highest rated QB since, oh wait…ever! and possibly another Dorsett from our backyard..another backyard OT from Fox Chapel…stole Ejuan Price from OSU…!

Sooo, lets get off his back and stop this hyper-critical b/s….ok, if we finish 0-5 then maybe…but quit it.

Sorry for the rant.

See you Wedesday night.

Comment by H.Land Pitt 10.23.11 @ 10:07 am

H.Land PItt, I agree with you but teeing off on Reed was a bit overboard. Having said that, I don’t think you can read too much into what Graham is telling the media. If he started talking negatively, he would lose the Pitt administration in addition to the dwindling public support he’s receiving…this bye week came at the perfect time for the team.

Let’s see how much pride the player’s have and hope they at least put forth a solid effort the rest of the season. ..kind of piggy backing on what wbb alluded to.

WVU losing, unbelievably, keeps Pitt still in contention for BE title. With Cincy still in the future anything can happen, especially if the defense continues to improve.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 10.23.11 @ 10:23 am

Land, You have never heard of playing Devil’s Advocate, have you, or tongue-in-cheek? Either way, Graham and his public statements deserve to be looked at with a critical eye and ear at this point in the season.

But read what I wrote again – I’m not that critical of Graham’s coaching at all. Much more so of the players who are under performing more then anything else… with the one exception of Graham’s handcuffing a Heisman candidate during crunch time. When a coach is trailing by two point with 14:01 minutes to play and gives a RB who has averaged 150 ypg, and has shown he can break a TD run on any play, three touches in the last 18 plays we run, … he deserves criticism, and lots of it. Surely you must see that also.

BTW, that piece by DiPaola is about as in-depth and detailed as you will find any PGH beat writer putting out during the season. The practices are closed to the media then and all the writers can ‘report’ on is what is fed to them by the HC, staff and PITT’s SID department. But you probably don’t know that.

As to your other requests… no.

Comment by Reed 10.23.11 @ 10:27 am

I wast tryig to tee off on Reed, but come on, the Trib article is just another fluff piece, a sunday morning fluff piece at that. I will say you and Chas do a great job here, im not knocking on you.

I understand Graham has built up expectations, but Pitt also helped in that dept; graham didnt pay for ads on the back of PAT busses and billboards, etc, did he? I mean, my season tix had graham from the Buffalo game stretched across to the Syracuse tix.

So, since we are 3-4, that means we should take a critical(negative) look at every sentence he says? The media, Pitt and Graham are all to blame for the (perceived) big letdown that is the 2011 season(so far).

Ill say it again; did you really expect anything great this season?

to sum up my first post, he has walked into HUGE expectations(created by Pitt after the Haywirl fiasco as a splash/distraction!!!!!) with a crap offense and hugry fanbase.

I simply feel that it is this type of crap that deters the authentic Pitt fan from going to games and allows more of a family type setting at Heinz field, which is a main criticism from other BE fanbases and Nat’l media.

I know criticism is the fabric of beig a fan, but ugh, you are driving fans away from the guy after 7 games.

Maybe im completely wrong, but yeesh, ease up.

Comment by H.Land Pitt 10.23.11 @ 11:06 am

But read what I wrote again – I’m not that critical of Graham’s coaching at all. Much more so of the players who are under performing more then anything else… with the one exception of Graham’s handcuffing a Heisman candidate during crunch time. When a coach is trailing by two point with 14:01 minutes to play and gives a RB who has averaged 150 ypg, and has shown he can break a TD run on any play, three touches in the last 18 plays we run, … he deserves criticism, and lots of it. Surely you must see that also.

Ok, I do completely agree here, that was bad coaching.

Comment by H.Land Pitt 10.23.11 @ 11:12 am

A sellout crowd of 14,600 to see Sean Miller’s Blue -Red scrimage at AU.

Comment by alcofan 10.23.11 @ 11:12 am

Reed what you wrote was right on you were fair and balanced.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.23.11 @ 11:27 am

Like most on here, I will always support my Panthers, but this year is pretty much over. After watching Cuse and Cincy the last couple days, we are not going to beat them. Syracuse punished Smith, who is alot more mobile than Tino. They both have talented QBs and can score pts. WVU, down in Hootersville, is a probable loss, as is Louisville (just beat Rutgers, who bashed us). We are looking realistically at 4-8, providing we beat UConn on WED (no easy task).

I would love to eat crow and have Ray have a few 200 yd games and upset a few BE teams down the stretch, but with the defenses moving up (no deep threat) and keying on him it will probably not happen.

have been thru these transition years before, and like most am willing to give TG a few years with “his players” to kick in HO. Patience is a painful virtue.

so its on to hoops, where we can realistically compete for a BE title. HTP

Comment by Bossdaws 10.23.11 @ 11:38 am

Bossdaws every thing you wrote is 100 percent right and patience is a painful virtue and i have a very hard time with that virtue.

I think after we lose the next 2 games we will see the outher 3 QBs bye then we will have no chance at the big east title.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.23.11 @ 11:50 am

How do the players react to this bob and weave by Graham. We do not have enough speed at Pitt althoug this program has placed over twenty (a modest guess in the pros more than his Tulsa teams). The dirfference at Tulsa is the level of players you are playing against a 5 to 8 yrad pass can turn into a touchdown because the secondaries are not positioned with players trong enough to make one on one tackles. The reason we beat USF is they played a zone allowing pockets for short passes that Tino can throw and this opened up room for RG to run. Cigiti knew Tino’s lack of arrm strength and did not even worry about TA he maned up the recievers knowing even if they got beat the ball would hang in the air so they could recover and they brought their safties up as linebackers to stop Graham. Utah saw the fil played the same way as will all the coaches in the future. We all know how quick Rutgers and Utah are. At this level in my opinion perhaps speed alone will not make it/quickness is 30% strength and coaching 70%. As for recruiting the highest QB in years that occured in 2009 with Myers. See attached quote from Reed and Chas about spring training when discussing the options to Tino in training camp. Also Myers was ranked #4 in strongest arm. Strangely looking at the latest blogs most pbloggers have talked about Myers being a stiff with slow feet and little upside because the coaches have told us as much. Our other three contenders are interesting with diverse playing styles in Mark Myers, Anthony Gonzales and Kolby Gray.
On one hand we have Mark Myers, a big, 4 star, strong armed and accurate passer who was an All-Ohio Player in 2009 and ranked 11th nationally by the scouting services. His reputation is that of a drop back Pro-style player but that may be a bit of a mistake to try to lock him into that box. He actually played a bit of both types of offenses in high school and also ran the 110 hurdles. That means the kid can move on his feet and well. But if Graham is going to have the deep ball be as large a part of his arsenal as he has stated – Myers may be hard to sit down… and the reports out of the camps both last year and this year are that Myers throw a beautiful one.
It is obvious that based on Grahams performance at a lower level college football experience that this system (worked great in H.S. when he caoched) produced only a 66% winning average. Out of 12 games that is generously 7 to 8 wins a season. If he can run the table he can maintain his yearly winning percentage. Do you pay a coach 2 million dollars coming from thhe USA conference with wins offer E. Carona, Utep, etc,. with a 66% winning percentage and no conerfernce titles 2 million a year. Stop fixating on the high offensive production run up against the lower level teams in that conference and look at what he has accomoplished with a team that has at least 5 pro players (Graham, Jacoboson, Nix, Holley, Lindsey and probably others.

Comment by DRW 10.23.11 @ 11:52 am

As much as I was pinging on Graham’s speaking of the ‘need for speed’ I actually agree with it. We are seeing it with the poor results of having slower WRs especially.

Shanahan and Street just can’t separate themselves in the allotted “One, Two, Go!” time period… thus making Sunseri hold the ball longer. With the patchwork OL we have that means disaster. Plus it throws Sunseri off his stride which is never good. But it starts with the WRs being able to quick-twitch their way to getting a bit free right away.

I wouldn’t be surprised, or dismayed, if Graham goes to Jones, Saddler, Brinson and Patton as the top four receivers out on the field. We can’t throw the deep ball anyway so Shanahan and Street’s ability to fight for deep passes is already negated by the QB’s limits.

We are already seeing Graham recruit for this type of fast offense. Corey Jones and the Davis twins are all 5’10” or under and fast as hell.

It isn’t all Shanahan or Street’s fault of course, they are who they are, although it would be nice if they could get back to actually catching passes.

Comment by Reed 10.23.11 @ 11:58 am

DRW – what you fail to mention is that I wrote that at the beginning of spring practices – before Myers practiced and tried to play a full seven months (to now) in Todd Graham’s offense.

This is a point that you either miss or purposely ignore every single time you post. Myers can run all the 110 hurdles he wants to but when forced to do be mobile IN THIS OFFENSE he doesn’t compare to Sunseri and Anderson and Graham won’t use him as such.

Thinking people change their outlooks when given other facts and data. After watching Myers in practice and watching how Graham wants this offense to be run I changed my opinion on the Myers issue based on what I saw, read and heard. That shouldn’t be too hard to understand.

I’m not saying he’s a water buffalo out there – only that it is all relative to want Graham wants his QBs to be and do.

Now, as I also stated in that post you quoted I said he throws a good deep ball. That still stands.

Your comment about the PITT players in the NFL is a moot point because we are talking about the speed Graham feels is necessary to execute his offense not how fast the PITT players were in the past.

DRW – I have to ask you something in all seriousness. Why won’t you use a paragraph return when typing. You hit the “enter button” to do this. It looks like you may have tried in your last post – try hitting the button twice and that may show a space.

I’m not trying to be the grammar police on here but you have to see how hard it is to read your stuff when you post things the way you do. For instance, you quoted something I wrote then expected the reader to spend five minutes trying to figure out where it was.

We all want to know what you are thinking but it’s pretty hard to do so sometimes.

Comment by Reed 10.23.11 @ 12:34 pm

Memo to DRW… Two quick hits on the “enter” key after the conclusion of each thought produces a much better chance that your posts actually get read from start to finish.

Your current posts remind me of the license agreements that no one expects to be read before you agree to download the newest version of some computer software that needs to be installed,,,for the love of God, push ENTER!

Comment by Dr. Tom 10.23.11 @ 12:36 pm

Reed i think you are right on most things but not on myers.

The coach wont play him but i dont think it is because of how he would run the offence.

Look does tino run the offence no he does not does tino hold the ball to long yes does tino take off and run no he is mostley standing still .

Can anderson see over the line no .

so myers will do worse at runing TGs offence i am not going for it i might belive that if one of the outher QB were runing it but they cant run it right them selves at least myers can throw and see over the line he can run it as good as them .

Will TGplay him no he wont but i dont think it is becuse he cant run the offence. he is in the dog house and TG is to stuborn bull headed.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.23.11 @ 1:06 pm

Reed I agree with you about Shanahan and Street not having the necessary speed to break free based solely on speed. That is not the only way for a receiver to break free. If a receiver runs a crisp timing route and does not allow himself to get tied up at the line of scrimmage he can get free without speed. There are too numerous examples of these types of receivers in the NFL. Heinz Ward is a good as an example that I can think of just now. Fred Biletnikoff, of course, is the prime example of this. The leadership receivers of the team; Shanahan, Street, and Saddler; have not been running these types of routes. They continue to think in manner befitting a pro style offense. I would have hoped they would started “getting it” by now. This along with Sunseri’s lapses have got to really be eating at Coach Graham and his offensive coordinators which results in Coach Graham’s comments. I hope that we will finish the year strong but am not going to drink that “kool-aid” for now. Next year assuming we are still in the Big Least, I hope Graham’s system can allow us to shock some people early such as Virginia Tech to give that team confidence to carry them through the year. Given the level of play this year in the Big Least and Coach Graham’s previous success, one cannot blame him too much of being overconfident in the success Pitt should have had this year. That is also why he believes he can turn it around this year. Unfortunately he does not understand about the Pitt curse that follows our teams. Only us loyal Pitt fans know about that and even we sometimes get our hopes up.

Comment by John In South Carolina 10.23.11 @ 1:15 pm

@DRW, “this is the last time I’ll state the obvious”!!! ha ha, you wrote that about a week ago!!! LMAO!!!

DRW, do you realize no one reads your opinion, other than the bloggers, Chas’ and Reed, because of your excessive run on sentences, and the same opinion over and over again???

You promised us all that it was gonna be your last time stating the obvious.

Obviously, not a man of your word.

Hey, by the way, I heard Myers was really over-rated, has a bad arm, and has cooties!!!

Comment by Dan 10.23.11 @ 1:24 pm

Thanks guys for the tips on grammer. I admit since the advent of the computer my spelling has gone to hell. I doubt if many of you had to do your papers on a manual typewriter with no spell check. As for writing with out paragraphs it is my signature much like e.e.cummingings not using any capitalization. He was a poet in case you did not know. Concerning the “any thinking man” I feel secure in that area having been awarded a graduate fellowship with a 4.00 Q.P.A. in my graduate studies. Let’s be realistic everyone writing in this blog wants Pitt to be successful. We each have an opinion on what is going wrong and what we would like to see done to to fix it. Yet we attack each others ideas like quarreling children “my dad can beat up you dad.” I will keep reading the blog but skipping the comments since the squabbling is distracting. The Blog often elaborates on what you get on line from the papers. Sorry Reed I did not change my writing style but neither did e.e. cumminghams. If you do happen to enjoy poetry cumminghams is an excellent read. Hope I click on this right. Not being as young as most of you born and consequently being raised during the automation age my technolical skills are limited. These limitations also did not provide me the numerous short cuts available to you when you were in school.

Comment by DRW 10.23.11 @ 1:46 pm

Hmmm….That we have to “get faster” comment from coach Graham sounds familiar…Now where have I heard that before???

Comment by HbgFrank 10.23.11 @ 1:57 pm

Was “e.e. cunningham” a relative of Bennie Cunningham? If so, does he have any eligibility left?

Comment by JW 10.23.11 @ 2:04 pm

Reed before I sign off since you had no compultion to take a cheap shot at me I have a question regarding your change of thinkin about Myers ability between the spring and now. Assuming you were basing your comments on personnel observation or even on just what you read as a “thinking man” what hs made you change your opinion of Myers?

Have you observed him practice since then and noticed that for some reason he has become considerably slower or his arm strength for an unknown reason is gone. Or has the the coaches negative remarks provided an independent thinking man with the an astute insight to reverse your opinion. You do not explain this in your 360 degree change about Myers.

Before you go attacking someone give a reason for your attack.

Comment by DRW 10.23.11 @ 2:06 pm

Or was e.e. cummingings and/or e.e. cummingham a relative of the actual poet e.e. cummings? Haha I guess this is what our season has come too– bickering over spelling and grammar on a blog… don’t have much else to get fired up about. Until hoops, at least…

Comment by JW 10.23.11 @ 2:07 pm

I also believe Reed would be having a “180 degree” change of thinking… unless he is right back where he started…

Comment by JW 10.23.11 @ 2:09 pm

This whole thing about Meyers being in the dog house, cant run offense, is all just somethig to talk about.

He is a decent QB and deserves to play somewhere; I would hope he is looking at trasfer options..most likely in the MAC where he was heavily recruited.

He certainly doesnt deserve all this crap that the Pgh media and blogs are grunting about. Beating a dead horse here, but he is not the mold for this offese, and thats ok. I am willnig to believe he would succeed at BG or Toledo etc.

Im sure he reads the writing on the wall.

Chad Voytik will hopefully take the starting job and we’ll have Trey and, ahem, Tino next year.

…We will most likely have a true Frosh backfield next year…so, these growing pains are sure to last for a little while.

Valid Point?

I know this is semi-irrelevant, but Steve Pederson and Jamie Dixon have built a Nat’l Powerhouse, and they did so by building an arena, not another football stadium.

They basically put all of their eggs in one basket…and look what we have; one of the most feared and resepcted BB teams in the nation.

A student section that rivals the best out there.

The most Nationally televised games in the conf.

…and now a football program that shares facilities with the Steelers…having to bus the kids to the stadium, creating an environment not condusive to exciting atmosphere. It sucks, plain and simple.

They knowingly dropped the football program down a peg with this move. You can say all day about how there is o parking in Oakland, no room for a stadium…its all BS.

UCONN deals with the same crap.

Comment by yup 10.23.11 @ 2:11 pm

I think myers would be better than tino and untill he plays and stinks i will do so.

Can tino run this offence no he sucks.

Do i think myers did something to piss TG off yes i do .

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.23.11 @ 3:19 pm

Once again, we Steeler fans just witnessed our OG Chris Komeautu get penalized for a late, cheap shot ..e did it about 3 or 4 times last year including one that almost caused to Steelers to lose a playoff game. To nobody’s surprise, it should be noted that Komeautu is from the Univ of Utah.

Utah players are indeed taught to issue cheap shots!

Comment by wbb 10.23.11 @ 4:38 pm

Do you think WVU will go to the big 12 if they have the chance or do they stay in big east.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.23.11 @ 4:53 pm

I have said since I witnessed the Pitt, Utah Fiesta bowl that Utah is dirty. They were better than Pitt in the bowl game but they were cheap. Saw it last year when they were at Utah and again this year at home. Their fans had a very similar attitude as well. I was glad Pitt’s d-lineman said what he said, however if you don’t win it comes off as sour grapes!

Comment by Jason 10.23.11 @ 5:23 pm

Gentlemen(and perhaps a lady or three): Would you rather a new coach come in with the laments such as ” the cubbard was bare” or “we just don’t have good players” or ” we can’t win with the Q.B.’s we have” etc. I’m VERY disappointed with the grid season thus far, but I’m even more frustrared and even ANGRY with the same old, same old attitude of the Pitt fans. I hope to live long enough to see the folks of my native town actually cheer for and support the NON-PROFESSIONALS who play for the largest local university. Go Pitt!! Go Panthers!! Turn the season around!! Rev. George from Columbus

Comment by Rev. George Mehaffey 10.23.11 @ 5:51 pm

What I saw in Myers trying to actually be a running QB in Graham’s offense made me change my mind.

Again, you guys seem to be missing the point here in that it isn’t about Myers getting slower since 2010 or his arm getting weaker (who said that?) – it’s all about an offensive system that the HC is instituting and in doing that is demanding that the QB be a viable run option – either by his choice (option) or on called QB rushing plays.

This is different than scrambling a bit or rolling out. This is about the QB being the third leg of a three legged offensive stool… passing game, running backs, running QB. When we saw Sunseri taking the option to pull back the ball and run himself in the ND and USF games, which he did very well to the tune of 6+ yards per carry, that is what Graham wants in this offense. When we saw Trey Anderson take off and pick up yardage without hesitation after the snap in the games he’s been in – that is what Graham wants in this offense.

You both seem to think that I wholeheartedly agree with what Graham is doing. That isn’t necessarily true. But I do understand why he’s doing it. He wants to get the players returning in 2012 as much time in the triple-read option as soon as possible. Hence his not varying from the two QBs he’s played so far I assume. If he changes his mind then maybe he’ll be more open to actually playing Myers.

Personally I think that if Graham chooses to modify his thinking then Myers is the obvious choice because then you at least have a shot at the deep passing game and Ray Graham running the football takes care of itself.

That doesn’t take a 180 degree change in thought. That requires understanding that the rules of the game changed for Myers in January of this year and he went from being a fit in DW’s offense to not being one in Graham’s. It requires recognizing that Myer’s talents in certain areas don’t make up for the lack of them in other areas – to Graham’s way of thinking.

I’m not the only person who has been writing about this. Todd Graham has said exactly the same things both coming out of training camp when he talked publicly about Anderson being #2 and many time since then – each time he’s stated “we are sticking with this offense”.

DRW – I wasn’t saying you weren’t a thinking man. I was saying that when one is presented with information that he hadn’t had before one modifies an opinion. This is exactly what happened when I saw Myers trying to run this offense in the spring.

As to Myers still being in Graham’s doghouse – I wouldn’t know about that, but IMO it probably has a lot more to do with Graham probably knowing Myers isn’t going to be on roster next spring.

And honest to God DRW – I’ve given you the reasons for my thoughts about this subject time and time again – to the point where I am sure the other commenters are sick of reading what you and I have to say…

Comment by Reed 10.23.11 @ 5:55 pm

BTW DRW – I looked that up quote of mine that you referenced in the post above. You do realize that I posted that on March 17th – a full week before PITT even started spring practices and a full week before Myers ever touched the ball in this offense.

Either you forgot to mention that or you just plain ignored it as it didn’t fit into your comments toward me.

Comment by Reed 10.23.11 @ 6:12 pm

Ovey. Stop trying to dissect the un-dissectible.

For whatever reason, every game is the opening game for this offense. Even Ray Graham’s head is spinning.

Fuhgettaboutit and concentrate on the really good that Pitt offers: hoops.

Comment by steve 10.23.11 @ 7:06 pm

I believe that Pitt can win the Big East. And, I believe in Santa Claus. The train will pick up all believers this Wednesday night for a journey to a BCS game. The Pitt vs Cuse game will determine the representative. You heard it here first. Dress warmly and don’t forget your flask.

Comment by TX Panther 10.23.11 @ 7:56 pm

In reading the comments, it seems that TG is playing “pick your poison”. So if Trey can run better but has no arm (tendonitis from his first throw of the year onwards), why is that worth more in the evaluation process? Tino runs worse than Trey and possesses a little stronger arm, but struggles mentally. Myers is now too slow although there is no game evidence and possesses a strong arm. So which is better? They all sound like they don’t fit but we have only seen two not fit. He could always put Myers in and call plays that show hiw weakness versus strengths. That would show us!

Look if I had to get along with my boss 24/7 it would never work. We would never improve organizationally. TG has the gold and therefore makes the rules. Stubborness contributes more to job loss than collaborative thought geared toward improvement. I am disheartened that TG and Dodge played mental games with Myers under the guise of lighting a fire under his tush by promoting an unknown quantity. What happened is that the team witnessed the admitted game playing and manipulation by the coaching staff, which erodes trust.No trust by players means short stay!Old school coaches manipulate. Progressive coaches, actually coach!

So when Pitt pushes the integrity message, they really mean our definition of integrity which is a sliding scale depending on the circumstance. In their hurriedness and frustration to address qb questions, they hang a player and then admit they played a game with him. We are now hearing from the coach that we are “too slow and transition takes time”. Athletes play slow when they don’t understand and have to think. He already said these are the best athletes he has ever inherited. TG is already pushing for more years to get this right!! If the Pitt Admin is fooled for one minute…..well that’s another story.

Comment by dhuffdaddy 10.23.11 @ 7:58 pm

@ Reed, speak for yourself. Personally I’m waiting anxiously with bated breath for some form of inspirational prose composed by DRW to motivate the Panthers onto victory in their next game against UCONN. Written totally in lower case of course to make Edward proud of his protege.

Comment by Dr. Tom 10.23.11 @ 8:02 pm

I sincerely hope to high heaven that Pitt DOES NOT win the Big East, because it is my humble opinion that they will embarass themselves (and the University) in a BCS game.

And it’s not just Pitt. I would feel that way about ANY Big East team that wins the conference this year.

At this point, the way they are all playing, they would get PLASTERED by any decent BCS team.

Comment by Tourman 10.23.11 @ 8:27 pm


Ive got to call you crazy here, they play the games to win, and to win the conference..and to go to a BCS bowl for all the marbles and money(win or lose).

Id be fine to say we beat the scum in MorganHolgo, but to fell short to a powerhouse like Wisonsin or Oklahoma St.

And by the way, how long util Holgo flips a lid on the kids or gets a DUI? That guy looks seriously effed up, he makes me proud to have TG.

Comment by H.LandPitt 10.23.11 @ 9:34 pm

Bleep, Vegas is givig Pitt 10pts for wed night. do they know something we don’t?

Comment by H.LandPitt 10.23.11 @ 9:48 pm

Rex Grossman is our QB

Comment by Lovie Smith 10.23.11 @ 10:22 pm

H.Land Pitt….I’m with you 100%! Nice rant and on target from my perspective. I felt the same way after I read the post and was glad you laid it out. I appreciate all contributions and opinions but folks need to lighten up. I really enjoy most of your pieces and the time you put into the blog, Reed. This one not so much though. Rev. George…Amen on your comment as well. HTP!

Comment by FG 10.23.11 @ 10:31 pm

dhuffdady – Not sure what you mean by “playing mental games” with Myers.

Unless you think they shouldn’t have suspended Gonzalez back in May when he got busted with smoke. That was the defining act that made Myers #2 QB over the summer. Coming out of spring practice the depth chart was Sunseri, Gonzalez and Myers in that order.

It was completely Myers’s choice to stick with the program at that point as he was, by default, the #2 QB. Do you think Graham shouldn’t have brought in another QB if he thought it could help the team? That’s kind of ridiculous.

I don’t believe for one second that Anderson was brought to PITT only to light a fire under Myers. That could have been part of it maybe but he was brought to PITT to add depth to the QB corps, on the strength of his running ability and ability to understand and execute the offense most probably, because Myers wasn’t playing QB well enough in Graham’s offense (read that again: in Graham’s offense). The fact that he outplayed Myers in summer training camp was stated by Dodge, Graham, Zeise, Greco, DiPaola, etc… and then Graham felt he had two QBs who could contribute as the starter and backup so he could move Gonzalez to H-Back and have Myers as #3.

Which, when you think about it, displays a show of trust in Myers to where Graham could move Gonzalez and keep Myers as #3. If he had to play the #3 QB for any length of time I’d think he’d have a decision to make though… depending, as I’ve said before, how dead set Graham is with the QB run option – which he appears to be at this point.

Why is it so hard to believe that a player doesn’t have the specific talents or play well enough in camps and practices – when the decisions are formulated – to be in the two deep? We see that happen all the time with players who are talented but just don’t fit the bill for whatever reason. All you have to do is look at our roster now with Shayne Hale and TJ Clemmings to see two prime examples.

Or take a look at Brock DeCicco’s case. He was more highly rated coming out of HS then Myers was – every scouting service had him at 18th nationally or above (7th, 14th and 18th) and he was a four star recruit. His situation was very similar to Myers’s in that he didn’t fit the bill of how Graham uses the TE.

He knew he was going to be the odd man out and the only difference between him and Myers is that he took aggressive action to make a better opportunity for himself. Not one PITT fan complained about Graham when that went down… it is a part of sports. Players either play, sit or transfer.

Graham’s critics seem to think that this is some personal vendetta by him against Myers when if fact it may well be just another situation that plays out on sports teams all over the world… the Head Coach doesn’t feel comfortable putting in a player when he has other players that he has more confidence in to be the starter and the second string.

Comment by Reed 10.24.11 @ 6:39 am

Reed, further evidence how highly thought of B DeCicco is was that he transferred to Wisconsin .. he didn’t transfer to a MAC or D2 school.

There are square pegs for round holes in many places on the offensive side … and I believe it is neither the players or the coaches fault.

Comment by wbb 10.24.11 @ 7:15 am

BTW, there is an article about WVU today in the Trib-Review titled ‘Holgerson: Sacks not Just the Line’s Fault’ …. sound familiar?

And this is a QB with a major league arm and fast receivers who has played in a system similar to the one he’s now playing

Comment by wbb 10.24.11 @ 7:22 am

A comment and a question:

Comment: Reed, stop taking the bait. You have forgotten more about football than most of us on the board. I would rather you would take the time to write new observations than haggle with captious critics.

Question: The Kansas City Star is reporting this morning that Mizzou will officially leave for the SEC, maybe as early as today. They say the likely scenario will be to immediately go after only one team, WVU. Wonder how that would then play out for the BE? My first reaction is they would then probably survive with the new invites and Pitt would be stuck for the next two years to preserve the BCS.

Comment by wally 10.24.11 @ 9:14 am

“As to Myers still being in Graham’s doghouse – I wouldn’t know about that, but IMO it probably has a lot more to do with Graham probably knowing Myers isn’t going to be on roster next spring.”


Comment by thestumper 10.24.11 @ 10:01 am

several notes:

1) $2M per season (another $1M for asst coaches). Nuff said.

2) The mark of a good coach is his ability to get the most out of players. Anyone can coach 4-5 star players. What we are witnessing is the pure nature of sports – COACHING up player to and beyond their abilities. TG is being asked to make kids better…. NOW

3) Had an opportunity to watch the Voytik on friday night. Not impressed with anything yet. Would suggest TG continue to look.

4) WVU to B12 this week.

Comment by PittFanInAtlanta 10.24.11 @ 10:05 am

Dokish begs to differ on Voytik.

The Big 12 will regret the Hoopie invite.

Comment by TX Panther 10.24.11 @ 10:28 am

Comment by TX Panther 10.24.11 @ 10:32 am

About Myers, he was not a all-world recruit as some on here wish he was, so stop acting like he is the second coming of Jesus or Dan Marino. First, Voytik is a markedly better QB recruit. Second, even Tino is a much better recruit with better offers.

Meyers rankings (stars/position rank)
Scout: 3/32
Rivals: 4/11
ESPN: 2/103
Other offers: Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green Toledo

Voytik rankings:
Scout: 4/16
Rivals: 4/5
ESPN: 4/13
Other offers: Clemson, Miss. St., UVA plus interest from Alabama, Florida and Georgia among others

Scout: 3/23
Rivals: 3/24
ESPN: couldn’t find stars/14
Offers: FSU, BC, Louisville

Comment by Wardapalooza 10.24.11 @ 11:30 am

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


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:—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

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?

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 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!


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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