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October 31, 2011

Catching Up on Football

Filed under: Football,Players,Recruiting — Chas @ 2:02 pm

Bit of a lost weekend. No snow or anything like that, but just a bunch of things that had to be done outside and inside the house all weekend. As much as I try to get everything done by football season, there are always at least a few things that I have to wait to do — raking leaves, clearing out the garden, pretending I want to spend time with my kids. That’s why the open weekend is good. It also meant staying off the computer for most of the weekend. Kind of needed after the constant monitoring of expansiopocolypse news and Pitt’s midweek game. A bit of a recharge.

But there are comings and goings.

Any offensive lineman commit is good news at this point. Pitt is hurting for competent bodies — well just hurting in general. As it stands, Pitt will lose three offensive linemen to graduation — Jordan Gibbs, Greg Gaskins and Lucas Nix — and Chris Jacoobson would have been done after this year. His season ending injury early in the season, however, appears to have him poised for the rare 6th year. Still, it is without question that Pitt needs offensvie linemen committing.

Over the weekend, Pitt added the third offensive lineman to the 2012 class in Adam Pankey.

Pitt received a verbal commitment from offensive lineman Adam Pankey, a 6-foot-5, 320-pound three-year starter at Hamilton (Ohio) High School.

Pankey was selected to the Greater Miami all-conference team three times while playing in Ohio’s largest classification.

My, he’s a big one.

Pankey is ranked as a 3-star recruit by Rivals.com and Scout.com. ESPN.com (Insider subs) goes with 2-stars (scoring at 73). I think the 320 pounds listed by the Trib is a typo. Pankey is listed at 300 by Scout.com and ESPN.com. Rivals.com says 290. His height is probably about there as ESPN.com says 6-4, while Rivals.com and Scout.com say 6-5.

Pankey’s best offers besides Pitt included WVU, Illinios and Louisville. Pankey is a project. He is not expected to come in immediately and help, but there is hope with him, from the ESPN.com evaluation:

With improved explosion along with a more dominant nasty attitude this player should be able to make all the run blocks at the next level. His arm length and nimble feet should be assets in pass protection. Although we like his ability to bend and play flat footed his overall base will need to improve. Initial punch, location and extension will need refinement. Pankey is a developmental size prospect with enough athleticism to suggest potential as a late blooming BCS player.

Almost certain that Pankey will redshirt. Build up his strength and explosiveness.

You know what would be nice? To someday be more worried about recruiting at a position other than O-line. Oh, now the D-line is going to get shallower?

In a surprise, but without any details Pitt quietly dismissed a player from the team. Kevin Adams was dismissed for disciplinary reasons. Adams had pushed into the linebacker rotation, despite constantly being shuffled from offense (fullback) to defense (outside linebacker). There was positive talk about his play, and even as Juan Price has hit a wall, and Todd Thomas was injured. Don’t know what he did, but it must have been more than being late for team meetings.

Tino Sunseri was named the Big East Offensive Player of the Week. Wait. That cant’ be right? That totally should have been Mark Myers’ award if Coach Todd Graham would just give him a chance.





FWIW, Zeise failed to mention DE TJ Clemmings who is redshirting this year. Next year’s DLs include Donald, Mosley Smith, Ezell, Hayle, Clemmings, Lippert and possibly Bryan Murphy can be moved from OLB to DE. They also have 3 DL commmits.

BTW, Donald is leading sack man in BE, and not even listed as a starter. Also a bit of an oddity IMO is that Mike Shanahan is listed as back-up punt returner on the depth chart.

Comment by wbb 10.31.11 @ 2:31 pm

Another shot at Myers who everyone knows is too slow to play in this offense and is not getting a chance because Tino is better suited to win.

points made: sunseri is more effective throwing when he rolls out. This is true because he is too short to see over the line and when he rolls out the distance of the throw is shorter which helps because of his lack of arm strength.

The only long pass routes Pitt runs are sideline routes because throwing to the sideline cuts down the chance of interceptions. This has worked since most of his passes over 20 yards end up thrown out of bounds.

Could not ignore the fact as I watched the Steelrs yeasterday and the short passing game they used. Ben being 6’5″ could see over the line and deliver the ball easily to the receivers in the middle of the field because of his height.

Another interesting point was watching previously unbeaten Clemson (the offenseive coordinator for Clemson was the offensive coordinator for Tulsa last year) against Georgia Tech. Clemson ran the no huddle quick snap offense but they do not use their QB as a triple option he is a pocket QB and has a strong arm.

Myers may be a stiff as some of the highly rated players coming out of high school sometimes are. But as we say in basketball (great example Aaron Gray/not very athletic) you can’t teach seven feet, and you can not make Tino 6’3″ or taller as all the top college QBs are every year. Also looking at the time in the 40 all of them are in the 4.8 or over 5.0 area.

Another point that I do not agree with coach Graham, as was obvious in the Clemson/Tech game what is more important the number of plays a team runs or the time of possession? Clemson ran an equal number of plays in their hurry up offense but ball possession was 39 minutes to 21 in favor of Tech.

Pitt is in trouble because even if Voylchic is as good as everyone believes no freshman steps in and excels at this level. That means Tino next year. Myers as implied by Zeizile and Graham have had issues and if Myers does have skills with his size he needs to get into a program that can help him deveelop for the next level.

This is a problem because there are excellent QB in PA. and Ohio with size and strong arms that will no longer look at Pitt because it would impair their possiblities to get to the next level. This is my worry PA., Ohio, and N.J. are our recruiting area and I think the high schools play more proset or spread without the option.

Comment by DRW 10.31.11 @ 3:18 pm

WVU files lawsuit against BE to get out early.

link to wvnstv.com

Comment by notrocketscience 10.31.11 @ 3:20 pm

DRW, FWIW, Big Ben could never play QB for Graham. 1,2,3 and out is definitely not in Ben’s DNA.

Comment by wbb 10.31.11 @ 3:29 pm

@DRW, I don’t believe Graham will be looking for the 6’5″ pocket passer, so, you need not worry.

Comment by Dan 10.31.11 @ 4:09 pm

Also, allthough PA, OH, and NJ will always be important, I’m sure some new recruiting grounds will be opened by going to the ACC.

Also, he got his guy, from Tennessee, so, you can just relax and enjoy!!

Comment by Dan 10.31.11 @ 4:11 pm

here is a soph QB from Beaver Falls who already has received Pitt offer .. surprisingly, he is 6’4 pro-style

link to rivals.yahoo.com

Comment by wbb 10.31.11 @ 4:25 pm

Well look at that, allthough, from previous posters, Pitt will have no shot at him. Too bad.

Comment by Dan 10.31.11 @ 4:30 pm

Hey, this is Michael Myers big night!!!!

Comment by Dan 10.31.11 @ 4:44 pm

@DRW. I have to disagree with some of your post.

Clemson runs the exact same offense that we should be running, but we don’t have the personnel to do it. Clemson absolutely is a triple read option team.

Tajh Boyd, who by the way is listed at 6’1″, Sophomore (HE’S SHORTER THAN TINO!!!!!!!!), runs the ball 10-12 times a game and has 4 rushing TDs. He runs it the way you’re supposed to run it in the triple read option, to keep the LBs and safeties honest and open up the true running game and the down field passing game. The difference is he makes the right reads on time and can throw the deep ball.

In case anyone missed that:

Clemson, 8-1, ranked #11 in the country, the #5 offense in the country, runs our offense with a TRUE Sophomore, 1st year starter, QB is who is SHORTER THAN TINO and has the same 40 time!!!!

Also, Clemson is 3-1 in games that it lost the Time of Possession battle and won the TOP battle in the other 5 games. Their 5 turnovers had a lot more to do with them losing to Georgia Tech than the style of offense they play or TOP.

Granted Clemson has 5 star players all over the field, so I’m not sure it’s an apples to apples comparison at the end of the day, anyways.

Comment by cnorwoodaz 10.31.11 @ 6:18 pm

West Virginia is suing the Big East to be released for 2012-13. I take back my previous comments. Go Mounties!

Comment by TonyinHouston 10.31.11 @ 6:32 pm

We have 10 offnsive linemen comeing back next year.
And 3 so far for the class of 2012 and if jacobson gets a 6th year we will have 14 for next year.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.31.11 @ 7:20 pm

tino can run the offense. all that’s missing is consistency and touch on deep balls. if he develops those two things or Chad voytik can deliver then Pitts offense will be amazing. I’m a little worried though that Pitt doesnt have a single defensive recruit rated higher than 3 stars. that doesn’t mean they won’t effective players but I’m concerned nonetheless

Comment by pk 10.31.11 @ 7:24 pm

I wish I had your confidence PK. TSun is well into his second year as a starter and fourth year at a D1 school. Not sure how much more development we can expect. Hopefully Voytik is the real deal, but Sunseri may be the best option next year again.

Comment by cnorwoodaz 10.31.11 @ 8:16 pm

We are officially off the most hated team list with Syracuse by the Big East faithful, with WVU’s lawsuit, they have taken the top spot!!

Comment by Pump-kin-eer 10.31.11 @ 10:31 pm

Sorry pk, I just don’t see it. I wish I did but I don’t. I do believe he is our best option though and if Myers were better he’d have been in there two games ago. Well said on your earlier post cnorwoodaz. Once Pitt gets the players to run this thing everyone will be happy. Michigan went thru this rough transition a few years ago, ND is going thru it now. Not every team can adapt as quickly as Clemson has and it’s because they don’t have the right players to run the system properly. They’ll get there. Graham, from the beginning, has always pointed to year 3 as the breakout season.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 10.31.11 @ 10:38 pm

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Pitt is a 2 1/2 point underdog against Cincinnati. If Tino can make his short passes count and the defense plays a strong game, Pitt should not only beat the spot but win the game. HTP!

Comment by MariettaMike 11.01.11 @ 6:31 am

I’m just shocked that DRW finally found the paragraph return button – great!

I guess I’m just a little surprised at all the angst about a player who hasn’t broken into the two deep based on his production in camps, scrimmages or practices and hadn’t – up until last week – taken any snaps for the offense. And let’s be completely honest here. If Myers couldn’t beat out mediocre QBs like Sunseri, Gonzalez and Anderson over the course of seven months that tells a strong story.

We see situations and kids like this in college football and at PITT all the time. Much higher ranked HS kids are on the roster and also either hadn’t played much or are not playing now – as mentioned above Clemmings comes to mind as does Shane Hale.

All you have to do is look at the 2007 recruiting class to see that higher rated kids like Matha, Mo Williams, Tucker, Duhart, etc… fail to meet expectations also.

link to pittsburgh.scout.com

Throw in others like Chris Burns, Greg Cross, Kevin Collier, Nate Nix (special teams at best) Craig Bokor and the King of Underachievers Elijah Fields and you can see that even higher rated players fail to reach the bar. It isn’t unusual at all.

Myers not playing is understandable especially at the QB position where the 3rd string players are rarely rotated in for series like players at other positions. The 3rd string QB gets no practice snaps in gameday preparation during the season and rarely see action unless by injury. If there is a blowout game then the second string QB is next to go in to ready them for action in case of an injury.

And to think that Todd Graham should play a QB who he evidently has little or no confidence in just so that we may remain attractive to ‘strong armed, tall QBs” in the future… apparently just so they can get a shot at an NFL career as mentioned by some commenters on here, even though they may not fit Graham’s style of offense, is ludicrous.

Comment by Reed 11.01.11 @ 6:55 am

BTW – Kevin Adams’s situation may be a suspension rather then a dismissal.

Comment by Reed 11.01.11 @ 6:58 am

Once again, Graham would not have recruited Tino or Myers (but possibly Gonzalez.) These are not his type of QBs, and they have never played his type of offense until 7 months ago.

Reed brings up a problem with all 17 year old recruits .. Hale and Clemmings were the two can’t miss recruits that everyone wanted but have so far missed. Dion Lewis was 2 star, Ray Graham was 4 star (same class) but Lewis was more ready to play. Sheard and Romeus were not recuited by any of the big Florida schools (UF, FSU or Miami.)

(Reed, BTW, Tony Tucker was proving out to be a pretty good player but had to go back home to MD due to family issues.)

Comment by wbb 11.01.11 @ 7:13 am

Any updates on status of Dan Mason? Havent heard any news in quite a while. Would of been real nice to see him out there at full speed.

Comment by Z-Boy 11.01.11 @ 7:55 am

Oh, BTW, all of you Tino haters should be happy that Graham said in his presser yesterday that Tino’s play vs UConn “was not a great performance but just an average to good one.”

Comment by wbb 11.01.11 @ 8:48 am

Speaking of NFL careers, it was nice to see a few Pitt boys in the highlights this weekend. Session made a nice defensive play for the Jags even though they lost, Baldwin made one of those leaping catches that we’re all used to seeing for a TD last night, and Shady had a career game against the Cowgirls.

It was also great hearing Gruden effusively talk about Baldwin’s potential and Collinsworth mentioned how much he likes the way Shady says “Pitt Panthers!” during his intro blurb. Me too.

We may not be a pipeline to the NFL for QBs, but we’ve certainly put a lot of impact players there under both Walt and Wanny. I think Graham is on his way to continuing that with his first full recruiting class being ranked. At least, I sure hope so.

Comment by TampaT 11.01.11 @ 9:19 am

on Sunday, I was forced to watch Browns-49ers instead of Stillers-Pats and only watched a small portion .. but got to see a couple booming punts from Andy Lee and a few QB pressures by Jabal Sheard. Don’t know if J Pinkston or S Spencer played – didn’t hear their names in the short time I watched.

Comment by wbb 11.01.11 @ 10:05 am

One point that is indisputable to the press and anyone who saw Trey play he is not and never will be more than a high school QB. Both the Post G and Tribune beat writers admitted as much in their response to an email to me. Both of them implied that their was some “problems” between Myers attitude (although this may be the same spuin as TA tendenitious). They also mentioned that Myers had the most upside as a QB on the team.
As for Clemson QB at 6’1″ being smaller than Tino I thought that fantasy was put to rest that Tino is not close to 6’2″. Also Clemson ran the ball 8 times against Tech and that included scrambles (I watched the game). He has a much stronger arm and is no question a quicker and better runner. But if Clemson is the team you want Pitt to aspire to they got their helmets handed to them buy a solid defense that took away the short passing game (in this offense/Utah-Rutgers-N.D.)game over.

Bottom line only my opinion I do not see this system being any better at Pitt than it was at Tulsa under Graham with Graham at Tulsa’s overall a 66% winning percentage.

Comment by DRW 11.01.11 @ 10:06 am

Go Shady!

Comment by shadyforpresident 11.01.11 @ 10:16 am

Sorry to hog the blog but won last thought. Many of the bloggers say that Myers is a product of the ranking system of high school players that do not have the same succees in college. This of course may be true but it is based on one major assumption about human behavior that is historically inaccurrate. That managers (world leaders down to football coaches) always make objective personnel decisions without any personal bias. As a manager I know this is patiently false. Also regarding Dodge and Graham the Trey Anderson incident certainly called into question their judgment as discussed by the announcers of the games he played in.

If Myers is the stiff you believe he is although he has no opportunity to contradict this and as the beat writers aditted to me they have no idea based on their observations of the skills of the QBs. And Myers was rated as high or higher played in highest level in Ohio, 1st team all Ohio then Voylchic who plays in a low level in TN. and is ranked the second best QB in TN.

Why do you see Voylchic as the proven savior who has played in a level of WPIAL lowest level. You are basing this on his H.S. ratings and condeming Myers as being overrated and basing that on the decision making of a coach whose decision making on the field (pouch punts, 4 and 3, not using the clock) and numerous other terrible judgments that have lost games.

I am not impressed. Neither was anyone else after Utah. Now after one game against a miserable UConn team evrything is different including Tino.

Comment by DRW 11.01.11 @ 10:28 am

Right on DRW. With many folks, here and elsewhere, they’d rather be wrong with their views than right with yours…what u gonna do? Just keep calling it like you see it.

Comment by Matt N. 11.01.11 @ 10:53 am

Nothing should be different. QB performance depends on (1) his talent and experience, (2) his o-line, (3) his receivers and backs, (4) his coaching (present and past), and (5) the opponent .. not necessarily in any particular order of importance.

Last week simply showed that Tino can be productive under certain conditions .. nothing more. We should know by now that this can change from game to game.

It also needs to be stressed that neither Sunseri or Myers have the optimal skills and especially not the experience to run the high octane .. Graham would not recruit either of them. That is not to say that the recruiting ratings are wrong (Ashton Gibbs was not nor would not be recruited by Syracuse or UConn either even though he played right there in their backyards.)

Comment by wbb 11.01.11 @ 10:54 am

About nine months ago people argued adamantly with me that Myers was a good fit in Todd Graham’s hi-octane offense, ad nauseam. Where are they now?

Comment by shadyforpresident 11.01.11 @ 11:47 am

Ben hit it on the numbers why this system is limited and run by LSU or Alabama when he said Big Ben could not fit into Grahams system. This implies, excuse me Ben I do not want to speak for you, but that Graham would start Tino over Rothensberger or for that matter Andrew Luck. God help us.

Comment by DRW 11.01.11 @ 12:19 pm

DRW…I appreciate your viewpoints. I’d take them more seriously, however, if you did not exaggerate things to support them. Graham has not made “terrible judgements” that lost games. Voytik has not been anointed the “proven savior” by anybody. Nobody said Myers was overrated….only that high ratings do not necessarily translate to playing time depending on the situation, offense and the player’s attitude. I could go on.. Again, I appreciate your views…just wish you’d drop the hyperbole.

Comment by FG 11.01.11 @ 12:33 pm

DRW is a troll fellas, just pullin’ your chain.

It is almost the same post verbatim, every time, since the end of August.

Comment by Dan 11.01.11 @ 12:41 pm

Or Michael Myers father, one or the other!! LOL!!

Comment by Dan 11.01.11 @ 12:41 pm

Ah, ya, I’d aspire to be Clemson. 8-1.

With wins over Auburn, Florida State and Va. Tech.
(go ahead and tell us why those wins aren’t any good because they’re not as good as usual)

Even though Auburn beat Florida and S.Carolina
(again, tell us those wins for Auburn aren’t any good).

Even though Auburn is #22 in the toughest conference and Va. Tech is #12.

Those are all paper victories right???

He may be the #2 qb in TN., but, he is considered by most to be #5-#12 in the country.

Those things don’t matter, I know, which means they don’t matter for Michael Myers either.

The only thing that matters for him, is trying to catch Jamie Lee Curtis!!!

Feed the Troll!!!

Comment by Dan 11.01.11 @ 12:53 pm

DRW
Clemson has FOUR wins against top 15 teams so far this year and is one bad game from being a serious BCS Championship contender. I’d aspire to have a team like that any day of the week/month/year/decade.

Comment by Chris 11.01.11 @ 1:01 pm

This entire argument has become so old and tired, it’s not even worth participating in anymore.

Basically, it comes down to this: Some folks take the holistic view that football is a team sport and it takes 11 players working together at a time on all three sides of the ball – offense, defense and special teams – for your team to win. Others want to continue to point to one position, and one player in particular, as the root of all evil. When we lose, it’s solely his fault. When we win, it’s in spite of him. It’s a no-win situation for that person and for those who support him – and for whatever reasons they support him.

I saw no one here even suggesting Tino for Big East Player of the Week after the UConn game, although based on some of the comments you’d think people were saying he should be getting Heisman votes. Again, it’s just a no-win situation.

Comment by TampaT 11.01.11 @ 1:16 pm

DRW, continuing on the hyperbole since you got me curious…

Voytik’s Cleveland HS in TN plays in 5A (6A is the highest and 1A lowest) and his HS has over 1200 students. That makes the school a AAA in WPIAL. Hardly the lowest classification as you noted. Also Meyers was rated nowhere close to Voytik out of HS…he was 3* #32.

Comment by FG 11.01.11 @ 1:22 pm

shadyforpresident, I believe the argument for Myers on the off-season was that many people already saw Tino and thought Myers would more be well suited for any offense.

It’s ‘the back-up QB is always the most popular QB’ mentality. remember, just a few weeks ago, there were several on this site that thought Trey Anderson was by far the best option

Comment by wbb 11.01.11 @ 1:29 pm

Just want to throw a couple things out there…

I am 6’2″ and I have stood next to Tino…he ain’t 6’2″.

Got to give credit to Graham, he didn’t take the Kelly at ND tactic of basically saying he inherited shit. I assure you, he inherited a far bigger shit storm/lack of talent….give Todd credit, he said it is on him and his coaching staff to coach them to their system.

I have a lot more respect for him on that point. I would say that Graham has probably talked to Mark and gave him the necessary nudge. Shame on Mark if he doesn’t take the hint.

Comment by PaulyP 11.01.11 @ 2:35 pm

Myers cant be overrated because his ratings are all over the map. Some just want to cherry pick the highest and base their writings on that.

Voytik has high ratings across the board from the scouting sites, played very well at the Elite 11 QB camp and is a fit for the offense Graham wants his QB to run. That’s why many of us are looking forward to Voytik’s getting behind center at PITT. No one is anointing him the savior of PITT Football.

I do understand fans wanting to see Myers play… just like a month or so ago we wanted to see Anderson play.

Comment by Reed 11.01.11 @ 3:49 pm

BTW DRW – Anderson sat out some summer camp practices with the same tendinitis… I guess the staff figured they would need the ‘spin’ later on and asked him to start faking it early.

Those beat writers said that Myers has the most upside of QBs playing in a different offense didn’t they? Not in Graham’s offense that he wants to install here at PITT.

Comment by Reed 11.01.11 @ 3:55 pm

wbb,
“… many people already saw Tino and thought Myers would more be well suited for any offense.”
So what has changed? I’ve seen Tino and I’ve seen Myers and I know one thing. Myers can throw. If Myers received proper coaching and the same amount of practice and playing time he’d be ready to go. The problem is, this coaching staff incapable of coaching this type of quarterback. It has been implied that Myers as an attitude problem. It is the coach’s job to fix that. To put him in now would just be sacrificial. So we’re stuck with Tino and have to hope that last game wasn’t an aberration and that he is actual growing into a real qb.

Comment by shadyforpresident 11.01.11 @ 4:12 pm

just out of curiousity, when have you seen Myers?

Comment by wbb 11.01.11 @ 4:56 pm

I’m so pleased with DRW’s use of the “enter” key that I can’t concentrate on responding to any of the content in this blog today.

I’m just so proud of DRW, You are coachable. Keep up the good work.

BTW, Beat Cincy for the River Trophy and for a leg up in the BE championship race.

Hail to Pitt!!

Comment by Dr. Tom 11.01.11 @ 8:34 pm

Dr. Tom thanks for the sarastic remark concerning my techno skills being obviously older than you (60 years old) I take it as a compliment. Also it reminded me of the reason I had decided to stop previously decided to stop participating. But like any junkie I came back even though I was demeaning myself associating with the small number of bloggers like “Dr” Tom and others like one who responded “go f_ _ _ yourself.”

The computer can and often becomes an addiction and brings out the baser elements in the blogger because of the anonimity. Have fun getting off and making yourself feel superior by humiliating people you have never meet.

I am just angry at myself for getting involved.

Hey “Dr.” Tom this is ground control, get a life.

Comment by DRW 11.02.11 @ 12:54 pm

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