One of the stranger subplots on PittBlather this past year has been the beatification of sophomore quarterback Mark Myers. At times he has been treated as the savior of the quarterback position, but for the coaching staff’s irrational love of Sunseri and/or hatred of Myers.
Some of it is understandable as ABT (Anyone But Tino) reached new heights this year. Sunseri Fatigue was definitely a factor. But other aspects seems to simply be that he is unmolded clay. All there is to know for sure is that he has some outstanding YouTube clips. A strong arm. Glowing reviews from recruiting sites 2+ years ago — though, more of a sleeper than a sure-fire stud. Someone upon whom the hopes and dreams can be projected.
It hasn’t mattered that none of the people that regularly cover Pitt, see practices, talk to the coaches, etc. have even hinted that Myers should have been the guy. Not Zeise. Not DiPaola. Not Greco. Not Peak. No. It has to be something dark and evil to explain why Myers hasn’t played.
The previous year, it was because he was a freshman, and Wannstedt would never throw a true freshman out there. Especially after what happened with Pat Bostick. This season it has been that Fraud Graham would never play him even late in the season out of fear that Myers might actually perform well and make him look bad.
Reed has tried to explain many times that Myers didn’t fit at all in the offensive system that was run this past season, but for many that wasn’t even sufficient a reason. That Myers future at Pitt under the brief spread experiment looked shaky. It has been stated by Reed and Zeise, that Myers did no work over the summer to learn the system or put an effort into being ready. That was pushed away as spin to justify his not playing.
Well, it’s 2012. It’s a new head coach (again) coming in. The offense will be more of a fit for Myers’ skill sets. There’s no reason that he won’t have a chance. Assuming he wants it.
Paul Zeise:If Mark Myers ever decides he really, really wants to be a Division I starting quarterback, I believe he has the talent to do so. I have yet to see much evidence that he really wants it, though. It isn’t easy, it doesn’t come easy, you have to fight and work your tail off every single day and be a grinder and improve and you have to love it, you have to want to be in the film room and you also have to make sure you take care of business in the classroom and everywhere else. It isn’t always about talent – Tino Sunseri is a grinder, he wants it, he works for it, he goes after it, Pat Bostick did as well, Bill Stull did as well, Tyler Palko was the ultimate grinder. If you aren’t willing to work for it, if you don’t love it, your talent is only going to get you in the door but you will get eaten alive. Mark Myers has to decide how much he really wants it and then go get it. The ball is really in his court on this one.
That’s about as blunt as we’ve seen. If Myers wants to be a starting QB at a BCS school in 1-A he has to do something about it. Not wait for it to be handed to him.
The biggest mistake Wannstedt made with Sunseri was declaring the competition over before the spring practices began. He handed the job to Sunseri. Whether you think it was cronyism. Whether it was Wannstedt actually believing that Sunseri was the best QB option with Stull graduating. Whether it was Sunseri’s actual performance during practices all season while backing up Stull. He handed the job to Sunseri and all actions taken subsequently backed that position — even as Sunseri showed little reason as to why he earned it.
There is no doubt Tino Sunseri, once again, opened the door wide for competition in the spring and summer. The question is, will anyone take advantage of it. As much responsibility as the coaches bear to develop the talent, the players have to show something more than potential.