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January 9, 2012

We are all pretending the BBVA didn’t happen. Probably for the best.

On Saturday, Pitt and head coach Paul Chryst officially announced six hires. The trinity from Wisconsin which everyone already knew: Bob Bostad,  Offensive Coordinator/O-line; Dave Huxtable, Defensive Coordinator; and Joe “Booger” Rudolph, assistant Head Coach/QB Coach.

Also confirmed, former Mt. Lebanon HS head coach Chris Haering, to handle the linebackers.

The new ones, though, are Jim Hueber to coach the tight ends and Todd Rice for strength and conditioning.

The reaction from Wisconsin fans are mixed. Not that it was surprising that Bostad left. Or even that Huxtable took the opportunity to be a DC once more. It is more the volume that left with Chryst. Especially Rudolph since he was one of, if not their best, recruiters.

When Chryst and Bostad left, they were wished well. Well-earned promotions, plus while excellent X-and-O coaches, they never had much of a reputation as recruiters.

Rudolph is a more frustrating loss for Wisconsin. They had already lost 3 assistants. Another (WR Coach DelVaughn Alexander) is heading to Arizona State — though whispers suggest that Alexander was encouraged to look elsewhere. With Rudolph gone they are down to one offensive assistant left on staff. And 3 weeks to National Signing Day. Despite Wisconsin’s success and back-to-back Rose Bowl appearances, there are a couple questions. This, despite the seeming logic of each coach’s individual decision.

The first four hires, generally have been well-received on the Pitt end. Quality coaches. Good reasons for optimism.

As for the other two to this point. Maybe more of a mixed bag.

Hueber definitely brings experience, and there is little doubt that he will make sure the tight ends know how to block.

Hueber most recently served five seasons with the Minnesota Vikings (2006-10) working with the offensive line. He spent 33 years coaching college football, including an exceptional tenure under Barry Alvarez at Wisconsin (1992-2005), where he helped the Badgers evolve into a national power. He spent his initial three years in Madison coaching the running backs before moving his positional focus to the offensive line.

Chris Dokish is unimpressed by the hiring of Hueber from a recruiting standpoint because Hueber is over 60. The flip side is that Hueber can sell the whole NFL experience aspect. The recruiting side, though, is valid. After Rudolph, there isn’t a hire to this point that I can point to who has an excellent recruiting reputation. X-and-Os look fantastic with this group to date. The talent, though, is still needed.

The common thread to these hires, though, is that Chryst knows and is familiar with them from the past.

Chryst, who was formally the offensive coordinator at Wisconsin, obviously worked with Bostad, Huxtable and Rudolph at Wisconsin, Hueber worked at Wisconsin with Chryst before he went to the Vikings, Haering and Chryst were graduate assistants at West Virginia under Don Nehlen together and Rice played for Chryst’s dad, who was the long-time coach at Wisconsin-Platteville.

Finally there is Strength & Conditioning Coach Todd Rice. He has been Notorious TOB’s (Tom O’Brien) S&C coach for the past 10 years at both Boston College and NC State.

The other issue will be winter conditioning for the returning players, but Chryst said he plans on giving them some time off since they have already missed the first few days of classes while preparing for this bowl game.

“It has been a long stretch for them,” Chryst said. “Todd [Rice] is one of the best at complete training.”

Outside of a few S&C coaches, most seem fairly interchangeable. Their philosophies may be different, but unless they have some sort of outsized personality or really connect with the players, you barely notice them.

The NC State fans don’t seem to have taken too much notice or concern about Rice leaving. Why? Probably because he left his job (fired?) there in December. That said, I’m a little nervous about the Rice hire. A BC guy I do know, sent me this message regarding Rice:

Your new S&C coach is going to drive fans nuts. He did at BC and NC St. All about stretching. Meanwhile your guys will seem flabby and slow.

How will we notice the change? We will see. The claim is that Rice is not rigid in his style of strength and conditioning — yet specific.

Even Rice comes to Pitt with no rigid way of training players.

“He has a very specific program that is about trying to help guys be the best athletes they can be,” he said. “Strength is a big part of it, but it’s flexibility and it’s nutrition. He is one of the best in just complete training.”

Several more spots to fill. Hopefully Chryst ventures a little bit out of his comfort zone.





Chas: If your comments from your BC friend are true, I have reservations about Pitt’s success in 2012 because we saw what Pitt was like in 2011 — slow, overweight and out of shape. Ouch!

Comment by MariettaMIke 01.09.12 @ 12:07 pm

about the strength coach. I believe the new hire will be more like Buddy Morris in actually focusing on strength as opposed to stamina and weight loss like the most recent strength coach (forgot his name.)

I’m not critizing the recent coach, he was trying to craft the linemen to the high octane style … but it was, just like evrything else, going to take time to do this.

I’m pretty sure that the current returning linemen will welcome this new coach with open arms.

Comment by wbb 01.09.12 @ 12:10 pm

I’m not concerned. Strength and Conditioning coaches tailor their routines to what the coaches want from the players. It’s more an indictment on O’Brien than Rice.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 01.09.12 @ 12:13 pm

In a coincidence, my strength and conditioning program also results in me looking flabby and slow.

Comment by JW 01.09.12 @ 12:54 pm

I would like to see Chryst get outside his comfort zone on the next few hires. Bring in some top guys from different programs, especially ones with good recruiting skills.

Comment by Houston Panther 01.09.12 @ 1:33 pm

I would like to see some of the position coachs
have pro experence. to off set the new coach at penn state who will use his pro back ground to recruit.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.09.12 @ 2:29 pm

We could use a coach with some ACC in his back ground.
and rice lasted 5 years at both his outher two jos if he was bad i think he would have been gone in year 2.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.09.12 @ 2:37 pm

Frankcan,

Those stints were with the same boss — Tom O’Brien. Hired at BC. Went with him to NC St.

Comment by Chas 01.09.12 @ 2:50 pm

mariettamike, pitt players themselves said before the year that they were in the best shape of their lives.

wbb and houston, i agree with both of your comments.

Comment by pk 01.09.12 @ 3:20 pm

Maybe I missed it but I have yet to see one reporter ask Chryst what kind of defense he prefers to run. It is kind of a big deal. Anyone know what Huxtable has run before. Bend but don’t break? Aggressive? 3-4, 4-3?

Comment by notrocketscience 01.09.12 @ 3:26 pm

Maybe some high quality staff and recruits will take a closer look to playing in Pittsburgh now that the Washington Post just named Pittsburgh the new “In” city. Of course I’m thinking specifically about a couple of area linemen who committed to Wisc.

Comment by JD 01.09.12 @ 3:31 pm

jw, lol .. apparently you and I have the same trainer

Comment by wbb 01.09.12 @ 3:38 pm

link to recruiting.scout.com

Voytik interview.

Comment by notrocketscience 01.09.12 @ 3:42 pm

@ pk
Actions speak louder than words. I was at the BBVA game and noticed quite a few fat football players on the sideline. Pitt looked and played several staps slower than SMU. I believe conditioning plays quite an important part of the game. My opinion, Pitt needs to toughen up.

Comment by MariettaMike 01.09.12 @ 4:58 pm

june jones interviewed @ halftime & said he thought smu was quicker

Comment by DC33 01.09.12 @ 5:51 pm

@ JW:

Sounds like I have the same strength and conditioning program you do!

Comment by Mill 01.09.12 @ 6:10 pm

I don’t know how fat & slow we could have become in a month. These are mostly 18-21 year old kids.
Except for Mr. Sunseri, who is going on what now,
28 or 29? haha

I say the first line because we lost to the Hillbillies by a couple points, and they scored 70 on Clemson. So Clemson must have been really fat & slow.

@Frankcan,

PC has hired a pro coach already. Don’t you remember, since you broke it, Joe Hueber who has been with the Minny Vikes for several seasons.
He’ll be the Grandfather like figure to the players. Every team needs a Grandfather like figure, don’t ya think.

What we need is one Pitt man on the staff, if Smiley will allow such a thing.

V e V
H T P !

Comment by EMel 01.09.12 @ 6:21 pm

My liver needs a strength & conditioning (other than one liquid substance) program.

Comment by EMel 01.09.12 @ 6:24 pm

Maybe some high quality staff and recruits will take a closer look to playing in Pittsburgh now that the Washington Post just named Pittsburgh the new “In” city. Of course I’m thinking specifically about a couple of area linemen who committed to Wisc.

Comment by JD 01.09.12 @ 3:31 pm

That’s wonderful, maybe I can move back to the Burg, since it’s officially……”In”.

(Burg is this usage is correctly spelled right)

Comment by EMel 01.09.12 @ 6:28 pm

OH….and everyone should be ecstatic of PC’s big coup of getting Wisconsin’s recruiting coordinator, Joe Rudolph to join him at PITT.

Rudolph is the one I really wanted of those mentioned and is akin to getting the recruiting coordinator at Ohio State or Michigan or Nebraska or to a much lesser extent, Ped State.

This was truly a great get. Welcome back to Pittsburgh Joe Rudolph. And welcome to Messrs.
Bostad, Huxtable, Hueber & Rice.

Comment by EMel 01.09.12 @ 6:40 pm

EMel, the first time I ever lived in a city is when I went to Pitt. Now I’m back in the countryside outside of Filthydelphia.

During the time I was being recruited I had no interest in Pitt but a visit on one free weekend changed everything. I was totally surprised at how nice it was and that was back in the seventies. Let’s hope PC and this news actually does help open the eyes of potential recruits because I’m very happy I made the right choice and none of us would be here expressing our concerns if we felt differently.

Comment by JD 01.09.12 @ 7:30 pm

Funny how the best time to be a Pitt Football Fan is during the off season when there is still hope.

Comment by gc 01.09.12 @ 8:10 pm

Any truth to rumors that the Ped State issues may result in the NCAA allowing student athlete transfers without sitting out a year? Seems like it could be a possibility and would only make sense especially if the NCAA comes down with moderate to severe sanctions on the program in the next few months. I think the NCAA would need to get through more facts via trial proceedings first.

Should transfers be allowed without sitting out, wouldn’t Paul Jones seem like a great fit – much better solution than Tiny Scaredseri or Mark “don’t call me Mike” Myers, and give Voytik a year to learn before he challenges for a starting job.

If you think about it, there’s got to be a JC QB better than Tiny Sackseri or Myers. I gotta believe PC finds something out there.

Comment by Dish 01.09.12 @ 8:54 pm

Congrates to Curtis Martin making the Pro Football HOF Ballet. If he and Bettis could get in that would be great. HTP

Comment by Tackle made by Hugh 01.09.12 @ 9:03 pm

Curtis Martin, should easily go into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot without any question at all.

Curtis Martin rushed for over 10,000 yards in his first 10 professional seasons, a feat previously accomplished only by Barry Sanders. On November 6, 2005, he scored his 100th career touchdown, joining an elite group of only 16 players to do so. Martin is currently 4th on the all-time rushing yardage list, and on November 27, 2005, in the first quarter against the New Orleans Saints, he became the 4th running back in NFL history, behind Walter Payton, Emmitt Smith and Barry Sanders, to pass the 14,000-yard rushing mark. He is the all-time Jets leader with 10,302 rushing yards with the team.

Why he never became a huge star, having played in both the big eastern media markets of NYC & Boston always amazed me. Curtis was better than ANY Ped State or Ohio State or of course wvcc RB EVER in the NFL.

A truly great PITT PANTHER !

Comment by EMel 01.09.12 @ 9:24 pm

And he came out of the Pgh. HS City League, having played at Alderdice in SQ. Hill.

Comment by EMel 01.09.12 @ 9:26 pm

dish. paul jones cannot read

Comment by paul shannon 01.09.12 @ 9:41 pm

I know it’s early and minor, but Chas, don’t like the sound of your buddy’s comment, “he likes them to stretch”.

I hope he has a few weights laying around too!!!

Comment by Dan 01.09.12 @ 10:14 pm

JW-I switched to sixteen ounce curls so at least my biceps maintain some tone and definition. FYI.

Comment by jw in Raleigh 01.09.12 @ 10:21 pm

“And he came out of the Pgh. HS City League, having played at Alderdice in SQ. Hill.
Comment by EMel 01.09.12 @ 9:26 pm”

Back when I went to ‘Dice (in the dark ages before busing), fb sucked but we had a great debate time.

Comment by OhHowIHateOhioState 01.09.12 @ 10:28 pm

Is there any chance to get Gattuso and David Walker back to Pitt? Gattuso would be great for the D-line and recruiting. Walker did a great job with RB’s when he was here.

Comment by jw in Raleigh 01.09.12 @ 11:09 pm

Talking to my “friend” in State College. There is a real possibility that PSU Football is going to get the death penalty from the NCAA. Much worse news about to hit the fan and Bradley is in it up to his ears.

Comment by Dan 72 01.09.12 @ 11:10 pm

LSU QB looks as bad as tino but it could be the outher teams D

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.09.12 @ 11:26 pm

I can’t get to my new years resolution of bad dreams of Tino at QB. Been trying to stop thinking about Tino at QB Watching the national championship game and watching a true freshman Sunseri dominating on the great Alabama team. We kinda got the lesser of the brothers. Like Mike Maddux instead of Greg Maddux. Like Dan McGwire instead of Mark McGwire. Like Dom DiMaggio instead of Joe. Like Jordan Palmer instead of Carson. Like Tim Hasselback instead of Matt, although Tim got a hot wife. Sorry guys, it is late and can’t get Tino out of my head. He QB’d my team for two freaking years and I’m scared it may be three. Any therapists out there. It can’t possibly be three, can it?

Comment by Dish 01.09.12 @ 11:27 pm

I meant to say getting to my new years resolution of stopping my bad dreams and thoughts of Tino at QB. I need to get sleep.

Comment by Dish 01.09.12 @ 11:29 pm

EMel i did brake it but i think we need more than one
and one that is not as old as me HA HA

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.09.12 @ 11:39 pm

As I have to get out of bed before I cough up a lung with this cold I got, this is the thought that enters my mind. Pitt, at this stage now, would not only lose to Alabama, but would also lose to their second stringers. I would say we could give their third stringers a game, but will not guarantee a victory. What u think?

Comment by Z-Boy 01.10.12 @ 3:12 am

Oh How I Hate – You weren’t at Allderdice back in 1967 when we beat powerful Westinghouse for the City League Championship?

link to post-gazette.com

Comment by Reed 01.10.12 @ 5:40 am

Not going after Buddy Morris to come back as S&C coach is going to bite Chryst in the buttox. Hopefully it won’t be too bad though.

Comment by Hurriquake 01.10.12 @ 6:02 am

@ EMel
“I say the first line because we lost to the Hillbillies by a couple points, and they scored 70 on Clemson. So Clemson must have been really fat & slow.”

Clemson: Over confident and snake bit by a team ready to play.

Comment by MariettaMike 01.10.12 @ 7:19 am

Our dear friend & bosom buddy, one Khem-istry(or lack thereof) Birch has decided on where he’s going to play hoops at.

I have one clue for you, it isn’t PITT, but a Pittsburgh guy does own a business where Birch is going. The clue is……it’s the tallest building in this city.

link to sports.yahoo.com

Comment by Emel 01.10.12 @ 7:28 am

Bama wins with D and a non high Octane offense. I had no problems with Wannys pro set and dull offense or conservative D but it didn’t result in winning when it mattered. I think our new coaches may dull the fans but they will get the results because they are better at coaching young people into football men. I just want a BCS birth as quickly as possible. I’m not getting any younger. Winning will put fans in the seats.

Comment by TX Panther 01.10.12 @ 7:28 am

FWIW, Ped St just hired Ted Roof who spent all of 33 days as def coordinator at UCF. So maybe Fraud Graham isn’t all that bad after all.

How fortunes can change .. Roof was DC of Auburn when they won the national championship a year ago but this past season, Auburn’s defense was lit up, and under pressure, stepped down and accepted the position at UCF.

Note that Pitt’s new DC, Huxtable, was UCF’s DC a year ago when UCF finished in Top 25 and a Top 10 defense, as well as CUSA champs.

Comment by wbb 01.10.12 @ 7:34 am

Wha happened to Les (take a risk) Miles last nite.
That was the most boring NC game I’ve ever witnessed. Five…Five (5) 1rst downs for LSU.
90 total yards for the game. Yes…for the game.

That was the worst game plan and lack of imagination I’ve seen from a team that was undefeated and had scored lots of points during the season. You’d think they game planned around the talents of Terrible Tino or something.

And why Les didn’t change QB’s in the 2nd half is anybody’s guess. The backup QB did win 7 or 8 games for LSU this year, so it wasn’t like the backup was a stiff.

That game was about as mind boggling as Tim Tebow passing for 316 yards against the NFL’s #1 ranked defense. And averaging 31.6 yards per completion.
And then the game averaging a 31.6 TV rating in the latter part of the game. (John 3: 16)

Strange things are occurring these days, AND IT’S ONLY THE 10TH DAY OF 2012 ! :-)

Comment by Emel 01.10.12 @ 7:39 am

@ EMel Just saw that re: Birch. I’m sure he will feel much more at “home” in Sin City. His dopey handlers from Boston must be happy.

Comment by ECH 01.10.12 @ 7:43 am

Tx Panther, I believe you can win with just about any legit style of offense … obviously when you have the players that Bama and USC have, you can beat anyone with the pro set.

However, that doesn’t excuse Wanny from not winning the BE .. even though he was painfully close the last 2 years (3 pts.) I believe what hurt Wanny the most was the quality of his OL, which is essential when playing that style. You saaw how Bama get the pressure off their QB, and opened some holes, last night against a very good defense last night

Comment by wbb 01.10.12 @ 7:43 am

@wbb:

Roof is an excellent coach but had no chance as head coach at Duke. He’ll do well at State. He’s a GA Tech grad.

Comment by N+MariettaMIke 01.10.12 @ 7:49 am

I’m not excusing Wanny don’t get me wrong. He was done in by poor coaching and playing not to lose. He also missed on one too many OL recruits and played nepotism with his choice of quarterback. He deserved what he got. If Chryst can get the right players and put them in the right positions to best fulfill their potential while coaching them up, it doesn’t matter what octane is in the tank…the wins will come. The SEC wins with defense. Bama would have smacked down Okie State with ease. Saban may be one tough son of a bitch but he demands excellence, no excuses and just flat out wins. His players grow up real fast.

Comment by TX Panther 01.10.12 @ 8:08 am

I agree that Bama would have killed OK State

Comment by wbb 01.10.12 @ 8:31 am

kept hearing the Sunseri name last night during the championship game.Vinnie, as mentioned above, is a young defensive star at Bama. Sal, Pitt legend and LB, also starred on defense. Tino played D (I think safety) in HS. The Sunseri talent is obviously on the other side of the ball! Tino for safety! Back up Tags. Where’s the suggestion box for PC. HTP.

Comment by Bossdaws 01.10.12 @ 8:51 am

Nah, Birch is enrolling at the University of Montreal!!

Everyone said he was homesick. Obviously, he’d like to stay close to home!

Comment by Dan 01.10.12 @ 9:12 am

Some thoughts zeise wrote on jan 8 ILL have more latter today or tomorrow.
well it is the 10 and nothing from Zeise MY POINT
dont say you will if you wont.

Plus i cant stand for penn state to beat us in any
thing i know this will make no sence but it is how it is penn states new head coach has all most a full staff only room for one more coach

and pitts HC is 4 coachs short so it looks like penn state will have a full staff before us
i hate that i know it makes no sense but i hate penn state as bad as WVU maybe worse

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.10.12 @ 9:31 am

Bossdaws and Dan good day to you both

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.10.12 @ 9:37 am

Doubtful Gattuso would return == Thought he had issues w/Pederson == Would be nice if he did return.

Comment by DC33 01.10.12 @ 9:52 am

Good morning Frank!!! Oh, I’ve always hated PSU much more than WVU.

I’m sure it has to do with when you grew up a bit. The 70’s and 80’s, when both were in the top 10, and the rivalry game was as big as Nebraska-Oklahoma, OSU-Mich, Texas-TAM.

I kid you not young Panther fans, it was that big. Imagine this, around 81′ or so, Good Morning America, interviewed Jackie Sherrill and Joe Paterno on the morning of the game for one of their segments!!!

Anyhow, if you started following 90’s 2000’s then WVU would probably have your venom.

Allthough, many older fans certainly could have had bad experiences with WVU fans, and maybe that puts them ahead of PSU.

But, for me, will always be PSU.

Comment by Dan 01.10.12 @ 10:07 am

Dont know any thing but would like karl dunbar to coach the DL just dreaming.
our ron dane to coach RB just a dream but what the hell.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.10.12 @ 10:07 am

Dan you are so right just the thought that penn state can get a full staff before us. i know it makes no sence but i hate to lose in any thing to them.
Ithought the lsu QB looked like tino the way he held the ball to long and stuff i gess it was the outher teams D.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.10.12 @ 10:14 am

mike caprara a LB from woodlawn hills will vist pitt to day rvals has him listed as no stars not even two hope our new coachs could do better than that.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.10.12 @ 10:45 am

We may not have the wrong Sunseri brother, just in the wrong position. What if Tino’s brother played QB? Do you think Alabama would be the champs?

Comment by 66Goat 01.10.12 @ 10:45 am

Tino’s best position is back in the classroom. He’s just not a division 1 player at any position particularly QB. His brother is also undersized and slow. He wouldn’t be at Bama if his father wasn’t there. Just like Tino wouldn’t have been QB if Wanny didn’t annoint him. At least Saban isn’t stupid.

Comment by TX Panther 01.10.12 @ 11:27 am

For me it was always Penn State over WVU as the team I disliked the most — and still is. Having said that, I don’t wish any ill will over what Sandusky and company did to Penn State and their alumni.

Comment by MariettaMike 01.10.12 @ 11:40 am

Some info on Caprara.

link to post-gazette.com

Seems to small to play Linebacker in college. Maybe move him to safety.

Comment by Steelfan 01.10.12 @ 11:57 am

He plays fullback also. Pitt will need to recruit fullbacks again.

Comment by notrocketscience 01.10.12 @ 12:32 pm

speaking of FBs, I’m sure some of you have noticed how good Hyno is playing for the Giants (great free agent pick up for them)

Comment by wbb 01.10.12 @ 12:49 pm

I know he is short and small but Ronald Jones already throws a better pass than Tino…the kid has good touch and clearly good speed. If he had run Graham’s system, I bet Pitt wins 8-9 games this year…oh well. Chryst cannot have been impressed by Tino, king of the 3 yard out pass…I really hope he is pouring over film of Myers, Gonzalez, Anderson, and Jones right now — I would gladly back him up on choosing any of those guys, and would really like to see what a healthy and little more bulked up Anderson could do next year. Voytik as a starter next year sounds like a reach but would be great if he was that good.

Comment by Matt N. 01.10.12 @ 1:11 pm

What’s the over/under on Sal already having sent Chryst a fruit/gift basket and other assorted brown noseries to get junior the inside track, again? Who’s up for a group self immolation ala protesting Buddhist monks (sorry for the ridiculous comparison) at the Cathedral steps next year if Tino is the starter again?

Comment by Matt N. 01.10.12 @ 1:16 pm

I bet next year’s seniors are planning to approach Chryst and promise to play with broken limbs for a chance for a no Tino season.

Comment by Matt N. 01.10.12 @ 1:20 pm

This is on the subject of Curtis Martin mentioned above, but, if I am not mistaken, he is a second ballot candidate. He was on the ballot last year but didn’t get in (so that Ed Sobol of NFL Films could get in). I am not 100% sure on that, but I seem to remember him being on the ballot last year.

Comment by kanyon40 01.10.12 @ 1:47 pm

Birch to UNLV == Birch quoted as saying he just wants to live life. Maybe SF Pitt was right == Birch is just trying to find himself & is on a magical bus ride to Vegas == Far out Man.

Comment by DC33 01.10.12 @ 1:59 pm

I asked chris dokish what type of player he was and he said that hes they type of player that every team wants. He compared him to andrew taglianetti at linebacker. Listen, does it really matter that hes only 6 feet tall? Its been made very clear that he has the talent and skill set to be an elite recruit. I say do whatever you can to get his commitment. He sounds like a leader, competitor, and if hes been called one of the best woody hills players ever, he can sure as hell play.

Comment by Pk 01.10.12 @ 2:03 pm

Mike caprara that is

Comment by Pk 01.10.12 @ 2:04 pm

I would take size and speed over heart at inside LB. We don’t need another Gruder type. I’m all for kids with character, leadership, guts, football instincts and toughness. But we need talent first. I love Tags but he’s no CB and that’s why he plays safety. I see this Caprara kid as being better suited for safety or FB. But what do I know. He may be a fine middle linebacker. I’m just blathing.

Comment by TX Panther 01.10.12 @ 2:13 pm

What my point is, the only thing keeping him from being an elite recruit is his height. He has speed, great tackling ability, and strength comes with a college training program. I have no objection to him playing safety he would be a huge safety who could probably lay the lumber but what im trying to say is if he has a winners mentaility and the only physical restriction is height, hes 6′ instead of 6’2″, why not offer him?

Comment by Pk 01.10.12 @ 2:45 pm

I’d try to land Rippy first unless Caprara is going to be a FB or safety. I assume they need to groom a replacement for Tags and are going to need a FB in this new offense. Pitt needs kids that know how to win and what winning feels like. If Caprara’s attitude, leadership and work ethic can rub off, and he can play a contributing role on the field at some point, I’m all for giving him a scholie.

Comment by TX Panther 01.10.12 @ 3:09 pm

Tx, i dont disagree with that. I think rippy shpuld be a priority along with both defensive and offensive linemen in general.

Comment by Pk 01.10.12 @ 3:17 pm

I saw rippy play against clairton and he made absolutely NO plays. Cabrera has been playing ilb and starting since a freshman at woody high. A good weight training program and he could be a good one.

Comment by 33allens 01.10.12 @ 3:51 pm

We dam sure better get a second QB one is not enough and you are right abought offensive line men.
If they want caprara and rippy that is ok but that is 6 LB this year and what 5 last year how many LB do you need .

i would think OL men or QBs would be a biger worry or TE

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.10.12 @ 4:00 pm

I read a comment earlier about it being to late to get a Grad transfer. Didn’t Russell Wilson enter Wisconsin in the fall. I read he had two or three weeks with Paul chyrst. Not bad.

Comment by Why me 01.10.12 @ 4:14 pm

Yeah, just found the story about Wilson’s late transfer.

link to sports.espn.go.com

Comment by Why me 01.10.12 @ 4:17 pm

Frank, i agree about qb and ol. Chad voytik is recruiting kyle dodson and jj denman and jj denman is very much in play. As for qb, ive said it before that option A should be to get a transfer Option B should be another qb in the class of 2012. I dont think pitt can afford to miss out on both of those.

Comment by Pk 01.10.12 @ 4:39 pm

To Paul Shannon at 9:41 PM last night

Who cares if a QB can’t read. I want a kid who can throw a leather football, run like a friggin deer, avoid sacks, make plays, AND beat out Tino. I don’t care if the QB comes from a walk on, a JC, a transfer, a prison, Ped State, the top lesbian rugby player, …. Whatever Just someone WHO CAN BEAT OUT TINO. Is that too much to ask for? But that is what I need to keep my hope alive, keep my faith for my Panthers, and to allow my to watch.

I have faith that the new coach will find that QB either hiding on our roster, in Voytik or someone new.

Comment by Dish 01.10.12 @ 4:58 pm

back at ya on the good day, FRANKCAN. keep us posted on the coaching staff, the recruits and any QB transfers.

Comment by bossdaws 01.10.12 @ 5:43 pm

Dish – I think that just by virtue of not having a “PITT man” as HC will wipe out any trace of cronyism with the QB position. Not having Todd Graham will wipe out any rigid “The QB has to be this and only this type” approach.

At last we have a chance to see a HC with a totally clean slate and no agendas to fulfill when it comes to picking a QB to run his offense.

I have no idea who that will be but just the fact that we’ll see an honest competition at that position is heartening.

Hey, Chryst may even decide to have his QB coach work extensively with Gonzalez to bring his passing up to par. Not sure that will happen of course but at least it could.

Maybe Chryst and Bostad see something in Myers where they want to give him the best shot possible, or even keep Anderson involved in some way.

There’s a lot of things that can happen and for the first time since 2008 I think we’ll see the process play out the way it should.

Comment by Reed 01.10.12 @ 6:47 pm

Hey guys, Dokish just reported,

“Apparently Paul Chryst is not done trying to raid the Wisconsin Badgers football team. J.J. Denman, a 6’6″ 310 lineman from Pennsbury HS in Fairless Hills, PA is expected to visit the Panthers this weekend, nearly three months after verbally committing to Wisconsin. Denman originally verbally committed to Penn State in May.”

If Chryst can add some more big signings to add to this years recruiting class, it could make a big difference.

Comment by Justinian 01.10.12 @ 6:48 pm

If Sunseri starts, we can’t be any worse off then we were in 2012. We’ll run the pro-set we go 8-5. Maybe even win our 2nd tier bowl game. Then we’re done with him. I could handle that.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 01.10.12 @ 6:57 pm

I meant 2010. We won’t be any worse then we were in 2010.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 01.10.12 @ 6:57 pm

no info just a guess bobby engram is a coach in sf knows coach brother lives in murrysville has been coach for 2 years could he be our next wr coach
also on staff is greg jackson who coached 1 yea at wisconsin is a DB coach is he just waiting for the playoffs to be over just a guess.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.10.12 @ 7:02 pm

Justinian, i just saw that too. thatd be HUGE!! In every sense of the word!

Comment by pk 01.10.12 @ 7:57 pm

if he commits of course

Comment by pk 01.10.12 @ 7:57 pm

If Sunseri starts, we can’t be any worse off then we were in 2012. We’ll run the pro-set we go 8-5. Maybe even win our 2nd tier bowl game. Then we’re done with him. I could handle that.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 01.10.12 @ 6:57 pm

Yes we could be worse off, because we’ll be breaking in a new qb with no real backup option in 2013. You start Voytik this year(2012) against the lightweight non-con games. See how he performs, if he’s not up to the task, you always have Sir Tino to fall back on. You already know the limitations of Sir Tino. As far as 2nd tier bowl games, the BBVA Compass Bowl is not close to a 2nd tier bowl game, it’s more like a 4rth tier bowl game. And we can go 6-6 with Voytik just as easily as with Sunseri. And we all can live with possible growing pains of Voytik, I don’t think many of us will make it ANOTHER SEASON with Sunseri. The Bowl Tiers below:

1rst Tier Bowls: Sugar, Rose, Orange, Fiesta, & obviously the BCS NC game

2nd tier Bowls : Cotton, Outback, Capital One, Gator, Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl

3rd tier Bowls: Sun, Holiday, Champs Sports, Alamo, Belk, Insight, Ticket City

4rth tier Bowls: Liberty, Music City, Independence, Las Vegas, Hawaii, Pinstripe, BBVA Compass, Meineke Care Care (new one in Texas)

5th tier Bowls: Beef O’Brady’s, Kraft Fight Hunger, Military, Armed Forces, Poinsettia, Little Caesars, New Orleans, New Mexico, Famous Idaho Potato

*Note: Bowl game names listed in the 4rth & 5th tiers are subject to change at a moment’s notice.

* The BBVA Compass Bowl could have easily fallen into the 5th tier. Only the fact that PITT played in it the last 2 years kept it from being so.

* 34 Bowl Games and the NC game required more than a 2 or 3 tier bowl rating system of days gone by, when there were only 15-20 bowl games.
And you only had to go 3 tiers deep.

Comment by Emel 01.10.12 @ 10:07 pm

EMel, I think that when Chryst is looking at 2012 he has to consider other QBs than just Sunseri and Voytik.

I do believe that Myers will be given a fair shot at competing and that Anderson, if he’s still around can be in the three deep also. Plus, we have a good athlete in Gonzalez who, with dedicated passing coaching may surprise.

I’ll bet that Chryst’s first inclination is to redshirt Voytik and that would be best for PITT all around if he does. Personally, I wonder about just how good Voytik is going to be and I’ve a feeling that his potential, and our expectations, are being pumped up to unreasonable proportions – at least for 2012.

I’m sure it’s a common phenomenon with football fans but WE PITT fans tend to do this way too much and I think the beat writers contribute to it also. we did it with Bostick back in 2007; we did it with Sunseri big time back in 2009 & 10 and … and we did it with Myers this year and last.

Let’s not do it with Voytik. The odds are that he’ll be a decent college QB and those may be slim. Very few guys really excel at QB in college and even less do so thier freshman year.

I’m looking forward to seeing what Voytik can do of course, I think he’s talented. but I’m much more looking forward to see what our current crop of QBs can do in 2012 under a new coaching staff – especially Myers and yes, Sunseri as much as it hurts to type that.

Comment by Reed 01.11.12 @ 7:25 am

I would love to see Myers or Voytik win the starting job next year because I believe they both have better upsides than Tino … better arms, faster, etc.

However, if they don’t … don’t blame Tino or his dad.

Comment by wbb 01.11.12 @ 8:29 am

haha, okay emel … a third-tier bowl. Louisville won 7 games in the regular season and ended up in the Belk.

But I’m not here to get into a pissing match over the prestige of non-bcs bowls. And I’m a firm believer that unless a true freshman comes in and just kills it – which is TOUGH to do as a quarterback – it’s better for him to have year in the system. And I’ll take 8-5, which is what Tino did in 2010 and a redshirt freshman quarterback in 2012 over 6-6 with growing pains.

But hey, that’s just my opinion. And you’ve got yours. At the end of the day we are going to have to wait and see. Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Atlanta Panther 01.11.12 @ 9:05 am

Does anyone know when the Spring Blue-Gold game will be? When does spring practice start?

Comment by Panther Fan in Hoopieland 01.11.12 @ 10:14 am

Spring practice usually starts 2nd or 3rd week of March and ends mid April .. sorry, don’t have dates.

Comment by wbb 01.11.12 @ 11:18 am

Two unsigned high school all americans paul chryst should target are darius hamilton of new jersey & son of former pitt star keith hamilton also stefon diggs of maryland who started @ wide reciever with voytik in the army all american game !

Comment by Rocky20 01.11.12 @ 6:10 pm

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Comment by Christopher Fry 01.16.12 @ 5:19 pm

[...] was already a little worried about Rice. This sort of story doesn’t [...]


[...] coach, Todd Rice, and WR Coach Bobby Engram. But even then, there is a rather familial connection. Rice played for Chryst’s father in college. Engram was an offensive assistant on the 49ers last season — where Chryst’s [...]


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