I’m not all the way back in the swing, but I have to say that I need to post if for no other reason but to take my mind off some of the other crap. Thanks everyone for well-wishes and some suggestions regarding the vehicle search. I’ve got some things narrowed down. A new car is completely impractical right now. Couple that with two kids under the age of ten, and I could see my annoyance levels shooting through the roof as they do what kids do over time in the back seat of cars. Wait, that came out wrong.
Reed gave you the reassuring POV on Coach Paul Chryst and his approach. I don’t totally disagree. It is something a little different, and if it works then great.
Now onto the reported coaching hire. Still no word officially on a new running back coach. Honestly, I’m not that stressed about the speed at which a position assistant is hired. It would be nice to have someone in place with more than a couple weeks before spring practices start, but the running back spot is not a source of concern.
Then there is the apparent move to fill the other open position on the coaching staff with a QB Coach. The name that is being leaked as likely is Brooks Bollinger.
I’ve been mulling it over for a couple days. Giving it a bit of thought. And I just keep coming back to the same place.
WHAT? Brooks Bollinger? Another effin’ Wisconsin guy?
Look, I know Chryst apparently has a comfort zone and doesn’t like to venture too far from it with whom he works. But Brooks Bollinger?
I don’t care about his career of a journeyman, back-up QB. Or his career at Wisconsin. Those are just biographical details.
I care that Bollinger is from North Dakota and was coaching high school football in Minnesota for all of a year. I care that, that is the extent of his coaching history. I care that this is yet another guy with Wisconsin ties from the midwest — which seems to be the main criteria to be hired by Chryst. Another coach with no recruiting history or ties to the East Coast or South. And I’m sorry a couple years holding a clipboard for the NY Jets; and a couple years with the Florida UFL team do not count for East Coast or Southern ties.
The only coaches hired without direct ties to Chryst or Wisconsin are the strength and conditioning 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 brother Geep, is the QB Coach.
I’m not trying to be negative — though, I probably am coming off that way. It is just that this is getting a little ridiculous. Chryst seems to be more concerned with ties, connections and personal relationships to every coach on this staff. That might be great for coaching chemistry and camaraderie, but it may not be the best thing for Pitt.
What if one of these coaches just can’t cut it? What if they are plain lousy? How willing will Chryst be to make a change when he has personal relationships with all of them? How will that effect his view of their actual job performance? Chryst has every right, and should have final say over his staff. But someone needs to have a talk with him about how far he is taking things.
It reminds me a little too much of the POV on hiring assistants of another Pitt HC.
“Usually, I have found that hiring people I am familiar with or I know has produced the best results, and this is no different. Obviously, I have a lot of people whose opinions I trust who I will look to.”
If I’m being honest, though, after the first few years it wasn’t Wannstedt’s assistants that was the problem.
As for the recruiting side of things, he can do all the personal touches, lots of research into kids before offering, and being more selective. That’s all great. The kids still have to commit, and that still requires having coaches who can recruit. Coaches who know areas, have relationships with the high school coaches, and can sell the kids on Pitt.
The fact is there is no coach on this staff that has any known recruiting connections and acumen for New Jersey and Maryland. I suppose Bobby Engram could handle Eastern PA based on being a PSU grad. But Engram is actually from South Carolina.