Spring practices are reaching the pads stage. No more of the helmets and shorts look.
We could try and break down what the O-line will look like. Whether the linebackers will be better. Who will be stepping up to the D-line. We could. Or we can obsess over the status of the QB position. Give the people what they want.
Here’s the extent to which Coach Paul Chryst has spoken about QBs over the past two practices.
On whether he loses patience over fumbled center-quarterback exchanges:
“No, but they were ugly though, weren’t they? You’ve got no chance. You’ve got to prevent beating yourself first. It’s hard enough to beat the opponent. If that was a game we would say you beat yourself and those are things that need cleaned up and we can’t tolerate it.
“As coaches, negative things happen. We’re going on the assumption that no one wants to have a bad quarterback-center exchange, the receiver doesn’t want to drop the ball, the defender doesn’t want to lose contain. If they’re in there and they want to do that then that’s on us. You can’t tolerate it but making a big stink doesn’t necessarily fix it either.”
And before that:
On whether the quarterbacks and receivers improved today:
“Yeah, I think there were some moments where they did. They better, right? They better keep improving. Tomorrow we’ll be going full pads. You’ll always have some good and you can build on that. And then there are a lot of things you still have got to clean up.”
Gotta lot to go on, huh?
Oh, yeah. There were a couple puff-pieces on Mark Myers. The vessel for which all hope rests at QB — er, something like that.
The focus for which seems like you could read it while “Jane’s Getting Serious” plays in the background.
When Mark Myers walked off the practice field Thursday, sweat flattened his hair and he appeared a little tired from the first day of Pitt’s spring football drills.
But there was no mistaking the athletic, 6-foot-4, 230-pound build that got former coach Dave Wannstedt’s attention two years ago. In fact, Myers looks so much like a quarterback that you wonder how he could have been so ignored during his first two seasons at Pitt.
There is more to a quarterback than the wrapping on the package, and Myers said he is a changed player under his third coaching staff in three years.
“I definitely feel like I matured a lot,” he said. “I’m spending a lot more time in the film room and (getting) a lot more field work.”
“I’m definitely relieved (at the change at the top). I think I have a real good chance to get on the field and help this team out.”
ZOMG!!!!! MYERS WILL BE THE STARTING QB!!! HE SHOULD HAVE STARTED TWO YEARS AGO!!!!!!!! NO MORE SUNSERI-WANNSTEDT-CRONYISM!!!!!!! NO MORE SMALL, SPREAD QBS FROM FRAUD GRAHAM THAT TOTALLY WASTED MYERS!!!! MYERS IS COMPLETELY TAKING THIS SERIOUSLY BECAUSE HE KNOWS HE WILL START!!!!!!!!
Sorry, that got away from me. Let’s take a look at this piece, and totally keep it in context.
Around the team, Myers was not known for being the hardest worker.
Coaches tried to motivate Myers early in training camp last summer by moving an undersized walk-on, Trey Anderson, ahead of him on the depth chart, but it didn’t seem to move him much and that added to the staff’s frustration.
Myers, from St. Ignatius High in Cleveland, is 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, has a strong arm and is a prototypical pocket passer.
The spread offense of former Pitt coach Todd Graham did not fit his talents, and Myers didn’t feel as if he would have a real chance to compete.
Myers said he was energized when Paul Chryst was hired to replace Graham because Chryst uses a pro-style offense.
“I was definitely relieved when coach Chryst was hired,” Myers said. “I think now with this offense, I have a real chance to get on the field and help this team out.”
If Myers, a redshirt sophomore, is ready to put the past two years behind him and get serious about playing football, he will be able to push Sunseri, even though Sunseri has started 26 career games and has far more experience.
There are six players at the position this spring, but two of them, Anothony Gonzalez and E.J. Banks, are likely to move to other positions at some point.
YES!!!!! UNICORNS! KITTENS! RAINBOWS! MYERS IS TOTALLY GOING TO BEAT SUNSERI FOR THE STARTING JOB!!!! HE’S SUPER SERIOUS NOW! IT WAS NEVER MYERS’ FAULT FOR BEING UNCARING ABOUT PLAYING QB! HE HAD NO MOTIVATION BECAUSE HE NEVER HAD A CHANCE!!!!
Okay, I’m better now. Let’s go with one bit of context:
I’m not saying that is definitely the case with Myers, but he was actually talking about watching film, maturing, understanding what it takes and being re-energized with the new coaching staff. Again, if he does indeed get it there will be a quarterback competition because from what we’ve seen these past two days this job has to be wide open as none of them has been impressive, or even good for that matter. I think Myers may be the best suited for this pro-style offense but we will see if he is indeed ready to compete.
All those qualifiers. And to declare that none of the QBs have looked good in practice — which includeds Myers — means no one is going to grab the job right away.
Now that I’ve had my fun, I’ll give some semi-serious thoughts on Myers and the QB spot. I just don’t know. I would like to see Myers take the opportunity and at least legitimately challenge to be the starting QB.
I’m much closer in thought to the ABT crowd than the view that Sunseri is unfairly treated as the receptacle for all the blame on Pitt’s offense. I don’t have a lot of faith in Sunseri based on his decisionmaking the last couple years, his arm strength, handling pressure, and his footwork. Regardless of the system in which he operated, Sunseri flat struggles with fundamental aspects of the position. If you told me tomorrow that there is no way Sunseri would be the starter this year, I would smile and want to believe.
That said, I won’t be surprised if he is still the starter come the end of August. He has the experience. He seems to know what he’s doing in practice. If the positions are open, everyone is getting a fresh start with the new coaching staff, then he’s got a pretty good chance of being the starter.
Myers hasn’t proven anything yet. And what happens if he doesn’t manage to pass Sunseri in the spring? Given Myers’ past work ethic, it is still a question of how he responds to that when there are still several months before training camp. Does he redbouble his efforts to try win the job in the fall and/or be ready if needed. Or does he slip back to limited effort and not trying because he didn’t get named the man this spring? I don’t know the answer, and neither does anyone but Myers.
I’ve said it before. You can point to all of his youtube highlights from high school. Show off all the measurables. Point to now 3-year old scouting reports from recruiting sites. It means nothing. It comes down to what he does now. It can’t keep being the mistakes by the coaches for not using him after a certain point.