April 11, 2012

Hey, Watch For This…..

Filed under: Uncategorized — Reed @ 6:23 pm

  The Spring Game scrimmage is right around the corner and is being played on Saturday afternoon at North Hills High School’s Martorelli’s Stadium.  There are a lot of questions unanswered, some questions answered they way we don’t necessarily want them to be and a lot of concern about our 2012 season under a new coaching staff.

  After attending a practice, reading everything I can get my hands on, watching all the interviews and having some conversations with people in the program,  here are the questions that I’m most looking forward to seeing answered out on the field Saturday.

  Can Sunseri carry practice success onto the field against competition?  We all know by now that Tino Sunseri is going to be the starting QB on Sept. 1st unless something drastic happens.  Mark Myers didn’t rise to the challenge and Trey Anderson, while a good passer, isn’t going to overtake our incumbent QB starter.  I want to see if what we are seeing and hearing about Sunseri’s calm demeanor and accurate deep throws in practice can translate into completions at game speed.

  What will Mark Myers do when the spotlight is turned on for more than a play or two?  If Sunseri has a rep of being a practice star then can’t the opposite happen and someone who has struggled in practice play well when there is less thinking and more doing?  Myers has struggled with the short/intermediate passing game.  I watched this happen in practice and I’ll be watching Saturday to see if that is still an albatross around his neck.  If it isn’t then new life may be breathed into the competition for the fall.

  Which WRs after Street and Shanahan are going to step up?  Saddler has really been the highlight reel of practice so far so he’ll be the #3 guy I think.  The format for the scrimmage is ones vs. ones and twos vs. twos so we should get a decent look at players like Jones, Brinson, Jackson, Salath Williams, Tinker, Ifill and Felder to see how well they can produce when the heat is on.  I will especially be looking for Felder as I have heard really good things about his speed and ability.  Keep an eye on Josh Brinson also, he’s been getting a lot of reps in practice.

  Which brings us to this question – is Carswell a TE or a WR?  He’s been playing, and doing well at WR in these latter practices.  We have two established TEs ready in Graham and Carozzoni returning from 2011.  Chryst and Rudolph love the TE position as an actual tool in moving the ball downfield.  This position may get a lot of chances to do that this season so will a solid #3 TE be needed?  Who knows where Gonzalez will end up after this camp but he won’t be at QB.  Will we see Carswell split out more and getting passes thrown his way?

  Who will be the third RB coming out of spring camp, Davis or Crockett?  Saturday we’ll see a lot of Isaac Bennett of course since he’s the firm #2 RB.  But we know injuries happen to RBs all the time and that we could easily have to dig down to #3 to help carry the load. This may be a moot point with Shell coming in but as much as we want to believe, he isn’t a lock to contribute and produce this season.  So I’d like to see both the returning back up kids get a lot of carries this weekend.

Watch how well Mark Giubilato plays at FB.  He’s not the crusher Hynoski was but he was getting the blocking done in practice plus he’s been effective as an offensive weapon in his wheel routes and receiving out of the backfield.

  Is Ray Vinopal for real?  As of today he’d probably start at one of the Safety positions.  The PITT fans wanted a big hitter back there and they got him in this kid.  He’s one of those players who has a ‘nose’ for the ball and is always around the crucial point.  Chryst and Huxtable were recruiting him for Wisconsin before he chose Michigan so not only were they familiar with him they pretty much knew what he could do on the field.  He may be the topic of a lot of conversations this fall.

  Can Dan Mason really get back to form?  Yes, he’s been running and jumping and hitting RBs out there.  I’m not too worried about his straight ahead play in that regard.  I want to see how well he does in pass coverage at game speed and whether he can backpedal and cut as a MLB needs to do.  I wonder if our hearts aren’t getting in over our heads with this kid.  Getting back on the field and playing is one thing, excelling at MLB is quite another.  Let’s see if our fears are founded or not.

  Just how fat is K. K. Mosley-Smith?  He’s big folks and not in a good way.  He was relegated to 2nd string because of his conditioning early on and that’s something we really can’t afford to have happen.  Which squad he runs with on Saturday will tell us if he’s gotten back in to the good graces of Huxtable and the Big Kahuna.

  Is Bryan Murphy the beast we all think he is?  Yes. Wait until you see him with your own eyes.  IMO he’ll be the 2013 defensive star for us – along with Aaron Donald of course, but Murphy has the talent to be an AA before the season ends.

  Are we set at DB?  K’Waun Williams is out of spring camp but he’ll be there in the fall.  The question is how well do the other kids mesh as a unit?  You have senior leadership in Holley and Tags with a returning lettermen in Hendricks.   So, how about the new kids back there?  Keep an eye on Lafayette Pitts as he’s played very well so far and is pushing for a starting job.  The same holds with Cullen Christian.  This is a deep unit but I think we’ll see some not so familiar faces getting the most reps in summer camp if they produce in this scrimmage.

  How are the Center-QB exchanges?  This may sound trivial but we have to remember that Ryan Turnley, as well as he played last season in the shotgun, will be doing something new and different in having the QB under center this year.  Over the last two practices there were some fumbles for just this reason and nothing kills a drive faster than a botched snap.

  Finally… will Tino Sunseri be booed after his first incompletion?  Odds are that he won’t unless it is on a deep post pattern.  Then we’ll see a lot of food stuffs being throw on the field in protest.  Hopefully it will have been bought here to keep it in the family.

Hope to see all of you guys there.  We’ll be tailgating in one of the Park-n-Ride lots.  I’m a real tall guy with brown hair with a DW type mustache and I’ll be with a guy who has dreadlocks down to his ass.  Beer’s on me.

Wait, you’re bringing the lead singer of the Counting Crows with you?

See you Saturday

Comment by BurghGuy68 04.11.12 @ 7:24 pm


Take it one step further and compare these players to last year’s.

With the exception of the defensive line, (and questionably Tino), everything else is an upgrade. Oh sure, there are a few question marks, but where do you see a marked deficit (Tino again excluded)?

Moreover, I suspect that the coaching will be significantly improved. And given the schedule, Pitt should do much better than last year.

Comment by Gas 04.11.12 @ 8:23 pm

when tino does it in a real game next fall
but not now this is not the real thing
to me he is the same old tino till he does it for real.

Comment by Frankcan 04.11.12 @ 8:52 pm

Jones signed his LOI with pitt to day and zeigler
submited his transfer paper work to day.

Comment by Frankcan 04.11.12 @ 9:15 pm

I have this strange warm feeling with this Pitt football team and new coaches. We might witness another Golden Era of Pitt football under Chryst. Its been 30 years wandering in the desert and I want to go home.

Comment by TX Panther 04.11.12 @ 9:45 pm

with 2 new players which brings this class to 4 doesthat mean one more has to go yes
we only had 3 to give right who will it be

Comment by Frankcan 04.11.12 @ 9:45 pm

Frankcan – of course. I still need to see him drop a deep pass into a WR hands with an actual rush before I can think he’s building on his practice play.

But we are where we are. I’ll feel a small bit better if Sunseri does well Saturday than if he doesn’t.

Comment by Reed 04.11.12 @ 10:13 pm

Reed am i right one more player must be run off team now that zeigler and jones are on the team that brings the class to 4 we only had 3 to give am i right

Comment by Frankcan 04.11.12 @ 10:21 pm

I only hope that Chryst sticks to his guns and puts players in a position where they can do the most good. I will be there on Saturday and here are my pre pre-season predictions.

1. Cam Saddler will get hurt or fail to live up to the hype. He never got strong enough.
2. Mason is the heart and soul of the team. He will overachieve and play his best game against VTECH
3. Tino will start but will get 60% of the snaps. Myers and Anderson will both play.
4. Chad will redshirt.
5. Russell will get 500 yards as the number 2 guy.
6. The Oline will be good
7. Special teams will be good
8. If given the chance, Pitt will run up the score
9. The defense will be good. They will be really good if the offense is average.
10. The offense will be average
11. One thing about a soft schedule is fewer injuries.. We have a soft schedule.
12. Pitt students will enjoy the season
13. I will miss taking my Dad (Paps) to games. He loved college football and it was a privilege to take him. Hope he exerts some influence from above.

Comment by SFPitt 04.11.12 @ 10:55 pm

No Frank, we have 4 openings in BB – 2 seniors, KB, and Epps.

Comment by San Diego Panther 69 04.11.12 @ 10:59 pm

San Diego Panther thank you for info

Comment by Frankcan 04.11.12 @ 11:14 pm

We need to stop bashing the coaches for starting Tino. This will be the 3rd different coaching staff to declare him the starter. Like it or not he is the best we have and booing him isn’t going to make him any better.

Comment by TonyC 04.12.12 @ 12:58 am

A receiver must step up. Street and Shanahan have been steady but not spectacular. The offense needs at least one big playmaker at receiver. I am hoping it is Jones. He is good after the catch.
Tony C…I agree. It is what it is for at least another year.

Comment by notrocketscience 04.12.12 @ 5:56 am

Rushel Shell will not be the number 2 guy. He would have to dominate isaac bennett which just isnt happening

Comment by Pk 04.12.12 @ 7:11 am

Excellent breakdown above.

Regarding Tino… keep in mind he threw for 400 yards in last year’s Blue Gold.

The reason he’s so good in practice (like with all practice players) is that he’s comforable. It’s easy to be comfortable when you’re familiar with the defense. Dropping back to pass, you pretty much know where you’re going with the ball.

The same goes for blowout games (like USF) where everything is clicking and the primary receivers are getting open just like it was drawn up on the blackboard.

I suspect Tino will likely look really good again on Saturday.

However, I’m still in the belief that the lineup is going to look different in the fall when the rubber meets the road.

Here’s a quote by Brooks Bollinger from today’s Post Gazette that gives some credence to what’s been written here the last couple of days about both Anderson and Myers.

“Trey carries himself like a quarterback. You can tell he understands it, but he is still young and mentally he has a lot of football to learn, but he has the mentality and the attitude and he has done a good job,” Bollinger said.

As for Myers…

“And with Mark, it just needs to happen every day. He has had some days where he has been very focused and then it will drop off for a day or two.

Interesting to see how Myers performs under a little pressure on Saturday.

Comment by PittofDreams 04.12.12 @ 7:28 am

Frankcan — losing 4 schollies (Birch, Nas, Gibbs, Epps)

Gaining 4 — (Adams, J Robinson, Jones, Zeigler)

you worry too much

Comment by wbb 04.12.12 @ 7:54 am

This is the Spring Game with a new coaching staff. Now anybody that bothers to go out to North Hills to watch this practice game better go with the correct attitude, and that would be to watch a work in progress.

I won’t be there in person but if I was, the first time I heard a boo from anybody, no matter who it was directed at (and that includes Sunseri) I’d be in a verbal confrontation with right quick.

At this point the only feeling that the staff and players need to feel from their fans is total support. If you can’t even get that 100% at the Spring Blue/Gold game then Pitt Faithful have a real problem on their hands.

My suggestion, show up if you want to support the team and down a few iron citys while you’re at it but save the yinzer negativity at least until the real season kicks off by staying home if you have a boo bird mentality.

Comment by Dr. Tom 04.12.12 @ 8:07 am

Here is something I posted on a message board this am.

Sunseri is what he is. He’ll never be a star QB or maybe even one who can wins games on his shoulders. But if being in this Chryst offense can make him feel more comfortable out there we have a chance of seeing a productive QB. That never happened for Sunseri in 2011 under Graham’s offense. It was pressure filled just getting the new offense down and getting the snaps off in 18 seconds, every offensive player had problems with that offense last year. This year, with a regular huddle and more time between snaps, I think we’ll see things slow down and see some actual playcalling by the staff that fits the down and distance scenarios and that will help Sunseri to produce.

– Don’t let us think that Chryst is going to abandon the passing game in favor of running the ball all the time. That isn’t going to happen. It may not be a clean 50/50 distribution, Chryst has never done that at Wisconsin even when he had great QB play, but well see more like a 60/40 ratio I think.

^^^^ Last year, with Russell Wilson Chryst only threw 35% of the time, of course he had two RBs who gained 1923 and 713 yards respectively. Even in 2009 with Scott Tolzien and a lesser running game, even though Clay got >1500 yards, there was a 63/37 split run heavy.

Comment by Reed 04.12.12 @ 8:17 am

Reed from the previous thread I get your point about not relying on scouts and a good scouts report doesn’t guarantee success at all. I’m just saying that I’m going to use a scouts opinion instead of a very small sample of two games. But if PittofDreams watched every Voytik game last year and wasn’t impressed then I’d be more likely to agree with him than the scouts.

In regards to Trey, I’ve always liked him. He was a winner in HS and he has the right moxie. If he was just a bit bigger he’d be starting this year I’d imagine.

I know everyone is down on Tino, myself included, but he is literally a couple plays from being a two time starting BCS game QB. So Pitt can win with Tino this year if Cryst makes Tino just a bit better. I’m fully confident that Cryst can coach up Sunseri enough.

Dr. Tom I’ll go after people as well if they Boo at the Spring game. Boo’ing is so classless.

Comment by Wardapalooza 04.12.12 @ 10:01 am

Regarding Voytik’s senior year…

If you think he was one of the top 100 rated high school quarterbacks in the country… you’d be wrong.

Statistically he wasn’t even among the top ten QBs in his own Division in Tennessee.

Seems like the two games televised were a pretty good sample of his body of work.

Comment by PittofDreams 04.12.12 @ 10:45 am

The top recruiting services have Voytik as a top QB in the nation. You watched two games, so of course your opinion is more valid. He was also picked to the All-American game in spite of his bad stats. And by all accounts his HS team was pretty bad.

I could not care less about HS stats for QBs. They are basically meaningless.

Bostick HS stats: 2810 yards 61% 34 TDS 6 INTS

Tino HS stats: 1968 yards 55% 23 TDS 4 INTS

Myers HS stats 2127 yards 54% 20 TDS 8 INTS

Andrew Luck HS stats: 2684 58% 19 TDS 9 INTS

Comment by Wardapalooza 04.12.12 @ 11:31 am

PittofDreams- Did you see Voytik’s WR’s in his HS game-The couldn’t catch a cold. His OL was nothing to write home about either. It was a jailbreak every time he took a snap.Liked his mobility & pocket presence in the All-American game. Dilfer nicknamed him the surgeon at the Elite 11 camp. He will be bigtime at Pitt.

Comment by PittfaninSC 04.12.12 @ 11:47 am

PittofDreams of course in watching all of those games you became aware that his offensive line was horrible. Possibly in watching those games it occurred that both the RBs and WRs were young and inexperienced. I believe you also would have noticed that Chad accounted for 70% of total offense. And seeing all of this by watching the games you realized Chad did the best he could.

Comment by Kenny 04.12.12 @ 12:05 pm

OK I get it. Voytik is the next Drew Brees.

Seriously, Voytik’s put up good numbers his sophomore and junior years.

However, they’re both still less than the stats you’ve posted for Sunseri. Not to mention the fact that the level of competition Tino faced in Quad A in Pittsburgh was a heck of a lot stronger than what Voytik faced playing AA or A ball (by WPIAL standards) in Tennessee.

By the way, Andrew Luck passed for more than 7,000 yards and 53 touchdowns in high school… and rushed for 2,000 yards.

So ya, I get how HS stats are “basically meaningless.”

Comment by PittofDreams 04.12.12 @ 12:27 pm

PittfaninSC me and mama saw some of those jailbreaks personally. We were at Cleveland Stadium for the Cleveland/Ooltewah game. The jailbreak was on from the start.

I did not think Ooltewah would be so good defensively as they had lost many players on D the last two years. One of them was Freshman All SEC DE Jaques Smith (he was basically unblockable in HS).

But the jailbreak was on. I remember one play in particular. Chad dropped back to pass, the rush poured in and he took off to his left cut up field for about 8 yards and attempted to hurdle a couple tacklers. He went high but someone hit his leg and he did a 360 and went down. He popped right back up.

Comment by Kenny 04.12.12 @ 12:37 pm

Well, I’m not sold on Voytik as a savior either. He’s a HS QB who recruiting scouts like, that’s about it.

But then again I don’t get that excited about any recruits until they have been in a PITT uniform for a while.

I do know that the quickest way to disaster, and I’m not talking about a 6-7 season but much worse, is to start a player at QB and leader of the offense who isn’t ready or hasn’t competed for the job.

If Chryst throws Voytik in this season on the pretense of getting him ready for the ACC and it doesn’t work out – then kiss the next four years goodbye.

We just saw back in 2007 what happens when you are forced to play a true FR QB before he’s ready. Bostick was higher rated across the board, had a much better HS career and SR year and had very good offers from bigger football schools… and he didn’t pan out. A redshirt year may really have helped him to get grounded then.

What makes anyone think Voytik would be any different? This kid may be a good QB but it is a reach to think that he’s going to come in and produce his freshman year.

Like it or not Sunseri IS going to be the starter going into the 2012 season. He’s played well in camp and although that means nothing to PITT fans you can be sure that the staff cares about it. No other QB on the roster come August has a shot at QB unless Sunseri completely implodes or gets injured.

Comment by Reed 04.12.12 @ 12:40 pm

Kenny… what is the name of the junior QB who came in when Voytik was pulled in the ESPN game?

Some at Cleveland High say he’s actually better than Voytik.

Comment by PittofDreams 04.12.12 @ 12:50 pm

I don’t care how Sunseri plays in practice or scrimmage. It only matters how he plays in live games that count. The track record so far does not bode well irrespective of the fact this staff will get the best out of him. His worst limitations is his mental one. He will break down in game situations. Chryst can mask the O to minimize the damage but the mental thing will come up.

I agree Voytik should not play but for some to say he is a bust because of competition and his senior numbers do not match up with his soph and jr seasons seems to be predicated on stats alone.

Comment by Kenny 04.12.12 @ 12:56 pm

Sorry I stumped you Kenny.

For the record… no one is saying Voytik’s going to be a bust.

There are just a couple of red flags that suggest we should hold off proclaiming him to be Pitt’s QB of the future… as many have been inclined to do.

In my experience, BIG TIME players in high school stand out over the competition… no matter the record or how bad the players around them happen to be.

Sure they can have a bad game or two against good teams.

But not usually a bad season, especially their senior year.

Hopefully, and I mean this sincerely… Voytik will be the exception.

Comment by PittofDreams 04.12.12 @ 1:22 pm

I don’t like thse way Voytik spells his last name, and what kind of first name is Chad? Al Gore hates Chads, he was just a few hanging Chads away from the Presidency back in 2000, but those Chads were from Florida not Tennessee. And everybody knows that they just play girly flag football in Tennessee anyhow.

Come to think of it, Pitt Fans, being who they are, will be hanging Chad soon enough after he screws up a game or two and then he’ll be treated just like our old reliable scapegoats Bill Stull and Tino.

Oh, how us Pitt fans love to bash on our Quarterbacks. I remember way back when, we had a QB that had an off season his senior year and by the end of his college career it was common knowledge, based on all the rumors and fan negativity, that he had gotten himself into drugs and was a poor pick to do any good in the pros. Yeah, he was all washed up. He wasn’t even picked up until five other QBs were drafted. Don Shula selected him for the Dolphins on a long shot that maybe he could make something out of him in the NFL. How did Marino do in the pros anyhow?

Yeah, us Pitt fans love to DIS on our quaterbacks, sometimes before they even step onto campus as a first day freshman.

I think I’ll wait to formulate my opinion on Chad Voytik until he straps on a Pitt helmet and has a few practices under his belt, at least!

Comment by Dr. Tom 04.12.12 @ 1:45 pm

I teach my sons that the HARD way to go thru life is to not learn from the mistakes of others.

Example, I don’t need to act the fool like Bobby Petrino to see that he’s just ruined his life, big time. Not to mention his family’s lives too.

So our shiny new head coach can’t watch tapes or seek advice from current admin and/or previous coaches? He’s got to touch the stove for himself and get burned? He’s gotta actually be wowed by Tino-in-shorts — just like the two guys who’s gigs TIno killed by his sheer incompetence in games? He’s gotta actually PLAY anti-Tebow Sunseri?

If CHryst & Comapny, with a whole year to work with, cannot get a competent QB (ABT) ready to play? Then his skills as a coach are VASTLY overrated….

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 04.12.12 @ 3:23 pm

Pitt just needs to find a slightly above average QB. Chryst likes to run and having the run set up the pass. I’d be more concerned if Chryst didn’t develop the O-line or land some big uglies as recruits. Pitt’s RB’s seem to be well above average and the defense appears solid. Right now, we’re dealing with a QB that is struggling to be consistently average. That’s the problem. Tino should be more comfortable in this offense and won’t be asked to do too much anyway. Chad really needs to redshirt. Hopefully, Trey and Mark can step up if called. I bet Pitt fans will love Chad when he hangs 70 points on State in 2016.

Comment by TX Panther 04.12.12 @ 3:30 pm

Dr. Tom, are you actually comparing Bill Stull and anti-Tebow Sunseri to Dan Marino?? I read it twice to be sure I read it correctly, sure seems like it.

Dunno what kind of doctor you are, but WADR you might wanna prescribe something less strong for yourself.

For the record, I don’t even think it’s fair to compare Stull with Tino the Magnificent. Stull had tools, he just didn’t have time to gel his first year. Zeise mocks, but Stull really could have used some mop-up duty in his years in waiting to be more ready.

Sunseri? Incapable of learning. No tools, no football IQ (turning into the oncoming rush is akin to driving into oncoming traffic… and just as smart), no game, no fans, no legacy, no nothing.

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 04.12.12 @ 3:37 pm

PittofDreams you did not stump me. I had to be at the dentist at 1:45 and made by 3 minutes. The kids name is Austin Herink. Perhaps you thought he was better due to the fact he is 2″ taller than Chad.

As for your assumption that big time players stand out no matter what, I saw four games firsthand and the line was not even pliable let alone soft. They sucked full stop. I saw no skilled O players able to take the heat off of the QB position. Cleveland is a 5A school, the second highest classification in the state. His coach was fired this year (14-18 over 3 years).
Did you know in his sophomore season the team finished 3-7 (only the second or third time in school history they had a losing record). The coach ran a variable of the spread during his first two years and because of graduation the team ran a pro-set this year.

The coach and the team were much weaker than the team that won 3 state championships in the 90s or for that matter up to 2008 when the former coach was fired after 2 consecutive 7-3 seasons. But then again he followed a TN HS legend and that is hard to do.

As for Chad, he has been on three bad teams and only once did they have a winning season. I will tell you one thing until recently Cleveland was a feared opponent. They rose up this season against #6 in state Red Bank and beat them by 35 points. They would not have done that without Chad.
Will he work out here, I think he will me Tino look what he really is…a mentally deficient QB.

Comment by Kenny 04.12.12 @ 4:18 pm

I see this year as a year the Offensive ‘struggles’ with Tino as the QB – Chad RS for 2013 and Chryst recruits for the future. Readers may not like it, but that’s they way it is – Wanny didn’t recruit a QB for the future (maybe Nova – but he went to RU).

Comment by markp 04.12.12 @ 4:37 pm

@Imma Man! I’m not comparing Pitt QBs at all, I’m comparing Pitt fans over the decades on their consistancy to be tough on their players, especially their quarterbacks, even their great QBs like Marino when things don’t go our way 100%, and sometimes apparently even their new recruit QBs, before they even step onto campus, such as the current spin on Chad Voytik posted above. He is a wildcard at this point with an unknown value, but some here are down on him already, that was my attempted point, however not presented very clearly.

@TX Panther, I love your sentence, “we’re dealing with a QB that is struggling to be consistently average”. Very funny but very true. I can here Sunseri’s future interview already. “I’ve improved my consistency, now I’m average all the time, you can depend on that”.

Comment by Dr. Tom 04.12.12 @ 5:43 pm

Get Tino to a sports shrink and we win ten games. It’s not his skills, it’s his head.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 04.12.12 @ 6:36 pm

Imma Man – you said

“If CHryst & Comapny, with a whole year to work with, cannot get a competent QB (ABT) ready to play? Then his skills as a coach are VASTLY overrated….”

I find more than one thing wrong with this. Other coaches have worked with Myers, Anderson and Gonzalez and not produced a starting QB – but all of a sudden it is Chryst who fails if that didn’t happen?

Second, just how much time do you think the staff can actually spend with these QBs in person. You seem to think it is a full year which is strange because Chryst was hired on Dec 22nd and summer training camp starts in the beginning of August.

In that nine month time period the staff has exactly 45 hours, split between 15 days, to work these kids out at QB. After that they have three weeks of training camp. The staff can’t be anywhere near a kid with a ball in his hand other than those days. So basically one month out or ten there can be actual drills with the QBs before a starter can be named.

Don’t put this crap on Chryst’s head at all. He was left with exactly what crap you see on the roster. A starting QB whose game is full of fatal flaws and two (or three considering) backups who are akin to the Keystone Kops. One can’t grasp the playbook no matter who is giving it to him, one can’t throw a pass that is anywhere near catch-able at this level… almost literally, and one is a 5′?” scrapper who was recruited solely to play in Graham’s Chinese Fire Drill offense.

But all of a sudden Paul Chryst has to take this damaged merchandise and put a shine on it? When no one else could?


Comment by Reed 04.12.12 @ 6:46 pm


I didn’t know the hours were so severly limited. I concede that changes things.

But then it occurred to me, how did Cignetti find time to get Bill Stull fixed and serviceable, and fix the hitch in Pat Bostick’s throwing motion? Or how did he get Gary Nova on the field as a true freshman at Rutgers?

Unless you’re saying at least those 3 guys had raw materials that Sunseri can only dream about.

And in turn, Anderson and Myers are even more tool-less. That even an infinite number of Jon Gruden meetings couldn’t make a dent.

Is that what you’re saying?

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 04.12.12 @ 7:09 pm

This is just a horrible situation all around. We should lay these at the feet of the man who caused these problems and stop arguing about it and hope that Coach Chryst is able to do ANYTHING positive. WANNY, period. All of the QBs recruited during his tenure have never come close to panning out it seems at this level(jury’s still out on Gary Nova). He’s by and large one of the worst evaluators of QB talent. The reason for that is, he saw QB no matter where he was, as a necessary evil and nothing more. I’ve remarked with my friends many times about how great it would be if Tyler had QB’d the 2009 team… That team would have had National Championship aspirations, and no fluky losses to WVU, NCST, and ABSOLUTELY would never have given up a 21 pt lead to lose. I can only shout so many times at the television to yell at Tino. Once this roster is devoid of Wanny QB recruits, I’ll worry again. Until then, let’s hope for the best. Tino will be Tino. Hopefully Voytik and whomever else comes after him can perform. I’m TIRED of Wanny QB talent chasing off our talented skill position players(Shady,Dion, and to a lesser extent JB.

Comment by Spartan Panther Fan 04.12.12 @ 10:25 pm

Imma – I’ve been saying for some time that Cignetti didn’t “fix” Stull at all – he created a 2009 offensive approach where Stull could attempt and complete more TD passes when in the opponent’s territory. When that happened it gave Stull confidence that he could execute as the QB out there. Bill Stull’s physical attributes were exactly the same in 2009 as they were in 2008. The difference was that LeSean McCoy left the PITT team after 2008 and Cignetti then used his QB more inside the opponent’s 30 yard line than Cav did in 2009.

So… exactly how well did Gary Nova do again as a true FR? He had a 51% completion rate which is putrid for college ball and had a 6.84 ypa which is way below par also. Had Dodd not been hurt Nova would have been where he should of been, taking a redshirt year to get him ready for the next year.

Bostick’s “hitch” wasn’t ever fixed, which is why he was in the broadcast booth last season – and that’s coming from someone who thinks Pat Bostick is a gamer.

Your referenced post wasn’t about Sunseri BTW, it was about the three other QBs behind him. Hence your “a competent QB (ABT) ready to play?” comment. But here is something…

I think Sunseri does have better physical skills and talent then those QBs you mentioned. Better that Bostick, better than the three backups we have now and at least on par with Stull. That hasn’t been his problem. Forget about the deep pass here, that is a small component of QB play all told and he actually did complete some in 2010.

What has been killing Sunseri is the mental aspect of the game under pressure. That pressure came not only in late game situations but it was occurring everyday with Graham’s demands on the QB. Round peg meet square hole.

Relieve that and we may see the same type of jump in production that we saw with Stull when he had a OC that tailored gameplans that allowed him to produce. I just think it’s way too easy to point to Sunseri and say that he’ll never make progress when it happens for QBs, year to year, all the time in college football.

But the bottom line is that Chryst has to play the hand he has been dealt. I think we all agree that there is no star power here. There is, at best, QBs who are average. Even comparing them with Stull and Bostick is ironic because those two both fit the same mold of being an “Everyman” QB.

What we can hope for is that Chryst & staff can recognize exactly what they have to work with, which will be Sunseri, and plan well inside those limitations.

Comment by Reed 04.12.12 @ 10:50 pm

Trey A. avoided the rush and looked more athletic and aware than Tino, when both played in the same system…and had just as good, if not better, an arm. It wasn’t about systems or what they were used to, just a simple eye test of who was a more competent athlete. Jury still out on Myers, but all you guys who keep repeating Tino is our QB next year, “like it or not”, might want to check in with us in game 3 or 4 next year. My money says after Tino runs into the arms of a VTech lineman for his 4th sack, Chryst pulls the plug and Anderson or Myers comes onto the field…and I take little joy in that because it probably means were losing, or have lost a game or two at that point.

Comment by Matt N. 04.13.12 @ 12:21 am

Look, something positive about our OL (maybe Chas can sleep tonight)

link to

If memory serves .. Rotheram was the 1st OL commitment after two area OLs with Pitt ties, Dieffenbach and Ricketts, committed to PSU. Both of them shortly after were elevated to 4 stars by both Rivals and Scout. On the other hand, after Rotheram comitted, he was lowered from 4 to 3 by Rivals.

Comment by wbb 04.13.12 @ 7:52 am

Some interesting Pitt trivia…

On the same day Chad Voytik announces his commmitment to Pitt and is proclaimed Pitt’s “Quarterback of the Future”… it’s announced that a dimunitive Texas QB named Trey Anderson has also agreed to come to Pitt as a walk-on.

My guess is one of them will eventually become “the guy” and be named starter.

It remains to be seen which one.

Comment by PittofDreams 04.13.12 @ 8:03 am


Fair or not, we agree that Chryst must play the hand he was dealt. It’s not like the NFL, where he can wait until the end of Spring camps and go sign a free agent off the marked-down bin that was cut by another school.

Of course, there’s a wild card: Voytik. But it’s unfair to heap those expectations upon a true freshman that will have one month — especially if nine months isn’t enough time to get upperclassmen ready.

I guess my main point is this (assuming we’ll see the same old Gameday Tino again this year and with luck head to Birmingham again): I’d rather “invest” this year in getting ABT ready for next year — whomever that is.

With this weenie sked, ABT can win 6 games. If 3-year starter (??) Anti-Tebow Sunseri can stretch himself, fix bonehead mistakes, he can win 7. Either way, it’s Birmingham.

But playing ABT this year (2012) means having a second-year starter next year (2013). Which might be the difference between 3-4 wins next year versus 8-9 wins.

In short, we’ve seen the Cirq du Sunseri for two searing years. And I for one don’t care to sit thru that show for a 3rd year, no matter the cost.

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 04.13.12 @ 10:47 am

Matt – You’re right, who the QB is once a couple games are in the books is one thing – my point has always been that Sunseri will be the starter coming out of training camp.

Comment by Reed 04.13.12 @ 2:34 pm

[…] Thursday I posted an article that listed some things I felt would be interesting and important to look for during the Spring […]

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