Lot in the offline world, so I’ll just push out some stories.
A reminder that the players experience at Pitt has been nothing like they expected.
There’s no other way to say it: no group of players has ever been screwed over like these Pitt players.
From Dave Wannstedt to Mike Haywood to Todd Graham to Chryst. Meet your new coach, fellas.
Now go out and make it work in crunch time, play like it’s second nature and don’t — for the love of pigskin — underachieve.
“We had great coaches with (Wannstedt), we respected them and they were let go,” said Pitt guard Chris Jacobson. “Then Graham gets here and we buy into what he’s saying, he leaves and it’s here we go again. Then (Chryst) gets here, and now everyone is buying into what he’s saying.”
Jacobson is then reminded he missed a coach in Haywood.
“Just a handshake,” Jacobson said, “and he was gone.”
Then it ends with the circle — possibly closing.
Chryst also had played for three coaches in four years at Wisconsin in the late 1980s. Maybe Pitt finally has found the perfect match.
We can hope.
The CFN/Scout.com preview of Pitt keeps expectations modest by putting a good season at getting 7 wins.
It’s not asking for the moon, especially since two of the team’s non-conference games will be against Youngstown State and Gardner-Webb. In many ways, 2012 represents a second straight transition year at Pitt, as the team adapts to a new staff, a new playbook and a lot of new starters on both sides of the ball. If the program can earn the seven wins needed to bowl, and get increasingly comfortable with the philosophy of first-year head coach Paul Chryst, it’ll serve as a table-setter for 2013.
I guess Pitt fans feelings on Sunseri are rather well known at this point.
Senior Tino Sunseri is back for one more season as the starting quarterback. Cue the groans from Panthers fans.
The preview has expectations that Hubie Graham will thrive in the offense, but notes the very real concerns on the O-line. Especially at the tackle spots.
As for the defense, the secondary is noted as the strength, and the big question marks are in regards to the linebackers.
Strength: Range. Thanks to the recruiting of Dave Wannstedt, Pitt boasts a coterie of terrific athletes on the second line of defense. Thomas, Gordon and Williams, in particular, play the game very fast, going from sideline to sideline with the same urgency as the team’s safeties.
Weakness: Muscle. The linebackers move like safeties because, well, they look an awful lot like safeties. With the exception of Gordon, it’s a group consisting of no one who weighs more than 220 pounds. In a conference, such as the Big East, that favors a blue-collar brand of offense, Pitt could struggle to hold up at the point of attack.
Outlook: The linebackers are small, quick and explosive. In other words, they’re a better fit for the last regime than the current one. It’ll be a very busy summer for this juggled group, with all three positions being up for grabs. There’s hope that the competition, and the healthy returns of Price and Mason, will help elevate the unit to a higher level.
The predicted 2-deep is worth noting. Despite (or maybe because) the offense returning 8 starters as compared to only 4 on defense, we all expect the defense to be the strength of the team this season.