August 12, 2012

Scrimmage #1 – Offense

Filed under: Football,Media,Players,Recruiting — Reed @ 10:08 am

I attended PITT’s first training camp scrimmage today and, while no one told me it would be actually chilly in PGH this morning, I came away with a lot of things to discuss and to share my sometimes strong opinions of what I saw.  Here are some of my first, quick observations:

–        I walked over to the practice field behind Chris Jacobson and Matt Rotheram.  “Lumpy” Jacobson is listed this year at 6’2” and 295.  Rotheram literally made him look small by comparison.  He’s 6’6” and 330 and looks every bit of it.  I made it a point to watch Rotheram carefully at his Right Tackle position and he moves very well for a mid-sized mountain range.

–        Rushel Shell is surprising huge for a RB.  Not overly tall and listed at 6’0” & 215 (more like 225 I think) he’s built like a fullback and he carries a lot of weight below the waist so his legs are like tree trunks.  I was thinking I’d see a stereo-typical RB out there and I saw a tank.  On the other hand Ray Graham, who lists at 5’10 and 190 lbs isn’t anywhere near that weight in my opinion.  He is skin and lean muscle , bones and a hip goatee but don’t be fooled – he’s a small RB.  I wonder if the NFL has any RBs built as slightly as he is especially in the legs.

–        I stood next to Dorian Johnson for part of the scrimmage.  He’s a tall guy but nowhere near the bulk size of the existing PITT lineman.  He did stay for the whole three hour scrimmage and seemed to be having a good time talking with people.  At one point I ended up standing next to him and after a play where a DE knocked down a pass I said “We’ll there’s an open offensive line spot for next season“.

As to the offensive play on the field I felt the kids played well and were engaged in what they were asked to do.  It was a busy day with getting 183 plays done, in part thanks to the cool football weather, and there was no down time from 9:15 until 12:00 but I didn’t see any confusion out there.  The 1st and 2nd string kids got a lot of action while the 3rd team played sparingly today but did get a few series under their belts.

Everyone wants to know which side ‘won’ the scrimmage and usually, at this point in training camp, the defense is ahead of the offense.  It appeared that would be the case after the first few series.  However, the offense more than held their own this morning IMO.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.  Tino Sunseri was accurate on his passes in hitting his receivers on both short and deep throws. Now, he’s been good in practice before so take it with a grain of salt.  I’ll say this though, he and the rest of the offense looked very comfortable out there running a normal huddle-up offense without the confusing bells and whistles we saw last season.  It is going to be a much better paced and more level offense fielded by PITT this season.

The passing game, from both the starter Sunseri and QB2 Trey Anderson was effective and went to a lot of different receivers. Chad Voytik got very little time out there today.  I’ll say this about Voytik and sit back and wait for the arguments.

Anderson is the 2nd string QB because, at this point, he’s a better QB than Chad Voytik.  He isn’t out there because “the staff is thinking about redshirting Voytik” or because Voytik is a true freshman just learning the playbook.  From what I saw today and from discussions with some people who have watched every practice, Anderson just has better physical talent and knowledge than Voytik does at this point.  The best thing for Voytik would be a redshirt and not just to learn the offensive system but to get better in his required QB skills.  I was a bit surprised at his passing yesterday and remarked on it which is how the above discussions took place.  While I understand he’s new to college ball his pure passing skills just aren’t at the level they need to be for him to run an offense, played at the higher level of speed and intensity then he’s experienced in the past, for this 2012 season.

For the PITT fans that are penciling him in as a possible starter this year or are of the mind that we should play Voytik just to get experience for 2013 I’ll say this:  Sunseri and Anderson will be taking the QB1 and QB2 reps this year with Voytik running the scout team; Savage will be our starting QB in 2013 and rsSO Voytik will be in honest competition for the starting slot with rsFR Tra’von Chapman and FR Chandler Kincaid for 2014.  There is no ‘he’s a lock’ situation for Voytik being a starter at PITT, he’ll have to scramble to win the starting job.  I feel that this is a case of the fan’s expectations of a player far outweighing the staff’s… it’s happened before.

On the WR front, Shanahan sat out this scrimmage but today, as in the spring practices, Cam Saddler was a primary target. Saddler can work free and is making hard catches and if he stays healthy I think he’ll be a top receiver for us. At one point late yesterday the offense was sloppy in lining up for the huddle and Saddler yelled “Get the damn huddle right!”  He doesn’t hesitate to show leadership out there.

Devin Street was in-synch with Sunseri also and had some nice plays with good yards after the catch. Remember that Street had 28 catches for 409 yards in the final five regular season games last season – he’ll pick up right where he left off.

Keep an eye on Josh Brinson this year also.  He got a lot of work in the spring and has been very productive so far in this camp also. He’ll be the sleeper of the WR corps along with Brandon Felder and Ronald Jones I think.

I was really impressed with the Tight End work today.  Hubie Graham was his normal reliable self and caught a few balls,  Drew Carswell ran in more of an H-Back role today and did well so I’m looking at him as not being a true 6th OL blocking and receiving TE this year.

Who really jumped out was J. P. Holtz.  We’ve read media reports about how he’s a ‘man-child’ out there because of his build (6’4” & 245) and such but what he really is is just a damned good TE.  He makes catches look effortless with his soft hands and his drive blocking is very effective.  On one play he caught the ball about five yards deep, turned down field and put a juke on a LB that was worthy of a much smaller TB.  He’s a real football player, much in the same mold as Nate Byham but with hopefully a lot more passes thrown his way, and he’ll probably see the most playing time of all the true freshman on the roster.

Our running game is playing out like this.  Chas put up a nice article about Ray Graham coming back from injury the other day and we got 137 comments on that post.  It’s obviously a huge issue for PITT’s offense and for us fans this season.

I hate to rain on the parade but I advise forgetting about Ray Graham being anywhere near his 2011 self for a long while.  He was in for the first few pre-scrimmage practice series and while he went at it hard it was pretty obvious that he’s not going to be physically ready to play at full opponent speed.  At least it looked that way to me and others on the sidelines.  If he plays regularly it will be at least a few games into the season I think.  That isn’t to say he won’t contribute and end up being very productive this year but I think the realistic timetable for that to happen isn’t in line with our wishful thinking.

But not to fear PITT fans.  Paul Zeise hit the nail on the head when he said that Isaac Bennett is “the best tailback” we have right now.  Brace yourself but that means of ALL the tailbacks.  Bennett showed us the ‘wow!’ factor in the spring with his ability to find gaps and break to the outside, but watching him in a full speed scrimmage situation he is even more impressive.  He’s strong through the line and then dips a shoulder and goes.  On sweeps he doesn’t hesitate and gets the corner before the defense almost every time.  Before you know and either way there is a good chance on each play he’s down the sideline for a big gain.  I don’t think there was one play yesterday that he didn’t gain positive yardage. It’s going a bit out on a limb to compare Bennett to Ray Graham because Graham has a great track record behind him, but don’t be surprised if Bennett is the next star RB PITT has.  Don’t be fooled by his 2011 58 carries for 237 yards with a 4.1 ypc.  He’ll be worlds better than that this season.

Malcolm Crockett is working for that 3rd RB slot (or maybe 2nd depending on Graham’s knee) had a nice few runs, one a long TD, today also as is Rushel Shell.  I wrote above about Shell’s physical make up and his running style follows that.

He ain’t a scat back by any means and the yards he’ll get will be by physically winning the first battle then getting extra yardage into the secondary.  He’s not your ‘shake and bake’ back like Graham is.  Shell seems to have an heightened awareness of the developing pressure that all good RBs have and today he made positive yardage on about every carry.  He had one run down the sideline where he put his head down went and after the closing LB.  He pretty much got the snot knocked out of him but it showed he means business out there. He had an early short field series where he carried the ball on every play and then went in from five yards out.  His running style may lean more towards Ironhead Hayward’s then Tony Dorsett’s if you get what I mean.

All this is well and good but none of it happens without the guys in the OL being able to do their job.  I felt that if you were to ask which aspect of offense play the OL was best at yesterday I’d say the run game.  They were quick off the ball and aggressive and it showed by the number of big runs our backs had.  Yesterday they played in the meat and potatoes of a physical offense that PITT had pre-Graham and that the PITT lineman love to play.

As far as pass blocking?  I thought they held their own there also but you have to factor in that we may have the quickest defensive front four this season than we’ve had in a long time.  Heuber rotated players in and out of the 1st and 2nd teams all morning because, as in any training camp, he’s trying to get the ‘best five’ out there.  Honestly, at this point and with so many different combination of OL out there it was hard to gauge how good they will be.  The future scrimmages will be much better weather gauges for how the OL is going to pan out.

One last note.  This coaching staff is true to its word when Chryst said that he’d run an open football program.  Every spring practice was open for the media and guests and all the training camp practices will be also, save a couple for the staff and players to work on special plays.  That is 180 degrees different than last year’s training camp where the media and guests weren’t allowed at the practices.  It makes this fun as hell actually – the atmosphere yesterday was all around fun and up beat (except when the staff was reaming out players)  and didn’t have that feeling like if you said anything you’d be told to keep quiet.

Next post up:  Scrimmage 1 – Defense:

Great to hear a return to a normal offense has made these guys comfortable and productive. Last year was confusion and chaos.

Comment by John 08.12.12 @ 10:25 am

Great stuff, Reed.

Loved your thoughts on the QB situation and I tend to agree. I’m not a fan of Sunseri’s play the last couple of years, but if he can play at about the same level Bill Stull did in his final year (2600 yards passing, 65% completion, 2:1 TD-to-INT ratio), I’d be perfectly fine with that. By many accounts, Sunseri appears to be much, much more comfortable with this coaching staff and this offense, so I’m going to hope for the best here.

As far as the Voytik timetable goes, what you describe is really a best-case scenario for Pitt fans and I have no problem with that, especially with a veteran player like Savage in the fold for 2013 (with a full 2012 season to learn Chryst’s system). If we see Voytik at all this year, it’ll likely happen because both Sunseri and Anderson haven’t just failed, but failed miserably. At that point, the season has already been likely lost.

And this isn’t bashing Voytik. I haven’t seen him play, but I do know I’ve seen much more heralded QBs struggle as true freshmen when thrown into the fire despite – quite honestly – having much better teams around them at the time than Voytik would here. I’m speaking of guys like Matt Barkley and Jimmy Clausen. This goes back to executing the intricacies of the position, but doing so at a much faster speed and much higher level than these guys had been used to at that point. That takes time for just about anyone to learn.

I’m not saying Voytik COULDN’T succeed early; I just think history tends to show that QBs who get to sit for at least a year or even two often tend to put together the most successful careers.

Comment by Stoosh 08.12.12 @ 11:10 am

Nice post, Reed. Enjoyed it thoroughly. Can’t wait for the games to start so we can all talk about something other than recruiting…. Important as it is.

Comment by Joe Lawrence 08.12.12 @ 11:14 am

Reed – one question. It’s been frustrating to watch Tino’s throws in the flats over the past couple years… Did you see any yesterday and is there any evidence he’s improved in that regard?

Comment by Joe Lawrence 08.12.12 @ 11:17 am

Joe – he had a few yesterday and seem to be fine with it. He was hitting his passes at a high rate all morning.

I get kind of nervous saying that even though yesterday it was true. I think he’ll have his best year this season – but am also not holding my breath waiting for it. It seems to be a different situation when the lights go on.

If he was across the board terrible that would be one thing. But as we all on here discussed a couple of months ago he’s also had some damn good games in the last two years.

Comment by Reed 08.12.12 @ 11:21 am

I was just wondering what the fullback position was looking like? In a run heavy offense, the FB spot becomes critical for that extra blocker who springs the running back past the defensive line.

I also am upbeat about Bennett. Like I said in a previous thread, nobody knew what Graham was capable of either until Dion Lewis jumped early to the NFL. And Lewis was the real deal coming on strong in place of McCoy,,,, who? We’ll be just fine hooking our cart up to Isaac. He is the next horse in line to carry the load this season, good luck, long live Isaac!

Great news to learn that Johnson was at the scrimmage. I heard this kid on a radio interview this past week and unlike many on this blog that have been trashing the kid for his past college selection transgressions and subsequent decommit, I think that he sounded very logical and has measured the consequences of his previous decisions. He articulated well what he thought the future would hold for him at penn state and decided that his future would simply be brighter somewhere else. So be it. I only hope that that future is with the Panthers, because God knows that we could use an entire stable of OL recruits like him if Chryst is going to be successful pulling off the same running attack offense that he constructed at Wisconsin.

Last but not least, let me put myself out there for some major ridicule in stating that yes, Tino gives us “the best chance to win this season”. It is painful for me to say, but if your holding two pair and it’s the best you got, that’s what you bet on. Yea, I wish we had that wildcard to make our hand turn into a full house but that guy just ain’t on our roster for this season. Savage could have been the guy if he had transferred to Pitt instead of Arizonia LAST year but that’s the way it is.

My hope is that Sunseri is coached up well enough by this staff and in fact Chryst plays well enough to Tino’s strengths (as limited as they are) so that he can be successful. Tino plays well enough when he has confidence on his side, but that has been hard to come by for him with all of the trials and tribulations that he and the team have been through over the last year. Lets hope that Chryst and Co. can instill some in him and that he can take it and run with it for this season.

Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.12.12 @ 11:40 am

Great stuff Reed

Voytik would do best by red shirting and gaining experience, becoming acclimated with the new environment and hitting the weights. Its tough for any 17 year old to go up against a 24 year fifth year senior. Always been concerned about his height. Is he at least a bit taller than Tino?

So Shell runs like Ironhead? I’ll take that anyday.

We just need to be patient with Ray. Maybe he helps towards year end when the championship is on the line.

Glad to hear that Dorian was at practice. Pitt needs him…badly. Was Foster at practice?

Comment by TX Panther 08.12.12 @ 11:45 am

Reed, excellent stuff. Much appreciated.

Sounds like Voytik is even less in person that what he appeared to be on TV in the ESPN game and the Army All-American game.

This has got to be disappointing for those who somehow saw him as being the next Dan Marion or Drew Brees.

The next Dan Marino’s or Drew Brees’s have that wow factor the moment they step on the practice field as an 18-year-old freshmen.

Based on your comments and others, it seems Voytik is not even close.

Now, we’re left Chryst and Co. can Magically transform Sunseri from being just a good practice player to a player who can be counted on to avoid interceptions, batted down balls, and sacks in critical situations on game day.

Not optimistic.

My prediction after the Spring Game was that we would have eventually seen Myers playing this year followed by Anderson.

Obviously with Myers no longer in the equation, it will all be left to Anderson, short of a miraculous makeover being performed with Sunseri.

But it’s not all gloom and doom.

Based on what I know about Trey Anderson, he has enough to make the Chryst offense go.

Not the next Marino or Brees, but a smart, crafty quarterback who is better than most think.

Comment by PittofDreams 08.12.12 @ 12:07 pm

Dr Tom – Sorry to have glossed over the FB position and it is an important one this year. Mark Giubilato is the FB this season and he’s doing a good job. He’s faster than Hynoski but he’ll be compared to Hyno and that isn’t really fair. Hyno was very good and was a FB from the start.

Giubilato started out as a 213 lb BN at Milford Academy, ended up at OLB when he was recruited by PITT and was an OLB last season. But he’s big – 6’3″ and stocky at around 240 or so. I didn’t see him carry the ball but the FB role will be lead blocker for the RBs and pass protection for Sunseri – something the QB didn’t have at all last season.

I think he’ll be a pleasant surprise. One of the other FB candidates, Kris Wildman, was moved over to the DL

One interesting note is that apparently PITT is appealing to the NCAA to try to get eligibility for 3* (Rivals) FB David Durham, a rsSO transfer from Ohio State, for this season. That request is based on the sanctions OSU received from the NCAA I believe.

It sounds like a long shot but the kid is supposed to be a very good player.

Comment by Reed 08.12.12 @ 12:11 pm

Pitto’dreams – Let’s hope that Sunseri stays healthy and plays at least average football out of the QB position. Which I think he will.

If Sunseri goes down with a serious injury or tanks it will be a long season for the Panthers. While I think Sunseri has it in himself to be pretty productive I see Anderson as a serviceable at best QB for the long run. He had a good scrimmage yesterday with a 30 yard and two 20 yard completions but we’d have to modify the pass/run ration I think.

Comment by Reed 08.12.12 @ 12:16 pm

“Anderson is the 2nd string QB because, at this point, he’s a better QB than Chad Voytik. He isn’t out there because “the staff is thinking about redshirting Voytik” or because Voytik is a true freshman just learning the playbook. From what I saw today and from discussions with some people who have watched every practice, Anderson just has better physical talent and knowledge than Voytik does at this point. The best thing for Voytik would be a redshirt and not just to learn the offensive system but to get better in his required QB skills. I was a bit surprised at his passing yesterday and remarked on it which is how the above discussions took place. While I understand he’s new to college ball his pure passing skills just aren’t at the level they need to be for him to run an offense, played at the higher level of speed and intensity then he’s experienced in the past, for this 2012 season.”

Well, that’s pretty depressing.

Comment by Jeff 08.12.12 @ 12:20 pm


Believe me, we’re going to run the ball… with Sunseri or whoever.

By the way, a better comparison for Shell is Maurice Clarett.

I think Shell had his confidence bruised a little realizing he’s no longer a man amoung boys.

But he’ll get it going once he adapts his style.

Comment by PittofDreams 08.12.12 @ 12:23 pm

Jeff – others may have differing opinions but the consensus among the people I spoke with was that Voytik needs work. You could see it out there. I don’t think he’s the immediate ‘answer’ that PITT fans want him to be. We also have to remember that he wasn’t recruited by Chryst & staff so he’s not getting any special considerations.

Even though he is highly rated by the recruiting services that doesn’t mean he’ll be an immediate impact player. I’m not saying he’s a bad QB, not at all, but that while there were accolades during his HS career there were some indications that he needed work also.

Basically Voytik is a well regarded recruit that, like every other recruit especially the QBs, will have to grow, get better and compete for a starting job.

Comment by Reed 08.12.12 @ 12:32 pm


Great review! Looking forward to your opinions on the defense.

As for Voytik, he has been in camp for a week, so any expectations that he will be a HOF quarterback are greatly misplaced. Still, Anderson was very unimpressive last year. Hoping Tino doesn’t get so much as a hangnail this season.

Comment by Gas 08.12.12 @ 12:51 pm

Reed, thanks for the response and your big scouting report above.

I didn’t expect the guy to be the next Brees/Marino, as someone else mentioned, but I was hoping the guy could come and at least be in the mix next year, even if Savage does ultimately earn the starting job. You don’t sound confident even of that, though. Yikes!

Comment by Jeff 08.12.12 @ 12:54 pm

I believe Sunseri is destined to have a really good season. If he would have been in a power offense last year he would have developed further – consistency.. Last years offense was like learning a foreign language quickly and speak it fluently. That’s a difficult task for anyone and then to have the teacher throw you under the bus – well you know……I think we will see Tino get better each week and plesantly manage the offense.
Reed, what is your thoughts on Johnson coming to Pitt? What was his response after your O line statement to him? Thanks!

Comment by DJS 08.12.12 @ 1:36 pm

It sounds as if voytik is another tino as far as his passing goes.
i dont mean that he would fall apart when the game starts like tino just his passing.
but i would have thought he was better becuse of he was in the top 11 QB last year but maybe that was becuse of his brains and feet and not his arm .

But when a 5 foot 8 walk on anderson is a better passer and player then you it makes you wonder
who rated him that high.

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.12.12 @ 1:53 pm


I tink I remember you being one of the ones who drank the Voytik Koolaid?

It was obvious after seeing him in two different settings on the tube that he was WAY overrated.

For one he played in Tennessee in what would be a AA program in the WPIAL. For two, the sentiment in the school was that he was the second best quarterback on the team behind the underclassman qb who will start this year.

In the Army All-American Bowl he looked completely outclassed as a QB compared to the others in the game — the exception being the nice short run he had for a TD.

Going forward… you might as well get ready to see a lot of Trey Anderson cause it’s going to happen.

And quite shorchanging the kid… he’s now close to 5-11… never was 5-8 since his junior year in HS.

Comment by PittofDreams 08.12.12 @ 2:36 pm

Nice writup Reed.. seems fair and balanced.
Pitt of Dreams,
You are correct about Voytik…
I was disappointed in his showing at Army game.
However, he did well at Elite 11…
He may need to adjust to the speed of the game..
He may be bulking up too much… sort of like Tebow whereby it is screwing up the throwing motion.
I like him because he will out-work everyone… so, give him time.
Regarding Shell, he needs to adjust to the speed of the game.

Comment by Jimmy 08.12.12 @ 2:54 pm

Never been a fan, but Tino will be much better in this offense, fewer decisions to make, not expected to run much, and defined routes by receivers. As long as the running game is strong and he can pick up third downs we will be fine.

Play action passes may actually work. Shanahan, Street and Saddler have been with him for a long time, and Hubie Graham is the real deal. All of this if we don’t lose any more linemen.

Second string QBs always look good until they have to play.

Keep up the good work Reed!

Comment by gc 08.12.12 @ 3:37 pm

Geez. Chad Voytik has been on campus what 8 days and he’s already a disappointment bordering on failure? Gotta love Pitt fans. Comedy.

Back in reality, it’s moderately encouraging that the offense was not completely futile against the DEF early in camp. Did they have any 20+ yard plus exciting plays last year?

Comment by CNorwoodAZ 08.12.12 @ 3:40 pm

CNorwoodAZ, DITTO on Voytik IMO. DJS, my problem with Sunseri is that he has demonstrated that he is a practice player. Until he develops the confidence factor that allows for him to slow the game down at critical times during the ACTUAL game, I’m concerned that he will continue to $hit his pants under pressure when the chips are down. We’ll see.

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.12.12 @ 4:11 pm

chad voytik has been competing at a college level for 6 days and you guys are acting like hes a bust because he hasnt dominated. give me a break. there are maybe 1 or 2 true frosh qbs in all of cfb every year that perform the way you guys think voytik should. this is unfreakin believable. chryst said hes pleased with where voytik is at because hes giving maximum effort and is improving. thats good enough for me to think voytik has a bright future. as for 2013, reed is right. tom savage will be the starter and, if i may, it will be freakin awesome to finally have a 6’5″ 230 lb qb with nfl talent and skills take the reigns for pitt. if hes as good as he seems itll make pitts first acc season much easier

Comment by pk 08.12.12 @ 4:36 pm

As long as Voytik isn’t Tino, I am perfectly happy. I don’t expect him to be the next Marino. That is Kincaid.

Comment by TX Panther 08.12.12 @ 4:41 pm

I am just goung off what reed said and he was there,
PittOfDreams all most every one drank the voytik kood aid as you say and why not elite 11 a 4 star
all i said and i am useing what reed said as a gide i thought he would look better then a walk on
anderson who so many on here said should not be in dev 1

and yes i thought voytik was going to beat tino out this year as did many outhers on here so to hear what reed said is bad news to my ears.

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.12.12 @ 5:07 pm

Good report Reed, enjoyed the info. One or two things though. And not to take a shot at you but….

Are we throwing Voytik under the bus already based on one practice?? where you even say :”Chad Voytik got very little time out there today. I’ll say this about Voytik and sit back and wait for the arguments.”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t ever remember a true freshmen of any position, being so unceremoniously dumped on. And this is based on the very little time he got out there and the 6 days he’s been at PITT (lol). Well if you have the eye to determine that this kid is going nowhere, more power to ya. Maybe the kid should just transfer out now, since if word is being spread already that he won’t be playing at PITT(for whatever reason), it’s not fair to the kid. (Goes against our motto, u know)

Because if you remember Voytik was one of the leaders of this recruiting class that kept the whole class together, including some pretty good recruits or we could have lost the whole class again, as in the previous year(the Top 20 class). That right there, showed more leadership qualities than our present QB has ever showed, that is when he isn’t sulking. Glad to hear though that he performed so well, perhaps he should wear a Green Jersey in a real game, so nobody breathes on him within a 5 yard radius. Seems to work in practice.

Back to Chad Voytik, I hope we give this kid a legitimate shot, since he stayed loyal with his commitment to PITT, when the easy thing to do, would have been to jump ship after all the chaos in Oakland the last 18 months. Certainly guys with the coaching pedigree of Chyrst & Brooks Bollinger can coach him up. If they can coach up Sunseri, they can coach up anybody. IMO

Veritas et Virtus !

Comment by Emel 08.12.12 @ 5:12 pm

What are the chances that Keller Chryst come to Pitt?
He is Jeep’s son out in Palo Alto…
unbelievable QB at sophmore..
son of QB coach (Stanford, etc)

Comment by Jimmy 08.12.12 @ 5:20 pm

What this all boils down to is:

Myers gone.
Voytik overrated (after 1 practice we he hardly took any snaps)

No true competition for Sir Tino again.

We all need gigs like this !!

Comment by Emel 08.12.12 @ 5:26 pm

Oh and the FB is penciled in already, after 1 day of practice. Even though the guy is a converted LB and probably never has played FB. (no worries)

What’s his name??

Whatever, that’s a good gig as well.

Comment by Emel 08.12.12 @ 5:34 pm

I just reread what I wrote and believe I made thoughts pretty clear and they weren’t saying that Voytik was a ‘bust’ or unceremoniously dumping on him.

I tried to convey three main points. One that I didn’t think, at this time, that Voytik has the physical skills to start a football game for 2012.

Secondly, I stated that just like any other QB recruit he needs time and practice to be able to perform at this level and thirdly…

That I believe the fans expectations are far exceeding the coaching staff’s as far as Voytik playing this season.

Three reasonable and I think rather positive opinions when you take the emotion out of it. I’ve been reading here and on the message boards that ‘Voytik will push for the starting job‘ and that ‘Voytik can step in if Sunseri falters‘. Guys we have heard that refrain from the minute Voytik committed to PITT.

My thoughts above are only tempering that expectation, that’s all. Can he start for PITT in the future – Yes, he sure can but it won’t be anointed upon him. May he end up never starting for PITT? Sure, if he’s outplayed by other talented QBs on the team. I think Savage is one of those for 2013. In addition, I don’t believe that Voytik will just be handed that starter’s position in 2014 because he’s Chad Voytik – at least I sure hope we don’t have a replication of 2008 on our hands where there wasn’t any competition whatsoever at QB.

I didn’t use the words “disappointment, bordering on failure” because I don’t think you can say that about any player, Rushel Shell, Foster, and Johnson included before they have some time on the team. If in three years he’s at the same position on the depth chart than I might say he didn’t live up to expectations.

Finally – guys, please remember that I open this post with this line…”I came away with a lot of things to discuss and to share my sometimes strong opinions of what I saw.” This is my opinion and it could certainly change down the line. I’m not a pro scout and don’t pretend to be one. I’m a PITT fan who watched a lot of video on Voytik, watched a three hour scrimmage and talked with a lot of people at that scrimmage, media types and player’s family included and then I formed an opinion.

And here’s this. I believe there is another scrimmage on the 25th that I plan to drive up for. That is two weeks and a week before the opening game. By that time the staff will have a much firmer idea about the two-deep for 2012. If things have appeared to change with Voytik – in reference to the 2012 season – in any respect then I’ll write about that also.

Comment by Reed 08.12.12 @ 5:41 pm

Come on! The commentators here are routinely and outrageously pessimistic.

Tino — Was recruited to play a Wannstedt offense, was forced into an offense that made so little sense that the former coach had to name it “High Octane” to explain it to people.

I, for one, credit Tino for staying with Pitt and not transferring after last year after the coach and fans wrongfully ripped him to shreds. Sure he got sacked a lot, but many of those sacks were caused by the OL and the remainder caused because it was nearly impossible for him to find open receivers in the awful system in which he was forced. I mean, reports were that the received didn’t even run “routs,” but were just told to “get open.” I don’t think even Drew Brees could succeed in that system after one camp of learning it.

Voytik — As others have said, he is a true freshman who has had one week to learn the system. This is his first time under center– he threw out of shotgun last year. He is not ready to start because he is 18 years old and learning something new. Just like 99 percent of recruits, he will have to grow. He could very well be the next Brees or Marion. He could also never see the field. But to give up on him after one week of practice is unfair. Give him a chance to get comfortable.

Recruiting — Coach Chryst knows what type of players he needs and will find them. If, after 4 years, his system fails, then we will have a sufficient sample with which to form an informed opinion.

Lest we forget, Chryst was hired, in part, to bring stability to a program in shambles. I am sure he is doing his best to sell the future of Pitt football. A potential recruit still has to be convinced that the coaching carousel of the last few years is over, though, and it is a tougher sell.

Why go to an unknown quantity like Pitt (albeit, with a bright future in my opinion) when you are also being recruited by Big 10 or SEC schools? It takes a special type of recruit to see the potential in a place like Pitt. It takes intelligence and reasoning on behalf of a 17 year old. It is not the easiest sell for Coach Chryst and that’s not his fault.

If you come to Pitt, you will get a top notch education. You will play in the ACC and get on TV. If you play well, you will make the team and get looked at by NFL scouts.

Coach Chryst keeps saying that he will do his best to make sure that his players get the best of this short college window– the best time of their lives. That is the message he is sending and it is the one that will pay off when we start getting smart, talented, and character guys putting on blue and gold jerseys.

People, there is something called optimism. If you see things in a better light, the season will be more enjoyable to you.

Let’s go to some games this year, learn the school song, and be football fans for once.

Comment by A 08.12.12 @ 5:53 pm

Not to mention, if you come to Pitt, you will practice at world class facilities next to an NFL team.

Comment by A 08.12.12 @ 6:04 pm

Emel -As to the FB – the only other FB listed with eligibility is Adam Lazenga, who is also a rsSO walk-on who played LB last season. I don’t believe I’ve seen him take any snaps in the spring or in training camp as opposed to Giubilato who has taken a lot of reps in both camps. Durham, who might start if eligible, I did mention.

Who do you suggest may start other than Giubilato?

Re: Voytik overrated – please show me any scouting report anywhere that said Voytik as a true FR would unseat, or even push, an established starter for the starting job. I haven’t seen one and the scouting sites themselves state that the highest rankings (which Voytik didn’t get) are predictors of the college career of the player, not of his FR year.

Comment by Reed 08.12.12 @ 6:11 pm

You’re doing good Reed, thanks much.

Comment by steve1 08.12.12 @ 6:17 pm

A couple more points – there were NFL scouts from the 49’s, Cardinals, and one other team there. Johnson couldn’t help but have seen them. We I said that next to Johnson we all just laughed a bit and went back to watching the scrimmage. I didn’t talk with the kid because as a season ticket holder I’m not allowed to.

Comment by Reed 08.12.12 @ 6:21 pm

Reed did you hear why sacco left agein.
our why myers left this late in the year,
our why he left at all?

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.12.12 @ 6:47 pm

Who cares what I think? No one and for good reason.
BUT, the most important line you wrote was “I didn’t see any confusion out there.”
A confused football team is a tentative team.
The trick to getting players to overachieve is first getting them to achieve to their level of ability.
By keeping it simple and following basics, little things add up to big things.
What you saw Reed is what I saw at the spring game. A team that wasn’t hyper when it came time to snap the ball.
Let’s hope that the mark of a Pitt team is discipline and poise.

It has worked well for VTECH, and let’s face facts. They are our big brother next year.

Comment by SFPitt 08.12.12 @ 7:22 pm

For the record, my opinion on Voytik was based on seeing him actually playing the QB position in two completely different scenarios.

In one, a mid-level Tennessee high school football football game on ESPN, he looked horrible under pressure. Had no ability to escape the rush and make time for himself to throw a pass.

In the end, he got benched and was replaced by an underclassman who immediately completed passes and moved the team where Voytik could not.

There were some on this blog who immediately defended Voytik saying he had no receivers or blocking. There are a lot of high school quarterbacks who have no receivers or blocking and still shine in the face of pressure.

Fast forward to the Army All American game where Voytik had Five Star receivers and Five Star Linemen. He could not complete a pass. Looked like a boy among men.

His one bright moment was when he showed athleticism on his short run and leap into he endzone for a TD.

Note that none of this criticism is to say Voytik will never start or win a game at Pitt. It’s just that Reed’s analysis — which I get and agree with by the way — paints the reality of the situation regarding Voytik.

He’s not the next Marino or Brees as some on here have held hope for. He might be a Rick Trocano. We’ll just have to wait and find out.

As for those who call thie REALISM pessimism.

Ya, it’s real pessimistic to say that despite the reality check on Voytik and the past history we have with Tino… that Pitt is sitll going to win THIS YEAr with Chryst.

And sorry for being so pessimistic to say that Trey Anderson can and will get the job done.

I guess it;s simply not the kind of optimism you wanted to hear.

You wanted to hear that some super star from a mid level school in small town Tennessee was the next Dan Marino and he just happened to be coming to Pitt.

Go back to watching your romantic comedies.

Comment by PittofDreams 08.12.12 @ 8:40 pm

Reed’s report confirms the impressions I have gotten from other print sources. There seems to be plenty of room for optimism and little room for pessimism–at least so far.

Given the description of Shell’s running style, maybe he will play some FB this year?
Comment by pitt1972 08.12.12 @ 7:31 pm

Comment by pitt1972 08.12.12 @ 8:40 pm

good job reed,cannot wait to see em next sat, as for some i had tino’s mom call chad’s mom to let her know he is already registering sacks. remember myers i don’t.

Comment by paul shannon 08.12.12 @ 8:42 pm

PittofDreams Brees did play as a freshman and had the following numbers:19 of 43 – 42% – 223 yds- 1 int, very Marinoesque.

Also Cleveland HS has 1200+ students and plays in the second highest classification 5A, basically the equivalent of AAA in the wpial. Cleveland’s population as of 2010 was 41,285 but do know some of the kids go to Bradley Central High School (6A)which is also located in Cleveland which itself is the Bradley County Seat. Many kids are bused in from the county proper to BCHS.

I will check out their new starter’s numbers by game and get back to you.

Comment by Kenny 08.12.12 @ 9:43 pm

Reed, I along with most of the posters, appreciate your blog posting keeping us updated on what you noticed., I along with Stooch, think that Tino may turn the corner this year, like Billy Stull did his last year at Pitt. I didn’t think Stull was a Division I quarterback. To his credit he hung in there, worked hard, and came back with a strong final season at Pitt. I remember when he petitioned for the 5th year, I had my doubts that as to wheter that was a good thing. Tino will certainly be more comfortable in Chryst pro-style offense. Also he won’t have to worry about “speed, speed, speed”, and trying to run no huddle plays every 16 seconds.

Comment by Justinian 08.12.12 @ 9:46 pm

Frankcan, there was a multitude of reasons why Myers isn’t on the team any longer. The main one being that this staff didn’t want him. The saying ‘more trouble than he’s worth’ comes to mind here. The fact that he was called on the carpet multiple times for missing classes in the past year had a lot to do with it I’m sure.

A player who is starting and producing well can have allowances made for him to keep him eligible. A kid with Myers’ average talents and poor work ethic was shown the door. But I have to say this about Mark Myers. I don’t look at what he’s done as being all that negative. I personally think that we football fans view players who win a football scholarship through rose colored glasses. Here is a kid who had all of it but obviously didn’t have the passion to excel in that arena.

I can completely understand that. I had a full ride scholarship to PITT and after two years was hitchhiking down to Florida and sailing on tall ships every chance I got. Needless to say PITT invited me to leave. That turned out to be the course my life would take for the next 40 years. I’ve a feeling that no matter what happens with Myers in the football arena he’s going to turn out to be a pretty content guy as he grows older.

Pitt1972 – I don’t think we’ll see Shell out of the FB spot but he’ll most probably be our short yardage go-to back.

Comment by Reed 08.12.12 @ 9:54 pm

What’s wrong with romantic comedies?! They make me laugh. Sounds like someone could stand to watch a few more of them and maybe lighten up…

Comment by JCE 08.12.12 @ 10:18 pm

I believe Shell has said it is a different game at this level and he has to learn the intricacies of playing at this level. He said the speed is so fast at this level henceforth the need to get the many details down so he can play properly and faster…

Comment by Kenny 08.12.12 @ 10:35 pm

I have said before… Shell is slow…
people thought he was fast… but compared to what… wpial is slow, slow, slow..

Bennett on the otherhand was a track star in Oklahoma… sub 11 in 100m…. #2 in the state for the 100m… #1 in the Long Jump!!

It’s all about the speed baby!!!

Comment by Joe D 08.12.12 @ 10:56 pm

Reed thanks for the info i knew it had to be something like that.
he liked to party and he was not working hard on football i get it.
but i knew it was not a lack of talent becuse you can teach a QB a lot of things
but you cant teach him to throw the ball 60 yd in the air and drop it into a WR hands you are born with that like myers was it cant be taught
you have the arm or you dont,

it is to bad he did not take football serious
brcuse he had more physical ability then the outhers a good arm hight weight 6 foot 4 230 pounds a man child.
but with no maturity a party animal i guess.

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.12.12 @ 11:52 pm

Frankcan – I think you misunderstand what I mean when talking about Myers. It wasn’t just his attitude. He really wasn’t a very good QB talent out there. His only real strength was as you described – the deep ball – and he was very good at that. Kind of a one-trick pony.

But on his short-intermediate passing he was consistently slow and inaccurate. In practices he threw a lot of INTs because his windup and delivery looked like it was in slow motion and he never got the hang of looking off the defense. The DBs were loving it when Myers was out there.

It was almost like if Myers couldn’t air it out deep then he had no idea how to pass the ball. QBs use a different motion when throwing deep as opposed to throwing short routes. On the deep throw the arm is way over the top and much more open and, believe it or not, goes through a slower motion and release. Myers couldn’t not do that on shorter throws. In the spring Bollinger was constantly reminding him to snap his wrist to get crisper short passes.

I haven’t been kidding when I say that Tino Sunseri has better all around skills than Mark Myers has. Sunseri’s arm strength on passes other than the deep balls is better than Myers and Sunseri’s accuracy and decision making was way better.

Put it this way. When the passing game was limited to short (<15 yards from LOS), quick passes as it was last year you'd think that would mean a high completion percentage for the QB… like it has been in Sunseri's case at 64%. Myers never came close to that running the offense in practices.

Todd Graham was dying to put Myers in during the second half of the season last year after Sunseri was pulled and Anderson didn't do well. But Graham just couldn't take the chance on Myers because Myers threw so many INTs in practice. It would have killed any chance at all that we had on offense.

This current coaching staff didn't care one bit that Myers left. You might even say they held the door open for him to walk out. They weren't impressed with his play in practices at all and Myers would never have seen the field this season because of that. Regardless of Myers' off the field antics and his laid-back attitude because his skill set was below the others he was just taking up a scholarship. He certainly wouldn't have been in the mix over the next two years with Savage, Voytik and Chapman onboard and competing. PITT wasn't going to carry four QBs without one being a walk-on.

Comment by Reed 08.13.12 @ 6:58 am

Kenny – watching Shell yesterday then reading what you referenced above I wasn’t surprised. In HS he was so much better than everybody that he was working on instinct and adrenaline.

At this level, with the new offense the staff is instituting, he’s going to have to get acclimated to a new way of doing things and having to actually think out there.

The situation he’s in now is that he’s hesitating a bit while he’s thinking before going north and south and that will be very temporary. By the season’s opener he’ll have a full month at college speed and be much more comfortable.

He also is a rather humble kid and reading his quotes after the scrimmage you’d think he stunk the joint out on Saturday which isn’t true at all. He did well out there and had some very nice runs. He is an impressive guy for sure.

Watch this video of Shell in HS and look at his legs. They are even bigger now.

I do wonder though if he’s going to be the breakaway home run threat that he was in college and that I think PITT fans are expecting from him given the records he set as a schoolboy. I see him as more the ripping off 10 yard runs at a consistent rate rather than going 60+ like McCoy, Lewis and Graham have been doing for us in the past.

That will be an interesting thing to watch for this season. But if Graham can get back to form and play early on, which I doubt, then Shell will be the 3rd RB in. Bennett is doing too well to not have him in there as much as possible.

Comment by Reed 08.13.12 @ 7:07 am

Guys – just reviewed the training camp schedule and they aren’t having a third scrimmage this year. I’ll try to get up to a regular practice during the last week of camp.

Comment by Reed 08.13.12 @ 8:00 am


Guess you didn’t watch any of Voytik’s two appearances on TV — since you avoided any comment about them.

That kind of misses the point since I spell out very clearly that his two games on national television were what I was basing mty critique on.

If Voytik is the next Drew Brees you can rub it in all you want. I’ll be glad to take it.

You be sure to get back to me.

Comment by PittofDreams 08.13.12 @ 12:33 pm

Shell is going to be a really fun player to watch develop over the next three-plus seasons.

Re-iterating some thoughts I’ve had on him from before as I had a chance to watch him at Hopewell (he was teammates for three years with my nephew).

If you’re looking for a good comparison, think Jamal Anderson when he was in his prime with the Atlanta Falcons. I know it’s an NFL guy, but I can’t think of a better one at the college level (though I’ve heard Maurice Clarett, and that’s not bad). He’s every bit of 6’0″, but he’s also very compact for his height, runs low when initiating contact and extremely strong in the legs.

I think Reed’s concerns above about his ability to break long runs are well-founded. Shell had enough speed to run away from defenders at the high school level. But at this level, I don’t know that he has the breakaway/separation speed that we’ve seen with McCoy or Graham.

He has the potential, though, to absolutely gouge opposing defenses for 8-10 yards at a time and not miss a beat. He IS deceptively shifty, but he’s not cut-on-a-dime quick like McCoy/Graham; in fact, I think he’d rather run over you.

He played both sides of the ball during his junior and senior seasons at Hopewell and never seemed to wear down much. And I don’t think this can be understated – his numbers during his last two years at Hopewell were unbelievable considering opponents knew he was getting the ball. Defenses routinely stacked 9 or 10 to stop him and couldn’t.

It’ll be a lot of fun to watch his development. With Bennett, Crockett and Ray Graham essentially ahead of him, Chryst doesn’t have to force him into a role he’s not ready for.

I seriously doubt he’ll redshirt; he’s too good for that. But I could see him being brought along slowly this year and used in that 3rd RB capacity. The payoff for Pitt fans in 2013 and 2014 could be incredible.

Comment by Stoosh 08.13.12 @ 1:14 pm

I hear you loud and clear PittofDreams. I also understood why you mentioned the his two appearances on TV: He did not meet you expectations as a Elite 11 four star recruit. If you want to critique a recruit on his playing at CHS with a pours Oline and new people without experience at the skill positions it is your right. You saw just two games and evidently in your view he is a bust.

But you were also ignorant in respect to Brees’ true freshman stats and of “jerk water” Cleveland TN’s population and classification. Or was this inserted to firm up your evaluation of him.

Having said the above I will get back to you in respect to then new starter. I also will go to some of CHS’ games when they play in Chattanooga to get a read on the real deal of the rumored better than Voytik QB…

Comment by Kenny 08.13.12 @ 1:34 pm

Reed i understand what you are saying but thoes
things that he could not do are the things that can be taught like looking the DB off and throwing short if you want to learn.

I just think he was lazy and did not care if he would have worked hard at it and really tried to
learn i woud bet he would still be there.

becuse you dont get rid of a 6 foot 4 230 pound QB who can put the ball on the dime at 60 yd
unless he is a fuck up and so i give you the point he was a fuck up but that was becuse he did not work hard he did not care.

but the physical part was all there just not the will to do the work that is to bad becuse he had the part that cant be taught what a waste.

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.13.12 @ 1:45 pm

Reed you are on base with your view of Shell. It is a variable which soon may be validated. I am open to either possibility because when in HS it was the other team’s main focus to limit the damage of Shell. He was big enough, strong enough and evidently fast enough to inflict said damage and he relied on it.

If I am not mistaken Dion was not that overwhelming in HS but once he got to Pitt his instincts took over. I believe in the case of Shell’s development at this level he can know longer just rely on his natural ability. He has to learn the position intricacies of RB because as he said the athletes at the FBS level are just as strong and fast as he or even more…

Comment by Kenny 08.13.12 @ 1:57 pm


Seems you love to take away what you want from the comments of anyone who disagrees with you.

You go man.

Comment by PittofDreams 08.13.12 @ 4:28 pm

Thanks Reed

Comment by ellicott city 08.13.12 @ 5:09 pm

No PiitofDreams I do not. I base my posts on as many facts and obvious scenarios as possible. I do not base my opinions on what a recruit’s two national TV appearances or the stars the recruiting services deem them to be. I base my posts on perceived reality and not fantasy facilitated by non-researched data.

You jolly well know my stance on star-gazers. Their stance is based on projections like the stock market. Also they tend to be irrational in their dispensing of criticism in recruits and the recruiters whom recruit them.

Your perceived pessimism which you say is based on realism is at base your opinion, nothing more nothing less as all of us on here.

As for me being against anyone whom disagrees with me you, did you not do the same to the optimists on this board by having to explain your perceived realism pessimism.

And I take your advice and this man will not only go to some CHS but will also ask our landscaper’s son whom is a starting cornerback and kicker what he thinks of this year’s QB and how he stacks up to Chad. But of course it will be just my opinion with a smattering of facts…

Comment by Kenny 08.13.12 @ 6:14 pm

Not saying this was the case with Myers, but perhaps it could have been one of the factors.

He saw he was never going to play as long as Tino was here and then next year, here comes along another guy by the name of Savage. Surely he knew PC didn’t bring in Savage as a 5th year senior to sit on the bench next year.

Optimally a kid might not be affected by this stuff and still go out and practice hard, but not all kids are the same.

On the other hand he would have only been 1 play away from entering the game if Tino gets hurt.
And at times(most of them) Anderson looked overmatched out there. Whether that was due to his shoulder/wrist(?) injury or that he was indeed physically overmatched, is still to be determined at some point down the road. Anderson was definitely brought in last year to run a spread offense, as he was a decent enough runner off the ball fake.

In this power running Wisconsin scheme , don’t know if it calls for much or any running from the QB. Russell Wilson did run 79 times for over 300 yards last year and 6 TD’s, however I would guess most of those runs were not designed runs, but QB scrambles for positive yardage on pass plays. And again this was Russell Wilson, a tremendous athlete.

Trey does not appear to be the traditional classic drop back passer unless he grew some, whereas Myers at 6-4 230lbs was. Like Frankcan said, you can teach someone to throw short passes, you can’t graft an arm on someone without one. When Terry Bradshaw first arrived for the Steelers, he threw threw darts at 100mph at WR’s, 5-10 yds down the field, which usually bounced off the WR’s, but he could always throw the deep ball. Eventually he learned how to put touch on the ball and reduce the MPH to something that was catchable.

Not to even suggest Myers was in Bradshaw’s league, but Terry was very stubborn to work with and he too was a party animal. Yet they were able to teach him how to throw the short balls and also how to look off defenses, as he that had problem as well for the first 5 years or so of his career with the Steelers.

It just seems strange to me, that this coaching staff is content with going into the season with a very small, spread type QB, as the #2 backup QB and as Reed said….held the door open for Myers to leave. And also knowing again according to Reed, that Voytik is not anywhere close to being able to play this season for PITT, even as the backup and is most likely headed for a Redshirt.

Another question, since Myers is gone now and if indeed they redshirt Voytik, that means we’re going into the season with only Tino & Trey.
Ok say Tino gets hurt, out for season (even a game), that leaves Trey as the starter and who, who, who is the backup. Ron Vega ?? Ronald Jones ??

And with Trey being so small, him getting hurt as the starter is not beyond much reason.

Maybe we can all up Tom Yewcic 🙂

Comment by Emel 08.13.12 @ 8:15 pm

DE conner 6 foot 2 232 pounds commits to pitt
and like the lb all offers were from mac schools
although the lb did have a offer from cinnci
and the rest from mac schools.

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.13.12 @ 8:24 pm

**Maybe we can call all up Tom Yewcic

(for the younger alums, Yewcic was the 3rd string QB who had to come in for several games after the starting QB, Bobby Haygood got hurt, and was lost for the season, in the 2nd game of the 1976 National Championship season and the backup QB, Matt Cavanaugh got hurt in mid-season)

Comment by Emel 08.13.12 @ 8:32 pm

Bobby Haygood (of Georgia) was such a good athlete he also played on Pitt’s basketball team. And yes he actually played, he wasn’t just on the roster.

Sounds like another highly rated recruit frank.
(if we were a MAC school that is) haha

Comment by Emel 08.13.12 @ 8:36 pm

Unless Sunseri pulls a Stull-esque metamorphosis from slug to serviceable — okay, may be possible, but it’s a serious longshot based on what I’ve seen — then this news about Voytik not being close to ready was beyond depressing.

Because the good news is, Chryst’s offense is more like Wanny’s than Graham’s. But bad news, Tino stunk in 2010 too (the lone exception being the ‘Cuse game that year).

If nobody else is ready, then I guess we must play Tino, warts & all. But I gotta ask, rhetorically, how on earth is that possible?

I’d sure like to see ABT this year, because Tino’s a lame duck, thus better to get the next guy ready facing much easier Big East competition, than do so facing the ACC in 2013.

I think we may be in for a long year. And I REALLY hope I’m wrong…

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 08.13.12 @ 8:44 pm

EMel we are geting some 3 star commits now but what bothers mr is that last years 3 stars had offers from outher big east schools and teams like iowa or NCS.
but this years 3 stars offers are from mac schools.

so to me that makes them low 3 stars and last year they were high 3 stars plus we had 5 players who were 4 stars last year do you see why i am worryed abought recruiting.

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.13.12 @ 8:52 pm

Frankcan – yes, those things can be taught but after two years of being taught how to play QB and his not learning the writing was on the wall.

Comment by Reed 08.14.12 @ 6:10 am


Seems like you may be more of a Chad Voytik fan than a Pitt fan.

But that’s OK.

Hey, I hope the kid proves me wrong and turns out to be a NFL caliber quarterback – if not Drew Brees then Chase Daniel.

Time will tell.

By the way the underclassman who showed some promise in relief of Voytik during last year’s ESPN game is a left-handed 6-2 junior by the name of Austin Herink.

Cleveland has a big test this week against Marysville who they lost to last year with Voytik 35-12.

They also have a new coach who says he plans on using the spread with the new quarterback.

Maybe you can take along a videocam and post some highlights from the game?

Comment by PittofDreams 08.14.12 @ 12:16 pm

Correction, Kenny. My mistake.

Actually Cleveland is playing powerhouse Alcoa (pop 7,100).

Didn’t want to send you in the wrong direction.

Hey, forget the videocam. Maybe you can just go LIVE.

Comment by PittofDreams 08.14.12 @ 2:10 pm

Please PittofDreams spare the time it takes you write you posts in respect to me. But then again you seem the need to validated so have at it.

Yes Alcoa is a 2A school who since 2008 has played up in 3A just as Aliqu1ppa plays up in classification. Before last season they had won 7 straight TSSAA championships. The come into last season riding on a 43 game unbeaten streak. Their streak was broken by neighboring Marryville who has won 9 TSAA championships since 2000.

I too did not want to send you in the wrong directions in respect the Maryville and Aloca football teams. Alcoa has a hard time finding out of conference games. They have beaten teams in all classifications.

Alcoa HS player Randall Cobb was selected in the 2n round of 2011 NFL Draft (pick 62) by the Green Bay Packers. He** Lynn Swann of Stteelers fame was born there in that “jerk water” town…

I never was going to video anything. I will do like Reed has and go and watch live and report back to you…

Comment by Kenny 08.14.12 @ 4:49 pm

You’re a good man Kenny.

There you go nice and short.

Comment by PittofDreams 08.14.12 @ 6:18 pm

Passed through both maryville and alcoa on the way to gatlinsburg and the smokies this summer. Very nice towns. Townsfolk were of the wild appalachian type. I can see how their kids would be good at football.

Comment by TX Panther 08.14.12 @ 10:09 pm

TX my wife and me do not care for much for either Gatlinsburg or Pigeon Ford. The only thing I can say about them is they look like a Redneck Vegas Stips LOL. We prefer to go on the other side of the mountains into NC to Robbinsville or Bryson City. Both towns are small but the scenery is awesome to say the least. There is a road running North about 5-7 mils of Bryson City which takes you to the Southern end of Smoky Mountains NP. Near Robbbinsville there are two lakes with dams which remind me of some of the lakes in the Bavarian Alps. The best part is one of them has walleye and lake trout, the other has stripers!!!

Comment by Kenny 08.15.12 @ 10:25 am

My first trip to that part of the country. I was disappointed as well with both Pigeon Forge and Gatlinsburg since they were both tourist traps with that Vegas glitz. We did rent a very nice ‘cabin’ in the woods outside town. The park was nice and the air was clean. Saw plenty of wildlife like bears and turkeys. The only thing I see down here in Texas are coyotes and dead armadillos as road kill.

Comment by TX Panther 08.15.12 @ 11:00 am

Speaking of coyotes, me and the wife had to go downtown to the courthouse to get a title for a car yesterday. Along the way we came around a curve and Brooke says “look there is a dog in the turning lane and he looks hungry” to which I said “honey it aint know dog its a coyote!” LOL!!!

Comment by Kenny 08.15.12 @ 11:16 am

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