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August 19, 2012

Scrimmage #2  is in the books and because PITT won’t have any more formal scrimmages today was the last chance some players had to ‘audition’ under game conditions for a spot on the two deep.  It was evident the kids had this in mind because it was a spirited and intense day.

As opposed to the 183 play run through last week in cloudy and cool conditions, the staff had the team run a split session, 129 play workout today.  The weather got pretty warm after 10:30 and it was the culmination of a solid week of two-a-day practices so prudence was used to avoid any more injuries.

Play began at around 9:15 and wrapped up at 11:30.  It was well attended and actually it looked like there were more people there yesterday than for the Spring Game.  That may have been due to it being “Old Cranky It Was Better In My Day Players” day for football alumni.  That and a lot of parents brought their kids.

Training camps have a rhythm to them and this week we saw the defense rebound from last week when the offense carried the day.  There are a lot of different scrimmage reports that get into the observations and numbers, the new Post Gazette PITT beat writer, Sam Werner, has one out on his Redshirt Diaries Blog.  Steve Finn, who covers PITT for the Panthers 24/7 website has a comprehensive report out also. Pat Bostick did a nice video piece on the Alumni Day and especially interesting is what Johnny Majors has to say about the new staff.

The common themes are that the defense won the day with stifling front four run work and our LBs and DBs provided run support as needed.   Contrary to most of camp when the offense, particularly Isaac Bennett, has been moving the ball steadily and ripping off long gainers there was just no real offensive consistency out there today.

Rushel Shell was on the sidelines again today.  Supposedly he has a back problem but no one is talking.  Regardless of the reason, he’s not getting reps which isn’t helping his pre-scrimmage situation as standing behind Graham, Bennett and Crockett in the RB depth chart.

I don’t think the lack of big running plays today is a great area of worry though.  It may be just the opposite.  I’m not sure the PITT OL and RBs are going to face a defensive front four as quick and aggressive as who we have facing them in practice.  Donald, Clemmings, Ezell and Lippert/Mosley-Smith are quality guys.  We know what Donald brings out there; he has an excellent chance to grab All-American honors if he keeps on with his progression so far in his career.

Ezell has been a bit of a surprise in camp and had another good day today.  He’s being rotated from DT to DE and back.  He’s won himself a starting job no doubt. Clemmings is way more aggressive this year than he has been in the past and it’s hard to believe he’s only a rsSO since it seems like he’s been in the conversation for years.  Suddenly you’re seeing him in the offensive backfield on passing plays and coming around the backside to drop the ball carrier on a regular basis.

If Clemmings’ regular season play actually matches his athleticism this season it should be a treat to watch.

The most interesting player of this group is rsJR Jack Lippert, our own journeyman lineman.  He went from a redshirt year to the DL to Center and now back to the DL and with this camp he’s impressed the staff with his smart play and his non-stop motor enough to land a real job .  His might be a case of finding one’s groove after a few years on the roster.  As much as our fans want instant success with the PITT players, his path is more the norm of how players progress toward playing time.

Mosley-Smith has been slightly injured and Lippert made the most of his opportunities.   Basically it has been a ‘you practice, you play’ situation there as it plays out at other positions during camps.  Lippert’s rise gives us an effective five man DL rotation; Mosley-Smith will be in the interior but we are seeing both Ezell and Lippert swapping places from interior to end.

Another strong point for this year’s defense is going to be the safeties.  Yesterday we saw a lot of the Taglianetti and Vinopal combo and they were all over the field.  Tags went out with a shoulder injury, not serious apparently, from a hit he made while bringing down a running back later in the day.  We have four solid Safeties with these two and Holley and Hendricks.  There will be a mix and match period before the first game but Vinopal will be hard to keep of the field.  However, Tags is the defensive player everyone is talking about with his consistently good play in camp.  He may go out with a bang his SR year.

As was said about the running backs, neither QB did anything that makes one sit back and say “Thank God we have him on our team” but they didn’t suck out there either.  Trey Anderson sat out of practice again and because he has not been able to practice this week has effectively watched his chances of being QB2 float down the Mon on its way to the Ohio and the magnificent Mississippi River.

Voytik took all of the 2nd string snaps today, fourth day in a row, and played better ball than he did last week – which is exactly what you want for a freshman.  Rough stats on him would be 11-20 for 130 and one TD. Not too bad on paper but he missed a lot of open receivers, fluttered a few passes and, not surprisingly for a new guy, showed a tendency to take off and run instead of keeping his head up and eyes down field.  He’s got an arm and a head on his shoulders though and that always helps.

That said, I still advise not getting your hopes up that we’ll have a contender for the starting job for 2012.  That is Sunseri’s role; he’s cementing that with his play in camp and let’s hope nothing happens out on the field like an injury to change that. Voytik is working hard at his job, knows the playbook, etc… but he’s so obviously a FR and new to this level that you just hope he can get a year of a redshirt to really get acclimated and ready for a full four years.  Part of that is also hoping we don’t have to throw a freshman QB into the fire before he’s ready.  No better way to tank a season than that.

Sunseri play well yesterday.  He still overthrows the receiver at times and is up and down on his consistency but that’s not going to get any better IMO, it is just how he is.  He had some real nice longer passes, as he’s been doing this camp, and threw two crisp deeper out passes for completions also.  He was 19-30 for 200 and a TD.  Just about what he does in a regular game at completing around 65%.  He did nothing that would endanger his starting position; indeed he just cemented it more with his play.

When you talk about QBs you also have to talk about the fact that to be successful they have to have WRs who can make plays to throw to.  With Shanahan and Street sitting out training camp it makes one wonder just who else is going to be in that WR rotation.

Cam Saddler has been catching everything thrown his way and the play calling has included him at a much higher level than in the past so far this camp.   He’s been running crisp routes, has been where he was supposed to be for the QBs and has been getting good yardage after he makes the catch.  The staff knows what they have in him so they used yesterday’s scrimmage to get a close look at some other.

So, aside from those three returning players, three other guys made a big move with their play yesterday to be in the discussion.  Ronald Jones has really started to pick things up this year and was a star of the scrimmage yesterday with six catches for 74 yards. This kid not only can catch the ball but after he does he turns on the afterburners.  He’s like his own Run, Pass and Catch competition out there.  His versatility is such, he of the 462.8 QB rating and two more TD passes than Anderson and Myers combined, that it’ll be hard not to have him out there.

We’ve heard the name Josh Brinson a lot this camp also.  Brinson is a SR JUCO transfer who played very sparingly last season (one catch) but he played well in the spring practices and is really making his move for PT this year.  He has good size at 6’2” and doesn’t lack for speed.  Brinson also had six catches for 72 yards and a TD.  His TD was on a perfectly placed Sunseri pass to the end zone from 30 yards out, (deep ball!  yeah!!), after he beat Christian on the route.

A third name and one that could be a great story as the season unfolds is Chris Wuestner.  He is a walk-on WR out of Carlisle, PA where his father is stationed as a full Colonel in the U.S. Army.  He was unheralded, a not ranked kid by all the recruiting sites and completely under the radar.  He’s good size also at 6’2” and 205 lbs and has Gorilla Glue hands.  He catches passes and then runs with the ball.  It’s just this; he makes plays.

He and Voytik had a good thing going yesterday as they combined for numerous passes and the play of the day when Wuestner caught a pass on a crossing pattern and outran the DBs for a 30 yard TD.  There is a good chance he’ll redshirt due to the experience we have at WR but man, he’s fun to watch.  Jerry DiPaola of the Trib-Review wrote a nice background piece on Wuestner yesterday.

On the flip side to that story there is Drew Carswell. I’m not sure what is going on with him but in my opinion if he wasn’t a returning starter his play in camp so far might have him working his way out of playing time.  He’s been dropping passes at about a 50% rate out there and it wasn’t any different yesterday.  I counted at least two passes that clanged off his hands and a third he should have caught.  He ended up with one catch for 10 yards.

If you’ll remember, during the spring practices I was saying that Carswell was doing well enough and was versatile enough that he’d be split out more than used as a traditional TE.  I said that because he was doing what he was asked to do and making plays. That “H-Back” position is perfect for him if he can play up to it.  Yesterday Sunseri threw a perfect sideline pass to him and… nothing.  He’s been listed as ahead of J. P. Holtz on the two-deep so far but that may change as Holtz can also get down the field and catch footballs.  I don’t know exactly what is going on with Carswell, maybe the arrival of a future TE star in Holtz or maybe just a bad run of practices.  Whichever it is, he’s got to get better and do it quickly out there.

Brandon Felder broke off a long kickoff return also – you can see why he’s the fastest guy on the team. If our deep passes somehow starts to work look for him on fly patterns.

As you can see I spent the bulk of the morning concentrating on watching the passing game in detail.  I’m not worried about the run offense as stated above, they will get the job done this year, but we have to complement that with at least a decent passing attack and I think we will.

All in all I’m rather content with what I saw over these two scrimmages.  It is hard to compare one year to the next so I won’t do that.  I will say that the returning starters seem very comfortable with going back to a more normal offense and the 4-3 defense though.  There hasn’t been the wandering around and frustrations I saw pop up at times during last year’s practices.  I’m looking forward to some actual football though.

Notes: In practice the other day Chryst stopped the proceedings and went at Tino Sunseri with both barrels.  Apparently Sunseri came back with an explanation and Chryst unleashed the verbal dogs of war on him in full view of the world.  I wasn’t there but as it was explained to me; “You could hear a pin drop for some time afterward”.  Criticism before seasonal play starts as opposed to in the middle of the season – what a concept!

It has been great that every spring practice and every camp practice, save two closed ones to work on super-secret plays, have been open to the media and guests this year.  This is a big change from the last HC and thanks to Paul Chryst and E. J. Borghetti for making that happen.

PITT has a second ‘closed Sunday practice’ today and will follow that with six more session over the next four days.


I can’t tell who posted this, but Chas/Reed…. Nice report!

Comment by Joe Lawrence 08.19.12 @ 8:28 am

Hey, About this camp, the injuries, and Chryst working everyone very hard. This is Paul Chryst’s first camp at Pitt. He needs to establish the expectations, see what his players can do, work them into a new system, and bring them up to speed quickly. He doesn’t have a lot time to goof around. I wouldn’t have expected anything less. The season will be starting in a few weeks, hopefully he’ll the players ready to go.

Comment by Justinian 08.19.12 @ 8:30 am

Reed, By the way, you’re have a good camp as well.
Keep up the good work.

Comment by Justinian 08.19.12 @ 8:41 am

im really looking forward to this season. ive been gaining confidence in tino little by little as camp has gone on. same with the o line. from what it sounds like, the starting 5 is a solid unit, but after that theres only been flashes. so, if they can avoid the injury bug and some of those backups get some consistancy, then there wont be a problem on that front.

reed, you bring up a good point about the d line. other than va tech and maybe notre dame, our o line wont face a d line as talented as ours, so i dont read into the defense edging out the offense. just thinking about how quick the d line will be is astounding, considering how big they are. tj clemmings 6’5″ 290, ad 6′ 275, jack lippert 6’4″ 290, ty ezell 6’4″ 300. not only that but theyre versatile

Comment by pk 08.19.12 @ 9:02 am

pk – as I wrote before, I was very wary of the staff’s moving a guy Ezell’s size over to DE but watching him play in these scrimmages has changed that completely.

As Aaron Donald is quick off the LOS and moving forward, much like Mick Williams was, Ezell shows bot quickness out of the blocks but then surprising speed once the play unfolds.

Another thing about the front four – they are all underclassmen so we’ll have them in place next season also.

Comment by Reed 08.19.12 @ 9:09 am

Thanks Joe – this one is mine, Chas has been doing more day-to-day posts. The ‘by-line’ is under the titles.

Comment by Reed 08.19.12 @ 9:10 am

Good stuff Reed!!!

Comment by Kenny 08.19.12 @ 9:25 am

Thanks pk, you did what I was thinking, “this front 4 on the DL are big, how big? I’ll have to check that out, oh, thanks pk”.

I’m still trying to get a handle on Paul Chryst’s personality and coaching style. In interviews he comes across as mild mannered and almost self effacing then I’ve seen reported on more than one occasion that he has given out a solid tongue lashing to whip the team and/or individuals into place when he felt the need to.

Those kind of guys can be scary to get on the wrong side of, which I’m not sure is a good or bad thing when it comes to coaching styles. It would motivate the hell out of me to be sure I was doing everything possible at 100% to stay on Coach’s good side however.

From the sounds of it, when Chryst lays into you, it gets everybody’s attention. If I was a player, I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of one of those repremands, ouch, that’s going to leave a mark kind of situation.

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.19.12 @ 10:00 am

Reed – How’s the O-line?

Comment by ellicott city Sean 08.19.12 @ 10:09 am

reed, thats promising moving forward to the acc. from what i can tell, the only starters on this years defense that WONT be returning next year are jared holley and tags. granted, those two are very good players, but returning 9 starters moving to the acc not only bodes well for an on-field performance standpoint, but itll also allow depth to develope behind them for the future. players shouldnt have to be rushed into duty. is shane gordon a senior?

Comment by pk 08.19.12 @ 10:23 am

i decided to not be lazy, so i looked it up myself. gordon is just a junior, so yea

Comment by pk 08.19.12 @ 10:26 am

As I wrote on the previous thread, depth can be the soft underbelly of a suspect program. Everybody keeps asking if the O line is OK and they worry about depth there. I’m much more worried about what the injury bug could do to our front 4 D line. I don’t even think that we can fill out a two deep roster on the front four without including true freshmen and/or walk ons in the mix.

Just for the hell of it, lets put Kris Wildman in there as second team for no other reason than I want to hear his name over the PA system when he finally sees the field and makes a tackle. I can here the color commentator now, Wildman on the tackle, did you see him close on that quarterback, WHAT A TACKLE, HE NEARLY TOUR HIS HEAD OFF, WHAT A WILDMAN! Could happen.

More likely, if he sees the field, then we’re in a world of $hit because our first stringers are all sitting on the sidlines with injuries. We have to stay healthy on the D line, that’s our soft underbelly that is so vulnerable to injury for this year.

Our success this year hinges on our QB play, as usual, and staying healthy on the D line.

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.19.12 @ 11:00 am

Reed, thanks for all the effort in putting together the report. It’s aprpeciated.

From what you wrote, it sounds like Chad Voytik is starting to improve. That’s encouraging.

Forget redshirt. With only three acive quarterbacks available this year and Anderson’s troubles with tendonitis,chances are good Voytik’s will see some action.

Meanwhile back in Cleveland Tennessee, Voytik’s replacement saw his first action as a starting quarterback yesterday. This is the same “underclassman” who came in in relief and immediately started to find the receivers Voytik apparently couldn’t find in the nationally televised game on ESPN.

In his first start, Junior quarterback Austin Herink completed 39-of-55 passes for 371 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions against powerhouse Maryville.

Good numbers that look even better considering Cleveland lost 42-17.

By comparison with Voytik last year Cleveland lost to Maryville 21-0.

Seems some people may have known what they were talking about when they suggested Voytik might have been the second best quarterback on his own high school team last year.

While shorter than Herink who is 6-2, Voytik is unquestionably the much better athlete.

However, based on all the reports from yesterday’s scrimmage, Voytik still hasn’t shown the ability to use his athleticism to not just run but to scramble in order to buy himself time to throw. This is especially surprising in yesterday’s scrimmage where it was not live on the quarterback.

Again despite the questons I may have about Voytik, I’m still holding out hope that Chryst and Brooks Bollinger together can teach Chad how to be a more complete quarterback and live up to the potential that’s you’d expect from a player rated as highly as he was nationally.

Comment by PittofDreams 08.19.12 @ 11:09 am

Voytik was moving around pretty well yesterday and he had a very nice completion on a roll out to his right. I’m concerned that he’s taking off and scrambling too early sometimes.

BTW all three QBs can tuck the ball in and run pretty well. Sunseri had some nice pickups yesterday with his legs.

I’m not nearly concerned as much about a redshirt for Voytik, which would be ideal, but of him having to play like Bostick did in ’07. We don’t want him in there for any length of time if we can avoid it at all, and that’s better for him in the long run.

That said, if Anderson can’t go then yes, Voytik will see PT – at least in mop-up duty to get him acclimated as a player in competition at this level.

My hope would be to get Anderson healthy as a backup, have Sunseri stay healthy and let Voytik have a year to get his feet under him.

Comment by Reed 08.19.12 @ 11:23 am

Sean – I think they will be fine, if not very good, at run blocking.

It may take some time before we see them reach their potential with pass blocking. However, I do not see a repeat of next season’s porous line unless we get hit with injuries again.

Even then, with a FB and a TE in the mix Sunseri will have additional blocking and time to get his passes off.

As I said, it is hard to tell just how good this group is at protecting the QB because of the talent we have on that front four.

Comment by Reed 08.19.12 @ 11:27 am

Given the lack of depth on the offensive line, are any of the back-ups ready to step up to the plate should any of the starters get injured?

Comment by Gas 08.19.12 @ 12:14 pm

I am starting to feel optimistic that we can have a good year (8-10 wins). Is this unrealistic?

Comment by Houston Panther 08.19.12 @ 12:42 pm

I can’t help but believe that our blocking defiencies last season had a lot to do with going to the spread and trying to run plays in 16 seconds. Many of these guys were recruited for their abilities as run blockers. Run blocking is a more aggressive type of blocking which linemen enjoy and prefer. Learning to be a good pass blocker takes more time and offensive linemen moving from the high school game where offensives are gear more towards the run, to the more balanced college game, need time to develop. I think the line, baring injuries, will be fine.

Comment by Justinian 08.19.12 @ 1:24 pm

Thanks for the update. Drove down Forbes ave yesterday, and the students looked like they needed some football.

Comment by alcofan 08.19.12 @ 1:35 pm

5-10 wins is not unrealistic.

However, it’s all boiling down to the deficiencies at the quarterback position.

Only three active QBs taking snaps right now… and one with a history of a lingering injury that could leave him unavailable.

Make no mistake about it… this is the biggest problem area and it’s not going to go away.

The truth is everything hinges on Tino showing that he is not destined to play at the level he’s been playing the last few years with all of the same mistakes… staring down receivers… hesitation in the pocket… poorly thrown balls.

In every other area the team will be fine and better than fine.

AT every position the players are benefiting from being coached up from veteran coaches who are seious about their craft and have a true appreciation for the playing the game of football like it was meant to be played.

It’s Big East Championship or bust… as long as quarterback does not manifest itself as the problem it potentially could become.

Comment by PittofDreams 08.19.12 @ 1:58 pm

Meant to write 8 to 10 wins.

Though 5-10 would seem even more doable.

Comment by PittofDreams 08.19.12 @ 2:01 pm

Great work Reed, much appreciated. What happened to Murphy? Is he still with the team, he sat out last year for grades, but thought he was going to be the next great D-end?

Hoping to see a much more diciplined effort from the O, with reckless abandon from the D.

Comment by gc 08.19.12 @ 2:15 pm

@ PittofDreams I agree about the QB play by Sunseri being a key to the team’s success (again this season). I think we should give him one more chance. If he can’t do it this year then thats it, don’t let him play another game. LOL

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.19.12 @ 2:37 pm

PittofDreams you were correct in what was intimated to you as Austin Herink threw for 371-or 373 yards on 39 of 55 or 53 for two TDS (5, 67) in a 47-17 loss to defencing 6A champion Maryville at Aloca Stadium. The coach said the defeats was on him and they could not finish drives. CHS only had 16 yds rushing as opposed to 436 yds for the Rebels.

I have watched Maryville play and they are relentless in their ground attack while at the same time being opportunistic in respect to passing.

As for CHS will have to see them against a lesser opponent than Maryville to get a handle how good they can be this year. My landscaper’s son did kick a field goal and will give kudos to the dad…

Comment by Kenny 08.19.12 @ 3:06 pm

Is there a drug for stage fright? Among our many health science researchers at Pitt there’s got to be another Salk.

Comment by steve1 08.19.12 @ 3:09 pm

Justinian – to say nothing to the fact that these behemoth lineman weighing 300+ pounds had no time between snaps to recharge for the next play. That also was a result of being recruited into this current style of play but having to physically change over the course of nine months.

Gas – I’d say that we are in trouble if we get hit with three guys out like we did last year, but maybe that’s the same for any team.

The five kids getting 2nd string time yesterday were Bisnowaty (FR who is going to be a good one), Gabe Roberts (also a FR) Artie Rowell, Shane Johnson and Demhasaj (huge). Arthur Doakes and Virbitsky float around in the depth chart also.

I’ll be the 1st to say I don’t follow the details of the OL during the spring or camp because so much goes on and it really is impossible to effectively watch them when you are 10 yards away. To me its a mass of blue shirts milling about at high speed.

gc – Murphy is still on the team and practicing hard. He is in the DE two deep with Ezell, Clemmings, Hale and himself. Chris Peak and I, and others, were discussing him yesterday at length as he is such a good athlete. The gist of it that were are not sure why he’s not lived up to expectations so far then we realized we are talking about a rsSO who has three years left to play for us. I guess it’s a matter of being a normal college player taking a few years to break into regular playing time.

He did get a lot of 1st team reps yesterday due to Hale being dinged up. Actually I’m not as concerned about depth at DE as I am on the interior.

The guy who has somewhat slipped out of notice this camp is LaQuentin Smith who was bouncing around from DE to DT. Devon Cook has taken snaps at DE also but that was just for yesterday I believe.

‘Odreams – I usually hold off predictions until after camp is over. I’ll do an article on what I think we’ll see this season before game #1. But 8-4 is doable. We are going to have losses though guys, let’s don’t kid ourselves about that. There are question marks all over the team as there always is before the season starts.

Comment by Reed 08.19.12 @ 3:11 pm

Steve1 – I’d give him a prescription for one pre-game Valium.

It isn’t stage fright with Sunseri – he’s been in front of crowds and done well for years. It is in-game jitters due to circumstances. Personally, I think that will be lessened this season with a new staff. We’ll still expect it and see it sometimes though.

Comment by Reed 08.19.12 @ 3:16 pm

The guys over at Cardiac Hill have come away from the scrimmage yesterday with a positive view of Voytik. Basically saying he has shown some improvement since last week, can/will improve with time but at the same time believe it is best if he can be RSed this year…

Comment by Kenny 08.19.12 @ 3:21 pm

Whatever the ailment, whatever the cure…bring it on!

Tino, please think of it this way: You’ll be saving an old man’s liver if you keep your head in the game.

Comment by steve1 08.19.12 @ 3:23 pm

How serious is/are Anderson’s injury(s)? Is it still the wrist problem from last year? That’s a big big concern…Voytik sounds promising, which is great, but seems like we all agree we’d rather have him run the scout team this year. Not to beat this horse endlessly, but my gut tells me Chryst is going to lose patience with Tino taking dumb sacks and missing too many deep routes, and he needs a viable alternative for ‘bad Tino’ games. If not Anderson, the season could be a real toss up. Feeling good about all the other positions, but damn, we still have to feel queasy going into another year about the most important position…not good. Might be a real growing up year for Voytik, which isn’t all bad.

Comment by Matt N. 08.19.12 @ 3:25 pm

I read somewhere, can’t remember at this moment Chryst was coming down on Tino for a mistake and Tino was trying to either explain it or give an excuse for it. Chryst then lit into him really good and loud. It was said the whole practice field went quiet and you could hear a pin drop.

Now that is my kind of coach…

Comment by Kenny 08.19.12 @ 3:29 pm

Thanks Reed, good to hear. Let’s hope they stay healthy.

Comment by gc 08.19.12 @ 3:56 pm


Sure there are question marks with some of the other positions. You have players getting on the field who have not started before.

But every other position has at least one or two players in reserve… even O Line.

Going into the season with 3 QBs is crazy… and that’s saying Anderson is available.

Chryst is absolutely going to have to move someone over.

Mark Myers really did his teammates a disservice when he quit the team and quit on them.

If he (Myers) has anyone close with the ability to dole out good advice… they should talk to him about the big picture in life and get him to reconsider his decision if that’s possible at this point.

Comment by pittofDreams 08.19.12 @ 3:58 pm

By the way Kenny, thanks.

The fact is that it was pretty easy to just watch the ESPN game and see the difference in how both Voytik and Herink performed under duress in the face of a big rush that revealed that Voytik has some things he really needs to develop.

Herink coming in as a sophomore and immediately connecting on passes and moving the team showed it wasn’t impossible to do

Some people on this blog came to Voytik’s defense and blamed it on the lack of receivers and blocking. Well they were wrong.

Obviously, there are people on the ground in Cleveland that feel very strongly that while Voytik may be an athlete, Herink is the better quarterback even though still an underclassman.

Again, I’m a Pitt grad and fan and am hoping Voytik was not as over-rated as what seems may have possible.

I just haven’t seen anything to convince me yet. And a scrimmage where quarterbacks aren’t live isn’t going to change anything.

Comment by PittofDreams 08.19.12 @ 4:11 pm

No problem PittofDreams because in the end we are Pitt fans first and foremost. I did not graduate from Pitt but was born and raised in Pittsburgh Metro area before moving on to the service, college and graduate school. I have been a diehard Panther fan from youth and do not root for any other college team unless it helps my Panthers!!!

I will check Austin out, weather permitting, when they play at Ooltewah HS 8-31-12, Chattanooga Central HS 9-07-12 and Soddy Daisy HS 10-12-12. But the key for me is to get my wife to go with me. I think she will because we went to 2 CHS home games last year and both of those school are much closer than Cleveland!!!

Comment by Kenny 08.19.12 @ 5:13 pm

Kenny – I’ll give you a hint as to where you heard that about the ‘Chryst coaching session’. Just look in my article above.

It wasn’t just a dressing down or a ‘shake ’em up’ thing either. It was intense, vulgar (nothing wrong with that!) and personal. A real “Come to Jesus” meeting.

Matt N. – Anderson re-injured the same wrist he’s been have the tendinitis in.

Comment by Reed 08.19.12 @ 5:40 pm

Reed, your account of his chewing out of Tino should put to rest some of the criticism that underestimates Chryst’s ability to be Head Coach due to his normally easy going demeanor.

My problem with Tino has always been his ego. Throughout his career he has shown the tendency to get a little, no make that a lot, full of himself as soon as he does anything good.

One example that comes to mind was his touchdown run against USF when he played to the crowd like you would expect from someone like TO.

It actually goes back to his first start against Utah when in the fourth quarter with the game on the line Tino was overheard yelling to Wannstedt to “Put the game on my back.”

What redhirt freshman quarterback does that in his first game?

Wannstedt made the mistake of listening to him to which Tino promptly went out and through a horrible pass behind his receiver that was intercepted by the safety.

A good chewing out might be what Tino needed to bring his ego in check.

Hey, never mess with an OC from small-town Wisconsin who chews Skoal while calling plays from the coach’s box.

Comment by PittofDreams 08.19.12 @ 6:31 pm

LOL Reed….my answer was so close!!!

Comment by Kenny 08.19.12 @ 7:13 pm

If anyone can can handle Tino and limit his miscues Chryst can…

Comment by Kenny 08.19.12 @ 7:15 pm

The thing about Chryst that scares people is because he comes across as being gentle…almost a pushover. Oops.
By this time in his career, Sunseri should take it like a man.
Shell sounds like a potential problem. He is what -7. 18? Cut him some slack but make him work.

Comment by SFPitt 08.19.12 @ 7:18 pm

Reed, that Rx was appropriate, the dosage is the important point, not too much to put Tino in a funk, not to little to be ineffective. I’d say 10 mg one hour prior to game time followed by an another 10 mg at the half, would be just about right. Just could be the majic elixer for our boy Tino.

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.19.12 @ 7:24 pm

Reed did you notice the size diff in qbs ,savage is a giant.The fades to the end zone were scarry and some injured players seem to be having fun on the sidelines, i said some.Oh my god Huxtable is ariot.I believe these guys will play hard but isee some not buying in,depth will define this team.Say what u want about tino ,he needs to lead but there is absolutey no one ready behind him at least last sat.

Comment by paul shannon 08.19.12 @ 8:15 pm

Nice report Reed.

Eight in the box against our offense could put the qb in peril. QB peril is not good for this offense with only three qb’s taking snaps and one of those, oft injured.

Ronald Jones should be the emergency 4th qb. As far as redshirts go, it would be good to protect as many of those as possible. If you are a freshman or sophomore and you make the team better, you play. I support the coach making every player earn time based on practice.

Comment by dhuffdaddy 08.19.12 @ 8:15 pm

What’s good fellow pitt bloggers – it’s too early on so I don’t want sound cynical but feeli’n a little skeptical – Tino going 19/30 for 200 = 2 TD loss to VA Tech who returns 8 starters on a D that led the ACC in sacks with 41 – Shell was 1st team USA TODAY & he’s a spectator just like Hale – where’s former PIAA sprint champ Trent Coles ? Playing behind a walk on from Carlisle ! Here’s hoping for the best on Sept. 1st – Let’s go Pitt !

Comment by ROCKY20 08.19.12 @ 9:28 pm

Oh man! Now we are treating Tino’s mental health. I’d say before going to medicine, give HCPC’s cognitive reframing approach time to work.

Reed, as many others have said great job on this article. Thanks.

Comment by opfim 08.19.12 @ 10:02 pm

I thought Coles was moved to the secondary….

Comment by originalether 08.19.12 @ 11:58 pm

Reed, as always, fantastic job on these reports.

There have been rumors the last couple of years that Sunseri hasn’t meshed well with his teammates. Have you seen anything that would confirm or disprove that this is a problem?

Comment by Navy Panther 08.20.12 @ 6:00 am

Sunseri was voted captain by his teammates last year

Here is an article that may be interesting to many of you
link to

Comment by wbb 08.20.12 @ 7:44 am

Seems Hueber is calling out these players with “alleged” injuries… (quote from Trib).

If you are not out there, you are not durable,” Hueber said. “You have to find a way to get on the field. If you are going to find a way not to, we got the wrong guy.”

They are who we thought they were..

Comment by Joe D 08.20.12 @ 8:33 am

Hey Joe D stop creating an avatar “Pittofdreams” to rip this team! We know it is you.

Comment by Marco 08.20.12 @ 9:08 am

Pitt of Dreams is someone else… not Joe D. He posts on several blogs.
Nothing wrong with a little critisim.
Joe D.

Comment by Joe D 08.20.12 @ 9:15 am

Joe they are who You thought they are and we all understand your penchant for negative criticism. It is your calling card except when everyone is on you, you revert to non-caustic posts. It is what you do because “you are whom we not only thought you were, we know for a fact you are.” Are you related to the not-so-venerable Ron Cook…

Comment by Kenny 08.20.12 @ 9:44 am

Maybe the coaching staff should work Ronald Jones and the offense as a triple option offense, in case we need to go that deep with quarterbacks.

Comment by Caw Miller 08.20.12 @ 10:06 am

It is a twist of what Hueber said…
but, Pitt Cheerleaders are looking for more people…

Comment by Joe D 08.20.12 @ 10:40 am

btw Kenny.
It wouldn’t surprise me if Chryst gives out max ships of 25 (including transfers) for 2013 class… and push out/cut those players not putting in the work.
I appauld that… I like Huebers comment.. very revealing.

Comment by Joe D 08.20.12 @ 10:56 am

@ Kenny. There is always one sure fire way to limit negative criticism and effectively quiet posters such as JoeD,,,,,,,,,

Just, win baby, win.

BTW, Kenny, good to see you posting once more, I had been concerned that the bastards had killed you again!

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.20.12 @ 10:57 am

Chas / Reed,

Please do not let this blog be taken over by avatars, narcissists, and anonymous posters whose only objective is to sow seeds of discontent among the Pitt fan base! Thank you.

Comment by Marco 08.20.12 @ 11:26 am

JT – Bobby Engram left the PSU program in 1996, two years before the first 1998 investigation into Jerry Sandusky’s crimes.

Since 1996 he was a NFL player then on NFL coaching staffs.

He wasn’t ‘there’ at all.

What is your actual point that you seemed not to want to research at all?

Comment by Reed 08.20.12 @ 11:40 am


Some of the seeds of positivity you’ve sown over the past few weeks have included predicting a 5 and 7 season and threatening to jump off a bridge right after you cancel your season tickets.

You’ve really got to get a clue.

Comment by PittofDreams 08.20.12 @ 11:50 am

Absolutely PittofDreams, get a clue, Marco, cause you should “will” those season tickets to your heirs. We be moving to the ACC and those primo seats are going to become much more valuable after Paul Chryst brings back Pitt’s glory days in the ACC. If only Marco had waited a year or two before taking that plunge. R.I.P. Marco, you will be missed.

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.20.12 @ 12:42 pm

Joe, I did not see the use of the word “alleged” in Trib article. I would think if Coach Hueber used that word to describe player injuries, he would be looking at a serious response from the administration. I do like the qualities of competition and toughness that the coaches are instilling in the lines.

Comment by HbgFrank 08.20.12 @ 12:48 pm

QB depth is particularly terrifying when you consider the lack of quality at the position as well as the lack of depth. Not sure there is an answer, but if Voytik can show significant improvement in a week or 10 days of camp maybe its encouraging to think what he could do over the next 3-4 weeks.
Don’t see any critical advantage to a RS this year from Pitt’s perspective. With Savage, Chapman and the 2014 recruit arriving, QB depth will come. I appreciate a RS may be the best thing for Voytik, but it sounds like we may really need help, especially if Tino gets hurt.
Anderson’s wrist sounds like its a continuing issue and a QB with a bad wrist is like a head coach lacking class and ethics . . oh wait we already dealt with that.
Jones is an asset at WR and using him at QB could hurt Pitt at two positions.
As for dressing down Tino, he’s Italian and I’m sure he’s been dressed down before maybe worse than by how done by PC. I have no problem with PC’s approach in practice. Running your QB down in the press is where you do nothing be harm.

Comment by Taxing Matters 08.20.12 @ 1:21 pm

Joe I agree with much of what you reasonably say and give kudos to you.

Dr. Tom I am still alive and kicking but every now and then the unrealistic expectations of some and the attendant pessimistic/negative posts in respect to the program, coaches, players and recruits beckons me to back away for a while. I am mostly a realist and positive. I need some down time to recharge so to speak. LOL

But it all good because at heart we are all Pitt fans….

Comment by Kenny 08.20.12 @ 2:26 pm


Wow, do you have job that you can take the time to seek out every single post that I have placed on this site since 2005. Please keep digging!

To help you out I praised Walt Harris as a head coach at the creation of this blog, I didn’t really care for Dave Wannstedt or his incompetence as a game day coach, I can’t stand Steve Pederson, I’ve made more comments on recruiting that I can remember, I’ve been a ticket holder for both football and basketball for over 16 years…I like DQ Blizzards, I prefer Primanti Brothers over the O, I’m down with old school rap and techno…and I wonder what the hell happened to Omar a formerly regular on this site!

Comment by Marco 08.20.12 @ 5:40 pm

@ Marco, before you leap, let me know where your season tickets are, I may want to trade up for them if you’ve got better seats than me. I’ll keep checking the obits for your name after Pitt loses one or two games.

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.20.12 @ 9:20 pm

Lol…Dr Tom…will do

Comment by Marco 08.20.12 @ 10:33 pm

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