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September 7, 2012

Where Is the Coaching?

Filed under: Assistants,Chryst,Coaches,Football — Chas @ 1:45 pm

So much for that August optimism. You know, when we thought the overall talent wasn’t too bad and that Coach Paul Chryst would coach this team up. Because that is what Chryst is. A coach. A football coach. A football coach’s coach.

It’s hard not to feel a wee bit of annoyance over the performance of the team in the first two games.

Tino Sunseri will come in for the bulk of the criticism as far as play. And there is no doubt he wasn’t good last night, along with the typical brain farts in the red zone that we all expect at this point. Two plus years and nothing appears to have changed with him.

Yet, he isn’t the biggest problem on this team.  Almost all of the problems start on the side of the ball that was expected — that was needed — to be a strength. The defense.

They were completely unprepared at the start of both games. Once more they couldn’t stop the run. They couldn’t get any pressure up front. They couldn’t get off the field. They struggled to cover. They continually looked a step slower. It’s not all because the linebacking corp is without Thomas and Price.

 

This has me worried. Admittedly it plays into my biases and concerns that I already held regarding Strength & Conditioning Coach Todd Rice. But this team looks physically slow. The D-line. The secondary. The O-line. All over the field. Couple that with not being particularly strong either, and the situation is not promising.

Unlike the YSU game, this wasn’t a defense that had the excuse of being out there too long. Cinci plays up-tempo and had the ball for under 24 minutes. In the third quarter, the Pitt offense had drives of nearly 6 minutes and over 4 minutes. The special teams pinned Cinci at the 14 and 1. Cinci shredded the Pitt D to score touchdowns on both possessions.

Chryst is already coming in for criticism, and he is earning a nice chunk of it. He’s struggling to get the plays in to the offense. The playcalling is questionable at key points. Two straight attempts at a fade in the red zone? Maybe he really meant it when he claimed he did not look at tapes of the team from previous years.

He deserves a couple years. There is no way Pitt can handle yet another change in the head coach. We knew he would make mistakes as a first-time head coach. Even the craziest fan had to know that.

Here’s where I’m worried. Most of this staff he put together is based on personal relations he has with them — or someone else close to him. It’s not a stretch, even a couple games into the season, to suggest that some changes to the staff are going to be necessary if there aren’t some vast improvements.

It’s clear that whatever D-line Coach Inoke Breckterfield is doing doesn’t seem to be working to this point. The entire defensive scheme is a question including how they are using personnel. Jim Hueber doesn’t seem to be getting much from the O-line.

No position coach or coordinator is going to lose their job mid-season. They also need an opportunity to show that they are making progress. Their window, however, is much smaller. They are supposed to be the ones to get the players ready and implement the game plan. Right now I’m not seeing it.

Will he, though? Will Chryst let people he is close to, go to “pursue other opportunities?” Will he be willing to hire people that don’t have personal ties. As the head coach, that is part of his duty. To do what is best for the program, not simply to hire guys he knows and trusts. That’s going to be something where the answer is unknown.

 





Joe D that make at least 3 that we know of
so why must pitt suffer with tino EMel has a reason could it be true?

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.08.12 @ 5:26 pm

QB Manziel is a redshirt freshman, who was a three star recruit according to Scout. I am sure he ran track. Jody, the point is correct that it is okay to go with a redshirt freshman, even in the SEC.

Pitt is currently operating with the assumption that Voytik and Savage Will be duking it out next year. We shouldn’t assume Savage to be the starter. That is one reason I want to see Voytik take over for Tino after the Vtech game. Tino is done and the last two games should be enough for Paul Chryst to pull the string and make that happen.

Comment by dhuffdaddy 09.08.12 @ 5:34 pm

Manziel was a 3star by rivals…
that was a surprise as announcers said he was most sought after QB..
his HS number are crazy… over 7000 yds passing.. 75 tds… then almost 4000 yds rushing and 75 tds..

He came from a small HS in bumf Texas… and he didn’t run track!! but has speed.

Comment by Joe D 09.08.12 @ 6:06 pm

and I agree dhuff..
give Voytek some playing time…
start with Gardner game..

Comment by Joe D 09.08.12 @ 6:08 pm

If we keep loseing if bye game 5 he has not put anderson or voytek in i am done with pitt football till next year.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.08.12 @ 6:36 pm

Another interesting nugget is that Wisconsin has scored ZERO points with 7 minutes to go in the 4th quarter against oregon state.

Maybe our guy is that good and we just don’t have the right pieces in place. That will happen in time.

What? Joe, no forty time on that kid? Slacker! LOL.

Comment by dhuffdaddy 09.08.12 @ 6:54 pm

DJS-

Don’t think that comparing public and private schools is as easy as using your own experience (whenever that may have been). My son just graduated from public high school with 21 college credits, all classes he took at the public school. Many are not offered at the private schools in the area. Also, public schools have more government restrictions and have to deal with ALL students, not the select students who attend private school. In my 25 years as a public school teacher I have seen many students who were asked to leave private school. And that is not to mention those students who have special needs that are not typically accommodated in private school settings.

Comment by pitt87 09.08.12 @ 7:29 pm

FWIW, YSU beat Valparaiso 59-0 and led 49-0 at halftime … not much consolation but I’m grasping at straws

Comment by wbb 09.08.12 @ 7:52 pm

It’s a myth that America’s schools are much worse than many other countries and we need to spend more to improve them. Asian Americans do better than Asians, African Americans do better than Africans, European Americans do better than Europeans in schools. The problem is our scores are an average, and some cultures, because of parenting, outperform our average.

Comment by 66Goat 09.08.12 @ 8:03 pm

One poster proclaimed that we “should keep expectations low”.
I agree but not for the reasons he cited.
Pitt does not want football to be successful. They are in the ACC, do not enjoy significant university donations from the football team performance and thus, are not bothered by perpetual lousy performance or the snickers from their peers.
Pederson would not have kept his job at Duquesne, but he has at Pitt. Firing Wanny without a plan, hiring Haywood was a stretch at best but the lack of a background check made Pitt and Pederson look stupid.
Hiring Graham and then being jilted by him leaves Pitt and Pederson branded as class A suckers.
Chryst is behind the 8 ball as Pitt essentially lost 2 recruiting classes on top of the coaching carousel.
But Pitt could care less.
No one there has ever worked for a winner…they all have Pitt as the first stop on their resume…if you know any if them you know this to be true; if not, read their bios.
I stopped my donations and called the Athletic Department.
I didn’t go postal.
When I called, I told the nice lady that Chryst was going thru a hard time and I wished him well. She sounded surprised.
I then told her that her boss was incompetent, had been fired by Nebraska for good reason and by virtue if his lousy personnel decisions had sunk Pitt recruiting for 2 years and given Chryst nothing to work with. She said “thank you” in a very low voice and hung up.
I also sent Pederson an email and told him point blank that I would fire him and had (withdrew donations) and held him responsible for the chaos..he might fool his bosses but he didn’t fool Nebraska and he ain’t fooling me.
I signed my name.
Pitt care? No way. They fired Wannstadt and treated him like dog shit, yet they keep dig shit Pederson who is far worse at his job than Wanny was at his.
Don’t go to games and don’t donate money and tell Pitt why you are taking this action.
Otherwise, they will treat you like a chump.
Remember, Pitt football has underachieved for decades…it isn’t by accident.

Comment by SFPitt 09.08.12 @ 8:59 pm

Actually, really simple SFPitt when you think about it.

The man got chased out of one of the most storied college football programs of all time, before he completely ruined it.

Pitt re-hired this man.

Comment by Dan 09.08.12 @ 11:50 pm

Watching Todd Graham against Illini. He is using true freshman, even at qb. He is using two qb’s even. Both qb’s understand his offense and at least through the first half, are pounding illinois.

This again shows how terrible tino really is. He couldn’t grasp it. Graham has hinted at Pederson being the problem and I believe him.

Wisconsin continues to struggle offensively. They put up 7 points against oregon state. I continue to believe players respond to paul chryst. He will win for us!

Comment by dhuffdaddy 09.09.12 @ 12:23 am

With TG and AZ state killing illini that is proff
that he was a good coach he had nothing to work with here
he left because we have no players and he knew it
i dont like him but it shows it was us not him in a way and maybe our AD WAS PART OF THE PROBLEM.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.09.12 @ 1:31 am

Today’s article in the Trib talks about the downfall of both the Pitt and PSU football programs with the arrow pointing to the AD of both schools.

Comment by markp 09.09.12 @ 8:23 am

dhuffdaddy… You’re right on the money.

Comment by PittofDreams 09.09.12 @ 10:30 am

don’t think dave is laughing in buffalo!

Comment by nw pa pitt fan 09.09.12 @ 5:40 pm

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