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September 10, 2012

Now What?

Filed under: Chryst,Coaches,Football — Chas @ 7:18 am

Pitt has a ton of problems. And, yes, I have posted for a couple straight days with attention to the coaching staff. There’s a reason for that.

The deficiencies and strengths on this team — regarding the players/talent/depth — were mostly known coming into the season. The unknown was how the coaching staff would use them. How they would coach and prepare them.

So far, it has not been pretty. There’s no way to pretend otherwise. Yes, the coaching chaos the last two years have taken a toll. Almost certainly it has had an effect on the team psyche. Yes it has impacted the overall talent on the squad. Yes, there are injuries — especially to the linebackers. Yes, there has been a bit of overestimating the overall talent on this squad.

None of that is sufficient to explain the performance of this team in the first two games. Losing by 14 — and never even leading — to YSU. Not being competitive in the Cinci game. Sorry. This team should not be this bad.

Coach Chryst will and should have the time to set up this program his way. He’s also a first-time head coach, learning and making mistakes. We wish otherwise, but the on-the-field performance and the way the team has started in the first two games demonstrate that right now he is finding 0ut how steep the learning curve can be in moving from coordinator to head coach.

Changes. Shake-ups to the coaching staff won’t happen until the off-season. (And there absolutely needs to be a shake-up just based on these first two games.) So, the position coaches had better find their own sense of urgency.

[Editor note/UPDATE: Holy crap, Wisconsin just fired their O-line coach, 2 games into the season!]

What I will be looking to see over the rest of the season and going forward:  will there be improvements? Will the players be better prepared to start games? Will they have more urgency? Will they be in a better position to use their strengths, and can their weaknesses be masked?

It sucks to be in week two and already writing off even a .500 record, but that is the reality right now. It sucks for guys like Holley, Tags, Jacobson and seniors who have worked their tails off. Done all they can. Left bits of cartilage and brain matter on the field for Pitt.

The reality is, this season is lost. They lost a gimmee, and failed miserably in a game that was believed to be a toss-up before the season started.

The defense is a mess. The D-line is being shredded, and that further exposes the very depleted linebackers. The secondary, which was supposed to be the strength on this team is struggling badly to play man coverage.

Sunseri is not the reason Pitt has lost their first two games — the defense takes a larger share of the blame so far. He’s been his maddeningly-inconsistent-tight-when-it-matters-unable-to-hit-a-man-more-than-20-yards-downfield-self. But the offensive line remains lousy. Giving him no time, and not giving the running backs anything inside. That said, Sunseri’s not helping, and I am ready to rip the redshirt off of Voytik.

The only thing that gives me pause — and it has gotten much smaller the more I think about it — is playing behind the Pitt O-line. The O-line is technically at full-strength (Notwithstanding Juantez Hollins) — or at least closer to full available players than last year — and it is just as bad at pass protection. No one should feel that comfortable throwing a freshman QB behind that O-line, least of all the coaches. Of course it can rationalize that away because Voytik is supposed to be a better runner.

It’s defensible to keep Voytik’s redshirt in a lost year, but it less defensible to keep trotting out Sunseri. At this point it just seems like wasting time.

After that, what other changes do you make to the line-up? Plug Bisnowaty and/or Demhasaj in at the O-line? Give Rippy a look at linebacker (actually, yes).

Blame the loss of the 2011 recruiting class all you want, on the lack of talent, but those would only be sophomores and redshirt freshmen. As tumultuous as last year was, the 2012 recruiting class held together and brought in some good talent. To say nothing of how all summer, plenty were supporting the idea that stars and recruiting rankings were not the end-all-be-all.

Ultimately the only losses I can really point to from the last two recruiting classes that hurt in terms of present depth and need are all from the 2011 class: Gary Nova (QB), Marquise Wright (DT) and Quintin Alston (LB) — and the loss of Alston was arguably negated by picking up Ejuan Price after the Tressel firing. After that, there really aren’t many other players that decommitted from Pitt who would really be an upgrade at the position on this particular squad.

What do you want or hope to see from this team at this point?

 





I posted this in response to the PG article by Sam Werner where he tries to defend Sunseri:

To say that Tino Sunseri is not PROBLEM #1 for this team either shows that you haven’t watched Pitt football for the past 3 years or you are perhaps blind. Yes, Tino is not the only problem but he is the biggest. Lets start with his skill set: slow, indecisive, bad decision maker, lack of field vision, average accuracy, average to below average arm strength, no ability to throw the deep ball accurate, poor game manager and no sense of awareness in the game. Now you argue that the O-line has not been good at protecting him and I will agree somewhat. My argument is that most of the problems up front are actually caused by Sunseri. The other teams know Tino cannot beat them, they know he cannot throw downfield and they challenge him to do it. Knowing this, Pitt’s opponents wisely stack the line and shorten the field. They also are far more likely to blitz more often because they aren’t afraid of Sunseri beating them. So… when you have opponents that can basically play defense within a 20 yard field of play and have no fear of blitzing and stacking the line to stop the run….what do you get??? a losing team. It all starts at QB and this team needs a change for better or worse. At the very least someone else deserves to get a start and see what they can do. I simply don’t understand how a coach can continually watch the same problems and mistakes and allow it to continue week after week????

Comment by Coach Ditka 09.10.12 @ 7:47 am

This teams does have many problems but Coach Ditka is right, Tino is a liability to the offense. Defenses can be extremely aggressive because there’s no fear of gettin beat deep. We have good running backs but they can only make so many people miss against a stacked box. This offensive ineptitude put more pressure on the defensive to come up big, which they haven’t been able to do. But let’s give the defense a lead and see what they can do. I think it changes the mindset of the players and coaches. Coach Chryst has to make the decision to sit Tino. 3 yrs is enough of a sample, this tiger isn’t changing his stripes.

Comment by Pittastic 09.10.12 @ 8:16 am

watching pitt is sometimes the equivalent of getting torchered, almost like a clockwork orange where they hold the guys eyes open and make him watch violent images. except for us the torture we need to endure is tino’s ineptness. we all know it is going to end in failure, but continue to keep watching. i knew this season would be painful with tino at the helm, but not this painful. why the resistance to change? tino has proven himself a failure now for 3 coaches and yet he stills put out there to …fail even more. painful!

Comment by pittisit37 09.10.12 @ 8:21 am

Current talent is validation that previous recruiting
classes were over rated. Pitt has had the highest rated classes
in the BE (other than WVU) yet loses games to Cincy, Uconn,
etc. Or is it coaching? Regardless this is another sad season for Pitt. Lots of empty seats this season.

Comment by JR 09.10.12 @ 8:25 am

Three different coaches with the same result. Makes you wonder if it dosen’t start at the top.

Comment by DJS 09.10.12 @ 8:27 am

@DJS
Your question is rhetorical. It always starts at the top because that where the race starts.

What do I want to see from this team?
Effort, heart, fire and that refusal to get kicked around like a bunch of p*ssies.

But as long as Pederson remains, you are only moving deck chairs on the Titanic.

Comment by sfpitt 09.10.12 @ 8:37 am

I want to see Marino and Dorset roll out of the tunnel on Saturday, suited up.

Comment by H.LandPitt 09.10.12 @ 9:02 am

A double blocking tight end set for every passing down to compensate for our OTs inability to handle the outside speed rush.

Comment by pitt1972 09.10.12 @ 9:16 am

You play to win the game…
You play to win the game…

if that means Voytik… so be it…
why people are into red-shirting is beyond me.

Article in Trib today…
Solution to Pitts problems… recruit better!
and we know, Chryst is terrible at recruiting.

link to triblive.com

Comment by Joe D 09.10.12 @ 9:24 am

H.LandPitt, at this point I’d settle for John Congemi or David Priestly running out of the tunnel.

Tiny is pathetic

Comment by Coach Ditka 09.10.12 @ 9:26 am

Coach Ditka…
I emailed Sam as well at PG editor.. shirman…
Pointless article!!
and his 1st question out of the box after Cincy game interview of Chryst… dumb, dumb, dumb.
If that is what is to be expected out of sam… go back to covering hs sports.

Comment by Joe D 09.10.12 @ 9:26 am

Here’s my Now What.

Going back to spring, long before “The Debacle” (YSU) and “The River City Smackdown” (Cincy) I was on the record saying VaTech would be Chryst’s signature win in his first year as HC.

Believe Dr. Tom agreed.

Well as foolish as it may sound… I’m sticking to it.

Here are a few reasons…

1) VaTech is good but not that good — Most impressive aspect of the team looks to be the defense, especially line and linebackers.

2) Hokie QB good but not that good — Physically imposing and obviously a gifted athlete for his size, Logan Thomas is just average when it comes to throwing the football. Pitt may be about to have its first interception of the season.

3) Pitt’s Defense showing life — Chryst and Huxtable are showing a willingness to put who they think are the best players on the field no matter what anybody thinks. Holley and Hendricks in, surprisingly Taglianetti out and Vinopal out. The addition of Clemmings seemed to give the D-Line a little edge. And most surprising, Gordon finally sucked it up and played his best game in two years although still not exactly Mason-esque.

4)Pitt’s running game improviing — Ray Graham is healthier and finally Rushel Shell gets to show us what he can do and he looked pretty good… as a runner. Now, if the O-Line can just come around.

5) Chryst finally gets to see tape on a team with an extra few days to lay out his gameplan. Wisconsin’s offensive woes last weekend are testimony to exactly what Chryst brings to the table and why he was hired.

If there is going to be a signature win for Chryst to restart the season and his tenure… this is it.

Comment by PittofDreams 09.10.12 @ 9:30 am

Pittofdreams. If Tiny is the qb the dream is dead, end of discussion.

Comment by Coach Ditka 09.10.12 @ 9:34 am

POD… you are dreaming…. now I understand your name!

Comment by Joe D 09.10.12 @ 9:48 am

Joe D

Have yo u ever posted something positive? Does the ‘D’ stand for Debbie as in Debbie Downer. lol

Kidding aside. I actually agree with you on one thing. The local media does not have the best journalist when it comes to creativity for a story.

Comment by notrocketscience 09.10.12 @ 9:51 am

norocket…
I come to find out… PG and Werner are just cheerleaders…
Trib is better for Pitt coverage.
Now, even DiPaolo didn’t finish the story… just recruit better!! that is easy to say… maybe its an opening to another article on recruiting.

Comment by Joe D 09.10.12 @ 10:07 am

Very insightful summary Chas. For me it all comes down to this fact: I am a Pitt Fan–always have been and always will be. Yes this is a down time to say the least, but I will continue to support our players and our great university through the good and bad years. I truly believe that Paul Chryst can and will turn this thing around, and when it does happen, it will be all the more sweeter. Hang in there, better days are ahead. Hail to Pitt!!!

Comment by Panther Fan in Hoopieland 09.10.12 @ 10:14 am

I have lost faith in the recruiting stars these self proclaimed experts give seventeen year old kids…some of which aren’t even fully mature yet. There are no ‘must haves’ in a recruiting class. Mining kids with potential and skill, then developing them is the key.
I like the idea of recruiting kids after you have seen them in person at a camp against the best competition.
I don’t believe you can say Chryst can’t recruit talent yet especially after the lack of production from DW’s 4 stars.
Only time will tell and we really have no choice but to give him time.

Comment by notrocketscience 09.10.12 @ 10:23 am

i don’t think it would be fair to throw Voytik to the wolves vs. VA Tech, but he should definitely get at least a couple series if not start vs. Gardner Webb. Bye bye Tino.

Comment by scott 09.10.12 @ 10:32 am

This season is very disappointing. But what makes it even more frustrating is that I already feel as though next season is also a lost cause. We need to begin preparing for the ass whooping that is ACC football. If that means starting now to lessen the blow then we must do that. Our line already sucks, so why not try out some of the underclassmen. Tino just sucks period and he should just be gone. I must say though, if he played this well his sophomore year, maybe Wannstadt’s fate would be different. Play the players needed in order to prepare the team for the ACC, it is a must right now.

As for Steve Pederson, you can’t help but blame him for alot of this. I know Wanny was a loyalist to his staff, but if Steve was a good AD, he would have forced Wanny to hire a new offensive coordinator. Everything else, IMO, was fine. Wanny was just a bad game day coach with a putrid offensive scheme, but that guy could recruit. I think Chryst is still a better coach, but that hire needed to be made first before Haywood/Graham. The team would have been in much better shape last year, this year, and better prepared for the ACC. (Especially last year because Chryst would have had better players for his system and there was a slight chance his 2011 class could have been kept intact.) Oh yeah, and did anyone see ASU’s record? Who else wants to puke with me?

Comment by Timmeh 09.10.12 @ 10:54 am

norocket…
is the lack of production from DW’s 4star due to poor coaching… or lack of drive.
If lack of drive…
I say, bring in 25 new recruits… and show some the door. Any junior that is not a current starter… I would release from scholarship at end of season. It may be time to cut the cancer affecting the locker room.

Comment by Joe D 09.10.12 @ 10:54 am

Can we fire our DC two games in? We rolled up 415 yards of offense. How again did we not score. The potential is there if the Defense can just step up.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 09.10.12 @ 11:01 am

@Joe D. Maybe Fraud is a good coach. 6-6 with this squad could be a miracle.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 09.10.12 @ 11:02 am

If I’m Coach Chryst, I have to be thinking that it’s time to make changes. The only really dramatic thing he can do is change QB. Maybe Voytick’s not ready, but hey, neither is Tino. And we know Tino never will be. I hate to throw a Freshman into the fire against VA Tech, but what the hell? We’re going to lose anyway….maybe we’ll find out that Voytick’s a gamer…

Comment by CJK 09.10.12 @ 11:13 am

Reply to Chas: “Sunseri is not the reason Pitt has lost their first two games.”

The best you can say is that Sunseri is not the ONLY reason Pitt is off to an 0-2 start. In other words, he didn’t (yet) blow games all by himself, like he did soooo many times in 2010 and 2011.

But if Pitt was playing a D-1 quality QB instead of D-III Tino, maybe we could outscore teams until the defense catches up.

With Tino Sabe in the saddle, the only way this team can win, as currently configured, is for the defense to pitch a near-shutout.

Looks like we’re in for a long year. Like, record-long (bad)…

I still say nothing is gained by Tino taking another snap in a Pitt uniform. We’ve seen this movie, we know how it ends. Time to start getting the next guy ready for 2013.

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 09.10.12 @ 11:19 am

My Now What?

We know Tino doesn’t perform well under pressure. Much of the pressure is in the red zone.

Chryst doesn’t think Voytek knows the whole playbook.

So put in Voytek with a few scripted plays in the red zone. Maybe he can throw a fade with some touch to our tall receivers.

Comment by 66Goat 09.10.12 @ 11:22 am

Open question to the other inmates in this asylum who are saying things like “I still think Chryst is a good [head] coach.”

Based on what? Honest question. Because I haven’t seen a single droplet of evidence that the guy can coach at all.

All I see (so far) is a guy who very well might go winless with a 2011 bowl team.

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 09.10.12 @ 11:24 am

IMMA – I’m dissapointed as much as anyone, but Chryst deserves at least 3 years. ‘mI on record saying his first step should be benching Tino, if only to infuse some energy into the team. They’re as tired of trotting this broken horse out there as we are…

Comment by Pittastic 09.10.12 @ 11:34 am

As for those of you who want coaching changes. Wiscosin fired their o-line coach after 2 games, so it can be done. Not saying I’m in favor of it…yet.

Comment by Pittastic 09.10.12 @ 11:44 am

I predict the Panthers will be having their heads absolutely handed to them against VT this Saturday. Tino will be worse than terrible and he may even get knocked out of the game from being sacked 10 times and they have to cart him off the field. By midway through the 3rd quarter, Tino will be out. Unfortunately, he’ll be replaced by Anderson. The only way we’ll see Voytik on Saturday will be if Anderson gets knocked out.

Comment by Panther Pride 09.10.12 @ 11:50 am

Looks like Wiscy is missing Bostad just as much as Pitt could have used him…Damn you Greg Schiano!!!

Comment by BCPITT 09.10.12 @ 11:53 am

I agree with IMMA Man and fire the staff and hire the following, who are about the only ones available at this time:

Petrino – HC
Mark Mangino – OC
Tom Bradley – DC
Jay Paterno – QB Coach
Joe D – LB / Secondary
Pittastic – DL
Coach Ditka – TE/OL
IMMA Man – WR/ RB
FrankCam – recruiting coordinator

Comment by wbb 09.10.12 @ 11:58 am

@Coach Ditka, right on!!

@ PittofDreams, sorry, I’m now hanging my head, Sunseri has crushed my hopes for the VA TECH game. I presently find myself entertaining masochistic thoughts of VA TECH really kicking the $hit out of Pitt and Tino in particular (I guess that is actually sadistic thoughts) just to reinforce the obvious. Tino must go!

Coach Ditka just presented very well,the other side of the coin that I’ve been harping about every since Thursday night’s debacle,establishing the team’s mindset. Tino INSTILLS confidence in the team, therefore they play with the wicked abandon of assumed success. Unfortunately, the team that I refer to, is the defensive squad of whomever we’re playing that week.

When your coaches pound into your head in preparation for playing Pitt that, “if you apply enough pressure to this Sunseri guy, he is going to make mistakes. Plus he is not a running threat”. It is going to positively effect your level of play on the defensive front. Add to that, no danger of getting burned deep in the passing game and you have a Pitt formula for failure, or conversely and opponent’s formula for success.

So keeping Tino in there is a double edged sword and unfortunately for us, we are getting cut up on both sides of that sword.

So to answer the question, Now What?

First, and foremost, BENCH SUNSERI.

Second, call a total team meeting with Chryst informing the Pitt squad that a shake up is underway across the board. Starting with a new QB.

Third, have personal, one on one, meetings with Voytik, Anderson and even Ronald Jones regarding their own feelings on where they are at in their own preparation to start at QB come the Gardner-Webb game. This will be utilized to determine how the QB position is manned for the immediate future. Emphasize that honesty is imperative, if you do not feel ready and have any reservations, then let us know. We do not want you in there if you are not 100% confident in your potential. No worries, it’s OK to say you’re not there yet. Incorporate Ronald Jones in some form of “Wildcat” formations, 3 or 4 basic play selections for specific situations. Jones has proven that he can handle that responsibility from past performance and success and it would give the offense a completely different look when used.

Fourth, Let the rest of the team know that this football team is in a total state of flux and that no starting position is secured by tenure or experience alone. If you are not getting it done, you will be replaced by somebody else, to give them their chance on game day.

Fifth, Invite and bring in every single Pitt football legend who is willing to speak to the team. Have them show up and share their personal Pitt experiences with this team throughout the remainer of the season. Especially if you can get it to happen on game day. Football is a game of emotion. This team needs to get some. Instill that sense of tradition in them, make them aware that because of their individual actions, their personal success or failure that it reflects on the University and all who came before them. Instill in them the responsibility that they have to the tradition of Pitt football when they perform out there on the field of play.

If you were an 18-20 year old Pitt player sitting in the locker room before the game listening to a Dan Marino instilling in you how to play with Pitt Panther Pride, going 100%, start to finsih, no matter what the outcome of the game, do you think that your game demeanor would be enhanced, sure enough would!

Sixth, As Coach Chryst has already professed. Play to your player’s strenghts. Job one however is to find the guys who have bought in 100%. Then play those guys. Effort and committment trump experience or previous starting history across the board. Once found develop those guys with the correct mental attitude for the future.

Seventh, demand from your coaches as well as from the administration, 100% committment to recruiting. Invite in these uncommitted recruits to this process. Educate them to the history and tradition of Pitt football. Have them sitting there in the locker room on game day listening to the Danny Marinos of days gone by, getting them bought in even before they sign on the dotted line on LOI day.

Eight, challenge the Pitt fan base and the Pittsburgh sports fan in general to support the program. Let them know what you are committed to doing and ask them to come out and support the team. Literally giveaway blocks of tickets via donations to various organizations to get people in the stands. YMCA, Boys Clubs, Big Brothers, city football leagues, high school football programs, etc. And if needed arrange and provide mass transportation to make it happen. Establish a Pitt ambassador program of both paid and volunteer participants to serve as chaperons and guides for these game day excursions.

Ninth, give some incentive at every home game for the student body to attend the game. T-shirts, sign competition, best team spirit outfit, etc. Let the student body onto the field for the start of every game to form a tunnel when the Panthers take the field. And most important, produce priorty boarding passes to the student sections, to be passed out at the exit of every student section at the END OF THE GAME to get priority bus boarding first, without waiting in line behind those who left the game early. Make it even better by providing an advertising incentive to businesses on these passes, like on the tickets for some food offer etc. for the students.

Tenth, refuse to accept mediocrity. HAIL TO PITT!

Comment by Dr. Tom 09.10.12 @ 12:03 pm

For F sake, even Terry Bradshaw got pulled as a starter for Joe Gilliam and Terry Hanratty…he did eventually win his job back, but that’s just it, he had to win his job back. Are you telling me Bradshaw can get yanked but Tino can’t?! Quoting John McEnroe, “You cannot be serious?!”

Sticking a guy in a game when we’re down by 21 against a defense smelling blood and with a sputtering, no-confidence offense is hardly a fair shot. Forget waiting until Tino shames himself again and just give Anderson or Voytik the keys at the start of the game…the only fair way to assess their ability.

Tino has gotten 27-28 straight starts — how about 3-4 straight starts for Anderson or Voytik and then check their progress?

Comment by Matt N. 09.10.12 @ 12:04 pm

@wbb,

You would give four coaching slots to non-Pitt Blather participants? That does it. I’m filing a grievance with my Pitt Blather steward.

Comment by 66Goat 09.10.12 @ 12:14 pm

Dr. Tom

Brilliant. Thank you.

Comment by towerbabbo 09.10.12 @ 12:25 pm

I’ve been going to the games for the last five years and watching the YSU game and the Cinci game I can confidently say that Tino (for once) is NOT the piece holding us back. Yes he missed a couple throws, but have you guys watched the defense? Or the O line? The defense doesn’t fill gaps and doesn’t wrap up tackles. That’s not something you should need to be worried about at a D-1 school. That’s the sort of stuff you learn in Peewee football and until you do that you’re not going to excel in the tougher parts of defense.
Meanwhile the O line is leaving guys unblocked constantly or are just being punished in the trenches. Please explain to me why our GIGANTIC O-line is only allowing our RB’s to get under 3 ypc when we take away just the longest run they had of the day… I dislike having Tino as our QB just as much as the next guy, but until our defense starts making tackles and our Oline blocks, it won’t matter who’s under center. You guys need to get that through your heads.

Comment by Rob V. 09.10.12 @ 12:27 pm

By the way….

Redshirt Voytik? What are we saving him for? Shell will play significant minutes this year at a much deeper position. So…

Comment by towerbabbo 09.10.12 @ 12:29 pm

True 66Boat. wbb has no loyalty to Pitt Blather participants. Plus he’d go down with the SS Sunseri…

Comment by Pittastic 09.10.12 @ 12:30 pm

wbb’s post is best by far

Comment by Timmeh 09.10.12 @ 12:33 pm

actually, I would play Ronald Jones or Anthony Gonzalez at QB (not kidding)

Comment by wbb 09.10.12 @ 12:39 pm

The following YouTube video should be shown to every single recruit and their family early on in their first recruiting visit.
If this doesn’t get you exciting about Pitt Football and get you interested in making some of your own Pitt Football history in the future, then nothing will.

Watch it, HAIL TO PITT.

link to youtube.com

Comment by Dr. Tom 09.10.12 @ 12:44 pm

The loss to YSU is on the coaches. There is no excuse for a D1 program to lose to a D2 program, ever. Several of the big plays Cinncy had were on the coaches. After seeing our defense get chewed up by YSU, what in world made them think they could play aggressive and pack the box and have safeties run blitz Cinncy? Anyone notice after several of the big plays in the Cinncy game our DC was sitting down facing the team writtng on a white board and very calmly explaining how they just got whipped. I want that guy standing up spitting fire! The tackling is bad, which is on the coaches. As far as our QB play goes, we need a QB who can “make” several plays a game…with his brain, arm, or feet. Seeing Tino make the very nice play where he was almost down and tossed the ball to a RB is what I’m talking about. It made me think, when was the last time I saw a Pitt QB “make” a play where none was there? I really can’t remember. We need that a couple times a game. It can be a real difference maker.

Comment by HbgFrank 09.10.12 @ 12:45 pm

@wbb:

Do you think they’d let Sandusky out on a work release program on Saturdays? He could surely help with the staff.

Comment by Panther Pride 09.10.12 @ 12:47 pm

I think Tino needs to go. They kept saying on the broadcast that he is the leader of the team. Thats gotta be a joke. If I was on of those players on the team and this guy was behind center still making those mistakes and he came to give me advice or be a leader I will tell him to get the F*ck out of my face.

Qb is the most important position and making change even to Anderson could be some type of spark. I seen enough of Tino.

Comment by KRF 09.10.12 @ 12:48 pm

KRF…you are correct…he is not a leader whatsoever..in fact, when he came off the field on THursday night, he looked so disinterested and was never shown talking to other players.

He is not a leader and i am convinced that he has no ambition to even play.

Comment by H.LandPitt 09.10.12 @ 12:53 pm

Watching Street play lately shows the disgust for your QB. You think I’m kiddin?

Comment by DJS 09.10.12 @ 12:54 pm

Do you think the media has the balls to ask Chryst if he will fire any assistant coaches before end of year… vis a vie what Wisky did?

Comment by Joe D 09.10.12 @ 12:55 pm

@ KRF. In this total Pitt nightmare, maybe that is an accurate statement and Tino is the LEADER of this team. And we’re wondering why this squad is play uninspired, emotionless football. DUH!!!!

Comment by Dr. Tom 09.10.12 @ 12:55 pm

Gary Nova is pretty much the Sunseri of Rutgers. From this week: (versus powerhouse Howard)

“Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova went 15-of-27 in the game for just 130 yards with two touchdowns, but again looked tentative in the pocket for the second straight week. Nova spread the ball to seven different receivers, with wide receiver Mark Harrison snagging six receptions in the game. Despite the equitable distribution, only four Rutgers first downs came by way of the pass.”

Comment by Chuck Morris 09.10.12 @ 1:01 pm

Amen Dr. Tom, Can I get a Witness!!!

Comment by Coach Ditka 09.10.12 @ 1:10 pm

Maybe this has been mentioned on here already, but didn’t the camera catch one of Sunseri’s offensive teammates giving him shit as they walked over to the sideline during the Cincy game? Street maybe?

Comment by Panther Pride 09.10.12 @ 1:10 pm

Start Anderson against VT. Get Voytik in some reps agains Gardner-Webb. Screw the future. Let’s try to win, now! We’ll worry about the future in the future. Hopefully we’ll have some stud recruits in the future who can hellp us out in the future. I can’t stand watching Pitt suck so bad, and I was on campus through the Foge and Hackett years.

Comment by Caw Miller 09.10.12 @ 1:17 pm

Dr. Tom for AD!

Comment by Pittastic 09.10.12 @ 1:19 pm

Dr. Tom nailed it, especially with points 8 and 9. Get butts in the seats. I drive down from Erie for every home game and pay for the privelege. How about Pitt giving away seats in the upper deck, not just to get bodies there, but to get the community involved and today’s youth interested.

All that being said, all I’d like to see for the rest of the year is some fire. Play with emotion, Panthers! I’m not saying take dumb penalties, but get fired up! Talk trash even if you’re losing. Mostly, show me that you care.

Comment by RedRooster 09.10.12 @ 1:44 pm

A quick point about the d-line .. I’ve watched both games probably 4 times each and each time I see sumthing else that boggles my mind. I’m wondering if any of the d-ends have ever heard of a spin or swim move to get around the o-line? It seems as if they rely on just a bullrush the majority of the time . Surely they watch the NFL and see that the best DE’s have more than a bullrush at their disposal and surely they’re coached up better than this???? I realize they’re inexperienced but to me spin and swim moves should come naturally. Second, they seem to take the wrong angles alot of the time and very rarely set the edge and keep contain the way they should. Dont know alot about Brecterfield but hopefully he can get them playing like they should be

Comment by Duke 09.10.12 @ 2:34 pm

DR. TOM and Wbb you both got it right and Wbb
I will take the job.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.10.12 @ 2:57 pm

I want to see the decision makers above the AD to be questioned. That’s what I want.

Comment by Get the Glory 09.10.12 @ 2:59 pm

INF for you if you were in the VT locker room
on game day you would hear the VT DC say dont
hurt sunseri dont smash tino becuse if he is there
QB we are sure to win

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.10.12 @ 3:06 pm

I say start voytik gard Webb and buff. Let Tino take the beating against vtech. Voytik will have two games to get feet wet before rest of big east season starts. We would at least find out if voytik has arm and some athletic juice in him. Sorry Tino and Anderson are lock haven material.

Comment by why me 09.10.12 @ 3:35 pm

VT is going to win the game anyways for two reasons.

1) VT is an established football program

2) And counter to popular belief Pitt is not

Ah he** here is a third: Chryst is coach and you all are not. Irrespective of SP hiring him you all cannot fire him.

Comment by Kenny 09.10.12 @ 3:54 pm

Line is only -10 vs VT. Who’s going to Vegas with me?

Comment by longsufferingpittfan 09.10.12 @ 3:58 pm

Some changes to the line up in the secondary holly and hendricks are new starters but they played the second half of last game they dident make mutch difference.

and new starter on DL BRYAN MURPHY.
THOES ARE NOT ENOUGH CHANGES.
and no real changes on offence which means it is still tino time is there no one we can send e mail to to ask for a change at QB

there are 3 schools out there that i know of who play freshmen QB but we get a study diet of tino

is there no one we can email and ask if the coach is blind what is with this tino tino we are so screwed.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.10.12 @ 4:09 pm

I don’t disagree with most of you about Tino. But I really think the biggest problem is the defense. If we can’t get that fixed, it doesn’t matter if it’s Voytik, Sunseri or Marino taking the snaps. The extra Charmin Soft defense they’re playing isn’t going to win us a single game if it doesn’t improve.

Comment by Kenny Powers 09.10.12 @ 4:27 pm

i would play the wr from carlise and with our lack of d line a hybrid 3-4, i also stayed in a holiday inn express last night ,and by the way i would no longer remove the numbers from the jerseys, i would remove the players from the jerseys.

Comment by paul shannon 09.10.12 @ 5:10 pm

c’mon folks, there is no way Pitt can fire PC. Pitt made a commitment to Chryst and Chryst to Pitt. the university would be hypocritical to fire the coach after one year. isn’t that why TG has been hammered since he left town?? hasn’t this been honoring commitments?? it’s up to the AD to give the coach what he needs to be successful. If he does not, then the AD must go.

Comment by goalie44 09.10.12 @ 5:10 pm

Droped from the 2 deep are shayne hale and ronald jones
i dont think any one wants to fire chryst
but some of the asst coachs might have to go next year.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.10.12 @ 5:21 pm

agreed, some assistants must go!
I have seen at least two post today calling for his firing. maybe they weren’t serious… could of, should of, would of, Paul Chryst is Pitt’s football coach for the foreseeable future. lets move on and get the AD fired!

Comment by goalie44 09.10.12 @ 5:43 pm

goalie44 i dont read post that make no sence i might have skiped them.
it is to soon to tell but the DL coach worrys me
becuse it is not playing well and he was fired
after one year at ucla a red flag.
and a LB coach who was a high school coach last year.
and as you know the LB play is real bad.
thoes 2 worry me.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.10.12 @ 5:53 pm

Dr. Tom, wonderful, wonderful post. can you do us all a favor and email your post above to Pederson, Nordberg and Chryst it is some wonderful insight that I couldn’t have said better. and thank you also for posting the dream on link, man does it bring back memories and really shows just how unmotivated and underperforming this group of kids are. plus it makes me want to bring back the mustard and blue even more. and for those of you who want petrino and anyone associated with penn state, shame on you. pertrino is as bad as graham in regard to leaving programs hanging. we don’t need that and anything psu is tainted with baggage that we don’t need. i wish the reporters who were asking questions at the pressor had the balls to ask the real questions that we as a fan base want to hear, “how much of a leash does Tino have and at what point do you make the change?” it is really painful how the fan base sees the problems yet the sports writers and coaches don’t. maybe i need to watch the games through their eyes.

Comment by pittisit37 09.10.12 @ 5:57 pm

agreed! good points FRANKCAN.

Comment by goalie44 09.10.12 @ 5:58 pm

Pay good money to find good and well established assistant coaches. Coaches from the Southeast. Former SEC and ACC coaches. Coaches that love to recruit and coaches that can coach. If Chryst doesn’t like it, FIRE him and move on…again… until Pitt gets it right. And, at that point, can Stevies ass as well.

Comment by TX Panther 09.10.12 @ 6:08 pm

Tino starts his final game against VT unless Pitt somehow pulls out a victory (not happening !).After Pitt feeds Tino to VT and the beating is over Chryst names Voytik starter against Gardner Webb and a new era in Pitt football begins. This season is lost and if you going into ACC play next year with a QB with no experience then that season will be lost too.
Besides if Voytik lives up to his billing they will still have a redshirt left if he gets hurt, besides if the Chapman kid is any good you have himin the future mix of QBs. Why continue down the Tino road to no where ?

Comment by spindler's spirit 09.10.12 @ 6:16 pm

Here is my top 5 of what I would like to see from here on out – not in any particular order…

1. Character. I want to see every individual from players to coaches display character. This is self control, emotion, leadership and discipline.

2. Leadership. Each person needs to step up and be the player and coach that is expected of them. Be an example to the person next to you, behind you…infront of you. Display true leadership.

3. Create an identity. This team has no identity. The offense doesnt have one. The defense doesnt have one. The TEAM doesnt have one.

4. Compete. At least compete in games from coin toss to final whistle blow. In both games they never were competing on every play, every down all game long. Every single position needs to improve. They all need to elevate their game.

5. Be prepared. Not sure whose fault this is. Coaches need to prepare the players to be ready, to be ready to match their opponent. Players need to respond and play. The thing that has really killed me this year is watching the defense continuously be out of position. They are always running people down. Tackling is another problem. A basic you would think, but it has been awful.

The QB play and all of that discussion of Sunseri is a long past mute point. I dont know him and dont want to attack his character at all. He is however a very mediocre college QB. He simply cant play at the level required of a D1 program. Until someone else is given a chance, the discussion of QB for me is not worth griping about.

If the positional play does not get better starting immediately, then Chryst needs to start looking at the position coaches and clean house. This starts with the S&C coach, both line coaches and D coordinator.

If we dont win this season or even have a mediocre record at best, I at least want to see growth in my top 5. Those are basic fundamentals.

HTP

Comment by Pitt it IS 09.10.12 @ 6:20 pm

have not had a Bossdraws post in a long time hope he is ok.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.10.12 @ 6:21 pm

pittisit 37 DR.Tom post yesterday were even better
i told him he should e mail them to the AD and to
chryst he really should do that. or type them up and mail them.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.10.12 @ 6:26 pm

Anybody see the media pressor today??
Ridiculous media questions.
and if you didn’t know it..
based upon Chryst demeanor and answers… you would think the team was 1-1 and the games were close!!

Comment by Joe D 09.10.12 @ 6:26 pm

Dr. Tom,

I really like your number 8 above. Well said.

Comment by Pitt it IS 09.10.12 @ 6:29 pm

Tex Panther i am most of the time with you 100 per cent
.but we cant fire chryst you know that.
but i am with you that ASST coachs may need to go
and he should hire them from were you say.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.10.12 @ 6:31 pm

Joe D why dont you e mail all thoes tv and radio
and news paper people and tell them to give up there free lunchs at pitt and ask them when they are goin to ask some real QUESTIONS like when is he going to bench tino does he need new asst coachs things like that.

no more puff QUESTIONS.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.10.12 @ 6:40 pm

SPINDLERS SPIRIT 90 percent of us belive as you do
if only chryst read these post.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.10.12 @ 6:46 pm

Still out here FRANKCAN. enjoying the posts, especially your usual insights on recruiting and coaches. Second wbb’s nomination of you for the recruiting job. Great post and video by Dr. Tom. Brought tears to my eyes. the good kind, not the kind I get watching Tino and our defense this yr.

Comment by Bossdaws 09.10.12 @ 6:49 pm

Bossdaws good to hear from you i was worryed
abought you .
you have been away to long.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.10.12 @ 6:54 pm

Good Man FRANKCAN. thanks for asking. The Blather still rocks as the best out there. Now, like you said, if only Chryst would read these posts from the lifeblood of the Panther Nation.

Comment by Bossdaws 09.10.12 @ 7:28 pm

All you have to do is look at the University of Wisconsin to see what Pitt has to do. Somebody’s head has to roll for this continuing debacle. U of W wants to win at football. They do what is necessary. They have the balls to make the changes that they believe are needed.

Pitt’s coaches are obviously over-matched. All you have to do is look at their resume’s and you just roll your eyes and wonder what the hell Chryst and Pitt’s AD were thinking. I get it, we all thought Pitt was getting Bob Bostad and when he didn’t come on board Pitt went to Plan B.

Plan B isn’t working. There is nothing that I have seen in the first two games to think its ever going to work. Have some balls, go to Plan C.

That’s you Peterson. You are making a lot of money making piss poor decisions. Time to get a sack and tell Chryst he needs to make some changes. I understand Chryst has some loyalties to the people he hired. Everybody loves loyalty. But this crap show isn’t working. The assistants that were hired are not cutting it. Time for you to wipe that stupid smile off your face and show this University that you have some balls. Force Chryst to make a change.

If you make changes and this shit show continues I will know at least you tried. I will be satisfied that you at least tried. But if you sit on your ass and do nothing..Apathy will take over in September. And that is bad for business.

Look at U of W’s AD. That guy has a sack. Do you?

Comment by OliviaPitt 09.10.12 @ 8:12 pm

I saw some big improvement from the first to second game.We came real close to making that Cincy game competitive.Stay the course, Paul. I see 4 or 5 good wins this season.

Comment by alcofan 09.10.12 @ 8:16 pm

Frankcan,
Here is one of my emails to media.. PG & Trib.
Let me help you out young fella…
Question for Chryst…

Wisky just fired its Oline coach after 2 game…
Will you replace any current assistants before the end of season… if not, why not!!

What will it take for you to bench Sunseri?? It’s 3 years with Sunseri… there are freshman QB’s starting all over D1 that look better than Tino…

What goals do the Defensive coaches have for VT game? Total yards? Turnovers?

please no powderpuff question…
if you are going to be a cheerleader…
go put on a skirt and grab a pair of pompoms and go to the sideline

Comment by Joe D 09.10.12 @ 8:23 pm

Like many other old timers who post on this blog, I’ve lived thru Pitt’s lean times. I experienced first hand the 1-10 season prior to Major’s debut. The good, the bad, it’s all Pitt football history.

Yesterday, you can’t do a single thing about, that is what they call history. Tomorrow, is what you make of it. My question is, where do YOU want to see Pitt football next year?

That is the great unknown. It only takes the correct combination of human beings with the clear, common vision to conceptionalize the result desired to turn the world on it’s ear.

Russell Shell has stated that his vision is to bring home a National Championship during his tenure as a Pitt Panther. Many would laugh in his face regarding his naivete. I say why not?

I’ve witnessed transformations in college football programs from the depths of despair to the heights of jubulant victory more than once in my lifetime. Sometimes it takes a wake up call of hitting rock bottom to jar one’s self into the realization that you can only go up from here to initiate it. The ultimate question might only be how far up are we committed to go?

This Pitt football program is in deep shit. Where do we go from here is the ultimate question. I say only up from here. the real question is how far. That my friends will be determined by the coaches and the players that play the game for the University of Pittsburgh.

As always, HAIL TO PITT.

Comment by Dr. Tom 09.10.12 @ 8:51 pm

Joe D.
These guys are afraid of losing their jobs. With 12 separate cba’s the PG wont last another 5.

My question would have been “if your 5th year senior doesn’t know by now how to kill the clock by throwing the ball away, not into Kentucky, don’t you think he will never get it?”

Comment by SFPitt 09.10.12 @ 8:57 pm

Joe D way to go very good

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.10.12 @ 9:02 pm

@Joe D

While those are all good questions and I’d LOVE to hear honest answers, the sad truth is NO head coach would ever answer any of those in public – NEVER!

I stopped watching any press conferences years ago because they are a waste of time. The reporters can ASK any question they want, the coach is not required to ANSWER anything. Look at Cowher and Tomlin – those two are the masters at controlling the media.

Reporters know the coach is not going to answer any tough questions, so they don’t waste time even asking. Instead they lob softballs and the coaches do not even give good answers to them. That’s why we have the term “coach speak.”

I’ll be watching to see if anyone from either newspaper changes their strategy based on your emails.

Comment by ME 2001 09.10.12 @ 9:03 pm

I second any motion that results in Dr. Tom, wbb & frankcan to being hired to the Pitt Athletic/football program. We will turn Mt. Washington into a new Rushmore with their fine Pitt likenesses!

Comment by Bowling Green Panther 09.10.12 @ 9:06 pm

Joe D i for one am glad you found this site
i think for the most part you have intersting things to say send some of thoes e mail to the AD
and radio people.
keep there feet to the fire.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.10.12 @ 9:10 pm

Thank you bowling Green Panther i might not do better but i couldent do any worse
i dont think any one could do worse.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.10.12 @ 9:19 pm

I’m nothin but just an old country Dr. keeping the Pitt faith down here in sleepy old Virginia.

Comment by Dr. Tom 09.10.12 @ 9:26 pm

frankcan…
I get no response from Sam Werner…
Zeise told him about me.. Zeise banned me when I commented about his son on red shirt diaries a few months ago… but I hardly went there anyway.

Dipoalo for Trib will respond at times… we went back and forth on the suspensions… basically I wanted 2 of them kicked off the team and free up the scholarship.. (Gonzo and Chris Davis have had 2 suspensions).

Comment by Joe D 09.10.12 @ 9:33 pm

frankcan..
just got a response from DiPaolo..

Just because Wisconsin fired its OLline coach doesn’t mean that is the answer for all teams. And even if Chryst had plans to do that, do you really think he would answer a question like that. Of course, he wouldn’t.

My response..
You should still ask the question.

Comment by Joe D 09.10.12 @ 9:39 pm

JOE D send this dipaolo is it your job to ask powder puff QUSTIONS any smuck could do that.
who do you serve pitt or the readers of the news paper.
or do you have no balls piss him off changle his man hood may be we get a tough QUSTION.
LIKE WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO BENCH TINO.

Comment by FRANKCAN 09.10.12 @ 9:57 pm

FraudGraham is 2-0 at ASU because he inherited a team already packed with speed and talent, and already ran a wickedly effective spread offense. Dennis Erickson was only fired because ASU wants to beat the USC’s and Oregon’s every year, and that ain’t gonna happen no matter who the coach is. Frankly, changing coaches was a dumba$$ move for them IMO. In any case, this doesn’t mean Graham is good coach or that he can recruit, just that he can take over a successful program and win with the existing players – big deal. Let’s see where he is in 3 or 4 years.

Pitt’s problem is that DW not only left the cupboard empty, but also completely screwed up the attitudes of the players he had. We’re paying for that now. DW couldn’t recruit, and I have no idea why everyone thought he could. He could get some decent individual players, but he couldn’t recruit an entire team. There were always big holes at key positions – like QB and OL for instance. Worse than that, he couldn’t motivate anyone, and I never saw that much desire or passion on the field. Guess what, I’m still not seeing it from the upperclassmen now. You can villify Stevie P all you want, but firing DW was the right move all the way around. I know DW loves Pitt and is a good guy, but he was a mediocre college coach at best.

I agree that Chryst’s choices for assistants seem more about friendship than qualifications, and some staff changes are going to have to happen at the end of this season. However, I don’t think we are going to know how good Chryst is as a coach or as a recruiter until DW’s guys are gone and he has a chance to fill the team with his own recruits.

Comment by SteveS 09.10.12 @ 10:13 pm

frankcan..
I think more people need to email the media as far as what questions to ask… their emails are all listed.. trib, PG,

Comment by Joe D 09.10.12 @ 10:32 pm

Interesting thought… After 92-96 Majors 2 debacle. “Not my Fault” Walt Harris came in and got a team that had maybe 12 wins in four years to believe and play way above their talent level. Exhibit Miami win and near miss at PSU..

It starts with the Seniors… This senior class has no drive and definitley no heart.. That is very sad..

Chryst should start playing the underclassmen….Maybe they still care….The Seniors do not…

Comment by Conservative Panther 09.10.12 @ 10:43 pm

Stop being critical of Tino. He throws a great field goal.

PC is not the problem. The AD is the problem.

Why complain about the YSU loss? Look they have 65 scho;arship players that have bought into a system, play like they are taught, have limited aspirations of going pro and because of that play for each other. Pitt cannot play for each other when the player that touches the ball on every offensive snap, is just that, offensive. Tino is polarizing as is our AD.

Our AD messed up Wanny, Haywood and Graham. All of those lost in their power struggle with Pederson. All have indicated that it is not the talent at Pitt, but rather the “other things”. What they are saying is no “all in” support from the AD. The AD nearly killed Nebraska football and is trying to replicate that at Pitt. We all allow this continue, so we get what we get.

Personally, I do think that Chryst is the man to lead us into a bright future. I spent the last four days on tobacco road (possible relocation to Raleigh/Durham) and to the person, each thinks Paul Chryst will be successful. That said, each person ridiculed our AD for how he handled the coaching debacle and the Nebraska fiasco. Is it a wonder how Solich has become successful so soon after separating from Pederson? As much as I hate to see it and you all hate to read it, Graham looks to be successful too (early). They can coach if the Pitt AD gets out of their way.

No coaches need to be fired, now. Pitt cannot play copy cat of wisconsin for one reason. Pitt needs stability in all of its ranks. Recruits are already being affected negatively with all the coaching changes, with competing coaches telling them that PC will not be at Pitt when they get to be Juniors and Seniors. Same will be said about their position coaches. Tweaks at a later date if you can improve the coach…and pay them. Step back from the ledge people. The good days are coming. Patience required!

Comment by dhuffdaddy 09.10.12 @ 11:02 pm

How does a team like UCLA, that looked soft the last couple of years, match/exceed the physical play of a reasonably good (but not great) Nebraska team this past weekend? UCLA punched Nebraska in the mouth. The UCLA kids may have a few more stars than the Pitt kids, but Nebraska is arguably better than either YSU or Cincy. Is this simply a matter of UCLA getting a couple of months (1st year coach) of quality coaching plus a motivational kick in the pants? Why can’t Pitt do that? (admittedly, I never coached anything so don’t really know what it takes…) But, if UCLA can do it…

Comment by Pitt in Oregon 09.10.12 @ 11:25 pm

Two points:

1) Play Voytik in a series or two against VA Tech. He needs to understand what college game speed really is. Then get him QB snaps in between games to be ready to be used seriously.

He isn’t that great of a QB where we should worry for one minute that if we burn his redshirt he won’t be a four year starter – that won’t happen anyway.

2) Graham’s ASU team is twice as fast as PITT’s was last season. I’m not surprised he’s haveing success there and think that had he stayed at PITT for a few years he would have recruited players that fit his system and probably won here also. I’m glad he’s gone though.

Bonus point: Chryst will have winning seasons at PITT, it just won’t be this season.

Comment by Reed 09.11.12 @ 9:22 am

PIO – UCLA was used to be great – they failed to invest in their athletics (including facilities) while others (Oregon,USC) did…last few years they’ve invested and it now shows…Pitt needs to allow the HCs hire who they want. We’ve had 2-3 years of poor classes – give PC the time and the money to build a program.

Comment by markp 09.11.12 @ 12:09 pm

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