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March 4, 2013

All You Need To Know

Filed under: Conference,Football,Opponent(s),Players — Reed @ 4:59 pm

Here is the 2013 Spring PITT Football Prospectus. Granted it is about as vanilla as it gets but it is interesting to read and keep on hand as we discuss spring training, which starts tomorrow by the way.

Note that Savage is battling Trey Anderson for the starting job…

“Anderson’s most experienced competition will come from senior Tom Savage, who was inactive last season as a transfer. Savage played two seasons at Rutgers (2009- 10) and was a Freshman All-American after throwing for 2,211 yards and 14 touchdowns in his initial collegiate campaign. He was a scholarship player at Arizona in 2011 but did not play in any contests.” 

Of course they have to take that party line that the guy on the roster the longest is the frontrunner but that was just a bit shocking to read.

For the sake of following and discussing after the practices here is the schedule:

Tuesday March 5 – 2-4:45 pm
Wedneday March 6 – Pitt Pro Day
Thursday March 7 – 2-4:45 pm
Friday March 8 – 2-4:45 pm

Tuesday March 19 – 2-4:45 pm
Thursday March 21 – 2-4:45 pm
Friday March 22 – 2-4:45 pm

Tuesday March 26 – 2-4:45 pm
Thursday March 28 – 2-4:45 pm
Friday March 29 – 2-4:45 pm

Tuesday April 2 – 2-4:45 pm
Thursday April 4 – 2-4:45 pm
Friday April 5 – 2-4:45 pm

Tuesday April 9 – 2-4:45 pm
Thursday April 11 – 2-4:45 pm
Friday April 12 – Pitt Spring Game 7 pm at Bethel Park High School

Notice the Spring Break between March 8th and March 19th.

We’ve all seen the schedule and it’s a good one.  I hold off on any two deep and won-loss predictions until at least after the Spring Game but I’ll say now that I think it will be an uphill battle for this 2013 team to get to a 7-5 regular season record.  My opinion might change if Savage comes out of the gate strong and wins the starting QB position early but until then I’m not overly hopeful.





You are rally optimistic at 7 – 5. My thought for a likely season would be 6 – 6 with 5 – 7 being more realistic. Too many n answered spots and positions including coaches…

Comment by DJS 03.04.13 @ 5:18 pm

Actually I think about the same you do…

Comment by Reed 03.04.13 @ 5:25 pm

Hope for the future…

Pro-Bowl running back Steven Jackson when asked about Paul Chryst who he played for at Oregon State.

“He’s a great coach,” Jackson said. “If I were a parent, I’d send my kid to play for him.”

Comment by PittofDreams 03.04.13 @ 5:49 pm

Reed, I read a poll somewhere and I can’t seem to find it anywhere now but essentially it said that one of the leading reasons a recruit picks a college is because of the uniform design and color. Did you ever read anything like this? This doesn’t surprise me with the way our society misdirects its priorities.

Comment by DJS 03.04.13 @ 6:43 pm

Another reason to go back to the script! I think they pick a school more because of the coach. Chryst seems like a great guy who is meant to be at pitt! But this year he needs to prove that he learned a little from last year. And I think he has and I am optimistic about the season. I say 7-5 looks good! And pitt nation would be very pleased with that! Back to the script! At least for Fsu!! Heck the steelers go throwback with their terrible bee uniforms! Why can’t we?

Comment by Sweet Caroline 03.04.13 @ 6:58 pm

Are you saying all those (5 star) kids are picking Alabama so they can wear a number on their helmet?

Comment by JLE 03.04.13 @ 7:04 pm

I don’t see how Anderson has much more experience over Voytik. Neither played this past year and Anderson played less than a total game the year before in an entirely different offense.

However, may the best man win

Comment by wbb 03.04.13 @ 7:05 pm

JLE, I hear you. Why pick ND over us….we look the same!

Comment by DJS 03.04.13 @ 7:29 pm

Well it’s good to see Anderson is still growing, by the time he becomes a senior he’ll probably be 6’2.

Comment by marcus of schaumburg 03.04.13 @ 7:49 pm

I love hearing these early prognostications about the futures of Pitt football even before the first day of Spring ball 2013. Well, until we lose, last time I checked, we’re still undefeated.

Consider this. I once attended a leadership conference, where the course director asked each one of us individually to “self assess” ourselves, and rate ourselves from one(a hopeless failure) to 10(a supreme success). In review, most attendees rated themselves somewhere between 5 and 8.

A paradigm shift in my thinking happened that day when the course instructor went on to ask why everyone in the room would NOT rate themselves as a 10 from the get go? Of course the obvious replies regarding self doubts, lack of accomplishments, insecurities, past failures, etc. came forth as replies to that pointed question.

The instructor countered such replies with a simple, “I ONLY asked, how YOU felt about yourself”, if you don’t start off rating YOURSELF a ten, then how in the world could anyone else ever do so?

I essence, he articulated, very well, that you have absolutely no hope that anyone else will EVER perceive you as a successful individual, before you personally internalize that self image yourself and then proceed to express that attitude outwardly to the rest of the wider world.

Sooooo, last time I checked, Pitt is still undefeated for the 2013 season. Lets not expect anything less from our boys wearing the Blue & Gold than excellence. Lets keep that undefeated record intact by kicking some FSU a$$ come Labor Day evening and begin the process of educating the rest of the world to recognition that “Pitt is It”. Hail to Pitt! On to the ACC title.

Comment by Dr. Tom 03.04.13 @ 8:50 pm

Welcome back Reed.

Comment by Velvil 03.04.13 @ 9:30 pm

Love the enthusiasm and positive thinking Dr. Tom. I think Pitt is going to surprise a lot of people next year including a large portion of its own fan base.

Comment by Floyd 03.04.13 @ 11:09 pm

In keeping with the positive outlook, I am penciling in a “W” for the April 7th game. Too early to make a reasoned guess at the record for the year, given injuries to the team and our opponents at the time of the game.

I would have preferred Voytik to get some snaps last year just in case Savage isn’t the answer, but that is why we have a long spring. Also great to see several early enrollers!! Hopefully, we get some early enrolled talent next year too! Get recruiting fellers!

Comment by dhuffdaddy 03.04.13 @ 11:41 pm

What other coach would savage resurrect his career under? I like Chryst and company taking his skills and blending it with the team. Look at what they did with Tino! I mean when you really think about it what they did was a miracle. The qb coach proved himself last year after a lot of people criticized him and he will only get better under year number two. The key as always will be the o line. Can they get consistent play from them and not have to switch them around too much. Shell staying healthy will be key number two! Can he take on the work load that is needed? I really think this year could be a surprise to most casual fans. We are ready for this step to a new league. I live in acc country and am quite frankly not afraid. Lets get it on! Can’t wait til spring game and Labor Day night! Lets go pitt!

Comment by Sweet Caroline 03.05.13 @ 12:26 am

I for one am really looking forward to the start of the ABT era. Addition by subtraction.

I’m also looking forward to finding all the lost shoes that I’ve thrown at the TV over the past 3 years, every time that Bonehead Tino did something infuriating in the 4th Qtr to blow yet another ballgame.

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 03.05.13 @ 12:57 am

@Dr Tom
Having worked for two companies (privately held) brought to ruin by narcissistic CEO’s, I place a higher premium on competence than I do on self image.
I prefer a confident CEO, unconcerned about what others think of them. Decisive. Informed. Blessed with the ability to motivate people, unconcerned with pretense.
So let’s say I disagree with your approach.
But I agree with your belief and will quote my son (as I did on this Board after the ‘Nova game)” God wants the team that works the hardest to win”.
We should only expect great things if we work hard for them. If we work hard, then great expectations have a basis in fact.
Gary Player frequently uses the expression, “the harder I work, the luckier I get”!
Time to expect to overachieve.

Comment by SFPitt 03.05.13 @ 3:49 am

Thanks Velvil, I’ll try to get more FB stuff up.

Imma – I also am looking forward to seeing another QB under center but I’ll caution that we might not see the same statistical production in 2013 as we did last season. 3300 yards with 21 TDs vs 3 INTs is nothing to sneeze at.

That would be fine if the starting QB can avoid the mental problems that plagued us last year at that position. It isn’t like any of the QB options brings tons of experience to the table in that regard.

I will predict that we’ll all feel more comfortable when whoever it is drops back to pass (I think it will be Tom Savage) – I had to hold my breath each time Sunseri did it.

Comment by Reed 03.05.13 @ 7:20 am

DJS – I don’t believe that’s true and I think the most hidden reason a recruit has in choosing a school is his parents. They have much bigger influences on the decision than most fans think.

Comment by Reed 03.05.13 @ 7:23 am

I am an optimist however a team with an unproved QB and
running back will make for an exciting season.

Comment by JR 03.05.13 @ 7:24 am

I heard Tino is still the front-rinner to win the job.

Comment by Pittastic 03.05.13 @ 8:19 am

What are the odds that Chapman will be the starter? Keeping hearing great things about him. HTP

Comment by pittbluegold 03.05.13 @ 8:27 am

We all know stats can be very very misleading.

Just look at our last QB.

He threw for more yards than Russell Wilson did in his 1 year (1rst team All Big 10, 3rd team All-American), at Wisconsin. Incredible as that seems.

Wilson threw for 3175 yards, but 33 TD’s and only 4 Int. And set the NCAA record for passing efficiency at 191.6 breaking Dree Brees record.
And btw Wilson is only 5-11 for those that always used that as a reason why Anderson shouldn’t be playing.

Whereas, as we have dissected before, our QB’s yardage was mostly between the 30′s, mostly against inferior competition and NEVER when his team was behind in the 4rth quarter. When the heat was on, he melted like an ice cube on a hot day in July.

It would have been an utter farce had he broken Marino’s records. When Pitt didn’t have a bunch of patsies on it’s schedule as we did last year.

Comment by EMel 03.05.13 @ 9:10 am

Maybe Dixon is thinking of moving Zanna to the “5″ and Kiwi Steve to the “4″.

In today’s Post-Gazette, Fittipaldo quotes Dixon partly attributing Zanna’s big game against Villanova to playing 16 minutes at center during the Villanova game:

“He played a little more [center] than usual,” Dixon said. “That helps him at times. He sometimes has a slower guy, or a guy who is not as agile, on him and that benefits him.”

link to post-gazette.com

Comment by Howard 03.05.13 @ 9:13 am

is johnny manziel bricks older brother from the middle

Comment by paul shannon 03.05.13 @ 9:54 am

Well from everything we’ve heard, Tom Savage has a terrific arm. If nothing else, he should be able to stretch the field. Being able to throw the out pattern on a string and to be able go down field effectively keeps the safeties back and out of the box. That should help the running game a great deal. In may opinion, Savage is the odds on favorite for the job.

Comment by Justinian 03.05.13 @ 10:04 am

Zanna has always been a backup center…#3

I think by the end of football season, Tom Savage will be a hero to all of us. He is a terrific QB. It’s a shame he has the same initials as”what’s his name”

Comment by Dan 72 03.05.13 @ 10:28 am

Savage has all of the physical tools you can ask for of a pure dropback QB, plus a desire to excel after sitting our 2 years, not to mention a chance to absorb the offense as taught by a proven offensive coach.

I see good things ahead … until the quick FSU DEs tee off against first time starting OTs (Bisnowaty and Clemmings according to the Trib this a.m.)

Comment by wbb 03.05.13 @ 10:32 am

@ SFPitt, we may not be that far apart in our thinking. You mention confidence, decisiveness, competance all essential ingredients for success, absolutely!

The mind leads, then the body follows. What was expounded upon in that self assessment session was how so many people limit their own personal potential by the negative thought processes that they hold true about themselves and then internalize.

For this football team to reach it’s full potential it must be composed of individuals that believe that they can accomplish anything that they put their mind and body into 100%. That is why I shared with other Pitt fans this experience. We remain undefeated at this point in time. What does it take to stay there is the question.

Hope springs eternal but it needs to be backed up by the relentless hard work necessary to produce those results. But first you have to have the self-confidence that will permit you to push yourself to those limits beyond what you could have not imagined that you could ever endure. That is what these young men are experiencing on this football team as they go through the process.

When is a champion created? The answer is, on the day that he decides that he will be one. Only then can the that journey begin to get there.

There are no champion “paper tigers”, only hard working people who have the confidence, motivation and competence to realize the mental image that they hold of themselves. For this current group of Pitt Panthers than journey begins anew today.

Hail to Pitt.

Comment by Dr. Tom 03.05.13 @ 10:32 am

Interesting, Post Gazette Pitt Football beat reporter Sam Werner has Manny Williams in the hunt to start at middle linebacker in the fall.

Comment by PittofDreams 03.05.13 @ 11:06 am

Werner does have a nice story on the toils and tribulations of Savage over the past couple of years. Sounds like the kid really got some bad advice or no advice to take the circuitous route he’s taken. Hopefully, he’ll turn out to be the gunslinger he’s rumored to be.

It’s my opinion that it’s going to be Chapman who pushes Savage if anyone. According to coaches he has the “it” factor. That goes a long way after enduring a QB with the “not” factor for so long.

Also curious to see if Demitrious Davis is capable of bringing anything to running back. Goodness knows the backfield needs an injection of speed.

For all his accolades and spot stardom, still concerned about Shell fulfilling expectations. His lack speed and loss of quickness due to the added pounds he’s put on is likely going to require him to become a true power runner. That demands durability and not sure he’ll be able to pass the test.

Comment by PittofDreams 03.05.13 @ 11:16 am

@DrTom
Not we aren’t far apart, but the attention span at leadership conferences sometimes wane by the time discussions of substance are reached. You don’t gain self esteem by virtue of position you do by virtue of performance. Acting lime a winner is an act unless you work like one.
On another matter, I had yet to renew season tickets in the lower bowl and was scared by proclamations that it is sold out.
Not quite true.
I called the ticket office today to renew and was happy to find my lower bowl seats intact. Renewal seats are off limits to the public until such time as the renewal period ends. Then, if someone does not renew, then those seats will be made available for upgrade or to the public.

Comment by SFPitt 03.05.13 @ 11:35 am

It is impossible to consider Anderson a DIV I or DIV II QB based on his size, arm strength, and statistics in the games he played as a freshman more interceptions than completions.
His freshman year compared to Bosticks makes Bostick look like Marion or Elway.
The coaches are not really serious just protocal.

Comment by pittisit 03.05.13 @ 11:45 am

pittisit, I would not pay too much attention to Anderson’s freshman year since, as it turned out, he was surrounded by an offense that had little experience, ability or desire to play the style as designed

Comment by wbb 03.05.13 @ 11:48 am

Spring Football, what a great concept. As Dr. Tom says hope springs eternal. Coach is back, the system is back, most of all, he who shall not be named is gone. Harsh maybe, but none the less, we now have a guy that can throw down field, another guy that can run for first downs, real competition, no baggage. It looks like we have more depth on the O-line and some talent at the skill positions.

We get to find out who has been working out and which underclassmen may step up.

We have one great d-lineman, and some pretty good ones, more depth at linebacker, and d-backs.

We have a great schedule to look forward to.

All we need is some springtime weather, and few injuries.

Comment by gc 03.05.13 @ 12:12 pm

Keep in mind when piling on Anderson as to how he was thrown to the wolves by Graham as a true freshman in the middle of the chaos that was that year.

You may be surprised (or disappointed) to know too that his arm strength is actually better than Voytik, when healthy. Problem is that Anderson has been plagued by tendonitis of the wrist going back to the Utah game a year ago. Anyone who has suffered tendonitis does not have to be convinced as to how limiting that can be.

At 5-11 and 180 pounds, he is the smallest of the QBs. But it would be wrong to totally cross him out of the picture.

His record-setting performances at the highest level of Texas H.S. football tell you he has ability. The fact that he lead his team to an undefeated 5A State Championship where he was the MVP tells you he can be a winner.

Comment by PittofDreams 03.05.13 @ 12:14 pm

And a whole bunch of redshirts itching to get on the field.

Comment by gc 03.05.13 @ 12:16 pm

FWIW – the latest from Joey Brackets (Lunardi) at ESPN.com

Pitt is a 6 seed playing Belmont in Dayton for the right to play the winner of Florida/S Dakota State and then go on to North Texas. Top 4 in the bracket are Georgetown, Miami, Florida, Okla State.

Comment by Pitt Dad 03.05.13 @ 12:16 pm

HEAR ME NOW!
This team will look a lot better with Tom Savage than we ever did with Tino. Do a little youtube and watch him throw the ball if you. I dont know if I would call a Freshman All American “unproven”. Yeah its been a few years but Savage was a top 3 QB in the nation recruit.
Hes gonna surprise a lot of people

Comment by Orlando Truit 03.05.13 @ 12:24 pm

You’re right SFPitt, only the unassigned seats not previously purchased by season ticket holders are available until early April. Apparently, those seats are all gone in the lower bowl until after that April deadline to renew our season tickets from the previous year.

I have a feeling that there will be a rush to “get some” when that date rolls around. The home slate is very attractive this year, especially with the kickoff on Labor Day weekend now set. Time to ante up SFPitt!

Might even see some scalper types trying to make a profit on this season ticket package because of the strong schedule.

It’s been a very long time since we’ve had to worry about that issue with Pitt football tickets, hasn’t it? LOL

Comment by Dr. Tom 03.05.13 @ 12:29 pm

no doubt that Savage had a great freshman year. I know he hurt his hand but makes you wonder how it all went awry after that. I think he’s much more mature now with a great attitude … just hope he receives the support he needs (OL and WR)

Comment by wbb 03.05.13 @ 12:33 pm

I’ll be shocked if Savage is not named the starter by the end of Spring practice…Don’t want to go into Summer Camp and prep for FSU with the QB situation still being decided. I also think there is a good chance that the No. 2 QB will get playing time during the season…a change of pace type rotation here and there.

Comment by HbgFrank 03.05.13 @ 12:48 pm

@ Orlando Truit, I heard it from a very reliable source that Savage will take a page out of the NCAA basketball prima donnas playbook. He will definitely be one and done! LOL!

Seriously though, considering the cluster fu*k that has become his college career up to this point, with is double transfer history, he must be chompin at the bit to get himself back into the game, for one last shot at glory.

What a trip it would be if Coach Chryst could duplicate his results with Savage that he had with Wilson and give Savqge a last stitch chance to get his opportunity at the next level. If he really is as talented as he show during his freshman season at Rutgers this could be an exciting year to be a Pitt football fan.

Comment by Dr. Tom 03.05.13 @ 12:53 pm

PittofDreams – you put way to much stock in high school football. Anderson has an extremely weak arm. He would have trouble earning the starting QB job at W&J, Allegheny, California, IUP of PA, etc.

Comment by rayhpgh 03.05.13 @ 2:08 pm

on the other hand, Myers had a stronger arm and with just 1 week practice after he transferred, led John Caroll with all kinds of passing records. Of course, he faced much weaker competition but he does have talent … either didn’t have the desire or just was completely psyched out by the constant change of coaching change of coaching/offense he experienced while at Pitt

Comment by wbb 03.05.13 @ 4:05 pm

I looked at BCs first year in the ACC as they had a FB team that is similar to Pitts team next year – big lineman and pro offense. BC went 9-3 so maybe Pitt can get to 7-5.

Comment by Frank MD 03.05.13 @ 4:18 pm

Despite Andersons record setting game he was not offer one athletic scholarship coming out of high school.
He was thrown to the wolf’s but so was Bostick against Notre Dame. Still despite the arguments over Bostick it was settled that his limitations did not overcome his strengths.
If it were not for Graham Anderson would not here and there is no doubt about that.

Comment by pittisit 03.05.13 @ 4:18 pm

@Reed, so glad to have you back. I always enjoy your football posts.

I love the competition and willingness to try new people this coaching staff has. While the safeties and o-line may or may not work out, I love that they are trying to get players put nto their best positions and get the most out of them.

I also hope that the lack of focus or discipline at the end of the Trib article is nothing serious. I thought a lot of the that inconsistency and lack of proprer attitude seemed to haunt the team the most last year. Hope it is not a reccurring theme. kudos for Devin Street speaking up.

Who will be the leaders to step up this year?

Comment by Bowling Green Panther 03.05.13 @ 9:34 pm

EMel – you are correct about stats which is why I said “production” and not “good QB play”. But throwing for 21 TDs shows that all Sunseri’s work wasn’t just between the 30 yard lines.

However, I’m not sure we will be very good offensively if Savage can’t better his career 52% completion rate. Voytik was a 53% passer in HS – those stats scare me a bit.

I do think we’ll all be more comfortable with another QB back there this season at any rate. We all held our collective breaths went Sunseri dropped back to pass in the 4th quarter of ballgames.

wbb – I think what Myers did after his transfer is a prime example of what impact “intangibles” have on QBs. He got behind the eight ball at PITT and never worked himself out of it – then gets to a place where the stage is smaller and less is expected of him and he flourishes.

Comment by Reed 03.06.13 @ 9:58 am

It was mentioned earlier that Chapman has the coveted “it” factor, which appears to be true. However, Tino also had the “it” factor, but his had an “sh” before it :>)

Comment by pittman4ever 03.06.13 @ 11:10 am

rayhpgh

You have no idea what you’re talking about regarding Anderson’s ability to throw the football.

Seems his inability to throw a pass forty yards with any velocity in the Utah game due to tendonitis is frozen in your mind.

Sorry to break the news to you, but when healthy Anderson’s arm is equally strong if not a little stronger than Voytik’s.

As to the emphasis on high school football, if it wasn’t 5A football in Texas but instead 3A football in rural Tennessee, it wouldn’t carry as much weight.

No emotion, just the facts.

Comment by PittofDreams 03.06.13 @ 11:10 am

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