July 22, 2013

The Pitt football beat writers all swear that Coach Paul Chryst is a nice, engaging guy. Very smart. That he has a dry, wry sense of humor. And that he is friendly enough individually. They also acknowledge that he absolutely does not show any of that in press conferences.

And man, did that show up in his ACC and then ESPNU interviews.

At 2pm the ACC streamed his press conference, after which Chryst moved to the ESPN truck for his interview on ESPNU.

Paul Chryst's ESPNU interview 7/22

Paul Chryst’s ESPNU interview 7/22

Now I’m not saying I’ve seen videotaped hostage demands with slightly more enthusiasm, but…

I mean Chryst is just plain uncomfortable with this part of things. I’m talking Jamie Dixon in his first couple years bad.

He’s never going to be at ease in front of the camera, but at some point he’s got to get to a point where he at least looks like he isn’t doing the interview at gunpoint.

On the plus side, he doesn’t look the most uncomfortable to be in the group coach picture.


I put him at at least third behind Al Golden and Paul Johnson. Dave Cutliffe, by the way, totally looks like an 11th grade English teacher.

WE can all argue about HCPC’s persona and recruiting skills, and i have put in my 2 cents, but nobody is really right or wrong until 2 – 3 years from now.

Comment by wbb 07.23.13 @ 6:12 am

Kenny, I have had a few posts never appear on Panther Prey … possibly because it was an opinion that was opposite of C Dokish (don’t know.) However, I have never had a post deleted here to my memory … and I have seen all types of viewpoints and language appear on this site.

Don’t know what the contents of your posts were but find it to be very unusual.

Comment by wbb 07.23.13 @ 6:19 am

Really the last thing any fan should worry about is Chryst in front of camera or doing an interview. Two of the most successful coaches in our time hate the media so much they mock it and never even smile (Bilicheck and Saban). You get others, Tomlin John Fox) who have more personality but tell you nothing but cliches.

I am sure Ben Howland was a load of fun when he came to a recruits house. I am surprised Chuck Noll had a successful career with his personality. The list goes on and on.

Comment by Bdubb 07.23.13 @ 6:20 am

i think that chryst needs to get better recruiters on the staff but he is not a “bad” recruiter. like wbb said, we wont know for 2 or 3 years anyways. i dont think its as simple as “if you can ecruit, you can recruit”. poeople throw out how butch jones and james franklin are recruiting at tennessee(an underachiever and uv, a doormat). butch jones got just abut ZERO top level recruits (less than chryst already has) but at tenn he can say 1 sec and 2) playing time. thats enough for a ton of top recruits. james franklin has gone to back to back bowls for the first time in uv history. meaning what? winning matters. if pitt goes and wins 7 games this year and 8 next year, the recruits will start to come. think about the idiocy of asking where his elite recruits are? what elite recruit in their right mind would go to pitt over the plethora of other schools that will want them. people got mad at robert foster… go to a school thats won 2 of 3 NC’s where football reigns supreme in the state and you will be a god as you play in front of 100k fanatics or go to pitt where football is the 4th or 5th sports option in the city and the spotlight will be minimal in comparison even if pitt starts winning games. the fact that pitt is even in the convrsation with the recruits that they are is a good sign.

Comment by pk 07.23.13 @ 6:49 am

butch jones got almost no elite recruits **at cincy**

Comment by pk 07.23.13 @ 6:51 am

On a positive note, Coach Chryst didn’t utter the word “neat” once during the interview that I watched.

Now if we can get him to delete “you know” out of his phrasology as well that would, “you know”, be a good thing as well.

Win a few football games down the road though, and nobody on this site will give a flying crap about how he performs in front of a camera!

Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Dr. Tom 07.23.13 @ 6:51 am

Answer me this. Does the hit that JP Holtz put on that Suracuse DB last season where he knocked off his helmet qualify for an ejection in the new rule that the NCAA has instituted this season? It was a shot above the shoulders? What is your opinion Reed or Chas or Justin?

Comment by Panther Fan in Hoopieland 07.23.13 @ 7:11 am

While we all bicker over Chryst’s nterviewing skills, we should all take a moment to chuckle about this dumba$$.
link to
While we can never predict the dumb things college kids will do, I truly believe Chryst’s recruiting approach will lead to a lesser chance of these types of incidents occuring. I will take that over a “recruit to win at all costs” mentality every single time. I’d rather cheer for a group of hard-working, “good” kids, than a team of 4-5* thugs who are enrolled only to play football. They may not win as many games, but they would do this University and city proud!
Not saying that winning and high caliber student-athletes are mutually exclusive, but I think it takes time to build that type of roster.

Comment by Big Bill 07.23.13 @ 7:32 am

This comment by Chryst made me cringe.
wtf is he thinking.
Has to be the dumbest analogy of all time!!

On the idea of paying players, Chryst made a fair analogy, particularly comparing the idea of student-athletes coming together, filing a lawsuit against the NCAA, in order to receive a stipend.

“If one of your kids wants to ask you to get their tongue pierced, they’re still your kid,” Chryst said. “You want to make sure you know what they’re doing it for the right reasons. I don’t even know all the particulars. If you’re going to be involved in it, you better know enough about it.”

Comment by Pitt.Dan83 07.23.13 @ 8:00 am

FYI — the Buffalo Bills’ offensive coordinator is Nathaniel Hackett (son of Paul,) who was a ball boy at Pitt

The Bill’s Special Teams Coordinator is Dan Crossman (remember him?) – he was a 3 year letterman at Pitt in late 80s

Comment by wbb 07.23.13 @ 8:06 am

Yes, I know it’s only the summer league .. but in the opening round of the playoffs at GreenTree last night

– Mike Young had 35 and 15

– but in another game — Johnson, Artis and fellow Pitt freshman Newkirk had tough shooting nights. Johnson was 5 of 16 from the floor and made 1 of 7 3-pointers on his way to 14 points, Artis was 3 of 9 and scored 10 points. Newkirk, who finished fifth in the league in scoring in the regular season with 21.8 points per game, was stifled by Duquesne freshman guard Desmond Ridenour for much of the game and scored just seven points on 2-of-14 shooting.

– However, in a 3rd game — Pitt redshirt senior Talib Zanna – leading scorer in the Pro-Am regular season with 27.2 points per game – scored 18 of his 29 points in the second half and hauled in 17 boards. And Pitt sophomore James Robinson – who won a gold medal earlier this month with the USA Under-19 team – sank a 3-pointer to seal the win for No. 3 seed PGT, which advances to face No. 2 SPK in the semifinals.

Comment by wbb 07.23.13 @ 8:14 am

@ Panther Fan in Hoopieland, to answer your question, most definitely! That is the type of “helmet to helmet” hit that gets you ejected based on the new NCAA rules that will be in effect this season.

And if that rule had been in effect last season, as soon as the SYRACUSE defensive back who layed that brutal hit on our poor defenseless J. P. Holtz woke up from his nap, he would have been told that had been ejected.

Comment by Dr. Tom 07.23.13 @ 8:53 am

Because it is ALWAYS the defensive player that gets the penalty!

Comment by Dr. Tom 07.23.13 @ 8:55 am

We are really counting on Zanna and Young, nice to see they are doing well. However, we have seen before it doesn’t always translate when actual defense is being played.

I like the rebounding by Zanna, we are going to need it.

Comment by gc 07.23.13 @ 8:59 am

Youngs 35 was helped by both GNC bigs injured during the second half.

Comment by alcofan 07.23.13 @ 9:50 am

I’ve heard a few interviews with Chryst where he is “ok” and even humorous. Yesterday wasn’t one of those days. Clearly he is not comfortable being interviewed and has more meh performances than good ones. In his defense on the Shell questions, he is clearly trying to answer politely but doesn’t want to discuss it. He’d be better off to say just that, “You know, I’m not going to discuss Rushel Shell – that chapter is over and we wish him the best”.

I doubt his interviewing ability has much to do with his recruiting, or his game-day coaching. Based on the limited body of evidence to date, all 3 need some work, but each require unique skills. There is hope that all 3 improve with experience. As wbb said, we’ll know more in 2-3 years.

The one area where Chryst has sold me to date is his leadership, player/personnel decisions, offensive and defensive philosophy, and at a 10,000 ft. level, the course he has charted for this team. I’m sure he is getting some direction from Administration re: character issues, but he seems very decisive and comfortable being accountable as the leader of the program. I take that as a very positive sign.

Comment by Iron Duke 07.23.13 @ 12:07 pm

Zanna leading the summer league in scoring is very encouraging, no defense or not. Still have to make the shots. The kid has the skillset.

His biggest enemy is himself. He’s been a headcase, if you miss a few shots, no big deal just keep taking good shots.

Perhaps this will be the year, he puts it all together.

Comment by EMel 07.23.13 @ 12:12 pm

“…All the ACC football coaches sat down for a one on one interview at media day, EXCEPT Chyrst.
Devin Street was interviewed as the Pitt representative…”
Comment by Pitt.Dan83 07.22.13 @ 8:01 pm

One might think you don’t agree with that move, Pitt.Dan83.

Devin Street is taking a leadership role for the team…looks like HCPC is rewarding him and getting him some exposure. Shrewd move and sends a good message to the players.

Comment by Joe Lawrence 07.23.13 @ 4:42 pm

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