July 23, 2013

I won’t kid you. Chryst didn’t exactly reveal much. If you watched his public appearances, he is still maintaining that the QB position is still wide open and that both Savage and Voytik will get equal opportunities. He said that in the spring as well, but it was readily apparent who was getting most of the first team snaps. During smaller interviews there was still nothing. He was quoted as saying: “I’m pretty comfortable with anyone between 5’9″ and 6’6″”

On the ESPNU interview he was asked about the Rushel Shell departure and then the attempt to return to the program late. To no one’s surprise Chryst completely avoided answering that question. About the most he said is that people make decisions and everyone needs to move on.

During his ACC presser, as Chryst drained the energy from the reporters the moderator tried to keep it going for the allotted 15 minutes by asking him to talk about the running back depth chart. His exact words were, “talk about what’s left.” There’s your motivation, Isaac Bennett. You are what’s left.

But when he left the cameras behind and went and talked to the media in small groups, Chryst picked it up a bit.

Just got done with a surprisingly pleasant sit-down with Pitt coach Paul Chryst. For some reason I thought he’d be boring.

Now the day before Devin Street was a lot more forthcoming about things. To the degree that it seemed that Chryst was cleaning up after him to get things back to nondescript and bland.

For example:

Street promises “different formations and different schemes” will be mixed into the Pitt offense in the second season under Chryst.

“You are gong to see some things you didn’t see last year,” he said. “The second year in the offense is not going to be simplistic.”

When asked about that, Chryst response was:

“I’ve got to ask Devin what the hell he’s talking about.”


“It’ll be fun to talk to (Street) and find out what we’re going to do.”

Nice, but of course no information.

Which also goes with Chryst trying to say the QB decision isn’t made when Street was talking about Tom Savage as the QB.

But he said working with Savage in the offseason gives him hope for the Pitt passing game this season.

“Everybody is going to be surprised by him,” Street said Sunday at the ACC media gathering. “Tom has been working his tail off this summer. I can’t say enough about Tom. I genuinely mean that. Tom has been great to work with in the offseason.

“At the same time,” Street said, “he knows when to put some heat on it and take some off and throw a nice catchable ball. He puts it out there. I don’t think he is going to underthrow me at all.”

Gee. Who could he be talking about?

Tangent moment: During the Aaron Donald and Devin Street interview on Sunday, someone asked about losing a 3-year starter at QB. There simply wasn’t much of an acknowledgement by Street that Pitt was losing anything.That has been a hilarious theme in preview guides this year. Noting the concern on offense because Pitt is losing a 3-year starter at QB. There are plenty of reasons for concern on the Pitt offense: running back, the WR spot after Street, the O-line (as always). But the change at QB is just not one of those reasons.

I remain amazed that while the defense is expected (and should be) the strength of this team, there are less questions about putting it in the hands of a first time DC. Chryst being more of an offensive mind went nearly Wannstedtian in talking football regarding the defense.

“None of us are splitting the atom. you’re going to line up with 11 guys.”

Which he came back to when talking about the shift in defense.

“You got different guys running it, but none of us are splitting the atom,” Chryst said. “A defense is going to be a 3-4, or a 4-3.”

I know Chryst doesn’t want to reveal anything in the media. He’s very guarded when talking specifically about how Pitt will play. Yes, it is not an uncommon trait in coaches. Afraid they will give something away to future opponents.

And part of it may be Chryst’s own way of trying to minimize the potential risk with Mark House now in charge of the defense. Still, it kind of bothers me to see him be so dismissive of what the defense will be expected to do. I don’t think he’s doing House any favors with this approach.

Chryst has confirmed is that some defensive players will have more freedom out there to make decisions.

“Not everybody is being given a green light, but Aaron has earned that,” Chryst said. “It’ll certainly be different schematically in some ways. I still think players define who you are. They’re the ones that give identity to a team. Certainly there will be some differences. Aaron Donald is going to be Aaron Donald; then we have other guys on defense, too, like K’Waun Williams, Lafayette Pitts.”

Thanks Chas – Good stuff and hey, a tad bit of personality leaking out of HCPC.

On an ‘idiot of the week” note, Korey Harris WVA Soph DT who played in every game last year, was arrested for robbing a couple’s house at gunpoint.
Great disguise? He wore his WVA gear #96 sweat pants. He has been booted from the football team.

Hoopieville never lets us down!

Pitt is not the only team facing off season problems.

Comment by Dan 72 07.23.13 @ 9:48 am

I wish Chryst played one of our other QB’s last year and now they would have a season in that offense under their belt. Playing Tiny did nothing to move the program forward or help us this season.

Comment by Upittbaseball 07.23.13 @ 10:14 am

Personally I love those answers from Chryst – he actually is speaking the truth. It isn’t rocket science when you put 11 guys on the field and ask them to get the ball carrier.

Comment by Reed 07.23.13 @ 10:14 am

OK, I will spill the beans for Chryst about the expectations of the defense.

– 7 tackles for loss per game
– 3 sacks per game
– max of 12 first downs per game
– max of 200 yards passing, and 80 yards running per game

That’s from HCPC’s predecessor, a media darling … and it meant about the same thing as what PC answered yesterady!!!!

Comment by wbb 07.23.13 @ 10:40 am

Chryst is a disaster in these interviews.
Pederson and Borgetti had better get it together and prep Chryst better and get him some training.
Being close to the vest is one thing but he takes it to an extreme. These interviews are to generate fan excitement, create demand to go to a game, to watch a game, etc. His answers are ridiculous and make you scratch your head. wtf.
And you wonder why he can’t land elite talent.

Comment by Pitt.Dan83 07.23.13 @ 10:42 am

If you expect pitt to land elite talent on a regular basis you are delusional. There is no reason whatsoever for an elite recruit that didnt grow up a pitt fan to pick pitt over national powers.

I like chrysts interviews because hes kind of a troll but i admit i want to actually here some tidbits about the schemes/expectations etc even though it means just about nothing

Comment by Pk 07.23.13 @ 10:47 am


Comment by Pk 07.23.13 @ 10:48 am

Stop posting the same thing over and over and over and …..

Think of something original. Paul Chryst is loyal, hard-working and trustworthy. If I am a recruit or the parent of a recruit I really appreciate those traits. PITT is in a better position to succeed than they have been in years. Chryst might not be appealing to you but the players appear to be buying in. If he is good enough for Street, Donald and the rest of our PITT football players then he is good enough for me!

Get off his back and let him do his job.

Comment by Jason 07.23.13 @ 10:59 am

Applause for Jason

Comment by PMDh2p 07.23.13 @ 11:12 am


We get it, you hate Chryst, Dixon, and all things Pitt. I am very sorry that your life is so miserable that all you have to do is harass Pitt Fans.

I have great respect for folks on this site that have legit criticism, but you sir need help.

If you are this negative in other aspects of your life, I would suggest seeking out professional advice.

Life is short, take time to smell the roses.

Comment by gc 07.23.13 @ 11:12 am

The best line I saw in print from Chryst was when he was poised the question of how the continuity of the coaching was going to affect the team dynamics, in his second year, his response, “The stability is the unknown”. That is actually a pretty humorous response when you think about it.

Yeah, Pitt has sucked over the last couple of years, but look it, there has been no coaching stability. So now there is some stability, that’s the unknown! Will we still suck? Guess we’ll find out pretty soon! Self effacing and funny.

Comment by Dr. Tom 07.23.13 @ 11:14 am

How many games will Pitt win this year?
You have yet to answer that question. 6-6 is not success.
Pitt is in the best position to succeed in years. smh Seriously?
Get off his back and let him do his job?? He is the face of Pitt football and is doing a miserable job in selling Pitt to even the elite wpial recruits. And you are right, if he can’t land elite wpial talent, he won’t draw them in from Ohio or anywhere else.

If you are an elite recruit or a parent to an elite recruit, you are looking for what will get your kid to the NFL. It’s not Chryst and his assistants. They don’t sell, remember! They don’t/can’t create excitement. Do you really think any elite recruit that watches Chryst says, hey, I want to go play for him?

Comment by Pitt.Dan83 07.23.13 @ 11:14 am

I like Dixon.
I hope he gets back to how he coached 2-3 years ago. Grateful he brought back Rohrson.
Actually, I think Pitt BB will do well in ACC even with all the unknowns this upcoming year.

Comment by Pitt.Dan83 07.23.13 @ 11:17 am

Thanks and great recap on media day.

Comment by Joey T 07.23.13 @ 11:29 am

I used to read the same things on here about Dixon’s press skills. He wins a lot more games than he loses, so we don’t hear much on here about his speaking skills. If the same turns out to be true for HCPC, I will not care what he sounds like.

Comment by HbgFrank 07.23.13 @ 12:01 pm

All the recruits, even ones who dont pick pitt, speak glowingly of chryst and the assistants. Theres only so much they can do.

Comment by Pk 07.23.13 @ 12:06 pm

It really doesn’t matter if a certain recruit comes or doesn’t come. What matters is does this coach and staff know what they are doing and what they are comfortable developing in the system. Raw talent matters, but so does S&C and repetitions and gained playing time experience. Maturity and a consistent work ethic will overcome some kid who goes to another program.

Comment by chethejet 07.23.13 @ 12:28 pm

Listen little danny just stay off the board … Get a life..

Comment by 63 Team 07.23.13 @ 12:33 pm

“Tangent moment: During the Aaron Donald and Devin Street interview on Sunday, someone asked about losing a 3-year starter at QB. There simply wasn’t much of an acknowledgement by Street that Pitt was losing anything. That has been a hilarious theme in preview guides this year. Noting the concern on offense because Pitt is losing a 3-year starter at QB. ”

lmao that has been hilarious. Street was probably thinking to himself of how many more TD passes he would have had with a real D1 QB over the last 2 seasons.

The record might be worse this year, but it will have absolutely nothing to do with QB.

I expect about 5 wins; New Mexico, Old Domninion, Duke, Cuse & UVA. With you know who I would expect about 2 or 3 tops.

And I suspect the players are estactic that.. that albatross is off their collective necks.

Comment by EMel 07.23.13 @ 12:36 pm

Most college football coaches I’ve seen over the years are not real exciting interviews, NFL or college. They all for the most part speak in much used and worn out cliches which their players then also mimic. It’s kinda funny actually.

You pretty much know what these clucks are gonna say and if you’re expecting revelations, I’m sorry to tell you, it’s not gonna happen.

How Bil Cowher got a network gig I don’t know.
And Tomlin is worse than he was.

These guys know ‘coach speak’ and that’s about it.

Comment by EMel 07.23.13 @ 12:47 pm

Panther94 – Thanks for that link a few blogs back. I didn’t think his interview was bad at all, at least the one I watched. It was only about 3-4 mins long if that. I never saw the one on ESPNU but what I saw sounded like lots of coached I’ve had over time.

Comment by Upittbaseball 07.23.13 @ 12:47 pm

Emel, the one thing for Tomlin is how he can turn a phrase. The folowing is just a sample of a web site dedicated to his quotes:

“The excitement that is the National Football League in the now”
Re: Appreciating the moment

“Arrow pointed up”
Re: Player showing steady improvement

“They’re getting on a moving train”
Re: DeCastro and Beachum suddenly being starters

“Long ball hunting at that point”
Re: Being way behind with time running out

“The proof is in the pudding”
Re: Game results

“We don’t live in our fears, we live in our hopes”
Re: Upcoming games

“Chew the clock mentality”
Re: Opponent’s strategy when sitting on a lead

“Practice fields of course, and game fields, are two different things”
Re: Developing players

Comment by wbb 07.23.13 @ 1:17 pm

great quotes wbb.

The other side of Tomlin is he is good at not saying anything… PC seems to be a master at this. Perfect.

take the ‘air out of the ball’ with the media so they go focus on other people… stay under the radar, and keep working hard.

… if you want to upset people like FSU you have to put them to sleep too…

quietly executing your strategy is a smart thing to do when rebuilding.

oh, as to the link above too… interesting how other programs have it as a priority to recruit in PA and our backyard….

Comment by Pittscript 07.23.13 @ 1:34 pm

choice quote from PC…. like it.

Where will Pitt emerge in the hierarchy of ACC teams? It’s too soon to ask Chryst.

“We can talk about who we want to be,” he said. “That doesn’t mean jack. Do we have a vision? Do we have a direction? Absolutely. Our plans better be that way.”

Comment by Pittscript 07.23.13 @ 1:54 pm

@Emel, so you’re of the thought that Pitt drops a loss against both Navy and North Carolina? Pretty low expectations, don’t you think?

Comment by Dr. Tom 07.23.13 @ 2:02 pm

If you watched the interview of the Syracuse head coach he summed up the reality of every school that is not Alabama.
He flat out said they aren’t going to bring in tons of 4 and 5 star recruits. That is not Syracuse. What they do good is develop talent and he named Dwight Freeney and some other guys that are in the NFL that were not star kids out of high school.
I said this a million times. College footbal is all about developing kids. Have an O lineman develop for 2 or three years waiting his turn to play and they are ready when there time comes and they step in seemlessly. It is important for Pitt to get kids that will be in the program in four years and develop them in the SAME system over that time.

Comment by notrocketscience 07.23.13 @ 2:58 pm

i expect pitts record to be between 5-7 and 7-5, those being the best case and worst case barring an outbreak of injuries. 7-5 would be a heck of a coaching job this year with this roster.

also, north carolina will be good this year. they have a future draftee at quarterback and in general they are very talented. losing to them is not a bad loss at all.

Comment by pk 07.23.13 @ 3:00 pm

notrocketscience, i agree whole-heartedly.

Comment by pk 07.23.13 @ 3:01 pm

notrocketscience, let’s not get too carried away with the Cuse just because of last year.

I believe the previous time Cuse beat Pitt was in 04 in OT (Nunes the Magician) .. but Pitt still won the 4-team tiebreaker for the privilege of getting shellacked by Utah.

Comment by wbb 07.23.13 @ 3:03 pm

Jason gets a game ball.
I’m the odd duck. I see last year as serving many good purposes. PC got year one out of the way. No longer is everything new. Same with the assistants.
Next, dead wood and lazy players gone.
Practice in August will be competitive. Competition breeds success.
Kicking worries me. Leadership does not. QB does not. We have good players. Not experienced but last year showed us that levels of experience and performance are not directly related.
So what if we lose to FSU…that game early will teach the players that there is a tomorrow. I expect to see great improvement as the year goes by.
That’s all I can ask for.

Comment by Sfpitt 07.23.13 @ 5:39 pm

my god the negativity surrounding PC on here is crazy he reminds me a little of New England Patriots HC Bill Belichick in personality I mean. I guess his approach to selling the program is going to take place on Saturdays. Winning makes recruits want to play for you. PD83 parents who only care about getting their kid in the NFL are bad parents!

Comment by CZivkovich 07.24.13 @ 1:21 am

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