August 7, 2013

I’m going to wait to excoriate. But I won’t deny being highly confused.


Todd Thomas has had two ACL injuries. On his second injury, he continued playing the rest of the 2011 season and delayed surgery — which cost him the first few games of the 2012 season. He has managed to overcome plenty of pain.

Yes, he had a brief, motivational demotion reminder to start camp. But he seemed to get it.

So, before I declare Thomas to be a man of weak will or lacking heart or anything else. I’m going to wait to see if there is any more to this story.

That or I just might start drinking early.

UPDATE: Okay, maybe you can start excoriating. WOW.

this is not neat

Comment by usd121 08.07.13 @ 12:58 pm

I’m just glad I’ve prepared for this with a fair amount of alcohol. Lessons learned with this program have been that a ready supply of alcohol is always necessary. Cheers everyone!

Comment by Vulcan Rob 08.07.13 @ 1:00 pm

I for one am infuriated that Todd Thomas clearly has a grudge against me. Why would this news leak just as I released my new OvP column?


Comment by Justin 08.07.13 @ 1:13 pm

I did say earlier Todd Thomas and mama Thomas have entitlement issues!!
Looks like I hit that one on the head.
He sure did talk a lot.
He is a RS Jr.

Comment by Pitt.Dan83 08.07.13 @ 1:13 pm

Well, that is one way to beat out your competition Mr. Mike Caprara.

Comment by Benzene 08.07.13 @ 1:19 pm

On the other hand, folks, Coach publicly dissed him.

Not nice.

Comment by steve1 08.07.13 @ 1:19 pm

You have got to be kidding me! No wonder Wis. didn’t consider Chryst as head coach. Forget the next 4 years. Pitt can’t fire him yet considering our recent past. Chryst has no management skills with people!

I wrote the following last night under supensions:

“Reed per your comment: “Chryst couldn’t have done this type of housecleaning and roster changeover in his first year at PITT or he would have lost the support of the whole roster.”
Pray tell, what makes you beleive Chryst hasn’t lost the players left or will after a number of lost games? (I hope I’m wrong on the losses.)

By the read of this blog, his chance of future success is given a low grade. Negative to be sure.

Can it be that hard to hire a winning coach? Hell, CINN (Kelly),and Lousiville did it. Pitt is the school with the big past tradition!

MikePITT and gc, I need to take some time and maybe give you guys some REALISTIC thoughts to mul over. I do appreciate your idealism. Too bad the world just doesn’t work that way. I will give you additional thoughts when I have some time.”

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 08.06.13 @ 10:39 pm

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 08.07.13 @ 1:29 pm

It’s time to accept the fact that Pitt will probably not be any good for the foreseeable future. The defections coupled the coaching changes and average (at best) recruiting classes will and have taken their toll. I still and forever will blame the AD for ruining a program that was on the rise.

Comment by Brian 08.07.13 @ 1:30 pm

Steve1, but Street’s comments show there was something else going on… could have been HCPC’s last chance at trying to get him going… strange days.

Comment by Benzene 08.07.13 @ 1:31 pm

Justin, please explain what you are talking about.

I keep hoping, I’m missing something and someone is going to say, suprise! This whole thing is a joke.

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 08.07.13 @ 1:33 pm

House cleaning continues, no said it would be easy.

Comment by alcofan 08.07.13 @ 1:37 pm

I was planning on not commenting about Chryst until after the season started even though things such as losing Shai McKenzie happened during the summer. But I guess we know the real reason why Barry Alvarez pushed so hard to get Chryst hired at Pitt. He didn’t want to have to be forced to hire Chryst whenever Beliema left Wiscy. It’s really neat having a HC who can’t really coach on gameday, can’t really recruit and drives away a lot of talent. There is zero evidence indicating that Chryst actually knows what he is doing and know how to be a good HEAD coach.

Comment by Wardapalooza 08.07.13 @ 1:44 pm

This was not a housecleaning issue.
This was calling out a player, in public, in front of media… then talking about it with the media. It made all the papers and internet sites this morning.

Not a way to handle player issues. Graham did that with Sunseri and even Wanny called Graham to the carpet.

Comment by Pitt.Dan83 08.07.13 @ 1:46 pm

Justin, did you read Wardapalooza.
He nailed it!

Comment by Pitt.Dan83 08.07.13 @ 1:48 pm

This is a temper tantrum from another kid who’s been babied his whole life cause he can dunk a basketball or carry a football.

Apparently he wasn’t good enough at either of those two things, so they switched him to defense.

And the little baby couldn’t “handle” psychological that he wasn’t running with the 1rst team. Which means he’s not really a team player.

He’s a “ME” player.

You see the team revolves around ME (see Shell)

Comment by EMel 08.07.13 @ 1:52 pm

It’s all my fault. I joked that Coach my have hurt his feelings, I guess that was it! This is really, really strange.

I have no clue WTF is going on internally with this team but it sure seems similar to the colonic cleansing that I had to do prior to my colonoscopy. It gives you a fresh start for sure but leaves you feeling quite empty inside during the process.

Thomas quitting the team is going to hurt much more than Shell’s hitting the bricks. Can there really be than many disinfrancised upperclassmen on this squad?

Thomas being a RS Junior, talented, having gone through all of the injuries and coaching changes, now finally healthy and ready to really make an impact? Then he throws in the towel at just the point where he should be contributing to his potential?? Hard not to start questioning what the hell is going on with the team’s chemistry after this one hitting the fan!

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.07.13 @ 1:52 pm

Why is this all Coach’s fault?? We have no idea what happened here to make Thomas QUIT. Seriously, the most reasonable assumption to make here (if you want to do that) is that Thomas didn’t like getting put on the 2nd team and decided he wasn’t going to be “treated” that way cause he’s better than that and said screw Pitt and quit. How is that a reflection on the coach? Should he have babied him and begged him to stay and treated him like some fragile minded little boy? Chryst is old-fashioned and I like the ethics/morals he seems to stand for. Today, all kids care about is themselves. That’s a big part of the problem in our society. Nobody cares about anyone but themself or what is best for me. If he was going to be trouble, it’s better to leave now than to be a bad apple through camp and quit closer to the first game.
For the record, I’m not saying Chryst is perfect or doing a great job, but it’s obvious he walked into a TERRIBLE setting with some of these players. When you have players like Street standing up and saying he needed to go cause he wasn’t buying in and with the team – then you know there is still work to be done to get rid of the coasters and troublemakers.

Comment by JJ 08.07.13 @ 1:55 pm

WOW….You run players off with motivation. Who’s next? Hendricks or Donald? Wait only if there is a blue chip (pc) recruit behind him on the depth chart(or whatever he calls it). This does not look good.

Comment by Michael Collins 08.07.13 @ 2:00 pm

A 4 star recruit who quite (gave up and left).

Comment by Frank MD 08.07.13 @ 2:01 pm

Chryst chuckled about it a media yesterday.
He commented or words to the effect, I think I got his attention.
You don’t ridicule players in public in front of media. It made all the papers this morning plus internet sites plus video.

Comment by Pitt.Dan83 08.07.13 @ 2:03 pm

This hurts.. And just when it cant get any worse -PER the ACC Blog on ESPN:

The Birmingham Bowl will be a second conditional bowl for the ACC, if it has an available team beyond the Beef ‘O’Brady’s Bowl choice. The ACC is the first conditional choice of the Birmingham Bowl.

Comment by Matt D 08.07.13 @ 2:05 pm

I just wrote on the last football blog, that you don’t need any ‘poison pills’ around.

Cause they can ‘poison’ your underclassmen when they are seen as upperclassmen and looked up. And really do you what your incoming freshmen looking up to a non-team player like TT.

Better to cut out the poison than to infect the whole team…….for years.

After reading that article JoeD posted this morning about his ghetto mom going after the Beaver Falls coach and actually bumping him, he probably got advice from that wacko. Or some of his hood friends from back home probably texted him that PC….was “dissing” him. And said …”you should walk man”, that cracker coach of yours is dissing you. (for putting you on the 2nd team)

Since Werner made such a big deal about that on his Red Shirt blog yesterday, even felt the need to get a quote from Thomas.

Comment by EMel 08.07.13 @ 2:09 pm

That is far from being ridiculed publicly by your coach. That’s just a weak excuse. If he can’t take a little coaching, urging, motivating from the HC then he should quit. Maybe something else went on behind the scenes – I would sure hope so. Cause this just doesn’t add up. But saying Chryst called him out and basically ripped him in the media is a farse as far as I’m concerned. He gave him just as many compliments along the way and all he mentioned was that it got his attention and he needed some motivation and increased intensity. Flat out a joke that anyone should think that what Chryst said was “out of line”. If Bob Knight was our coach we wouldn’t have enough guys left on the roster to field a team.

Comment by JJ 08.07.13 @ 2:10 pm


Not the Compass Bowl.

There you go Frankcan, you wanted some more bowl games for the ACC.

You got it ! lol :-)

Comment by EMel 08.07.13 @ 2:12 pm

I hate to say this but it seems to me that these 4 star recruits we have lost don’t have any heart at all and anyone who blames it on the coach Is totally wrong. So what he talked to the media, so what you were demoted in practice “Man Up!” Seize the opportunity and try with all you have to “Be Great!”

Comment by 33allens 08.07.13 @ 2:17 pm

Bring back Hackett and James!!

Comment by wbb 08.07.13 @ 2:18 pm

He’s a RS junior. Can he even transfer at this point and have any eligibility left? This strikes me as a knee jerk reaction so don’t be surprised to see him back in camp in HCPC allows it.

Comment by longsufferingpittfan 08.07.13 @ 2:19 pm

Oh paleeeeze about public ridicule. He was asked some questions and gave some answers.

There was nothing harsh what so ever.

And if that is the kinda kid he is, that a little comment about him in public, is gonna make him run and take his ball home.

Good riddance.

He was already put at a 2 position.

Sounds like things have been leading up to this to me.

And yes, I make educated guesses, uneducated guesses, question things, make comments and conjecture, because this is a blog, and that’s what we do.

Comment by Dan 08.07.13 @ 2:23 pm

Agreed. Football is not a game for the fragile – physically or mentally. Listen the best thing that can happen here is for Thomas to come back tomorrow and talk to the team before practice, say he really thought about things and he loves this team and all the guys in the locker room and that he doesn’t want to leave the team. Then he should go out and play (2nd or 3rd string or whatever) his tail off and give the coaches no choice but to start him on 9/1. Put the silliness and petty stuff aside and play the freakin game and for the school you’ve committed 3 trying years to. Own up, grow up and lead by example like Street appears to be doing. If you want to be great, then put the work in to make it happen.

Comment by JJ 08.07.13 @ 2:23 pm

Just read Chryst’s comments.

That’s being “ridiculed publicly”??? Wow.

We have two different definitions of the word ridiculed!!!

Comment by Dan 08.07.13 @ 2:25 pm

No loss in my opinion…it’s football…next man up.

Comment by hacky3 08.07.13 @ 2:25 pm

I guess this means Mike Caprara stays on the 1rst team at weakside LB.

Kid plays with a lot of heart. Something this team needs more of based on their ‘no-shows’ from last year.

Have fun in Beaver Falls TT, I drove thru that craphole a few years back. Not as bad as Aliquippa, but close.

Maybe you’re entitled to return to roots and be the big man in town (for now). But you’re not entitled to play linebacker at the University of Pittsburgh.

Comment by EMel 08.07.13 @ 2:28 pm

link to

If you read this, it’s even more confusing … but note the HCPC hinted that he can come back if he wants

Comment by wbb 08.07.13 @ 2:28 pm

How many good coaches cause their starting LB to quit after one day of practice? NONE. This isn’t about a kid manning up, this is another example of Chryst not handling a player correctly. Not everyone responds to the same tactics. And certaily not everyone responds to demotions. The head coaches job is to realize how each player responds and treat them accordingly.
You people act like Todd Thomas wasn’t a good player. He was one of the best LBs. And the team last year had two of their worst defensive games while he was out hurt.

Comment by Wardapalooza 08.07.13 @ 2:30 pm

I think this loss is a bit shocking because it came from an established player who hasn’t had any public incidents while at Pitt. Shell was suspended for the game and anyone with remote knowledge of his situation knew he was a problem child.

I was unaware of Thomas’ issues at BF, but I never heard of an issue in his time here. The other players who left either didn’t fit the system (Davis twins), were low on the depth chart (Rippy) or had blatantly obvious character issues (Shell). Thomas has been a solid player who has never been suspended or made the police blotter.

Comment by Justin 08.07.13 @ 2:31 pm

With basketball and football players running away, maybe it’s the university itself.

Maybe the academics aren’t up to the standards these kids want!!!

Comment by Dan 08.07.13 @ 2:32 pm

From Rivals

“Over the course of nine games in 2012, Thomas recorded 59 total tackles – fourth-most on the team – as well as 1.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, an interception, five pass breakups and a blocked kick (which he returned for a touchdown). ”

Not concerned about losing a LB that had 1 tackle for loss, 1 sack and 1 interception.

Well he looked the part in a uniform, never played up to his supposed potential.

Comment by EMel 08.07.13 @ 2:35 pm

lol Dan-o

yep that’s it ! You nailed it !

Comment by EMel 08.07.13 @ 2:37 pm

How can you put all the blame on the coach? How can you put any of it on him without knowing what happened? Truthfully, we shouldn’t assume it is all on TT either. But to say the coach sucks cause he made this player leave is insane I think. How do we know that he has mishandled players? As Justin said, all the previous issues were either problems or not going to play or fit the system. If you are implying that he should have catered to Shell then I guess we’ll never see eye to eye on that one.

Comment by JJ 08.07.13 @ 2:39 pm

If you guys want Pitt to play competive football, you have to learn to accept this type of player.

We live in a political system of entitlements.

People used to work for what they received. That is no longer the case. We are in the process of cannibalizing the old capitalism. The value of our dollar drops each month as the Feds continue to print more. My grandchildren will end up in Australia.

We are done with Pitt football for a few years. The school will need to start over again.

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 08.07.13 @ 2:40 pm

Who’s we ?

Comment by EMel 08.07.13 @ 2:43 pm

This is the last comment from me on this til more info is out there on it. But I think this comment from Street sums it up…”Some guys gotta go, and he wasn’t on board so I can’t do anything about it.” If Street was upset with coach for this one or felt that the coaches were at fault for mishandling TT, do you think he would have responded this way?? Maybe something more like “We’ll really miss Todd. He was a vital part of our defense and I wish him the best.” or something to the like that somewhat spoke of his value to the team. That’s not what he did at all. Again, just another angle to look at. But coming from your team leader, I think it says a lot.

Comment by JJ 08.07.13 @ 2:45 pm

How is this ridiculing the kid?

Chryst said he thought Thomas might be showing signs of some extra motivation.

“Yeah, I hope so. You love that part of him. I love the energy he brings. I love the competitiveness that he brings to it. If you look around, a lot of players respond to Todd. So that’s all good stuff.”

Comment by Pitt Dad 08.07.13 @ 2:52 pm

Based on TT’s comments yesterday, he was alright with being demoted temporarily by PC to raise his level of play. This happens often in most team sports unless….you say are…..Tino.

What happened overnite and with whom he spoke, texted with, etc. is the key.

Someone(s) is giving this kid bad advice.

Comment by EMel 08.07.13 @ 2:53 pm

I admit, Devin Street team leader is still a bit of a shocker to me. If you told me a year ago we’d lose a bunch of players because they weren’t with the program, I would have put Street on the list of probabl casualties.

Comment by Justin 08.07.13 @ 2:55 pm

“Those who stay will play, and those who play will be champions.”
Johnny Majors

Comment by Sweet Caroline 08.07.13 @ 2:55 pm

@JJ, B-I-N-G-0!!! He could have easily said “i’ll miss him, this hurts” etc. etc..

“Some guys gotta go”. LOL

p.s. Gotta be more too it. Like I posted earlier on another subject….

how on earth can a kid not be motivated, at the start of camp, with the Florida State game less than 4 weeks away??

How is it that you wouldn’t be pumped and sky high, chomping at the bit???

And that’s not on the coach. That’s an individuals issue.

Not motivated going into camp with a game at Heinz Field on Labor Day Night against FSU on national tv??? HUH???

And you’re not motivated???

Comment by Dan 08.07.13 @ 2:59 pm

Bring in the 1 and 2 stars and let them move to the first team. Hell, at this point that is all that is left. Let PC coach em up and Then on with the season. 10-3 is realistic once all the recalcitrant stars have left. God this vodka is good….

Comment by DJS 08.07.13 @ 3:08 pm

House cleaning my ass this coach is a joke first he rus off a 4 star RB wich i thought was shell fult now i am noy so sure then he puts down his best LB ON THE FIRST DAY OF CAMP.
in front of all the players and all the outhers who have left.
my be chryst is a joke if you are good get out just give me 2 star players.
i think maybe chryst is the one who should go
if we lose bad this year and next they need to fire his ass,

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.07.13 @ 3:08 pm

I’m legit wondering if several of you are in fact drunk.

Comment by Justin 08.07.13 @ 3:16 pm

@FRANKCAN – he didn’t put the kid down. See my post at 2:52 PM. He had lots of good things to say about him. There has to be more to this story – as is true in most cases.

I’m with Emel (at 2:53 PM) – someone whispered something in the kid’s ear. At least HCPC left the door open for him.

Comment by Pitt Dad 08.07.13 @ 3:16 pm

All I can say is wow! Hopefully Thomas comes back with his tail between his legs, but I doubt it. His feelings are hurt.

Old Pitt Grad, while I don’t agree with your conclusions, in fact I violently disagree, we have been raising generations of spoiled brats. When we were children and were punished in school, our parents stood behind the teachers. Now the parents want to sue the teacher for abusing their perfect little angel.

With athletes it is far worse, they now think that they should be running things. Football is not a democracy. Chryst is the boss. You can’t allow the inmates to run the asylum.

While I respect TT’s ability to play, I am amazed that he doesn’t have the ability to man up.

I agree with Emel, just like Montreal’s wet dream, and Rushel, he is getting bad advice, could it be from his mother? Who publicly accosted his HS coach.

We don’t have all the details, which can make us all sound dumb in hindsight, but you guys that are throwing Chryst under the bus amaze me. Let’s have the players run the team, who needs coaching anyway, maybe just hire a baby sitter.

By the way, I am not sure what your grandchildren moving to Australia has to do with this.

Comment by gc 08.07.13 @ 3:17 pm

I’m with the coach on this one. If the kid is going to quit because he got “dissed” then goodbye.

Comment by JLE 08.07.13 @ 3:19 pm

Quit blaming these kids. They are kids! The coaching staff, the men, should know how to handle young people. They speak English in Wis. They had the same young people out there didn’t they?

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 08.07.13 @ 3:19 pm

Maybe PC doesn’t allow Rap music(?) in the locker rooms.


Comment by EMel 08.07.13 @ 3:20 pm


When will this be over? Haven’t we
suffered enough? Hoping the head
coach knows what he is doing. September
2 is going to tell us a lot. Don’t be concerned
about the Birmingham Bowl. Bowling
is not in our immediate future.

Comment by JR 08.07.13 @ 3:21 pm

sorry for type o but i was upset chryst could not call thomas aside and talk to hom on no he had to put him down in front of every one.
what a ass he is first he talks abought shell behind his back not to his face then put his best LB
down in front of every one.
not a 3rd stringer but his best the coach must be a ass.

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.07.13 @ 3:21 pm

Here is the uncut video interview of Chryst (or mostly uncut) yesterday. Then add all the articles written in Trib, PG, internet sites, etc.
Draw your own conclusions.

link to

Comment by Pitt.Dan83 08.07.13 @ 3:26 pm

Be careful for what you wish for…

I remember how terrible it was to be a Pitt fan during the lowly 8-9 win per year Wannstedt era…good thing that things have turned out so beautifully since we unceremoniously ousted the ‘stache.

Like it or not, Wanny was the best man to lead this program into the future. He was developing Pitt into an NFL factory, with guys like McKillop and Malecki going from relative unknowns to NFL roster guys under the coaching of the Pitt staff. Those stories of success would have helped lure even better players in the future.

But, everyone was so happy that Wanny was given the axe. I’m still a Pitt fan, but a piece of my devotion died that day. Nothing that has happened since that day has done anything but justify that. Time for Pederson to go.

Long live the memory of the Wannstache!

Comment by Fear the Stache 08.07.13 @ 3:27 pm

What kids ?

The pic of TT on Rivals looks like he’s 30.

link to

Comment by EMel 08.07.13 @ 3:28 pm

Frankcan, you are not going to win with 4 star kids that don’t want to work hard and are ready to leave rather than face adversity. They haven’t even put the pads on yet and this kid is ready to abandon his teammates because the coach is trying to push him. What kind of character does that show? This behavior amazes me almost as much as those who want to neuter Chryst.

Comment by gc 08.07.13 @ 3:28 pm

Coach Chryst is building a team to win national championships, not a team to just be competitive in the ACC.. In the U.S., you have the right to Pursue happiness, it’s not an entitlement. On the Pitt football team, you have the right to pursue a starting spot and a quality education. None of this is handed to you freely, without hard work and effort. I personally prefer having upperclassmen who demonstrate leadership through a hard work ethic on an off the field because how they behave now will contribute to how the freshmen conduct themselves in the future.

Comment by PittFan28 08.07.13 @ 3:39 pm

Need to remember that we never know the whole story… Only what is printed. Have to think that PC worked hard “behind the scenes” with the kid but has to draw the line at some point and move on……
Other kids watch how a coach handles players and I’d like to think PC is earning some respect within the program and from high coaches, players & parents alike……

Comment by Zero93 08.07.13 @ 3:42 pm

It is not uncommon for a head coach to call out his star at the beginning of the season or spring training even. Leyland with Bonds was a prime example. Coaches call out the stars and typically the stars respond in kind if they have greatness in them.

Those without greatness disappear. My hope is that the Thomas youngster thinks about his bad choice, man’s up and gets back to work with a vengeance. The only other barrier to re-entry is the evident discord between thomas and street. That needs to get worked out. It is obvious that Chryst inherited a group of young men that could keep the psych wards in business for a long time. I keep wanting to push the blame for this on Peterson, but I am struggling for an angle. In that case, it was petersons screw up. Had the players been wearing the script and practicing on the campus stadium, this never would have happened!

Comment by dhuffdaddy 08.07.13 @ 3:43 pm

Permit me to suggest that the media, especially in the “CITY OF CHAMPIONS” is making too much of the Chryst/Thomas incident of the initial day at camp. I really believe that the “gentlemen” involved will reconcile and Pitt’s # 8 will have an outstanding season. Please, media, get off thir backs and focus on things POSITIVE. It is a long spell from Sept, thru the end of the season and it’s time for pride to rule the day. Rev. George from Columbus.

Comment by Rev. George Mehaffey 08.07.13 @ 3:45 pm

Whoops! I meant “IT IS NO TIME FOR PRIDE TO RULR (or RUIN) the day. Rev. George

Comment by Rev. George Mehaffey 08.07.13 @ 3:47 pm

I’m really confused, after I looked at the link of the interview.

Where did he call Thomas out?? Because a reporter asked if being #2 would help light a fire under Thomas?

And Chryst said, “ya, we hope so”.?????????????

Before he said that, and after, I heard him give the guy 5 or 6 compliments.

Seriously, I may have missed something. If there is more, please let me know.

If that’s what we’re all talking about, that is one of the biggest, made up by posters, non-issue I have ever seen.

Again, I’m really starting to think I’m missing something Chryst said.

Inform me please.

Comment by Dan 08.07.13 @ 3:51 pm

gc for a long time i blamed shell even thou i thought he might have a point.
but this is to much when put with all the outhers who have left the team.
let me put it this way if you think tony d and
dan the man and iron head did not get special treatment you are in dream land dan was smoking the weed that is why he was not drafted bye the steelers.

the qb for TEXAS A& M has taken money and what does his school do they get him a lawyer.

stars all ways get special treatment that is just the way it is if you want to win.

i just dont see that it makes sence to lose your best LB
if he was doging it on the 3rd day of camp call him aside tell him to shpe up but to put him down on first day in front of all the players is not smart.

just saying chryst might not have the best people skills so can be yelled at outhers need a arm on the shoulder and a soft word outhers a pat on the back.

you have to know your people we are not all the same.
how he thinks he will win chaseing good players away is more than i can see.

it is not like he lost 2 players he has lost what 23 or something like that.

i am just starting to have secinds thoughts abought him all i say is he better win in the next 2 years or else

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.07.13 @ 4:00 pm

I watched Chryst’s entire interview from yesterday and he never called out Thomas at all. So I’m not sure where that info came from, unless there’s an interview out there that I’m not privy to.

Comment by Mailman 08.07.13 @ 4:11 pm

if ‘wanting to win’ entails constantly bending down and planting lips on the ass of some young punk who just happens to be physically gifted, I’d rather NOT win.

Comment by pghFred 08.07.13 @ 4:12 pm

The initial reaction is to blame the player … and usually you would be correct.

However, the number of discontents is alarming.

It appears that we are returning to the days of Paul Hackett .. who like Chryst was a great offensive coordinator that stresses discipline. But that standard led to a mahor downfall of the program .. to the point that Pitt was getting beat 72-0 and there was actual talk of dropping down to D2 level if you remmeber.

Now, that won’t hapen with ACC money but as Pitt followers, we should be well used to the peaks and valleys (especially the valleys).

Comment by wbb 08.07.13 @ 4:13 pm

The Pitt fans here only need to remember the antics of one Jonathan Baldwin to discover what has been wrong with Pitt football for quite a few years (yes, even under the watchful eye of Dave Wanstache). No heart.

There have been the exceptions, Scott McKillop and Bill Stull jump to mind, but watching Baldwin (and Bryant before him) has made this Pitt fan embarrassed at what has been passed off as Pitt football. I can take losing, but not without a fight. Too many guys with smiles on their faces along the sidelines while their team is getting their asses beat on the field.

The story of Paul Chryst is yet to be told. Maybe he can’t coach. Maybe he can’t recruit. But, I’d be willing to bet on one thing. No player in a Pitt uniform under this coach will put on the displays of arrogance and downright disinterest that we’ve seen for far too many years.

Comment by PittStadiumShuffle 08.07.13 @ 4:17 pm

I get your point Frankcan but can we honestly say that those 23 players were absolutely essential to building a dynasty? TT and Shell were definitely a major loss but I can’t honestly say that it would make a huge difference given the character and desire/work ethic issues that have been brought up from time to time with just about every kid that is leaving that were brought in by the previous regimes. Look at all the other obstacles PC has overcome and answered for us. We don’t have any recruits…..Then a flood comes in. These kids are MAC players. Caprara overtaking Thomas and Price on the depth chart…I don’t think it is as simple as either side of the ball thinks it is but I can’t honestly say we would be competing for an ACC Division title with a straight face with either Shell or Thomas on this roster.

Comment by tedsptman 08.07.13 @ 4:21 pm

I just watched yesterday’s after practice video with PC being interview press.

Anybody that thinks PC called out TT, has a serious lack of understand the English language.

Or just plain hates PC (JoeD-Dan83 anyone) lol

Comment by EMel 08.07.13 @ 4:25 pm

Well whoever is thinking the PC was dumb for not allowing Shell to come back doesn’t understand what a cancer of a team really is. If Todd is going to whine like a baby, if hes a redshirt junior he isn’t a kid anymore, he knows what he is doing, he knows what hes doing by leaving. If he is all about himself then fine, let him go. Better for the team then some drama later in the season that we will all be talking about. PC is making this structure, serious and no BS. Best players will play, whoever doesn’t show up will be 2nd team, and it is a tactic by playing him 2nd team, making him work extra hard so that he overcomes the adversity and is even better. Coach used it on me and couple of other kids in high school all the time, and we were better for it.

Comment by Kohan 08.07.13 @ 4:26 pm

Cannot believe that people are questioning the coach on his call. Mr. Thomas is acting like a little kid. Hope someone talks some sense into him.

Comment by John In South Carolina 08.07.13 @ 4:30 pm

lol early happy hour typo**

Anybody that thinks PC called out TT, has a serious lack of understanding of the English language.

He was about as diplomatic as one could be explaining why TT was running with the 2nd team and said TT was MOST CERTAINLY in a group of 6 LB’s competing for the 3 starting spots.

Pitt would have been 6-6 or 5-7 this year with or without Shell or Thomas.

Don’t need those kind of players, imo

Wisconsin got along fine without them. 3 straight Big 10 championships and 3 straight Rose Bowls !

Comment by EMel 08.07.13 @ 4:30 pm

If he has any sense TT will realize how ridiculous he is acting and will be at practice later this week or next week. Taking the 2nd team position spot with pride.

Comment by Kohan 08.07.13 @ 4:34 pm

It seems like all or most of the kids leaving have been babies plus there is a supposed huge drug problem on the team and not just weed. If you guys want a bunch of self-entitled wussies who dont want to compete then yea, be mad at chryst. Thomas was an nfl talent but caprara is talented in his own right and is a competitor with heart. Hes getting his chance and im thrilled for him. Pitt needs competitors.

Alabama gets top talent. Miami Fl gets top talent too. You know what the difference is? Alabama players go there knowing they may not play but they compete and work like their lives depend on it. They win championships because of talent but also because those kids are outworked by no one and all have a team first mentality. All the best teams have players that possess these qualities.

If you guys expected pitt to win a lot this year or next year anyways then you were in for a rude rude awakening. This roster literally has every problem you can have. A lack of effort, competition, talent and apparently a very bad drug problem. Please be patient with chryst. This is a HUGE rebuilding job.

Comment by Pk 08.07.13 @ 4:43 pm

I see nothing wrong with what Chryst said publicly about Thomas, or with his demotion. That what coaches do. That said, this hurts big time. Thomas was one of the few legit playmakers on this defense. Pitt desperately needs depth and athleticism. Thomas leaving is a big blow.

Comment by Iron Duke 08.07.13 @ 4:48 pm

Folks. After a while you start to think that perhaps it isn’t just the players who are at fault here.

The tribune-review pointed out the following
“Thomas is the 26th player from the 2012 roster who has left the team or has been suspended, not counting those who exhausted their eligibility.”

Folks- I know that these aren’t necessarily PC’s players but 26?

I don’t know the full story about Thomas but when the 26th guy decided to leave it finally is beginning to grab my attention (maybe I am a slow learner).

Comment by Pitt Fan in Atlanta 08.07.13 @ 4:48 pm

@ PK

That would make sense if you have 3 players (one of them a starter and the other 2 were on the 2 deep) living in a Heroin House with a Heroin dealer.

And a scale is found in one of the players bedroom.

Maybe PC is coyly chasing all the rotten apples off the team.

If we’re going to rebuild, let’s rebuild in the mold of Stanford or Notre Dame……not Miami or Va Tech or FSU !

Comment by EMel 08.07.13 @ 4:54 pm

Lazy 4 star vs motivated 2 star?

I will take the motivated person every time. Let’s stop making excuses and hold these scholarship athletes to a standard. They are getting a free education from a world class academic institution that most are not entitled to.

I will give Coach Chryst the benefit of the doubt on this one. If Thomas does not want this as bad as his teammates then he is the weak link and needs to go.

Comment by Jason 08.07.13 @ 4:55 pm

Adversity reveals character. Fighter or quitter?

You decide.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 08.07.13 @ 4:55 pm

Here’s my guess: Thomas didn’t work as hard as the other kids during the summer.

Comment by steve1 08.07.13 @ 4:59 pm

One thing we can say with authority.

Never a dull day at PITT !


Here is the uncut video interview of Chryst (or mostly uncut) yesterday. Then add all the articles written in Trib, PG, internet sites, etc.
Draw your own conclusions.

link to
Comment by Pitt.Dan83 08.07.13 @ 3:26 pm

I’ve concluded you don’t read or listen or comprehend very well. lol

Comment by EMel 08.07.13 @ 5:04 pm

Better to go with players who want to play than coddle those that want their way. I stand by our head coach, win or lose. It takes time to build a football program. Coach Chryst is doing it his way and who am I to second guess his coaching style.

Hail to Pitt!

Comment by MariettaMike 08.07.13 @ 5:14 pm

As far as I’m concerned, Devin Street’s comments should tell us all we need to know about the situation.

Comment by Vulcan Rob 08.07.13 @ 5:15 pm

When we talk about winning with star athletes, lets not forget a team that has very few 4 and 5 star athletes but remains competitive — Navy.

I’d rather we lose than have to put up with the likes of the players who think they are NFL material.

Hail to Pitt.

Comment by MariettaMike 08.07.13 @ 5:22 pm

Emel, im not sure what you mean by your stanford/nd comparison. Please explain.

Comment by Pk 08.07.13 @ 5:22 pm

Frankcan, Superstars are always given special treatment. I saw OJ driving a brand new Corvette on Hollywood Blvd when he was at USC. But times are changing, even PSU can’t bury all the bad news like they used to. Please don’t compare Todd Thomas to Johnny Football, he just won the National Championship and had to work hard to do it.

Players already get the benefit of easy classes, tutors, training tables, free education, free board etc. Most of them work really hard and earn these benefits. But if you don’t show up for class or give your best effort on the field, maybe you don’t belong in college.

If your opinion is that winning football is more important than playing by the rules you are not alone. Many schools operate this way. Chryst has to do it his way, he has to take charge of a program that was understandably out of control.

He is not dumb, he didn’t want Shell and Thomas to leave, but they apparently couldn’t live with the rules set for the good of the team.

A lot of players have left, most because they didn’t fit or were not good enough. Then you have drug or discipline issues. Lastly the Prima Donnas.

Funny how Shell wanted to come back, but it was too late, he had made his bed. Hopefully Thomas will wake up before it’s too late.

If he is good enough he can make the pros from Duquesne, CALU or IUP.

Comment by gc 08.07.13 @ 5:27 pm

EMel and outhers if you dont think macking your best LB play on the second team.
the first day of camp in front of all the outher players.
is not calling him out what is.
he could have waited a day or 2 talked to him in private.
the man has no people skills

and if you dont think the best players on any team
dont get special treatment you live in dream land
dan the man did iron head did they all do thomas
is not that good but he was the best we had,

but he better win in the next 2 years or i am sideing with pittDan 83.

i cant see how you win bye running off your best players

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.07.13 @ 5:46 pm

When i read that TT was put to 2nd string to light a fire I LOLed…I mean, EVERY coach does to to at least 1 player when camll opens. Its like a requirement or something…head coach MUST demote at least 1.person for.motivational purposes! So for those who blame HCPC for the move, please. It is SOP in the coaching world, every year, every team. HCPC might be a bust but this is hardly evidence to that.

Comment by DD 08.07.13 @ 5:48 pm

“Heart! You’ve got to have heart!”

From the film The Replacements. I loved that film with the typical locker room humor. Regardless, so much philosophy written over time points his out over and over again. Remember, nothing is impossible to a willing mind.

“The mind is like a fertile garden, it will grow anything you wish to plant, beautiful flowers or weeds. And so it is with successful, healthy thoughts or with negative ones that will, like weeds, strangle and crowd the others. Do not allow negative thoughts to enter your mind for they are the weeds that strangle confidence.”

“Visualize success rather than failure, by believing ‘I can do it’, rather than I can’t. Negative thoughts are overpowering only if you encourage them and allow yourself to be by them.

TT reacted as he should initially by performing well in practice but as so many pointed out, something else came into play afterward, be it his ego, insidious pals, etc.

PC is coaching and I like what he’s doing. The door is open for TT to return and I bet he was just as surprised to his reaction as all of us.

Comment by JD 08.07.13 @ 5:49 pm

@JD, ya, he seemed good during his interview.

What I would expect. The right things to say.

Felt good about him.

Perplexing what happened after.

Comment by Dan 08.07.13 @ 5:55 pm

pitt fan in alanta i am with you 26 is way to many
i think thoes that fallow chryst and say he can do
no wrong.
i hope they still think so in 2 years.
look i have not bitched abought chryst all year
i even liked his recruiting have said nothing bad
abought him but when he keeps running of good players you have to say enough is enough maybe
it is him.

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.07.13 @ 6:00 pm

Maybe it is him Frank, but we won’t know that for a couple years.

If 26 of his own personal recruits leave, then sure, there’s a problem.

Until that happens, I’ll back the coach.

Comment by Dan 08.07.13 @ 6:03 pm

@ FRankie

Leaders accept challenges presented to them. PC did say in the after practice video that a lot of the players looked to TT. Perhaps PC was trying to see if TT had any true leadership skills at all.

Or if it was ALL about him. It appears, and I hope this kid (and his advisors ?) rethinks his decision, that it’s all about him. Those types you certainly don’t want others on the team looking towards or trying to emulate.

Leaders accept the challenge, actually relish it, and those are the types you want others on the team looking towards.

Team first, there is no “I” in team.

Now his homies and his mama maybe thought he was being “dissed” but PC was trying to motivate him.

Some of these people don’t know the difference.
It’s sad actually.

Comment by EMel 08.07.13 @ 6:06 pm

Frank, lets say you are a doctor. You can have a genius iq but if youre lazy and dont care about your patients then you will be out of a job soon. Its the same thing with football players. Frank, i hope youre never a coach because you will field a team of babies and you will get fired because you dont win enough.

Chryst is trying to build this team like stanford did. I think this is what emel was poking at. Stanford got average ranked recruiting classes but they got hard workers who fit the system. Thats what chryst is trying to do. All he talks about with receuits is the fit.

Comment by Pk 08.07.13 @ 6:08 pm

You think he called out Thomas for his play in the Old Miss game?

Comment by alcofan 08.07.13 @ 6:09 pm

look we are all different if when i was young if
you put your arm on my shoulder and said you were good but i think you can do better i would work harder and run thru a wall for you.
but if you put me down or yelled at me i would tell you to kiss my ass give you the finger or a punch in the jaw.
all i am saying is you have to know what button to push to get the most out of some one and i guess chryst does not get that.

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.07.13 @ 6:11 pm

pk no i would field a team like dave did win 9 or 10 games and get fired becuse my 4 stars did not win the big games and got in bar fights but at least i would win 9 or 10 not go 6 and 7

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.07.13 @ 6:19 pm

@ Old Pitt Grad, your quote, “We live in a political system of entitlements”. I must compliment you on identifying the essence of the underlying problem in this case (and in American Society in general these days) which results in the prevailing attitude that is thus created in those who “feel so entitled”.

You go on to state that, “people used to work for what they received”. Well, last time that I checked, “I” still am working for what I receive, and in the process, I’m funding that entitlement system that many others have the luxury of taking advantage of.

My point? If you want to have success, be a winner, perform to your true potential, then you have to bust your hump. PERIOD! There is no free lunch. Those that do succumb to the “I’m entitled” mentality and live exclusively on that system, do in fact pay a price, they pay that price with their soul and in the process are robbed of their true potential. This is due to a lack of motivation, erosion of their self respect and the resulting acceptance of their own mediocrity.

I just got done reviewing yesterday’s Pitt Football camp news clips and videos. Coach Chryst definitely DID NOT disrespect Todd Thomas in any of those interviews. What Coach did was answer questions poised to him on why Thomas was running with the second team, PERIOD. In fact, he even stated that there was no depth chart at this point. IMO, Coach Chryst’s actions clearly demonstrated that he was challenging Thomas to perform to his potential, walk the walk and demonstrate his leadership as an upperclassman by his actions.

TT responded to that motivational challenge how? By quitting! That is a very overt action taken unilaterally by a player that clearly demonstrates to the public that he felt ENTITLED to be running with the first team, and if his boss doesn’t see it that way from the start, then “I’m outta here”!

Good is the enemy of great! Thomas is good, real good, he could be great but he never will be while maintaining his current attitude that he has clearly demonstrated today. And that is one of ENTITLEMENT!

BTW, all of you posters who are so critical of Coach Chryst’s “supposed” disrespecting comments directed towards TT, are actually hypercritical of the individual who had NOTHING to do with this young man’s decision. You want to piss and moan and cast the blame on the one who’s responsible for this? Then I suggest you ask yourself who MADE Thomas throw in the towel? Winners win, quitters quit. Get with the program, or get out of the way. Next.

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.07.13 @ 6:19 pm

The way I read some characterizations here, PC is the next Paul Evans (sorry to mix sports). :).

I remember once hearing Paul Evans telling Jerome Lane that he was “not neat.” That must have been it, what drove TT to leave. I hate being told i am not neat!

Comment by DD 08.07.13 @ 6:20 pm

alcofan, are you implying anyone played well vs Ole Miss?

Comment by wbb 08.07.13 @ 6:24 pm

Frank, again, chryst did not disrespect thomas. It was a simple motivational tool and leadership test and thomas responded by quitting. Wanny had the talent on his teams to win 10-11 games a year in the big east. He only won 8-9 because his players were selfish and soft like shell was and apoarently thomas is.

Comment by Pk 08.07.13 @ 6:26 pm

alcofan, in 2012, Thomas finished 4th in total tackles despite the fact he played in only 9 game, while everyone else in the Top 14 played in double digit games … most of them 12 or 13.

I doubt very much he was being disciplined for last season

link to

Comment by wbb 08.07.13 @ 6:32 pm

4 teams are doing things the right way.

And they’re not babying the players, cause they rarely recruit those type of players.

Notre Dame

Hopefully PITT joins this group. They are indeed trying to change the entitlement culture of college football.

A truly worthy endeavor !

For a nation that holds sports in such high regard.

link to

Comment by EMel 08.07.13 @ 6:38 pm

@Frankie, brother. Let’s not immortalize him.

The way you said that , was like DW had nothing but 9 or 10 win seasons.

He had several 5 win seasons and a 6. Plus, no bowls, not a single BE championship, and only ranked in the top 25, one time in his six years.

I get your point, if you want to go back to Majors or Sherrill, ok, but lets leave it at that.

Comment by Dan 08.07.13 @ 6:38 pm

i’m for giving chryst credit for building a team that works hard, regardless of star level. If kids don’t like it quit. jamie dixon obviously is doing the same thing. are kids transferring? yes they are. both coaches have a philosophy and are sticking to it. i applaud his conviction. if pc’s philosophy does not work, he will either be gone in 2 or 3 years or given a lifetime contract like dixon.

Comment by goalie44 08.07.13 @ 6:42 pm

Maybe some of the players don’t get working hard, staying in shape, bringing it every day, staying out of trouble, and can’t figure out why no one is kissing their ass.

I’m not saying Chryst can do know wrong.

I’m saying it’s way too early to tell whether he is or he isn’t.

Meantime, he’s the boss. Follow his rules or be gone.

He’ll have to deal with his own decisions, in a couple years, when they are all his players, and won’t have an alibi.

If we’re 3-8, and still bleeding players, in a couple of years, I will be first to join you in criticizing him.

Right now, his program, his decisions. We will all see if it works or not.

I’m hoping it does.

Comment by Dan 08.07.13 @ 6:46 pm

PK dave had talent 4 star 5 star 3 star players
yes they salked and let him doen in big games some were prima donnas some were like shell some like thomas but the talent got him 8 or 9 or 10 wins

you dont know yet what chryst 2 stars will get him not yet.
but i would rather have the talent and get 9 wins
then hard workers that get me 6 wins
but we will see in 2 years hope you still like things then hope i am wrong i really do.

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.07.13 @ 6:47 pm

@goalie44, exactly!

Comment by Dan 08.07.13 @ 6:47 pm

“well, are you gonna pull those pistols, or whistle dixie?”

Comment by Dan 08.07.13 @ 6:48 pm

There has to be more to this. It was the first day of practice, no pads. Surely Thomas knows he is good enough to beat out any contenders. What causes such a knee jerk reaction? What causes a guy to turn his back on his teammates?

My guess is there is much more going on behind the scenes. We are only talking about Chryst, what about the linebackers coach and the D-coordinator?What did he do or not do during the off season?

Also, he is a redshirt junior, why would anyone want to sit out a year to play one more year. This makes less sense than Shell, which made no sense. Maybe he wants to join Shell on the bench at WVU.

Go figure.

Comment by gc 08.07.13 @ 6:48 pm

This is what u get after five head coaches and multiple losing/mediocre seasons. All of the older players didn’t sign up to play for this guy so they want out. Pitt has to rebuild this thing from the ground up and no1 said it was gonna be easy

Comment by Carey 08.07.13 @ 6:52 pm

@ Doc Tom

Very well put, you summed up the situation extremely well !

Hail to Pitt !
Veritas et Virtus !

Comment by EMel 08.07.13 @ 6:52 pm

“We call that a Missouri(a) Boat Ride “

Comment by EMel 08.07.13 @ 6:54 pm

I blame the liberals…Everyone gets a trophy now in this world. It’s Obama’s fault and Smug Steve Pederson. LOL

Comment by Upittbaseball 08.07.13 @ 6:55 pm

Dan i was thinking of his last few years and yes
sherill would be better but i was just makeing the point that talent is better in the long run.
you really cant beat good players better 9 wins with talent then 6 with hard work.
just my veiw but even Wbb seams to have a problem with all the players we have lost eo i dont think i am 100 percent wrong

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.07.13 @ 6:55 pm

Emel, Clint’s best movie IMO

Comment by wbb 08.07.13 @ 6:57 pm

EMel, you’re on fire today – “who’s we?” followed by your Joe D conclusion. I love it, give me some more please.

Comment by marcus of schaumburg 08.07.13 @ 7:03 pm

Dyin’ ain’t much of a livin’, boy.

Comment by EMel 08.07.13 @ 7:07 pm

When a naked man’s chasing a woman through an alley with a butcher knife and a hard-on, I figure he’s not out collecting for the Red Cross

Comment by marcus of schaumburg 08.07.13 @ 7:20 pm

HCPC is the best thing that has happened to this team and University in a long time. I could care of less about his record this year or next year. I can guarantee you that given the time and resources HCPC will make this program one that we are proud of….and also a winner. He’s taking a sound long-term approach. Street is on board and probably many others are too…I think camp and the team just got a lot better. Hopefully the fans have some patience as well…but some just can’t see the forest for the trees… HTP

Comment by FG 08.07.13 @ 7:20 pm

Comment by wbb 08.07.13 @ 7:21 pm

Josey Wales: Whenever I get to likin’ someone, they ain’t around long.

Lone Watie(Chief Dan George): I notice when you get to dislikin’ someone, they ain’t around long, neither.

Comment by EMel 08.07.13 @ 7:27 pm

EMel let me put it this way if it was day 3 and thomas was still slacking i could see chryst calling him over and saying get your shit togther
or you are second string.
then if he is still fucking up down he goes.
but day one in front of the whole team not smart.

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.07.13 @ 7:27 pm

Reply to “HCPC is the best thing that has happened to this team and University in a long time.”

Really? Based on what? He’s a mediocre recruiter (at best), or maybe not even. He’s dull as dishwater when he opens his mouth. And 20-some players went to the hassle of uprooting their lives and transferring, arguably to get away from him (or his assistants … or both).

And based on what I saw last year he’s no great shakes as a game day manager, which is what ultimately killed Wanny’s regime (who was a GREAT recruiter and good speaker). Altho HCPC gets a mulligan for being stuck with Tino the Incompetent as QB.

That’s 0 for 3 in the main areas that count in CFB.

Tell ya what, especially now with all the defections, our shiny new head coach better start winning early and big. Which he didn’t do in the Big East, and it’ll be a lot harder in the ACC.

If not, his “honeymoon period” will end faster than waking up to find out your blushing new bride was born a dude.

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 08.07.13 @ 7:33 pm

GeeZ – i go into a closed door meeting this morning and come out to this mess.

I will never second guess a head coach on discipline matters but it is obvious to me that there was a lot more wrong with Pitt Football than just Wannstedt’s awful game day coaching.

Anyone have a head’s up on tomorrow’s crisis???

Comment by Dan 72 08.07.13 @ 7:33 pm

I think it was pk who said it above, but it bears repeating: coaches pull this move all the time. At every level of football. It’s a motivational tool, and often a pretty effective one.

Todd Thomas has been around the game of football long enough to know this. If he’s going to leave after something so trivial, then it’s pretty apparent he didn’t really want to be here in the first place. If that’s the case, fine. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, guy. Say hi to Edinboro for me.

Comment by Jeff 08.07.13 @ 7:33 pm

This kind of no nonsense, inmates don’t run the asylum attitude is LONG OVERDUE!
All those who feel they are entitled to a starting position sign your transfer papers here.

Comment by Sfpitt 08.07.13 @ 7:35 pm

Good link wbb ,,,,thank you Sir

Todd Thomas’ high school coach: Move “seems like a knee-jerk reaction”

Coach better make sure his house security system is functioning properly or Mrs. Thomas might be in his kitchen …..up in his face….bodily bumping him.

Or worse…..

Comment by EMel 08.07.13 @ 7:35 pm

@ Imma a Man !

You should have just quit after this gem:

“Altho(ugh) HCPC gets a mulligan for being stuck with Tino the Incompetent as QB.”

Comment by EMel 08.07.13 @ 7:40 pm

Imma Man, chryst is a mediocre at best recruiter? Based on what?…… Like i said before, pitts had more 4 star busts than theyve had successful 4 stars. Recruiting rankings are almost meaningless.

I still cant grasp how some can be mad at a coach for getting rid of lazy and selfish players. That literally makes no sense.

Comment by Pk 08.07.13 @ 7:44 pm

Here, here….Sfpitt

I second that motion !

Enough of this gar……ba….ge……..!

Comment by EMel 08.07.13 @ 7:45 pm

@ Dan72

Hopefully you went straight from the closed door meeting to a………

really good bar with high end spirits ! :-)

Tomorrow, tomorrow…..hold on….let me check my crystal ball.

Comment by EMel 08.07.13 @ 7:49 pm

Todd Thomas Twitter Acct. (Has his highschool photo as his background)

@Toddythomas8 2h
Nobody took my spot for the record.. But I did what’s best for me! I still love pitt!

@Toddythomas8 4h
I didn’t quit so stop saying that!!

Comment by tedsptman 08.07.13 @ 7:56 pm

TT could have been great with the right attitude. Hopefully he comes back with a new outlook. I admit I don’t know what it takes to build a winning program, but I will hand my worries over to Chryst.

Comment by panther94 08.07.13 @ 8:01 pm

gc, I really don’t want to get personal or insulting. I’m a Pitt fan too (maybe not as much as before).

Part of me wants to patt you on the back and say, “poor boy, is there something I can do to help you?”

Watch those statments about “Violently disagree”; “Violently” you say! I might have to bar you from my neighborhood.

This is Obama’s fault!

Emel, I believe you are drinking a bit more.

Dr. Tom, I worked for mine, retired with a large nut, enough I thought; until they started printing dollars like water. I liked being on top of the food chain. However,I have got to keep paying for those entitelments. Keep working it is the only way to stay ahead.

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 08.07.13 @ 8:01 pm

Street and the Team knows he was not part of the solution. .he needs to Go.

Comment by 63 Team 08.07.13 @ 8:04 pm

Price has been moved to DE. Happy about the move. Another LB down on the depth chart.

Comment by tedsptman 08.07.13 @ 8:18 pm

Fear the Stache, how right you are.

A piece of me died too. I wonder if I will live long enough, to see Pitt come out of this.

Pederson going, will of course, need to happen first.

I wonder how far Pitt has declined in academic rankings since the eary 1960’s?

I know around the mid 70’s to mid 80’s the number of admission applications were up. Not sure if academics rankings improved also.

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 08.07.13 @ 8:36 pm

It seems to me Thomas fluffed off during the summer so PC moved the kid who worked all summer ahead of him. If so, what’s the big deal? All Thomas had to do was work hard and reclaim the spot. Wecome to reaity kid!

Comment by pittman4ever 08.07.13 @ 8:37 pm

Todd Thomas Twitter Acct. (Has his highschool photo as his background)

@Toddythomas8 2h
Nobody took my spot for the record.. But I did what’s best for me! I still love pitt!

@Toddythomas8 4h
I didn’t quit so stop saying that!!

OK, so now I’m totally confused. What exactly is best for you? Glad to hear that nobody took your spot, where is your spot by the way? In the unemployment line, perhaps? Sorry, I thought that I heard that you were leaving the team, my bad, so OK, you didn’t quit and you still love Pitt. No worries. Practice starts at 9am tomorrow morning, see you then!

Am I missing something here????????????????????

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.07.13 @ 9:18 pm

@Old Pitt Grad, not sure what it was in the 1960’s but it’s pretty good now. Gut feeling is that it’s better now than then.

link to

Comment by panther94 08.07.13 @ 9:19 pm

This is getting old fast. Paul Chryst better get his shit together and fight for these talented kids, on the recruiting trail and in camp. Make these kids want to be here, convince them, show them. Stop with this, “Well shucks, we only want kids that want to be here” bullshit.

Comment by Chris 08.07.13 @ 9:31 pm

Another goddamn excruciating football season of Jets and Pitt hot steaming turds on the field every weekend. I didn’t even get an enjoyable baseball season out of the Yankees this year.

Comment by Chris 08.07.13 @ 9:32 pm

JOSEY WALES: This boy was brought up in a time of blood and dying and never questioned a bit of it. He never turned his back on his folks or his kind. I rode with him… and I got no complaints. The blue bellies will give ya a better burial than I can, boy.

Comment by wbb 08.07.13 @ 9:38 pm

Those who don’t agree with what HCPC is doing must never had to manage a team of people…

The most successful team I ever lead was not the group with the most experiece or glowing resumes… They seemed to have an – I’m too good for this, me first attitude that eventually lead to a bad product collectively… It was a hardworking collection of overachievers that worked together to achieve what the Company represented that had the most success…

I for one can appreciate Coach’s approach

Comment by Pitt2Cali 08.07.13 @ 9:40 pm

@ Chris, do you ever listen to yourself think? It’s so obvious, sure, every coach’s desire is to have his roster filled up with malcontents that don’t want to be on the team?

You’re correct on the Bullshit comment though, we just disagree on who’s dishing it out.

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.07.13 @ 9:42 pm

and no one ever asked why our d coor went nc for poss less money and he also wanted to stay how about some one look alittle further into to this fiasco , u all let this slide by .this didn’t totally confuse anybody. Houston we have a problem

Comment by paul shannon 08.07.13 @ 9:46 pm

Amen Fear the Stache, Amen

Comment by John 08.07.13 @ 9:59 pm

imma man i am with you.
paul chryst mediocre for all you who thinks he walks on water what has he done so far nothing a 6 and 7 record and run 25 players off the team
hired a DC who has no experence
and has recruited more 2 stars then any outher coach at pitt.
you want to belive in him but what has he done nothing that great .

we will soon see if he is any good but right now all he has done is add to the never ending bull shit that surrounds pitt football.

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.07.13 @ 10:12 pm

Old Pitt Grad, not to worry, I speak figuratively.

I’m pretty much a pacifist. I don’t require your sympathy though.

I do believe entitlements are a red herring. It is more likely our financial dilemma was caused by Wall Street and our propensity to fight multi-trillion dollar unnecessary wars.

If you are old, you are like me one of the so-called entitled on Social Security and soon to be on Medicare. Which we have all paid into all our working lives. Entitlements which we have earned.

What I don’t understand is why you want to give these kids who aren’t willing to earn it a pass.

All the stars, State Champions, All Americans that I played with or knew personally, earned it with hard work, they didn’t expect anything handed to them. They sure didn’t quit when things didn’t go their way.

Old Pitt Grad, I respect your right to your opinion. Obviously we are both passionate about Pitt. Forgive my poor choice of a word. Also, I hope your money holds out, having recently retired, I am getting used to living on a fixed income and have the same concerns.

By the way, Pitt’s current academic standing is the highest ever. Certainly not because of Football.

Comment by gc 08.07.13 @ 10:14 pm

Nick Grisby, another “nice recruit” replaced Thomas today. When one leaves, another has an opportunity, with opportunity comes success/failure. Here is to hoping Grisby has more dedication to excellence than TT.

Comment by tedsptman 08.07.13 @ 10:21 pm

Chris, on second thought I can appreciate the spirit of your recruiting theme from your previous post. Agreed, Chryst is anything but a flamboyant personality, but that doesn’t necessarily equate to a person who lacks the ability to be persuasive.

Chryst is a blue collar, meat and potato guy who is sincere in his efforts. I think that he has the ability to sell the University and his “vision” for the football program to those recruits who want to listen. He is a good fit for a blue collar city like Pittsburgh, IMO.

This is the important point, I think that Chryst has a defined concept in his head of the type of person that he wants in his program, and possessing the ultimate athletic ability is not the primary characteristic that he’s looking for. Whether his plan comes to bear successful results, only time will tell, but one thing this team will not have in the future are Prima Donnas who possess incorrect attitudes.

Chryst knows what he wants and he is straight forward in his process of getting there. Can he attract the athletes that he NEEDS to win while proceeding down that path will be seen come about season 2016, if he is still around by then to see the fruits of his efforts.

In the meantime, the guys that he recruits will be here because they WANT to be here, and is that so bad?

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.07.13 @ 10:21 pm

gc amen abought the fixed income thing it is something you have to live with. we wont to belive in chryst but immaman is right we really dont know
if he is on the ball on top of things we just want to belive it he has really done nothing.
we wont know for sure till the end of this season
if his way is the right way he could be blowing a different kind of smoke than TG.
if it were not a pitt coach that ran off 25 players and hired a DC WITH NO EXPERENCE.
would you still think he knew what he was doeing
ask your self that and all recruitrd every 2 star he could find if it were a coach at some outher school what would you say.

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.07.13 @ 10:30 pm

No, he hasn’t done anything that great.

He’s only going into his 2nd season.

I wouldn’t have expected him to do anything great yet.

He’s also, what the 5th or 6th coach in a few years. He has a mix of players from all over. Players that have had 3 or 4 coaches.

Quite a few bad eggs, or at least confused eggs.

I don’t know the guy, have never met him, but doesn’t he at least get a few years, a full cycle of his recruits, before we say he stinks.

I mean, in year four, if we still stink, then he stinks, I’ll agree.

Right now, after inheriting the mess that was Pitt, he’s to do miracles???

These are not excuses. It’s reality. We’ve all been watching this mess, haven’t we???

I don’t have his back, I don’t say he can’t do no wrong, I don’t personally know him, I’m not covering for him, and I don’t think he walks on water.

Take Paul Chryst, the person out of it.

My opinions, are on the current Pitt football coach. His name could be James Smith or John Jones or Current Resident.

He’s only going into his 2nd season.

Wish I had the crystal ball a few of you have.

Comment by Dan 08.07.13 @ 10:33 pm

Too many intangibles / variables involved to make an informed assesment. I, as will the entire nation will be more educated on September 2nd @ 11:30 P.M. on Paul Chyrst’s abilities. He comes off initially as a mush-mouthed Moron ! Hope he proves me wrong – keep him on a short leash .

Comment by daddylonglegs 08.07.13 @ 10:40 pm

PC has done nothing yet on the field so he can’t be judged positively or otherwise yet. This season tells the tale of the trend here.

As for this kid… he quit..

–on his career,
–on his team,
–on his teammates
–on his college education.

Period end of story.

So he is demoted one day and the coach “calls him out” in public and he can’t handle it?

any people have a problem with this… all the typical folks too… but oh, for sure at Alabama, ND, USC, Ohio State, LSU, et. et.c… they neeeever say anything negative about their players in public??

Chryst didn’t even say anything ‘negative’ either.

Street’s comment says it all.

Get with the program or don’t let the door hit you in A$$ on the way out…

Comment by Pittscript 08.07.13 @ 10:46 pm

Well said Dan. He has one year so far and hasn’t really completed his first full recruiting class.

By the way Frankcan, I don’t think he walks on water, he like most of us is entitled to a few mistakes. Maybe his DC choice will be one, but let’s give him the chance to fail before we call him a failure.

I think it will take 3 or 4 years at best to turn this thing around. Maybe Chryst can do it maybe he can’t.

I think it is hilarious how many now miss Wanny, when at the time most wanted him gone. I like most were frustrated that he could not win the big one and was ok with his dismissal. The Cinci game was pretty frustrating.

The Shell episode and now Thomas are frustrating. They both came from nowhere and seem to lack reason. Of all the guys to leave, they were the only two impact players so the 25 or 26 does not concern me. Shell would have run for a lot of yards. Thomas still may make a lot of tackles, but football is a team sport, with team rules and standards. If he comes back he has to put the team first.

In any case Long live the Team.

Comment by gc 08.07.13 @ 11:01 pm

Now remember, when things look bad and it looks like you’re not gonna make it, then you gotta get mean. I mean plumb, mad-dog mean. ‘Cause if you lose your head and you give up then you neither live nor win. That’s just the way it is

Comment by Pitt Dad 08.07.13 @ 11:03 pm

What if Mike Caprara deserved to be first team? I wish TT the best but a challenge (demotion to 2nd team) such as this should have been met with determination and grit! I’d have been steaming and muttering “ok Coach we will see who is first team LB when camp breaks!” Quit would never have crossed my mind. H2P! UPone

Comment by UPone 08.07.13 @ 11:09 pm

Shane Falco: I want the ball.

Jimmy McGinty: Winners always do

Comment by Pitt Dad 08.07.13 @ 11:18 pm

Shane Falco: I wish I could say something classy and inspirational, but that just wouldn’t be our style. Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory… lasts forever.

Comment by Pitt Dad 08.07.13 @ 11:19 pm

metro index scouting director joe butler said anytime a player leaves a program that is not a good sign it looks bad.

Comment by FRANKCAN 08.07.13 @ 11:26 pm

Dear Frankcan my friend. Please go to bed and get some sleep. When you wake up tomorrow refreshed and sober you will be amazed how you lit up the Blather tonight. Happy dreams!

Comment by pittman4ever 08.07.13 @ 11:44 pm

God, being a Pitt fan is like having a drama queen girlfriend, never just a nice relaxing day, always something. That being said, I will always take a 2 or 3 * hard working, team 1st, high character kid over a self entitled, me 1st, show up on gameday 4 or 5 * kid. Pretty obvious coach feels this way too. This team desperately needs continuity and unity 1st, wins will come(I hope). Just another example if your not in, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out…

Comment by Pap76 08.07.13 @ 11:56 pm

Man I did not know Pitt entire roster was repleat with kids who were losers with bad attitudes and personal problems (Schell). Most 19 year olds who have been pampered because of their athletic abilities are normally mature upstanding adults by the time they entire college. Atleast I was and I was not even idolized in high school.

As for Street he knows what speaking your mind can do “Jon Baldwin” when the drat comes around.

My professional exerience and academic training makes be certain of one point. Individuals are motivated by different approaches. Most individuals are motivated by positive reinforcement. Football players unlike the general population have often been controlled by fear and negative reinforcement by their coaches and families.
The point is successful managers do not treat their charges in a standardized fashion they take the time to understand what method motivates the player and uses that to buy into the teams goals and subordinadte his natural self interests.
Apparently Chryst and his staff do not understand this fundamental concept of human behavior.
Chryst is beginning to appear to be the new Foge Fazio who reached his level of competence as a coordinator.

Comment by pittisit 08.08.13 @ 12:50 am

I love the statement about inmates do not run the asylum. The undertone is discriminatory and the statement is overtly inflamatory.
Even inmates respond better when treated with respect and dignity. Since their certainly has been no transparency in the government, corporations, or the mainstream press since 1980 we know nothing except what the coaching staff tells us and certainly only a fool would believe what management tells you about someone they consider a disruptive subordinate.
What is really needed is tough, honest investigative reporting in Washington, Wall Street, and athletic progams

Comment by pittisit 08.08.13 @ 1:36 am

Late to hear this news. This kid is a clueless big baby. Waaaaaa…..I have to work harder…..waaaaaaaa. So typical. The I am entitled attitude, I don’t have to earn it and I will blame others for what I do wrong. Good luck with that attitude kid.

Comment by notrocketscience 08.08.13 @ 5:32 am

I’m just not sure that I have the patience to be a Pitt fan anymore. Sure, I will also root for the Panthers, but the season tickets and road trips are expensive, especially when it seems like the university still isn’t making football a priority.

Academics matter, but when it comes to college football, winning matters too. Pitt should model Cincy (a school that has a fifth of the tradition and a program that is at least five times better) as to improve football. Why can’t a university with a 2 billion dollar endowment that shares facilities with a world renown pro football organization just try a little harder?

I’m no coach, but I know I could have handled the clock better than the neat coach these guys hired.

Comment by Brian 08.08.13 @ 6:48 am

Pittisit – First off the only person who has even talked about, or even remotely alluded to, Thomas being a “disruptive subordinate” has been one teammate who has been with Thomas on the PITT roster for four years.

The coaching staff itself, Chryst in particular, has had nothing but positive things to say about Todd Thomas, even in private conversations with his HS coach…

“Thomas’ high school coach at Beaver Falls, Ryan Matsook, said the news surprised him. He said he received six voice mail messages from Division II coaches wondering about Thomas’ availability.
Matsook said he didn’t detect any dissatisfaction from Thomas when he joined his players this spring in the weight room.

“I speak quite frequently with Chris Haering (Thomas’ position coach at Pitt), and he never had anything negative to say,” Matsook said. “Todd is competitive. Every kid will get complacent, but the thing that always motivated Todd was if you put anyone in front of him or sat him for a quarter, he always responded positively.”

That quote strikes to the heart of the matter in this issue – for one it shows that ‘motivation tactics’ have been needed as far back as HS with Thomas.

link to

But if you read what Chryst has actually said publicly you’ll find that is has been overwhelming positive regarding Thomas place on the team and Thomas’ character itself. Telling a layer that he needs to concentrate more to remain a starter isn’t insulting in the least – it is a first step in trying to keep the player himself moving forward to staying a starter.

But here.s what is really disappointing. Thomas is one semester away fron graduating and then would have a full year of football scholarship left to basically have a year and a half to work towards a Masters. He’s been a good student and has balanced the two well – up until yesterday. He is cutting off his nose to spite his face.

I think we may see Thomas have a change of heart with this. I just now got off the phone with some smack dab in the middle of the football program and he told me that he just had a lengthy conversation on Monday morning with Thomas and Thomas’ attitude was very upbeat and very much engaged and looking forward to playing this season. It came a a shock to him and everyone else in the program that Thomas did what he did.

Comment by Reed 08.08.13 @ 7:17 am

Frankcan, I was with you. I stayed quiet and let Chryst do his thing, but I’ve had enough. Seriously, how many head coaches in college footbal have caused the starting LB and starting RB to quit in the same offseason.

It is an absolute joke to say that Todd Thomas quit because he didn’t want to work hard. The kid came back from TWO ACL surgeries. This isn’t some Shell situation where we heard how he was lazy and never practiced. To the contrary everyone seems to like him. Seriously, how poorly does Paul Chryst have to misjudge how to interact and motivate Todd Thomas in order to make him quit? Really poorly. Bottom line, Chryst chose the wrong way to motivate his starting red-shirt junior LB. How about instead of publically calling out the dude day 1 coach Chryst talks to him after practice and says “you need to take it up a notch.” Then if Thomas doesn’t listen demote him. But instead Chryst chooses a day 1 stunt in order to try to show how big and bad of a boss he is to the rest of the team. It backfired.

If it was just Todd Thomas leaving, or just Shell leaving or just the strange hire of a completely unqualified DC or just a poor recruiting class or just poor game day decisions then I’d let one or two slide. But the combination of all these factors show that Chryst doesn’t what you need to be a successful head coach. Chryst just doesn’t have the people skills required for a head coach in college football. People skills help you recruit, people skills help you get really qualified assitant coaches, people skills ensure your players play hard every game (and not half the games like Pitt did last year) and people skills make players buy into your system and prevent them from quitting.

Seriously, Chryst couldn’t really captilize on the momentum of entering the ACC for recruiting, how the heck is he going to recruit after a 3-9 season? I’m sure really good players are going to be lining up to play for an inexperienced head coach with a losing record. It was key for Chryst to win right away.

Finally, stop all the stupid nonsense that Chyrst is purposely choosing lower stars because they actually work hard. There are plenty of 4 and 5 stars that work hard. Chryst just doesn’t get any. Saying Chryst doesn’t want top talent is basically a guy saying “oh I would never go out with a model because they are all crazy and demanding.”

Comment by Wardapalooza 08.08.13 @ 7:26 am

Well said Ward.
Even the koolaid drinkers on the Rivals and Scout boards have turned on Chryst or have opened their eyes to the deteriorating situation.
Most have come to the understanding that Chryst will/should be gone after the 2014 season before its too late. He is being compared to Foge Fazio and Paul Hackett as good coordinators but terrible HC.

Comment by Pitt.Dan83 08.08.13 @ 7:47 am

Dear Wardapalooza,
Do you work for NBC, CBS, or ABC??? LoL You have taken the liberty to throw someone under the bus because you don’t agree with them. Everyone has watched Chryst’s interview and the FACTS show he said nothing to cause this. So, like a good liberal news man, you create a hate column based on no to little facts. The man has been here for 1 season. Obama has been Pres for over 5 years and my guess is you’re still supporting him. At least give Chryst a 2nd year before you character assassinate him.

Comment by pittman4ever 08.08.13 @ 8:12 am

Seriously? We are blaming the head coach because players that don’t want to work hard are quitting.
Wake up people. Maybe that is the reason Pitt has sucked.
Anyone that manages people knows you need people with the right attitude. Not quitters.

Comment by notrocketscience 08.08.13 @ 8:13 am

You obviously never held a management role.
Go take the course Management 101.
You will read about Pavlov, Watson, Skinner. I suggest you take that course.
Right now, we have a coaching problem.

Comment by Pitt.Dan83 08.08.13 @ 8:19 am

If you buy a house that is a piece of crap are you going to keep decorating and landscaping like the previous owner did or are you going to strip it down and start over the right way? Chryst is doing whats necessary to rebuild.

Comment by Pk 08.08.13 @ 8:31 am

I for one would rather have 6 wins per season with
men I can be proud of than 12 wins per season with
boys I’m ashamed of!!

Comment by Classof69 08.08.13 @ 8:31 am

inmates reference is used all over the work forces.. it doesn’t matter what race u are its a term meaning that the management is not going to take it. I used this term many times in the restaurant field, and nobody took it as racial which it seems u r implying

Comment by teezy 08.08.13 @ 8:31 am

Do you guys ever bother to read the total pile of BS that you post after you type it? Yeah I’m calling out guys like Pitt.Dan83, Wardapalooza, Pittisit, etc.

You guys, who are so quick to condemn, casting undocumented accusatorial speculation in the guise of facts are the epitomy of hypocrisy! You want to see true unfounded public ridicule, then read your own posts then go take a good long look at yourselves in the morror!

Coach Chryst got hired to do a job. He is in the process of doing that. He has a team full of individuals that are all different and unique. He is changing the culture and mindset of this team whether each and everyone of those individuals appreciates it or not. Right now he is the guy in charge and he is the guy that is responsible for what is best for THE TEAM, not the individual.

Shell made a unwise, immature and ultimately remorseful decision. That’s HIS problem. Enjoy playing for the Mountaineers. Apparently Todd Thomas didn’t get the memo from that example and has followed in those same footsteps. HIS problem, not Chryst’s.

When Chryst starts throwing guys like Thomas off the team and rationalizes it by publicly stating the that guy was dismissed because he was uncoachable or a bad influence on the rest of the team, etc. THEN you guys may have some ammunition to back up your BS about what Coach is doing so wrong with this team. But for right now, the only guys who are responsible for train wrecks like Shell and Thomas leaving are themselves.

Wake up and smell the coffee!

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.08.13 @ 8:33 am

Dr, Tom,
Exactly. Perfectly put. Thank you for stating a rational and cogent (and I might add, adult) description of what’s going on, both as to the Pitt team and to some truly unbalanced posters that seem to have nothing better to do than rip Pitt.

Comment by PetePitt73 08.08.13 @ 9:09 am

Doc, thank you. I just read down through all these comments and, like you, had a hard time figuring out how some people can actually believe the garbage they type. Seriously, these types of “posters” are the same types of players PC is trying to weed out.

Comment by JJ 08.08.13 @ 9:14 am

People still saying Chryst called him out publicly. Haven’t you few people watched the video.

All he said, when asked a question about lighting a fire, was “I hope so”.

He also complimented him several times before and many times after that.

Unless I’m still missing something, that is what we’re talking about right???

A stunt??? What a bunch of candy asses!!

Done with this subject. It got way to many posts for something that didn’t deserve 10 comments.

Comment by Dan 08.08.13 @ 9:21 am

Football, and sports in general, should be an ancillary activity supplementing the REAL purpose of a University, which is to educate and develop young persons to be leaders and productive members of society. Catering to miscreants with entitlement issues is NOT the purpose of a University.

It sickens me to see how sports has become ALL IMPORTANT to some people, trumping all else.

It saddens me to read how some feel that we need to WIN, WIN, WIN….at any and all costs. Maybe these folks should just focus on professional sports teams where winning IS the primary focus. Pro/Major league teams aren’t in the business of developing young men (and women), they are in the business to win and make money. There is no pretense that they are there ‘to make sure young men/women are ready to enter society’.

Pitt is a University that happens to field a football team. The University, as a whole, is what matters.

Comment by pghFred 08.08.13 @ 9:31 am

What Chryst said about Thomas was no different than any coach who has used the media to help light a fire under an important player when that player isn’t performing consistently to expectations. It was hardly malicious. It was in no way an attempt to single Thomas out for the purposes of embarrasing him in front of his teammates. It was largely complimentary of Thomas and a plain statement of the need the team had for him to perform to his standards. Dare I say that had this happened in the second year of Wannstedt’s tenure, the comments would’ve been lauded by much of the Pitt fanbase.

To that end, in the aftermath of yesterday’s news, I saw two crystal-clear examples emerge that shed some light on what has been the “culture” of Pitt football the last three or four seasons.

On one hand, you have the comments made by Devin Street – both on Twitter and to the media – talking about Thomas’s willingness to buy in, work hard and be a part of what the team was about.

On the other hand, you have Cam Saddler, who took to Twitter to call out Chryst for what he called “high school tactics”, accusing him of being on a power trip. He essentially argued in other comments that Thomas should’ve been running with the starters this year by default because of past performance, yet wouldn’t entertain the possibility that Thomas’s effort to open this camp may have been substandard and was the reason why he was relegated to the second team. He also seems to insinuate that different standards do need to exist for the team’s best players, drawing a vague reference to Shell as well. And for whatever it’s worth, some fellow Pitt fans pointed out this morning that Saddler changed his Twitter profile to read “Former Member of the Dave Wannstedt Pitt Panthers”.

I was a huge fan of Wannstedt, but it became apparent that there were major issues with the program. The off-field issues that existed were well-documented. On the field, I get the sense that things weren’t much better during his final season, given the way the team seemed to come out flat in big games (Miami, ND, UConn with BE title still in play), culminating in what sure as hell looked like the entire team quitting on him in the loss to WVU at home in 2010. The phrase “inmates running the asylum” was frequently tossed around and plenty of evidence emerged to support it.

I recall it being revealed at the end of last season that sometime prior to the start of the 2012 season, Chryst and his coaches went to a number of the veteran players – many of whom were “Wanny guys” – and asked them to be counted on to take leadership roles within the locker room. I recall it being said that as the season wore on, a significant number of them ended up doing the exact opposite, becoming little more than disruptive malcontents whose matriculation from the program would be a welcome step to move things forward.

(Tangent: To be fair, the attrition isn’t all on Wannstedt’s former players, either. A large chunk of the roster was brought in by Graham under the pretense of playing in a spread-option system. From an on-field standpoint alone, it was logical to assume that many of these guys would leave because they weren’t necessarily suited to play in Chryst’s system.)

Over the last several months, Street has emerged as one of the voices of the culture of the program Chryst is trying to build. There’s some irony there because for some time prior, Street was perceived as an underachiever whose play was sometimes characterized as lazy. There was speculation that he didn’t really come around until he sniffed around his NFL draft prospects and didn’t like what he heard, but whatever the motivations are, Street changed. To move this program forward, they need everyone on the same page and everyone buying in to the same degree.

I’ve argued this before here…it seems like when Walt and Wanny took over, there was significantly more patience within the fanbase through the first few years of their respective tenures. There seemed to be a common understanding that building a program and getting results takes time, and that there would be attrition and growing pains, and that it was a process that didn’t happen overnight.

So what’s changed? Why does it feel like Chryst isn’t being alloted the same, especially when it could be argued that he inherited a signifcantly more chaotic situation? I’m not saying people can’t be criticial or that there aren’t things to criticize; there certainly are things worth criticizing. It just seems as though there’s a huge gap in where expectations were with Wanny & Walt heading into their respective Year Two’s and where things are with Chryst.

Comment by Stoosh 08.08.13 @ 9:37 am

I’ve already predicted a less than stellar season, so what we do this year is not going to effect my view of PC that much.

Unless we get blown out of each and every conf. game and the team plays with no heart.

IMO, this is much to do about nothing and a LB that had 1 tackle for loss, 1 sack and 1 interception. Did the kid even play in the bowl game against Ole Miss ? If he did he was invisible. Hardly a star. He was a star in HS like so many of these kids are. He has done noting a Pitt for him to be labled a star.

And frankly I didn’t think Shell was that good either. I’ll take Ray Graham over Shell any and every day of the week as far as football skills.
Shell was another who disappeared in the bowl game when he was the starter.

Sounds like we have a few folks who believe in this entitlement culture in sports.

Sorry that crap didn’t exist when I played and society is far worse off with it than when it didn’t exist.

Comment by EMel 08.08.13 @ 11:19 am

@ Stoosh, I’ll tell you what is different with this coach. Chryst paints a target on his own back for these coach haters to aim at. You know why? because he is a mild mannered person of few words who is comfortable with letting his actions/results speak for themselves rather than him putting his own spin on a version of exciting PR propaganda to prop himself up in front of the public ala Fraud Graham.

Biggest problem with that philosophy so far however is he hasn’t produced jack$hit to point to as an example of success coming from those efforts. Therfore he is an easy target for these self appointed armchair coaches to pontificate on what a moronic idiot we have as the head of the football program.

And how does Chryst react to such criticism? He doesn’t, he just keeps his mouth shut, his head down and continues to proceed with the same philosophy, continuing the process that initially made him such an easy mark in the first place.

If he’s OK with that, so am I. For his sake however and for the best interest of the team and University, I sure as hell hope that he knows what he is doing, because as of the current date, his first head coaching experiment is still a huge unknown regarding the ultimate results of the experiment.

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.08.13 @ 1:35 pm

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