February 14, 2014


The move to hire Troy Douglas as Defensive Backs Coach was made official. But with it, a little bit of adjusting to the coaching duties.

Chryst also streamlined positional assignments for Pitt’s defensive staff. In addition to coordinating the defense, Matt House will work with the linebackers. Chris Haering will coach the outside linebackers and serve as special teams coordinator. On the defensive line, Inoke Breckterfield will continue to coach the tackles and John Palermo will focus on the ends.

Chryst additionally announced that Desmond Robinson, who served as player personnel director this past season, will not be returning to Pitt’s staff.

Question. When did “streamline” become popular verbiage in football circles? Living in the Cleveland area I couldn’t help but absorb the Browns-Jimmy Haslam stuff this week. Haslam kept emphasizing the front office being streamlined. There was one position eliminated (CEO spot held by Joe Banner). Two people fired, but only one position eliminated.

Now Pitt has “streamlined” essentially be completing the phase out of Desmond Robinson. Otherwise, I’m not seeing “streamlined.”

Sorry, bit of a tangent but this was bothering me.

Pitt officially has a special teams coach. Now things will be better in that area. That, or we now know who to demand to fire next year. So, yay?

Back to Mr. Douglas.

Douglas is not unfamiliar with Pitt or members of the coaching staff. He worked with House at Michigan State during the 2001 and ’02 seasons. Additionally, as a standout receiver at Appalachian State (1983-86), he spent one season with Palermo, who was the assistant head coach at ASU during Douglas’ freshman season.

“I’m incredibly excited to join Pitt and return to the ACC,” Douglas said. “Coach Chryst is taking the program in an upward direction and I’m looking forward to contributing to that effort. I’m also excited about the opportunity to join the defensive staff at Pitt. Matt [House] and I worked together previously and J.P. [John Palermo] coached at Appalachian State when I played there. I know Inoke [Breckterfield] from the recruiting trail. It’s a great group of coaches and people and I can’t wait to join them.”

In a phone conversation with media, he spoke of not covering receivers, but getting interceptions.

“Pass breakups, they’re nice, and a lot of times they’re needed, especially on big third-down plays,” Douglas said. “But interceptions, that’s what gets the pretty girls. Everybody likes those picks, but you’ve got to teach it in practice and you’ve got to throw them a lot of balls.”

He said every drill the defensive backs do in practice will involve a football, and he’ll recruit players who played offense in high school and are used to handling a football.

“Our job as a defense is to get the ball back to our offense,” Douglas said. “We will attack the football. There’s no such thing as a defensive back that can’t catch.”

When Douglas coached DBs at UNC there were plenty of interceptions. Not so much at Iowa State, but that may have had something to do with the corners themselves.

Douglas said he likes the look of his new defensive backs, noting Pitt has “young cornerbacks who are long … which is a lot different than what I had at Iowa State. Paul (Rhoads, Iowa State coach) used to take those kids who looked like they were on the boat ride in Disney World.”

The starting corners for Iowa State last year were 5-10 and 5-9 (and on the two-deep they had a 5-7 corner).

Lafayette Pitts is 5-11. But Titus Howard is 6-1 and Trenton Coles is 6-3.  Slightly longer. Still. “Boat ride in Disney World.” Wow.

Douglas is from Florida. He is certainly going to be recruiting there and in the Southeast. This looks like a great fit at the spot and for recruiting geography.

One thing that everyone forgets, is that this Pitt team is playing a lot of freshmen. Typically the underclassmen get to learn more gradually. This group of freshmen are getting significant minutes and they will get better as the season goes on. Yes, the Panthers have lost a lot of very close games this year. But they are in them against some very good teams. I see the glass as half full. As the season continues, they will continue to get better.

Comment by Justinian 02.15.14 @ 11:08 am

I’d go with Pitt getting 4 and the over. Haven’t seen UNC much this year though.

Let’s get feeling good again!!!!


Comment by TVax 02.15.14 @ 11:19 am

The hiring of John Settle as RunningBacks Coach is another GREAT GET for Chryst.

Interesting that he’s also from North Carolina. Combine that with the fact that Douglas is from Florida, and you see how the pieces are coming together as far as recruiting the ACC goes.

Always knew “MAN WITH A PLAN” to be a fitting description for Chryst.

Now everyone is getting a glimpse.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.15.14 @ 11:53 am

Brooks Bollinger will be missed however.

Despite his immediate decision to pursue a non-football opportunity back home, I do expect him to return to Coaching some day.

His record as a rookie Head Coach at the high school level speaks for itself… as does the success he had in helping to dramatically improve a couple of Pitt Quarterbacks.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.15.14 @ 11:58 am

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