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.

Here is a thought for you all you saw how fast chryst hired Douglas becuse house knew him and the D line coach knew him.
And you see how fast he hired settle the RB coach becuse becuse he knew him and coached with him self.

Well chryst is still interviewing WR coaching candidates what does that tell us ?
It tell us that the WR coach who ever he is has not coached with chris and has not coached with any one on the staff.
Becuse if he had chryst chryst would have hired him bye now.
Just a thought some thing i see or think.

Comment by Frankcan 02.14.14 @ 10:23 pm

(2) Arizona 66

Arizona State 69

Say it isn’t so!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by TVax 02.15.14 @ 7:34 am

We NEED the ASU coach NOW!!!!

F Sean Miller. We want the other Pgh. guy that we let get away. Probably smarter than JD and SM combined.

Comment by TVax 02.15.14 @ 7:45 am

In 7 years at ASU, NCAA once(2nd round), NIT thrice(best quarterfinals). Recruited James Harden.

At NC St. 10 years with 5 NCAA appearances (best sweet 16) and 4 NIT’s(1 semifinal).

What do y’all think?

Comment by TVax 02.15.14 @ 7:54 am

Herb is a really smart guy, he was a 4.0 Chem E at CMU back in the mid eighties. He has had nice career and built a winning program wherever he’s gone. But I’m not sure he’d be an upgrade over JD. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. Herb is probably less charismatic than JD, I know, hard to believe.

Comment by Boubacar Aw 02.15.14 @ 8:00 am

Haha first time I’ve agreed with UPittbaseball, Jacksonville is part of Georgia (I lived in Tampa/Miami for years)

I agree with the comments that PC is really becoming a Head Coach, I am very optimistic about Pitt football.

Comment by Joe 02.15.14 @ 8:02 am

This paragraph from the nytimes says it all about Biden:

“To buttress his assertions of sincerity and openness, Mr. Biden released a 65-page file, obtained by the Senator from the Syracuse University College of Law, that he said contained all the records of his years there. It disclosed relatively poor grades in college and law school, mixed evaluations from teachers and details of the plagiarism.”

Comment by Boubacar Aw 02.15.14 @ 8:23 am

Despite the inability to score at the end of games. I am perplexed by the calls for another coach. Jamie Dixon has done a terrific job here at Pitt. Perfection is difficult to achieve. I’ll take my chances with Dixon.

Comment by Justinian 02.15.14 @ 8:23 am

About the football coaching announcements, I was surprised to hear about Bollinger leaving. I wonder how much Freebeck’s last minute defection played into it. Bollinger flew down to Florida for a home visit with Freebeck when he began to vacillate and sat with him during the following weekend basketball game at the Pete. A lot of time and energy goes into recruiting. Having a verbal commitment from a recruit in June and losing him the very last day before signing day had to be terribly discouraging.

Comment by Justinian 02.15.14 @ 8:32 am

Can Jamie get this team to believe in themselves after all the near misses? Bog chance today.

Comment by gc 02.15.14 @ 9:07 am

This is a Pitt blog not politics. Keep that stuff out of here.

Boubacar you aren’t sure that Herb Sendeck would be an upgrade over Dixon? So you think he is? If you do, I can’t take any of your basketball opinions seriously anymore. The two aren’t close.

Comment by Wardapalooza 02.15.14 @ 9:09 am

gc, I’m not optimistic about Pitt winning in Chapel Hill. North Carolina has a lot of athleticism and they are at home. Too bad the Duke game was canceled. I would rather the Panthers play them after an emotional game against the their arch-rival.

Comment by Justinian 02.15.14 @ 9:16 am

FWIW, Sendek accepted the ASU job after JD (and others) turned it down. Herb’s a good coach but let’s not make him John Wooden after an upset win. While he has a good resume, it pales to JD’s and JD coached in a tougher league.

BTW, did you note that the score was in the 60s after 2 OTs (2 Pgh coaches) … and also look at all the missed free throws. That game hardly passed the proverbial ‘eye test.’

Comment by wbb 02.15.14 @ 9:17 am

Arizona was 16 for 30 on free throws and lost in 2 OTs … wonder if that stat is being cited on the Zona blogs!

ASU was 15-26 which wasn’t much better.

Comment by wbb 02.15.14 @ 9:27 am

Justinian, interesting viewpoint about UNC’s emotional level. Also wonder about Pitt’s … do they come in focused and determined or are they still bitter and depressed?

Looking at the glass half-full .. maybe the Heels will come out a bit rusty after the layoff.

Comment by wbb 02.15.14 @ 9:33 am

Watching the USA-Russia hockey game and the US scored on two penalties by Ratalov. If the score holds up he should be named the American MVP. In another era he’d be sent off the Siberia!

Comment by Justinian 02.15.14 @ 9:37 am

We need to control the tempo, and that could tilt things our way because they aren’t the most disciplined or patient team. they are more athletic so if they control the pace they could get away from us.

We should be able to pick up some points at the line because they are free throw challenged at times.

Comment by spiritofsection22 02.15.14 @ 9:38 am

If the pattern continues that we beat the teams to whom we lost in football (and lose to the ones whom we beat in football), we get a win today.

I still have faith in the “blue and gold” boxers. They gave it their all on Wednesday night against the Orange.


Comment by pmdH2P 02.15.14 @ 9:39 am

Of course you must realize you CANNOT wash the boxers or the magic disappears!

Comment by Justinian 02.15.14 @ 9:49 am

I’m just wondering what the psychological toll of losing all these close games is. It is important to believe you are going to win.

Hard to believe when every time you get close, you have not been able to get it done. Now we have four of the last six on the road.

This should be a faster paced game today. Have not played an up tempo game for a while. Does Jamie try to slow it down or does he let the kids have some fun?

Comment by gc 02.15.14 @ 9:49 am

The Russians really got screwed on a beautiful goal being disallowed.

Comment by Justinian 02.15.14 @ 9:52 am

GC, I don’t think the Panthers will beat North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Despite that I’m not worried about Pitt’s psyche. I think they realize how well they played against Syracuse. They just need to finish and their freshmen need to finish on their inside shots.

Comment by Justinian 02.15.14 @ 10:01 am

Well I predicted that they had no chance of beating Syracuse or NC. They proved me wrong against Syracuse even though they lost, I’m hoping they prove me wrong with a win today.

No more predictions from me.

Comment by gc 02.15.14 @ 10:17 am

what a game!

Comment by wbb 02.15.14 @ 10:19 am


Again pulled from the hamper. Have lost track of how many times since being washed. If we win today, they stay crusty through March Madness.


Comment by pmdH2P 02.15.14 @ 10:34 am

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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