July 11, 2014

Football Notes, 7/11

Filed under: Football — Chas @ 6:48 am

Hard to believe the work up to football season is coming quickly. Conference media days in less than two weeks. School media days. The flurry of before the beginning of training camp articles. The insane parsing of the meaning of every padless practice. Good times coming soon.

At the ACC media days, Pitt will send Tyler Boyd and Ray Vinopal as the player reps. It’s been quite a while since Pitt sent a non-senior to media days.

The majority of the tabs for football are player focus pieces. Time to blow through them.

Chad Voytik Q&A hits on him spending his summer working mostly on footwork and building a rapport with his receivers.

Going back to when you first signed with Pitt: Why was it important to you to stick with Pitt after the guy who recruited you left? What stood out about Coach Chryst?

CV: The reason I stayed, I think honestly, is because I had already built relationships here. I was already committed for such a long time and I already felt locked in. Yeah, I could’ve de-committed, but to a certain degree, it wouldn’t have been productive for me. I liked everything about Pittsburgh and I liked the people. Coach Chryst being the man that he was, I could tell his honesty, how different he was from the past regime and stuff. So it was just the right thing to do, I felt. He laid out a nice plan, and you just knew from the time he walked in here that he wanted to change things. And it wasn’t the same pep talk that every coach comes in with, like ready to change the whole program. He was willing to change it from the inside out, he did it the right way and I think we all saw that.

Voytik is part of the whole crop of young players expected not simply to be the face of the team, but to be the leaders.

In each of his three seasons as Pitt head coach, Paul Chryst has assigned his players a summer book report to do in the months between spring practice and fall training camp.

This year, that book was the inspirational “Today Matters” by John C. Maxwell.

As part of the project, players are randomly asked to give their interpretation of that week’s assigned chapters.

Earlier this summer, the first group was four players — wide receiver Tyler Boyd, running back James Conner, quarterback Chad Voytik and safety Ray Vinopal — who figure to be prominent leaders of the 2014 Panthers.

“Being about it and not talking about it,” Conner said. “Every year we talk about winning games and doing big things, winning championships and stuff. Like I said, I think we have enough talent in the room at every position to do that and accomplish big things.”

Conner acknowledged that he and Boyd are ready to assume more of a leadership role this season, despite having only one year of collegiate experience apiece.

Boyd is tired of talk.

Boyd said talk has meant nothing at Pitt in recent years.

“That’s pretty much what Pitt has been about for the past two years: Everybody talking like we are going to do something,” he said. “Win this, win that, but you have to prove it.

“If you think you are going to win 10 games and win the ACC championship, let’s do it. Let’s not talk about it.”

Honestly, the talk the past two years has been about the chaos and the program in a holding pattern from coaching changes to conference shifting.  But, he has the talking part down about the years before that.

Back to James Conner, the questions aren’t going away about whether he will play some at defensive end or even make a full position change. From the perspective of long-term goals of making the NFL and having a career of some length, there is no question that DE is the way to go with the way the NFL uses and still chews up running backs. The issue, though, is at Pitt. Which side of the ball does he help the team more?

Hell of a story on incoming freshman Patrick Amara. No excerpt. Just read the whole thing.

Finally the secondary. There is no question that was a surprising weak spot last year. Mainly because the style of play didn’t work to the strengths of the corners, especially Lafayette Pitts.

Pitts likes nothing more than abruptly throwing receivers off their designed paths. Subtle is not his style.

The new scheme involves cornerbacks getting into the face of the wide receivers as soon as they jump off the line of scrimmage.

“I like press,” Pitts said, “because the receiver knows he has to deal with you at the beginning of the play.”

There’s more to good secondary play, however, than trying to intimidate receivers. Pitts admits he’s more focused this year, watching more film and playing “with a chip on my shoulder because I didn’t have the season I wanted to last year, individually.”

Specifically, he played 13 games without an interception.

Pitts, a Woodland Hills graduate, also said he is “taking coaching better.” Douglas, hired this year as the first full-time coach on Paul Chryst’s staff to focus solely on defensive backs, emphasizes attacking the football to create turnovers. The Panthers intercepted only eight of 386 opponent pass attempts last season.

“I’ve got to get him to play with his eyes better,” Douglas said of Pitts. “He has so much talent. The young man can run.”

And don’t forget that attitude.

“He’s got some swagger to him, no doubt,” Douglas said. “You have to have that, and a short memory, too.”

Bringing in Douglas to coach the secondary was probably the best hire for Pitt this offseason. They need a coach who can push the aggressiveness. The passive approach sure wasn’t working.

The Panthers want their players to be more aggressive, something that was missing for much of 2013. Pitt had its moments, but its secondary seemed to play off receivers all too frequently. The result? Pitt allowed 7.4 yards per completion, tied for second-worst in the ACC. The Panthers also gave up 20 passing touchdowns, one of five ACC schools to give up 20 or more through the air.

But here is the stat that really stands out: Pitt had eight interceptions, worst in the ACC and tied for No. 98 in the country. The Panthers recorded an interception once in every 48 pass attempts.


Can’t wait for FB season to start. Year 3 of the reclamation
project is about to start. Lack of senior level experience
is obvious. Eight regular season wins (minimum) plus a bowl game is a must have and very achieve able. Quick look:
beat Delaware, FIU, and Akron then then go 5-4 or hopefully
6-3 in the remainder of schedule equals 8-4 or 9-3.

Comment by JR 07.11.14 @ 7:17 am

Love that Douglas will coach aggressive play, so tired of the old style. We may get burned more, but interceptions and pass break-ups instead of tackles after the catch should make up the difference.

Hope it translates to the whole defense, including pressure on the QB which we have not seen since Romeus and Sheard, with the exception of Donald.

Still think the big news is the size of the O-line. I think they are going to be much improved.
Rotherham, Clemmings and Rowell have played for a year. If Bisno and Johnson step up, look out!

Comment by gc 07.11.14 @ 7:33 am

Very encouraged by the way HCPC is keeping players focused over the summer. New coaching hire can only be a good thing for the secondary. So tired of seeing enemy receivers standing wide open in our secondary with Pitt D backs hoping to dislodge ball on contact as the only defense!

Comment by Dan 72 07.11.14 @ 8:58 am

Connor and Boyd and the heart and soul of this team moving forward. Hopefully the team adopts their will to win, attitude and effort.

Hopefully a leader on D emerges with the same characteristics. Obviously the staff feels Vinopal is one.

Comment by notrocketscience 07.11.14 @ 10:24 am

Really glad they brought in Troy Douglas to add some aggression to the Defensive secondary play.

That passive garbage from last year, was dreadful to watch. 7.4 yards per completion and over 300 yards per game, even worse in numbers. They even had a tough time stopping Old Dominions’s passing game.

Funny the ESPN article mentions we brought in a new DB coach, but then fail to even mention Douglas’s name. House though plenty.

Need big seasons from the senior LB’s, Thomas and Gonzo. And hopefully Galambos is the real deal.

Comment by Emel 07.11.14 @ 2:49 pm

agree, I believe the DB will be big improvement this year … hard not to. I like the OLBs with the 2 seniors backed up by the 2 brothers. Hope Galambos stays healthy

Comment by wbb 07.11.14 @ 2:58 pm

I don’t really get this quote ” Coach Chryst being the man that he was, I could tell his honesty, how different he was from the past regime and stuff.”

That’s either some 1984 wording, or he really liked Pitt and came here for an education, even though he thought the head coach was, well…a fraud…

Comment by dcpinpgh 07.11.14 @ 3:15 pm

I never played college football. So, this is probably an incredibly stupid question (not my first or my last, I am certain).

Why is it so rare for a freshman to do well? Is the level of play that much different? Are the plays that complicated to learn? Or, is it just that you are still a kid (19 years old) now playing against young men who are bigger and stronger?


Comment by pmdH2P 07.11.14 @ 3:16 pm

all of the above.

Comment by BigEgg 07.11.14 @ 3:37 pm

@ dcpinpgh, I think the proper context in which to take Chad’s comments are in light of why he stayed the course with his Pitt commitment AFTER Graham left on the Midnight express. Voytik decided on Pitt initially, I’m sure to some extent, due to all the BS promises and hype that Fraud was shoveling his way. After the rug got pulled out from under his recruiting class, he then compared incoming HCPC to the snake oil salesman that had just bolted town and recognized the difference apparently between the two, and decided to stick with his commitment because of Chryst’s character to some extent.

Comment by Dr. Tom 07.11.14 @ 4:07 pm

Face it, PC is the total opposite of Graham. I got the feeling from what I read that the team (especially the OL who was the most vocal) tuned out to his incessant ranting towards the end of the season. PC had to be a refreshing change … it sure was to me (not that it matters what I think)

Comment by wbb 07.11.14 @ 6:38 pm

Thanks for the Blather.
I have a hard time keeping up with just reading all the stuff written out there let alone generating a story.
I just wanted to let you know that your work is appreciated.
My son is starting in the fall.

Comment by Tackle made by Hugh 07.11.14 @ 7:59 pm

Patrick Amara just became a kid i will be rooting my ass off for. Growing up in Philly how easy would it have been in that situation to just start running the streets either selling or abusing drugs? Good for you kid and welcome to the Pitt family!

Pitt is just not going to be able to recruit 5 star kids unless they are from here, probably never again. But I see Coach Chryst going after these high character 3 star kids that will go balls to the wall for you, and that can work.

I know Chas lives in Cleveland, not sure if its where he’s from or a Cavs fan, but a big day there as the prodigal son returns, in case anyone didn’t hear? Lol.

Hail to Pitt!!

Comment by Pap76 07.12.14 @ 12:49 am

Interesting that the motto was just do it and not talk about it….but they all are talking about it.LOL. It is a refreshing attitude.

I am still not convinced that Ray V. is the best answer in the defensive backfield. He is small and always seemed to get there a step late on pass breakups last year. Of course he does tackle once the reception is made, but I think if Pitt is to be successful in the defensive backfield, someone needs to surpass him. He did have two big interceptions late in the year, but he also gave up many big plays and was out of position on many others. Hopefully having a designated coach will help him improve. If the coach doesn’t help, maybe the other 7 db’s in the new class will put pressure on him to perform.

I like him and all. I just don’t think he is the right fit He is my biggest question mark on the team for the defense. Can’t wait for the season to start.

Remember, no clicky on any psu online article and multi click on Pitt articles. Let’s change the culture at the gazette and trib!!!

Comment by dhuffdaddy 07.12.14 @ 12:58 am

Pap76, I live near Chas …. did someone make an announcement yesterday??

It was without a doubt the greatest day in Cleveland history. There were radio sportscasters (local ESPN) actually crying on air. Gatherings of people at different spots downtown, and of course all Lebron jerseys apparently weren’t burned around here 4 years ago, since they seem to be quite plentiful.

I read this stat … Babies born Cleveland named LeBron from 04-10: Boys – 13%, Girls – 3%; 2010-14: 1%, 0%; Next week: 98%, 92%

Comment by wbb 07.12.14 @ 5:52 am

dhuffdaddy, just in case you didn’t know, if you click on Post-Gazette and Tribune-Review links on the right side of this page, it takes you directly to the Pitt articles in both papers … and then we can click to our heats content

Comment by wbb 07.12.14 @ 5:57 am


Nine months from now: 100% 100%


Comment by pmdH2P 07.12.14 @ 6:21 am

Congrats to you Cleveland Fans.

I like the size of Amara and most of the new D-Backs. Disagree about Vinopal, was really down on him early but he came around and made some huge plays and a whole lot of tackles. All D-Backs will get burned from time to time. He is being sent to media day for a reason, he is a leader. He may not have the physical abilities of some of the others, but he more than makes up for it with his intangibles.

I forget which game he made an amazing interception that was called out of bounds.

It looked pretty good to me but was not reviewed.
If it was good would have been another win.

He may have been in the right place at the right time against ND, but no doubt his two ints altered the course of the game. After Donald he was the biggest impact player on the defense.

Interesting interviews with Uchebo and Young at Cardiac Hill. Uchebo says he is only 70% healthy, but is getting stronger. Young very positive with a desire to do much more this year. Both speak to the positive culture of the group. Uchebo putting up some big numbers. Everyone agrees it does not mean much, but it is certainly better than the alternative. Especially the rebounds.

Going to click on the links now.

One more thing, article in the PG re. PSU trustees disputing the Freeh report and Spanier suing Freeh. The bubble that is Happy Valley will never burst. Emel’s favorite (Oprah) had Sandusky’s kid on talking about his bedtime rituals. They all knew and covered up for years. The architect of linebacker U would not have retired in his prime otherwise. Damn them all! Especially the ones trying to rewrite history.

We need him to have another big year.

Comment by gc 07.12.14 @ 6:45 am

We need him to have another big year (Vinopal)

Comment by gc 07.12.14 @ 6:47 am

Also looks like Jeter is going to have a huge impact. (Hope he can play defense)

Comment by gc 07.12.14 @ 6:50 am

the PSU trustees remind me of Congress. All they do is criticize but what have they done when it was time to act? The commissioned the Freeh report to justify their firings … they accepted it, but now they are balking at it?

Comment by wbb 07.12.14 @ 7:04 am

gc, let me predict what is going to happen at PSU. This new Board will open up the Freeh report and come to the conclusion that it was an incomplete investigation. And despite the FACT that there is proof that the Big 4 clearly knew of Sandusky’s transgressions and did nothing … PSU Nation will clamour loud and long that the NCAA had no right to levy any sanctions … and sadly, they will actually believe it!!

Comment by wbb 07.12.14 @ 7:18 am

Comment by gc 07.12.14 @ 7:30 am

@ gc

That was the Navy game, Vinopal & PITT got robbed of clear interception by Ray on the sideline. He was clearly in and would have stopped a Navy TD scoring drive.

That was a very strange game all around.

Comment by Emel 07.12.14 @ 7:46 am

@Tackle made by Hugh, Chas accepts $ support for keeping Blather going and fresh. See the Paypal link on the right.

Comment by steve1 07.12.14 @ 8:15 am

I look at what is happening to the Pirates as they wilt in late innings and compare it to Pitt in a couple of 4th quarters this past year. I hope this year that Pitt plays as well and fresh as they have played early in games.

Comment by Frank MD 07.12.14 @ 11:15 am

I predict some unexpected Senior leadership from a guy that I saw a light come on for last season. That guy is Todd Thomas. Both he and Gonzales are going to be surprises in bringing some “old man” wisdom to the table for this young stable of Pitt football players this season.

I feel that we are going to be pleasantly surprised by the level of play across the board with Pitt’s defensive unit. Douglas is going to have a big impact on the way the secondary performs. This should favor L. Pitts who is a natural for the more aggressive style of play that Douglas advocates. The starting linebackers coming back, all have multiple game experience under their belts now, while running the same defense as last season, which is a huge benefit in permitting them to play faster, very important for our type of players who is not gifted with the natural physical ability of relying on inherently quick closing speed.

DL by committee is going to prove out as an adequate substitute for the stellar performances of one man with the initials of AD who put in fantasy numbers last year at his position.

And the biggest surprise of all that I predict is that Matt House will have grown into the job of Defensive Coordinator well enough by mid-season that we won’t be disappointed with a drop-off of defensive statistics when we begin our much tougher second half of the season opponents who have a bigger offensive punch to offer than our early season cupcakes.

Agreed, anything less than 8 wins this season would have to be viewed as another same old Pitt mediocre season but I get the impression that this team is learning how to win the games that they are supposed to and hopefully maturing enough to win the close ones that they’ve let get away in the past. If that pans out accordingly. 8-4 in the regular season is very obtainable.

Hard to believe that in just 7 weeks from today will be attempting to wring the necks of those Fighting Blue Hens from Delaware.

Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Dr. Tom 07.12.14 @ 11:20 am

Dr Tom, I was thinking of the same thing the other day … that our senior OLB will be the team leaders both on (tackles) and off (spiritual) the field

Comment by wbb 07.12.14 @ 7:12 pm

It is time for Thomas to live up to his abilities, he has pro potential and he could really benefit from a strong performance. Gonzo really improved fro the start to the end of the season last year. If these guys stay healthy they could do some damage.

Mosely -Smith and Ejuan Price should both be chompin at the bit as well for separate reasons.

Comment by gc 07.12.14 @ 7:18 pm

I hope this translates into something on the field.

link to

Ed Conway award for most improved player. Maybe he will make a sack or two this year. Improved play from him could really help.

Comment by gc 07.13.14 @ 7:27 am

Like all of you other Blatherites, I love college sports, especially football. And if you’ve been around this blog for awhile, you already realize that I live and die Pitt Football.

I was only athletic enough to to be a HS letterman, but I still recall the days playing intramural football on the weekends at Pitt Stadium down on the astroturf with my SAE brothers, imagining what it must be like for the actual Pitt players scoring a TD or making a big interception in front of a house full of cheering Pitt fans rooting the Panthers on to a victory. Then the magic happened in 1976. Pitt has made some great history at Pitt Staduim for sure.

Some diss on the fact that Heinz Field is less than the proper venue for college football on a sunny Saturday afternoon, but I always get goose bumps when they play the various Pitt intros on the big screen at the beginning, when the Panthers take the field at Heinz. The reality today is that this is Pitt Football present day, like it or not, so what are we going to do with that fact?

This season marks a milestone. 125 years of playing football at the University of Pittsburgh, and it is a rich tradition. I read just the other day on here that a poster opined that Pitt will never be able to recruit the 5* elite HS athlete to come to play for Pitt, I just don’t buy that. Last year we got a solid 4* that is on his way to prove that he was under rated as a 4*. Tyler Boyd is going to end up possessing many awards by the time he goes pro. This is a guy that decided to stay close to home and in fact is determined to put Pitt on his back to bring the Panthers back to some relevancy in major college football, IMO. Why is it so far fetched to expect more elite HS football stars aspiring to also become a college stars playing at Pitt to someday be remembered for their contributions also along side such greats as Ditka, Marino, Green, Dorsett and many other legends of the game that are also Pitt alumni?

So don’t try to convince me that Pitt can’t produce a winner again. The argument that 1976 can’t happen again and that I’m living in the past is BS too. Guys like Larry Fitzgerald, Darrelle Revis, Dion Lewis, LeSean McCoy and soon to be rookie sensation Aaron Donald aren’t just great Pitt memories. They are here and now relevant contributors to the rich tradition that is Pitt Football! Put just a few guys like them on the field at the same time and with some luck the magic might just occur again. Who saw Duke playing FSU for the ACC Championship last preseason,,,,,EXACTLY!

So I say let’s concentrate on making some more highlight reel footage this season, #125, that then can be included in the intro depicting Pitt Football tradition come season #126! Even the longest journey begins with a simple first step.

link to

Enjoy the goose bumps, Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Dr. Tom 07.13.14 @ 10:14 am

Yea right Dr Tom …. and the next thing you are going to tell us is that Lebron will leave South Beach for Cleveland!

Comment by wbb 07.13.14 @ 2:03 pm

Thanks Dr. Tom (and Phi Alpha brother)

Comment by Jeff in CPa 07.13.14 @ 2:11 pm

Wbb, hilarious! Yes stranger things in sports could and DO happen!

Comment by Dr. Tom 07.13.14 @ 2:15 pm

Great link Doc.

There is no reason why PITT can’t back to being in the Top 10, Top 20 every year. Wanny was leading us in that direction and actually got us there, having finished ranked right smack dab in the middle at #15 at the conclusion of 2009 and if not for the Notre Dame effect I believe we would have finished ranked in the Top 10 that year.

So that season (10-3) and the previous season (9-4)prove obviously it can be done again. You just need someone leading the efforts with the drive and belief it can be done. Whether that is PC remains to be seen. Hopefully it will be since he seems to be a class guy.

Since DW was forced to leave and the ensuing turmoil that caused, we still have recruited the best player in Penna.(Shell & Boyd) in back to back years.

As was mentioned above, if Duke a school that struggles to put 30,000 in their football stadium and with no tradition at all compared to PITT can win the Coastal Division and compete for an ACC championship, there is NO REASON at all PITT can’t as well.

Let’s get those 9 or 10 wins this season and get this train rolling !!!

H2P !
VeV !

Comment by Emel 07.13.14 @ 5:34 pm

wbb, thanks for the quick link notice. I typically pull up both the local online rags to keep updated with the hometown as a whole.

gc, as a contrarian, I would offer that part of the reason Vinopal led in tackles is because he was not quick enough to break up passes and he bit on a lot of play action passes that didn’t necessarily complete to the wide open target because of AD’s disruptive force in the backfield. I hope you all are right and that he improves, but I just didn’t see it from that position at all last year. The interception statistics were telling given that we had superior defensive line play. Just my opinion. I like the size and speed of the newer and younger db’s, specifically the clairton boys and the new signees!

Comment by dhuffdaddy 07.13.14 @ 5:48 pm

I agree that the backfield is getting longer and faster, all good. But safeties have to make tackles as well as break up passes. If I’m not mistaken Polamalu is a leader in tackles made on the Steelers. No doubt AD made everyone look better last year.

I think Ray will be a strength rather than the weak link we thought he would be after the first couple games last year. No doubt over time a guy like Patrick Amara and the Clairton trio have more upside, but they won’t take his job this year.

Comment by gc 07.13.14 @ 7:09 pm

Dr. Tom as a fellow dentist I share your excitement and passion for all that is Pitt football. We were in Oakland today visiting my daughter and just being on campus got me fired up for the football season. I have season tickets and drive 4 hours one way just to get that thrill at the opening of each game. I am a believer in this coach and these players that he is molding into a winning team. Hail to Pitt!!

Comment by Panther Fan in Hoopieland 07.13.14 @ 9:59 pm

Panther Fan in Hoopieland … they have dentists there?

Comment by wbb 07.14.14 @ 6:07 am

There is a good story in PG about Uchebo this morning … I’ll let you click on it on their website per instructions above

Comment by wbb 07.14.14 @ 6:13 am

Interesting about Uchebo. Huge questionmark on how much he will contribute. It looks like it is mostly dependent on how much he recovers physically. The 5 is definitely the teams biggest need. Looks like there is no single answer. The committee of Randall, Uchebo, Haughton, and Young will have to be enough.

Each one has problems,

Uchebo- health, unknown upside abilities

Randall- currently in limbo- less than average big man so far

Haughton- is he coming? known for shot blocking, will he be good/strong enough?

Young- out of position and small for a center

Less than six months to figure it out.

Jamie has his work cut out for him.

Comment by gc 07.14.14 @ 6:48 am

Playing Young a lot make sense because it helps get the best 5 players on the floor at the same time. The question is will it result in sufficient rebounding and second chance scoring?

Comment by gc 07.14.14 @ 6:53 am

Like the Countdown Clock on the Pitt Site-47 days till football.

Comment by gc 07.14.14 @ 6:55 am

wbb, that’s a cheap shot at those who reside in Hoopieland. Of course they have dentists in WV. Back teeth are too hard to take out by your ownself.

Comment by Dr. Tom 07.14.14 @ 8:59 am

I was told the best pick up line in a WVA bar is “Nice tooth” :>)

Comment by pittman4ever 07.14.14 @ 10:02 am

Dr. Tom – I believe the comment you are referring to is this from Pap76:

Pitt is just not going to be able to recruit 5 star kids unless they are from here, probably never again.

Pap’s caveat was “unless they are from here”. DJ was in fact a 5-star on Rivals. Add in Boyd, Shell, Biz, Bookser – recent history shows Pitt still very competitive for the top players in Western PA, despite the coaching carousel.

But it is not easy to sign 5-star kids. The competition is fierce, and you certainly can’t build your program with 5-star kids – there just aren’t that many of them. Rivals only has 23 in the 2015 class; ESPN has 16.

Right now, Pitt is not established enough as a program to have much success recruiting even 4-star kids from out of the area. A few solid years and a positive trajectory for the program will cure that.

I think a reasonable expectation for Pitt at this juncture is a couple 4-stars per class, and as few sub-3 stars as possible. Not that star-rating is everything…

Comment by Iron Duke 07.14.14 @ 11:30 am

this has been posted on this site before ..

Why is there no CSI Morgantown?

Because there are no dental records, and everyone’s DNA is the same

Comment by wbb 07.14.14 @ 11:41 am

winning will take care of itself. If Pitt posts a couple of 9 and 10 win seasons in a row and the coaching staff remains in tact, recruiting will pick up. It will likely not be Top 10, but Top 20 or 25 is certainly possible.

Comment by wbb 07.14.14 @ 11:44 am

I’m feeling pretty good about our talent/depth at nearly all positions going into this year, except perhaps for the two most important — QB and OL.

People are going to realize how good Savage was last year, given he was running for his life nearly every game. Voytik looks like he’s got the tools but can he make good decisions and take the physical abuse Savage did? If Bisnowaty is a no-go, I’m gonna be pretty concerned about our line…better hope Johnson made big off-season strides and some of the other youngins can step up to the task.

Balancing that, I’m really eager to see what Conner can do as the starter — I like Bennett but he ain’t in the same class. Nothing helps a shaky QB and OL like an absolute pounder with quick feet at tailback.

Might be a very up and down year for us.

Comment by Matt N. 07.14.14 @ 11:48 am

With a new QB, I would be pretty okay with 8-4 and tolerate 7-5. With a little luck, maybe we go 9-3.

Comment by Matt N. 07.14.14 @ 11:52 am

Excited about the season but nervous about playing down to the competition on Labor Day weekend.

Comment by Joe Lawrence 07.14.14 @ 12:20 pm

It seems most people now feel the changes that PC has been implementing since the day he walked in… a man with a plan.

At first those changes were unseen, and plenty of drama in the press with certain players, etc.

Note Amara’s statement about the previous culture of previous players before the past 2 years… wow, this kid is just starting this summer and he already is fully tuned into what this place was previous.

Now we just need to see it translate onto the field with a team that plays well and tough every game… even those they lose. Have a good campaign (8 wins) with a medium quality bowl game… and then things will really start to take off.

When I read about Boyd I wonder about Foster at Alabama and wonder what he is thinking…

when I read about Douglas and the new approach in the secondary I wonder about Henry and what he is thinking…

Don’t get me wrong, I wish those young men well… my point is if we have a good season this next year, and with the clear vibe now of this program… I don’t think we miss on the future Fosters and and Henrys (the quality kids honestly considering Pitt)… they will have Pitt on their helmets…

Comment by Pittscript 07.14.14 @ 4:46 pm

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