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July 30, 2014

Football Notes, 7/30

Filed under: Football — Chas @ 6:38 am

Just need to clear some tabs.

Tyler Boyd stories worth reading. This one from a couple weeks back on being raised by his mother and coming out of Clairton. This one yesterday in the ACC blog talking about the aftermath of an electrical fire that gutted the house in which he had lived.

The family was homeless, and not long after, the house’s owner decided to tear it down instead of rebuilding. But the town’s youth football president quickly sought out Payne, offering an empty room in a building he owned only a few houses down from Payne’s previous home. The youth league’s vice president helped set up a bank account for donations, while local businesses in Clairton and up and down the Monongahela turned tip jars into donation buckets. Raffles were held. Rival high schools chipped in.

“We were truly blessed because in a month’s time it was like we never had the fire,” Payne said.

It all resonated with Boyd. When it came to committing to a college, Boyd felt a loyalty to the region. So when Tennessee and West Virginia made late pushes, Boyd was conflicted but never decommitted from Pitt.

“I felt with all that support, how can I leave?” Boyd said. “I can get help from a lot of people, and it’s not even from family or friends. It’s the people out there that respect us as a family and see what we’re doing and that it’s all positive. … If I went far, I don’t think people would have my back like in Pittsburgh.”

You what depresses me. As I read that, there was more than a small part of me trying to figure out if this sort of community support would run afoul of NCAA rules. And if it had happened in December 2012 rather than 2011, it very well might have. Or at least some people on a rival message board might claim it was.

Since six of the seven teams in the Coastal division received a first place vote, that creates an easy set of fill pieces on why each of the six teams will and won’t win the division. Pitt’s pluses are essentially the offense and the schedule. The negatives are the unknown of the O-line, inexperience and, of course, the defense.

3. The defense is not consistent enough. Defense is a staple in the city of Pittsburgh, and the Panthers did not show enough of it last season. In their first two conference games, the unit allowed 99 points. It was against Duke and Florida State, but there is no excuse for those kinds of defensive efforts, especially if the plan is to compete for a division title. There are still issues throughout the defense, and Donald isn’t around to mask some of them.

And they didn’t even hit on how thin the defensive end position is.

Adjust your 2017 schedule accordingly, the Pitt-PSU game in Happy Valley has been moved up a week from September 16 to September 9, 2017.

Dave Wannstedt will be part of the revamped Fox Sports 1 college football program.

Fox officials are very high on Wannstedt after he crushed an audition last April.

“Everybody brings in guys for auditions at different times of the year and he just nailed it,” said Stone, who was the anchor for Wannstedt during the 10-minute tryout. “We had our executives coming through the door as quick as I’ve ever seen. It was as if they were negotiating with him there on set.”

One of those executives was Fox Sports executive producer John Entz.

“We were not expecting a whole lot,” Entz said. “And Dave was a little under the radar last year as a special teams coach with the Bucs. But after the audition we all looked at each other and were like, ‘Wow.’ I’m not just selling the soap here: I think he is going to be tremendous. He has a great personality and knows everybody in the game – pro and college. He’s a respected coach who has been at every level. We are thrilled.”

I dunno. On the one hand, there had been talk for years that Wannstedt would be a natural on TV (kind of like how everyone thought he would be perfect for coaching college football), but that one run he did for Fox on their BCS coverage a few years back did not exactly impress me.

Thankfully, Wannstedt will come into this without any agenda.

“I guess I am moving to the dark side, so to speak,” Wannstedt said, then laughed. “Now it is my turn to comment on the work of coaches…and athletic directors.”

Well, okay then.

Considering FS1 has significant coverage of the Big 12, I’m sure WVU fans are looking forward to this. Additionally he will be part of a weekly preview show on the Big Ten Network. For some reason, Wannstedt talking about nothing but Big Ten football each week gives me the giggles.


We may have to start calling you YAO for short pittman4ever, because,,,,,,,,

Check out this video on 2 points.

First, Trey is standing shoulder to shoulder with Rachid Ibrahim and they both look the same height to me (unless Trey is wearing lifts in his cleats). Ibrahim is listed at 6′ 1” in the roster.

Second, check out Anderson heaving a 50 yard pass downfield right on the money to Rachid using a one step throwing motion.

Yeah, maybe Trey Anderson won’t be such a poor back up QB after all.

link to

Comment by Dr. Tom 07.31.14 @ 4:18 pm

JAM – I’d say Anderson and Voytik are about the same size bodywise but Chad is about an inch taller. Take a look at this video and you’ll see that he’s pretty well built and, BTW, has a good deep throw.

link to

Interesting to note also that Ibrahim is 6’1″ and Anderson is listed at 6’0″ – they look equal in height here and I’d say Anderson is at a true 6’0″. The fact is that Anderson has grown steadily over his four years here. I can say for a fact he’s not as short as he was as a FR when I’ve stood next to him on the sidelines recently.

Also, that pass at the end of the video was 45+ yards without any effort, and the best part is he say’s “See Yinz” at the end of the video (I think).

Comment by Reed 07.31.14 @ 4:27 pm

Dr T – you beat me to it!

Comment by Reed 07.31.14 @ 4:28 pm

Yes I did! But you added the cherry on top with Trey’s “yinz” sign off.

The kid is from Texas but he’s talkin like a Pittsburgher, for sure.

Comment by Dr. Tom 07.31.14 @ 4:33 pm

From Yao Ming,
“I would like Trey to be as tall as me – but 6′ is GREAT! I’m very glad he has grown in both height and weight and want great things for both him and Chad. Now please pass the egg rolls and lets talk some BB” :>)

Comment by pittman4ever 07.31.14 @ 4:48 pm

That was one of those passes you can throw in practice, you toss it up as high and deep as you can and the receiver runs under it.

But in a game if you threw it up that high, the Safety comes over and probably would have a pretty easy pick. The higher you throw it, the long it takes to get there, and gives the defenders more time to react.

If you noticed Savage’s deep throws were basically on a rope, which is why he got the NFL scouts to take notice. Marino also threw deep on a rope.

That said, I think Trey will be an adequate backup and if he gets a chance, who knows.

Joe Montana was a backup once as well and didn’t exactly have great arm strength.

Comment by Emel 07.31.14 @ 5:07 pm

That was a pretty good Upittbaseball imitation Emel.

Comment by Dr. Tom 07.31.14 @ 6:22 pm

I used to have a view that the NFL was really good at evaluating talent until the Dolphins signed Wallace to that contract. Johnny Football threw mostly rainbows after 35 yards in his workout day. Voytiks arm is fine for college football

Comment by chethejet 07.31.14 @ 6:40 pm

Chet – I think so also especially since I believe we’ll see a lot different playcalling than the staff did with Savage. Voytik was accurate on that deep pass to Boyd in the bowl game and that was a hefty pass so I’m sure we’ll see some deep completions. I just don’t think we’ll see many play calls where the primary receiver is the deep guy.

Personally I think shorter passes with good YAC is as exciting to watch as deep completions and this season they will be easier to get also. Expect Manasseh Garner to have a big year with Boyd being targeted and double teamed.

Garner did well last season as a converted H-Back / TE and this season he be the firm #2 WR. He’s got the hand skills and the strength to come down with the ball and get decent YAC. But Garner was used as the short receiver behind Street who could run all routes and of course Boyd as the deep threat.

One thing I’m hoping for is that if Boyd gets doubled teamed by a safety thinking Boyd’ll go deep and if he doesn’t then Boyd has a single team on the shorter routes. That way he’ll get the ball and use his running skills after the catch. Boyd might not make the same numbers he did last season but if he takes a defender away from the other side we could see a great year for Garner and Jones, whom I think will get more PT than a true FR.

Another advantage is that Boyd might get both a DB and the LB on his side shadowing him which will open up areas for our running game. Hell, after three quarters of Conner banging into them LBs may salivate at the chance to vacate the spot and double team Boyd.

Comment by Reed 07.31.14 @ 7:05 pm

HCPC offense doesn’t throw deep as Savage was an arm that the playbook took into account. HCPC at Wisconsin was short to intermediate passing and I expect the same here. HCPC has recruited the makings of an very good offense, Boyd, Holtz, Garner,Jennings and Jones are recruits who can play for just about anybody.

Comment by chethejet 08.01.14 @ 2:21 am

The ingredients are there. This schedule is a recipe for success. Come Monday, it will be time for this coaching staff to get busy in the kitchen. Come August 30th and thereafter, it’s on the coaches this year to prove that they can cook!

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.01.14 @ 6:23 am

Savage wasn’t a 5* recruit for nothing. He had the best arm I’ve seen around here since Morelli (don’t laugh) and the best I’ve see in a Pitt uni since Oakland Dan (only saw Flacco in a brief mop-up at USF) …. and Emel was correct in his assertion about throwing the long pass on a rope.

However, Kyle Bollar and Jamarcus ____ from LSU (can’t remember his last name) had the 2 strongest arms tested at the combine and were NFL busts.

The point I’m getting at that arm strength helps but is only one asset a QB has. From my all too brief looks of Voytik (bowl game 2nd half and ’13 spring game – rmember them?), he seems to possess the intangible asset of playmaking. Yes, it is a very small sampling but it still provides me hope.

Comment by wbb 08.01.14 @ 6:31 am

I don’t think you need a huge arm to be successful in college ball. A good arm in the right system? Yes. Case in point: Ty Detmer didn’t win the heisman on arm strength.

I’m very interested to see how Chryst plays to the strengths of our new QB.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 08.01.14 @ 6:54 am

Time to get fired up!

link to

Comment by gc 08.01.14 @ 7:12 am

A short passing game will also lower the number of sacks. Not at all worried about arm strength. More worried about accuracy and decision making.

Hoping that Jennings comes in as ready as Tyler Boyd was last year.

And of course, how we are going to generate a pass rush.

Comment by gc 08.01.14 @ 7:23 am

There was an article about the DB that transferred to Pitt from Wisconsin. I forget the kids name. I thought it was interesting that he said Pitt’s defensive scheme was very similar to what Wisconsin runs.
The O will be fine. Here’s to House having a great year as D coordinator! Yikes.

Comment by notrocketscience 08.01.14 @ 7:38 am

Don’t know if this was posted already. It is a good read about AD.

link to

Comment by notrocketscience 08.01.14 @ 8:18 am

There is a whole lot of exciting football in that highlight reel, gc.

The key for this season is how well the schedule sets up for this young team. If we show up for the BC game, there could be a lot of excitement surrounding our VT nationally televised game. We just have to build on the momentum of “winning the games that we’re supposed to” and we could easily be 5-1 going into the VT game, sniffing around for a top 25 slot in the rankings. Acquiring team confidence early, will definitely help later in the season when we start getting smacked in the mouth with stiffer competition.

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.01.14 @ 8:18 am

notrocket, The person you are referring to is Reggie Mitchell who saw limited action as a frosh at Wisc and then transferred back to Pgh because the coaches who recuited him are now at Pitt.

He played for former Pitt QB Dave Havern who confirmed that Pitt is getting both a good player and good kid. Best of all, I believe he still is only a Soph, and is at a position of need .. Safety.

Comment by wbb 08.01.14 @ 8:46 am

notrocket, great article … imagine my confusion when I initially thought that it was a good read about Stevie P!

Comment by wbb 08.01.14 @ 9:16 am

Aaron Donald won every major award that a defensive lineman could, and still there are those that doubted his ability to perform at the next level. Soon enough, there will be no doubters left, just those who will be wondering when he’ll play in his first Pro Bowl.

St. Louis is going to fall in love with AD this season and why not?

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.01.14 @ 9:54 am

Wbb & Notrocket – see part about DB Reggie Mitchell on new 8/1 Blather post.

Comment by Reed 08.01.14 @ 10:03 am

@wbb, Russell??

Also, ya, I’d say it was about 90%-10% on here and around town with not letting Shell back on the team.

A few “give the kid a chance” people, but most people said “he quit us”, “see ya”.

I personally remember posting, it’s not like Pitt is stopping him from going to college, go ahead go, just go somewhere else.

Anyhow, August 1st, won’t be long now boys!!

Comment by Dan 08.01.14 @ 10:30 am

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