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August 2, 2014

Now that a severe suspension has been issued by PITT for whatever reason it may be a good time to review the NCAA’s and the School’s responsibilities in one aspect of discipline – the drug policies.

We don’t know what happened with Howard but we’ve seen the academic suspensions resolve themselves after one semester or a certain period of time.  We have also seen other disciplinary actions resulting from drinking, fights, arrests, issued by a number of games also.  If you remember Anthony Gonzalez was suspended two games by Graham basically for possession of pot, but there was no failed test involved.  However, any disciplinary action can be gived a year suspension if the university deems it necessary.

So, just to remind our readers;  there are two types of drug tests in D1 football.  One is the NCAA mandatory test that is unannounced and the other is the school’s tests issued according to its formal policy.  Here is a link to the NCAA’s drug policy.  Also, the following is from the NCAA’s Q&A about their policies.

“Who is responsible for testing student-athletes?

The NCAA and its member schools share the responsibility of not only testing, but also educating student-athletes to prevent drug usage. The NCAA conducts testing at its championships and programs in Divisions I and II through its year-round testing program. In addition, the majority of institutions conduct their own institutional testing programs independent of NCAA drug testing. The NCAA spends more than $5 million annually on drug testing and education in an effort to deter the use of banned and harmful substances.

What is the penalty for a positive drug test?

The penalty for positive tests of both performance-enhancing and street drugs is strict and automatic. Student-athletes lose one full year of eligibility for the first offense (25 percent of their total eligibility) and are withheld from competition for a full season. A second positive test for street drugs results in another lost year of eligibility and year withheld from competition. A second positive result for PED usage will render the student-athlete permanently ineligible.

What is the penalty for failing a school-issued drug test?

Each NCAA member is responsible for determining whether to establish an institutional drug-testing program, at which time the school would be responsible for determining applicable penalties. If a testing program is established, though, the school is obligated to enforce the penalties. Failure to do so can lead to NCAA sanctions.

I know that PITT has had strict penalties mirroring the NCAA’s one year suspension (but using it as a redshirt year) in the past.  I can’t say with 100% that is still in effect but I’d bet it is.  One important note with this; if the player fails a NCAA test the suspension  can’t be considered a “redshirt year” as it is an automatic loss of 25% of eligibility.  In essence they have only a total of three other years to play college football instead of four out of five as it is with a redshirt season.  An individual school can apply a redshirt… as long as that is the school formal written drug program policy.

Now, along with that the PITT staff has the authority to impose suspensions “for cause” which would fall under the umbrella of disciplinary issues.  Sometimes those are the individual games suspensions as was the case with Gonzalez, Gunn, the six kids before the Bowling Green game in 2013,  etc..





Reed, where does it say that he was suspended for drugs? You’re making a major assumption here with the contents.

But if so … a Heisman winner cannot be charged for rape against the wishes while a positive test for pot (which is legal in many states) makes a player lose a year’s eligibility.

Like the ray Rice suspension …. we remain an elitist society with our heads up our asses!

Comment by wbb 08.02.14 @ 10:43 am

… a Heisman winner is not charged for rape against the wishes of the victim’ …

Comment by wbb 08.02.14 @ 10:44 am

wbb – I state pretty clearly “We don’t know what happened with Howard …” But I suppose that in my personal opinion I think it is probably drug related.

It may not be at all and it doesn’t really matter. My intent above was to remind readers of the actual NCAA policies and what the universities can do because this type of action by PITT always generates fan discussions about suspensions themselves.

I personally think a full year suspension for smoking pot is way over the top but I don’t make those decisions.

Comment by Reed 08.02.14 @ 11:17 am

Howard was probably suspended for grades.

Comment by notrocketscience 08.02.14 @ 12:33 pm

Given the timing of it, I go more with notrocketscience. It’s around the end of the summer term.

Comment by steve1 08.02.14 @ 1:15 pm

What is clear is any policy that is not consistent as each University can have greater flexibility is wrong. Every div 1 athlete should be subject to the same rules as everyone else. Thus Pitt has a one year standard but LSU could care less. It is not correct to allow football coaches to have input into said punishments.

Comment by chethejet 08.02.14 @ 1:29 pm

What I found most enlightening in Reed’s post is that once a school’s penalty is stated in it’s policy there is no discretion. Fail to impose the stated penalty and face NCAA sanctions. I always thought that the coach had a lot of discretion.

Comment by dinosaur 71 08.02.14 @ 3:01 pm

I would assume a player has to carry a certain GPA. Go under and it takes at least a semester to get it up to par.

Comment by notrocketscience 08.02.14 @ 3:46 pm

I doubt a player would be allowed to practice if it were a suspension for grades. But, maybe I am wrong. I do know that Pitt randomly tests for use of “weed.” Whether a failed test causes a 1 year suspension I do not know.

Comment by pitt1972 08.02.14 @ 4:46 pm

NotRocket – if it was grades why would it the penalty be for a full calendar year? I suppose Aug 30 until Nov 29 falls inside the 2014 Fall Term so that may well be it.

But with a full year suspension Howard can’t play in any games even after the fall term ends… and by that time he certainly could get his grades in order.

Anyway, PITT won’t ever divulge it and it doesn’t really matter anyway except I if it was a failed drug test there is no second failure allowed – I believe at that point your expelled from the program.

I hope it was grades as there isn’t the later stigma attached to that. What ever it was it means we lose a good starting prospect.

Pitt1972 – a failed PITT drug test used to be a full year suspension, I’d think that was still in effect but don’t know for sure. It seems like every year we get a kid or two suspended.

Comment by Reed 08.02.14 @ 4:46 pm

How can hope to compete with the Florida State’s, Miami’s, Clemson’s if our standards are substantially higher than theirs when it comes to what warrants a suspension from the university.

If that is the case, the universities with higher standards need to form their own conference, as it would put things more on an equal footing.

This only stands to reason.

Comment by Emel 08.02.14 @ 6:01 pm

^^we^^

Comment by Emel 08.02.14 @ 6:03 pm

Same thing when it comes to academic requirements.

As look what is starting among some colleges.

link to reuters.com

Comment by Emel 08.02.14 @ 6:06 pm

Emel – I’m not sure that PITT’s standards of discipline are more stringent than the majority of other schools. There are many many suspensions every year among D1 schools. I think where the difference might lie, at least from what we’ve seen so far from this current staff, is that our HC is more willing to issue single and multiple game suspensions than other schools might be.

Hence the six suspensions the morning of the Youngstown State game in 2012. Three were starters and two others were in the two deep. My understanding was that it was a relatively minor transgression the night before but HCPC made the harder decision.

I’d bet at many other schools that situation would have passed by with either a quarter or a half game suspension (Hello, Johnny Football!) or it would have been handled without loss of playing time at all.

Either way PITT is setting a standard and sticking with it. A key point is that if this case with Howard was a failed drug test and PITT has a formal written policy regarding punishments then there was no choice in the matter of the school would risk sanctions by the NCAA.

Again – “Each NCAA member is responsible for determining whether to establish an institutional drug-testing program, at which time the school would be responsible for determining applicable penalties. If a testing program is established, though, the school is obligated to enforce the penalties. Failure to do so can lead to NCAA sanctions.”

Comment by Reed 08.02.14 @ 7:20 pm

The U of Miami gave the Olson kid, what?, a two game suspension. Emel is right. They play by different rules at different schools/conferences.

God knows what Norenberg was trying to accomplish hiring a Paul Hackett type of coach again.

No sense starting a new conference where academics/ethics counts. They don’t show Ivy League football on public TV any longer, Emel.

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 08.02.14 @ 11:25 pm

It is hard trying to stay positive with this coaching staff. Norenberg was in NYC a month ago or so for a final goodbye. I didn’t go.

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 08.02.14 @ 11:34 pm

Old PITT Grad – yes, Olsen got a one game suspension for a failed drug test. As the article states if the school has a ‘established’ testing program and a written policy they have to adhere to it.

Apparently this school’s penalty for a 1st offense is one game. That sucks IMO also. I’ve a feeling that these schools do this to scare the other kids because in their case it isn’t the school’s testing they are afraid of but the NCAA mandatory tests which are unannounced and carry a full year penalty.

link to miamiherald.com

Comment by Reed 08.03.14 @ 7:17 am

Injury and suspensions are just part of the game. This one also serves as a warninto others to follow the rules. Good that prospects and parents know what kind of culture is being established. Opportunity for the next guy.

Hurts a little more because of the lack of depth.

Comment by gc 08.03.14 @ 7:57 am

If my memory is correct, former player Brian Murphy missed an entire season because of academics.
I know it doesn’t matter. Still down a DB.

I have no problem with any suspension. Rules are rules and I am sure they are clearly explained to the players.

Some of these kids come from backgrounds that were void of discipline and good role models. They have to make mistakes to learn the hard way.

Comment by notrocketscience 08.03.14 @ 8:07 am

Very reckless to suggest this is a suspension for drugs. Why
damage the player’s reputation by implying drugs is the reason
for the suspension? Surely you can think of another Pitt
FB related issue to feature in the blog.

Comment by JR 08.03.14 @ 8:30 am

Not sure what the reason was for the suspension and it really isn’t out business (privacy concerns and all). It was however serious enough to warrant a 1 years suspension.

The only real question I have is whether the kid loses a year of eligibility. Let’s hope that this is meant to be corrective and not punitive. We see this stuff happen to 1-3 kids every year and the goal is to correct the behavior.

Comment by Pitt fan in Atlanta 08.03.14 @ 1:18 pm

Sean Miller strikes again. Top Scorer in Country. Has 3 Top 30 players for 2015. Dixon I’d be happy with 1-2 Top 100 players.

Comment by Upittbaseball 08.03.14 @ 3:04 pm

are these teams that pitt is destroying in the Bahamas legit??…like what kind of players on the team??

Comment by Keith 08.03.14 @ 3:33 pm

Keith–These teams are made up of former college players playing semi-pro in the Bahamas. Their major weakness is lack of height to contend with Pitt’s size. So, bottom line, the competition (at least in the first two games) was very weak.

Comment by pitt1972 08.03.14 @ 5:15 pm

pitt1972

Thanks for info!!

I’m gonna love to see how JD uses these players this year…he’s got 9-10 players that can play..do we smell a transfer??

Comment by Keith 08.03.14 @ 6:37 pm

Sean Miller strikes again. Top Scorer in Country. Has 3 Top 30 players for 2015. Dixon I’d be happy with 1-2 Top 100 players.

Comment by Upittbaseball 08.03.14 @ 3:04 pm

Dixon has Heron and Rowan coming in for 2016.

Comment by Mailman 08.03.14 @ 10:02 pm

Notrocketscience, Brian Murphy lost a season due to a leg/foot injury. At some point, he may have had a problem due to academics, but I do not remember a year long supension.

He did quit the team this year; his senior season.

Pitt fan in Atlanta, not sure a guy like Murphy neede to have his behavior corrected coming out of a school like Don Bosco. I know for a fact at that school, the brothers beat the shit out of anybody with bad behavior.

The recent Don Bosco football kids have not shown too much academically at Pitt.

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 08.03.14 @ 10:40 pm

If the suspension is based on marijuana, it is a stupid suspension.

Trib writer Rossi takes aim at Steve Pederson without mentioning his name. Pretty good read:

link to triblive.com

Comment by TonyinHouston 08.03.14 @ 11:03 pm

When did Miller win a national championship? Until he does, he isn’t better than Dixon.

Can’t wait to read some camp news and see which young players are going to have an impact this year.

I’ll predict Pitt has a better record at the end of the year than both WVU and Penn State.

Comment by notrocketscience 08.04.14 @ 6:43 am

As far as disciplinary issues go, we’ve gone through the era of the pampered athlete. Bobby Bowden, Urban Meyer, others all got away with using thugs to further their careers.

Now, I fear the pendulum has swung too far the other way.

The politically correct in academia and the media have created an environment where they expect the “perfect” athlete at age 17,18 to measure up.

Sadly, most head coaches now make several million dollars a year and are too quick to throw a kid overboard to protect their rep and also free up a scholarship for their next prized recruit. Use em an keep moving.

More than anything, the NCAA is a monster, and has a situation where the same offense (ex: Chapman)merits being kicked off, while within the same conference, identical if not worse circumstance at NC State, player is suspended for one game. Scumbag Meyers “circle of trust” players and his lengths to keep them eligible are legendary.

It is getting worse. Just read about this maniac at the Air Force Academy, comparing a party to the pedophile rape situation at Penn State. She is probably setting up a sting operation to see if there is an Air Force cadet drinking a beer.

hhttp://news.msn.com/us/air-force-academy-investigating-athletic-program

Comment by PittMan 08.04.14 @ 7:05 am

Sounds like Wright, Jones and Young have improved their abilities from last year. Again, against lesser talent but encouraging. With the addition of Jeter and DJ as the wild card we have a chance to be pretty good. Especially if we can get some decent minutes from Randall and Uchebo when needed.

Any word on Haughton, he is really going to be behind the eight ball if and when he arrives.

25 days till kick-off, interested in who looks better in camp, will know more by the end of the week. Summer doldrums are over.

Afraid of the worst for FrankCan, Spirit disappeared once before with computer problems, hope we hear from him again as well.

Comment by gc 08.04.14 @ 7:15 am

PittMan, I have to disagree. The pendulum can’t swing too far, as far as I’m concerned. Sports as well as society in general has been accepting way too much bad behavior.

Comment by gc 08.04.14 @ 7:21 am

From where we were 3 years ago, I’m pretty excited with this coaching staff.

Discipline, team, integrity, stability.

Hopefully with some more wins, the recruiting picks up, and it snowballs.

If not, then we move on, again.

At this time though, pretty happy with Pitt athletics. Football and basketball anyway.

Would like to see improvement in our other sports.

Comment by Dan 08.04.14 @ 9:02 am

notrocketscience, there is diferent criteria for evaluating a college coach, and certainly JD and Sean deserve to be in any Top 20 listing IMO .. which would put them in the top 6% of total active coaches.

Nonetheless, in 1 less year as ahead coach, Sean has been to two more Elite 8s than JD … not to mention he gets more top recruiting targets than JD has gotten. Any valid, reliable ranking system would place Sean ahead of JD … maybe not by much, but still ahead.

Such illuminaries as Jack Hartman, Eddie Sutton, Ray Meyer, Jim Phelan, Lefty Dreisell, John Chaney and Bob Huggins all won well over 700 games, but have never won an NCAA title .. while others like Dean Smith, Jim Boeheim and Henry Iba coached for more than 2 decades before winning one.

Sean is a Western PA native, Pitt alum who has never turned down an offer or scoffed at the Pitt program, but in fact has spoken well of both Pitt BB and JD. I do not understand any resentment towards him at all by people here.

Comment by wbb 08.04.14 @ 10:07 am

correction .. Hartman won 589 games but everyone else above won over 700

Comment by wbb 08.04.14 @ 10:12 am

tonyinhouston, very poignant article by Rossi, thanks for the link

Comment by wbb 08.04.14 @ 10:18 am

So what about Stanford? How are they able to compete yet not have issues about character, grades, and drugs? Let’s think about another thing. Recruiting for the Longhorns (I unfortunately now live and work out of Ft. Worth, TX) has actually increased due to Coach Strong’s iron fist on his inherited roster. Coaches around the state have taken notice and like the idea that he would be able to keep them in line, in class, be a leader, and also due this thing called coach a physical football team. I know Pitt doesn’t have the Longhorn network but isn’t that we want? Wasn’t it 4 years ago we were bitching and throwing a fit after SI’s article where we were the worst disciplined team in the nation? Get a grip boys.

Comment by tedsptman 08.04.14 @ 11:15 am

Dan and tedsptman. “Hopefully” … “isn’t it what we want?” I would love an Utopia too! Again, words are cheap.

If you want to win you need to start being realistic and play by the rules the winners are using.

Seriously, Pitt doesn’t care about winning right now.

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 08.04.14 @ 12:18 pm

Ron Cook strikes again today on The Fan .. when talking about Nordenburg who said he failed in the FB program, Cook said he couldn’t believe Wanny didn’t stay to prepare his team for the bowl in the presser when his players showed up to support him.

Fact is that the presser with his players behind was supposed to be for him to announce his resignation (if course, at the bequest of his AD.)
Fact is Wanny stayed 3 more weeks until the Monday before the bowl game, and then announced, to avoid any pre-game distractions, he wouldn’t attend the game … Pitt won 27 to 10.

Nordie should have hired Cook to teach Revisionist History 101

Comment by wbb 08.04.14 @ 12:20 pm

wbb, IMO almost all of the radio guys are screamers who feel compelled to say things to stir things up and act like shock jocks. ESPN is the big gorilla and local media outlets are all guys making tapes to try to get the next gig up the ladder. Rarely do they offer thoughtful insight or helpful thoughts. In Pittsburgh this means the AD is off limits to criticize.

Comment by PittMan 08.04.14 @ 12:29 pm

Old Pitt Grad, I offer evidence only a few hours old to make your point – (full disclaimer – no one knows why Howard was suspended), that being said, the University of Miami’s QB Olsen failed a drug test and was suspended…….exactly one game.

Comment by PittMan 08.04.14 @ 12:31 pm

Do you want to be like Miami? I get your point that it gives them a competitive advantage. So does paying the players and not making them take legitimate classes. I guess if winning is the only thing that matters you do what it takes. There will always be a question of where you draw the line.

I am fine with where Chryst is drawing his. The other thing is none of us know what the behavior was that resulted in the punishment. You did mention that.

Comment by gc 08.04.14 @ 12:52 pm

The main point I was making is the inconsistency around the NCAA. I am in favor of high standards. The NCAA decades ago did away with athletic dorms because the stigma was associated with elitism. Yet, if we are really trying to help kids make the right decision a year or two of tight supervision with curfew, etc. would eliminate some degree of problems. I think it is only fair for NCAA or conferences to come up with uniform punishments. I actually offered the wrong example above – Nick Marshall, he of QB status and being cited for possession a month ago, had the hammer really come down on him – he can’t start in the opener. Makes Miami look downright Draconian. Malzhann wouldn’t say how many plays he has to sit and that he was “responding well”.

Comment by PittMan 08.04.14 @ 12:58 pm

Oh yeah and then there are the Pouncey Bros. wearing Free Hernandez hats when he is being indicted for murder. What kind of culture do you want and how far are you willing to compromise ethics for a winning football team? Because Ray Rice only got a two game suspension for knocking out his fiance should we have let Chapman join the Panthers? Where do you set the bar?

Comment by gc 08.04.14 @ 12:59 pm

I see your point regarding the NCAA and agree.

Comment by gc 08.04.14 @ 1:01 pm

Per Sam Werner tweets today, here are some notes from 1st practice:

- DE Coach Palermo says that natural frosh Rori Blair will probably be seeing PT this yera
- James Conner tooks a few reps at DE today
- Ryan Lewis was oved from S to CB
- a defensive highlight today was frosh CB Maddox picking off a Trey Anderson pass

Comment by wbb 08.04.14 @ 1:44 pm

… and Oh yea, Titus Howard practiced

Comment by wbb 08.04.14 @ 1:47 pm

We may never know what Howard was suspended for — all just speculation. Maybe it is warranted compared to other schools, but probably not.

At the moment, I certainly can’t criticize PC for sticking to his principles and hopefully it pays off in the long run. However, as I have written here before, I have seen these policies and priorities change quite a bit for the Pitt program through the last 40+ years.

Comment by wbb 08.04.14 @ 1:53 pm

Good player and coach interviews on the Pitt Site. Douglas makes it sound like it was an academic issue.

Comment by gc 08.04.14 @ 2:26 pm

Thanks guys for the info about practice. Less than four weeks away.

H2P

Comment by pmdH2P 08.04.14 @ 3:26 pm

Jon Baldwin released by 49ers. What a waste.
Jason Pinkston’s contract was bought out & then released by Browns after battling blood clots in his lungs. His football career is likely over.
Scott McKillop & Mike Shanahan have joined the Panthers as volunteer assistant coaches.
Incoming freshman LB Jamal Davis has not passed clearinghouse yet, but they expect him to shortly.

Comment by Nick 08.04.14 @ 3:31 pm

Avonte Maddox – good stuff:

link to freep.com

Comment by 1618mt 08.04.14 @ 3:59 pm

Unfortunately Jonathon Baldwin was (is) one of those head case wide receivers. One thing he did have right though was when they asked him why he left Pitt a year early he said because our QB can’t get the ball to me! (the QB was “you know who”)

Comment by pittman4ever 08.04.14 @ 4:05 pm

JR – the article was written because any time there is a suspension of any sort at PITT there is always tons of discussions about it generated on all the blogs and boards. I posted it to remind, or to educate, PITT fans about the intricacies of drug testing and penalties by the NCAA and by the member institution… that’s all. Most fans don’t know how all that goes down.

WBB – the PITT SID office stated that “Howard will be able to practice and participate in team activities but cannot play in any games this season.” when it happened three days ago.

Tedsptman – That SI article was actually listing the preseason Top 25 college teams’ arrests records and PITT was #1… it wasn’t all of the Div 1 football teams.

PITTMan – the NCAA wouldn’t get involved with any suspension of Chapman due to his bad behavior. Anyway that decision to expel Chapman was above HCPC & SP’s heads.

Comment by Reed 08.04.14 @ 4:23 pm

@Old Pitt Grad, sorry, I don’t need to be a football factory with police blotter stories every other week.

I don’t need to be Ohio State, Miami, USC who have scandals every other year.

I’m good with where we are at, at this time.

Comment by Dan 08.04.14 @ 4:32 pm

Here’s the PITT Livewire website and associated Training Camp Day 1 info…

link to pittsburghpanthers.com

Comment by Reed 08.04.14 @ 4:33 pm

Right, my post was more philosophical.

I don’t know Scott McKillop personally, but I have heard great things.

I sure wish guys like this could be hired to juice our recruiting and bring some energy to our existing players. When you look at the backgrounds of some of our defensive staff it is mystery to me why we still have them on board. I think we can pretty much expect more of the same from these guys no matter what names may change.

Comment by PittMan 08.04.14 @ 4:35 pm

McKillop is the reason for 13-9, watch the replay if you question my conclusion. My man Shanahan, back with the Panthers? That’s ALL GOOD!

Two great former Panther players now in the fold once again! As McDonald’s like to say, “I’m lovin it”!

Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.04.14 @ 5:20 pm

The Steelers should take a ‘flyer’ on Jon Baldwin.

Perhaps coming back home will make a difference with the young man.

And having Big Ben throwing passes to him, couldn’t hurt either.

Sign him !

Comment by Emel 08.04.14 @ 5:22 pm

Firsthand Account Day One Camp…

– It is interesting to watch freshman quarterback, Adam Bertke, because he is completely different than Voytik, Anderson, and even walk-on Joey Repischak. Bertke is every part of 6’6″ and definitely has a different game than the other three. He delivered the ball with accuracy and had impressive velocity on some throws.

– Isaac Bennett seemed limited in what he could do with an injury, but Conner looked like a beast. He is still the same big back as he was last year, but with added speed and bigger muscles.

– A young corner started to make a name for himself already, and that is Avonte Maddox. In the most notable play of the scrimmage portion, Maddox jumped a pass for a pick six and had a lot of the players and coaches buzzing especially DB coach Troy Douglas.

(Credit Jim Hammett CardiacHill.com)

link to cardiachill.com

Comment by PittofDreams 08.04.14 @ 5:24 pm

Lost out on this one.

8/3/2014 – 2015 PF Jarred Reuter (6-8, 235, 2.7 *) | Position Rank: 38, committed to Virginia.

Have noticed we are offering lots more players for 2015 & 2016 than we have in recent years.

Comment by Emel 08.04.14 @ 5:48 pm

Excuse my ignorance what is a PF, a kicker?

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.04.14 @ 5:52 pm

Hopefully Avonte will be allowed to play for PITT’s baseball team as well.

As it appears he could be a major contributor to that team as well. Hit close to .450.

Might see some time at DB this year with the situation there. I believe Pitts started as a true freshman.

Comment by Emel 08.04.14 @ 5:54 pm

Power Forward Doc.

Hitting the Nitrous today ?

Comment by Emel 08.04.14 @ 5:56 pm

Vote for Tony Dorsett

link to espn.go.com

Comment by gc 08.04.14 @ 6:38 pm

power foot, good one Doc

Comment by steve1 08.04.14 @ 6:47 pm

pittman4ever, so what was Baldwin’s excuses for the Chiefs and 49ers? Wasn’t he the guy that got punched his 1st week in the NFL in KC by a veteran who said he is every bit the prima donna he is repute to be?

Comment by wbb 08.04.14 @ 6:58 pm

Baldwin was claimed by the Lions. He broke his hand in KC punching RB Thomas Jones in the face during an altercation.

Comment by Nick 08.04.14 @ 7:15 pm

From Werner’s PG piece:

link to post-gazette.com

“Boyd excelled at the end of last year when Street went down with an injury, but now opposing defenses have had a whole offseason to prepare for him. He has said this offseason that one of the focuses for Pitt was moving him around in the offense to make him harder to cover.”

Very glad to hear that PC is going to move Tyler around on offense, rather than just lining up as a traditional static WR.

He’s much too talented for that, I have suggested some offensive sets with Tyler lining up in the backfield and then you can have him run pass routes out of the backfield to either side of the field or up the middle, trying to get LB coverage on him. These would all be shorter pass routes for Voytik to complete and provide Tyler with lots of YAC opportunities on slower opposing players.

Or you can motion him out of the backfield, again to either side of the field on pass routes. The purpose of this is to confuse the defense as in how to defend this motion and also limit the double team coverage on Tyler.

And of course you can also let Tyler carry the ball a few times just to keep the defense honest.
And run reverses with Tyler handing off to say Jennings or someone with blazing speed like Jester Weah. Former state sprint champion.

Wow this could be a lot of fun this year !!

Would love to be the OC with a player like Tyler on my offense.

Comment by Emel 08.04.14 @ 7:58 pm

Don’t agree with this suggestion that somehow RT Clemmings was responsible for the 43 sacks last year.

“Chryst has praised the improvement of right tackle T.J. Clemmings in the offseason, and was optimistic that the unit — which gave up 43 sacks last year — will improve. ”

Most of the problems came from the opposite side of the line……LT.

Comment by Emel 08.04.14 @ 8:06 pm

ESPN’s little synopsis on TD failed to note that he was the FIRST collegiate rusher to exceed 6000 yards in a career. And that he is arguably the greatest college rusher ever, as they did for Herschel Walker’s brief bio.

Pitt was also unbeaten in 1976.

If you note, TD has the LEAST amount of words written about him than ALL the other 15 players.

The visible bias never ceases.

Comment by Emel 08.04.14 @ 8:17 pm

And had we played Georgia in 1980, they would have NOT won the NC, we would have !!! Hugh, Rickey and the boys would have torn them up.

Bowls screwed us that year, again.

Comment by Emel 08.04.14 @ 8:19 pm

agree Emel

BTW, Maverick Rowan playing on ESPN3 right now

Comment by wbb 08.04.14 @ 8:32 pm

meant ESPNU

Comment by wbb 08.04.14 @ 8:33 pm

RT Clemmings came out of Paterson Catholic, in Paterson, NJ. The school shutdown, I believe, right after he graduated.

I don’t think he has had any academic problems at Pitt nor for that matter any problems at all.

Conversely, the Don Bosco kids at Pitt have had problem making grades. I’m shaking my head on this one. Clemmings didn’t have the enviromental advantages of the Bosco players.

The Northwest Bergen County, NJ area (including a part of the next county over) is affluent with highly rated schools. Brian Cushing, the Olson brothers, Pitt’s DB K. Williams, and the Sims brothers all graduated from area schools.

We were staring to do some positive recruiting in this area under Wannstadt.

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 08.05.14 @ 12:39 am

According to an article in 247Sports about yesterday’s practice, FR WR Adonis Jennings looks to be the real deal even just in his first day, and Trenton Coles had a good day … both very good signs in critical positions … but the note that surprised me was that FB Jaymar Parrish was up to 270 lbs.

Comment by wbb 08.05.14 @ 6:22 am

Helmets only fellas. Let’s at least wait until they put the pads on and hit each other around just a little bit. Balls are easier to catch if you know you aren’t getting drilled immediately thereafter. It’s an exciting start for sure, but it is just that. Looking forward to day 2.

Comment by dhuffdaddy 08.05.14 @ 6:56 am

You are correct, dhuffdaddy … but I only took a few short notes from a long article of observations that I thought were the most pertinent

Comment by wbb 08.05.14 @ 7:07 am

James Conner definitely playing some end. Team so thin at the position that Rori Blair is already being talked about, and as was said, just helmets.

Wonder if any of the fifteen offensive linemen will be looked at for a position change. One more injury and it is panic time.

Comment by gc 08.05.14 @ 7:22 am

From that Cardiac Hill link:

“I did not spend much time watching the linebackers, but everything seemed to play out as expected with Gonzalez and Thomas manning the outside, while Matt Galambos played the middle. Bam Bradley was out there, and what appeared to be him getting a look at middle linebacker.”

That’s why I mentioned Bradley would probably be getting MLB2 reps in practice in my ‘Defense” article posted last week – I had heard that would happen. Who knows if that holds. Grigsby at DE is interesting if only for the fact that the staff wants more speed at that position, but at 6’1″ and 220 he’ll be getting pushed around a lot by the OTs.

Comment by Reed 08.05.14 @ 8:01 am

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