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April 23, 2016

Trib reports on James “Mr Everything” Conner’s visit on the Ellen DeGeneres Show – in case you missed it please watch the video posted below…

Shortly after a video of the segment appeared on DeGeneres’ website and on TribLive.com, Conner began receiving interview requests through Erie videographer and family friend Mike Gallagher. Reporters called from Kansas City, Denver and Jacksonville, Gallagher said.

“I had one message from a guy who wants to pitch him to Campbell’s Soup,” Gallagher said. “I responded I need him to beat Penn State first.”  The NCAA does not permit college athletes to do endorsements.

DeGeneres’ producers taped an interview with Conner in Pittsburgh several days before his appearance in which he said doctors told him the cure rate for his disease is 85 to 90 percent.

“That’s more than enough for me,” he told DeGeneres. “I’d be good if you said 2 percent. It’s on. Let’s go.”

Here is the video, have a handkerchief handy for the tears…

The Pitt News cover the show also.

“If you think you’re having a bad day, and then you see him at practice with one of those masks on, it’s amazing,” Galambos said.

DeGeneres and Conner discussed the limitations chemotherapy puts on his training, as well as his future plans for the upcoming football season.

“The only thing I can’t do is — I have a port in my chest — so I can’t really get tackled,” Connor said.  “Good for you, you can’t get tackled. That’s a great thing,” DeGeneres responded, laughing.

Here is some more media – linked is the latest Chris Peak of Rivals has his weekly podcast.  He starts of talking about the changes done in the Athletic Department to expedite the fundraising processes.  He also has interviews with Sakir Soto, Adam Bisnowaty and Dorian Johnson and some more talk about the spring game…  Enjoy,  it’s 56 minutes long but as always a nice listen for his point of view on the football program.

Peak talks about Tom MacVitte coming is as a true FR this August… I’ll say this no – do not hold your breath to see MacVitte get any real playing time unless big multiple injuries happen – Peak thinks otherwise, but if Narduzzi wants to win in the future I think he has to not take the chance of screwing up MacVitte by burning his redshirt now.

Speaking of Pitt QBs here is starting QB Nate Peterman fitted out with a “Go-Pro” camera on his helmet during a spring drill.  These videos are always fun and somehow this one slid under my ‘media radar’ so I’ll post it now:

Sam Werner of the Post Gazette weighs in with a piece on “What We Learned…” about the spring game.  I’ll tell you what I learned.  That we need that fundraising mentioned above to kick into high gear ASAP so that we can buy a top-shelf grad transfer QB before August’s fall camp rolls around.

Here is one of five points made:

2. Which freshmen will impact the depth chart?

The leading candidate is Central Catholic defensive back Damar Hamlin, who should challenge for the starting cornerback spot opposite Avonte Maddox. Moss will likely be in the mix at running back, and four-star receiver Ruben Flowers could prove to be part of the solution in replacing Boyd. It also will be worth watching players such as defensive tackle Keyshon Camp and linebacker Chase Pine, both of whom could help provide depth at positions of need.

Here is an older P-G piece about the ‘voluntary workouts’ over the summer:

So, if Peterman wants to practice his timing and chemistry with his receivers, they’ll have to do it on their own. And that’s exactly what they plan to do.  “It’s good to have everybody hear the same thing from my mouth and kind of go out there and do it,” he said.

“A couple of the balls [Saturday] I threw a little early trying to get it there with anticipation. We’ve just got to get a little bit more on the same page. That’s going to help a lot. This summer’s going to be big for us.”

Peterman added that he and the receivers organized some players-only workouts over the winter, too. But because Canada essentially spent his first month on the job out recruiting, they could only work on last year’s offense.

This summer, they’ll be able to practice with the terminology and playbook they plan to use this fall.  “Now it’s really good,” Peterman said. “We have things that we can get better at and tape that we can show and work off of.”

Peterman will be the one leading most of those workouts, which will be a slightly new role for him. He didn’t arrive on Pitt’s campus until last summer, and spent most of that period — and even into training camp — as the presumed backup to Chad Voytik.

 





Good stuff, Reed.

James is amazing – represents Pitt so well.

The helmet cam video of NP was interesting. But doesn’t it seem like our WRs are always tightly covered? Is it our WRs or our DBs?

NP seemed to be doing some good coaching after each play…

Go Pitt.

Comment by MajorMajors 04.23.16 @ 9:58 am

Great story about Connor. A real inspiration to everyone. He is lining up to be a real Pitt Legend!

Comment by Pitt Fan in Atlanta 04.23.16 @ 11:13 am

Nice story on Connor above!

As far as Boyd, I believe this article speaks to what many of us feel as far as his play at next level.

link to bleacherreport.com

Comment by Upittbaseball 04.23.16 @ 1:59 pm

Upitt… one of the most indepth scouting reports I’ve read on any Player.

Ian Wharton makes a convincing argument.

But, I still think Boyd is SPECIAL when it comes to getting open and catching the Ball.

His biggest area of improvement… something you and I emphasized during Boyd’s disappointing performance at the Combine… and one of the things pointed out by Wharton.

********
Since Boyd does not have a thick, muscular frame to offset his lack of explosive traits, he’s going to struggle against physical NFL cornerbacks.

********

Boyd was able to run a decent 40. Basically a 4.5 Guy.

But he has a lot of room to grow physically. At the next level, he won’t be able to opt out of the weight room as the evidence suggests he did at Pitt.

Comment by PittofDreams 04.23.16 @ 2:11 pm

UPitt, agreed on Boyd. The article may be a little harsh, but he definitely is a day 2 player at the draft.

Comment by 2$Chuck 04.23.16 @ 2:40 pm

Projecting Boyd as a “day 2 player” doesn’t exactly agree with Upitt’s position.

But according to just about everyone, he his going on the Second Day.

Tough to pass on a Guy who put up some better numbers than another Pitt Guy who is likely to end up in the Hall.

Comment by PittofDreams 04.23.16 @ 3:00 pm

NFL teams do not like fumbles. “F” is the Scarlet letter in the NFL.

Comment by Sfpitt 04.23.16 @ 3:40 pm

That article was pre-combine. Despite the slow 40, Boyd interviewed well and his route running was confirmed. The age-production analysis is accurate for wr’s though. For Boyd, you really have to look at 2014 and not 2015. It was a new playbook and qb and he was kept out of practice for fear of injury. Plus he missed offseason work with the new coaching staff bc of the suspension. He just didn’t have reps in a new system … Part of the reason he looked so rusty as a PR as well and lost his job. All told 2015 was just a bad year.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 04.23.16 @ 4:18 pm

… And that was a pretty productive bad year.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 04.23.16 @ 4:19 pm

I think Boyd will be a possesion receiver and go in Round 4. That is probably a safe bet at Round 4. Him having better numbers than Fitz is not a indication of skill level at all. Nothing against Boyd but he isn’t 1/2 as good as Larry.

Comment by Upittbaseball 04.23.16 @ 4:23 pm

I’ve also seen some Round 3-4 projections for Noyd.

He won’t be going into the NFL – wherever he is drafted – as a “Golden Boy” like he was coming out of Clairton to Pitt. He’ll have to work his ass off every second to stay in competition with guys who are his physical equal or better.

I think the only thing that Boyd did exceptionally well were the circus catches and his trap-like hands at the high point of errant passes. Other things… I think the scouting report was dead on.

Stas, as we all know, can be used by picking and choosing what to use to make a point. The referenced stats in that article are good and true, however he came up short in some other very important categories.

His yards per catch was 39th nationally at 10.2 ypc, his yards receiving per game the same (39th)at 77.2 and also had only had 6 TD catches, showing up at a poor 85th.

His 7.6 catches per game however was right up near the top at 7th with 7.6 rpg and that will be matched by committee.

All this is why that contrary to when other big starts have left Pitt (Aaron Donald especially) I’m not too worried about Boyd’s departure. I hesitate to use the phrase ‘addition by subtraction’ and it really doesn’t apply here… yet. But I think it will during the regular season when the other WRs not named Boyd get wrapped into the offense.

Canada has been quoted as saying that he never liked the idea of one receiver getting the lions share of the passes throw and I think his O tendencies are to get a whole platoon involved. That way the opposing DC has to consider lots of different skills set among the Pitt receivers instead of just basically one in Boyd.

We’ll see but I love Ford with his consistent play and now that Weah has caught a few balls in a game-like situation we’ll have a better deep game than last season – Weah, Tipton and Q, Henderson all all faster in straight speed than Boyd was, so if Canada calls deep plays like he says he will I trust Peterman’s arm to get the ball down where the receivers can run under it.

Comment by Reed 04.23.16 @ 4:52 pm

Well said Sailor!

Comment by Upittbaseball 04.23.16 @ 4:59 pm

Reed… actually you’re article on Pitt’s former Quarterback was missing one VERY important component.

What would have “Void-tik” been if there never was the “Golden Boy” from Clairton?

Can you imagine the numbers… or lack thereof… that he would have had.

Maybe you should do Part II?

Comment by PittofDreams 04.23.16 @ 5:07 pm

Dasy 2 now is 2nd & 3rd rounds. Day 1 is all the 1st round picks now.

Comment by Jackagain 04.23.16 @ 8:26 pm

I’ve seen it mentioned that there are more people wearing Pitt gear lately and generally more of a buzz about all things “Pitt”. I’d have to agree. At 6:30 am an older female cashier at a supermarket commented on my “cool” Pitt FB shirt and asked where I thought T Boyd would go in the draft. I loved it! H2P!

Comment by PittPT 04.23.16 @ 8:27 pm

Funny how 2 or 3 QB seemed to prefer to throw the ball to the skinny, slow kid that could not get open. Also funny how only we Pitt fans could turn one of our players being drafted in the second or third round into a negative…

Comment by HbgFrank 04.23.16 @ 10:16 pm

HbgFrank,
It’s not “we Pitt fans”, it’s mostly just two driving the negativity. Stay above it.

H2P!

Comment by panther94 04.23.16 @ 11:04 pm

Sorry to speak in facts Frank and 94. I guess the author of the article is wrong as well. There is nothing wrong with being a 3rd or 4th round pick. But acting like he is the cats meow and a first rounder is idiotic. Some of you guys get so defensive if it isn’t koolaid 24-7.

Comment by Upittbaseball 04.24.16 @ 12:19 am

Wow, some straight opinions and all of a sudden it is negative? I didn’t say he was going to go in the 3-4 rounds, just that others do.

This what fans all over do… they always are super optimistic because they love the players.

I wish Boyd would have stayed but he chose not to… either way if we discuss him then we should be honest in what we think.

Comment by Reed 04.24.16 @ 4:26 am

One thing we all agree on is that our star receiver who declared for the NFL Draft just three years out of HS is going to be drafted. So what’s the downside here?

It really boils down to Boyd going out and either buying a Bentley or rather a Mercedes depending on when he is drafted, a nice issue to have.

I like to play the role as Upitt’s antagonist simply because he is so dark & pessimistic routinely about all things Pitt. That’s been easy pickings for a long time because Pitt Football has been in turmoil ever since the Wanny firing. Well that sure bet is quickly disappearing and just because somebody continually spouts his opinion with conviction, doesn’t make it reality.

We’ll see real soon when & where Mr. Boyd is going to earn his NFL paycheck. Me thinks that Boyd goes early enough in the Draft that I’ll be all done lambasting Upittbaseball, once again for his swing & a miss prediction on Boyd by the time the Fourth Round picks get announced.

Boyd will already be picking out the color of his new car by then, good for him! H2P!

Comment by Dr. Tom 04.24.16 @ 5:46 am

Reed, I am pretty sure the comment was not directed at you. None of us really know where Boyd will get drafted. I think HbgFrank and Panther94 are speaking to the level of malice that is directed at some of our players. Most of us would like to see a Pitt player get drafted as high as possible and are not constantly putting them down.

Comment by gc 04.24.16 @ 7:40 am

One thing that bothers me is that Pitt players leave at the first opportunity almost every time. Aaron Donald is the only ‘star’ player for us who stayed his SR year, at least as I can remember.

I get the reasons for it – it is all financial and can’t dispute that but with the NCAA/Pitt insurance policies these kids can get I wonder if an extra year might help some get better positioned for the draft.

Donald was projected rounds 2-4 his JR year then stayed, won every award possible for a defensive player and look at him now.

Maybe if Boyd stayed and concentrated on the aspects of his make up that the NFL scouts see need work then 1) he’d have a better statistical year and 2) be a higher draft pick.

Greg Lee should have done it for sure and if James Conner doesn’t match or get close to his 2014 playing production he should stay as well. Right now his draft stock is low or non-existent and if’s he’s having a hard time bouncing back from his illness and injury in one full season perhaps he should get that 5th year of eligibility…

Right now he has three under his belt and next year would be his 4th but I’m sure the NCAA would give him a waiver for 2015, especially because he didn’t redshirt his first year.

Comment by Reed 04.24.16 @ 8:04 am

So what if Boyd is not a 1st rounder. Plenty of busts come to mind. Boyd will be a steal in the 3rd round. You can’t teach his instincts and hands.

Comment by Pittastic 04.24.16 @ 8:09 am

What is with us Pitt fans? Boyd sucks… He wont be anything in the “Pros”…thats it nothing more to say he isnt that good! Whats the GREAT Baldwin doing at Alabama… Nothing!

Comment by Boo Boo #1 04.24.16 @ 8:52 am

oops i meant Robert Foster at Alabama all of 19 catches I hope he gets a degree as he wont plat pro ball either AND Pitt some how NEEDS to get a good QB just like almost every college teams gets Even North Dakota St WTF If North Dakota State Buffalos can get a great QB whay cant Pitt ? i dont get it anyway H2P

Comment by Boo Boo #1 04.24.16 @ 9:09 am

Oops another mistake Robert Foster caught only 10 passes Remember we all wanted him? he is worse than slow Boyd from Clairton

Comment by Boo Boo #1 04.24.16 @ 9:11 am

i have 1 season Pitt ticket and i am willing to sell it and take a loss i am by the visiting cheerleaders in the corner of the end zone E-mail me at jaycopter9@aol.com i need the money because i owe $5,750 in Federal taxes! Lets make a good deal Go Pitt i will just watch them on TV

Comment by Boo Boo #1 04.24.16 @ 9:14 am

FYI … this current ESPN article has Boyd as the #33 prospect and #3 WR in the draft … Look at Boyd’s 2014 numbers and not his 2015. He averaged 16.2 YPC, avg’s 27.6 yards per KO return and 10.1 per PR.

Some of you get too hung up on 2015 when 2013 and 2014 are probably a more accurate portrait of who Boyd will be in the NFL.

link to espn.go.com

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 04.24.16 @ 10:26 am

OK Thossing Thabeets i was looking at his [Boyd} 2014 numbers But still the big fish was Robert Foster and I honestly think neither Boyd or Foster will ever make in the NFL not like Fitzgerald did ..and by the way Reed i am interested in doing stuff on this site a writer but i do a lot of humor so anyway jaycopter9@aol.com

Comment by Boo Boo #1 04.24.16 @ 11:42 am

Upitt…I did not say Boyd was an elite 1st round pick. I just don’t accept your position that since he is not a 1st round pick we can not celebrate him as one of Pitt’s ALL-TIME great receivers.

gc…correct.

Reed…I really only disagree with the “addition by subtraction” comment. We will be fine at WR, especially if we throw the ball more. C’mon man, I don’t see how losing an experienced, highly productive player at any position can be interpreted as an “addition”.

Comment by HbgFrank 04.24.16 @ 11:59 am

Frank – I agree we can and should celebrate away but he is in no way shape or form the 3rd best WR in this draft. Maybe 7-9 at best. Hope he goes as high as possible but the pros know college stats mean little as it isnabout the measurables. I think 3rd late or early 4th. Doc – We still have dinner on this right? In Savannah?

Comment by Upittbaseball 04.24.16 @ 1:09 pm

Reed-Thanks for posting the Ellen clip. James is an inspiration to me, pushing me to do a few more reps at the Y so I can get back in shape, too.

Comment by OhHowIhateOhioState 04.24.16 @ 3:51 pm

Tribute to Prince: Purple rain and Lets Party like its still 1999 and Me and my red corvette and Take this needle out of my arm i dont neeeeed this junk! On a lighter note Pitt will unveil new unis I hear the Pitt script is coming back Sometime in May Does anyone have any details??

Comment by Boo Boo #1 04.24.16 @ 6:39 pm

Praying for you OHIHOS

Comment by Jackagain 04.24.16 @ 8:44 pm

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