masthead.jpg

April 29, 2016

Well, last night went about the way it was expected to for Tyler Boyd:

Tyler Boyd wasn’t selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, but he went to sleep Thursday comfortable and confident his NFL career will get started Friday.

Boyd was joined by family, friends and teammates in a crowded suite at the Omni William Penn, Downtown. Among those seated with him while he watched the draft was former Clairton coach Tom Nola, ex-Pitt teammates Terrish Webb and Titus Howard, and Pitt running back James Conner.

When Boyd’s name wasn’t called among the 31 picks in the first round, he took the disappointment with a quiet shrug.

“It doesn’t matter what team picks me or what round I go,” he said. “I just know I’m going to take full advantage of the opportunity. I just want the opportunity to see my name come across that screen.

“I’m just trying to stay as calm as possible. I have anxiety in me, believe it or not. If not today, I’m going to do the same thing (Friday).”

Boyd also was joined by ESPN cameras, who were hoping to catch his reaction when his name was called. ESPN requested he remain seated in front of a television after the 15th pick of the first round.

There were four wide receivers selected in the first round, led by Baylor’s Corey Coleman by the Cleveland Browns with the 15th pick. Notre Dame’s Will Fuller was selected 21st by the Houston Texans, TCU’s Josh Doctson went 22nd to the Washington Redskins, and Ole Miss’ Laquon Treadwell 23rd to the Minnesota Vikings.

Peak thinks NFL teams miss the mark with their evaluations of Boyd:

In Peak’s last podcast he anonymously referenced my thoughts that Pitt may be better off with Boyd’s departure being an opening for a more productive passing game because we’ll have more targets with different skill sets to use.  He said that opinion was “stupid” then modified it to “Well, it’s…silly”.

This is certainly a reasonable way for Peak to look at what I have been saying on here.  I’ll admit that part of my opinion that we may be better in the passing game is wishful thinking.  But I’ll relate a true story here.

After LeSean McCoy’s last game at Pitt, that horrible 3-0 loss to Oregon State in the 2008 Sun Bowl I was in a large group of Pitt fans watching the game in a sports bar.  Of course even though McCoy hadn’t yet declared for the draft I think we all knew he would do so, the topic of conversation (along with streams of tears) was that he would be impossible to replace.

McCoy was more of an offensive centerpiece for Pitt than even Boyd was last season when Boyd had to carry the load without James Conner in the backfield.  Conner was coming off a monster 2014 year and we all thought those two would complement each other and gives us many yards and many points.

But in 2008 McCoy had Stull as the QB with WR Derek Kinder (422 yards and 3 TDs) and WR Jon Baldwin as a true FR ( 404 yards and 3 TDs).  So it was really up to McCoy to carry the weight and he did to a tune of almost 1500 yards and 21 TDs.

Anyway – back at the sports bar I piped up and said ‘We aren’t going to miss a beat with McCoy leaving” and needless to say people started screaming at me and telling me how crazy I was.  But I stuck with that and wrote it on the message boards many times and the thing was I didn’t know anything at all about 4* Ray Graham or 3* Dion Lewis who were coming in as recruits.  Pitt fans hoped that Graham would be McCoy’s heir apparent but it was Lewis who chewed up the defenses with 1800 yards and 17 TDs.

So, I guess I’m saying the same thing now about Tyler Boyd leaving. WR is a skill position where young kids can waltz in and blow up the field as they can at RB also. I think we may have the ability to get that with 4* Ruben Flowers, a 6’4” 191 WR who runs a 4.6 40 yard dash.

We may also see some extant WRs on the roster really produce.  We are keeping our fingers crossed that rsJR Jester Weah has completely gotten over his case of the yips when it comes to catch a football – a critical skill for someone who’s sole reason to be out on the field is to do just that.  Weah has been timed at a 4.4 in his 40 yard dash which is exceptional.

Two other names have been talked about; one is  SO Tre Tipton who is another quick kid.  He played a few games before his knee injury derailed him last season but he should be 100% for ’16. The other is a player who I am getting more and more excited about seeing in the regular offense this season.

SO Quadree Henderson just might be that productive slot receiver that we all hoped Cameron Saddler would be back when he played.  He showed his true speed (4.4) with that great 99 yard KO return against Navy in the bowl game.  He’s short at 5’9” and 172 lbs but can fly at 4.43 timed in the 40.

What I am really looking to as far as ‘make-up for Boyd’ production is the tandem of rsSR Dontez Ford and rsJR Zach Challingsworth. Ford, as I have said and firmly believe, is our emerging star of the offense for 2016.  What grabs me is this crazy numbers; 26 catches for 505 yards at a 19.2 ypc clip. That is outstanding and better than any WR we have had going back to Greg Lee who finished with 19.4.

Guys – that is the 2nd best yards per catch ever for Pitt for anyone with 25+ catches.

Challingsworth is a lot like Mike Shanahan in my mind.  This last season was the first where he got any real semblance of playing time and he did well with 12 catches for 171 yards and a 12.3 ypc average.  He’s more of a possession type but as we saw in a few highlights last year he can make the hard plays when needed.

You’ll notice that in my descriptions of the receivers above rests heavily on their 40 times. The reason I’m excited about having a bunch of speedsters in the pass catching corps is that I think Nate Peterman will have a very good year throwing the deep ball.

He was handcuffed by OC Jim “Slow it down!” Chaney’s abhorrence of anything but fail safe short to intermediate passes last season. However I believe our new OC Matt Canada when he says that the deep passing routes have always been a big part of his offensive philosophy.   Peterman has the arm to get the ball downfield – I know some will dispute that but during last fall’s camp he impressed all with his ability in that regard – enough to prompt an well know insider to say to me with excitement  “We have a deep game now!.  Too bad Chaney didn’t feel that way.

We’ll see two or three deep attempts each half this season and we’ll connect on a lot of them.  Then Peterman can zap the ball to Henderson on a crossing pattern or to Ford and Challingsworth on an out and get those 1st downs needed to both score points and keep the opponent’s defense off the field.

The best part though is that we’ll have more depth. I suppose, but when throwing the ball 40% of the time to one player it’s hard to tell about any depth you may have. This year however no one receiver is going to draw passes like Boyd did and I think, especially when you throw in the TEs, we’ll see more multiple WR sets and give Peterman a lot more options than he had last season.

Hey, let’s not be ‘Stupid’ or ‘Well… silly’ about this.  We’ll certainly miss Tyler Boyd.  There is no doubt about how he produced or how well he played.  But at the same time this is what happens almost every year in college ball and, aside from graduating Aaron Donald, I can’t remember a player in recent Pitt history who wasn’t replaceable.

Shifting gears:

When discussing these two best receivers in Pitt’s history it is like speaking of an embarrassment of riches.  However, I do wish people would modify their comparisons of Boyd to Larry Fitzgerald, especially with the stats and records. Don’t forget Tyler Boyd played one full season more than Fitz played for us.   If you remember because Fitz went to a prep school for a year before being recruited he was able to bold out of Pitt in two years vice three.

Here is how their comparisons break down:

WR Seasons Games Catches Yards YPC TDs TD Ratio Draft Pick
Fitz 2 26 161 2677 16.6 34 1 to 4.4 catches #3
Boyd 3 38 254 3361 13.2 21 1 to 21 catches > #32 (?)

 

As much as we have all enjoyed watching Boyd and because he is the most present ‘star’ player we have had in the last few years we appreciate and talk about him like he’s the best we’ve had.  I don’t think he’s the “best’ though and believe the numbers bear that out.

But hey!  Being 2nd best to a future NFL Hall of Fame receiver iain’t chopped liver.

So, we’ll keep tuned to hear Boyd’s name.  At this point I hope it’s high enough for a decent signing bonus that he can invest wisely and rely on to help out in the future in case of a career ending injury.

Referencing the podcast above – Peak also lists his “Five Best Pitt Players” since Larry Fitzgerald and his thinking, and discussing his reasoning, is well worth listening to.

Here is the info on tonight’s starting time, etc… for rounds 2 & 3 of the draft.  Good luck Tyler.

2016 NFL Draft – Rounds 2 and 3
Chicago, Illinois

When

Friday, April 29th, 7pm ET

Where

Auditorium Theater

TV Coverage

NFL Network, ESPN 2

Online stream

NFL.com/Live

Announcers

NFL Network: Rich Eisen, Mike Mayock, Rhett Lewis, Charles Davis, Urban Meyer, Daniel Jeremiah, Brian Billick, Michael Robinson, Ian Rapoport, Melissa Stark

ESPN 2: Trey Wingo, Mel Kiper, Jr., Louis Riddick, Adam Schefter, Todd McShay

Selection Time Limits:

Round 2: 7 minutes per pick
Round 3: 5 minutes per pick
Compensatory picks: 4 minutes per pick

 

 





I’m watching ESPN 2 for tonight’s draft coverage with Pitt’s very own Louis Riddick as one of the announcers.

I’m excited for the Boyd family and friends…

HTP!

Comment by Erie Express 04.29.16 @ 2:38 pm

Seven 2016 NFL Draft prospects deserving more buzz By Gil Brandt (guess who’s #1)

link to nfl.com

Comment by Jackagain 04.29.16 @ 3:27 pm

When you’re looking at the “Boyd Factor” the last few years, you have to take into account that each Season is its own story.

This is due to there being three COMPLETELY different Quarterbacks involved… and last year a different OC and Offense.

To even dare to say Pitt’s Passing Offense could, should, will be better off without Boyd you must assume something… that you have a Quarterback who can READ Defenses, SEE the field, and DELIVER the Ball accurately and on time to the right Receiver including something called a Tight End.

Needless to say, this hasn’t always been the case and without Boyd during this time span, I hate to think just how bad things actually would have been.

Comment by PittofDreams 04.29.16 @ 3:40 pm

OT, but a good article on how Wilson likes his new coach.

link to triblive.com

Comment by Jackagain 04.29.16 @ 4:17 pm

I think most teams have a clear no 1 receiver. For the last few years our’s has been Boyd. This year I think that Ford will emerge as our no 1.

Comment by HbgFrank 04.29.16 @ 5:21 pm

PoD – another fact to note regarding T.Boyd – he played for three different WR coaches in his three years.

Comment by Erie Express 04.29.16 @ 6:48 pm

His FR year the WR coach was Bobby Engram who is now with the Ravens. Look for Baltimore to select Boyd in the second round. Flacco to Boyd = TD city…

HTP!

Comment by Erie Express 04.29.16 @ 6:51 pm

4th round to Pitt.

Comment by Upittbaseball 04.29.16 @ 7:07 pm

Doc redfish and crab claws and cigars and grand Marnier. Thanks!

Comment by Upittbaseball 04.29.16 @ 7:07 pm

T.Boyd is the 9th best player available left on Mel Kiper’s board and Todd McShay mentioned him as the 2nd best (left).

Comment by Erie Express 04.29.16 @ 7:16 pm

He will become a Bungel

Comment by TX Panther 04.29.16 @ 7:32 pm

IF Hackenberg is any good, this is where he goes.

Comment by PittofDreams 04.29.16 @ 7:41 pm

The Jets taken Sackenburg and the fans boo profusely.

Comment by Erie Express 04.29.16 @ 7:47 pm

Wow….the Jets just took Sackenturd…..

Comment by Jackagain 04.29.16 @ 7:48 pm

Fuck, we got Hackenberg

Comment by Chris 04.29.16 @ 7:49 pm

Sometimes you get lucky

Comment by PittofDreams 04.29.16 @ 7:53 pm

Boyd dropping

Comment by PittofDreams 04.29.16 @ 7:54 pm

How far?

Comment by PittofDreams 04.29.16 @ 7:54 pm

How about dem Bengals….

Comment by Jackagain 04.29.16 @ 8:05 pm

Boyd is a Bengal.

Comment by panther94 04.29.16 @ 8:06 pm

T.Boyd to the Bengels. Best wishes for a great career.

Good QB and a very good WR mate in AJ Green.

HTP!

Comment by Erie Express 04.29.16 @ 8:06 pm

Late 2nd round is good for Boyd….

Comment by Jackagain 04.29.16 @ 8:07 pm

TX Panther… you NAILED it!

Comment by PittofDreams 04.29.16 @ 8:08 pm

Let’s make it two in a row. Baylor guy to the Stillers

Comment by TX Panther 04.29.16 @ 8:11 pm

This pretty much confirms that Tyler Boyd was as advertised…

Despite his critics… not mentioning any names.

Comment by PittofDreams 04.29.16 @ 8:12 pm

TX, do you mean Andrew Billings

Comment by Jackagain 04.29.16 @ 8:14 pm

POD – Major reach in my opinion. Wish him well but glad he is now with the enemy. Doc – I owe you dinner. We just picked up Elba Island LNG’s so you will see lots
of me like it or not. Haha.

Comment by Upittbaseball 04.29.16 @ 8:15 pm

Vonn Bell is available….

Comment by Jackagain 04.29.16 @ 8:15 pm

Steelers need to draft a couple of more Cornerbacks.

Spaghetti on the wall.

Comment by PittofDreams 04.29.16 @ 8:16 pm

Tyler Boyd is going to catch an awful lot of passes.

Unfortunately, some of them at Heinz.

Comment by PittofDreams 04.29.16 @ 8:18 pm

Wow…another corner…maybe they are serious.

Comment by Jackagain 04.29.16 @ 8:19 pm

Sounds like a move to safety in his future….

link to nfl.com

Comment by Jackagain 04.29.16 @ 8:21 pm

One more D-Back for the Steelers.

One out of three… you know how the saying goes.

Comment by PittofDreams 04.29.16 @ 8:27 pm

This is where everyone needs to realize… once and for all… how MEANINGLESS the interviews are prior to the Draft when Teams fly Players in.

Post Gazette is relentless with writing about who is in town for interviews.

Give it up… for the sake of your readership who happen to be Steelers fans.

Comment by PittofDreams 04.29.16 @ 8:33 pm

Congrats to Tyler. Probably the best he could hope for. Well we still get to see him at Heinz once a year. Should be interesting.

The bigger question is who is number 1 on UPitt’s hitlist now?

Comment by gc 04.29.16 @ 8:46 pm

GC you guys are funny. Hitlist is comical. He was the last WR in 2nd round. Like I had it out for him. Don’t drop
Balls and have a dealism persona only to drop game winner vs Houston. He thought he was the man and had some selfish tendenicies. I saw it in his play. Crown him if you want. I lost the bet so will get my friend Doc dinner but he was a few picks away from 3rd round.

Comment by Upittbaseball 04.29.16 @ 9:10 pm

Upitt, redfish and crab claws and cigars and grand Marnier. Thanks?!

Comment by Dr. Tom 04.29.16 @ 9:14 pm

Doc – You got it! Bet is a Bet!! Elba Island near you?

Comment by Upittbaseball 04.29.16 @ 9:18 pm

Cardale Jones

Comment by PittofDreams 04.29.16 @ 9:28 pm

Jamarcus Jr.

Comment by Upittbaseball 04.29.16 @ 9:53 pm

Better… but not my much

Comment by PittofDreams 04.29.16 @ 10:29 pm

UPitt, you must have had a hundred entries slamming Boyd. Obviously those that disagreed with you have been vindicated to some extent by this pick. Yeah he missed the pass vs. Houston, but he caught a lot and Pitt would have been much worse without him. Just not sure why you felt the need to slam one of the best Pitt players ever. OK, not as great as Fitz, but definitely one of the top ten offensive weapons in the history of Pitt Football.

I will certainly be rooting for him to be a star, except two games a year.

“Like I had it out for him” Really? do you read what you write?

Comment by gc 04.29.16 @ 10:42 pm

Dan72… Still waiting for your “ton” of bad things you can say about Boyd.

Comment by PittofDreams 04.29.16 @ 10:47 pm

Bottom line… Tyler Boyd put Pitt on the map… when other 4 or 5 Stars (see Robert Foster) could not have cared less.

Boyd and his family are getting the GOOD Karma they deserve.

Comment by PittofDreams 04.29.16 @ 10:50 pm

Upitt, I give you credit – you spent the entire CF season saying how TB was no better than a 4th and you didn’t waver.

Comment by markp 04.29.16 @ 10:50 pm

Pod …wish Boyd nothing but the best. He will be a perfect Bengal. 10 cent head and inability to run disciplined routes will fit right in with the Bengal horde.

Comment by Dan 72 04.29.16 @ 11:16 pm

LOL 72. Bengals draft terribly and character means little. I dont care for cocky dealism kids who arent as good as they think. He was a mid 3rd pick away but the Bengals were tge bengals.

Comment by Upittbaseball 04.29.16 @ 11:23 pm

If it weren’t for Boyd, Pitt would have lost at least ONE more Game during each year of his tenure.

Simple Math.

Comment by PittofDreams 04.29.16 @ 11:31 pm

BTW… HATE the Bengals. But Boyd is destined for a long, successful NFL career.

Sorry to break the news.

Comment by PittofDreams 04.29.16 @ 11:34 pm

Guaranteed future ALL PRO. Not every year, but at least one or two.

Comment by PittofDreams 04.29.16 @ 11:36 pm

All Pro catching 5 yard outs and at best a possesaion WR? POD – You drinking tonight?

Comment by Upittbaseball 04.30.16 @ 12:01 am

Wow 10 cent head Dan 72? He grew up in Clairton. His old man is still serving a prison sentence for selling cocaine. The kid perseveres, plays for the hometown team( our beloved Pitt Panthers), goes on to be one of the most dynamic and exciting kids to ever play football here, and besides one(albeit pretty big) indiscretion, a fine representative for Pitt on an off the field. The kid also carried a 3.0 GPA as a student athlete.

Yet, for his 3 years, that’s how you view him? Oh, by the way, draft experts said his route running was a strength, better than most WR’s in draft. Me personally, I enjoyed watching Tyler for three years and wish him nothing but the best.

Comment by Pap76 04.30.16 @ 3:10 am

Wait and see. I think Boyd comes in and makes an immediate impact in Cincy. I just hope he is not a difference maker in any future games against the Stillers. That would just produce too many conflicted emotions within my psyche.

Comment by Dr. Tom 04.30.16 @ 5:54 am

Second round grades from Yahoo Sports:

24. Cincinnati Bengals: WR Tyler Boyd – Having lost Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu in free agency, depth certainly was an issue behind A.J. Green and Brandon LaFell. But Boyd is not a burner, and speed is what this unit appears to need. Still, Boyd is a very capable chain mover and a versatile player who became a part-time running back when James Connor got hurt. Solid but not sexy. Grade: B-

Doc – I believe he will be a difference maker right away. He could start in his first NFL game and have an immediate impact, much like he did at Pitt.

Advice to T.Boyd – hang with the high character players on the offense (Dalton & Green) and avoid the lower character guys on D. Your career will be much brighter and fulfilling.

Congrats to the Boyd family. You must be very proud!

As a Pitt fan, I sure am…

HTP!

Comment by Erie Express 04.30.16 @ 6:05 am

By the way, on the same grading site from Yahoo Sports, Sackenburg received a C- and the JETS fans booed louder – lol.

Also, HC Bob O’Brien of the Houston Texans (former pedo state HC and Sacks FR coach) passed on him the pick right before the JETS).

Comment by Erie Express 04.30.16 @ 6:10 am

Bill not Bob –

Comment by Erie Express 04.30.16 @ 6:11 am

Does it bother anyone that the only mention of Boyd’s being drafted in the major Pittsburgh newspaper come at the tail end of an article written by the PSU stringer which highlighted Hackenberg, Johnson, and Nassib?? Werner too busy? Pitt PR dept doesn’t care? Local kid makes good not as important as three PSU kids from 200 miles away?

Comment by Joeknew 04.30.16 @ 6:18 am

I mean think about this: If you can’t even get a dedicated article about a local kid going in the second round of the NFL draft in the hometown paper, but instead have to read it in the byline of a team 140 miles away what does that say???
I’m sorry, but I see it as shameful, and just another slap at Pitt fans. If you can not get pub from the local rag how can you expect to get any type of national recognition?

Comment by Joeknew 04.30.16 @ 6:26 am

JoeKnew – The local papers covered this last night at 9:18 pm.

link to triblive.com

Comment by Reed 04.30.16 @ 6:28 am

Reed, I was referring to the PG, and the print version. Saw the online stuff, don’t get the Trib in print!
Did you see a print version of the biggest Pgh paper that covered it? Sorry, still see it as very insulting, and for older guys like me I read the printed page, guess I like ink on my fingers! Lol.

Comment by JoeKnew 04.30.16 @ 6:47 am

Reed, I guess I have trouble explaining myself clearly online. It is a skill I am still trying to master lol.
What I am trying to say is this:
Online stuff is great, you get it quicker and can research almost anything, and you can call bullshit on anyone when info is so readily available. However, for guys of a certain age reading printed papers still is the gold standard. There was online stuff about all of the other stuff the night before, but still articles in the PG.
Now tat said I would think maybe they are planning a big spread in Sundays paper, but just for me personally, I find it upsetting we have to read about most likely our only draft choice at the tail end of an article by a PSU stringer in the major paper in Pittsburgh!

Comment by JoeKnew 04.30.16 @ 7:06 am

JoeKnew, I dropped my subscription to the PG after starting my day with it for almost 50 years. Now I start my day with Pitt Blather and good coffee.

Hackenburg is a real interesting story. Big, strong armed guy, not very mobile and has accuracy issues. If he becomes good again, really damages Franklin’s image. Worth a gamble in round two.

Comment by gc 04.30.16 @ 7:59 am

Unfortunately as far as the University of Pittsburgh sports coverage goes, the printed PG is “old news”. Shameful on multiple levels and all on the PG, not Pitt’s issues.

Comment by Dr. Tom 04.30.16 @ 1:04 pm

Lets face it Dan 72 has a 10 cent head

Comment by Boo Boo #1 05.02.16 @ 6:16 am

Powered by WordPress © PittBlather.com

Site Meter