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October 26, 2014

Matt House’s Defense

Filed under: Chryst,Embarrassing,Football — Justin @ 1:00 pm

It was painfully obvious to anyone watching yesterday that the defense was woefully unprepared for Georgia Tech’s offense.  Even disregarding points and blaming it on turnovers, 612 yards of total offense is so high no amount of expletives can come close to calming the justifiable anger. I’ve defended Matt House a lot this season and the narrative right now is that Pitt’s defense had high ratings due to inferior competition. Let’s explore the stats there to see how close Pitt came to holding opposing offenses to their season average. (more…)

September 29, 2014

Quicksand

Filed under: ACC,Athletic Department,Chryst,Embarrassing,Football — Justin @ 9:44 am

There’s a scene in Oscar-snubbed film “The Replacements” where Coach McGinty (played by Gene Hackman) asks his NFL replacement players what they’re most afraid of. After some typical responses, QB Shane Falco (played by the enigmatic Keanu Reeves) hits the nail on the head:

Quicksand (more…)

June 4, 2014

Football Notes, 6/4

Filed under: Alumni,Football,Good,Injury,Lists — Chas @ 7:27 am

Scott McKillop is done with professional football. Now it is time to give coaching a go.

After he was released this year by the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League, he decided to pursue a career in coaching. He said his familiarity with the Pitt program led him there.

“It’s definitely something I am looking forward to doing,” said McKillop, a graduate of Kiski Area. “I have to get my feet wet and prove I can do it and work my way up.”

McKillop was an All-America linebacker and Big East Defensive Player of the Year in 2008.

Due to NCAA restrictions, he won’t be permitted to instruct players on the field, but he will help in other areas.

“He can be a life coach,” Chryst said. “Here’s a guy who walked it and did a good job doing it.”

McKillop is taking a volunteer coaching position. He can help with breaking down film and work off-the-field with players.  As McKillop says, it is the starting point.

For Pitt and Coach Chryst, this is very good. Having one of Pitt’s best players from the last decade around the players and program is the sort of thing they should want. Between the coaching chaos that had happened and trying to change a lot of things around the program, bringing in a former player it arguably should have been a priority sooner.

(more…)

December 24, 2013

Not Goodbye…

Filed under: Embarrassing,Scandal — Justin @ 12:41 pm

Bad news for Chas everyone. I finally found the incriminating photos he has of me and was able to break free of the virtual shackles that go along with someone owning a picture of you in a speedo. Just kidding, no human being, my wife included, could even look at that picture long enough to consider using it as blackmail. Not that one exists (thankfully).

As I’m sure many of you have noticed, I’m writing for Pitt247 now. A friend introduced me to Greg Croft, the site publisher, and there was mutual interest in me joining the team. I’ll still be here from time to time, but less frequently. I’m very sad to leave. Chas has been a phenomenal benefit to me as a writer not only in helping me improve my craft, but by giving me the platform to get my name out there. If Chas is interested in taking on a new writer, you won’t find anyone more willing to let you express your thoughts without any interference. If he ever edited anything, it was probably to fix a stupid mistake I made.

Merry Christmas to everyone and thanks for listening to my rambling over the past year or so!

November 14, 2013

All the other Pitt basketball links not tied into the game.

Early signing period for the 2014 class started yesterday. Pitt was drama free with both Sheldon Jeter and Ryan Luther signing their NLIs. Welcome. (No official press release yet, but recruitniks have tweeted out that both signed.)

I talked about how I expect more utilization of the zone because of the rule enforcement earlier. Missed this article that makes the same point. Get used to seeing a lot of articles pro and con (and, generally a lot of bitching) about the new emphasis on enforcing the rules. Mike DeCourcy had a good one before the season started that really summed up a lot of the reasons why the NCAA decided to get tighter with the rules.

It’s the coaches who’ve injected the physicality into the game, gradually asserting their value over the past 15 or so years by instructing players to use their hands to contain penetration, to bump cutters trying to execute intricate offenses, to push players out of post position with forearms to the tailbone.

No one who is not affiliated with the teams or necessary for the competition to proceed, such as the clock operator or referees, is permitted to attend the closed Division I scrimmages teams are permitted to schedule. But there has been lots of buzz about how foul-plagued some of them have been, such as one involving Huggins’ Mountaineers and the Ohio State Buckeyes.

There’ve been some exhibition games that turned into foul fiascoes, as well. Dayton and Division II power Findlay combined for 96 free throw attempts last weekend.

There is a reason this is happening. The players are fouling.

I really don’t mind the rules emphasis. I don’t think it puts Pitt at any true competitive disadvantage. Watching the first couple of games you can see that they players are being taught to do different things in an effort to adjust. A lot more movement with the hands on defense. Trying to disrupt line of sight and get the ball out of the opponent’s hands. It won’t be pretty at times, but it was needed.

(more…)

November 7, 2013

There are jokes that can be made about emotional outbursts, depression, thoughts of suicide, dementia and loss of short term memory. Even more when they are tied to Pitt football.

But not when they are related to Tony Dorsett and his recent diagnosis of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

The three former stars underwent brain scans and clinical evaluations during the past three months at UCLA, as did an unidentified ex-player whose test results are not yet available. Last year, UCLA tested five other former players and diagnosed all five as having signs of CTE, marking the first time doctors found signs of the crippling disease in living former players.

CTE is indicated by a buildup of tau, an abnormal protein that strangles brain cells in areas that control memory, emotions and other functions. Autopsies of more than 50 ex-NFL players, including Hall of Famer Mike Webster and perennial All-Pro Junior Seau, who committed suicide last year, found such tau concentrations.

(more…)

September 6, 2013

Fitzgerald Number Retirement

Filed under: Alumni,Football,Good,Honors — Chas @ 7:27 am

For those of us stuck watching at home, that meant not seeing the Retirement of Larry Fitzgerald’s number at halftime.

Thankfully Pitt posted it.

Goosebumps.

August 31, 2013

Why Tino? Why?

Filed under: Alumni,Embarrassing,Football — Chas @ 9:59 am

You have to do this don’t you. I know, you have been the most maligned QB at Pitt since Matt Lytle. I know you probably don’t have the greatest memories of Pitt and the fans. I can’t even blame you for that.

I also know you love your family. And they come first. Have to respect that. But why? Why? Why be the tone deaf, clueless asshole?

I suppose he is who he is. But really, given the history on twitter. Keep it to yourself.

August 26, 2013

I would like to hope this is not as bad as it looks, but it probably is.

Officers arrested Jovani Chappel, 25, about 1:30 p.m. after police spotted him sitting on the front porch of a home in the 5000 block of Lytle Street in Hazelwood, Pittsburgh police major crimes unit Lt. Kevin Kraus said.

Police went to the PNC Bank branch in the 4300 block of Murray Avenue in Greenfield about 10:40 a.m.

Lt. Kraus said a masked robber threatened the tellers with a gun, although it was not immediately clear if the tellers actually spotted one.

The robber hopped over the counter and took cash from several of the tellers’ drawers and then got into a car and drove away, police said.

A witness noted the license plate and gave it to police, who tracked it to Mr. Chappel’s girlfriend’s home in the 5100 block of Blair Street, Lt. Kraus said.

Members of the SWAT team surrounded the house and searched it and a few other homes in the area this morning, only to discover that Mr. Chappel was not there.

Officers found him sitting on the front porch of a home about two block away, on Lytle Street, about 1:30 p.m. It was not immediately clear what connection, if any, he had to that home.

Lt. Kraus said police were taking Mr. Chappel to the bureau’s North Side headquarters for questioning this afternoon and expect to charge him with robbery.

I’m setting the bar low, but I guess I would have thought anyone who graduated from Pitt would have been smart enough not to drive a getaway car with easily identifiable and traceable plates. Guess not.

August 23, 2013

Chapman Dismissed

Filed under: Embarrassing,Football,Scandal — Justin @ 10:51 am

Pitt officials have announced that Tra’Von Chapman has been dismissed from the program. In essence: he’s gone, never coming back. We can debate endlessly over this decision, but the call came all the way from the top: Chancellor Nordenberg. (more…)

August 7, 2013

If you don’t want any basketball notes at this point, then stop and skip to the football posts. News must be noted.

With the demise of the old Big East, the new Big East cutting a deal with Fox and the American not having much in the way of marquee basketball names after UConn and Cinci; well the ACC is now taking over the spot on Big Mondays on ESPN.

ESPN has released the Big Monday schedule. The bad news is that Pitt only puts in one appearance. The good news, not only is it a home game but it is the big one: Duke-Pitt on January 27. UNC and Virginia (??) have 3 appearances. Duke, Syracuse, Maryland and ND get two. Pitt and FSU each with one shot.

(more…)

June 28, 2013

Adams One of Few Correct Calls

Filed under: Alumni,Basketball,Draft,Good,NBA — Chas @ 9:05 am

The NBA Draft was more than a little unpredictable this year. Starting with the Cleveland Cavaliers picking Anthony Bennett out of UNLV (my pick would have been Georgetown’s Otto Porter). That set off a lot of changes up and down the draft. Plenty of trades. But at the number 12 spot, Oklahoma stood pat and took Steven Adams as many expected.

Adams, the 7-foot center who spent one season at Pitt after emigrating from New Zealand, is the fifth Pitt player to be selected in the first round of the NBA draft and the first since Vonteego Cummings in 1999. The other Panthers taken in round one were Charles Smith and Jerome Lane in 1988 and Eric Mobley in 1994. He is the first Pitt freshman to be selected in the first round.

Adams is the fifth player coached by Jamie Dixon to be selected in the draft, following DeJuan Blair and Sam Young (second round in 2009), Aaron Gray (second round in 2007) and Chris Taft (second round in 2005).

Selfishly, I would have loved for Adams to stay at Pitt another year. Yes, he would have further developed, but I’m not convinced that he would have gone much higher in the draft in 2014. (Not to mention the possibility of injuries.)

Not because of how he would be used at Pitt. Or as some want to believe that Dixon would waste him. It’s simply the numbers.

The 2014 draft already looks loaded. It will have players like Andrew Wiggins, Marcus Smart, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle, Mitch McGary, Glenn Robinson, James McAdoo, the usual slew of one-and-dones from Kentucky, Euro players we know nothing about, and plenty of others. 2014 is shaping up to be one of those high talent draft years.

(more…)

June 11, 2013

Sunseri Heads North

Filed under: Alumni,Football,Good — Chas @ 11:06 am

Apparently the tryout with the Baltimore Ravens didn’t work out for Tino Sunseri. That won’t deter him from following his dream. Even it it takes him to the Great White North. Cue it up:

Can’t believe there was never an actual video made.

Sunseri is trying to make the Saskatchewan Rough Riders. Credit for noting this to Cardiac Hill.

(more…)

May 30, 2013

Don’t forget, today is National Networking Day for Pitt. Hopefully you have something happening in your area. Unfortunately, nothing here in the Cleveland area. If you are involved, feel free to leave specific info about your city’s event in the comments below.

Jester Weah has wheels.

With graduation from Madison (Wis.) Memorial High School and his first class at Pitt awaiting come June, Weah will try to make Wisconsin track and field history Friday and Saturday at the state championships at Wisconsin-Lacrosse University. He is the No. 1 seed in the 100-meter run and No. 3 in the 200, with school-record times of 10.59 and 21.94 seconds — in his first full year of running track.

“That’s crazy to think about,” Weah said.

He’s 6-3, 190 pounds and can run like that. Can’t say he doesn’t have the raw tools. It would be nice in a few years to have Wisconsin fans wondering how they missed a kid in their own town.

(more…)

April 29, 2013

And Now For Something Positive

Filed under: Alumni,Football,Good — Chas @ 8:37 am

Darrell Strong:

Congratulations.

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