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May 11, 2015

They Keep Rolling In

Filed under: Coaches,Players,Uncategorized — Reed @ 9:01 am

There is a palatable sense of excitement surrounding the hire of Narduzzi and his staff and with the way Narduzzi and the PITT admin have used the social media, new technology and good old fashioned flesh pressing to make that happen. This is making the ramp-up to August and the beginning of fall camp where personnel issues will shake out and then onto the actual season, a time when our collective hopes and wishes may start to come true.  However…

Maybe it is because we have not much else to talk about or maybe it is because this staff keeps adding players we don’t expect to see onto the roster but there has been a lot of talk about Narduzzi’s ‘recruiting expertise’ and his ‘desire’ on here and the message boards.

The things I’m hear most often are that “this staff knows talent” and “this staff wants to win right away.” I get the win right away concept with him, although someone has yet to show me a HC who didn’t want to win right away. But I’m shaky on those other attributes we are attributing to him.

The real kicker is this. How do we know that “this staff knows talent” when every kid they have brought on board the roster by themselves so far has either been listed as 3*s or below or are regurgitations from others teams?

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April 30, 2015

Pitt and the NFL Draft

Filed under: Draft,Football,Uncategorized — Justin @ 5:00 am

Two years ago I upset a few people when I declared no Pitt players would be drafted. It was difficult to admit that Ray Graham’s knee severely hindered his draft prospects but it was reality. Graham went undrafted and has struggled to stick in the NFL. This year that won’t be an issue thanks to TJ Clemmings. The question is whether or not a second player will be drafted.  (more…)

April 17, 2015

Spring Game Meeting Plan & Other Notes

Filed under: Uncategorized — Reed @ 4:00 pm

It looks like the “Gathering of the Blathering” will be a post-game soiree at Bar Louie’s with a stop at the Sheraton bar along the way.

Here is the address for Bar Louie’s in Station Square.

240 W Station Square Dr
Pittsburgh, PA
(412) 394-0500

From the map it looks like it is about two blocks east of the eastern parking lots of Riverhound stadium; in walking you would pass The Gateway Clipper Fleet entrance (owned by which PITT LB’s Father?), then past the Sheraton Hotel where we will refuel, then one more block to Bar Louie’s. It looks to be on the waterfront and hard to miss.

I probably won’t hang out on the field after the game for the interview so I think if we all meet at the corner of West Station Square Dr. and the entrance to the Gateway Clipper place (where the sidewalks looks to be red brick) right after the game ends then we’ll muster and go from there.

Again, here is the Google Map of where we will be after the game.

Looking forward to see you all…

Last Southside Practice Notes:

The P-G has an article on what has been the main topic of spring practice when it comes to future position battles. Yes, Bradley and Caprara again.  Here is an interesting quote on two points; first what he says about ‘others’ and second about the simplification of the read/react responsibilities under Narduzzi and Conklin:

He played in just four games last year and had five tackles. With a new staff in place, Caprara is taking advantage of the clean slate.

“I’m just seizing my opportunity,” he said. “I feel like in the past it was kind of unstable, people were bouncing around left and right and I think some people were looking out for themselves more than others. That’s how it was. But now I think I have a better situation than I did last year.” He also added that Narduzzi’s defense is simpler than systems he ran in the past.

“Last year, we had five or six alignments for each linebacker position,” Caprara said. “This year, it’s maybe two.”

Switch over to the Tribune-Reviews article on the last practice and we read about, not surprisingly, Nick Grigsby working at the Strongside Linebacker spot.  In following what is a nice storyline this spring, that being forgotten players by the old staff being worked as starting contenders now, DiPaola has this to say:

One of the highlights of the spring has been coaches giving several players, ignored by the previous staff, daily opportunities.

They include three juniors and a senior:

• Mike Caprara at money linebacker, where he is flipping on and off the first team with junior Bam Bradley.

• Nose guard Tyrique Jarrett, who is sharing time with senior K.K. Mosley Smith.

• Strong safety Jevonte Pitts, who makes his mark with physicality. For the moment, he has stepped ahead of sophomore Patrick Amara, who is out with an illness, but both players plan on the competition resuming this summer.

• Ejuan Price, a senior previously plagued by injury who could help ease a depth crisis at defensive end.

One common thread is that Caprara, Mosley-Smith, Pitts and Price went to Woodland Hills, but the other is all of them give the defense hope.

I’ve been waiting for Jarrett and Caprara to get decent chances since they were recruited.  I am also pulling for Taleni to get in there somehow because of the sentimental Hawai’i connection I have but he’s been virtually invisible.

Here is an older but good read from the Indiana Gazette on the plans for Conner to be more active with other aspects of the game.  The writer forgot to list the possibility of Conner switching to the Nose Tackle position now that we’ve seen the DE position come out of extremis:

Pitt junior running back James Conner is a workhorse. In his sophomore year, he reset the record books with 26 rushing touchdowns, and his 1,765 yards rushing were the fourth-highest total in school history.  Yet for all of Conner’s heavy workload — he averaged nearly 23 carries a game — there was something missing. The reigning ACC Offensive Player of the Year had only five catches for 70 receiving yards. It’s a stat Conner and first-year offensive coordinator Jim Chaney would like to improve in 2015.

“It was obvious when I came out of the game what was going to happen,” Conner said. “I will still get my fair share of carries. I need to just try to expand my game.”  Conner said he didn’t have extensive knowledge of the passing offense a year ago. Conner figured his main job was to ground and pound his way through any defense that was thrown at him. He is working to fix that during spring drills.

“I had a little trouble learning the playbook,” Conner said. “My role was to be successful running the ball. It is exciting. I haven’t had a receiving touchdown since I have been here, so hopefully I will get one this year.”

Here is what I’ll be closely looking at the on Saturday; who looks good for that WR2 and WR3 position, how does Bertke look in his first ‘starting’ role, Who is separating themselves at the DE spot and how good is our special teams play.

OK… Off to PGH for construction duty for a friend then the ball game on Saturday.  Hope to see anyone who can get down to Riverhound stadium for the scrimmage and let’s keep our fingers crossed for no injuries.

April 7, 2015

Huh, He’s Not Fooling Me!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Reed @ 3:29 pm

Spring Game anyone?

January 24, 2015

Binge Link Clearance Time

Filed under: Football,Uncategorized — Chas @ 9:48 pm

The links have piled up something fierce. Time to dump some.

First up. Social media. If you are doing the twitter thing, here’s the list of follows for Pitt football. The coaches, the support staff, etc.

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January 12, 2015

Open Thread: CFB Championship Game

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chas @ 6:15 pm

Thankfully my son hasn’t asked for any Buckeye gear. I was legitimately worried about that living in Ohio and the lead-in to to tonight. I think the saving grace was school being cancelled from Wednesday to Friday last week. Meant not having any of the perfidious peer pressure brought to bear for the whole week. Instead, just one day back and the game tonight.

Have to break out the ladder and clean the satellite tonight. The snow today, seems to have disrupted the signal. Usually it hasn’t been a problem, but of course tonight there is an issue.

Presumably most of us will be watching the game on ESPN2 so we can hear Pat Narduzzi talk about the game with some other coach whose agent tried to use the Pitt job for leverage in another job. Along with Chris Speilman and and Tom Luginbill.

I still want Narduzzi to use the time to announce another coach he’s hired. Just for fun.

October 16, 2014

Virginia Tech Predictions

Filed under: Uncategorized — Reed @ 5:11 am

PITT vs Va Tech – at Heinz Field, under the lights and in front of 345 screaming fans…

What do you think happens?

I think we lose a close one – 23-17

October 2, 2014

ACC Previews

Filed under: Uncategorized — Justin @ 11:00 am

This Saturday is the first big weekend for ACC in-conference games. As of right now, only Miami has played more than one ACC opponent in the Coastal and somehow only three of seven teams have no losses. After the Pitt-UVA game, that number will be no more than two. In fact, UVA or Pitt could be standing alone at the top of the division if Miami defeats Georgia Tech on the road, a reasonable conclusion. Let’s take a look at the other ACC Coastal matchups as well as future opponent Syracuse. (more…)

August 1, 2014

NCAA rules allow D-1 basketball programs to go on an international tournament once every four years. The competition is rarely much, but the attraction for coaches — and why they push hard for it despite the obvious expense — is that it gives them extra team practices. It’s a huge incentive. The fact that it is permitted once every four years, though, does make it a commodity that can’t be wasted. A team can’t wait an extra year and then get to take a trip only three years apart.

For Pitt players on the 2014-15 team, this means they get a trip to the Bahamas and a trip to Hawaii this year.

Don’t worry, the players are taking it seriously. This summer trip is all about basketball.

Sophomore transfer Sheldon Jeter smiled when discussing the anticipation for the trip.

“It’s exciting. We get to go to the Bahamas,” he said. “It’s not an everyday experience. It’s definitely something I’ve been looking forward to all summer.”

Jeter said it isn’t the basketball aspect he is looking forward to the most.

“Probably just relaxing, getting the chance to enjoy the beaches, the women down there and all that. It’s nice that we get to play basketball down there, but I’m looking forward to a vacation probably a little bit more than I am the basketball,” he said.

Goddammit Jeter. Get on the same page, here.

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July 14, 2014

Not Letting Go

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chas @ 6:46 am

In my draft folder is a kind of longform piece I’ve been working on regarding the seemingly neverending UNC cheating scandal. The scandal has been fascinating to me because as Carolina has struggled to do everything in its power to minimize the mess. From claiming it was an academic scandal for the entire school, not just the athletic department. To saying it was a rogue professor who made it all happen. To smearing an of their own people who might say this is a problem. All to protect “the Carolina Way.”

But in the end, they have only made it worse. They keep trying to cover, obfuscate, deny, attack, etc. All because they are so heavily invested in “the Carolina Way” as mythos that defines them.

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July 8, 2014

Last article’s comments are getting unwieldy and as per direct orders from “pmdHTP” (whoever that is – I think an upstart commenter) here is a new tab… Enjoy!

May 6, 2014

Welcome to the Dead Zone

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chas @ 7:24 am

May. The very, very quiet time for football and basketball. Outside of recruiting stuff and the police blotter the real news is spotty.

It’s filler time. Speculation on how teams will do. How the depth chart will shake out. Broader NCAA issues. Taking cheap shots at other programs screw-ups —  hello there, Rutgers. The ever popular talk of bringing back the Pitt script and/or old colors. Looking back at the stats and record over the past year to see what can be extrapolated

It’s moments like this when I almost miss the expansiopocolypse. Almost.

About the only non-recruiting tidbit of news that is still to come with Pitt is who Jamie Dixon will hire to be an assistant.

Other than that, there’s debating what is it about Steven Adams that gets under the skin of opposing NBA players. It is impressive.

Does this really work? Can someone try and get really drunk and report back on this method?

 

January 3, 2014

Open Letter to Pitt Football Seniors

Filed under: Uncategorized — Panther Rants Collective @ 5:48 pm

Dear Pitt Seniors,

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December 22, 2013

The WPIAL Crapshoot

Filed under: Uncategorized — Panther Rants Collective @ 12:56 am

Well I imagine a lot of you have seen the recent news of some certain WPIAL kids going elsewhere. You’ve witnessed the meltdown on message boards, Twitter, and probably read some columns from the local papers.  Here’s some things we should already know as Pitt fans: (more…)

August 12, 2013

Todd Graham Joins Lawsuit Against EA Sports

Filed under: Uncategorized — Panther Rants Collective @ 11:02 am

 

03-12-22_graham-leaving_420

The lawsuit against EA Sports over using player likeness just got a huge boost this week. The lawyer representing Arizona State’s Head Coach Todd Graham has announced that Graham will be joining the lawsuit along many former (more…)

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