June 22, 2016

Reed’s Wild Ride

Filed under: Uncategorized — Reed @ 8:28 am

Friends and fellow Pitt Blather readers – I’d like to invite you all to my new Pitt football website “The Pitt POV” that I am rolling out this morning.

POV Cover


I know this is short notice – I wanted to get the blog ‘on the air’ on July 5th but a good friend of mine posted on the Pitt Fanatics Facebook group that I had this new blog and linked it – so it went public way before I had wanted it to… I didn’t even get a chance to call Chas and let him know my plans as I wanted it to be more polished before I did so (he’s gotten an email though).

But really it was you all who I wanted to help guide me through the building process because we’re family when it comes to the intent and content of The Pitt POV.

You all know how I write, how much I love to do it and best of all the great and meaningful discussions we have had between myself and the readers and commenters of the articles I have posted (almost 500 BTW) on here.

Please keep that going over on The Pitt POV also guys.  The Blather has amazingly astute readers.  I want the same -the same and more actually – over on my new place.  But of course I’ll always check The Blather and comment as before (and even drop a piece or two in the article bin every so often if Chas still wants that).

I love you guys and since my retirement in 2011 this blog and the readers on here have become a great part of my life. I’m looking forward to seeing you again, just in a different place.  I’ll also be writing some personal essays and non-sports related articles on The Pitt POV that wouldn’t really fit well on the Blather as The Pitt POV will be my personal blog also.

Lastly I want to say thanks to Chas for being the greatest blog ‘owner’ I ever worked with.  Of course that’s a pretty small and select group of people (1), but he’s truly a great Pitt fan who has a solid handle on the university and its dealings.  He’s an all-around good guy.

So – off to new adventures… I have the same media credentials as before so I’ll be going up to camp in the fall and letting the Pitt POV readers what I see and feel about the team.

See you soon –  Reed

P/S: Along with articles I plan on sending out an introductory email and monthly newsletters – so stay tuned for that also

June 11, 2016

Whitehead Has Surgery

Filed under: Uncategorized — Reed @ 8:16 am


Pitt safety Whitehead out 4-6 weeks after knee surgery

The knee surgery is not expected to affect Whitehead’s availability for Pitt’s training camp, which begins in early August. The surgery was first reported by the Beaver County Times.

Whitehead led the Panthers with 109 tackles this season, the most in school history by a true freshman, and was named the ACC’s overall and defensive rookie of the year.

May 28, 2016

Saturday Afternoon Podcast; May 28th

Filed under: Uncategorized — Reed @ 1:14 pm

As I say in the podcast below I’d like to change things up a bit and do less writing and more talking on here – so here is the first installment of a series of recurring weekend podcasts.  I touch on a lot of different things and throw some opinions and numbers around… it is 54 minutes long so take a rest and enjoy.

I hope that the benefits of doing this will be two fold; first to get as much info and discussion topics across as we can and then secondly the get you all involved in subjects and issues you want to hear about before the fall camp starts.

Again, not a professional but I think it turned out well…

Here is a nice article about Tony Dorsett coming to play at the University.

Tony Dorsett was born on April 7, 1954 in Rochester, Pennsylvania. He was the sixth of seven children in the family. Dorsett’s father, West, worked in the steel mills for thirty years. Dorsett was very attached to his mother, Myrtle, who ran the household and carted the children to the Methodist church every Sunday. After his older brothers got into trouble for being out late drinking, Dorsett’s parents laid down the law with him, and he avoided much of the trouble so readily available in the neighborhood. Although the family lived in a government-funded project called Plan 11, the housing development was clean and well-kept.

All his siblings were known for their speed, and Dorsett was no exception. His older brothers were track and football stars before him, and they served as Dorsett’s role models and motivators. Upon entering high school Dorsett followed his brothers to Hopewell High School, located in a predominately white neighborhood, where a small number of black kids from the projects were bussed. Dorsett was determined that he would not end up working in the steel mills. Finding a better life was always in his mind.”

And here is Sports Illustrated article about Marino’s young life and his going to Pitt.

 “Pittsburgh Quarterback Danny Marino keeps all of his old game plans inside a red plastic milk crate in his room—to remind himself of the good times. In this same milk crate, which serves as an all-purpose file cabinet, Marino has carefully saved up a substantial wad of notes and letters from his father, Dan Sr.—to remind himself of what’s really important. In one of those World-According-to-the-Old-Man Epistles, Dan Sr. wrote to his son. “You are the best. You are the most dominating player in college football. Remember, nobody does it better.”

Danny looks over the dozen written communiqués from his father, not all borrowed from Carly Simon, and smiles. “He really keeps my confidence up.”

It isn’t as if 20-year-old Marino suffers from any noticeable lack of confidence. As Pitt’s quarterback for 2½ seasons, Marino has led the Panthers to a 33-3 record, the best in the nation, and became Pitt’s all-time leading passer midway through his junior year. Now, as a senior, he’s expected to go that final mile and sprout wings. Which for a college quarterback means producing an undefeated regular season, a bowl victory and, ta da, the national championship.”

Nice piece on OL Matt Rotheram….

Ed Note: PSU was 7-6 last season, not 7-5…. and that was a home game against Miami last season (I didn’t drive up for it).  Voytik is at Arkansas State not Eastern Michigan.

Let me know what you think….

May 17, 2016

Two Gone and One Day to Go

Filed under: Uncategorized — Reed @ 1:09 pm

First off let’s talk about the new Unis.

Tomorrow is the Big Day regarding the pomp and circumstance of unveiling the new Pitt Panther uniforms. This doesn’t effect just the football team but will be the standard across the Pitt sports teams’ board.   That will take place tomorrow and I’m sure we will discuss it on here as soon as the Magic Happens.

I’ll bet on this happening – don’t hold your breath for and noticeable color changes. Pitt is most probably going to stick with what we have now or damn close to it (I believe).

I’m OK with that as I like the color combo as it is.  Fans want mustard, Old Gold, yellow, Navy Blue and various combinations thereof but I think we’ll keep it simple.  now, how those colors are used will be a different matter.  Let’s just hope it isn’t a repeat of this failed experiment.



May 14, 2016

The well respected Football Writers of America (FWAA) has come out with their list of the best 11 Sports Information Directors (SIDs) in the nation and Pitt has won it, along with 10 other schools, for 2015.

E. J. Borghetti, who is a great SID and a huge help for us writers on The Blather, is the consummate professional and deserves this honor in spades.

To refresh your memory he is the “Executive Associate Athletic Director – Media Relations” for the Athletic Department and does wonderful work for Pitt and for us fans. (More on that later).

Just for fun let’s look at the criteria the FWAA lays out for candidacy for the awards:

The awards …

In 2009, the Football Writers Association of America introduced its Super 11 Awards, designed to identify and reward the sports information departments and programs that exemplified excellent media relations.

The criteria …

The following ten areas were set forth as the criteria/standards for selection for the awards:

– Players (eligible and playing in varsity games) who are requested should be available to media during Mondays and Tuesdays of game week (minimum).

– Defensive coordinator and offensive coordinator should be available to media once a week during the season (minimum) and once a month during the off-season (minimum).

– Freshmen who play should be available to media.

– If former players and/or boosters are allowed into scrimmages or practices, the media should not be excluded from those same scrimmages or practices. (Whaaaaa??)

Coaches should be available to media on their campuses at least once a week during the season for no less than 30 minutes. They also should be made available after practice each day for updates on the team. Weekly telephonic press conferences do not count toward these times.

– A “no cheering in the press box” statement should be made in the press box before the beginning of each half of play. In addition, SID’s should make every attempt to keep the press box quiet and escort disruptive individuals to the exits.

– Requests for quotes from key players injured in a game should be granted by the home SID and his staff.

– FWAA member(s) should help the each SID with requests for players to be interviewed after a game. Any player who has played (and is not injured) and is not made available for interviews will be so noted by FWAA observers. The FWAA recommends open locker rooms after games, but short of this, any player who plays in a game and is not injured, upon request, should be made available to the media.

– An FWAA pool reporter or a reputable news person should be designated by the home SID before every game in case there is an officiating controversy during the game.

Boosters should not be present at postgame news conferences involving the media, coaches and players. Interruptions or noise will be duly noted by the FWAA observer. Press boxes where non-media are disruptive will also be noted.

The 2015 recipients …

The 2015 winners of Super 11 Awards were the following programs: Clemson, Houston, Kansas State, Louisiana, Indiana, Mississippi State, Northern Illinois, Pittsburgh (EJ and his staff), Southern California (USC), Utah State and Western Kentucky.

On a personal note I am proud to call young Mr. Borghetti a friend and will say his willingness to answer what questions he can is a breath of fresh air when writing these articles.  His candor

Plus he doesn’t take crap from anyone.  Not PSU fans,as shown when this letter to the editor appeared in the local newspaper:

To: Pitt football fans

Speaking of being stuck in the past: Pitt football fans actually believe the program has tradition. Maybe 30 years ago it did. Its current tradition is a half-full Heinz Field for its games and a new head coach every other year. Maybe Pitt fans annoy me because I’m a Penn Stater, but maybe they do because they don’t live in reality. Do the Pitt sports-information people still claim to have nine national championships in football?

To which EJ replied:

Perhaps the real source of Mr. Garth’s grouchiness is that after 16 long years, his alma mater, Penn State, can no longer avoid Pitt on the football field. The origin of hate is fear, and he undoubtedly sees that Pat Narduzzi is building a tough, tenacious and, yes, blue-collar program primed for championships at Pitt.

Blue-and-white colored glasses cannot shield him from the approaching storm. The program that produced homegrown legends Ditka, Dorsett and Marino (among many others) has reawakened — just in time for Sept. 10, 2016.

He can stay home the day a parade is held to celebrate Coach Narduzzi bringing a 10th national title to Pitt.

… not Todd Graham nor anyone else that I can remember.

It was well deserved promotion when EJ was fleeted-up to the “Executive Associate Athletic Director – Media Relations”


May 8, 2016

Apparently Chad Voytik wants to be in Arkansas State to play his last year rather than in Eastern Kentucky.

 “I wanna play my last year, with the current situation at Pitt it would have been an uphill battle to get back the starting position,” said Voytik in an interview with WRCB. For one the offense didn’t fit me. We got a new OC, a lot of pocket passing, not much boot-leg or roll outs. Which is what I like.”

This comment reveals a big reason why Voytik might be interested in playing for the Red Wolves, a team notorious for fielding dual-threat quarterbacks. He likely saw a nice fit with A-State OC Buster Faulkner’s fast paced offense.”

Whatever, it’s starting to become old and tiresome. He backed off a challenge here at Pitt, sold a bill of goods to Eastern Kentucky and now, at least FOR now, he’ll be a Red Wolf.

That quote above does it all for me. “For one the offense didn’t fit me.” Gee, sorry Chad.  Guess you gave old Toddy Graham a call to see if he was still running what you were recruited for?

Folks,  let’s not hear anymore insane and over the top criticism of Tino Sunseri, who stuck it out with Pitt through all the hardships Pitt’s own football program and team went through with the shitstorm that happened from 2010 through 2012, only to be then pilloried by his school’s own damn fans.

All Sunseri did when faced with a new offense that didn’t fit his skill set at all was to buckle down and try his best to make it work… for the team.

Yet somehow and in some strange way Pitt fans look at Chad Voytik -who never won as many games a season for Pitt, had way lesser production than Sunseri did and apparently half the guts – and they think he’s some sort of Golden Boy.  And the even weirder thing is I believe its because he made a few phone calls back in 2011.

May 2, 2016

As a quick followup to our “Where would Boyd be drafted?” contest two of us picked the Bengals (or Bungles in TX Panther’s case).

I weighed in at 9:28 am on the morning of Round One, before the draft started, with this:

OK – I’m thinking the Bengals take Boyd with their second round pick. I also think Holtz gets in on a surprise 6th or 7th pick tomorrow.  Pitts is left looking around like he never did on the field of play.

Comment by Reed 04.28.16 @ 9:29 am

Then the next day, before Round Two started, Texas Panther posted this:

He will become a Bungel

Comment by TX Panther 04.29.16 @ 7:32 pm

I win!!! I win!!!  Told you I was smart…

I also told you I love Mike Wysocki of The Pittsburgh City Paper and I just figured out why… he writes a lot like I do with tongue-in-cheek views mixed in with irreverence and some plain talking.  He also tends not to sugar coat things.

Since the last big interesting Pitt football issues just happened with Boyd being drafted we are looking a football desert over the next few months so I’m trying to find stuff that is interesting to readers yet pertains to us as Pitt fans also.


April 28, 2016

Boyd Watching – NFL Draft Tonight

Filed under: Uncategorized — Reed @ 9:26 am

Lets have a small contest to see who thinks what about what draft pick Tyler Boyd will be and what team will grab him.  Also, if you think Pitts and Holtz might get drafted…

Take a look at this website that has info on Boyd plus videos from 13 of his games over the last two years.

Here is just one of many assessments of Boyd:

Summary: Heading into the 2015 season, there was real excitement for the skill position talent at Pittsburgh. Running back James Connor and wide receiver Tyler Boyd were dynamic play-makers since coming to the Panthers. In Boyd’s first game for Pittsburgh in 2013, he gave Florida State some real problems in coverage, and that was a Seminoles team that ended up going undefeated and winning a National Championship. That outing set the tone for him to break a lot of Larry Fitzgerald’s freshman records. Boyd caught 85 passes for 1,174 yards with seven touchdowns in 2013. He also ran for a score and returned a punt for a touchdown. In 2014, Boyd notched 78 receptions for 1,126 yards and eight touchdowns. Boyd looked poised for another big season as a junior, but Connor went out for the season with a knee injury. Defenses sent a lot of double coverage Boyd’s direction and kept him from producing a lot of big plays downfield. He still totaled 91 receptions for 926 yards and six touchdowns. The junior had 40 carries for 349 yards, too.

For the NFL, Boyd is a well-balanced receiver. He isn’t a burner, but has enough speed to get separation with a burst to rip off yards after the catch. Boyd is a quick route-runner who gets space from cornerbacks coming out of his breaks. He is a physical runner and is dangerous after the catch. He tracks the bell extremely well, makes acrobatic catches and outfights defensive backs for 50-50 balls. Generally, Boyd has reliable hands, but he can have some brief spells of drops in bunches.

Boyd is a versatile athlete who could also chip in on some carries out of the backfield like he did for Pittsburgh. He is not an explosively fast wideout, and he doesn’t have mismatch size. Thus, Boyd isn’t viewed as a first-round receiver.

Overall, Boyd is an underrated prospect in the 2016 NFL Draft class. He could end up being a really nice value pick on the second day. Boyd could be a very good No. 2 receiver, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he exceeds expectations in the NFL. Boyd is a pure football player who could be a nice chain-moving weapon. In the 2016 NFL Draft, Boyd could be a second-round pick and he shouldn’t get out of the third round.


April 24, 2016

Pitt Sports Academics on the Rise

Filed under: Uncategorized — Reed @ 8:34 am

From the Pitt Media Department:

PITTSBURGH – The University of Pittsburgh athletic programs posted strong numbers in the most recent measurement of the Academic Progress Rate, as scores were released by NCAA Wednesday afternoon. Division I student-athletes across the country continue to make gains in the classroom, earning all-time high results in the APR.

“As a whole, we are pleased with the level of progress we have made in our APR scores during the most recent reporting cycle,” said Athletic Director Scott Barnes. “An overwhelming majority of our programs showed an increase in scoring and we have a terrific plan in place to continue that growth. Seven of our teams posted their best scores since the APR was introduced and we are going to use that positive momentum to keep building on our already strong academic profile.”

Pitt had 13 of its 17 programs perform at or above the national average, including the women’s tennis team that posted a perfect 1000 for the second straight year and the fourth time overall since the start of the APR. Other programs performing at or above the national average were men’s swimming & diving, women’s cross country, men’s basketball, women’s volleyball, women’s swimming & diving, women’s basketball, softball, wrestling, women’s track & field, men’s cross country, men’s soccer and football.


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, 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.


April 12, 2016

Don’t Turn Out the Lights

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chas @ 9:18 pm

Sleep well, tonight.


February 29, 2016

Possible Roster Moves

Filed under: Coaches,Players,Recruiting,Uncategorized — Reed @ 12:00 pm

Last week Jerry DiPaola of the Tribune Review had an article where Pat Narduzzi was quoted as saying this:

Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi said Friday he’s leading a different team than he did a year ago, and he’s not just talking about the departure of 10 seniors and at least 10 other players who have left the program since the end of last season.

“It looks like a different football team,” he said, referring to the physical growth of many players. “That doesn’t mean you will win more games, but they do look different … just physically.”

Aside from the fact that we hear that from every coaching staff in their initial time at Pitt what struck me was the fact that 10 players other than the 10 SR and rsSR players we had on the roster have also left the program.

By my unofficial count we have to get rid of seven scholarships at this point in time.  That doesn’t include the five guys listed below who we know have already left the team and who were all scholarship players.


February 26, 2016

FB Bits & Pieces; 2/26/16

Filed under: Uncategorized — Reed @ 2:41 pm

Chris Peak has his weekly Rivals.Com podcast and speaks about Pitt football’s Junior Day (which I thought we already had done – apparently there are more to come).  Anyway, at the 13:00 minute mark Chris talks about how the upcoming Pitt-Duke BB game could be a “big day” for Pat Narduzzi as we are hosting rising SR players from the HS ranks.  Peak thinks the fact that 20 of the prospective visitors have Pitt offers means that the football staff is still paying very close attention to these kids… which works well apparently due to the results of their 2016 recruiting class.

Apparently we need to lock Clariton’s 5* ( rankings) CB  Lamont Wade up as soon as possible then sequester him somewhere no one else can talk to him.  Four 4* will be there: Central’s LB David Adams, Seton La Salle’s DB Paris Ford will represent the local area.  From afar we’ll have Virgina  kids DE Jordan Williams and LB Ellis Brooks travelling to Oakland and  spending their own money to visit.

Honestly, I think that last point may be as important as anything else.  It’s one thing to get a kid on campus from Clariton but have them drive up from somewhere where they have to pay for the drive, meals and probably a hotel is a different story – that means they are interested.

Chris makes a good point about these BB games/events where Pitt brings in FB recruits to visit the campus and watch the game – who wins or loses doesn’t matter.  It is the atmosphere that is important.  Remember these are non-official visits so they can do it as many times as they like.


December 6, 2015

Pitt vs Navy in Military Bowl

Filed under: Uncategorized — Reed @ 8:23 pm

Dec. 6, 2015

Bowl Central

   PITTSBURGH–For the eighth consecutive season and 32nd time overall, the Pitt football team is headed to a bowl game.

The Panthers received their official invite this afternoon from the Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman and will play Navy of the American Athletic Conference in Annapolis, Md. The ESPN nationally televised game, which benefits the USO, will be played in Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Monday, Dec. 28, and kick off at 2:30 p.m. (ET).

“The Military Bowl is a tremendous opportunity for our team to end the season against a nationally ranked opponent,” Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi said. “Navy is a Top 25 team with a Heisman-caliber quarterback in Keenan Reynolds. They will present us with a formidable challenge.

“Given our close proximity to Annapolis, we are looking for a great contingent of Pitt fans to make the short trek and see us play one more time this year.”


November 27, 2015

Pitt vs Miami Game Thread

Filed under: Uncategorized — Reed @ 11:19 am

Here we go – Pitt vs Miami, FL at Heinz Field, noon today and shown on ESPN2.

Pitt (6-1 ACC)  is coming in at 8-3 winning it’s last two against Duke and Louisville.  We are facing Miami (4-3 ACC) having won three out of its last four losing only to North Carolina.

Here is the ESPN preview page,  and here are the ‘Canes National Rankings in all categories

Miami Team Stats – Through games 11/26/2015
Stat Rank Value
Total Offense 63 403.6
Rushing Offense 116 119.8
Passing Offense 26 283.8
Team Passing Efficiency 43 139.02
Scoring Offense 66 28.9
Total Defense 80 413.6
Rushing Defense 111 212.5
Passing Yards Allowed 37 201.2
Team Passing Efficiency Defense 50 121.79
Scoring Defense 83 29.3
Turnover Margin T-5 1.00
3rd Down Conversion Pct 94 0.364
4th Down Conversion Pct 16 0.692
3rd Down Conversion Pct Defense T-77 0.400
4th Down Conversion Pct Defense T-33 0.417
Red Zone Offense 71 0.827
Red Zone Defense T-102 0.889
Net Punting 54 38.09
Punt Returns 40 10.50
Kickoff Returns 106 18.67
First Downs Offense 78 216
First Downs Defense T-108 258
Fewest Penalties Per Game 127 9.55
Fewest Penalty Yards Per Game 127 84.09
Time of Possession 71    29:35
View Complete Ranking Summary

Enjoy and…


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