Thursday, December 4, 2008

All quiet on the coaching front

With all of these coaching rumors going around, it's amazing we haven't heard too much about our own staff. There were some rumblings early last week that Phil Bennett would be heading back to K-State to take over as the D-Coordinator and assistant head coach, however we haven't heard much on that front since then.

Another major story that hasn't gotten much play is the fact that Wanny was so upset at Cavanaugh's play calling in the 2nd quarter that he had to be restrained at halftime.

I certainly expect there to be some coaching changes at the end of the year as there typically are with every team, but this year could be very different. It isn't often that you see both head coordinators replaced, but this year could be it. Wannstedt may have had enough of Cavanaugh (see BG/WVU) and could go in a different direction.

I have always felt that Cavanaugh was an awful coordinator. He was awful in Baltimore and he has been awful here. Being a former quarterback you would expect more from that position, but comparing Baltimore and Pitt we have seen Trent Dilfer, Bill Stull, and Pat Bostick all remain stagnant. I won't say that Cavanaugh has had a hand in Stull's regression because I feel that the injury he suffered is what set him back. If Cavanaugh goes, we really need someone with some innovative ideas on how to run the offense because we're going to have a ton of weapons in the immediate future. It shouldn't be hard for someone to be successful with the offense as Shady, Baldwin, Byham, Dickerson, Harris, Burns, and Shanahan all can be amazing weapons for someone. Whoever we hire needs to have proven experience developing quarterbacks as this is the greatest weakness on the team.

On the defensive side of the ball, if Bennett leaves many people think Gattuso will be the successor to take over the defense. This wouldn't be a bad move for Pitt has Gattuso has been getting interest from some smaller schools for a head coaching position. Moving him up to D-Coordinator would allow us to hold on to him for a little while longer while keeping the crucial recruiting ties. Also if he is promoted, we won't need to hire a new D-Line coach which would allow us to hire a position coach for somewhere else (quarterback perhaps).

I'm interested to see what happens over the off season. If in fact someone does leave will we promote from within? Will we hire one of Wannstedt's old friends? Will the person be an up and comer or another re-tread?

1 comment:

johnny said...

What I would be concerned about is finding someone who can coach up the secondary. Hafley seems to be an asset in recruiting, but I have been disappointed by the performance of the unit all season. Perhaps he would excel as a different position coach. I also wonder if we will hear the same rumors as last year about Gateway's Terry Smith possibly being offered a position on the staff?

Regardless, if we do hire a new OC, I pray that they look outside the usual suspects with Pitt connections and go with somebody younger and more innovative from a different part of the country. If Major Applewhite was competent enough to be Saban's OC at 29 years old, I find it hard to believe that we can't find a solid candidate under 50. The only exception to my no-Pitt connections policy that I am willing to entertain is Yogi Roth, who has apparently dazzled and learned from Pete Carroll and Steve Sarkisian and seems to be doing rather well as USC's QB coach these days.