Friday, February 13, 2009

Junior Day is almost here

In the past few years junior day has been pretty uneventful for our Pitt Panthers. It was a day when almost every local kid would come to check out Pitt whether or not they had interest. This year might be a little bit different. This year some of the local kids who are heading to the nitters and one who is going to eventually end up a nitter decided to pass on coming to Pitt this weekend. I'm completely fine with that as if you're not going to be a Panther, don't waste our time and money.

Another big difference is that come Monday, Pitt will probably have at least one commitment. There are a few kids coming in this weekend who love Pitt and have us at the top of their radar. Hopefully if they are offered they accept so that we can get an early jump on recruiting for next season as we would be in trouble with back to back "down" recruiting years.

Also of note this weekend is that the new offensive coordinator might be in attendance. Before you think they'll name someone today or tomorrow, let me just say don't expect anything until late next week at the earliest. From what we are hearing, the staff is really starting to consider Angelichio for the job. Before this, I said that his chances were pretty slim. There have been some recent events (most notably Chan Gailey telling Pitt he is no longer interested) that have led the staff to start taking Angelichio more seriously. Now before we get too excited that we'd be hiring a young, up and coming coach with a bright future, just remember he does not fit the Wannstedt mold. He doesn't have much experience elsewhere. The thing that is helping him though is that he knows Wannstedt's system and could run it just like Dave wants it. Despite that, I still think we will go with some one with much more experience. With Gailey out of the picture, I really think it will be Noel Mazzone. He has NFL and NCAA experience which is what Wanny values. This would also be the "safe" pick and that is typical of Wannstedt. My prediction is 80% that it will be Mazzone.

I was discussing with Jason about the coaching philosophy at Pitt. I believe his description is a very accurate one. Not only are the Steelers and Pitt on the opposide sides of the building in South Side, they are also on the opposite sides of coaching philosophy. One side lets the coordinators do their jobs without too much interference and meddling. The other side demands to have full, hands on control over what happens and doesn't trust some of those around him to do their job. The reason I feel that Angelichio won't get the job is because I feel the lack of inexperience would not give Wannstedt the confidence he needs to trust someone around him.

EDIT: Paul Zeise is reporting Mazzone has moved, as expected, to the top of the OC list.


Danny said...

Fuck me.

I knew it was No Red Zone Mazzone

rkohberger said...

It's interesting how ideas tend to take on a life of their own. Here we've had PITT fans running an OC out (Cav) because his playcalling wasn't up to par - and in the same breath those same fans state that DW holds the reins too tightly on his coordinators. Which is it?

Personally - I think DW sets the tone with his coordinators in how he wants the emphasis to be placed by the offense and defense and then allows the coordinators to do their job. Except for having the final decision on whether to punt/FG or go for the first downs - what actual indications do we have that DW is calling gameday plays? None. Because Cav, Rhodes and Bennett have all stated that they call the plays on the field.

I seem to remember PITT fans bitching about Bennett's 'conservative' approach this time last year - and I really think that fans look at the coaches age and label him thus - the older he is the more conservative he must be.

All I know for sure is that last season we replaced five (5!) coaches on the staff and ended up with the best season we've had in 25 years. That shows me that DW's done a pretty good job of hiring who he wants to work for him

Trevor said...


I think Tumpkin was an improvement over Rhodes at LB.

Wise > Dunn in every aspect of OLine.

Bennett is better than Rhoads. In fact I remember people being excited about his aggressive blitzing history he showed with other schools.

Ball and Hafley are equal. Ball didn't do much and Hafley hasn't done much in terms of coaching db's. As far as recruiting Ball didn't have the time to make an impact the way Hafley did, so I will call this a push.

Lastly Aubrey Hill was 1 million times better than Bossard. Bossard sucks and needs to go.

I think the changes you saw last year were ones that HAD to be made (Dunn and Rhoads).

Ball and Hill kind of left on their own terms and Wanny would have loved to have them back.

This year Cav was forced out and we're bringing in a guy who just might be even worse than Cav. Consider me fully off the Wanny train.

rkohberger said...

Still - my point wasn't so much that the coaches we hired were better than the ones that left - it was that with a slew of coaching changes we went from a 5-7 season to a 9-3 regular season (9-4 overall).

That turnaround is pretty impressive even if you hold the old staff together - with an almost brand new staff it's even more so.

I say give the new OC a chance - whoever it is. BTW, I'm not sold that the fan's favorite in Harris was going to be able to come in and make a big difference either. Matter of fact I think that whole scenario was ripe for disaster.

None of us knows what 2009 going to bring, but I'll hold off on "jumping off the Wanny train" when I see that this hire actually turns out as bad as some fans think.

johnny said...

Hell of a showing by you guys in The Zoo this afternoon.