Saturday, February 7, 2009

Saturday night update

It's Saturday night and we really still don't know much more than we did when the news from Mark Madden broke about the potential departure of Matt Cavanaugh.

So far no official word has been released and probably won't be released until Dave Wannstedt returns home from his 4 day Florida vacation.

It is always a fun time when something like this happens because rumors are flying all over the place. In the past day I've heard that Walt Harris has been to the Southside complex twice, Chan Gailey has agreed in principle to the job, and that Alex Van Pelt is number 1 on Pitt's wish list.

The only truth I can tell you is that the coaches are being very tight lipped on what is going on. Despite them not giving any names, there are several guys who keep being mentioned by several reliable sources (Zeise, Gorman, etc.)

First off I highly doubt Walt Harris will be back. I was shocked when we brought back Steve P., but this move would be more surprising than anything else. Dave Wannstedt plays a conservative WCO that is not what Walt likes to use.

Chan Gailey is a guy that if it happened I wouldn't be all that surprised. The thing that may be holding him back is the $$$. He tried getting the Chiefs job and I'm sure we all know there is a big difference between the pay scale of an NFL HC vs an NCAA OC.

Alex Van Pelt. This name was more confusing than anyone else's. He doesn't have the experience that Wannstedt seems to like from his top assistants. This is over shadowed by the fact that, yes he is a Pitt guy. As we have seen, almost anything can be over looked as long as you have pitt connections.

Noel Mazzone is (or maybe was) the Jets wide receivers coach. He does have experience coaching in the college game but doesn't really have much that looks like it could separate himself from the field.

Bill Callahan is an NFL guy who is friends with Steve Pederson. His offense in Oakland wasn't that great and he brought a prostyle to Nebraska. I don't think he will be the guy, but if there is someone for the Wannstedt mold, it is Callahan.

So since I don't think it will be any of these guys what does that mean? Well to me it means we will find someone just like Phil Bennett. A guy with some experience but someone who is flying under the radar.

I'd love to grab an OC from a smaller college that has proven to have great offensive success but let's be honest here. We will find someone who plays a conservative, prostyle offense. I also would bet that he either has ties to Wanny or Pitt.


johnny said...

Van Pelt is also an intriguing choice because even though he has the Pitt/Pittsburgh connections, he also went to high school in Texas and has some potential ties there. Still, I think that he's a long shot at best.

Even though it seems that the coordinators don't do much recruiting, I would imagine that we would bring in somebody with ties in PA, NJ, MD, or Florida.

If we can find the offensive counterpart to Hafley as the open positions coach (QB or WR), then we should be in recruiting business.

I fully expect that once we fill these two positions, we will use the momentum from last season to hit up the class of 2010 for some early & talented commits.

Danny said...

I choose none of the above.

rkohberger said...

Regarding Van Pelt - it has been talked about that he didn't finish his undergraduate degree yet and the PITT administration requires that in their coaches.

Danny said...

Good point about AVP.

I think he has the worst chances of everyone to get the job regardless of his degree status.

He is probably just one of those names to throw everyone off.

I have a feeling it will be Mazzone because I want him as our OC the least.

johnny said...


I like your logic with the Mazzone pick. If only there were some way that we could like the Ghost of Bill Walsh in his prime the least.

The more I'm thinking about it, the more that we know that whomever we bring in will run an offense philosophically similar to Wannstedt for better or for worse.

Therefore, I will suggest that the new positions coach may actually be more important since he will have the primary responsibility to bring in the personnel to tailor to the offense. A young, hungry, recruiting machine will get us a lot further in the long term than a slightly less conservative OC.

rkohberger said...

Official word came last night - Cav hired by the Jets.

Michael said...

why on earth would the jets want cav?

Matt said...

from the best of the wpials to brett favre? sounds like a downgrade to me...

Danny said...

I'm told Mazzone is the guy.