Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Collins and Brytus

Conredge Collins has signed with the Tampa Bay Bucs. Initially there were some thoughts that he would end up with the evil empire known as the New England Patriots, but luckily he went to Tampa instead.

Despite the rumors, Dave Brytus did not sign with the Indianapolis Colts. A few hours ago he signed on with the Baltimore Ravens.

Congrats and good luck to both. Hopefully Conor Lee will find a place and get a shot at the NFL.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Panthers in the NFL

Well this weekend is my favorite weekend of the year. It is the weekend of the NFL draft!!!

There were several Panthers drafted. Some expected and some who were not. Let's cut right to the chase.

Just as Jones predicted, Shady was a mid 2nd round pick. He'll be joining Mike McGlynn in Philadelphia. I really hate this because I HATE the eagles. Hopefully Shady can rush for 200 yards a game and 2 TD's and Philly goes 0-16. I will root for him while rooting against the Eagles, but I could still see him being a major part of the Eagles offense. Westbrook is getting up in age and he could be the perfect replacement.

Scott McKillop went to the Panthers Jr. (a.k.a. the 49ers). It seems like every great Panther ends up spending some time in the 49ers system. I was hoping he would fall to the Steelers in the 5th round but unfortunately that did not work out. Now we're stuck hearing every yinzer scream about how we drafted the next Mike Webster in A.Q. Shipley. My hope in life is that A.Q. gets cut this year and Scott goes on to be an amazing defensive player. There no connection between the two guys other than as much as I like Scott, I hate A.Q.

I know they're not our rivals, but I still hate them. I hate their fans (especially those from Philthy), I hate their coach, and I hate all of their players.

In a surprise pick, Hot-Rod went to the Cardinals. He could make this team as he will add special teams and value at running back to the NFC champion Cardinals. He had a great workout at Pitt's pro day and Whisenhunt being able to see him for a few years when he was here certainly did not hurt.

Derek Kinder was drafted late by Bears. Luckily the Bears are in need of some talent at WR. With Jay Cutler they will be looking for weapons. Outside of Devon Hester, I really can't see anyone being a "sure fire" pick to be in the bears WR corps as they have some major question marks. If it weren't for his injury before his pre-redshirt season he would have been drafted higher than what he was. I have always been a Kinder fan as Jones and I knew him off the field and he was always a great, stand up guy.

As far as the other guys go:

Mark Estermyer was picked up by the Steelers. This may work out well because the Steelers long snapper, Greg Warren, is coming back from a serious injury and Estermyer may just end up sticking.

Rashaad Duncan signed with the Tampa Bay Bucs. He feels that with a lack of depth he could fit in well there and earn a roster spot.

Dave Brytus is expected to sign with the Colts. Hopefully he can beat out WVU grad, and Cat Basket noted douchebag, Pat McAfee. I'd give anything to see Brytus beat out that chubby, loser kicker McAfee.

CJ Davis stays a Panther as he signed with the Carolina Panthers. CJ's greatest asset is his versatility. He can play any position on the OL and of anyone of this graduating class I hope he can stick. He did so much for us last year by switching to center after Houser went down. Hopefully he can stick with them and work his way into the lineup eventually.

Other than that, we don't have much more info. As we hear anything we will let you know.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Today is the 23rd BUT.....

Well, yes today is April 23rd, however today is Mr. Jason Jones 24th birthday.

Happy birthday Jason Jones!

Silencing the dead period

Well here is a surprise. I was lucky enough to have lunch with a few coaches this week and we were talking about the future of Pitt football (the post-Bostick era) and they said outside of D. Burns they were not sure who was going to be the next guy to commit. Most felt that Miles Dieffenbach was the next but he's following the Lucas Nix and Brock DiCicco route of waiting it out to see who else offers before he announces he is a Panther.

Well today the defensive tackle, Aaron Donald, from Penn Hills announced that he will be joining the Panthers. There is no doubt that he will be playing DT for Pitt. His offer sheet isn't that impressive, but the kid does have some skills.

The coaching staff is hoping that he can add much more muscle and become a huge force much like what we have seen from Mick Williams.

This is a nice safe get for the Panthers as he will have plenty of time to develop in the system while shaping his body. The benefit of signing early is that we can give him a workout regime to follow so that he can come to Pitt in better shape and much more like the player we want him to be.

I'm not all too concerned that he only has had MAC offers. If you follow this site, you are well aware that Mr. Jones and I have had our criticisms of Coach Wannstedt, but we both agree his assessment and usage of the defensive line has been outstanding in his tenure here.

Hopefully Aaron turns out to be a great player and can do amazing things for Pitt.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dead Period

I have decided to become dormant after the spring practices. Listening back to the podcasts I pretty much got out all I could about the spring. So the article output is going to go down until the middle of the summer when camp opens.

Thanks again for reading all spring and I will be back when the action starts back up.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Quick Update

So we are two days out of the Blue-Gold game. Here is what to expect from the website over the weekend. There will be a Spring Game podcast up tomorrow afternoon. On Saturday we will put up a podcast reviewing the Spring Game. Then over the course of the next week we will give some thoughts on the spring as a whole and where we stand going into fall camp.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Not good news for Berry, Duhart, and Jones

As was reported by the PG today, Aaron Berry, Tommie Duhart, and Wayne Jones have all been suspended for the rest of spring practices due to unrelated violations of team rules.

This certainly could be the final straw for Duhart and Jones. Duhart was already on thin ice as he was suspended during the season last year and seemed to always be in Wannstedt's doghouse. His past problems coupled with the fact that Craig Bokor has passed him on the depth chart means that more than likely he has seen his last game as a Panther.

Wayne Jones was brought in a couple years ago as a gray shirt. He was always viewed as a project and until this point really hasn't developed. He really hasn't been a guy that we have heard about getting in trouble in the past. Despite this, I think that he may end up leaving team which will open up a scholarship to help us stay under the 85 scholarship limit and allow us to take an extra guy next year.

Lastly, we have Aaron Berry. This one was a huge surprise as Berry is considered to be a leader of the defense and is being projected as a 1st team all Big East player. Berry's situation is very similar to what we saw with Elijah Fields. The difference here is that this is the first time we have heard publicly about Berry getting in trouble. He is the only one of the three that I feel will be back this year.

I'm of the mindset that we need to run a clean, hard disciplined program. If a player gets in trouble people, examples must be made and precedents must be set. We saw Shane Brooks and Mo Williams forced out due to grade issues. Elijah Fields was suspended for a year due to drug problems.

Now we have these 3 latest incidents plus the off season news of TJ Porter's DUI's.

While it may not be the popular opinion here, if the violation is severe enough, the players need to be removed from the team. I certainly don't want to be seen as a school that lets the players get away with anything.

Hopefully all of these guys learn from their mistakes. Playing football on Saturday's isn't as important as it is to make sure they don't end up continually getting in trouble throughout the rest of their lives.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Late Scrimmage Thoughts

Sorry for the lateness of this post but I have been away for a little bit. I thought I would give some of my thoughts on the second scrimmage. All the stats are coming from Gorman's blog on the Trib website.
  • Dion Lewis continues to be the story of camp. He has only been on campus since January and has already emerged as the first team running back. This is really shocking to me not because of what type of player he could be but it is so tough for a freshman to make an impact under this coaching staff. I can't wait to see him at the spring game to see if the hype is real.
  • Lucas Nix is pushing for that right tackle spot and he is doing exactly what he needs to do to make it a difficult decision for the staff. 
  • Stull at least completed some passes in the scrimmage going 9 for 14. Sunseri had the best numbers going 9 for 12 and Bostick went 9 for 17. This "competition" is three guys having good and bad days but nobody winning the job. All this is going to lead to Stull as the starter and Bostick as the backup. I would be willing to bet money on it.
  • A weird development is that highly regarded redshirt freshman kicker Kevin Harper is having accuracy problems. He has a monster leg and was expected to take over the job but his problems have led to the emergence of Dan Hutchins. Hutchins has been very accurate in camp and could take over the field goal duties this year.
So I focused mainly on the offense today. Tomorrow I will take a look at what to look for from the defense on Saturday.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

More Camp Thoughts

I've been trying to wade through some of the information coming out early in the week. Here some news from the past couple of days:
  • Lucas Nix finally has been put with the first team but as a right tackle. Joe Thomas is back in practice after being injured but the coaching staff has him as the second team right tackle. This move is probably just to give Nix more time without misplacing Gibbs at left tackle for now.
  • Another big story on the offensive line is the disappointing play of Robb Houser. This is a huge deal if Houser can't win this job. We have no depth at center other than a walk-on in Alex Karabin and Wayne Jones. Neither of those two guys can be full time centers at the college level yet. If we need to shuffle this line and move maybe Malecki to center we could be in rough shape.
  • Shayne Hale is having a great spring and will definitely be involved in the rotation at defensive end. I was not a fan of moving him to defensive line considering the lack of a playmaker we have at middle linebacker but if he can get on the field I'm a fan.
  • Stull lost a bunch of first team reps in practice yesterday but I read absolutely nothing into that. Spring game he will be the starter and I can't see the depth changing.
That is it for today and hopefully we get some more news leading up to the next scrimmage Stull completes 2 passes at.