Friday, July 24, 2009

It is Stull's Job to Lose

Yesterday during a radio interview Wanny confirmed what everybody already knew and what he has been hinting at since the spring, Stull is the prohibitive opening day starter. The wording of this statement is as close to confirmation of Stull having this job already as we are going to get. Look at the track record of Wanny pre-camp the last two years about the quarterback job, he always comes out and gives it to Stull in not so many words. Sure, Stull could lose the job in camp but that isn't how Wanny does things.

With the arrival of Cignetti it was assumed that each QB would get an equal look in the spring and fall camp. Spring Camp was business as usual with Stull getting a majority of the first team snaps followed by Bostick and Sunseri. Fall Camp starts in a few weeks and I'm going to spoil the outcome of this battle, Stull will get the majority of the snaps and win the starting job.

What is so curious about this whole attitude about the QB situation is last year's performance. Stull was benched in the biggest game of Wanny's career here at Pitt due to one of the worst performances in bowl history. This was a 4th year player getting benched in a bowl game, where is the accountability for that performance. Why not run an open competition this year during fall camp? Having a favorite on the depth chart at QB is not based off merit or on field performance. The 9-4 record last year can't be contributed to Stull's 9 TD's and 10 INT's with 7.1 yards per attempt.

Shady is gone so there goes 14 TD's. Can the platoon of running backs come in and replace all of Shady's production? If they can't can Stull actually produce on offense? These are the questions entering the season but we already know the answer because we have seen Stull play.

To advance as a program we need a QB that won't be benched in bowl games. I wish we had a coach that would let a position battle play out instead of changing expectations in the media before one drill in camp has been completed.


rkohberger said...

I listened to that interview (it's on ESPN 1250) and am still not convinced that there won't be an open competition in camp. Granted, part of that may be wishful thinking but there's a couple of points I base that on...

- DW continually says "It's Bill Stull's job to lose" "To lose" being a key phrase here. It opens up the possibility that it could happen. Not once have I heard or read DW say "Bill Stull WILL be the starting QB" which is a definite and concrete statement.

- Secondly, DW said something in that interview that I've never hear him say before about any PITT player since he's been here... he talked about the fact that Bill Stull lost confidence over the second half of the season. Wannstedt has taken great pains never to talk about anything regarding his players that are of a personal nature at all - not with Pat Bostick's situation two years ago; not with any benchings, suspensions or departures - he's always maintained a strict line about what he says publicly.

So, I was pretty surprised to hear him do that on radio the other day.

Why does that matter? Because I think that his saying the job is Stull's to lose is DW's way of instilling confidence in Stull that he isn't being punished for his poor play in the latter half of the year and that he isn't benched at this point - but as the NOMINAL starter he has the opportunity to fight to keep the job.

It would be cutting your nose off to spite your face for DW to not try to keep one of the best two QBs on your roster prepared to win, or keep, the position in camp again.

I wonder just what some fans really want, and I think it's this... they want DW to come out and flatly say 'Bill Stull will not be the starting QB in 2009'. Hey, that's never going to happen, nor should it.

Anyway, I'll give this situation the benefit of the doubt and think that with a new OC he'll have the authority to weigh in on who he wants to run his offense. What the PITT fans better be prepared for if there is indeed an open competition is that Bill Stull may win the job fair and square - it isn't like we have any great talents that can't be kept off the field waiting in the wings here.

BTW - that "benching" of Stull only happened after Stull hurt his wrist, it wasn't made only to get another QB in the game - although IMO that benching should have happened at halftime or even sooner.

Joshua said...

If Wanny is serious, then this will be his final year at Pitt. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

rkohberger said...

Joshua - if at the end of camp Cignetti and DW say there was an open competition and Bill Stull outplayed the other QBs - are you willing to believe that? IMO that could easily happen as Bill Stull has shown that tendency - being a good camp and practice QB - over the last two years.

...Or do you just want to see a change based on last season's performance?

It's a valid question, and I believe a valid thought as some fans feel we've seen the best of Stull and he can't be any more productive. I tend to disagree as I think that is what camp is for - to have your players compete for the starting positions.

However, I point you to Mike Teel of RU and the difference between his first year of starting in 2006 (when he played and put up #s almost exactly like Stull's first year) and Teel's second year in 2007 where he blossomed as a QB.

Progress like that happens between a kid's first and second years all the time - and it could in this instance also... not saying it will because there is a confidence factor thrown in with Stull, and if that doesn't change nothing else will either.

Anonymous said...


Face it, Wanny will go with the best they have, its too bad they have not found a legit D1 QB in the last 5 years.

It is going to be a total waste of a great defense this year.

Stull just doesn't have it and Bostick is no better.

7-5, minor bowl.

Joshua said...

Teel also had a monster at RB in Ray Rice. Notice his regression to the mean after Rice left. If Stull was just mediocre with a monster in Shady, what do you think he'll look like with Moe, Larry, and Curly in a RB-by-committee?

And as for trusting what Cignetti and Dumbschmuck judge, well, I've told you repeatedly how many grains of salt I value Wanny's opinion. I don't trust them. All Stull may be is a good practice QB.

And Johnny, whose fault is it that Pitt hasn't recruited a high-ceiling QB in 5 years? Probably the same guy who traded a bunch of stuff for Rick f'n Mirer.

rkohberger said...

Joshua - did you even think about what you posted about Teel, or do a minimum of research?...

The year after Rice left Teel threw for 3418 (300+ more) for 61% completion rate (3% more) with 25 TDs (5 more) and the same amount of INTs at 13. That's a better passing year without Rice anyway you look at it - and honestly you missed the whole point of my comparison anyway.

Look - you obviously state a strong opinion that PITT football team and it's staff suck, but damn - at least make sense when you do so.

Derek said...

JJones - I'm not pleased. I still hate that douchebag. I hate Bill Stull as our QB (and for other reasons) more than Dayton or Lancaster combined.

Kyle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kyle said...

Home and home with Utah in 2010 and 2011.

It's too bad we couldn't take another shot at richrod too.