Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Bennett to Texas Tech

All signs are pointing to Phil Bennett taking the Texas Tech DC job. There hasn't been much activity from Texas Tech's side in filling the vacancy which indicates that it is Bennett's job to lose.

With the departure of Bennett to his alma mater, this opens the door for Greg Gattuso to take over as DC at Pitt. I would like for Pitt to search outside of the program for some potential candidates instead of just handing it to Gattuso, but that might not happen.

There are internet message board rumblings about Sal Sunseri possibly joining, but that is a pipe dream at best. Sal Sunseri's salary at Alabama (base + bonus) are much higher than what Pitt would pay. Also, I believe that due to Tino being a sophomore, Sal would not want to join the staff due to any type of pressure or resentment that might develop with him on staff. Lastly, he is coaching on a team playing in the national championship. While we all love Pitt, we're not at that level yet and it just makes more sense for Sunseri to not leave Alabama for Pitt.

There hasn't been any word on Bossard or Tumpkin yet. Some players feel that Bossard will be back despite persistant in-season rumors that he would be relieved of his duties at the end of the season.


johnny said...


Tell me if this sounds insane.

Operating under the assumption that Gattuso gets promoted to DC, I would like to see Haffley shifted to D-Line coach. This allows us to keep our best recruiter and move him to a position where we already have a solid stable of athletes who would not need as much coaching, while also maintaining an excellent teacher in Gattuso on the staff.

In addition, we could ideally find a new secondary coach who may be more successful at coaching up those players than Haffley has been the last two seasons.

As much credit as people give to Gattuso (much of it understandably) for coaching up the d-line, we forget that his first season he coached linebackers with mixed results. Perhaps this is a move that could jumpstart Haffley and have us talking about his ability to coach as well as to recruit next season.

DPJ said...

I'm all for a shake up at DB coach. Hafley has done a good job with working us into New Jersey and if we want to keep pulling guys from there he is crucial.

One thing that people over look is that in a place like New Jersey, it's a very "one of us, one of them mentality" so having an outsider go in and try to pluck a guy is always an uphill battle. With Hafley, he has the connections and is "one of them" so it makes it easier for us to compete with schools further east.

I hope that if we do replace any of our coaches, that we find someone who has experience and prior success.

We are at a level now where we need to be concentrating on bringing the best guys for the job instead of grooming people. Next year should be Pitt's year to win the Big East and having someone learn on the job isn't the best case scenario for us at that point.

rkohberger said...

Johnny - I get your wanting better production out of the DBs, and your stating a new DB coach would help with that. I agree that would be a good move - but I can't see how in the world you would want to substitute someone (Hafley)who coached the worst segment of our 2009 team, on either offense or defense, for someone who coached our best (Gattsuo).

Saying that the DL "would not need as much coaching" is a real reach and the worst bit of wishful thinking - and one that could come back to haunt in the extreme. DW's teams are built upon line play - and if our DL falters the whole defense then becomes like a house of cards. We are going to have at leasts two new starters on that DL - possibly three if Romeus decides to bolt, and while they had some playing time and did well, that doesn't mean they don't need the same level of coaching our star DL players needed these last few years. Who even knows if Hafley has any inkling of how to coach DL play - all his experience in football has been as a WR or in coaching WRs and DBs.

So - I agree with DPJ... use our resources to get the best possible coach into the right place, wherever they come from, experimenting and doing things on the cheap (as Hafley's salary undoubtedly is) isn't right for us at this time.

johnny said...


It's because the staff under my example would still retain BOTH Gattuso and Wanny, both of whom seem to know what they are doing coaching d-linemen. That way we retain our best recruiter while losing no expertise on the defensive line and possibly upgrading the secondary coaching.

I believe that Haffley coached a year of d-line at Albany, but I concede that he's has less experience there. What we do know is that the secondary has been an area of concern the past two years that he has been the positions coach.

And while the d-line will obviously still need coaching, it will need less RELATIVE to the secondary, since we return more quality depth and have more talent on the d-line.

rkohberger said...

OK - as long as we get an actual Special Teams coach to take over DW's ST duties.