Monday, January 18, 2010

New WR Coach

Just like I thought would happen, Pitt has named Scott Turner as our new WR's coach. This is a move that I really believe will hurt Pitt in the short term. The reason being is that this is Scott's first big time job as a positions coach. Prior to this he was a grad assistant at Pitt, and as most people know, he is the son of the Charger's Norv Turner.

The reason I feel this is not a good hire for right now is because we have a large amount of young talent at WR that could benefit from an experienced coach. He also does not have any history of being able to recruit and that is something that we always need to have on staff.

This move actually seems like Wanny decided to go with the complete opposite of Bossard. Instead of getting a guy with experience and recruiting ties (even though Bossard was awful at both) we went with the guy with 0 experience coaching at the D1 level, and 0 recruits to his name thus far.

The reason this could work out well in the long term is that Scott has a high football pedigree. He has the benefit of being around football of his life and from playing quarterback at UNLV. He is also young enough that he should be able to relate better to younger kids than some of the older assistants.

I hope that this move is based upon merit that Scott has earned throughout his time as a GA here at Pitt and not just Wanny looking out for one of his buddy's sons (i.e. Oderick Turner).

I would have rather found a guy, much like Cignetti, who has proven he can be successful as a coach, someone who already has a recruiting base established, and someone that can develop talent.

Now this becomes a waiting game with many questions.

Will we see Scott become like Jeff Hafley and open up a new, successful recruiting base somewhere that we haven't been before?

Will we see the receivers continue to struggle (not including Shanahan and Baldwin)?

Will we see Scott become an active part in the offensive coaching or will he be limited initially like most grad assistants?

Many questions exist, and hopefully the answers all benefit Pitt.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Bowl Pick 'Em Results

Well this year we expanded the field to 8 and saw some interesting picks. It was funny how similiar everyone was with their picks.

Of the 8 contestants I was the only one to pick UNC over Pitt. Also, no one picked PSU over LSU. Danny was the only one who picked Boise State to beat TCU.

Doug W. was the closest in predicting the Pitt score as he predicted a 21 - 19 Pitt victory.

Of the 8 contestants here is how they finished

8. J.T. (John) - 12 points
7. Jim B. - 15 points
6. Johnny K - 16 points
5. Jones - 17 points
4. Mike T. - 18 points
3. DPJ - 19 points
2. Doug W - 22 points
1. Danny M. - 24 points

Dan, you are the winner of an Uncle Sam's meal compliments of me. So if you're from the Burgh or if you will be here at some point let me know.

Thanks everyone for participating. Hopefully next year we can expand it and maybe even do our own Yahoo group so that I don't have to calculate points in front of my boss haha.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Pitt in need of a new WR's coach

You read it right folks, as confirmed by the PG this morning, former WR coach Bryan Bossard is no longer with the team. It was reported that he left to pursue other opportunities. He was probably the most disappointing position coach on the roster as the receiver's did not show much improvement (especially in 2008), but his recruiting was awful. Sadly we saw the same problems here as he faced when he was at Maryland. He was needed to help us make a presence in the Maryland/DC area both of which we have been weak in. We have started to make in roads but Bossards progress was not what we had hoped it would have been.

Looking to the future though it leaves a big hole as the coach coming in will be immediately thrust into the important role of recruiting. This should be a job that people want to take as we have a great core of receivers here and a good group coming in.

There was a report earlier in the season that we were looking at the Wr coach from Ohio University, however chatter on that has seemed to die down.

A few years ago before Bossard was hired, there was heavy talk about bringing in Terry Smith from Gateway High School. That was my pick as we could have used him to help bring in Dorian Bell and Corey Brown (both ended up at Ohio State), plus he was a local guy from the WPIAL which is something our fans value more than any other school in the country.

The last, and probably most likely candidate to get the job is Scott Turner. Scott is the son of former NFL head coach Norv Turner who is a good friend of Dave Wannstedt. Scott has been a Grad Assistant here at Pitt for a few years and looks to be ready to find a more permanent role on a coaching staff. One thing that really favors Scott, other than his dad being friends with Wanny, is that he has a very good football pedigree. Being raised in a football family and being dedicated to learning the game is something that has impressed everyone who comes in contact with Scott.

I look forward to seeing who we bring in to be the coach as we will have a big hole to fill once Baldwin goes pro after next season.

Also I will be releasing the Bowl Pick 'Em results soon. Like I said, I will buy the winner some Uncle Sam's.

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.