Monday, December 9, 2013

Dravon Henry to West Virginia

Not only did Pitt fail to land the top player in the state to a reeling program, and from a pipeline school, but it was clear from listening to Henry's mother that she was not impressed with Matt House's recruiting or his defense.  In fact, she said she talked to some Pitt defensive players and they didn't like how the defense was set up.  I didn't like the hiring of House as the defensive coordinator from the beginning, but more and more it's looking like a bad hire.  If Pitt decides to keep him in the position one has to wonder if they have any idea what they're doing.

130 comments:

  1. All that time to hire a DC and we end up with House and his cheap salary. What more proof do you need?

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  2. All the blogs are going to have a meltdown after that comment.
    She did her homework.
    Have you seen House interviews lately. He comes off as an asshole if you question his tactics, etc. I'm sure that factored into it.

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  3. As a Beaver county resident, I'm growing concerned that they might be putting something in the water. First, Foster chooses Alabama at the last possible second based on nonsensical reasons that defied common sense (like how he would still be playing for his city in Alabama). Then, Henry, justifiably disgruntled by an underachieving defense, chooses WVU so that he can play in an even worse defense.

    I have to admit that I'm baffled. As a Pitt fan, I'd be disappointed if Henry spurned the Panthers for, say, Michigan or OSU, but I'd at least understand the desire to play for a "top-tier" team. But WVU? They're demonstrably worse than Pitt in every conceivable way, whether you're talking coaching, stability, performance, defense, academics, etc. And I'm not saying that as a Pitt fan, I'm saying that as a living and breathing person with even a little common sense.

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    1. Have to agree with you Ben. The whole mom wasn't impressed with the defense is garbage, what this came down to is Henry wanted a deal for Pitt to take Swanson and Fields much in the same way they did last year with Tyler Boyd taking two other kids from Clairton. Pitt decided against doing that, so Henry is going to WVU because they have offered Fields and don't be surprised on Wednesday when he announces he's going to WVU.

      Taking multiple kids in a package deal happens when you really want a kid, Wannstedt did this with two kids from our high school. But you can't do it year in and year out without ending up with kids taking up ships that shouldn't be there.

      If Henry wants to go to WVU and get boat raced for four years, so be it. He'll be pulling tweets down within a year, the same as Foster.




      If Henry wants to go to WVU and get boat raced for four years in the Big 12

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  4. Does this help or hurt the chances of now landing Nicholson?

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    1. The comment from the mom will hurt trying to land Nicholson in my opinion.

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    2. What this came down to is Henry was looking for the same type of deal that it took to bring in Tyler Boyd last year. If you want him, you have to offer Fields and Swanson. Pitt did that last year for Boyd, but you can't do that every year, especially for a kid that projects as a DB. Fields at best is a depth typ kid and Swanson is not big enough to play BCS level ball. They'll still land nicholson, wouldn't be concerned there.

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  5. Tough to swallow. Not surprised this staff was capable of derailing the Quip pipeline. Then again, Fields was offered and he decided to wait.

    Easy to blame House, but I have to give him credit. After the Duke game his unit played well enough considering there was zero pass rush from the ends and the linebackers can't shed blockers or make splash plays.

    I sure hope this staff closes on its other big targets.

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  6. Todd Orlando's D @ Utah State is tops in his conference and one of the best in the country, yet PC wouldn't return his calls.

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  7. Hey, Zaiti Moody.
    Your 0 for 1 and I'm 1 for 1.

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    Replies
    1. You're right and I was wrong - but, we can both agree on 1 thing - we're not happy...

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    2. Wouldn't be so sure Anony is not happy.....

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  8. Just a shame. Re your curiosity whether they know what the hell they are doing...truth is, Pitt is content with being a second tier FB program..they know exatly what they are doing. 6-8 wins every other year with a bowl game. Thats it. close the book. 85%of FBS schools are content with this model.

    Paul Chryst is a lame duck so to speak..they knew he would run a clean program and keep Pitt out of trouble(remember that whole 23 arrests thing 3yrs ago)..he had some potential upside with his offensive background..yet wont open the checkbook to give him legit coordinators. 2nd Tier program

    Chryst doesnt have the cockiness and aggressions to get these kinds of recruits..but now im beating the dead horse.

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  9. I'm sure there will be dozens of negative posts about Henry going to WVU. I think it is sad that a talented quip would decide to go anywhere other than Pitt considering the history, but I don't think this will go a long way in deciding if our recruiting was a success or not or if Pitt is moving forward. Since this is the most negative site I have ever seen, I will try to put a different spin on things.

    1. Walt Harris was a great field general but there was a sour taste from local recruits and him.

    2. Wanny was good for Pitt and I would have liked for him to pull in a great OC and let them do the play calling. He was a good recruiter and a had a pro style system that filtered through some pretty outstanding players. Ultimately he couldn't coach well on the field.

    3. They bring in Graham which was the biggest mistake possible. Not only did he bolt from Pittsburgh, but he also changed the system, cost us two years of recruiting and has dug a mediocre hole for this team that they are currently trying to dig out of.

    4. A wife battering coach just aided the poor recruiting that Graham put into place and put an even blacker eye on the system.

    5. Enter in Paul Chryst. The guy has been challenged with turning the program around, in his first head coaching job, restoring the name and basically building from the ground up. He has been far from perfect with his game calling and his resistance to surround himself with the coaches needed to speed up the process. However he is sticking to the plan(much like the Pirates did) and has so far done a decent job in getting done what he wants to whether you agree with it or not. The guy has made bold moves(some good, some bad) that have set the tone for the future on what is expected out of these kids. It would have been easy to allow Chapman to stay on the team, or allow Shell to come back.... or to sell a bill of goods to players like Foster that we couldn't deliver on. But instead he has kept the ship pointed forward and is looking for good young men who want to work hard and build something.

    He has recruited a bunch of big lineman and big strong backs that he is working on completely changing the face of this team back to a powerhouse. It takes 3 to 4 years to coach even the best lineman into a position where they can be the staple of a team. He wasn't there last year, he wasn't there this year and he may not even be there next year, but it is coming. He is getting the horses in place and he does know how to coach them. The biggest recruit for Pitt this year is Alex Bookser. If they can bring him in, they will have a foundation of lineman for the future. He has brought in a bunch of quality RB and is going to get the ground game going. This has a trickle down effect that many refuse to look at. It opens up plays down field. It is a young QBs best friend. It keeps the defense off the field and does exposes as many weaknesses. If he can get a special teams coach in to help with the 3rd element of the game, and pull in either Jennings or Kamara, this will be a very successful offseason and really have this team poised for a better season next year and a breakout season the year after. Then you will see the recruits coming in.

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    Replies
    1. The wife-battering guy preceded Fraud, not the other way around

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    2. I hate to say, but I agree with others. Look at our neighbors at State Penn. One of the worst nightmares a university can have and how has it hurt their recruiting?

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    3. hey winedogs hows the Thunderbird taste ? I'm in total accord with Mr
      Anonymous great post / comments - love the "sticking to the plan like the Pirates" gotta give the guy some time.......Graham was Doke's boy
      he loved him wanted him on that wall....I remember Smizik would repost Doke's comments on his blog - miss that blog "Lets Go Pitt!"

      Delete
  10. Chris,

    Although I wish Henry would have chosen Pitt, I'll respect his decision to go to WVU. However, my question is: why did Henry (and his family) feel the need to, for a lack of a better word, bash Pitt in the process? Wouldn't the professional thing to do be to focus on what he liked about WVU? If his decision was between Pitt and WVU, he must have liked something about the University and program. Even if Pitt was mainly a decoy, I'm surprised at the talking points brought up. Thoughts?

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    1. Possibly because Mr. Shell has been tearing Pitt down so his buddy would go play with him at WVU.

      It might all just be as simple as that; Henry wanted most of all to play with a good friend, regardless of WVU being a trainwreck in just about every area.

      It just doesn't make sense that Pitt's defensive scheme was the main reason. WVU's defense is atrocious. Maybe she's just justifying in her mind her son picking an academically inferior school with a mess of a football program.

      Bottom line though, you're right. It's pretty low-class to criticize the school that wasn't chosen.

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    2. I'll tell you why they felt the need to bash Pitt in the process. As I've stated above, Henry wanted a package deal to get him, bringing in Fields and Swanson. Pitt wouldn't do it, and Henry is probably put off by that because they did that for Boyd last year.

      The difference is that in bringing in Boyd you're bringing in a playmaker that can make a difference, which you've seen this year. With henry you're bringing in a DB prospect, not a playmaker, and it's not worth sacrificing two more ships for kids that you don't feel can contribute to the program in the long term. Pitt is still in on Nicholson and should probably land him, which also probably caused some consternation in Quip land.

      You'll see this all play out on Wednesday when Fields announces he's going to WVU over a bunch of MAC school offers. In the meantime, I wouldn't be all that bothered by it, Henry will regret his decision within two years.

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    3. In the long run it might be better that he chose WVU. He's a great talent, but it takes more than talent to be a great player. His mom can go with him.Who is she?

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    4. Considering she calls herself a "little detective" yet makes a statement like Gibson looked her in the eyes and she could tell he wasn't lying to her? Seriously?! You mean the same guy that been with four schools in the last four years and has the reputation as a slime bag, but you think he's truthful and a "family man"?


      Hope Henry has a great conditioning coach, because he's going to be chasing the backs of the other teams jersey's for the next four years playing on that defense. Putting down a program just because they wouldn't make a deal for Fields and Swanson is classless.

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  11. Chris, I like your point that the primary takeaway here is that Pitt/House were clearly out-recruited. But is it common for a recruit and his family to lay into a coaching staff the way the Henry's did? Especially when they're the hometown team and they have a lot of history and connections within your community? I guess I just don't get the point of burning bridges. Then again if this helps more people to see just how badly the Pitt staff botched this recruitment, maybe it's not such a bad thing.

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    1. There's absolutely no reason for a recruit or his family to disparage a school that wasn't picked. It's very classless, and speaks very poorly about Mrs. Henry.

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    2. really another good point + the fact that PITT is, the much better school academics wise ( is this in bad taste to say this when a lot of these guys all over the college football landscape could care less about academics ?)

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    3. The Henry's aren't interested in education. They are interested in getting their kid on the field quickly so he can get him to the pros as fast as possible. Every parent thinks their kid is the next Darrelle Revis.

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    4. Henry wants to be a "Trainer".
      Any college will do for that major.

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    5. Considering WVU is the equivalent of 13th grade, I'm guessing the Henry's do consider that higher education given the comments they've made. It's one thing to make no sense, quite another to do that in a press conference and make absolute fools of yourselves.

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    6. RE: "Henry wants to be a trainer" any school will do that for you. There are two routes to that at Pitt. The school of Health & Rehab Sciences is very difficult to get into (apply during soph year at pitt) and requires plenty of core science classes with high grades (well over a 3.0 GPA). The second route is getting an exercise science degree from the school of education. This is not selective like the school of health and rehab sciences but still requires completion of a number of tough core sciences classes with passing grades. The first program is probably not doable for 90% of varsity athletes. The second would still be difficult for anyone who Pitt would not normally admit if it weren't making exceptions for recruited athletes.

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    7. Exercise science type major. Not physical therapy.
      If you don't become a PE teacher, then you end up working at Golds Gym or something like that for 30k.
      Please don't make the "education comparison" argument for that major. Heck, Slippery Rock is fine foe that type of major!

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  12. If you take out the two powder puff games that WVU played.... this team is giving up 45 points a game. So mom doesn't like the way Pitt defense is coached, but she is excited to have her son go play for one of the worst defenses in the country? Come on. If they said all that stuff and that is why he is deciding to go play for Alabama, sure I get that. They are just full of sour grapes and want to point the finger. It has been reported for weeks that Henry was favoring WVU because they are willing to bend over backwards to get him. Don't spew a bunch of crap that you weren't impressed with the defensive scheme when you choose to go to a horrible defensive team. That is like saying, "hey Pitt defense doesn't look like a good fit for me, they don't know what they are doing, I am going to IUP."

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    1. great comment anonymous = So True !!!!!!

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    2. When you know your son is making a BS decision because he's miffed that Pitt didn't give his buddies ships to go with him, you have to sling some BS out there. Doesn't matter that it's obvious BS.

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  13. I just don't know what long-suffering Pitt fans are to do at this point. The administration does not seem committed to being a perennial top 25 program and Chryst doesn't seem to be the guy to move the program forward. I'm not asking that we be Alabama or Ohio State. But there's no reason we can't be an 8-4 or 9-3 team every year.

    But complaining about all of our problems is getting old. It's too bad there's no leverage for fans or alumni to push the Athletics Department to force some changes.

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    1. I know close doesn't count, but Pitt was pretty close to being an 8-9 win team this season.

      Hopefully next year.

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    2. Actually there is some leverage for fans....don't go to FB games.

      Cyanide Steve has long ago decided that Pitt will be a BB school in the mold of UConn, Cuse, etc. and most likely can't (or won't) financially support the FB team too.

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  14. If I'm a recruit choosing between schools without legendary coaches, I'm giving serious consideration as to the state and competency of the program and athletic department when making my choice. If I'm Henry, I'm thinking about having to choose a place for likely the next 4 or 5 years of my life. What are the chances Holgorsen or Chryst are at their positions for the entire length of my stay? Slim.

    So who do I trust more to make the right hire: Luck or Pederson?

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    Replies
    1. Quite frankly, you wouldn't pick either.
      If you had offers from OSU, Louisville, Miami, Alabama, etc. to pick from also.

      Delete
  15. It would be hard for any player to have confidence and want to play in Pitt's defensive schemes. Examples, the absurd amount of illegal substitution penalties and busted defenses all season long (i.e., punt return screw up v. Miami and their first score on the second play of the game).

    More to the point, House (as well as the other defensive coaches) have done nothing to inspire confidence he is ready for big time. Pitt's modest improvement statistically came against weak teams - and they did not exactly dominate anybody even with that weak schedule. Imagine what would be if they did not have Aaron Donald this season.

    House and the rest of the defensive staff must go. Open up the purse and pay qualified staff. Please don't tell me Pitt pays well outside of Alabama, Texas, Ohio State and is top ten is spending for football.

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  16. Two words:

    Terrell Chestnut

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    1. Sorry, for us non insiders, what's Terrell Chestnut got to do with this?

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  17. Some people have a short memory regarding the recruiting of Henry.
    1. Pitt was 6th to offer Henry. Chryst felt it was more important to prepare Wisky for Rose Bowl and was slow to get out offers. Also note, same with Sterling of Baldwin.
    2. Pitt didn't answer the phone at agreed upon time to call this past summer.
    3. Pitt pulled the offer to Fields.
    4. Pitt never offered Swanson and in fact offered Briggs over Swanson. smh I'm sure they felt disrespected as a pipeline since Clairton got a 3 for 1 deal last year.
    5. Chryst put Johnson in ahead of Hollins at LT when Biz went down.
    6. Look at the debacle of Todd Thomas this past summer.
    If you really thought Pitt could land Henry after all that, well I've got a bridge to sell you.
    If Pitt can't land top talent from Wpial, they are not going to get them from OH, MD, VA, NJ.

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    1. Pitt pulled the ship with Fields because he doesn't project as even a depth kid at the ACC level, and Swanson doesn't really project as a D1 player at all. You can make 3 for 1 deals, but the other two need to be able to contribute in some form or you're wasting two ships. Henry is not at the same level as Boyd anyway, if WVU wants to waste ships on marginal players to land a DB prospect, feel free. That would explain why they went 4-8 and will be bottom feeder roadkill in the Big 12 for the forseeable future.

      Mike W.

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    2. MikeW,
      Briggs over Swanson. You have got to be kidding me. Look at the stats, etc. Swanson was PG 22 this year. Briggs nada. Briggs was a wasted ship. Lets compare notes in 3 years.
      Fields is another Donald type. Chryst not high on him because he is only 6'0". Chyrst recruits height. Fields was a PG 22 for 2 years.

      Delete
    3. Think what you want, Swanson is too small for D1. Look at his offers, that's all you need to see. You can say the same about Briggs too, but I don't think it was a mistake to not offer that kid.

      When you're going to be expected to take the buddies in order to land the star, the buddies better be able to contribute in some way. PC had to do that last year to get Boyd, but at least the kids that came with him have been able to contribute on special teams. Don't think you be able to say that about Swanson, but that's a matter of opinion.


      Fields is the same thing. If you want him, then want the Boxen kid too. The only offers those kids had were essentially MAC level offers. WVU is taking Fields in order to get Henry, it's that simple. Donald has been workout warrior in his time at Pitt, maybe Fields will be too, but saying because both were PG22 doesn't mean much, it isn't like the WPIAL is an all star conference. Wannstedt didn't have much success fielding WPIAL all-star teams, did he?

      Mike W.

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    4. Fields had offers from 3 BCS schools, he is not a marginal recruit as you label him. He easily fit an ACC profile and is already the physical size of Donald at a position Pitt is not deep in. We blew this one, period.

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  18. You reap what you sow. And Chryst's predilection for hiring his incompetent buddies is coming back to bite him. Rather than interview a guy like Todd Orlando who was dieing for a chance at the DC job or Mike Elko, a proven up and comer at Bowling Green - Chryst did no search and gave the DC position to a glorified NFL video guy who was so under qualified it wasn't even funny.

    So unfortunately Mrs. Henry was spot on and nailed it.

    What a shame - especially when you consider the past Aliquippa pipeline to Pitt. All thrown away because we have a head coach who doesn't like to recruit and is afraid to hire anyone he is not friends with

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  19. just looked at kamaras twitter page.... says henry made a bad decision..... maybe it will be a good day in recruiting afterall

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  20. Does Pitt even bother to defend themselves on the recruiting trail? Yeah, I'm not too happy with House's defensive performance either, but Gibson hardly has a stellar track record himself. I wonder if they ever bothered to point that out.

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  21. Ya, this does not paint a very good picture for House... or Pitt with House as DC.

    There's plenty of criticism that can be laid at Chryst's feet for hiring House over other established DCs who have a proven track record as a recruiter.

    But, to those "GRID- LOCKED" in the past...how about trying to stay with the present rather than constantly couching every criticism of the Chryst regime with FANCIFUL MUSINGS of everything Wannstedt or Harris or whomever?

    It makes for a much more productive discussion of the problems at hand.

    PittofDreams

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  22. Staying with the present... I do think it's a problem that House NEVER played college football.

    Unless you're simply one of the SMARTEST and MOST DYNAMIC guys around... the fact that a Coach, not to mention a DC... never played the game at the level he's teaching does make a difference with kids... especially today's generation.

    PittofDreams

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  23. I will give you Revis and a super star at Pitt and the NFL but please point out to me the great pipeline that Aliquippa has sent to Pitt? Lay, Weekly, Baldwin...please don't go all the way back to Ditka. I would love to hear the names

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    1. Revis, Baldwin, and Gilbert were three 3 first round draft picks. You're grasping at straws if you don't think that's a pipeline.

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    2. Chris, so is your position no future Aliquippa players will go to Pitt?? Or is this a kid making a decision he felt was best for him.

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  24. Chris,

    How do we even know Henry's mom spoke to some of Pitt's defensive players? I'm not saying she definitely didn't, but the fact that she thought Pitt's staff was less truthful than Gibson makes her judgment and grasp of reality questionable at best. We are left to take her on her word about this, and I find it very questionable.

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  25. ShaiMcKenzie ‏@ShaiMcK_5 4h

    Congrats bro @Dravon_6

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    Replies
    1. Good. Mr. Torn ACL can join his buddy.

      Delete
  26. yes Chris and they ALL went to PITT.....PITT is the school with what 8 Pro FB HOFer,s ( WVU has one ? Sam Huff ) and more on the way. Quip's, Pitt + Bears Alum Ditka gets his jersey retired tonight on MNF. IMO Pitt has a much better chance to move up in the #ACC than WVU does in the B12......and I'm still a believer in PC + his staff = Enghram, Bollinger etc to recruit. Lets see what Pitt's class looks like in Feb + lets remember that you really can't tell about a class until a few years in. so much speculation - look at Shell the jury is still out on him. I agree Pitt will have it's hands full with BGreen......and again call me the eternal optimist but I see a bright future in Pitt football

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  27. and BTW Sean Foley Tiger's swing coach ( also Hunter Mahan, Sean O;Hair, Stephen Ames, etc ) never participated on the PGA Tour....lets see what kind of HOUSE Pitt builds in the Bowl Game etc bc I saw major teams getting blown out all season by the offenses today in college FB Geez even the pros get thrown on for 300 yards a game routinely ....a little more time

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  28. To assume that we will get a kid because he goes to a particular high school is almost as insane as hiring a guy with little experience as your DC. He proved his grasp of football knowledge by sitting his one of his best defenders for 1 game because of the 'scheme' and also by consistently playing his LBs 10 yards off the line against teams that feature the FB as part of the offense, i.e. Navy and GT. I am a lifetime Pitt fan, and as a fan need to call them out until they right the ship. House needs to go away and Pitt needs to hire someone that is legit.

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    1. Henry commented about the Dbacks not playing aggressive when he was at the FSU game. Some people just forget all the signs pointing away from Pitt regarding Henry.

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  29. I'm shocked Pitt BB is not Top 25 this week.
    Ranked #28 on both polls.

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    Replies
    1. As Seth Davis said..."Play someone" and we haven't.

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  30. This blog is a great forum to read information about the Pitt program that is otherwise not available and, one would think, a place to root for the team. If I had to guess about 70% of the comments are negative. I don't mean to be a homer, god knows rooting for Pitt is as frustrating as it gets, but have at least some faith!

    It is unrealistic to think this program will compete for national titles. If Pitt can get the program up to a level where they 8-4 or 9-3 with an occasional run at an ACC title that would be fantastic. The young players Chryst has recruited have played pretty well, give them some time to develop. Who cares if Henry doesn't want to come to Pitt? Foster didn't come, so we got Boyd. Shell left, but Conner picked up the slack and has a great future ahead. It will work out, the whining and complaining on this site can be unbearable at times.

    Doke- you do a great job, but the "fans" need to stop being trolls and actually support the team for a change.

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    1. Are you suggesting we support mediocrity? Win 6 games every year.
      That's the problem.
      The athletic department is happy with 6 wins and mediocrity.
      8-4 would be great but that is not going to happen with the current coaching staff and recruiting mentality.

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    2. Well said DT.... Well said...Bravo

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  31. Oh well. I guess we'll have to wait 3 years to see Henry will be any good. It's funny how many say PA talent stinks then complain when Pitt doesn't get someone. Who knows, maybe they'll recruit a player from the south. Guessing that would just give people something else to moan about.

    Maybe the kid just liked WVU. Simple as that.

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    1. It's not too often that I agree with Kent Bowler, but this was the truest statement I have ever heard from Kent. Henry likes WVU, Hooker likes OSU, Winovich likes Michigan, maybe that's just the trend with the elite WPIAL kids. Will 2015 be the same? No elite players going to Pitt. Why are all these elite defenders not coming to Pitt? I'm starting to believe no one like House...

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    2. Agreed. Just really just is something Pitt cannot afford to have happen. Elite talent 30 min from campus need to go to Pitt.

      Kids from Zanesville go to OSU, not Cincy.

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    3. If you were a parent of an elite HS defense player with aspirations for the NFL, would you want to send your son to be coached and developed by House and his assistants?
      House was a video guy just 3 years ago.

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    4. Pitt has always had very good, experienced DC's and has always developed their talent. With House it is impossible to say what we have and that may scare the top talent on D away. I agree, why would you go to Pitt as a top defender when your D coordinator has no NFL/NCAA experience and Pitt regressed in every significant D stat (sacks int's, FF) while having the best college defender and 8 returning starters from a pretty good defense in 2012?

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  32. dokish you are the only sports writer with the guts to take on the pitt coaching staff
    i whish there were more like you then things would change.
    when i want the truth i read your post when i want insight into pitt i read your panther prey you are the very best i know this you cant recruit mac type players forever and build a top program in the ACC GO GET THEM DOKISH

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  33. it doesn't sound like henry's mother sounds like she knows what she's talking about either. i don't care for house either, but does it make sense to pick a team whose defense has been a laughingstock. now they can follow their son all over the country to watch him play.i think they had it in for pitt since they weren't happy that pitt wasn't quick enough to begin recruiting him. also, perhaps some rushel shell spillover.

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  34. Henry and his family isn't saying the WVU defense is any good but they like the style they play. Pitt CBs play well off the WRs and most of the elite CBs hate that.

    Bottom line, WVU recruited away the problems they had. They were better recruiters. Pitt had no business losing the battle to somebody like that but clearly House did a poor job in this case.

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    1. "Clearly House did a poor job," based on what? Because Henry went to another school? You make it sound like it was a slam dunk that Henry was going to Pitt and Pitt pushed him away. Does that mean all the other recruiters also did a poor job? Is the only person that did a good job the one to whom Henry would have committed? How is "good" or "bad" quantified?

      Isn't it possible that Henry just thought WVU was a better place for him to play?

      Is it possible House may have done a great job just keeping Pitt in the mix? Sounds like he was honest with Henry about the style of defense he wants to play. Should he have lied about that? Or change his philosophy on defense just to suit ONE recruit?

      While I wish Henry would have picked Pitt, the truth is most thought he would go to WVU MONTHS ago.

      Good luck, Mr. Henry.

      Pitt will move on without you.

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    2. Wow, you really don't understand recruiting.

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    3. You are so correct. So what Pitt lost a top recruit from its local area. It's not like Pitt doesn't have a great recruiting class. I think it is right where PC wants it to be. He can really develop talent and once he learns to mange games look out. And for House, agree! He shouldn't change his scheme for anyone especially one special player. It is working just fine as it is. Once House learns the nuances of the defense look out. Pitt is on the upswing H2P..........

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    4. The last time a top Quip player that "didn't" pick Pitt was Ty Law.
      Hackett was Pitt HC. Many consider Chryst the next Hackett.
      That is why "clearly House did a poor job".
      Henry was a "can't miss" to Pitt. But you can't put it all on House, Chryst was the one who promoted him to DC so part of the blame should be on Chryst.

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    5. Pitt lost four of its last six games. Some upswing.

      And Pitt doesn't have a great recruiting class. Most of the recruiting websites have them in the low 40s.

      Delete
    6. Actually Henry wasn't a can't miss to Pitt. To the contrary, he was a WVU lean for most of this year, Pitt was never considered his first choice by most recruiting services.

      Glad he has a comfort level with Gibson, so did Shell for that matter. Only problem was that when Shell went to Pitt, Gibson was gone. Given the fact that WVU has been roadkill in the Big 12 the past two years, it's not like the staff should be all that comfortable because chances are pretty good they're gone after next year with another bad year. Holgorsen has already laid the groundwork for that by complaining about facilities, it's just a matter of time.

      We'll see how much the mother thinks of Gibson in about a year.

      Delete
    7. Wait - Pitt has a great recruiting class ??? Where? With all the MAC level recruits they are bringing in. Please, I can see you are still drinking the kool-aid.

      Fact is as noted, Chryst is Paul Hackett JR. He has surrounded himself with a number of poorly chosen friends as coaches. The whole defensive staff is pretty much a joke.

      But yea, that who cares if a kid from Aliquippa, where Pitt has had a pipeline for years, just dissed us because he was not comfortable with the coaches and their schemes.

      All is well
      All is well
      All is well

      Just keep telling yourself that - maybe it will come true but I would not bet on it

      Welcome to continued mediocre results

      Delete
    8. This team will be the most boring team in the NCAA soon. Even if Chryst is successful we will be playing a bend-but-don't break defense with a lot of power running plays and throws to the TE's. Our team will be comprised of mostly 2 and 3 star recruits who collectively outperform their individual skills, much like a lesser Wisconsin based on the current trajectory. I don't mind Wiscy football but I hate passive D and I love Pitt's past excellence in producing NFL stars. That is unlikely to continue when the players coming in are not as good as in the past. We still don't have a good QB recruit under Chryst; his own nephew went elsewhere. I just don't see a good team here, maybe the makings of a good offense but without a standout QB. The D looks like it is going to take an even bigger step backward next year.
      Boyd is the lone bright spot next year but when Street was out Boyd's big plays really shrank. He ended up catching a lot of passes but short gains, similar to a TE.

      Delete
  35. Chris -
    Earlier in the season you mentioned that one of the top local kids was badmouthing Pitt to others. Given the last 12 hours, I have to wonder if it wasn't Henry.

    ReplyDelete
  36. part of me would love to see tom bradley as d coord.I mean would it be that bad. It is not like anything else is exciting with Pitt. Paul is great guy but not like he is out there making waves with recruiting kids. would like to have something to get excited about with pitt football, so hard every year with the same thing. watching the d play this year was horrible, they did better as the year went on but the corners were a real dissapointment. can they play 30 yds back next year maybe. it was like when wanny was the coach and the linebackers were 15 yds from scrimmage against navy for the wish bone, get tired of watching it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right. Get the guy who was a first-person witness to a pedophile in the team's locker room. The guy is unemployed for a reason. Get over it.

      Delete

  37. From the Post Gazette...

    ********
    Henry's decision came down to having a greater level of comfort at West Virginia than anywhere else, particularly with Mountaineers assistant coach Tony Gibson.

    "It seemed like when I talked to him, a whole bunch of stress came off my shoulders," Henry said. "It felt like home talking with him. I didn't have that feeling at Pitt."

    ********
    Anyone who's been recruited knows the importance of the level of interest the Coaching staff shows in you. But even more critical can be the "level of comfort" a recruit has with the Position Coach who you're going to be counting on to develop your game and get you playing time.

    A little charisma doesn't hurt either.

    PittofDreams

    ReplyDelete
  38. You know mom didn't or shouldn't have said anything about the Pitt D philosophy. But I am glad she did. I wondered how the soft coverage scheme would look on recruits. Not sure what you learn or get out of playing 10 yards off. And that was with talented corners and a very good safety.

    dubb

    ReplyDelete
  39. Isn't it a bit ironic that the day after Henry chooses WVU in part because of their "defensive scheme", Aaron Donald wins the Nagurski award as college football's best defensive player?

    ReplyDelete
  40. There's usually several factors that figure into a big decision such as where you'll attend school, and I'm sure that's the case with Dravon Henry.

    1) SHELL: Henry's friendship with Shell I'm sure played a big part in this. I can only imagine the things that Shell put in Henry's ear about Pitt and its staff.

    However, I had no problem with how Coach Chryst handled the Shell situation, and I think Pitt's better off without Shell, even with any collateral fallout. If we lose Henry, but if Coach Chryst is able to build a culture of discipline and accountability, any loss due to Henry will be mitigated.

    2) GIBSON: If Tony Gibson can sell Henry on WVU's defense, I've got some ice I'd like him to sell to some eskimos. I don't care what kind of defensive scheme you run, if it isn't implemented properly, and you have one of the worst defenses around, how can you impress a kid with your defensive scheme???

    Actually, I can understand a young person like Henry being smooth-talked by someone like Gibson, but how does the mother seem so caught up by him also? You'd think an older adult would be able to see through what would appear to be a very smooth talker.

    House got outplayed by Gibson. With what WVU had to sell, and still losing this guy, it doesn't look good for House. However, it doesn't necessarily mean he did a bad job, but appearances count for something.

    Finally, I don't quite understand why Mrs. Henry chose to make comments regarding Pitt. I realize she was asked questions about the recruitment, but all she had to say was she felt WVU was a better fit. Nothing about Pitt was necessary, and in fact may come back to haunt her.

    Most recruits talk very glowingly about Pitt's staff and their professionalism and down-to-earth style. Even if Mrs. Henry felt differently, it'd would've been better to say nothing about Pitt.

    What if things don't work out for Henry at WVU, just as they didn't for Shell at UCLA, and he's looking to transfer. I'm sure her comments won't be forgotten by the Pitt staff. It's never a good idea to burn a bridge. Just ask Rushel Shell.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most recruits talk glowingly about Pitt's staff?????

      Really???

      What world are you living in.

      Perhaps those who commit speak well but look at who we are signing. A large number of kids without better offers. They speak highly because they are thrilled to get an offer from someone other than a MAC team.

      But what about all those recruits who do not sign with Pitt. They clearly are not enamored with this staff

      Delete
    2. Spot on Maverick!!!
      They need to see that youtube clip of Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholsen.
      "You want the truth"
      "You can't handle the truth"

      Delete
  41. I guess since the Steeler DBs play off the receivers also, the Henry's don't like Le Beau's defense either. What were Henry's SAT scores. They probably precluded him from attending Harvard too. Does his mother like the Harvard defense. Did they recruit him poorly also? Get a life. He picked the school he wanted for a variety of reasons. Good luck to him. His mother should keep her mouth shut. By the way my mother loves PITT. She does not know anything about defense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why all this vitriol toward Henry mom?
      She said what we already know about House and the defense assistants, etc.
      We should all hope and pray these comments get back to Peterson and he demands Chryst make changes.
      If you disagree with Henry mom, then you want to keep House and all the assistants. Is that what you all want? I don't.

      Delete
    2. It's just not a very appropriate or classy thing to do. Accept WVU's offer, and be done with it. That's one of the reasons these press conferences are not a great idea. People who aren't used to the media are suddenly on center stage.

      If a person is being pursued by two employers, and accepts an offer from one, what's the point in stating the other company's deficiencies? It's just something you shouldn't do.

      Keep your thoughts to yourself. Who knows, you might be looking for another job someday, and the place that came in second might remember what was said.

      Delete
    3. Anony 3:40.
      Did you watch the pressor? She was asked a question. She answered it honestly because a lot of people wanted him to go to Pitt.
      Many delusional pitt fans just can't handle it.
      I thought it was fine and I watched the pressor. Media making it a bigger deal.
      btw, your example of an employer is dumb. Most will answer the question like, ABC offered more money, better benefits, etc.

      Delete
    4. Reminds of the Jack Nicholsen and Tom Cruise movie.
      JN: You want the truth. You want the truth.
      TC: I believe I'm entitled to an answer.
      JN: You can't handle the truth. You should be thanking me... bla bla

      Delete
    5. In all honesty, Henry had been a WVU lean for months, so his press conference announcing that he was going to WVU was pretty much a non-event to me. Why the mother had to voice her opinions to that degree just made her look foolish, which if she has no problem with that, so be it.

      What this all came down to was Henry was expecting Pitt to overpay to get him, i.e. you had to take Fields and Swanson to get him because that's what they did with Boyd. Pitt wasn't willing to do that, WVU was, so he's going to WVU. If the family can't have enough common sense to leave it at that and not make fools of themselves on camera, that's their problem. It's not like Dravon Henry is a program maker, far from it. He's a highly ranked high school prospect that will play DB in college, they quite frankly need to get over themselves.

      Delete
    6. They have a youtube clip on Few Good Men.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5j2F4VcBmeo

      Delete
    7. The answer is simple: she's an easy target because her comments make her sound like an ignorant........

      The Pitt players may dislike the scheme, but I can't imagine WVU's players being all that thrilled with their's, based off their results. And it seems a little odd that the players would try to shy away a player that, if he lives up to his billing, should help the team.

      The made-him-feel-at-home or cared-about-him comment is even funnier. If you follow college football at all, 90% of the coaches would gladly trample all over a kid if it would improve their [the coach] stock. See Todd Graham or Tommy Tuberville. Just a hunch that Dana Holgerson and Tony Gibson aren't the exception.

      Delete
  42. So Wake Forest AD says he wanted to wait for a proven winner. He nabbed David Clawson as its next head coach after leading BG to a 10-3 record. Hmm, that must be something new that AD wants a coach with HC experience. It absolutely kills me to say this, but Pitt is a MAC/Conference USA school.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In some ways, I completely agree. Especially considering what a graveyard the Pitt head coaching job has become. Since Jackie Sherrill, how many Pitt coaches have gone on to "better" jobs? Answer: one - Todd Graham, if you consider ASU a better job. (Stanford was considered at best, a lateral move for Harris at the time). That's one out of eight coaches (seven if you discount Haywood).

      In all seriousness, which is the better job, a program will all of the university supports to go 12-1 or 11-2 and win the MAC? or a program with university supports to finish 8-4 and 7-5 annually in a BCS conference? If all jobs are stepping-stones to better jobs, as has been posited many times in the past, which job is going to get you to the next level?

      Say Pitt fires Chryst in two years. From what pool of candidates are they going to hire? Is the university going to show candidates that they are committed to win the ACC (which is essentially the same as committed to be a top-flight program)? What coach is going to come to head a program committed to playing in the Car Bowl every year?

      It's sad, but I've come to believe that Pitt has backed itself into a corner with football. And that if it is ever going to get better, it is going to have to hire a rock-star coach, and pay a premium to get him (as opposed to just paying the going-rate). Not sure the university will be willing to go into a hole to do that. At least there's no indication it's going to do that.

      Delete
    2. aapm74,

      You're right, since Sherrill left, Pitt football has been mired in mediocrity, and that's not a coincidence. It was huge mistake to let him walk. The program's not been the same since.

      While I think talented players make the most difference, obviously great coaching is important as well. There's no doubt the elite programs have the elite coaches.

      Whether Pitt will ever be willing to pay the money for an elite coach is the question.

      Delete
    3. Travis, what the heck are you talking about?

      I can name another coach with a similar, albeit shorter resume: Mike Haywood, who led Miami (OH) to a MAC title, beating a heavily favored Northern Illinois in the process. We all know how well that turned out, both when his hiring was announced and after.

      You could say the same thing about Dave Doreen (NC State via Northern Illinois) and Darrell Hazell (Purdue via Kent State); they combined to go 0-16 in their respective conferences. I guess it's ok when it happens to another school. If Pitt hired those guys and had the same results, you'd be here telling us why we limited ourselves to head coaches and not go after a successful coordinator like Paul Chryst.

      You can debate Pitt and Steve Pederson's ABILITY to find a good coach. To say that they don't want to find one is asinine.

      Delete
    4. Mike Gottfried was a very good coach ( IronHead Heyward ;) he beat ND + PSU recruited well and a shame he stepped down due to a reported dalliance with a cheerleader, I met Mike once here in SD = a really nice guy. Walt Harris was another very good coach IMO + very cool he came back to PGH to reside + he still backs the Panthers big time ;)

      Delete
    5. YEA! How many MAC schools let alone BIG schools have 8 NFL HOFer's ( + more on the way ) + BTW how many MAC schools were on national tv as much as PITT is every year = name recognition + tradition

      Delete
    6. weas56 - Just how many BCS bowls have those 8 NFL HOFer's garnered Pitt in oh, the last 20 years

      Name recognition and tradition. Really? The only consistent tradition Pitt has had since Jackie Sherrill is being a mediocre football team

      Delete
    7. Most of Pitt NFL HOFer's came from the Majors/Sherrill era.
      Tradition??? Well, the last 30 years, Pitt is a 6-6 team on average. I guess that is tradition!

      Delete
    8. Our budget has been a MAC budget. Our HC is one of the lowest paid BCS coaches and the assistants are not well paid either. We are a stepping stone at this point. Better than the MAC because we are in the ACC and have had a great history of winning titles and producing college and NFL HOF players, but currently not very desirable. It was difficult going to the games this year, harder than most times in the past.

      Delete
  43. D Winters - I put this under another thread so replies can match up to it.

    Jamie Dixon is proof that I think Pitt would be willing to pay for a coach that proves to be successful.
    Keep in mind no matter how committed Pitt is to winning, they will never be able to outspend a Kentucky or a North Carolina for a hoops coach, just like how they'll never be able to outspend a Texas or Notre Dame for a football coach.

    Now for paying to hire one from the start, they don't appear to be too willing to do that. Then again, let me ask this: Let's say your the AD, and Pitt has authorized you to pay $2.7 million, which would be in the top-third of ACC salaries according the link posted below. Who do you go after?
    Now, before you and anyone else answer, keep in mind to successfully hire this coach, the other school has to be unable or unwilling to meet that amount.

    http://blogs.roanoke.com/andybittervirginiatechfootball/2013/01/23/around-the-acc-louisville-upping-the-ante-on-coaching-salaries-ncaas-miami-investigation-on-hold/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Original, we'll see what Pitt does if Coach Chryst proves to be a consistent winner. Hopefully, the current administration will be smarter than the one when Sherrill was here. He was an amazingly successful coach who left for Texas A & M over money issues.

      I don't pretend to know the details of hiring coaches; that's the job of the AD who gets paid a lot of money to make good hires, and has a lot more information at his disposal.

      If Pitt isn't willing to hire an elite coach, at least let's hope when we do find one, that we take care of him financially. We may not be able to outspend other schools, but hopefully the administration will understand how valuable a good coach is, and do all they can to retain him.

      Delete
    2. I don't think head coaching salary is as important as paying top dollar for assistants and recruiting. $2.7 million will get you a good head coach. But you have to follow that up with a competitive budget in other areas. Here's an example of where Pitt lags:

      https://b2.caspio.com/dp.asp?AppKey=900c1000ea466e223e104a22814a

      According to this database (ESPN), Penn State spent 73% more on recruiting than Pitt. Make all of the "we don't worship football" excuses that you want, we're still going to be P.O.'d when they have better players than we do in three years. Supposedly we're competing on the same level. That number says otherwise. Oh, and THEIR coach makes $3.28 million, and he hasn't won squat. So there's that.

      If Pitt is to compete at the highest level, in their respective field (the ACC), it's going to have to do so in many areas, including the wallet. The Steelers compete that way, and they are by no means cheap. Check out Tomlin's salary versus others in the NFL. You run the risk of failure and waste, but the alternative is most often hoping for 7-5. It's what you're willing to accept in terms of risk vs. reward.

      I think Chryst is a stop-gap. I think the university knew they screwed the Wannstedt situation up, and were blind-sided by Graham, and was left without the financial support for the program needed to make a successful run at improving the program. Chryst was brought in to "not embarrass the university", while the turmoil around the program dies down, and everyone can regroup. Nordenberg assured Pederson one more chance to make it right on the next go-around, when most fans are clamoring for change - after September 10, 2016.

      Delete
    3. aamp74 I appreciate your thoughts, but no business operates that way. I agree, the administration now knows they botched the Wannstedt firing, but Chryst is no means a stopgap. Pederson and his cronies are just incompetent. Let's be honest here, he has made only ONE solid hire in his career as an AD and that was Ben Howland. Howland brought Dixon in and the rest is history. Chryst had interviews for HC vacancies several times before landing at Pitt. Obviously those programs didn't see a leader. Some men are just better coordinators than HC. Unfortunately we as fans are the ones who have to suffer through this. I honestly think Chryst is doing the best job he can. However it's obvious that he can't put together a staff, recruit, and occasionally botches in-game calls.

      Delete
  44. So two players that don't live up to their potential tell the mother the system is bad and everybody is up in arms. How many times in sports do we hear athlete's complain about the system? It happens everywhere. The attitude is if I am not starting then the system is bad. If I am not performing then it's the system. How many athlete's complained about how Paterno ran his offense? This is hogwash and a nonissue

    Coach Chryst is trying to build a program on character, education and athletics. He doesn't just talk the talk. This resulted in cancer being removed from the team. I can tell you that every family I have talked to that has young athlete's like the job he is doing with the program. We might not get even half our targets but when do we ever do? Did Majors and Sherill get every athlete in this area. Coach Chryst is doing a wonderful job and House improved as the year went on. Dravon chose to go to WVU. Their coach is a lush. Our coach has character

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To answer your question regarding Majors and Sherrill. Yes for the most part.
      Very few elite wpial went elsewhere except perhaps PSU.

      Some advice Anony 6:20, don't ask a question you don't know the answer to. You obviously are young.

      Delete
    2. 'Their coach is a "lush" - didn't Coach Majors like his bourbon ?

      Delete
    3. To anon at 7:41, you can't say that Majors and Sherrill got every elite prospect from WPIAL during their time with some going to PSU because that simply isn't true. Majors and Sherrill recruited no differently than what any other coach since them; they identified the talent they wanted from the area and made an offer. It wasn't to every "elite" kid in the WPIAL regardless of whether they went to PSU or elsewhere.

      If anything, outside of Marino, Flynn and Gordon Jones, Pitt mainly took linemen and linbacker types from the area and got their skill players from the south or possibly the Youngstown area. It isn't like there weren't skill position kids here.

      Delete
    4. Anony 12:09,
      Tell me who they lost.
      btw, I know the answer.
      and lost a few to PSU but majority of elite wpial went to Pitt. I could careless whether they were skill players or lineman. Did you forget Dorsett? I can list the names if you wish. Can you? You first since you doubt my facts!

      Delete
    5. Clark from New Castle went to PSU. mid/late 70's.

      Delete
    6. Chuck Fusina of Sto-Rox

      Delete
    7. I'm not doubting your facts, what I'm saying is that Pitt did not get every "elite" player in the Major/Sherrill era from the WPIAL and didn't try to. Pitt was good during that era because of the talent they got elsewhere, mainly from the south, not because of "elite" WPIAL kids.

      Names like Hugh Green, Mark May, Rickey Jackson just to name three ring a bell? Were they from the WPIAL - no. Every WPIAL "elite" kid didn't go to Pitt during that time because they knew they wouldn't have that great of an opportunity to play.

      Delete
  45. Looks like Peterson had a talk with Chryst about the Henry recruiting debacle.
    Chryst made an in-home visit to Shai Mckenzie last night even though Shai had an "official visit" this past weekend.

    The last week, Chryst didn't go on the in-home visit with House. Instead, he did in-home visits with those that have committed. Such a waste of time when 4 elite wpial prospects are yet to be had.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Either PC is not all that impressed with Henry or he's just really lazy. One thing to think about. PC has taken far less talented players in this class compared to Henry.

      Another question, during the entire recruiting process with Henry, how many times did PC himself visit his house? It is very close after all.

      Delete
    2. The effort made by the staff with Henry tells any clear thinking fan that Henry was not a priority. Like it or not. Right or wrong. Chris James received dozens of hand written letters from the staff and players. Boyd's pals were offered scholarships in order to land him. Henry was not afforded the same consideration with his pals. Boyd received an in house visit last year from Engram AND Chryst. Henry did not get that either. Many of the kids and parents have praised the staff for their sincerity. Hell they even sent a birthday card to James grandmother!!! And now we have this..... We'll know in a few years whether the staff was right or wrong, but clearly they did not see Henry in the same light others see him. His parents? They think he's the next Revis...

      Delete
    3. Anonymous 2:46 - when you say, "Henry was not a priority" - that's just wrong. He may not have been at the top of the list but with a position of need at the DB spot, Pitt wanted him and very badly.

      You may be right regarding a package deal with Fields but clearly, Pitt thought more of Boyd's pals than they did with Fields.

      In home visits? Apparently, the very last two visits were to be with the DC's from WVU and Pitt as requested by the parents and that's what sealed the deal.

      The bottom line is that Tony Gibson flat out recruited Matt House period.

      Delete
    4. Zatiti,

      You may be right that Henry was a priority, but actions speak louder than words. The staff went all out with Boyd and James, but lukewarm with Henry. Obviously, the Henry's noticed as well. Time will tell if the staff screwed up or not. I will say that the few times I saw Henry, he was not overly impressive. That doesn't mean he isn't good though.

      Delete
    5. Honestly Anonymous 3:37, you may be right on all accounts - not only did I think Henry would commit to Pitt and was wrong but, I have never seen him play either.

      Delete
  46. Anonymous 9:19 - You're Joe D and you want to know how I can tell?

    Because you're STILL the only one who misspells Pederson with Peterson...lame as always Joey. - lol!

    ReplyDelete
  47. WVU was more transparent, forthcoming, and accountable than Pitt in their answers to questions about the program, this past season, where the program is going. WVU, unlike Pitt, did not come into someone's home and look them in the face and lie about questions, where some of the answers were already known.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where the program is going is a constant 4-6 place each year. They need cincy in the big 8 so they can get a yearly win. A loss to Kansas, really? Kansas gets their first big 8 conference win since they were probably the big 8 against wvu and there is a actionable/believable plan where the program is going?

      Laughable at best. What about last season with 2 number one picks on offense? The problem with WVU is that they are in a conference where they will most likely lose to texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State every year, and TTech, Baylor, KState and TCU every other year. That is their reality under the current coaching staff and equates to 4-5 losses per year, with three cupcakes on the schedule each year too.

      Except of course for next year. Normally, I would say they have a chance against Alabama because the tide will have a brand spanking new qb at the helm. The problem is that so will WVU. Again next year they go at best 7-5, at worst 4-8. My prediction, not accounting for injuries, etc. is 5-7 and Holgorsen gets canned. Ollie will have a new President by then and when they review athletic success and the Pres sees the record over the past few years under holgy, he will be gone.

      Delete