Monday, September 7, 2015

James Conner out for the season

According to Pat Narduzzi, James Conner has a torn MCL and will be out for the season. Chris James, Qadree Ollison, and Darrin Hall will have to pick up the slack.

46 comments:

  1. How much does this hurt his draft stock? Any chance this could cause him to want to come back another year to show he's worth a top pick?

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  2. I think the chances are that he will still go, but this makes it more possible that he'd stay.

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  3. His family just said they’re "already counting the days until he can run the ball as a Panther once again.”

    Hope that's actually true 8 months from now.

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    1. Hopefully it's true but I take what they say now with a grain of salt. They always say that until it comes time to truly decide.

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  4. Very unfortunate for Conner.
    MCL is not as bad as ACL so he should be able to recover well.
    This will hurt his draft stock for 2017. Doubtful he will enter the 2016 draft.

    Ok prognosticators.
    What will Pitt's record be this season?
    Which game will Peterman be named starter?

    1. 5-7
    2. By the 7th game (Syracuse) with Pitt record of 2-4 at that point.

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    1. I meant to say, Peterman will be starter by 7th game.
      He will get playing time per Narduzzi, probably every game.
      Agree Chris, Voytik job to lose. He hasn't progressed from last year.
      - Can only dink/dunk. No long ball.
      - If 1st option is covered, he runs unless it's Boyd where he throws it up for a jump ball.
      I don't see him lasting long as starter.
      Chaney recruited Peterman out of HS and got him to transfer to Pitt. It won't be long that Peterman is the starter.

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    2. Looks like Peterman will be the starter in the 3rd game...
      Got most of the PT at Akron!
      Wow. Sooner than I thought. They are tired of Voytik "safe" passes and run first mentality. He hasn't progressed at all from last season.

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  5. You're crazy Anonymous 1:36.

    Voytik will remain the starter all year and Pitt will still finish with 10 wins - just watch and see.

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    1. I thought 7 or 8 before the season. But with Connor going down and watching how terrible they looked against an FCS team, I'm thinking 5-6.

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    2. You realize the guy replacing him ran for 207 yards in one half, right? The situation is not THAT dire.

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    3. I mean 200 yards is 200 yards, it's certainly better than nothing, but I'm not sure how much stats really matter against Youngstown State. Say what you want, but teams schedule games like that so that they have a cupcake exhibition-like game to open the season. Don't let the fact that Youngstown State made it a game convince you that they are somehow a credible opponent. They aren't. My comment wasn't just about Connor, it was the combination of the fact that they looked bad against a bad team and also lost their best player.

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    4. In fact I was very impressed with Ollison. Seems faster than Conner and was a beast to bring down. But sample size is small.

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    5. Al--you need to realize this game was deliberately coached like an NFL exhibition game with a ton of players getting looked at in game situations for evaluation purposes rather than like a straight-up lets do the best we can to win as convincingly as possible approach we will see going forward against stronger opponents.

      You also have to realize that YSU, although an FCS team, is fully the equivalent of a middle of the pack MAC-level FBS opponent. In fact, they probably have a better team than Akron, our next opponent.

      This wasn't your typical FCS team from the days when all the FBS level teams recruited 30-40 ship players a year and left no talent, size or speed for the lower level teams. The 85-25 rule has made it so lower level programs now get enough size, speed and talent that you can no longer be guaranteed to simply out muscle and out quick them like "back in the day." All these teams now only lack the elite talent, but can hold their own in the trenches..

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    6. Youngstown State isn't bottom of the barrel. They're still a D1 team with a quality head coach. Running for over 200 yards on them in one half is still VERY impressive.

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    7. Anonymous and Chris - I get what you're saying, FCS schools have legit athletes, it's not like it's me out there, haha. But take a look at overall FCS records vs FBS schools. The winning percentage is like 85-90%. Take Power 5 schools and I can't find anywhere that breaks that down but I imagine it gets closer to 95%. Yes every once in a while Appalachian St. beats Michigan. The other 19 times out of 20, that school gets stomped.

      These are glorified exhibitions. If an NFL running back went for 200 yards in preseason against the 3rd string, it'd be noteworthy, but it wouldn't mean he's as good as the starter or even close.

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    8. I definitely don't think any of these guys are close to being Connor but you don't need a superstar to have a good rushing attack. If all three are merely good then they'll run for a good amount of yards behind that line.

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    9. Well sure I think that the rushing attack can still be above average, but let's face it, this wasn't a good team WITH Connor. They won 6 games last year. Most of those players are back but as we saw on defense, that's probably not a good thing. I expected some improvement this year, but the defense sure didn't look improved, and I think any improvement they may have made could be nullified by losing your best player. I mean if you're being honest, did you see ANYTHING Saturday to indicate this is somehow better than a 6-win team after losing Connor? Because that's what started this conversation is my prediction of 6 wins.

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    10. Al, it's one game. It's way too early to know.

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    11. That's fair. A lifetime of Pitt fandom has programmed me to expect the worst, haha.

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    12. 10 wins. Seriously.
      Heck, I don't know any prognosticators with over 8 wins before the season started.
      The over/under is 6 wins by several oddsmakers and sports writers.

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    13. 10 wins? Did you watch some other game last week? They were no better than last year. This is another nail biter year to getting to 6-6.

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  6. I don't buy it. One guy is not the team. I still think we can win 7 games. We may not win 7 but just because he's down doesn't end the season. Huge loss though...

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  7. Losing Connor is not the end of the world, injuries are a reality and that's why you recruit and fortunately Pitt has quality depth at the running back position.

    Regarding Connor and the 2016 draft, even with a good season he might Have been a 4th rounder per some literature.

    I think he comes back for one more season.

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    1. You're nuts... Conner was a top 3 RB in this draft class, along with Henry, and Elliot. Might still be.

      MCL is not a major injury... in the short term he'll lose some cash, dropping from fringey 1st rounder to probably 2-3. Some NFL teams may even view it as a positive as he will not receive the 300-350 touches that were coming his way this season.

      He's proven everything he needs to on the field. He just needs to get himself health leading up to pro days and combines.

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    2. Boston C, the best RB's are now going in the late 2nd round. Both Bell & Lacy were taken in the late 2nd round.

      This was supposed to be the year where Pitt was going to pass to Connor out of the back field....so he hasn't proven everything yet. And how does he block when kept in on 3rd down? Pitt rarely kept him in the game on 3rd down passing plays. There will be question marks for Connor. He's not a complete back, he will be injury prone in the NFL with his upright running style and he's somewhat slow (by NFL standards).

      A 3rd round pick for him would be very good at this point IMO....unless he "wows them" somehow at the Combine.

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    3. I think going into the season he was considered a 2nd or 3rd rounder but his speed was going to be the telling factor. If he ran in the 4.5s he'd be a 2nd rounder. If he ran in the 4.7s then he was going to drop way down.

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    4. Jackagain - This kinda sounds like you are trying to convince yourself he will come back because you are hoping it. I actually didn't realize MCL injury was so much less bad than ACL. Now that I saw the recovery time, I can't imagine how he would come back, which is unfortunate for Pitt.

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    5. Oh sorry I think I misread. You didn't talk about him coming back or not. I meant the guy with the original comment is trying to convince himself

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  8. Hopefully Connor's surgery is a total success. To me that is what is most important. Given the class in the way he has handled himself, one hopes only the best for him. If that means going to the NFL after the season, so be it. He needs to concentrate on getting his degree this year and next if he stays, so he can make a living outside of football. The life of bruising running backs in the NFL is rather short on average.

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  9. I am sad for Connor and wish him a very speedy recovery.

    That being said I think Pitt will be fine. RB depth will more than be able to keep Pitt winning ball games.

    I also think how the draft decision goes depends 100% on how his knee looks in January.

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  10. Here's who Pitt CANNOT afford to lose - in order:

    1) - Boyd - for obvious reasons
    2) - Grigsby - at least based on the 1st game plus, the LB position is thin.
    3) - Maddox - easily better than Pitts at corner
    4) - Blair believe it or not...D-end position is very thin
    5) - Either Bookser, Biz or DJ - take your pick - can't afford any more attrition on the O-line.

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  11. Hi Doke,

    We miss your work, and many of us hate wading through the sewer that is Twitter to obtain your nuggets of wisdom. Point being, don't be gone so long!

    Will this force Pitt to become more of a passing team? Or at least more balanced?

    And if so, can Voytik deliver? Or does Connor's injury take Voytik out too, meaning Peterman will be under center as starter soon?

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    1. I think it will be more balanced. Not sure what that was this weekend. The offense looked lost. I have no idea if Voytik will stay the starter all year but it's his job to lose.

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  12. My three favorite players on this team: JJ-S, Conner and Boyd and two are done for the year. Other schools have injuries, but Pitt has been so mediocre you'd think we'd catch a break and have some stars stay healthy.

    Conner has no reason to come back and that's that for his Pitt career.

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    1. What's so unfortunate is that we've had some all-time great players, and even though the rules basically dictate players have to stay in college for 3 years, circumstances keep coming up where we only get them for two. Fitzgerald, McCoy, Dion Lewis, and now Connor. Such a shame we only get to watch the great talents for two years (not to mention how many were totally wasted on mediocre to bad teams but that's another discussion)

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  13. Tough break for James. A great running back, plus a great representative for Pitt. I hope he does whatever is in his long-term best interest. From what I read, the surgery went very well. Best of luck to him, regardless of what he decides to do.

    I think the running game will be OK, as there's good depth there. I'm more concerned about the QB position.

    Chad looked very bad this past Saturday. Not having Boyd really seems to affect him, so hopefully his return will help Voytik.

    Also, Voytik may be adjusting to Chaney's system, and it might not be a good fit. Chad's not a great pocket passer, and if memory serves, he did better last year after Chryst adjusted the offense to fit his strengths.

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    1. Chaney needs to adjust to Chad's strengths. If he doesn't, then he is a boob for shoving his system down the throat of a QB. That said, let's see how it plays out in Week 2 with the AA receiver back in the fold. If Chad starts well and Peterman is then thrust into the game, I'll be pissed.

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    2. This is such an idiotic point of view. If we were talking about a once in a lifetime player, maybe you adjust if his skills give you a better chance to win. We are talking about Voytik, not vick in college. He needs to throw deep, he needs to move through progressions and he needs to check down. Not just here but anywhere going forward. Peterman spreads the field out better, so you will see him get reps until Voytik takes a step forward in this system....or doesn't and Peterman takes over.

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    3. I think the very important point that you're missing is that Voytik has had a better career than Peterman, who flopped in his chance to start at Tennessee. I'm not saying that Peterman won't eventually prove to be better but trashing Voytik and praising Peterman at this point makes no sense.

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    4. Im not missing any point. I didn't trash Voytik, simply stated he needs to take a step forward in the system. The point was that you don't change a system to match a QB, you have your QB change to the system. You have a bunch of good RB's, you have a good offensive line, a stud wide out and some up and comers with speed. You don't stunt the rest of your talent who can play in the system by catering to the QB if you have other options that can work in the system. Voytik has talent and adds an aspect to the game, but he still needs to work in the system. It is not trashing Voytik to say that Peterman throws a better deep ball.... he does. It's not trashing Peterman to say Voytik runs better.... he does. I think there is a good chance that both see the field until one blow ups either positively or negatively. He was basically saying that Chaney is a boob for not calling plays where Voytik can either lock onto one player or run the ball. There is a reason that Chaney recruited Peterman in college and not Voytik. He is a better fit for the offense that Chaney wants to run. It is why he is here and why he will get reps. That doesn't mean Voytik can't be and isnt the better QB, he does however need to be able to go through progressions in this offense and that isn't a knock on him just a reality. Now Chris you constantly sit on here and on twitter saying people put words in your mouth, please don't misread what I wrote.

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    5. I stand by my comment. Voytik has proven more than Peterman at this point so it's not the travesty that you continually make it seem that Voytik is starting over him.

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  14. Despite the Conner injury this season will still be about Voytik's performance. This line and the TEs / H backs will provide the room our pretty talented RBs need to be productive.

    We don't know if Peterman is better than Voytik because his playing time was limited, but we know Voytik looked awful. Whether Voytik looses the starting job isn't at all clear because the best player will play, even if they player sucks. And Voytik may still be the best of bad options.

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  15. Is Gilbert still announcing tomorrow? I get the feeling if he picks Pitt so will Pugh and if he doesn't Pugh goes to WVU. I wouldn't be shocked to see Zach choose VT, but I'm hoping we get both.

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  16. THE BACKYARD BRAWL IS BACK

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  17. September 17, 2022 at Pittsburgh

    September 16, 2023 at West Virginia

    September 14, 2024 at Pittsburgh

    September 13, 2025 at West Virginia

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