This is going to go over like a fart on the T, but....

Oct 25, 2021
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Anybody else a little concerned about the development of the young defensive talent on this team? I completely understand that we are laden with experience right now, so I am absolutely not saying they should be starting or anything like that. However, there are a few spots where, at the very least, reps are there for the taking and they're not being seized.

Look, I get that there is a difference between being too good to keep off the field and playing out of necessity. But there just doesn't seem to be a buzz around many young guys like we've seen in past years. Pinnock and Mathis were both playing as freshman and then impact players by year two. Weaver, Twyman, and Jones all followed the trajectory of redshirting in year one, playing a good bit in year two and showing flashes, and then being starters/some of the team's better players in year three (with the exception of Weaver going down with an injury that year)... and all three were receiving a ton of buzz coming out of camp early in their careers at Pitt. Cam Bright... same thing. Damar Hamlin basically followed that trajectory without technically redshirting. Sirvocea Dennis... didn't redshirt; all ACC as a true sophomore. Obviously Whitehead was a different animal altogether, but you get the point.

This isn't really about this year, per se, as much as it is about the future. And the transfer portal does change some of it, but I don't know if we're going to get any stars that way. I'd like to know that the next Mathis, Kancey, Baldonado, Dennis, etc. are already on this team. I'll get blasted by the usual suspects, but I do think the concern is legit as of now.
 
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PittPanther76

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I'm mostly concerned about the development of the corners, I thought Battle and Woods struggled on Thursday, and I'm not too sure of the young talent we have, however I believe some of them can come back so perhaps they can turn the tide with another year of development this year.
 
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I'm mostly concerned about the development of the corners, I thought Battle and Woods struggled on Thursday, and I'm not too sure of the young talent we have, however I believe some of them can come back so perhaps they can turn the tide with another year of development this year.

Definitely one of the positions I had in mind. I thought Khalil Anderson would be a stud corner here (so did the coaches, obviously), and he's already a safety who isn't playing much. Between Battle and Royal, I thought at least one would be a stud (hey, they still may be). Biglow was talked up quite a bit last year. Crumpley this year. I can see the safeties being blocked by two good ones, but there should be room in the rotation for a solid young corner to see the field and play well.
 
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PittPharm2002

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Anybody else a little concerned about the development of the young defensive talent on this team? I completely understand that we are laden with experience right now, so I am absolutely not saying they should be starting or anything like that. However, there are a few spots where, at the very least, reps are there for the taking and they're not being seized.

Look, I get that there is a difference between being too good to keep off the field and playing out of necessity. But there just doesn't seem to be a buzz around many young guys like we've seen in past years. Pinnock and Mathis were both playing as freshman and then impact players by year two. Weaver, Twyman, and Jones all followed the trajectory of redshirting in year one, playing a good bit in year two and showing flashes, and then being starters/some of the team's better players in year three (with the exception of Weaver going down with an injury that year)... and all three were receiving a ton of buzz coming out of camp early in their careers at Pitt. Cam Bright... same thing. Damar Hamlin basically followed that trajectory without technically redshirting. Sirvocea Dennis... didn't redshirt; all ACC as a true sophomore. Obviously Whitehead was a different animal altogether, but you get the point.

This isn't really about this year, per se, as much as it is about the future. And the transfer portal does change some of it, but I don't know if we're going to get any stars that way. I'd like to know that the next Mathis, Kancey, Baldonado, Dennis, etc. are already on this team. I'll get blasted by the usual suspects, but I do think the concern is legit as of now.
They got plenty of rotational play in the wvu game
 
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joeydavid

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Perhaps the bigger difference is we have more talent and experience in the upper class levels than we did before when we had to rely on younger guys.

This is the correct answer.

It's tough to take Williams, MJ, Hill or Hallett off the field. It's the same situation on the dline only deeper with talent.
 
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They got plenty of rotational play in the wvu game

Who? Battle got in and didn't look the part at all... but apparently he's better than who is behind him. We had a JUCO transfer and a walk-on taking reps at linebacker. Temple got in at d-end on WVU's pick six drive... they ran off tackle right past him on the very first play. I'd like to see a stout Johnson taking those reps. Jules got in and the sea parted up the middle. I'd like to see Donald and/or Ford getting those reps.
 
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Perhaps the bigger difference is we have more talent and experience in the upper class levels than we did before when we had to rely on younger guys.

I mentioned as much, but there were certainly reps to be had at all three levels on the defense. Like I said, I'm not saying these guys should be starting. But some of the guys getting reps aren't exactly Mean Joe Greene and Mel Blount.
 

Zeldas Open Roof

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Perhaps the bigger difference is we have more talent and experience in the upper class levels than we did before when we had to rely on younger guys.
the covid year of eligibility delayed things too. Look at our LBs, Kamara is really just getting to play consistently now and he's in year 4.. Alexandre coming back this year, Camp came back last year, all pushes one or two DL back a year from playing..

We see it now big time with our OL.
 

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I mentioned as much, but there were certainly reps to be had at all three levels on the defense. Like I said, I'm not saying these guys should be starting. But some of the guys getting reps aren't exactly Mean Joe Greene and Mel Blount.
reading Chris' post about defensive guys playing snaps, they rotated a ton of players in. 10 DL played. the problem is, well not sure it's a problem but what's eye opening is that 10 DL played and none of them were named Donald, Ford, Johnson or even Fitzsimmons..
 
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reading Chris' post about defensive guys playing snaps, they rotated a ton of players in. 10 DL played. the problem is, well not sure it's a problem but what's eye opening is that 10 DL played and none of them were named Donald, Ford, Johnson or even Fitzsimmons..

Well that is my point. I'd like to see a few more studs who, despite their youth, can't be kept off the field. I'm not arguing that they're not rotating guys. I'm just saying that some of these rotational players leave a bit to be desired, and if the young guys were really popping in practice they'd be playing.
 

wbrpanther

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Anybody else a little concerned about the development of the young defensive talent on this team? I completely understand that we are laden with experience right now, so I am absolutely not saying they should be starting or anything like that. However, there are a few spots where, at the very least, reps are there for the taking and they're not being seized.

Look, I get that there is a difference between being too good to keep off the field and playing out of necessity. But there just doesn't seem to be a buzz around many young guys like we've seen in past years. Pinnock and Mathis were both playing as freshman and then impact players by year two. Weaver, Twyman, and Jones all followed the trajectory of redshirting in year one, playing a good bit in year two and showing flashes, and then being starters/some of the team's better players in year three (with the exception of Weaver going down with an injury that year)... and all three were receiving a ton of buzz coming out of camp early in their careers at Pitt. Cam Bright... same thing. Damar Hamlin basically followed that trajectory without technically redshirting. Sirvocea Dennis... didn't redshirt; all ACC as a true sophomore. Obviously Whitehead was a different animal altogether, but you get the point.

This isn't really about this year, per se, as much as it is about the future. And the transfer portal does change some of it, but I don't know if we're going to get any stars that way. I'd like to know that the next Mathis, Kancey, Baldonado, Dennis, etc. are already on this team. I'll get blasted by the usual suspects, but I do think the concern is legit as of now.
You are reading pretty much into this based on one game.
 
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HailtoPitt

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Pitt averages three stars recruiting. There are just going to be holes every year.
 

Zeldas Open Roof

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Well that is my point. I'd like to see a few more studs who, despite their youth, can't be kept off the field. I'm not arguing that they're not rotating guys. I'm just saying that some of these rotational players leave a bit to be desired, and if the young guys were really popping in practice they'd be playing.
i dont think it's a terrible point by you at all. It would be nice to see some of these younger guys at least getting reps on the 3rd string..

If i told you that we'd have 10 DL getting a 1/2 dozen snaps or more in one game, it would be a safe assumption that at least one of our 3 very heralded recruits, in year 2, would be in that list of 10.
 
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You are reading pretty much into this based on one game.

Well I'm not really referring to a guy like, for instance, Fitzsimmons. I don't expect a d-lineman to play in his first ever game here when it's against a P5 opponent. Some of the guys who have been here for a year, though? Yeah. Particularly at a position like cornerback, where young guys play all the time. But not just cornerback. Look how touted Weaver was in 2017. Narduzzi talked about barely being able to keep him off the field in 2016... and they wouldn't have if you could play in four games and still redshirt back then.
 

h2p_5150

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I'm not all that worried. When you recruit at the level we do, you need to rely on developing upperclassmen. We might need to hit the portal a little harder than usual a year or two from now though.
 

PittPanther76

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Definitely one of the positions I had in mind. I thought Khalil Anderson would be a stud corner here (so did the coaches, obviously), and he's already a safety who isn't playing much. Between Battle and Royal, I thought at least one would be a stud (hey, they still may be). Biglow was talked up quite a bit last year. Crumpley this year. I can see the safeties being blocked by two good ones, but there should be room in the rotation for a solid young corner to see the field and play well.
I was really big on both Battle and Royal when I heard we landed themm, but Battle definitely didn't look great on Thursday but perhaps he just needs more game experience. And I'm pretty sure Royal has just not gotten any play time, if he has I haven't noticed which could be good I suppose for a corner, but I'm almost certain he has yet to play. I remember Biglow being talked up last year so maybe he will get some time moving forward. I thought Anderson was still a corner, didn't realize he got moved to safety. Wonder why
 
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I'm not all that worried. When you recruit at the level we do, you need to rely on developing upperclassmen. We might need to hit the portal a little harder than usual a year or two from now though.

We do need to rely on upperclassmen. At the same time, we're not going to win if everyone is just "solid." I would define Green, Danielson, and Bentley as that, for example. But you need difference-makers, and those guys usually show signs early. Look at the best players on our team now: Dennis, Baldonado, Williams, Hill, and Kancey were all heavy rotational guys by year two. Addison and Bartholomew last year (where are Renda and Mitchell?). Mumpfield, albeit on a different team. Hammond. Etc.

We're fine for now, but I'm of course talking about the future.
 
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So weird that guys who aren't on the two-deep aren't playing without any injuries to the top guys.

They could, ya know, make the two-deep.

Also, I'm referring more to the three-deep here. You wouldn't like to see Donald win the job over Jules, Johnson win it over Temple, or Biglow win it over Battle? Did those three guys impress you?

Or how about Renda/Mitchell winning the job over playing with a extra tackle?
 

Zeldas Open Roof

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Or how about Renda/Mitchell winning the job over playing with a extra tackle?
zero info but just following this team thru the summer camp, i wouldnt expect to see Renda or Mitchell play this year at TE at all. They dont even seem to be even close to being on the radar, not even mentioned.
 
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zero info but just following this team thru the summer camp, i wouldnt expect to see Renda or Mitchell play this year at TE at all. They dont even seem to be even close to being on the radar, not even mentioned.

I thought Renda blocked Johnson fairly well at the 2021 Spring Game, and I thought Mitchell looked like a beast in his tape. That sucks.
 

Zeldas Open Roof

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I thought Renda blocked Johnson fairly well at the 2021 Spring Game, and I thought Mitchell looked like a beast in his tape. That sucks.
hey, what do i know. just seems like they arent on the radar. but who knows, every time i think i think i know something, it turns out wrong. Watch both play next week and make me look dumb..
 
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hey, what do i know. just seems like they arent on the radar. but who knows, every time i think i think i know something, it turns out wrong. Watch both play next week and make me look dumb..

Well, Johnson was in the hospital and that GT transfer was in street clothes, and neither saw the field... so, you are most likely onto something.
 

pittdan77

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They could, ya know, make the two-deep.

Also, I'm referring more to the three-deep here. You wouldn't like to see Donald win the job over Jules, Johnson win it over Temple, or Biglow win it over Battle? Did those three guys impress you?

Or how about Renda/Mitchell winning the job over playing with a extra tackle?
Battle was involved in five tackles. Not sure what your complaint is about his play. For the most part, the DL didn't play poorly. Most of the running yards came from the LB's being out of position. They were consuming blocks and the QB was under pressure all game, even though he was trying to get rid of it as fast as he could.

There are seven players at the top of the depth chart that are very experienced RS Jr or Sr's. It's pretty difficult to win out over guys like that at a position that requires a lot of strength training. That's a pretty good reason linemen on either side don't start right away, in most cases.

I don't really care who is out there. Pitt won and the DL wasn't really a liability. You could have come at the LB group a lot harder and been justified. That's more of a recruiting problem, though.
 
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Battle was involved in five tackles. Not sure what your complaint is about his play. For the most part, the DL didn't play poorly. Most of the running yards came from the LB's being out of position. They were consuming blocks and the QB was under pressure all game, even though he was trying to get rid of it as fast as he could.

There are seven players at the top of the depth chart that are very experienced RS Jr or Sr's. It's pretty difficult to win out over guys like that at a position that requires a lot of strength training. That's a pretty good reason linemen on either side don't start right away, in most cases.

I don't really care who is out there. Pitt won and the DL wasn't really a liability. You could have come at the LB group a lot harder and been justified. That's more of a recruiting problem, though.

Dude, Battle played a horrible game. You're using tackles to justify a cornerback's performance? People laugh at that in the NFL, because it often means the guy got beat all night. One of his tackles on a run (goal line, South End Zone) was after getting blown back a solid 10 yards by the receiver.

I've said numerous times that our OLBs were out of position all night. I'm not complaining about young guys not beating them out as much, because we don't really have many. Maxwell-Black got dropped from the class; Lavant transferred; Roberts transferred; etc.

But you're making this into a straw man argument again. I wasn't referring to most of the d-linemen who played. I said Jules and Temple didn't play well, and I'd like to see some younger guys beat them out. Same goes for Battle (hell, even Woods). I'd like to see some young guys put their names in the hat at cornerback. And, again, go back and watch that pick six drive and tell me if Temple holds the edge on that run (about 20 yards). That one was on the DE, and I'd like to see Johnson beat him out.

Again, those guys (Jules, Temple, Battle) may very well turn into "solid" players, but I want to see some studs step up. No reason some of these young guys can't get at least third string right now.
 

Zeldas Open Roof

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Dude, Battle played a horrible game. You're using tackles to justify a cornerback's performance? People laugh at that in the NFL, because it often means the guy got beat all night. One of his tackles on a run (goal line, South End Zone) was after getting blown back a solid 10 yards by the receiver.

I've said numerous times that our OLBs were out of position all night. I'm not complaining about young guys not beating them out as much, because we don't really have many. Maxwell-Black got dropped from the class; Lavant transferred; Roberts transferred; etc.

But you're making this into a straw man argument again. I wasn't referring to most of the d-linemen who played. I said Jules and Temple didn't play well, and I'd like to see some younger guys beat them out. Same goes for Battle (hell, even Woods). I'd like to see some young guys put their names in the hat at cornerback. And, again, go back and watch that pick six drive and tell me if Temple holds the edge on that run (about 20 yards). That one was on the DE, and I'd like to see Johnson beat him out.
our young OLBs arent really that young. feel like we are treating them like true freshmen, these guys are 4 years into a 5 year (ok 6 year) college career.
 
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our young OLBs arent really that young. feel like we are treating them like true freshmen, these guys are 4 years into a 5 year (ok 6 year) college career.

Yeah, that's what I mean... we don't really have any young linebackers. I can't really say it's disappointing that so and so can't get more reps, because so and so doesn't exist. DeShields is a rs sophomore, but he played. After that, it's Louis from last year, but he might be a little too green to insert into a game like that. And I didn't see Buddy Mack out there, either.
 
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Playing younger players on D usually means that the upperclassmen are not getting it done! After the TN game I expect the younger players will get some playing time against WM, RI and GT and then we can look at them closer.
 

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Yeah, that's what I mean... we don't really have any young linebackers. I can't really say it's disappointing that so and so can't get more reps, because so and so doesn't exist. DeShields is a rs sophomore, but he played. After that, it's Louis from last year, but he might be a little too green to insert into a game like that. And I didn't see Buddy Mack out there, either.
The transfer portal will really need to be our friend, especially at Linebacker.
 

pittdan77

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Dude, Battle played a horrible game. You're using tackles to justify a cornerback's performance? People laugh at that in the NFL, because it often means the guy got beat all night. One of his tackles on a run (goal line, South End Zone) was after getting blown back a solid 10 yards by the receiver.

I've said numerous times that our OLBs were out of position all night. I'm not complaining about young guys not beating them out as much, because we don't really have many. Maxwell-Black got dropped from the class; Lavant transferred; Roberts transferred; etc.

But you're making this into a straw man argument again. I wasn't referring to most of the d-linemen who played. I said Jules and Temple didn't play well, and I'd like to see some younger guys beat them out. Same goes for Battle (hell, even Woods). I'd like to see some young guys put their names in the hat at cornerback. And, again, go back and watch that pick six drive and tell me if Temple holds the edge on that run (about 20 yards). That one was on the DE, and I'd like to see Johnson beat him out.

Again, those guys (Jules, Temple, Battle) may very well turn into "solid" players, but I want to see some studs step up. No reason some of these young guys can't get at least third string right now.
You should really get Duzz on the phone and explain to him why he's so wrong. I don't know what to tell you. You're trying to argue that having enough depth that younger players aren't getting playing time is a bad thing, I don't know what to tell you. Especially on a defense that expects a lot out of individual efforts on every play.
 
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You should really get Duzz on the phone and explain to him why he's so wrong. I don't know what to tell you. You're trying to argue that having enough depth that younger players aren't getting playing time is a bad thing, I don't know what to tell you. Especially on a defense that expects a lot out of individual efforts on every play.

Again, the defense this year is fine. I mean, I hope at least one young corner can work into the rotation, and they may need to experiment with George in the middle and Dennis at the Money if Kamara and Simon don't get their assignments down. But I'm not worried about this year so much. My point: How many stars that have come through Pitt aren't at least cracking the third string by the second year in the program? Not many.

We had a replacement for Twyman (Kancey).

We had replacements for Weaver and Jones (Habba and Morgan).

We had a replacement for Whitehead (Hamlin). We had a replacement for Hamlin (Hill).

These guys were all contributing by the time the guy before them left.

My concern, and the point of this post, is that I'm not sure that I'm seeing that next waves of plug-and-play stars on the roster as it's constructed now. I'll throw the true freshmen out, because they're just too young.
 
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PittMan 72

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Just my 2 cents. Looking at ANY CFB team in a vacuum doesn‘t necessarily portray an accurate picture. Is Pitt unique? Are they out of the ordinary? Or maybe are they developing better than the norm?

What needs to be thoroughly analyzed and evaluated is how things at Pitt compare to everyone else. Without that kind of intel for comparison, it’s just a random observation/opinion about Pitt that doesn’t provide many answers.
 

thebadby2

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Well that is my point. I'd like to see a few more studs who, despite their youth, can't be kept off the field. I'm not arguing that they're not rotating guys. I'm just saying that some of these rotational players leave a bit to be desired, and if the young guys were really popping in practice they'd be playing.
We've only played one game and it was a close one against a real opponent, there wasn't a lot of opportunity for the younger players to get their feet wet. Some of those young guys will emerge and find their way into contributing roles as the season progresses. It has always been that way.

Bigger question is how was John Morgan not a Week 1 starter? That guy needs to be on the field at all times.
 
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Zeldas Open Roof

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We've only played one game and it was a close one against a real opponent, there wasn't a lot of opportunity for the younger players to get their feet wet. Some of those young guys will emerge and find their way into contributing roles as the season progresses. It has always been that way.

Bigger question is how was John Morgan not a Week 1 starter? That guy needs to be on the field at all times.
yeah, he's a bad man. i want to see more of him, especially if Alexandre is out or limited. this guy needs to play most of the time. Good thing is, he did get 48 snaps against wvu so the coaches agree.