Brian Batko's Pitt football chat: 8.15.17
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Guest
11:00
Hi Batko,
Brian Batko
11:00
Hello there! Always nice to start off the chat with a simple salutation. Let us begin...
Guest
11:01
Hi Batko, anyone on this Pitt football roster who will get drafted into the NFL in 2018 draft? Thanks
Brian Batko
11:03
I think there will be quite a few, my fine guest. Jester Weah certainly as a receiver, given his speed mixed with size and production. You've got three early entry candidates in juniors Brian O'Neill, Quadree Henderson and Jordan Whitehead, if they have big seasons again. And you simply can't teach size with someone like senior tackle Jaryd Jones-Smith, who's 6-7, 320. Plus you never know who else might break out this season and get on the NFL radar.
pitt
11:03
does Julian Desire need to add weight if he wants to get a lot of snaps on D?
Brian Batko
11:04
A redshirt freshman walk-on DE, I don't necessarily see Julian Desire' being a factor. The defensive line is already very deep with scholarship players. But hey, sure, more weight couldn't hurt for a guy who's listed as a 6-3, 215-pound D-lineman.
fan of team
11:05
Hi Brian, working at the PG you get to work around some real legends in sportswriting - Ed B., Gerry Dulac, Jason Mackey, etc. Can you share a bit about what you've learned from working alongside those guys? Thanks for the great work you do too!
Brian Batko
11:07
Hi, FOT. Are you a fan of Pitt's team or the P-G team? Possibly both, judging by your question. Great guys all three, though I'm quite certain not a single one of them would accept the "legend" tag. From those three, I've learned the importance of being diligent on a beat, the value of communication, and most important simply being a kind person whether it's to your co-workers, readers, or your subjects (and thanks for the compliment, too).
Guest
11:08
Batko, did you used to pay D-III football here in PA or in NY? I remember a Batko who played WR at a small school. Thank you
Brian Batko
11:10
I haven't played D-III football anywhere, let alone in those two places. My brother-in-law played D-III football in Ohio though, at mighty John Carroll, and he actually was a WR so shouts go out to him (I am sometimes confused with a third or fourth cousin with the same name as me, but he was a hot-shot golfer, not a football player.)
Guest
11:10
Sept. 9 at Happy Valley...is there any way in HECK that Pitt can go in there and upset P. St. and ruin their season?!?!?! I hope so!!!
Brian Batko
11:12
Where there's a Will, there's a way. Although Pitt doesn't have anyone on its team named Will, so that's unfortunate for them. But sure, it's certainly possible, if not probable.
SOMDPanther
11:12
The DBs in vogue right now are Mathis at CB, Garner & Jazzee at FS and Miller at SS. But what's the word on Therran Coleman? A lot of us were hoping he could step into that starting role.
Brian Batko
11:13
Props to you for using Jazzee instead of Stocker. Never miss a chance to type Jazzee. As for Coleman, he's been limited in most of the practice we've been allowed to see, so that might be holding him back from drawing more praise from the coaching staff or players. That said, I still believe he has a chance to start, and if not that, at least figure into the mix at CB (especially if Phillipie Motley is out long-term, which he well could be).
Tim - Imperial
11:14
How do you see Kaezon Pugh carreer playing out at Pitt?
Brian Batko
11:15
Hi Tim, thanks for the question. Kaezon Pugh is one of the players people ask me about most, whether it's here in the chat or on Twitter. So, I asked defensive coordinator Josh Conklin about him last week at media day, and here's what he said:

"Kaezon’s doing well. He’s doing well. I was a little - not disappointed in his development this spring, but he went to a different position, had some growing pains there, and the last probably two or three days, he’s really started to come into his own. You see some semblance of he’s doing the things he’s supposed to be doing when he’s supposed to be doing them. It’s not too fast for him anymore. He kinda has the basic fundamentals and technique of defensive line play, which take a while to develop. So I think he’s gonna play some good football for us in the future here. How quickly that’s gonna be really depends on how he develops and how he chooses to develop."
11:16
My take on Pugh: Narduzzi has said in the past that they moved him to DE with a second-coming of Ejuan Price in mind - a shorter, quicker, more athletic and explosive pass-rusher. Perhaps Pugh will become that in time, but obviously, he's still learning. And hey, who knows, maybe we'll find out eventually that he would've been better off at LB or even on offense.
SOMDPanther
11:16
Assuming one of the Freshman Tight Ends must play this year, which do you think it should be?
Brian Batko
11:18
I can't really say who it SHOULD be, but I think Charles Reeves has the best chance just because of his physical make-up and pedigree. Huge dude at 6-5, 280, and one would assume the coaches had immediate impact in mind when they brought him in. But perhaps Neshannock grad Tyler Sear will get a crack, because I think he's also being used in a fullback/H-back type of role here in camp.
Pope
11:18
What is the latest on Paris Ford?  It doesn't sound good the longer this drags out.
Brian Batko
11:19
No latest, really. Narduzzi was basically given a chance to rule him out yesterday, and he did not do that. One might assume that the longer the delay, the less likely he makes it, but I don't necessarily think timeframe portends anything one way or the other. We're in a holding pattern with no comments on the matter from Ford himself.
SOMDPanther
11:20
So Brown and DiNucci are he #1 & #2 at QB. Fine. But, looking forward to 2018, where do you think MacVittie and Pickett are in their respective developments and do you expect a true 3-way battle next camp?
Brian Batko
11:21
I don't think DiNucci wins the job this year, but I do think all the positive talk of him this offseason is a good gauge of what the staff thinks of him going forward. Having said that, I do see it being a true battle next fall, if only because there isn't likely to be an incumbent starter returning. Not to mention, Narduzzi could simply go out and grab another grad transfer if he's not comfortable with his QBs, though he said last month he doesn't really want to have to keep doing that. Good question, SOMD.
Church
11:22
I keep hearing how big of a loss Matt Canada is (not debating that) but it seems his offenses stalled in the second half when teams adjusted.  So i wonder how effective he would have been when teams would be seeing him for the second time.  Maybe a new coach with some new wrinkles won't be the worst thing for the offense?
Brian Batko
11:23
Possibly not, Church. Had Canada stayed, you assume ACC defenses would begin getting hip to a lot of his tricks. Shawn Watson might have some new tricks up his sleeve, in addition to keeping a lot of the stuff that worked so well under Canada. And regardless of who the OC is, you still have some talented guys in Weah, Quadree Henderson, etc., but you're gonna need solid QB play to make it all hum.
Gary77
11:24
When can we expect PN to get some 4-star recruits?
Brian Batko
11:24
Possibly whenever Aliquippa DB Kwantel Raines announces his college choice. He's a 4-star guy. And someone like Devin Danielson from Thomas Jefferson, already committed, might be better than his 3-star ranking, but I understand the sentiment behind your question.
Pope
11:25
What unit of the D will be the strength this season and which unit on D will be the worst?
Brian Batko
11:26
I think linebacker could be the best, simply because of the relative amount of experience with Sean Idowu, Elijah Zeise, Saleem Brightwell and Quintin Wirginis. I'll still put cornerback as the worst, simply because there's so many unproven players there, many of them still young and learning on the job.
DreamBackfield
11:26
Do you think an on-campus stadium and returning to the old Pitt colors would help with fan attendance and recruiting?
Brian Batko
11:27
Maybe? Though I've never read a quote from a recruit who left a Pitt visit saying "Man, it really stinks they play at Heinz Field instead of some place on campus." As for the colors, fans and recruits alike seem to be more fond of the brighter blue-and-yellow scheme we saw last year. And candidly, I would agree with that.
Pope
11:28
What is the best unit on O and worst?
Brian Batko
11:28
I think the OL is the best, but WRs maybe a close second. Still think there are some potential playmakers there behind Weah and Henderson. As for the worst, well, I guess fullback if George Aston is out for a long time. Apologies if that's a cop-out.
gary@northernVirginia
11:28
Brian....Do you think that leaving the program might possibly be on Whitehead's mind? Doesn't seem like that would be a smart move, but his being in and out at practice is a bit concerning.
Brian Batko
11:30
Interesting question, Gary. Jordan Whitehead was NOT at practice today, but again, Narduzzi said way back on Day 1 of camp that he'd be in and out. Maybe it's something, maybe it's nothing. I have no idea what Jordan Whitehead is thinking, but I have to believe he'll be with the program throughout this season. Honestly, I have not heard anything to indicate that he would leave the team or would want to.
Pope
11:30
What is the latest on Hamlin?
Brian Batko
11:30
Nothing much, Pope. He's still limited in practice, as he has been all camp. Coaches always just say they're being cautious with him, so tough to say. Maybe I'll ask about him again in the next few days as other story lines wear thin.
11:31
OK everyone, thanks for another fantastic Pitt football chat. Same time, same place next week, I assume. Hope to see you all there on the left side of my screen.
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