Brian Batko's Pitt football chat: 8.8.17
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Brian Batko
11:00
Good late morning, folks. Pitt football will host its annual media day this afternoon, with Pat Narduzzi holding a presser, and plenty of assistant coaches/players being made available. Let us commence with the chat.
11:01
11:02
We start off today with a Twitter question.  Perhaps the QB situation is always worth asking about, on any football team. Tough to really get a feel for how this one is playing out, given our limited viewing time, but we may have a better answer on that after today's proceedings. I expect both Max Browne and Ben DiNucci to speak, as well as Narduzzi, obviously, and OC Shawn Watson.
Brian
11:02
Which of the FR running backs has looked the best?
Brian Batko
11:03
Hi, Brian. Wow, it's like chatting in a mirror. But honestly, I can't really give you a good answer for that. At practice, we don't see anything that sheds any light whatsoever on the backfield, let alone the freshmen. And position coach Andre Powell hasn't tipped his hand one way or the other on AJ Davis and Todd Sibley, including whether or not either one will even play at all.
Guest
11:03
I haven't heard much about Chris Clark. How is he looking?
Brian Batko
11:05
He looks fine standing around on the sideline and stretching during the 30-minute viewing window. But I guess I wouldn't be surprised if he and Rutgers grad transfer Matt Flanagan are competing for the starting TE job. Different players - Clark more of a receiver, Flanagan more of a blocker - but I think both have a chance to help a good deal.
11:07
Back to the Twitter feed. I'm not sure what's up with George Aston, other than he got hurt yesterday in practice and it's not good. If you know anything about Pat Narduzzi and injuries, you know I risk being smacked with that giant loofah thing at the top of the page just for saying this. As for other bumps and bruises, there are some. It's football. But to be fair, I guess, it's only Aug. 8.
Andrew H.
11:07
Is the RB job Quadree's to lose? Or do you see this being a hot hand type rotation all year?
Brian Batko
11:08
Dynamic as he is as a runner, I don't think Quadree Henderson has a shot at the starting RB job. So I'll assume you mean Qadree Ollison, and say yes, it is, and yes, I could see this being a backfield where quite a few guys regularly get work.
SOMDPanther
11:08
Of the redshirt freshman DE's (Pugh, Weaver, Jones), who is most standing out? And will they all make the rotation?
Brian Batko
11:10
I think Weaver is standing out the most, and I base that mainly on Josh Conklin's soldier dog tweets. Er, dog soldier. My bad. It would be a bit surprising to me to see all three on the field this year, assuming Dewayne Hendrix and Allen Edwards stay healthy, but you never know.
H2p
11:10
What specifically is the issue with Paris Ford? This seems like it should have been taking care of in early summer.
Brian Batko
11:12
All indications are that Ford was taking classes this summer, but I don't have anything more specific than that. A lot of times, these NCAA eligibility hold-ups concern players who have been to multiple high schools, which Ford has (Central Catholic, Seton-LaSalle, Steel Valley). Sometimes, credits don't transfer as people thought they would, stuff gets lost in translation, etc. Pat Narduzzi hasn't given any indications that this process is taking any longer than he or the Ford camp expected, so...
SOMDPanther
11:12
What is the "it" in #TakeIt? And once it has been taken, do you think that will bring happiness? Or perhaps happiness is unattainable?
Brian Batko
11:13
Happiness is very much attainable. I attain it every day of my life. But I think the "It" here is very similar to the "Will" in the old Pirates marketing campaign of "We Will" - it's subjective, and do with that what you will. Smile, laugh, love life, my man.
H2p
11:13
I saw the spread for the PSU game is 18.5. Is Pitt viewed that badly?
Brian Batko
11:14
Eh, not necessarily. The Panthers did get some votes in the preseason coaches poll Top 25, enough that it would put them at No. 32 in the country if you expanded it that way. But think about it: PSU is very highly regarded coming into the year, has tons of contributors and also standouts returning, AND the game is out in State College, AND there's something of a revenge factor from last year's thriller. The line seems fair.
H2p
11:15
Brian, Anymore insight on the whitehead suspension?
Brian Batko
11:15
No, but I can tell you I did not see him at practice again this morning. I hesitate to make a big deal out of that, because Pat Narduzzi did explicitly say Whitehead would be "in and out" last week and this one when camp opened. I'm not sure what's going on with him behind the scenes.
11:17
One last Twitter question, just because it's somewhat Whitehead-esque in nature. Mathews was absent again today, That lines up with Narduzzi's comment that Mathews will be back at the end of this week. Not sure if that means we'll see him on the practice field Friday, or if he'll potentially join the team Saturday, but I'll take Narduzzi at his word on this one.
SOMDPanther
11:17
I know the media has a limited viewing window, BUT who has surprised you with their flexibility in warm-ups?
Brian Batko
11:18
All the linemen are more flexible than you'd expect 300-plus-pound behemoths to be. Good for them!
Speculator
11:19
Who is the best-dressed member of the Pitt media? I'm talking 'bout practice. Not a game.
Brian Batko
11:19
Probably not me, but my wife has done all she can whipping me into shape. I'll tell you who it's not: ex-Pitt News editor/reporter and former P-G intern Dan Sostek.
Mike
11:19
How do the young players in the secondary look - Hamlin, Miller, Coleman, Garner etc.
Brian Batko
11:21
Hamlin is still limited, so not seeing too much for him, other than he appears to be moving around well in the exercises he does on the sideline. Coleman, Garner and Miller should all have a chance to make an impact this year, the latter two especially given Jordan Whitehead's suspension. I think all three have the athleticism, it's just a matter of mastering the technique they need to succeed at this level.
Speculator
11:22
Rank the Pat's: Narduzzi, Bostick, Gallagher
Brian Batko
11:22
1. Bostick
Speculator
11:22
Are you as tall as Paul Zeise?
Brian Batko
11:22
Not even close
Josh
11:22
Any information on Paris Ford?
Brian Batko
11:23
Pat Narduzzi was given a chance to offer an update yesterday, and he declined.
Mike
11:23
What did Whitehead do? Failed drug tests?
Brian Batko
11:23
Maybe ask our pal above, Speculator
Craig
11:24
Have you seen Chris Clark catching any balls?  does he look as athletic as you would expect for a recruit that was the number one tight end in the country?
Brian Batko
11:24
I have not. One of the last periods we usually get to see of practice, the QBs and WRs break out and throw the ball around. The TEs and RBs are not included in that.
Pope
11:24
What is Narduzzi failing at recruiting?  No 4 or 5-star recruits for next years class.  Team ranking at #61.  Penn State at #2 w 16 4-stars.  How is this possible after beating PSU and Clemson last year?
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