Bob Smizik

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With the Tino Sunseri era at Pitt officially over, one question:

How is it possible that in the three years he was a starter, Pitt could not do better?

Surely, there had to be a junior-college quarterback or a disgruntled transfer somewhere in America who would have grasped at the chance to win the starting quarterback job at a BCS school.

But, no, Sunseri prevailed. Three different coaches thought he not just good enough to start but to take, if memory servers, virtually every snap in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

At best, he was average. But it wasn’t often that he was at his best. In the BBVA Compass Bowl yesterday in Birmingham, Sunseri, clearly, was not at his best.  In case you missed the first three seasons of his career, it was all there yesterday:

The horrific interception; the careless fumble; the unnecessary sack.

And so it was on an afternoon that the  defense was no better than the Sunseri-led offense, the Panthers were rocked by Ole Miss, 38-17, with a late touchdown serving to make the final score less lopsided. Pitt finished with a 6-7 record for the second consecutive season.

Sunseri completed 16 of 32 passes for 186 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also lost a fumble with careless ball possession.

As the game -- Pitt’s last one as a member of the Big East Conference -- wound down, Bill Hillgrove and Pat Bostick did what home-team announcers do as such time: They talk about the future. It’s par for the course. But Bostick’s pronouncement that ``the future is bright,’’ was hard to take.

Pitt moves to the Atlantic Coast Conference next year where the competition will be more difficult than it has been in the Big East.

The man likely to fill the teeny shoes left behind by Sunseri is Tom Savage, a transfer  from Arizona, who played with some promise at Rutgers in 2009. Yes, Pitt will be his third school.

If ever there was a number that proves there are lies, damn lies and statistics, it is this:

Sunseri finished third all-time in passing yards at Pitt -- seven fewer than Dan Marino.

Comments (88)Add Comment
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written by luvyablue, January 05, 2013 - 03:50 PM
2013 sports in Pittsburgh is beginning to look a lot like 2012
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written by jm, January 05, 2013 - 03:51 PM
Pitt did't play well today. But have a good feeling about Chryst,for some reason.

And with Boyd coming in and Shell coming back -- who knows?
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written by slrray524, January 05, 2013 - 03:53 PM
Bob you took the words out of my mouth. A couple of things to point out today. Pitt ran on 1st down at least 95 percent of the game. Coaches wanted to shorten the game for Tino. Also Coach Chryst showed an obvious lack of confidence with Tino. They ran it on a long 4th and 3. You got to pass it in that situation. In a little fairness to Tino, that offensive line is pretty bad as well.
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written by luvyablue, January 05, 2013 - 03:54 PM
Bob, you want an example of lies, damned lies and statistics...Matt McGloin is the all time passing yard leader at PSU. smilies/shocked.gif
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written by Franklin_Bluth, January 05, 2013 - 03:55 PM
I think everyone should post their "favorite" Tino trait and/or moment. My "favorite" trait is how, when he sees nobody immediately open, he starts crouching down in the pocket waiting for someone to sack him. There's the Heisman pose and there's the Tino pose - crouching down in fear and panic waiting for a sack.

Bob hit the nail on the head though. You can't blame Tino for the recent failures of the Pitt football program. It's not his fault the program had no better options. That's the sad reality of the Pitt program and doesn't look to get better anytime soon.
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written by PittandthePendulum, January 05, 2013 - 03:55 PM
MIRED in Mediocrity for the 37th year in a row...
Someone tell Pederson this program is a freekin mess!
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written by PittandthePendulum, January 05, 2013 - 03:56 PM
I for one am popping the cork when Tino graduates!
Unless they give him a years extention for all those times he just didnt show up.
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written by Bingram, January 05, 2013 - 03:59 PM
In a act of poetic justice (or is it mercy?), Tino Sunseri fell just 8 yards short of Marino's Pitt passing record.

IMG/Pitt radio sideline reporter Greg Giannotti missed the game and arrived in the press box in the final minutes after being diagnosed with gall stones at a Birmingham hospital.

Meanwhile, in San Antonio, Post-Gazette player of the year Tyler Bord gave a verbal commitment to Pitt, so maybe the day actually ends on an up note...
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written by Meathead, January 05, 2013 - 04:00 PM
One bright spot about playing in the Compass Bowl is your season
lasts longer than most
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written by msb46, January 05, 2013 - 04:02 PM
If you look at Sunseri's career, generally, the only time he played well for four quarters is when Pitt got off to a fast start and took a big early lead that they never relinquished. In tight games or when Pitt needed a late comeback, he struggled. That pretty much sums up that he was mediocre at best.

Since football is just a game and they are just college kids, I used to try not to criticize Sunseri. But after he threw the kicker under the bus after the ND game, he became fair game.
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written by jm, January 05, 2013 - 04:07 PM
In terms of what we profess college athletics to be about, doesn't Sunseri deserve admiration? I mean the kid behaved himself, was a model citizen, prepared himself well for gamedays, was a good teammate, and performed in the spotlight and under pressure in a major city that didn't exactly shower him with love.

Perseverence, tenacity, mental and physical toughness, and good sportsmanship. The kid should be congratulated.
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written by PittofDreams, January 05, 2013 - 04:12 PM

Never saw a quarterback who was so average yet so untouchable as a starter!
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written by dcconn, January 05, 2013 - 04:15 PM
I have to agree with Bob. Tino did his best, it's just hard to believe that Pitt couldn't find "anyone" better. OK...on to next year. Hail to Pitt.
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written by CollegeKid, January 05, 2013 - 04:20 PM

written by msb46, January 05, 2013 - 05:02 PM
If you look at Sunseri's career, generally, the only time he played well for four quarters is when Pitt got off to a fast start and took a big early lead that they never relinquished. In tight games or when Pitt needed a late comeback, he struggled. That pretty much sums up that he was mediocre at best.


If I was reading correctly during the game, some people that cover Pitt were saying on Twitter that Sunseri had zero 4th quarter come-from-behind victories.

Panther Lair tweeted a stat claiming Pitt was 0-12 (before today) when trailing at halftime in the Sunseri era.

To not once come back when trailing at halftime?
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written by mars, January 05, 2013 - 04:20 PM
If ever there was a number that proves there are lies, damn lies and statistics, it is this:

Sunseri finished third all-time in passing yards at Pitt -- 21 fewer than Dan Marino.

In this case, statistics are not an accurate way to gage a college career.
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written by Darkhorses, January 05, 2013 - 04:20 PM
"Bostick’s pronouncement that ``the future is bright,’’ was hard to take."

Bostick hanging out at the Pirate offices? His job is secure at Pitt. Doesn't speak his mind like Fralic

Good riddance Tino

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written by fanfromlebo, January 05, 2013 - 04:22 PM
Have to view this as a lost year. All the coaching turmoil is going to take several years to recover from. Tino is not a good D1 quarterback, and hopefully next year we will see a strong competition for the position. I am more concerned with the coaching staff. Chryst still has a lot to prove - I really question whether he can get his team prepared to play on a consistent basis, and listening to him try to speak in public is painful. We also don't know yet if he can put a strong staff together for the better recruiting that will need to happen to compete in the ACC - still trying to figure out what the former Lebo coach brings to the staff. Final word on Tino- I give him credit for trying but at 24 years old it is time for him to get on with his life's work which won't be playing football
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written by JohnstownRuss, January 05, 2013 - 04:36 PM
Yes, Tino Stinks.

But to me, this was a transition year anyway. They wanted to redshirt Chad V, and Savage had to sit out. Why not start Teeny Sunseri.

Next year Savage will get every opportunity to win the job. Chad will give him a run for his money. And Chapman will push both of them. Wow, 3 QB's in the mix.

Pitt had a descent recruiting year. They have some very good players coming back. Another year In Chryst's system.

AND NO TINO!

I for one am excited about getting the hell out of the big least. May have a really good home schedule including ND. Bostick said the future is bright. I would say for the first time in a while, its better.
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written by JohnstownRuss, January 05, 2013 - 04:38 PM
I would be shocked, by the way, if Tino signs with any NFL team as a free agent. No arm. No speed. No NFL.
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written by JohnstownRuss, January 05, 2013 - 04:46 PM
One more thing.. Scout.com has Pitt with the 25th best recruiting class. Rivals has Pitt at 30.

Getting Johnson, Boyd and Chapman were big wins. If Pitt would have nabbed Foster, they are an easy top 20 class.

Not bad all things considered.
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written by hobartharry, January 05, 2013 - 04:48 PM
As Edward McCormick said to Ted Kennedy, "If your name was Edward Moore, instead of Edward Moore Kennedy, your candidacy would be a joke."

Surely there is a grain of truth to that in the endless saga of Tino Sunseri. We'll never know how many of the carousel of coaches were instructed to play "Sal's kid."


There is no grain of truth to it and I cannot believe someone of your intellect would suggest as much.
Perhaps you could give one reason why you think this is true? -- Bob Smizik
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written by snoel, January 05, 2013 - 04:49 PM
Tino signs if Sal is hired as an NFL assistant!!!
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written by csf, January 05, 2013 - 04:49 PM
no Bob, Tino did not take all the snaps. Anderson played more vs Utah last year than Tino, and did worse than Tino did ... look it up! And Myers came in vs Lousvlle last year and threw an interception in the end zone sxcept the DB droppped the ball.

Just like Wanny getting fired, all of you be very careful what you wish for .... just remember, Tino in his very first year as a starter won 8 games ... under Wanny ... you all just think about that.



I don't know how many snaps Anderson took vs. Utah, but he didn't throw a pass. -- Bob Smizik
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written by jlohman, January 05, 2013 - 04:55 PM
Dear luvyablue,

PSU has been known as linebacker u for a reason....and when they were dominant, it was usually a running back and a great defense responsible.....not a qb...but that's quite a trivia question.....would thought maybe Blackledge
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written by csf, January 05, 2013 - 05:00 PM
IMO, Kerry Collins was best QB ever at PSU .... to my memory
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written by heartbeatsings, January 05, 2013 - 05:03 PM

So, why exactly was Tino playing at all in this game? All we ever hear as justification about how beneficial these goofy bowl games are because of all the extra practices. What is the us of practicing and playing people who won't be there next year?

I don't understand.
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written by CliveJameson, January 05, 2013 - 05:07 PM

Why can't Sunseri leave the program in peace?

The Pitt program failed and miserably. How many quarterbacks has Pitt recruited and produced since Walt Harris left?

Crickets.

That's right, since Walt Harris left Tino Sunseri is the most successful QB recruit that the team has had.

The kid deserves better treatment than the unrelenting criticism he has received from Pitt fans and the media.

The Pitt program failed. Dave Wannstedt failed. His string of successors failed. Criticize the best the team has had in years? More than a little foolish.


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written by bpn8pitt, January 05, 2013 - 05:07 PM

be very careful what you wish for


I agree with at least this comment CSF. Cant wait to hear the rips on the redshirt freshman Voytik and they guy who hasnt played a full season in three years, Savage. As Bob pointed out, the competition only gets better.

Look Tino stinks, I wont argue. But Voytik wont be much better if he has 3 different coorinators in 3 years. I thought Chryst and Bollinger did a pretty good job fixing what Fraud Graham did a pretty good job of damaging. There are major differences between a spread and pro style QB.
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written by RMAN, January 05, 2013 - 05:09 PM
The operative words in this discussion are "three different coaches".
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written by Retire#21, January 05, 2013 - 05:11 PM
*t is hard to be a Pitt fan. It is just hard.

When Harper lined up to kick the winner against Notre Dame, did you not predict that he would miss it? Why? Just because Pitt just finds a way to not get the job done.

It is hard to be a Pitt fan.
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written by FantasyTom, January 05, 2013 - 05:50 PM
Yeah, a typical Sunseri game, start off with an interception and Fumble in the first quarter, game over because the offense cannot put up points....

Wonder what we will have for quarterback in the next couple of years?

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written by Franklin_Bluth, January 05, 2013 - 05:54 PM
Could next year's QB be worse than Tino? It's possible ... and depressing to consider. However, I'll take a chance that the next guy will be able to make at least one clutch play in his career - something Tino was unable to do.

One silver lining is that there is some talent at skill positions coming in or returning. Also, the defense should be a little better with most players returning. I like how Thomas and the secondary played as the season progressed. Donald should return as well.

Better QB and O-Line play are the keys for a better season. I'm skeptical that have enough talent at these positions to finish with a better record next year.
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written by PowerAlley, January 05, 2013 - 06:17 PM
Don't blame Tino. Blame the administration and the Pitt football program. THREE coaches in three years. Tino was the best they had. Tino tried. Blame the coaches for not getting better talent.
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written by Dobreshunka, January 05, 2013 - 06:28 PM
Sunseri had two weaknesses which made him ineffective as a Division 1 college QB.
- He can't read opposing defenses, e.g., sense who's going to blitz and when they are going to blitz. He'd just go with the play regardless of what was called.
- He can't scramble. When he does scramble he goes down as soon as a defender touches him.

Had he been able to read blitzes and use his legs at opportune moments to ge some 1st downs, it could have been a different season. He was way too predictable and opposing defenses ate him alive. What amazed me was the fact that his play never significantly improved after three years as starting QB for this team. Today was the exclamation point on his lackluster career at Pitt. Ole Miss defensive coordinator looked at his players and said, "Go get him, boys!"
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written by bpn8pitt, January 05, 2013 - 06:34 PM

Franklin_Bluth

Returning skill position players? I thought after Shell and JP Holtz they are awfully, awfully thin.
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written by Dobreshunka, January 05, 2013 - 06:53 PM
Ole Miss hd a new coach and their QB played well. Penn State had a new coach this year and their QB played well. Ohio State had a new coach this year and their QB played well. I'm sick and tired of the excuse for Sunseri being lousy is becuase he had new coaches. He didn't play well because he is a fundamentally flawed QB...it had little or nothing to do with the new coaches.
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written by Franklin_Bluth, January 05, 2013 - 06:54 PM
bpn8pitt: Devin Street will be a Senior - he should return - he was arguably their best WR this year. Carswell should be a bigger part of the offense. Boyd should make an immediate impact.
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written by PiratesFanSince1960, January 05, 2013 - 07:13 PM
If nobody beat him out.... Here is what I have to say to those upset or questioning from the comfort of their desk or arm chair; GO TO THE 5 days per week practices!!!!
Don't care what ya have to say then.... Practice is where it starts and if ya cannot beat him in practice, ya ain't gonna beat him and do better in a game setting.... Ya/Pitt went to 4 bowl games in a row... He led 3 of them??? Lordy, bunch of whiney babies. Its just never good enough. Arm Chair QBs who ain't never been there dun that with all the tongue wagging ya got.... Enjoy what he achieved for you; about 30 wins with him at QB.......
Awesome Stats, he cannot play D for ya as well. Maybe the entire game ain't the fault of the QB??
http://espn.go.com/college-football/player/_/id/382104/tino-sunseri
Waaaaa, Waaaaa, Waaaaa.... GET OFF THE COUCH AND DO SIMILAR I say....
WAAAAA WAAAAA WAAAA... Some of you reading will understand my words. Those who always been heros in their minds as the WATCH THE GAMES on TV or in the STANDS... Will never hear my words........ Waaa Waaaa.
Sincerely
David
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written by Dubble Trubble, January 05, 2013 - 07:20 PM

Bostick's microphone perhaps cut out and his entire comment wasn't heard - 'the future is bright (Tino's career at Pitt has ended)'?

Sunseri's career wasn't mediocre, it was putrid! He simply looked lost every time he was caught on camera.

Different coaches or not, a good quarterback or any skill position player can make a coach look good. Non-skill positions can be coached up, the skill positions are usually better athletes whose skills can be molded and developed more than coached. Problem with Sunseri is that he was molded and hardened before he got to Pitt. Out here on the prairie, we call his mold Buffalo Chips! Have a good life Tino.
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written by RMAN, January 05, 2013 - 07:28 PM

@Dobreshunka
The point is NOT that he had 3 different coaches and his play suffered as a result. The point is that 3 different coaches determined that he was the best quarterback they had on their team.
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written by bpn8pitt, January 05, 2013 - 07:28 PM


Franklin_Bluth

Streets looking into NFL. He should be back, but its not given. Carswell? Boyd? None of these guys are proven. That was my point. With a new QB, better conference, doesnt look good to me so far...I hope Donald stays. That would be a blow to an already suspect defense.
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written by Garyz1954, January 05, 2013 - 07:37 PM
Bob
Trey Anderson was 5 for 19 with 2 interceptions vs Utah. I remember commenting either in your blog or the Pitt diaries that he would never see another down as a pitt player after that performance. Graham gave up on him after that one and now hes been a clipboard holder.


Sorry, my bad on that. I checked the ESPN stats -- http://espn.go.com/ncf/recap?id=312880221 -- and they had only Sunseri. When I checked again, the stats only were for the 'leaders.' -- Bob Smizik
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written by Franklin_Bluth, January 05, 2013 - 07:42 PM
bpn8pitt: Graham and Shannahan are the only big skill position losses. Street does have legit NFL ability, but he would likely be a low round pick this year. I do agree that if he's gone, they will have a big problem at WR.

If Donald goes pro, that would be the biggest blow, as the D-Line would be in bad shape.

If you read my earlier posts, you can see that I am skeptical they will be better next year, but I believe it will be due to bigger question marks with QB and O-Line than other skill positions.
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written by genius, January 05, 2013 - 07:44 PM
Bring back the Script Pitt.
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written by Dobreshunka, January 05, 2013 - 07:47 PM
@ RMAN
I agree. I'm a Pitt Alumnus. Sad but true, Sunseri was the best available QB at Pitt.

@ PiratesFanSince1960
I have no idea what you're talking about. Usually I agree with your commentary. I went to junior high and high school with John Clayton. He was equipment manger for the junior high football team. At Churchill High he did the play-by-play announcing during the HS football games (he wasn't exactly the next Al Michaels). At Duquesne he majored in journalism and never played football. I'm quite sure he never played a down of Pro Football. He's never "been there dun that" but he does wag his tongue a lot a thousands of people listen to him.
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written by Whistle Pig, January 05, 2013 - 07:51 PM
you want an example of lies, damned lies and statistics...Matt McGloin is the all time passing yard leader at PSU
Comparing McGloin's performance, even implicitly, to Sunseri's is ridiculous. McGloin's productive yards and impressive performance are fully recognized. He earned his accolades. Is he better than Collins, Blackledge, or maybe even Galen Hall, going way back? Who knows.

But in any case, McGloin's yards were genuinely, impressively produced, leading his teams to 4 winning years (screw the NCAA)under some very tough circumstances in a very competitive,non-"BIG East" league.

Typical Pitt 2-step, comparing Sunseri to McGloin.

I'll be surprised if McGloin DOESN'T get an NFL roster shot. And equally surprised if Sunseri DOES.

No doubt, McGloin benefitted from a new coach with a genuine passing scheme, something that PSU has not had ... literally ... in its modern day history. Certainly not Pitt's problem.
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written by bpn8pitt, January 05, 2013 - 07:55 PM
Franklin_Bluth

What about Savage? I know little about him.



Try reading the link in the story. -- Bob Smizik
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written by jamers39, January 05, 2013 - 08:05 PM
Bob, I have never read one of your posts where I have agreed with you more. You not only hit it out of the park, it was a grand slam- with no one on base! The strip-sack was vintage Tino. He saw the rush coming from the left and scrambled...wait, did I say scrambled? He jogged to the right- knowing the rush was coming behind him- with the ball held out begging to be karate chopped! I apprecitate his hard work and dedication, but...the past three years I found myself saying something I only say when it comes time to vote for the president, "you mean we don't have anyone else better to pick from? Really?"
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written by Munson007, January 05, 2013 - 08:08 PM
I am so tired of the excuses being made for why Sunseri didn't excel. No amount of coaching could improve his poor instincts, lack of pocket presence, or lack of arm strength. I knew Tino was bad during his first start against Utah in 2010.

You want some irony, try this on for size: His first start against Utah he was 16 for 28, 184 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT (Yes, it was a Tino interception of the first play of overtime that basically LOST the game). Today's stats he was: 16 for 32, 185 yards 1 TD, 2 INT, and 1 Fumble. That sums it up, he did not improve in 39 games!! Jon Baldwin also basically gave up his senior year because he knew Tino could not get him the ball. A 5 star wide receiver wasted because Tino can't throw accurately over 10 yards.

Contrast that with someone like Matt McGloin from Penn State (who was much maligned as Tino last year). I was at the Northwestern game and PSU was down 28-17 going into the 4th. He led a comeback and they won 39 to 28. He improved from 2011 to 2012 by 1,700 yards, plus 16 TDs, and +6 in completions. All of this under a GASP, new offensive coordinator.

Bottom line is Tino never put Pitt in a position to win or facilitated drives that inspired the fans or instilled hope in his teammates. It was a nightmarish career and I have NO idea how a QB could not unseat him.

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written by michaelg, January 05, 2013 - 08:21 PM
Hey Bob:
Now that you've agreed with my previous statement about how meaningless Sunseri's stats are, go back and watch the tapes of the Youngstown State and Buffalo games and tell me again that I was wrong when I said their QBs outplayed Tino.



I most certainly do not agree that Sunseri's stats are meaningless. -- Bob Smizik
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written by bpn8pitt, January 05, 2013 - 08:25 PM

Munson007

No mention of Shell and Crockett? 30 carries 97 yards?

Im kinda looking forward to who you guys blame next year.
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written by Whistle Pig, January 05, 2013 - 08:32 PM
PittAndThePendulum notes
MIRED in Mediocrity for the 37th year in a row...
Someone tell Pederson this program is a freekin mess!
Got me wondering about his allegation of 37 ho-hum seasons.

Well, he's not quite right. But interestingly, despite all the talk about "great tradtions," "national championsip banners," blah blah blah, etc. ... Pitt's had ONE (1) double-digit winning year since 1981 ... some 31 years. And they were 3rd in the lousy Big East that year,losing to the only other competitive teams in the league that season! Far more telling, 13 out of 22 seasons in the little "Big East" ... losing seasons.

While not precise, seems PittAndThePendulum is pretty correct. What leads anyone to think the next 31 seasons, now playing as the weak sister in a far more competitive conference,are going to be any different?

Well, as we've been led to believe with a monster debt getting ever more monstrous in the face of monster spending ... just pretend and pray for "hope" and "change." Both would seemingly require Heavenly intervention, not likely in such secular scenarios.

Isn't the definition of "insanity" somewhere in this scenario? smilies/cry.gif
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written by Jackagain, January 05, 2013 - 08:52 PM
Just think....Tino almost went to L'Ville....
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written by Andy Prough, January 05, 2013 - 09:28 PM
@Bob -
Pitt finished with a 6-7 record for the second consecutive season.


I remember Pitt won 27 games in 3 seasons under one of their recent coaches. Can't remember his name though. I know it started with a W. And he had a mustache. Too bad he couldn't be convinced to stay, as I recall he was a hometown guy who loved the University. But, I guess the lure of a big-time linebackers assistant coaching job with an NFL team was too much...
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written by SteelTuff, January 05, 2013 - 09:39 PM
Why the Panthers couldn't recruit a better QB than Sunseri during the Tino era is beyond me. He looked small and he played small. When his first read was covered, he obviously lacked the talent to improvise and he panicked, seemingly willing to take the sack. He looked physically weak throwing the ball, like his hands were too small or something. It's almost embarrassing he came so close to Marino in total yardage.
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written by csf, January 05, 2013 - 09:40 PM
Andy, that coach you are referring to had a QB who in his first year as a starter won 8 games ... wonder whatever happened to these two?
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written by wee willie wallace, January 05, 2013 - 09:43 PM

The kid is an amateur, but as others have pointed out, once he blamed Harper for the ND loss, he became fair game.

I have never been happier to see a Pitt QB's career come to an end.

Today was a microcosm of the torture we have had to endure with this guy.

Play-calling was also terrible. The defense seemed unprepared. I did not see any adjustments.

Why was Pitt still running into the line on 5 of 6 plays, when trailing by 21, with less than 12 minutes to go in the 4th quarter of a bowl game?

The special teams covg has been awful all year and that continued today.

As a Pitt fan, is anyone really surprised by what we saw?
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written by Munson007, January 05, 2013 - 10:04 PM
Pitt couldn't run because they couldn't pass. How do you expect Shell or Crocket to break one if there are 9 defenders running into the line of scrimmage every 1st and 2nd down because they know Pitt can't throw so is going to run the ball. Russ had a few good gains for 8 yards or so and ran hard. He was fighting a losing battle.

I predict Savage will start next year, he's not the next Brett Favre but at least he will be able to stretch the field and hit a few guys streaking on a post or sluggo. Plus I think we can run the hurry up with him when we are down and he can make a few throws to up the tempo and gain some momentum on offense. I challenge anyone to show me ONE pass in Tino's career where he hit a receiver in stride beyond 10 yards. That's 700 some throws and not 1!
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written by Andy Prough, January 05, 2013 - 10:08 PM
@csf --
Andy, that coach you are referring to had a QB who in his first year as a starter won 8 games ... wonder whatever happened to these two?


Shhhhh - Watch out - you can't say good things about those two - Bob might ban you from posting comments here.
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written by Whistle Pig, January 05, 2013 - 10:09 PM
Why the Panthers couldn't recruit a better QB than Sunseri during the Tino era is beyond me...

Not tough at all. And it could be for any number of reasons.

Why would a highly regarded QB come to Pitt, notably in light of current events? Look at who have been the QBs for the Panthers, regardless of who the coach of the month might be. And look at who they've "missed" on. Start with Joe Flacco. Wouldn't play him. Wouldn't let him play for someone else. Seems the coaches knew he was good enough that they didn't want to face him.

Yea, a non-local QB ... Palko, Sunseri,Getsy, Rutherford,Hoderny, Gonzalez ... has literally zero chance at Pitt. btw ... do we see a pattern here? Of course we do.If we are willing to look.

And then we wonder why that stud from Texas or Florida or maybe even Virginia never goes to Pitt.
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written by CliveJameson, January 05, 2013 - 10:14 PM
Yea, a non-local QB ... Palko, Sunseri,Getsy, Rutherford,Hoderny, Gonzalez ... has literally zero chance at Pitt. btw ... do we see a pattern here? Of course we do.If we are willing to look.

@Whistle Pig -- None of those QBs had a new oncampus stadium to play in.
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written by FantasyTom, January 05, 2013 - 10:24 PM
Well, all of the Bloggers have covered it well about Tino, everyone seems to have been able to see how bad this guy really was. We suffered through 3 years and had to even suffer through another Bowl Game. I had hoped they would not go to a Bowl Game because I knew what we would see again and so it was....
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written by Retire#21, January 05, 2013 - 10:26 PM
David, how did Tino win 30 games as a quarterback in 3 years. Pitt won 6 games each of the last two seasons. That means that Tino and Pitt would've had to have won 18 games in his first season as a starter.
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written by Rizzenman, January 05, 2013 - 11:09 PM
I find myself agreeing with most of the comments here. I believe that Tino did try. I also believe he was not very talented. But as has been said, it's astounding to believe that three different coaches found him to be the best they had. When three different coaches told him to go on the field his choices were to do it or not. The kid did it, granted poorly but, it may have have been worse with the other guys the coaches perceived as lesser players.
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written by PittsburghSportsRocker, January 05, 2013 - 11:11 PM
Epic meltdown David. No one knows what the hell you are blabbing about. Have you gone to the SteelVa school of posting all of the sudden? You are better than that. So Sunseri went to three bowl games? Yay, nearly every team can go to a meaningless bowl game nowadays. you do realize they finished with a below .500 record the past two years right? So exactly how are Pitt fans suppose to be grateful for that? If you think that's good enough then I don't know what to say. Maybe if Sunseri actually DID win 30 games no one would be complaining.

At least the kid from Clairton declared he was going to Pitt.
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written by hunter, January 06, 2013 - 12:18 AM
Stop with the Tino bashing. No way its his fault. The whole premise of Bob's comment, which I agree with, is how in the world for THREE years is he your starter? The inability to recruit ANYONE even resembling a D-I QB is astounding. Tino was a marginal D-1 prospect according to all the recruiting services (I know, they're not the experts they think they are). This is more an issue of inability to recruit then it is Tino. CliveJamison's post does have a point. Never thought I'd agree with that but look at the evidence. Rutherford, Palko, Getsy, Bostick, Gonzalez,Stull, etc. Local or at least PA QBs. Flacco left and is in NFL playoffs. NONE of the others will be missed. NONE.
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written by hunter, January 06, 2013 - 12:25 AM
Forgot one point. Before we get apoplectic about Boyd committing to Pitt, he played at the lowest classification in the state. He was bigger then some opposing teams' lineman and he's not a big kid. Wishing the best for him and he seems truly talented and he can only play against the schedule given him but lets not get crazy.
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written by Andy Prough, January 06, 2013 - 02:55 AM
@hunter --
Stop with the Tino bashing. No way its his fault.


Agreed.

The whole premise of Bob's comment, which I agree with, is how in the world for THREE years is he your starter? The inability to recruit ANYONE even resembling a D-I QB is astounding.


You and Bob seem to think that Johnny Football and Andrew Luck and RGIII were just dying to come play at Pitt, but that the coaches refused to offer them scholarships. Wrong.

Tino's stats from this year: 3103 yards, 19 TDs, 2 INTs. A 154.9 qb rating. Guess what Panther fans? THAT'S AS GOOD AS YOU ARE GOING TO GET. Dan Marino isn't knocking at the door trying to get in. You need a running game and a defense and an offensive line and a kicking game and better coaching and better receivers and better spring practice and better off-season strength and conditioning - and then and only then will you win a few more games.

If you wanted a 10-win season, you shouldn't have fired the last guy who gave you one - the only 10-win season in the past 20 years.
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written by Knuterock, January 06, 2013 - 04:54 AM

Every Pitt fan gave Tino a fair chance. His performance never improved. This made him an easy target for criticism.

I don't think Tino would have played quarterback this year if Todd Graham would have stayed. Oddly enough, the carousel of coaches, created by Steve Pederson, helped Tino stay at quarterback.

I have not met or talked with a PItt fan who thought Tino was a good quarterback.

I'm sure Tino is a great guy, but he just wasn't a good quarterback.

I agree with Bob. I'll never understand why, over the course of 3 years, Pitt never attracted another Div 1 quarterback.

The future appears brighter already, knowing we will see someone, other than Tino, take snaps under center.
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written by rokinray, January 06, 2013 - 05:27 AM
If you look at things objectively, Chryst is not a better coach than Graham. With the same players, the same result. Graham moves on and wins a bowl game and with the right players on the roster was able to give Arizona State fans the kind of fast-paced football locals were slow to embrace. It's funny to read people blasted Graham for his blow ups with Tino, yet take Tino to task himself.
Tino was good enough with a competent running game and the lead. Without those two ingredients, well,we saw it again yesterday. If you watched some of the other games, team speed is something Pitt did not have. Never have missed Wanny these last two seasons. Please remember, with his coaching career on the line against a fellow coach who was also against the line when Pitt played WVU in a neutral site game at Heinz Field, Pitt lost by three touchdowns.
Hope Coach Chryst successfully analyzes his mistakes, learns from them, and develops better instinct for being clever and daring, which are admirable traits when the plays work. Until I get Alheimers I still have good memories of great Pitt teams and hope I'm still alive to see those days return. Looking forward to the ACC. Pitt will win games when they are talented and well-coach and until those two things happen, don't get too upset but support the team. The Lions are coming in 2016 and if would be nice to see a full house of gold in the stands and visitors relegated to 5000 seats in the corner.
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written by cornell24, January 06, 2013 - 05:36 AM
@whistle Pig - at least next year we will have no option but to start an out of state QB, if you think that was honestly the issue. Next years stable of QBs hail from Ohio, Texas, New Jersey, and Tennessee.

It's already been stated by several others here, but it is still amazing to me that Pitt could not recruit a QB, outside of Sunseri and Meyers for five years.

Sunseri is, well we saw what he is last night, an average QB who has enough talent and athleticism to put up numbers but also lacks so much field awareness that he either loses games on bonehead plays or at least is completely incapable of changing a game into a favorable outcome.

Meyers showed promise when he was recruited but the promise never materialized, as happens with many recruits.

Outside of those two players we recruited Anthony González, who was always more of an athlete then a pure QB recruit, and signed Trey Anderson as a walk-on. Unless I'm missing someone, those were Pitt's recruits for the past five years. It is nearly impossible to have solid QB play when you recruit that way.

On that note, it does seem to be getting better. Pitt has recruited at least one highly rated QB each of the past two years, and they have a fifth-year senior who was a five star recruit when he went into Rutgers (though he hasn't played in three years, he claims injury and then systems that didn't suit his style, we'll have to wait and see).
In any case there will be competition next year, finally.

If Pitt wants to prevent this in the future they need to be sure to bring in at least one highly rated QB recruit every year.
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written by in10city, January 06, 2013 - 06:01 AM

I am going to stick up for the QB, for one reason. 1) he was in a no win situation with Pitt football after his sophomore year because of all the turmoil in coaching changes. The Todd Graham fiasco set this program back 5 years.

It was obvious that Graham wanted to run Tino out of the program, and in all fairness to Tino he was not the type of QB for "high octane" so he regressed instead of improving in his junior year.

Tino had a decent senior season under the current coaching staff and the offense was better suited for his skill set. Pitt was a mediocre team.

There was no way a highly talented freshman QB was going to commit to Pitt in the last 3 years, so as Coach Cliche would say, "it is what it is." Tino was going to be the starter because he was better than anyone Pitt had behind him on the depth chart.

Do you think Savage transfers to Pitt and sit out a year if Todd Graham is still the coach? No way.

It is easy to beat up on the QB, and that goes along with the position, but in all fairness to Tino he stuck it out and took the heat.

I'm a Tino fan for one reason this year, he told it like it was right or wrong, Pitt beats ND if the kicker can make a 33 yard FG. And that's the truth.


Leave the young man alone. Get over it and move on to bigger and hopefully a brighter future for Pitt football.
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written by Hanover Bill, January 06, 2013 - 06:51 AM

"PITT"-i-ful ! ! !

I have pretty much laid off of the criticizing of Tino this year. I figured he has taken enough from myself and a lot of others on the blog, but wow, how do you let this one pass without saying something.

Just when you thought he had progressed to, as Bob says, an average QB, he reverts to old form and lays a huge egg right on the BBVV Compass Bowl Field. The early interception pretty much did Pitt in, it placed them squarely in a hole they were never able to dig out of.

As much as we are tempted to criticize Tino, and he certainly deserves it, I go along with Bob, when he states that it is incredulous that in three long and painful seasons Pitt was unable to find an adequate replacement. I have never subscribed to the conspiracy theorists ideas that Tino was given the job because of his families ties to Pitt, but after reflecting on his career one has to give this theory some merit.

The coaching staffs that failed to find a replacement are just as much at fault for Pitt's lacklustre last few seasons as is Tino himself. Actually you kind of have to feel sorry for Tino. In most cases a QB performing as he did would have been spared much of the criticism, simply because he would have long ago been replaced, not so with Tino, he was fed to whe wolves simply by starting him every game.
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written by lambert58, January 06, 2013 - 07:19 AM
To the posters who gleefully spew vitriol on Sunseri: Many of you are probably mediocre at your own jobs. Fortunately, you don`t do your jobs in front of crowds and TV cameras; thus you don`t get mercilessly bashed on blogs.

As some have pointed out, the kid was not a troublemaker or criminal. He was just a mediocre college QB on a mediocre college team that didn`t have anyone better. I trust that down the road he will be successful in real life while the rest of you are still getting your jollies by bashing 21-year-old kids.

I caution you: Don`t accidentally bite your lip. You`ll die from your own venom.
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written by slrray524, January 06, 2013 - 08:00 AM
For those saying that Tino did not improve are incorrect. If you take a look at his stats he improved tremendously from last year (stat wise). However he under-achieved in terms of being able to win games on the football field. As Bob stated above at best Tino was average. But to say that he didn't improve is an incorrect statement.
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written by Rittersdiner, January 06, 2013 - 08:10 AM
What struck me most about this team was not the quarterback. It was how poorly Pitt played against other bad teams and how well they played against good teams. That's a coaching failure. I don't know how you can look at this team and say the future is bright. I have serious concerns about Chryst, but I'm willing to give him a recruiting year to see.
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written by Meathead, January 06, 2013 - 09:40 AM
In a town where a top five NFL quarterback is occasionally viewed as being inadequate it should be no surprise that a serviceable college QB is such a disappointment?

Good luck to the former high school all star who gets the Pitt QB job. He'll need it and then some.
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written by wee willie wallace, January 06, 2013 - 10:12 AM
Lambert58 -- I think many people went easy on Sunseri, because he is still just a college kid.

However, he is not just a 21-year old kid; he is a 23-year old, 5th year senior, supposed leader, who came right out and blamed the kicker for the ND loss. That is the point when I felt that he no longer deserved the "just a 21-yr old kid" treatment.

He must have suffered short-term memory loss and had forgotten that if he could hold onto a snap or could actually make a play the team would not have needed the OT FG.

I wish him the best in life, but as a Pitt QB, I am not sorry to see him go.





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written by wee willie wallace, January 06, 2013 - 10:18 AM
BTW, for all those Wanny supporters out there, who was the coach who infamously stated on live television, at halftime of the WVU game, that his team needed to get faster?

Thus, who is mainly responsible for a lack of team speed?

Who is the coach who said that building up the lines would be a focus?

Thus, who's fault is it that the O line's play has been suspect for so long?

Whose job was it to bring in a top QB? Wanny obviously did not. Lets not forget that Gary Nova, who is now at Rutgers and is absolutely terrible, was a Wanny recruit as well. He did get Bostik, but he was pretty bad.

Pitt has gotten a big time recruit at QB---Voytik. He is an Elite 11 QB. Is he not good enough yet? I don't know, but we will see. Chapman?

We'll know more right around the end of the 2015 season.

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written by Andy Prough, January 06, 2013 - 11:44 AM
@wee willie --
who was the coach who infamously stated on live television, at halftime of the WVU game, that his team needed to get faster?


Wait -- I thought Graham's high octane handled that last year? You still blaming the 'stache for lack of team speed? If you were so happy to get rid of the guy, you've got to live with the consequences. These are the consequences: unstable coaching personnel, instability in recruiting, lack of talent up and down the roster. Warned you about that a couple of years ago if I recall.

Pitt has gotten a big time recruit at QB---Voytik. He is an Elite 11 QB. Is he not good enough yet?


I don't know. Is he going to do better than 3103 yards, 19 TD's, 2 INT's, and win more than 6 games in a season with poor defensive play, poor o-line play, inadequate receivers, inadequate special teams, and mediocre coaching? If he does, I'll be suitably impressed. If not, maybe you need to readjust your expectations.
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written by jamers39, January 06, 2013 - 01:34 PM
@Andy Prough-

In today's game, 3103 yards isn't as impressive as it used to be. 19 TD's vs. 2 INT's is great anyway you look at it, except..... if you watched the games, you realize that it wasn't the TD's he threw or the INT's he didn't throw, it was the plays he had a chance to make at certain stages of the game and didn't. True, plenty of blame to go around and I don't discount that one bit. I am hopeful and of the belief that whoever takes over next will at least make you think the receiver who is 10 yards behind the defense and wide open has a chance to make a play on the ball; that he will sense the pocket around him and know when to run, throw the ball away, step up or bail out., etc. I watch a lot of non-Pitt college football. I have seen both lousy and great QB's and, well, let's just say Tino doesn't resemble any of them- and certainly not a 24 year old- 5th year- 3 year starter. Even the lousy ones had a certain competence about their lousiness.
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written by jamers39, January 06, 2013 - 01:39 PM
@wee willie,

If I am not mistaken, the starters on the team that the Stache made the "run faster" comment about were Walt Harris recruits that the Stache inherited. Not to defend or criticize the Stache- just pointing out the facts.
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written by FantasyTom, January 06, 2013 - 02:08 PM
written by Rizzenman, January 06, 2013 - 12:09 AM
I find myself agreeing with most of the comments here. I believe that Tino did try. I also believe he was not very talented. But as has been said, it's astounding to believe that three different coaches found him to be the best they had. When three different coaches told him to go on the field his choices were to do it or not. The kid did it, granted poorly but, it may have have been worse with the other guys the coaches perceived as lesser players.


I bet the answer is -- Tino was a GREAT quarterback in PRACTICE!!!!
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written by Andy Prough, January 06, 2013 - 02:18 PM
jamers39 -
In today's game, 3103 yards isn't as impressive as it used to be. 19 TD's vs. 2 INT's is great anyway you look at it, except..... if you watched the games, you realize that it wasn't the TD's he threw or the INT's he didn't throw, it was the plays he had a chance to make at certain stages of the game and didn't.


Well, glad you got it all figured out. Call me the next time a Pitt qb has a 154.9 rating for an entire season with over 3,000 yards passing.

While you're at it, call me the next time a Pitt football coach wins 10 games in a season. Hint: I won't be sitting by the phone. If I'm made wrong in the next couple of years, I'll be overjoyed.
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written by ronald, January 06, 2013 - 02:25 PM
Bob, I'm still shocked that Central Catholic spent a scholarship on Sunseri. Can you believe that!
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written by slrray524, January 06, 2013 - 06:34 PM
Watching Russell Wilson run that Seattle Seahawk offense. Bob if you are still monitoring this post I want to know how much credit does Paul Chryst get for Wilson's development.
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written by wee willie wallace, January 06, 2013 - 10:01 PM
jamers39 -- yes, you are correct.

However, my comment was made because it was stated on here and by Werner, covering the game, along with some Pitt players, that there was a great disparity in speed.

Thus, if the 2012 Panthers were not fast enough, the vast majority of players on the field were Wanny's recruits.

Thank you for pointing that out though.

AndyPrough -- I don't care if they bring Robert Haygood back, I guarantee that the next Pitt QB will lead the team to more than 6 wins in back to back seasons.

I agree that Sunseri's numbers "look good." But how many games has he actually gone out and won for this program?

Buffalo? USF? If you want to credit him for those huge wins for the program go right ahead.

I tend to remember the Syracuse, ND and UConn games as being more typical of a Tino performance.

Anyone can QB against a weak team when you have the lead.

How good was he at bringing Pitt back?

According to Chris Peak, when trailing at halftime, he never has-----and Lord knows he has had plenty of opportunities.

He revealed his character in the postgame at South Bend.

Defend him all you want---he was average at best. The only thing consistent about him was you knew you could not count on him to make a big play in a big game, when his team needed him the most.

Invariably, he would look flustered and take the big sack or throw one into the 5th row.

I can't wait to see what this team does with Savage, Voytik or Chapman.
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written by PittandthePendulum, January 07, 2013 - 08:36 AM
**s time for Pitt to quit making excuses for their failures to progress, and make a commitment to get back to winning football. So far from what Ive seen....this new regime has made little if any progress over the preceding regimes. The program is mired in an underacheiving flub mode that is actually very embarassing to this University and its storied past. Someone needs to get off their duffs and light a fire under this Administration to upgrade the program, or move it down to 1-AA where they can compete. Its awful and its not getting any better. When PSU under heavy sanctions can put together a much better program and results, somebody should be looking into the mirror pretty hard by now...

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