University of Pittsburgh head football coach Mike Haywood (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
In keeping with the theme of questionable football coaching hires, Mike Haywood has apparently decided on an offensive coordinator - 74-year old Morris Watts.
It's not a complete shock that Haywood is sticking with Watts, who was his offensive coordinator at Miami-Ohio. But some Pitt fans are sure to be questioning this move - and with good reason.
Watts was at the helm for a Miami team that ranked 103rd in scoring offense in the nation last season. His offense also ranked 114th in rushing - perhaps Pitt's greatest strength. Those numbers should improve next season, but this isn't exactly the type of hire that will get fans excited. He's also 74, which makes him the third-oldest coach in Division I football. That's certainly not a reason he can't succeed, but at 74, it makes you wonder just how long he'll be coaching. This could be a hire to help Haywood feel comfortable while the team tries to groom a younger successor.
I'll say this for Watts, though. He has something Haywood doesn't - significant experience as a coordinator. He's been an offensive coordinator for more than 20 seasons at some pretty good schools including Michigan State and LSU. Another good thing is that he's spent a lot of time developing quarterbacks as he's been a QB coach at LSU and even in the NFL for a season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Miami also had the 30th best passing offense last season, so he could help in the development of Tino Sunseri a bit.
I don't know, we'll see. This move strikes me as very safe and potentially something of a quick fix.