I did this last season and thought I'd continue it for another year. Well, at least until I get bored or tired of it.
With that said, here are the top ten quotes from the Todd Graham press conference this week:
10. "When you watch film on our offense from Tulsa you see (only) all of the highlight films.
A fair point. For those of us that checked out the You Tube videos, it's fair to say that we were thinking more big plays, higher energy, faster play, etc. But every play isn't going to be a gamebreaker or even a success. Patience, young Skywalker.
9. "If we hit Cameron Saddler, that’s a walk off touchdown. If we hit Devin Street, that’s a walk off touchdown and you’re at 250 or 300 yards passing. There’s a whole bunch of other yards that people don’t see.
Well, yeah. I see where he's coming from on this one, but the fact is there are lots of plays that simply don't get made. And in Pitt's case, it's not like Sunseri has a proficiency for completing the deep pass where you'd be inclined to say missing those plays was the exception and not the rule. Sorry, not buying this.
8. What has set Mark behind is that he’s had some tendinitis in his elbow, he hasn’t been able to throw all the time. Trey sits at the number 2, with Mark right there. I think they’re pretty close together.
Okay, if we're playing that game, we can also say that Myers was here all last season and also in the Spring and had a massive head start on Anderson. I don't doubt that he's been injured, but that's not the reason he was passed up by Anderson on the depth chart. Let's get real.
7. One of the things I have done in the past is, when we have two really good guys, we would put one in the first series of the second quarter. We just didn’t feel like with Trey’s development or with Mark, that we were ready to do that with them.
That's interesting. We've heard a lot about how much Anderson has grasped the offense, but seems like he wasn't ready for gametime just yet. The bigger reason, though, is likely because the game was so close.
6. "At halftime, obviously there were some missed opportunities. They were first-game type of mistakes being made, which are unacceptable.
I don't know - I can buy some of the mistakes such as Tino overthrowing guys on short passes, but the missed field goals are a very real concern for me. All last year we heard about Kevin Harper's strong leg, but that the reason Hutchins was the starter was because he was far more accurate. Then on Saturday, we saw him miss two makeable kicks. Not sure that's a first-game type of thing, but we'll see as the season goes on.
5. I thought our guys were focused, but just a little bit too geared up. I called them up at halftime and said ‘Hey, just relax, forget about that half and lets go to the next one.’ They went in relaxed, executed, went and scored and did what we needed to do."
I'll buy that. The thing that keeps sticking in my mind is Tino missing guys on those shorter routes. We know there's issues with the deep ball, and I get that. But some of those other misses on short passes aren't something I think we'll see a ton. It will happen, though, because he's still figuring some of the timing out on some of those plays, I'm sure. But I do attribute some of the stuff to just being so pumped up for a season so highly anticipated.
4. We scored extremely fast in the second half. But they (Buffalo) were hitting these quick passes and having these long 15 and 17 play drives with their offense.
Man, that was really frustrating. Buffalo picked Pitt's defense apart twice and marched down the field on those two late touchdowns. Pitt gave up a lot of dink passes and I'm hoping this isn't a recipe teams will follow. Who am I kidding?
3. We’ve even looked at Ejuan. Ejuan Price is a guy that really impressed me Saturday. He played 30 snaps, and we want him to play a lot more than 30 snaps.
Price could eventually start and I doubt that would surprise anyone ... especially if the linebackers continue to struggle.
2. "I will just answer it honestly. I really like the conference championship deal. It was a great event. It was really special. I got to play in that game three times. I like the conference championship games.
I give credit to Graham for his openness. I'm still not sure I like the idea of a conference championship - just makes your road that much more difficult to the BCS ... but to each their own.
1. (Regarding conference stability) I think we’re sitting on stable, strong ground. Whatever happens I know that we’re going to be sitting good. A lot of that stuff, people get all in an uproar about it, it never really winds up transpiring.
My sentiments exactly. Sure, there's some instability right now, but Pitt is too quality a school to be left out in the cold. I've stuck by that and will continue to do so.