Whoa, all I could think of when I saw this picture is Frank Caliendo doing his George Bush impersonation.
Trust me, this Todd Graham stuff is coming to a close. Sanity will one day be restored. Hopefully.
Graham had his introductory press conference today...here's what I gathered from it.
Graham made a very good impression. I have to say I'm higher on him now than I was before and while I still don't know that I'd say he's a better choice than Bradley, he doesn't appear to be, in the words of Wade Barrett, a waste of skin.
He was as advertised - very high energy and made a really good impression. Talked a lot about winning and it's really easy to get excited about him. Two words immediately come to mind, 'enthusiastic' and 'huckster.'
One thing that I noticed was that he was kind of like a politician - he wanted to be all things to all people. He talked about how he didn't run a spread, trying to appeal to the 'Pro Set' minds, but talked about how he was bringing a very high-powered offense, which obviously appealed to fans who want a more dynamic offense.
Along those same lines, he really seemed overly-optimistic. I guess that's better than being pessimistic, but he often talked about having 'the best' everything. The best staff. The most dynamic offense in the country. Some of it just didn't sound realistic.
And one thing I really didn't like was the fact that his defensive coordinator was his college roommate and they coached in high school together. Graham's defenses were pretty bad the past two seasons and he's bringing that coordinator to Pitt. Seems like there's really a personal relationship there and it will be interesting to see if he cuts ties with him if Pitt's defense struggles.
There were also two things that made him sound a bit out of touch to me.
First, when he was asked about Pitt's rapidly-deteriorating class he talked of not only salvaging it, but having something along the lines of the best class ever. I figured he misunderstood the question and was referring to future classes, but the reporter, somewhat stunned, said something like, 'really?' and talked about this year and Graham's answer clearly indicated he was talking about this season. That's not optimistic, that's foolish. To land several four- and five-star recruits this late in the game is far more than simply ambitious. His offensive coordinator from Michigan, Calvin McGee, may bring in a few recruits, but I have a hard time believing this class will end up better than what it appeared to be a few months ago.
Second, someone asked a question about the three players leaving for the pros, obviously talking about Dion Lewis, Jon Baldwin, and Henry Hynoski, but not mentioning them by name. When he gave his answer, not once did he mention the names of any of those players. While I don't expect him to know all of Pitt's personnel, those are three pretty important players. I'm not saying he didn't know who they were, but it was a bit odd to hear him keep referring to them as 'the three players' and not even refer to any of them by name.
Kind of a mixed bag, but despite the negatives, I still felt better about him afterwards than I did before the press conference. Sure he's over-enthusiastic, a bit unrealistic, and something of a salesman, but guess what - that's exactly what you need as a head coach.