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Pat Narduzzi talks defense on first day of Spring practices

Photo used with permission of the University of Pittsburgh athletics department -

Pitt's football team kicked off spring practices this weekend and the focus (at least from the quotes of new head coach Pat Narduzzi) was defense.

Narduzzi didn't say too many interesting things that were distributed to media as part of his quote compilation. This stuck out a little, though:

I have not gone back and watched a (past Pitt) game. It is a fresh slate. It doesn't matter what happened before. It is about where we are now. We have gone back and watched some highlights of a couple of guys but really haven't gone back to watch full games because it is a clean slate."

Not sure how I feel about that, to be honest. I certainly get his point that it's water under the bridge. It's not only a new year, but an entirely new system/regime. Still, in a profession where studying incredible film and breaking down tape is mandatory, to not even go back and watch any old game film on the team seems a little odd. But again, I get his point that it's water under the bridge at this point. I only wonder if seeing what he has to work with and how individual players performed in actual games would be helpful.

Narduzzi also hinted a little about what his strategy would be in terms of cornerback play:

"We are going to do what we do. We like to press those guys up. We will pressure the quarterback without a doubt. It is a new start. I don't know what happened last year, so we are just going to play our game right now."

I love to hear that to be honest. I think pressing is one of the few ways to get offenses out of their rhythm. If it doesn't work, then drop those guys back a little. But the approach Pitt took in the past under Matt House where DBs were on occasion seemingly 7-8 yards off guys seemed far too conservative.

And again, I'm hoping some of the individual film Narduzzi mentioned that he took in was focused on the cornerbacks. A guy like Lafayette Pitts could really benefit from the coaches not only seeing what he does in practice to help him improve, but also if they take the time to watch some of his game film with him to see how/what he was thinking on some plays.

But you have to believe that he's fully aware of the shortcomings of that unit last year, so putting too much stock into him not watching games from last season is probably a bit over the top.

I'm excited to see what the rest of the practice sessions bring out from Narduzzi and what kind of impression he has on the team at the end of them. The one thing he did say in regards to the practice was that the guys came ready, which was important because they just finished spring break. I doubt that that was coachspeak, either - Narduzzi just seems like a pretty straightforward guy, so it's good to hear they were ready to go to work.

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