Graham impresses in laying out plans at Pitt

The University of Pittsburgh introduced head coach Todd Graham to the media this afternoon and Graham came away very impressive in his message of laying out his plans at Pitt.
Unlike, the Mike Haywood press conference, Pitt was talking about the goal being championships today and Graham is totally the anti Haywood. He’s bringing excitement to Pitt and will surely excite the fan base.
Here are some key notes from Graham’s Press Conference:
GRAHAM HONORED TO BE COMING TO PITT
*Graham said he is honored to be coming to Pitt and indicated that this is his dream job. “Words can’t express, walking through these hallways, seeing Johnny Majors locker, what this program means to me, ” Graham said.
CHAMPIONSHIPS THE PRIMARY GOAL
“We want to win the Big East Championship. “We want to win BCS bowls and we want to win a National Championship, ” Graham said.
HIGH OCTANE OFFENSE
The hot topic has been about Todd Graham’s offense and Graham said today that Pitt is going to be a high octane offense.
Pitt’s offense is going to dramatically change and Pitt’s offense will be centered around speed.
“We are going to be a high-octane team,” Graham said. Graham stresses high octane offense and said Pitt is going to be a no huddle team. “We’re a no huddle football team, ” Graham said.
However, Graham said that they are not a spread offense. “We are not a spread offense, we’re a no huddle offense, Graham said.
Graham said that he uses two backs in the backfield, 70 percent of the time. Stresses a physical football team, and is going to use fullbacks and tight ends. Graham said that after meeting with the team, the tight ends were excited about having the opportunity to catch passes.
Number one thing according to Graham is speed followed by explosive power. “We have a very unique approach. There aren’t many people in the country that are doing what we are. We’re going to be a physical football team.”
“We want to use speed, and I mean to use that word three times {speed, speed, speed}, we’re going to be quick. We want fans at Heinz Field to not use their seats.”
Graham said his offense is a run-first, play action offense.
DEFENSIVE STRUCTURE
Graham said systematically he runs a 3-4, multiple defense that’s not that different philosophically to what Dave Wannstedt and Phil Bennett ran at Pitt.
However, there will be a much different approach under Graham. Pitt is going to be an attacking defense and Graham said the main focus is takeaways and impacting the quarterback.
In regards to players being here to fit the old regime, Graham said he will adapt to the players.
RECRUITING
Graham showed great excitement in hitting the ground running and making their upcoming recruiting class one of the best.
“We’re not going to salvage it; we’re going to make it the best.”
COACHING STAFF IN PLACE
Early in his press conference, Graham named five coaches to his staff. Mike Norvell and Calvin Maghee will be co-offensive coordinators, Graham announced. Maghee was the offensive coordinator at Michigan with Rich Rodriquez and Graham called him one of the best offensive minds he’s ever seen.
Norvell will work with the receivers but Maghee will be the primary signal caller.
Coming over from Tulsa is Paul Randolph who has been named associate head coach and Keith Patterson who has been named defensive coordinator.
The key coach to come on board is Tony Gibson from Michigan who will be the school’s recruiting coordinator and work with the defensive backs.
This is going to be the best coaching staff I’ve ever worked on, hands down, ” Graham said.
GRAHAM WANTS TO TALK WITH BALDWIN, LEWIS
Graham indicated today that he would like to speak with the three Panthers who declared for the NFL yesterday that includes Jonathan Baldwin and Dion Lewis. Graham said that he believes he can sell them on his offense and can help them improve their draft status for next season.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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