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Narduzzi: ‘Safe to Say’ Mark Whipple Will Return as Offensive Coordinator

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Pitt offensive coordinator Mark Whipple will return for the 2021 season, head coach Pat Narduzzi said on Wednesday, after speculation that Whipple’s job might have been in jeopardy following a 2020 season that has the Panthers ranked 63rd in points per game with 29 and 76th in yards per game.

Narduzzi was asked about Whipple’s status following the news that quarterback Kenny Pickett will return to Pitt to play a fifth season, taking advantage of the NCAA’s blanket eligibility waiver for the 2020 season.

Pickett threw for 2,408 yards and 13 touchdowns in an injury- and schedule-shortened nine game season. Pitt played just 11 games due to the COVID-19-related reduction in schedule size across the ACC, and Pickett missed two of those and part of another with an ankle injury suffered at Boston College.

Narduzzi was asked if the felt it was safe to say that Pickett was returning with the intention of once again working with Whipple, who Pickett has repeatedly credited with his development as a quarterback.

“Yeah, it’s pretty safe to say,” Narduzzi said. “I would hope he came back to work with me.”

Whipple came to Pitt in 2018, replacing Shawn Watson, who was fired after two seasons. Whipple’s offenses have ranked 113th and 63rd in scoring. Pitt’s offense under Watson ranked 94th and 101st.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Carter Spruill
Carter Spruill
9 months ago

What a HUGE mistake keeping Whipple. I have seen high school offenses more complicated than what Pitt is running under Whipple. Make a clean break and get someone that knows what they are doing.

Section 122
Section 122
9 months ago

Well that dampened the excitement of all the recruits.

PittBand
PittBand
9 months ago

I think Whipple also learned a valuable lesson over these last two years. You have to have a running game to keep the defenses honest. Carter returns as a big back, the Virginia Beach recruits offer speed and power. Sibley gets a chance and Carter and Davis continue.

PittBand
PittBand
9 months ago
Reply to  PittBand

And Abandakana grows in his second year.

Kevin
Kevin
9 months ago
Reply to  PittBand

Pickett saved Whipples job, for at least 1 more year. He better learn how to get mismatches in open field, A LOT better!
And teach our WRs & TEs how to catch! H2P!!!

Justin Dietrich
Justin Dietrich
9 months ago
Reply to  Kevin

What TE’s? We haven’t had any in years

Justin Dietrich
Justin Dietrich
9 months ago

Narduzzi, again, is loyal to a fault. Whipple is an upgrade over Watson, but c’mon. We need somebody under the age of 50, or even 40, who knows how football is played these days.

Next Level
Next Level
9 months ago

I agree with you Narduzzi is loyal to a fault especially when it comes to seniors getting playing time over a younger talented player. But when it comes to his recent answers regarding Whipple, I haven’t heard any significant endorsement. Narduzzi has kept answers to questions relating to Whipple vague and has been using deflection. But keeping things positive, Pickett coming back should command respect and focus from the team and have their best off-season yet. And Whipple has another year to figure out how to run the ball which started to take shape towards season end versus Va Tech… Read more »

 
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