When Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi spoke to the media on Tuesday, he said he wanted to have his full focus on a hectic National Signing Day Wednesday before digging into finding an offensive coordinator for the Peach Bowl.
With NSD coming and going, Narduzzi spoke to the media again on Wednesday afternoon, and while he wasn’t quite ready to broach the topic of offensive coordinator, he did say the decision is being worked on.
“I would say by maybe Saturday after practice … Maybe Saturday we will know,” Narduzzi said regarding a decision being made. “We’ve been focused on recruiting. Had a little bit of football, neglected football. They won’t let me go into football meetings. They’re saying get all this stuff done. We’ll have a decision, and the work is being done.”
Narduzzi confirmed that the Peach Bowl’s offensive coordinator will work under the interim tag, with a permanent promotion and/or hire being made in January.
Saturday’s practice day could be telling for another important decision regarding Kenny Pickett. While Narduzzi said he’s talked about Pickett potentially calling his own offensive game, he hasn’t talked to him in recent days all that much besides a phone call here or there.
In traveling with Pickett to Baltimore for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award ceremony and to New York for the Heisman ceremony, Narduzzi said the trips were about enjoying the experience and having fun and not recruiting for the bowl game.
However, Narduzzi said he does expect to speak with Pickett before Saturday’s practice — a practice that he said Pickett will be attending. But at the end of the day, it’s all about Pickett’s decision.
And while some may have thought Narduzzi was joking when he said that he expects to know Pickett’s decision the night before the Peach Bowl on Tuesday, he said that he was serious about his quarterback’s ability to go out and just play.
“Kenny could go out there, and it’s his offense,” Narduzzi said. “Let me tell you, you can give the coaches all the credit, but Kenny Pickett is a football player. He is going to be a first rounder. Kenny could go out there with no practice and light it up. That’s how I feel.”
With Saturday’s potentially pivotal role in deciding at least the next month of Pitt football, a couple of other decisions over the next week or so could impact the next season or even longer.
Narduzzi said he’s had some conversations with a few of the guys who could come back with a season granted by the Covid situation last year, but he wasn’t quite ready to share out of courtesy for his players’ decisions.
“There’s some that are still trying to make a decision, so we’ll have something for you here, I would hope, in the next four, five days,” Narduzzi said. “Three, four days.”
With the scholarship cap reverting back to 85, after being expanded for Covid, the decisions made by the upperclassmen of Pitt football could be the key to the additions of more signees or transfers down the line.
With Signing Day in the books, the focus now turns from the decisions of future Pitt (now current) players to the actual current Pitt players and coaches.