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Pat Narduzzi: Phil Jurkovec Isn’t Tight End, Still Listed as QB2

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Pitt quarterback Phil Jurkovec.

It does not appear that he will suit up as a tight end going forward — or, at least, Pat Narduzzi isn’t willing to say it yet.

Narduzzi said Monday at his weekly press conference that Jurkovec will not play tight end this season, and he followed up by saying that he didn’t recall whether Jurkovec took reps with the tight ends during the bye week.

Pitt released its post-bye week depth chart just before Narduzzi spoke to the media, and it did list Christian Veilleux as the new starting quarterback, but it still featured Jurkovec as the backup quarterback.

“I think we have a ton of confidence in Phil Jurkovec, even if you don’t,” Narduzzi said. “But I felt like we needed a spark.”

However, Narduzzi did say that it was Frank Cignetti Jr. who decided to make the switch from Jurkovec to Veilleux. And it appears that Jurkovec will still be the first quarterback off the bench in the event of an injury, not Nate Yarnell.

Jurkovec completed 57-of-112 pass attempts (50.9%) for 818 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions through four-and-a-half games this season, but that stat line doesn’t tell the full story. He made the easy look impossible, failed to connect on his deep shots and actively contributed to three losses this season.

It remains to be seen whether he’s finished his college career as a quarterback, but if he has, he’s thrown for 6,224 passing yards with 43 touchdowns and 20 interceptions — adding 627 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. He put together his best season under Frank Cignetti Jr. at Boston College in 2020, but it’s been downhill since as inconsistent play and injuries stalled any sort of progression.

Pitt will debut its new-look offense against No. 14 Louisville this week, and it doesn’t appear as though Jurkovec will have a role to play on the field unless Veilleux winds up injured.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Sharon
Sharon
8 months ago

Unbelievable that our overpaid head coach is still leaving the fate of our team in the hands of Cignetti. Why are we paying Narduzzi so much money? Sounds like Narduzzi has no clue what is going on.

Forget firing Cignetti, Fire Narduzzi too.

On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
8 months ago

so he’s now not a TE>..what is going on over there? Does Duzz ever give a straight answer?

Dixon
Dixon
8 months ago

“We have a ton of confidence in Jurkovec, even if you don’t” Hey, he got that right…well, at least he got the second half right.

Tim
Tim
8 months ago
Reply to  Dixon

🤣👍

T M
T M
8 months ago

One day Phil is in the TE’s room & working out as a Tight End & the next day he is not a TE & is 2nd string QB…. Does Duzz have any control or knowledge of what is going on at practice.. What is Heather paying him a big salary for if Cignetti is calling the shots. PITT needs sweeping changes at the end of the season & bring in competent coaching.. Maybe someone like Al Golden who seemed to be on the coaching upswing until going to Miami. PITT needs major changes before they lose the majority of… Read more »

Michael Roth
Michael Roth
8 months ago
Reply to  T M

As a season ticket holder since 98, minus a couple years, I will not be renewing next year if Cignetti is still coaching. I may not renew if narduzzi is still the coach and cignetti is fired. I’m sick of watching regressive offense. I’m tired of hearing him bash slovis claiming he was the problem and lacked leadership. That’s a top-down problem and is being exasperated now that Pickett isn’t filling that void. He also claimed we dont throw people under the bus, ask slovis about that. And I’m sick of narduzzi being gutless and taking shots at other teams… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Michael Roth
On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
8 months ago
Reply to  Michael Roth

You mean he’s not running a “real offense” as he bloviated earlier in the year. He’s a clown and nobody should renew their tix if he’s still riding around on his golf cart with word salad press conferences and no improvement.

On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
8 months ago
Reply to  T M

well he is in the defensive room 85% of the time

Giovanni
Giovanni
8 months ago

A head coach that doesn’t make the decision as to who the starting QB should be?? Narduzzi is either a liar or incompetent. Take your pick. Poor Nate Yarnell. Surely he deserves at least the 2nd QB position. It’s getting harder and harder to want to follow a team that has a smug head coach who behaves like he owns the team and that the fans are a necessary evil. Yuck.

On Campus Stadium Please
On Campus Stadium Please
8 months ago
Reply to  Giovanni

agreed…either he forgets or thinks we don’t know football. Pittsburgh fans are just as knowledgeable about the game as duzz. Your podium sessions are laughable, “gotta watch the tape” doesn’t cut it anymore

Tim
Tim
8 months ago
Reply to  Giovanni

I think a person can tell lies and be incompetent at the same time. It’s time for a new coach.
He’s changed since winning the ACC. His comments on Slovis completely unprofessional and uncalled for. And Slovis isn’t the only misstep. He looked silly going after USC about transfers..
H2P

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