Narduzzi moving forward with Jurkovec as QB

Says offensive struggles on everybody & Jurkovec still leader of group

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – Pat Narduzzi acknowledged you don’t want to hear it, but the issues with the Pitt offense are on everybody and he’s not making a change at quarterback before hosting nationally ranked North Carolina Saturday.

Phil Jurkovec will remain the Panthers quarterback despite being 18 for 52, 260 yards, three touchdowns, three interceptions over the last two games, both losses. Against West Virginia, Jurkovec threw for 81 yards with all three of those picks.

Narduzzi had a few bullet points about the offense against the Mountaineers.
·     ran the ball so much because it was there (not because they were afraid to throw it)
·     there were instances of people not catching the ball
·     he did admit Jurkovec can throw a better pass
·     turnovers-Narduzzi said they are better off punting on second down than turning it over
·     different starting offensive line each week

“He’s a leader in that huddle,” Narduzzi said Monday. “He’s a guy that you trust, you’ve seen it every day. You look at all the stats, all the numbers of what you put in a practice, in camp and what you’ve shown. You just don’t dump things like that. You don’t do it. It’s just a philosophy and where I’m coming from.”

Narduzzi said every player had a mistake Saturday and in every position meeting room they are working to fix the errors.

“You keep pressing,” Narduzzi said. “Life is not perfect. We all have issues on the outside and on the inside. Nothing is going to be perfect, everybody would like to have a perfect world. That’s why they call us coaches, we got to go fix it. We got to make things better period, it starts with me and then the offensive coordinator and the coaches.”

Narduzzi said he leans on Frank Cignetti to help him with making a potential quarterback change. A primarily defensive assistant before taking over as the Panthers head coach, Narduzzi said he spends 85% watching defensive tape and working with the defense during practice. They believe their best option right now is Jurkovec, not Christian Veilleux or Nate Yarnell. He also won’t make it a public competition at this point.

“I think the quarterback position is a totally different animal than any other position,” Narduzzi said. “You talk about a two-quarterback system? I think the quarterback position is a totally different deal. I’m not a quarterback whisperer. I’m not a quarterback guru, but I do believe from anywhere I’ve ever been, it takes time to gel with your guys.”

Pitt is back on the practice field on Tuesday with Phil Jurkovec as its quarterback. He said the team is behind him, but did leave a little wiggle room to make a change.

“We are going to evaluate every day, obviously it’s going to be a big week for everybody, including the quarterbacks,” Narduzzi said. “We got to get better.”

Featured Image Photo Credit: 93.7 The Fan