1. Pitt hires Shawn Watson as Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach-Well well, HC Pat Narduzzi finally found Matt Canada’s replacement. I don’t know much about Watson, but it appears that he’s pretty accomplished having served as offensive coordinator at Texas (2014-15), Louisville (2012-13), Nebraska (2007-10) and Colorado (2000-05). He also has head coaching experience on his resume, serving in that capacity at his alma mater, Southern Illinois, from 1994-96. And he’s only 35 years old?? Impressive.
  2. Watson has also served as offensive quality control assistant before being named the Hoosiers’ quarterback coach. His Pitt appointment serves as a reunion with Narduzzi. The pair previously worked together on the late Randy Walker’s staff at Miami (Ohio) from 1990-92.
  1. Does this mean that Watson will be as good as Canada? You know it’s too early to tell, but he will certainly get his shot at doing so, especially after getting USC QB transfer Max Browne and 4-star RB AJ Davis. We shall see.
  2. One thing that stands out to me about Watson is the fact that he coached former Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater from 2011-13. In 2013, Bridgewater led the Cardinals to a 12-1 record and passed for 31 touchdowns and was a finalist for the Manning Award. He knows
  3. Now that National Signing Day is over, the Panthers are looking forward to spring ball and drills, which will allow the newbies to mesh with the current players. It’s truly a marathon, and a long offseason for a team who’s the only goal should be to win the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Coastal Division, which would be pretty huge.
  4. As for Pitt college basketball, senior F Mike Young was named Watch List Finalist for the Karl Malone Award. Named after Hall of Famer and two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Karl Malone, the annual honor in its third year recognizes the top power forwards in Division I men’s college basketball.
  5. Young is currently averaging 20.3 PPG(2nd), 7.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists. He hasn’t been dominating of late, but his strong start has certainly garnered a lot of attention. He will also get a lot of care from the ACC when it’s time to pass out their postseason awards too.
  6. As for the Panthers, for once I won’t fuss at them. Yes, they lost their 7th straight game after falling to 12th ranked North Carolina, but for the first time in weeks, they fought hard and almost upset the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill. Unfortunately, they ended up losing 80-78.
  7. How close was it?? Pitt had the ball with seconds left, and F Jamel Artis attempted a 3-point shot that fell short. That’s all you ask for out of a team: To fight your hardest for the win, which is what the Panthers did. A fighter’s always got a chance, and Tuesday night’s game proved it.
  8. But it doesn’t get any easier for the Panthers as they will now face the 21st ranked Duke Blue Devils Saturday at Cameron Indoor Stadium. I’m sure that you remember when Pitt upset a better Duke team last year, but that was a better Pitt team too, and it was at Petersen Events Center. Can they do it? If they fight like they did against North Carolina, yes.
  9. The NFL is getting ready for Super Bowl 51 which pits the AFC Champion New England Patriots against the NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons Sunday evening in Houston. The Patriots are 3-point favorites and why shouldn’t they be? They obviously have the most experience having won 4 and losing 4. They most recently won against the Seattle Seahawks in SB 49.
  10. QB Tom Brady and HC Bill Belichick have a chance at making SB history by becoming the first to win 5 Super Bowls at their respective positions, which would surpass Pittsburgh Steelers HOF QB Terry Bradshaw and HC Chuck Noll who stand at 4. Brady will also pass SF 49ers HOF QB Joe Montana, who also has 4 Super Bowl rings. A Patriots would tie the 49ers, and Dallas Cowboys with 5 SB wins each and putting them in the range of the Steelers 6 SB victories.
  11. Meanwhile, the Falcons are in their first Super Bowl since 1999, in which they lost to the Denver Broncos. In my opinion, that team backed into the Super Bowl after upsetting an excellent Minnesota Vikings team and were not match for HOF John Elway’s Broncos. That was then, and this is now. I think this Falcons team is hungry and ready to win their first Super Bowl in team history.
  12. I’m expecting the Falcons to put tremendous pressure on Brady, something the Steelers chose not to do in the AFC Championship Game. The Falcons have to make Brady’s life miserable while punching them in the mouth early and often with touchdowns, not field goals. If that happens, then I can foresee a 31-20 Falcons victory.
  13. Falcons QB Matt Ryan is expected to win the NFL MVP Saturday. A most deserving honor to a man whom most felt like was washed-up and didn’t deserve the huge contract extension that the Falcons gave him last season. I bet their feet are in those folks mouths now.
  14. And there will also be the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2016 announcement. Here are my predictions: RB LaDanian Tomlinson, Steelers G Alan Faneca, QB Kurt Warner, WR Terrell Owens, DE Jason Taylor, Owner Jerry Jones and HC Don Coryell. We shall see on Saturday.
  15. As for Steelers news, they announced that they’d re-signed long-snapper Greg Warren to a 2-year deal. Warren has been with the team for 13 years. It may not be a traditional signing, but you never want to have issues with your long-snapper.
  16. As for the NBA, their trade deadline is only a few weeks away, and the Carmelo Anthony trade rumors have intensified even more. First reports had him going to the LA Clippers; now they have him going to the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for F Kevin Love. But the Cavs don’t want to part with Love.
  17. I honestly think that the Cavs should give up Love for Anthony. Both players are known for the offense but Anthony is a much better scorer, so they wouldn’t be giving up much defense in parting ways with Love. But team owner Dan Gilbert is standing pat. Stay tuned.
  18. Congrats to Serena Williams in winning the Australian Open It’s her 23rd Is another Grand Slam on the horizon? I think so.

 

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on Twitter

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