It appeared during a roughly 45-minute video press conference Thursday a lot of folks are expecting Sam Pittman to project how good his players are without really seeing them play … or practice.
“Guys, I hate to be vague [but] you guys realize we’ve been walking,” he said at one point. “I could name the guys that are doing really well mentally and all that but it’s really hard to figure out who can play good and who can’t because we’re in a walkthrough with no pads.”
Everybody looks good in shorts without even helmets.
And, while Pittman has seen film on players and even tried to recruit some of them when he was at Georgia, he has no idea what kind of player they are now.
What he can’t (and won’t) say to anyone is he has no idea how they will respond to this coaching staff and the new way of doing things.
On the other hand, I will say without hesitation this is the first time the majority of these players have had a college coach that has actually coached winners before and they actually believe him.
While Pittman has never been a head coach, he is becoming pretty good at talking around things without saying a whole lot, especially when it comes to individual players. That’s not particularly a negative, especially in a year that often resembles some sort of alternative universe.
He does sound fairly confident he knows who his quarterback is going to be, though.
By the time he got around to backtracking during the press conference to indicate Feleipe Franks wasn’t the official starter yet it wasn’t that hard to figure out everybody else’s chances were kinda thin.
He mentioned just about everybody’s name but he pointed out he hasn’t seen them throwing passes yet.
And why it’s mostly about knowing WHAT to do because the offense is a little different.
“Kendal Briles’ offense is not that hard to learn,” he said. “It’s just fast. You have to know the in’s and out’s of everything because he’s gonna snap the football and you need to understand where you’re supposed to go because it’s gonna happen pretty fast.”
But back to Franks, who Pittman has seen throw passes in SEC games and, as he pointed out, has taken a team to a bowl game win on New Year’s Day.
While he hasn’t coached a single game, he has managed to come off with a unique way of handling a press conference, but with a refreshing twist — he does it without the tired old clichés.
We’ve heard them for a couple of years, usually more in a single press conference than wins the entire time.
And he still hasn’t gotten one single real practice with a new team.
So, no, he’s not going to go in-depth on a lot of individuals right now.