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Tony Dorsett Speaks

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I've posted elsewhere they should FIRE HARRIS THIS INSTANT! Not because pitt is bad its been worse in the mid-90s but because of the 5 plays he insisted they run that made those kids putting there all out on the field lose to UConn (FG on 3rd down!), Nebraska (no debating a penalty that cost the win), Virginia, Toledo, Miami etc. etc. stupid play calling when it mattered most and no investment in a running game. THIS IS NOT COACHING, Harris is the best coach in college football for the OPPOSITION!

Dorsett unhappy with Panthers' plight

Thursday, October 14, 2004

By Gene Collier, PITTSBURGH Post-Gazette

This is how old you are: Tony Dorsett is 50.

Oh, it's depressing. And here's what's worse: At 50, Tony Dorsett looks the way he always has. Like you can't catch him. Same as it ever was.

At lunch time yesterday in the Fish Market downtown, the physical challenge was a world more modest. How long, I wondered, before I can get the Hall of Fame running back to nearly spit out the rock shrimp appetizer.

"Could I interest you in the Pitt job?" I said with no authorization and even less compunction.

"Oh man!" Dorsett said, jerking forward a bit across the table. "It's sad; it's god-awful. You know, I didn't even know that Connecticut had a team, much less a Division I team, and we lose to that team. That's after we came from behind to beat Furman? Furman!"

Came from behind to beat Temple, too.

"Right."

And Temple had lost the previous week, 70-16.

"70-16?"

To Bowling Green.

"Bowling Green!"

Yeah, watch the rock shrimp.

In the Dorsett Administration at Pitt, he could have beaten Temple by himself. He doesn't remember playing Temple, probably because the 55-6 result from Oct. 11, 1975 was typical.

"It's embarrassing; it's upsetting to me," he said. "To see Pitt not be an 'it' anymore is awful. It should not be that way. They've got to figure some things out. They've got to do something about that."

Dorsett had a few ideas, which we'll get to, but he wanted to touch on the reason for his visit to Pittsburgh among 16 cities on his current itinerary, which amounts to some promotional barnstorming for a program called Tackling Men's Health. Dorsett says he was drafted into the effort by former NFL coach and fellow Pitt legend Mike Ditka. For you younger folks, yes, he's the Levitra guy. The idea is get otherwise reluctant macho specimens of advancing age to be more pro-active about their health, about which there's an avalanche of information available at www.tacklingmenshealthy.com or by calling 1-866-NFLHealth.

"When I retired [from the NFL in 1989], I just completely shut it down," he said. "I figured I'd been doing all the physical things all my life and I'm not doing it anymore. But I ached all over. Now I jog, even though it's the most boring thing in the world, 31*2 or 41*2 miles a day and I do some lifting. When you're talking about tackling men's health and talk to men about health issues, you have to get them to put aside some of their ego and machoism and get a regular checkup.

"I got a colonoscopy!"

Yep. Apparently not even a place on the Dallas Cowboys Texas Stadium ring of honor should excuse a guy from that indignity.

"A lot of guys put that stuff off because they think they're tough and they can ride out any storm that comes about. Well, sometimes that storm is a big issue."

Dorsett has avoided any big issues, and in fact has avoided much of the arthritic consequences of having spent 12 years in the violent cauldron of professional football without ever having built himself to more than 190 pounds. He needs every ounce of stamina he can accumulate, as he has got three daughters aged 12 to 15 months at home in Dallas.

The only real pain he experiences is from watching the college football scores.

"I'd be willing to come back here -- not as a coach because I never had any coaching aspirations, but you know Texas has Earl Campbell doing some things for them and South Carolina has George Rogers, and if there was a role for me where I could stop this thing where too many players are going away from Pittsburgh, if I could show recruits what it's like to be part of something really special and memorable, I would entertain that.

"I don't want to sound like I'm looking for a job. I'm not. But I do care enough about where this program is at that I would consider it."

Dorsett's aware of the public debate between proponents of having the next coach be a "Pitt man" and those who judge that wholly unnecessary. Even though he played for a hugely successful staff led by non-Pitt men Johnny Majors and Jackie Sherrill, Dorsett's position on this couldn't be more clear.

"I suggested years ago that the program be turned over to one of our own, and that's the way I still feel. I think it should be someone with NFL experience. I've mentioned Matt Cavanaugh. I think it should be someone who knows Pitt football, someone who's felt it, breathed it, smelled it, tasted it."

Right now, Dorsett knows, it tastes not at all like the rock shrimp.

And sure, to be perfectly correct, the Pitt football job is not actually open.

Yeah.

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I thank "Not My Fault" Walt for bringing Pitt up from high-awful to low-mediocrity, but his time has come to go (much like JoePa). Pitt has top-notch facilities, and is now willing to pay a top-notch coaching staff competitive pay.

Russ Grimm would be my first choice (his name alone would garner the Panthers attention from top-tiered Line prospects they desperately need!). His "move" would only be down a hallway. If he elects to stay as Cowher's assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach, Dave Wannstedt may ultimately be the man.

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Why not Mike Ditka as head coach, he has a super bowl resume

Jimmy Johnson and Jon Gruden also have superbowl resumes and both started their legendary coaching carrers at University of Pittsburgh during the glory days 1973-1991!

As a side anyone see Harris's agent rants about how Pitt should fire him now because hes the greatest coach ever?!? LOL

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Ditka is too old(and frazzled) to take Pitt to the level it needs to go to. Plus, he'll just use that cute line again. You know, the one he used when his name came up for the Pitt job before Harris was hired -"I have no interest in coaching Pitt. I can't coach a team that doesn't know how to tackle."

Grimm, Wannstedt, Sunseri, and Lewis are alumni who would make solid choices, IMO.

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Each of those men could be a good or maybe even a great college coach but Pitt should get a proven commodity a coach with ties to the University that has coached a winning team in the SuperBowl. A Jon Gruden (assistant late 1980s in two bowl games) or Jimmy Johnson (assistant for the two National Championship teams in the late 70s early 80s) would fit that bill, maybe even Marty Schottenheimer could come home to his Alma Mater and Martyball them to a BCS bowl!

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LOL DTJ never knew Ditka said that about "The love of his Life" as he refers to Pitt (or something like that), that is too funny but then again in the mid 90s Pitt had decayed pathetically. Best memory of Ditka is when he was an assistant coach for the Cowboys in the 1978 Super Bowl vs. the Steelers when he coached the game in a Perm!!!! :D:D Thats our Ditka quirky as the city itself!

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LOL! I remember the permed Ditka, as well. As for Schottenheimer, a BCS Bowl might be a "bowl" he could actually win - hell, maybe his "protege" here in Pittsburgh, as well! :D

Look where Pitt basketball is now because of Petersen Events Center - attracting blue chip talent left & right, perennial Top 25, strong fan base, etc. Coach Dixon (excellent young coach BTW, great choice by Long after the Prosser snub) is a carbon copy of what Ben Howland started. This is all even with having the Big East being a juggernaut conference in hoops, and having a non-existent Western Pa. recruiting base in talent.

Pitt football had it's new digs first, point being - they should already be where the basketball program is now. Weak conference that has the BCS, rich recruiting base in football talent, a "front-runner's" region that loves it's football, and some of the best athletic facilities in the country should equal at least 8 wins, a Top 25 ranking, and at least a mid-tier bowl game -year in & year out.

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