Pitt Head Coach Pat Narduzzi Restricts Interview Access Ahead Of Penn State Meeting
At his weekly press conference, Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi announced that interview access will be limited throughout the week. He expressed how much he loves the media before saying that he wants to “keep things tight” and allow the players to focus on this weekend’s game.
“As always, I appreciate you guys, I love the media, and I’ll do anything for you,” Narduzzi said. “I just want to keep things tight this week again — just kind of what we do when we have a big opportunity like this. I’ll talk every day, but I just want to keep it tight with our kids and let them focus on what they need to focus on.”
Pitt didn’t take this course of action last season by allowing two players to speak to the media. However, he shut out the media completely ahead of the two teams’ meetings in 2016 and 2017. The team isn’t necessarily the most popular commodity in a jam-packed Pittsburgh media market, so limiting exposure to the program ahead of a big event like the final scheduled meeting between Penn State and Pitt is definitely puzzling.
Naturally, there was lots of talk about Penn State throughout Narduzzi’s press conference. Pitt’s head coach had lots of praise for Sean Clifford — who he referred to as a “baller” — along with KJ Hamler and the Nittany Lions’ defensive front seven, which he said is “as good as anyone’s in the country.”
Another reporter asked Narduzzi about continuing the Penn State-Pitt series, which will come to a close for the foreseeable future after Saturday’s game. He, of course, reaffirmed his desire to continue squaring off against the Nittany Lions.
“Nobody cares what I think, but everybody in the state of Pennsylvania would say ‘hey, why don’t we play this game,'” Narduzzi said. “We all want to play in this game. It’s a big game — it’s a rivalry game in-state. I’m going to emphasize to our kids you might be the last team to ever play in this game. The next time we play, I’ll either be in a coffin or retired.”
Pitt’s fifth-year head coach was even in a good enough mood to crack a joke about James Franklin.
“We vacation together,” Narduzzi said. “We do. James is a great guy — we go to the Nike [coaches’] trips every year. We socialize, but when it’s game day, it’s game day.”
You can watch Narduzzi’s full press conference here.
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