If you are a fifth-year senior on the Pittsburgh football team, here is your career path: you were recruited by Dave Wannstedt, you were introduced to and then promptly de-introduced to Mike Haywood, you signed your letter of intent and then redshirted for Todd Graham, you played your freshman, sophomore and junior seasons for Paul Chryst, and now you enter your fifth and final season as a college football player under Pat Narduzzi. That is a lot of tumult. In fact, it's probably all you know at this point. It's your version of normal.
To combat that, Narduzzi has placed a major emphasis on team chemistry. With limited contact opportunities over the summer, Narduzzi told his strength staff to manufacture that chemistry by mixing and matching weight-lifting groups. “The O-line guy might always work out with his O-line buddy that he plays next to, but how about working out with a DB?” Narduzzi told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I don’t care if you have to switch weights off a bench or squat rack. But just working out with those guys and getting a chance to know that guy and how hard he works at his trade, just like how hard you work.”
With fall camp underway, the first-time head coach has augmented his crash course in Pat Narduzzi Football with a crash course in team chemistry. He asked all 105 of his players to move into Sutherland Hall, and then he joined them.
“I’m staying in the dorm with them to get around them more, to see how they live, see what type of music they’re listening to in the evenings, what are they eating, those types of things,” Narduzzi said. “Our kids, if they feel great with one another, they love each and have that relationship, and the coaches love the players, the players love the coaches, we’re going to win some football games.
“To me, we have to know one another. If we don’t know one another, we can’t play hard for each other.”