Pitt QB Controversy Appears To Be a Cripple Fight

Paul SieversAnalyst IAugust 18, 2009

EL PASO, TX - DECEMBER 31:  Quarterback Bill Stull #11 of the Pittsburgh Panthers during the Brut Sun Bowl on December 31, 2008 at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Unless my blog is your sole source of Pitt info (I'm flattered) or you're coming off a four day bender that included both cougars and cougars, you are probably well aware that Bill Stull and Pat Bostick have been less than stellar since practice with pads has started.

To make things interesting, redshirt frosh Tino Sunseri has been impressive. This leaves the Panthers with three quarterbacks, one starting job and a whole lot of questions.

Do we really need a quarterback?

As much as I'd love to line up our band of 4'8" track stars and run triple reverses all day long, I have a sneaking suspicion that opposing defenses are going to find a way to stop us.

Not only do we obviously need a QB, this team needs good play from the QB. Without Shady, the offense can expect to see fewer eight man fronts and less aggressive play from opposing safeties. Our quarterbacks are going to have to make difficult throws a lot more often this season.

Will Bill Stull start on opening day?

At this point it would be a huge upset of Stull didn't get the nod against Youngstown State. He's the lone senior of the three quarterbacks, he had his moments last season and most importantly, Pitt should beat Youngstown State no matter whose lined up under center.

Unless the rest of Bill Stull's camp is an absolute tragedy, he will get the benefit of the doubt going into the YSU game. That's just how it is. I've always been a "talent over experience" kind of guy, but unless either Bostick or Sunseri is head and shoulders better than Stull, it should be the senior's job to lose.

Will Pat Bostick the next Joe Flacco?

As Tino Sunseri appears to be at the very least putting himself in the drivers seat for the starting job in 2010, its becoming more and more apparent that Pat Bostick probably isn't in Wannstedt's future plans.

Coming out of high school, Bostick was by far the highest touted recruit of the three Panther QBs. If the potential for greatness is there and he's not going to see the field at Pitt, there's no reason that he can't go elsewhere and become the next Joe Flacco.

I feel bad for Bostick, he showed a lot of guts his freshman year when he got thrown into the fire. I don't quite know what "it" is but Bostick just seems to lack it. Maybe he needs a change of scenery.

Side note: It seems like a little bit of shine has been taken off of the whole "great Pennsylvania QB" mantra this decade. Take a look at Rivals sometime and look at the top ranked QBs from the commonwealth and then see where they are now. Its not pretty.

What are the odds Bill Stull starts every game for the Panthers this year?

I'm going to say about 40 percent. I'll say there's a 40-percent chance his play warrants a benching and a 20-percent chance he gets hurt.

I wish I could have more confidence in Stull but I can't shake that Sun Bowl performance out of my mind. Add to that the fact that his camp has resembled that disaster of a game more than his solid performance against Louisville and it seems like there is a solid chance Stull will get benched at some point.

Is there any reason to be optimistic?

Jonathan Baldwin. He's your reason to be optimistic because the safeties have to respect him.

If the safeties try to crowd the line then he'll be open on deep play action passes. If the safeties respect Baldwin and play deep then Dickerson and Byham will be free on the underneath routes.

Whether or not we execute those passes is a whole different issue but at the very least, Pitt has weapons in the passing game that can get open and do some damage with the ball.

There are still 18 days until we kick the season off. A lot can change between now and then and quite honestly, its damn near impossible to figure out what kind of team you have from intersquad scrimmages.

Lets just hope that either Stull, Bostick or Sunseri win the job and the other two don't lose it because QB play is going to be more important this year than it has been for any Pitt team in the post Palko era.

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