Feb. 4, 2011

Nine Innings with Scott Doffek of Milwaukee

Nine Innings with Scott Norwood of UALR


Nine Innings with Joe Jordano

By Phil Stanton

CollegeBaseballInsider.com Co-Founder

phil@collegebaseballinsider.com @roadtoomaha

This week, we are going to have head coaches from Pittsburgh and  Milwaukee give us their thoughts on Sunday's Super Bowl between the  Steelers and the Packers.

Today we conclude with Joe Jordano, the head coach of the Pittsburgh Panthers. He enters his 14th season at Pitt following maybe the best year in school history. The Panthers were 38-18 overall and 18-9 in the Big East a season ago. Pitt was second in the nation in batting average (.363) and fifth in runs (9.5 per game). A seven-time Coach-of-the-Year recipient, Jordano was named the inaugural Chuck Tanner Collegiate Manager of the Year in 2010.


This spring, Pitt will open the Petersen Sports Complex, which includes a state-of-the-art baseball stadium.


Jordano gives his perspective on the AFC Champion, the Pittsburgh Steelers.

First Inning - How important was it for the Steelers to start the season strong during the suspension of QB Ben Roethlisberger?
Huge. If the Steelers would have started 1-3 it would have been difficult to overcome. Any time you have a critical piece of your team missing for an extended period it is much more challenging to be competitive. The Steelers cleared that hurdle with ease.

Second Inning - What does a coach do to keep the team together with the loss of a key contributor for four games?
I believe a coach is critical in this scenario. He has to show stability and poise. He has to lead his team in a clear and focused manner concentrating on the things that he can control. In any situation where you have uncertainty, a great leader is extremely important to show strength and decisiveness.

Third Inning - How much of an advantage was it for the Steelers to have two home games during the playoffs?
Heinz Field may be one of the most intimidating places for any NFL team to play. Great, knowledgeable, committed and passionate fans.  It is a tremendous environment on Steeler Sunday.

Fourth Inning - What makes Mike Tomlin so successful as a head coach?
Coach Tomlin seems to be a great communicator. His demeanor on the sideline is impressive. It is clear that his players respond to him and play their tails off for him. What he has accomplished in four years is incredible. I really don't think he gets as much credit as he deserves. Coach Tomlin is Big Time.

Fifth Inning - Which Steeler would you most like to have on your baseball team, and what position would he play?
I'd like a few. Hines Ward - Catcher - gets in players heads before they even see a pitch. Mike Wallace - Centerfield - Green light for sure on the bases. Big Ben on the mound - intimidated by no one.

Sixth Inning - Who on your team would make the best Steeler, and what position would he play?
That's a tough one. I'd say David Chester (senior first baseman) - and I would line him up on the defensive line next to James Harrison. Skill player would be Kevan Smith (senior catcher) at quarterback and Zach Duggan (senior outfielder) as a wideout.

Seventh Inning - Who is the biggest Steelers fan on your team/staff?
Without a doubt, Kyle Cheesebrough (volunteer assistant). I'm surprised he didn't drop 5K on a Super Bowl ticket!

Eighth Inning - Which player from the Packers do you fear most?
Aaron Rodgers is a very talented QB - he is going to have a big challenge against the Steelers' defense. Clay Matthews is also legit - a big time football player. The guy is everywhere on the field. He is fun to watch. And of course Coach McCarthy is from the Greenfield neighborhood in Pittsburgh!

Ninth Inning - Why will the Steelers win?
The Steelers will win with their defense and experience. I think the Steelers defense will score a defensive touchdown and that will be the difference in the game. I believe it may be an instant classic. It's going to be a great Super Bowl.

Extra Innings - What will the final score be?
Steelers prevail in a close game 28-21.

(photo courtesy of Pitt Media Relations Office)