Most of them took to their Twitter accounts, calling Graham a litany of things — some not suitable for print — and issuing words of caution to his new Sun Devil players.93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh on The Morning Show and lashed out at Graham, who said he wants to come back and talk to the Pitt players who never took time to say goodbye to in the first place.
"He better not dare try to come over here," Saddler said. "He better not dare. I mean that with a passion. When the situation first happened, I didn't know what was going to happen, but I sat down with a couple guys and told them if the plan was for Coach Graham to coach us in the bowl game, we are not going to play."
Saddler said the entire ordeal had been surreal. Graham hadn't even been with the Panthers for a year and he was the third coach in just over a month. this year, the Panthers will be playing in their second consecutive BBVA Compass Bowl with an interim coach.
"The last 24 hours, man. This has been rough, man. This is happening again? The first time it happened last year, we were all in shock, like no way this is going down. … Then, it's happening now. … We're kind of just like, again? How's this happening again? We know what to expect, what we're getting ourselves into, and it's like, 'Why us?'"
Saddler noted that Graham often would talk about how much money Pitt was paying him and that even if the Panthers lost and he was fired he'd be fine.
"He told us at a team meeting that … 'I'll lose game with guys with integrity. It doesn't matter to me if I get fired. I make $2 million a year, I can move to the Caribbean and me and my wife can be better off for the rest of our lives.' Like, what kind of nonsense is that? I don't care about that. You're my coach. I understand that; you get paid lots of money. … You have a nice haircut and all, but why would you tell us that you and your wife would be OK."
Pitt is currently interviewing coaches to repair the damage left in Graham's wake. Candidates include Ohio State's Luke Fickell, Florida International coach Mario Cristobal, Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst and Michigan state defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi. Saddler said whoever becomes Pittsburgh's next coach better be less talk and more action.
"We don't [want] nobody to tell us nothing. We want somebody to show us. We're tired of hearing speeches of how everything's going to be OK and everything's going to get better. … Show us. We're done talking. I don't want no one coming in here and talking to us, trying to sell us."
- Sports & Recreation
- Sports & Recreation/American Football
- Todd Graham