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Seven Pitt track and field athletes will compete at NCAA Championships

The NCAA Preliminary East track and field rounds were held this weekend and after the dust settled, seven Pitt athletes qualified for the NCAA championships.

Leading the way is Desmond Palmer, who will participate in two events - the 110m hurdles and the 400m hurdles. The 400m hurdles is really his specialty as he is a three-time All-American in that event. Palmer is the only male athlete that will participate at the championships.

Andim Fosam (hammer throw), Gillian Schriever (10,000m), and the women's 4x400m relay team (Morgan Harvey, Quadaisha Newkirk, Danielle Leaks, and Desiree Garland) will join him at the championships in Eugene, OR.

The event is held from June 7-10.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Matt Galambos hoping to catch on with Steelers

Pitt had five players selected in the NFL Draft this year, but a few others landed rookie tryouts. One of those was linebacker Matt Galambos who got a look with the Steelers.

It's difficult to make a final roster as an undrafted player but Galambos is hoping to do just that. Step one? Get signed and after the camp, GGalambos achieved that goal.

"I knew if I went out and gave all that I had, learned the plays, the installs to the best of my ability, I would be okay with it," said Galambos. "Right after the final practice of minicamp (General Manager) Kevin Colbert came up and talked to me about staying here. It was an honor. ... "Getting signed is the first step. You are in the camp. Now you have to keep going. People think you are all set. But there is a long way to go. There is so much work to put in. But it’s awesome. Nobody in my family has ever experienced anything like this."

The odds are still pretty stacked against Galambos but as Steelers Depot suggests, the Steelers are a little thin at inside linebacker and that could to a way being paved for the former Pitt  player.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

=Jabaal Sheard threw out the first pitch at an Indianapolis Indians game. Let's judge it.

Former Pitt defensive end Jabaal Sheard is a new member of the Indianapolis Colts after winning a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots this past season. In the offseason, he got a three-year deal worth a reported $25.M with the Colts. Almost half of that is said to be guaranteed.

Sheard, naturally, is making the circuit around his new city and recently, had the chance to throw out the first pitch at an Indy Indians game. The Indians, of course, are the AAA affiliate of the Pirates so there's even another Pittsburgh connection there.

The pitch wasn't disastrous, but, I mean, it could have been better.

Take a look here and vote in the poll to let us know how you think he did.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.
Poll How would rate Jabaal Sheard's first pitch? Great Above average Decent Um ... Yikes   0 votes | Results

Cardiac Hill Poll of the Day: How many games will the Pitt football team win in the 2017 regular season?

Yesterday it was the men's basketball team. Today? Football. I know we've run this poll once earlier this year but I've got like 100 of these to do, so cut me some slack.

Pat Narduzzi lost five players to the NFL Draft but still returns a decent group. The players from his first draft classes with the Panthers are also starting to mature.

Pitt brings back almost all of its production at wide receiver, has a talented group of running backs, and a solid offensive line. Defensively, they will replace almost all of their front four and the questions about the secondary will linger. One ace up their sleeves is the return of All-American specialist Quadree Henderson who was the top return man in college football last season in addition to his work as a receiver.

How do you expect the Panthers to fare in the 2017 regular season?

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.
Poll How many regular season games will the Panthers' football team win in 2017? 10 or more 7 9 8 6 Less than 6   0 votes | Results

Pitt basketball transfer Cam Johnson to visit North Carolina on Monday

Pitt basketball transfer Cam Johnson is still looking for a new team. The Panthers (for now, anyway) have blocked him from transferring within the conference for a season and despite that being a scenario that plays out in the majority of transfers, it's a move that has drawn the criticism of some heavy hitters in the media.

Even though Pitt hasn't yet changed its stance on Johnson's case, he will visit North Carolina on Monday, per SB Nation's Tar Heels blog.

I'm still not quite sure how I see this playing out. I remain adamant that Pitt should hardly be taking the amount of criticism they've gotten since this is commonplace in college athletics. But given that head coach Kevin Stallings is also friendly with North Carolina coach Roy Williams, it wouldn't shock me to see a deal reached.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Kevan Smith seeing time with Chicago White Sox due to Geovany Soto injury

Last year, former Pitt baseball (and before that, football) player Kevan Smith made his major league debut with the Chicago White Sox. Smith played in seven games last year, batting only .125.

He was back in AAA this year but a couple of elbow issues have landed White Sox starter Geovany Soto on the disabled list and that has opened the door for Smith to get another shot. Smith got off to sort of a slow start at the plate but has heated up a bit lately.

On the year, Smith is hitting only .205. However, he's starting to find his way, it seems. In his last six games, he's batting .333 (6-18) and also had a pair of doubles. He's also up to a respectable .267 for the entire month of May and is making the most of his second chance with the team.

Soto has landed on the disabled list already twice this year. If Smith continues to hit, he could find himself continuing to get some playing time even after Soto comes back. Soto is hitting for more power than Smith (three home runs on the year to Smith's none for his career) but is also only batting .190.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Former Pitt receiver Devin Street released by New England Patriots

As quick as he came, he left again.

Former Pitt wide receiver Devin Street had another chance to impress an NFL team recently, but it didn't last long. The New England Patriots signed Street back in the beginning of May to give him a look, even using a waiver claim to secure his rights. But this week, they cut him again, releasing him on Wednesday. The Patriots reportedly waived him to make room for another receiver, Andrew Hawkins.

The Patriots have worked out Street before, signing him to their practice team prior to last season. But the Indianapolis Colts added him to their 53-man roster and that's where he played for 2016.

Street is still young enough that he can be a desirable receiver for teams looking for some experience. Unless he rejoins the Colts again, he could be playing for his third NFL team in three years this fall since he played for the Dallas Cowboys in 2014 and 2015.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Larry Fitzgerald won't address playing future until training camp

Former Pitt wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald left the school and has had a stellar career in the NFL. There's little doubt that he should be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame whenever his career ends.

But Fitz isn't saying yet when that career will officially over.

Fitzgerald is committed to this season but nothing beyond that. It could be his last year in the NFL but he won't be discussing his intentions until training camp. And even then, it's not something he wants to be badgered about all year long.

Fitzgerald said Monday night at an Arians Family Foundation charity dinner that he will address his playing future once, in training camp, and that's it. "I'm going to answer it one time, and I'm not even going to address it anymore," Fitzgerald said.

Fitzgerald's response was likely a preemptive strike of sorts because he was asked quite a bit last year about his future plans.

While Fitzgerald is getting older, he's still plenty capable of being a top receiver in the league. Last year he had a whopping 107 catches, which was, by the way, the most in the NFL. Retiring with seemingly so much left in the tank seems like a ridiculous notion but Fitz has also played 13 years in the league so he's had a fairly long career.

But while that's a good amount, players (particularly receivers) have also played much more. Jerry Rice, for example, played 20 seasons in the NFL.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

Cardiac Hill Poll of the Day: How many basketball games will the Pitt men's team win in 2017-18?

So, we're in the offseason, right? About 100 days left until the start of football season, it's going to be a while before we have any actual Pitt games to cover. Last year, I did a countdown featuring football players and uniform numbers and this year wanted to do something a little different.

Until the start of football season, we'll be running a daily poll. I doubt that will continue once football season starts but we'll see where it goes.

Since Pitt basketball has been such a topic of discussion with all of the roster turnover from last season, I figured we'd start off with some predictions. Next year looks like it will be a long season but we won't know until the games are played. How many of those games do you think the Panthers will win in the regular season?

As a measuring stick, the team won only 16 games this past season.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.
Poll How many basketball games will the Pitt men's team win in 2017-18? 20 or more 18-19 16-17 14-15 12-13 Fewer than 12   6 votes | Results

Will Lesean McCoy become a Hall of Famer?

I came across an interesting article this morning that discussed former Pitt star Lesean McCoy. The focal point was really on McCoy's workload this upcoming season with the Buffalo Bills, but there was a mention of his Hall of Fame chances early in the article.

McCoy is referring to his pursuit of 10,000 career rushing yards and then 12,000 career rushing yards. He is just shy of 9,000 yards for his career and will turn 29 this summer before his third season the Buffalo Bills. Early in his career, McCoy had people tell him he had the talent to get to the Hall of Fame some day. Now he's staring down the numbers it would take to get there. "The only thing missing is a couple more years, a couple more thousand yards and some winning games," McCoy said Thursday. "That's what every player strives to do to have a great career. That's the only thing I'm missing is the ring and some more yards."

The idea that Shady can get to the Hall of Fame isn't that far-fetched. He currently ranks 37th on the all-time rushing list with 8,954 yards and he also has 382 catches for 2,930 yards. Combined, he has 73 career touchdowns.

Those numbers won't get him in since he doesn't have championships to go along with them, so it becomes a matter of how much more can he play and how effective can he be during those years.

If you look at the players ahead of him on the all-time list, it's littered with guys that aren't Hall of Famers and probably won't be so McCoy isn't a Hall of Famer right now. But he also will have a chance to leapfrog many of them in the next two years. McCoy had 1,267 rushing yards last season and two more 1,000-yard seasons would put him just outside of the top 20. He will be 29 when this season starts so he'd be 31 after those two years. How productive can he be past that? That's anybody's guess but another 1,000 would get him close to the top 15.

There's also the health aspect. So far, McCoy has been pretty durable playing at least 15 games in six of his eight NFL seasons (and no fewer than 12). But for him to improve his chances, he'll need to stay on the field.

McCoy has a lot of work to do to be under consideration if he doesn't win a championship by the time he retires. But with a few more productive seasons, he could find himself in the Hall of Fame discussion.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter@PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and founder/editor @AnsonWhaley.

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