Good evening, everyone. Pitt just wrapped up their only practice today just over an hour ago, and now that I've got my story for tomorrow all filed away (hint: it's about the cornerbacks), I can give you the relevant news and notes from today's session...
- KK Mosley-Smith returned to practice today for the first time since Thursday, and worked with the second-team defense. Jack Lippert remained in Mosley Smith's spot with the first unit. I suspect that this is just a matter of working KK back into the rotation slowly, but the coaching staff has certainly been impressed with Lippert this fall.
"I love the way he’s gone and the effort he puts forth," Paul Chryst said of Lippert. "I think he came to camp in great shape, with a little bit of an edge, in a good way. I think he’s into it, and you appreciate it a ton. He’s fun to watch."
Defensive line coach Inoke Brecketerfield said he liked the way Mosley-Smith played in his first day back.
"I thought he made some plays," Breckterfield said. "He’s just trying to get his feet and wind back. He’s just trying to keep doing what he’s doing. I thought he moved pretty well today, and made some plays in the backfield, so that’s good to see."
- Sticking along the defensive line, my suspicions were confirmed today when Tyrone Ezell moved up to the first-team unit, playing defensive end. He took Shayne Hale's spot, as Hale moved to working with the twos.
"For right now, [defensive end is] kind of where [Ezell] is going," Breckterfield said. "We’re just trying to find the best combination of guys."
- Jason Frimpong started practice with the first team at linebacker, after taking over when Eric Williams went down yesterday. Later on, though, freshman Deaysean Rippy also got some reps with the first unit. As for Williams, Chryst said he "went pretty hard" in rehab today, and tomorrow would be about how he responded to it.
- Freshman Chad Voytik continues to get all the second-team reps with Trey Anderson sitting out. Voytik even got a brief stint with the ones, but it was during an inside run drill, so there's really nothing to read into there.
- Jahmahl Pardner continued to get some looks at nickelback with the first team. It'll be really interesting to see how he ends up fitting in, as Andrew Taglianetti was the guy getting most of the first team reps early in training camp.
- Drew Carswell lined up split out wide a few times in practice today. This is something I think you'll see a lot from him when Pitt uses two tight ends. With Hubie Grahm (or even J.P. Holtz) acting as the traditional blocking tight end, Carswell can go out and use his athletic 6-4, 220-pound frame to be a matchup nightmare for linebackers.
- At the end of practice, Chryst issued a challenge to the offense and defense. He set the ball up on 4th-and-1, and if the offense converted, the defense had to do 25 up-downs. If the defense got the stop, the offense had to do 25 up-downs. Tino Sunseri handed off up the middle to Isaac Bennett, who picked up the first down, setting off a celebration among the offensive players.
Now, some photos from today. I apologize for the quality, but there's a reason the P-G pays to write, not shoot...