Pitt coach Paul Chryst held his weekly news conference today and the main theme this week will be stressing the fundamentals. Some of the biggest issues in the 31-17 loss to Youngstown State were basic football –things such as tackling and blocking.
“Taking care of the ball on offense and tackling and getting off blocks on defense,” he said. “There are some basic elements to football we didn’t execute real well.”
Chryst harped on ball security. The Panthers had two turnovers in the game. The first came on the first drive in YSU territory. “That changes a game. It’s the same stuff. Pad level. We had a couple of pass plays, route depth and consistency in Tino’s drop. The first step by our two linebackers, leverage by a defensive back. That’s why you watch film and coach and drill. If you came in after any game and said you need tom get better and there is nothing to see on the tape…but there are tangible things at every position. Some of the things that are kind of boring, but they really do make a difference. Those are the things we get to hammer on and reinforce.”
Chryst said the team is getting healthier. He also said the six suspended players will get to practice this week. He said he won’t decide until later in the week if they get to play at Cincinnati.
Chryst also was asked why there are no names on the back of the jerseys this season.
“We didn’t take the names off,” he said. “We just didn’t put them on. I think it’s one team. You have numbers. It’s a clean slate. I think it’s kind of cool. I know some of the players don’t like it, but that’s all right.”
Sam is back on the beat tomorrow. Have a nice Labor Day.