Pitt lightened things up today for practice No. 13 of training camp, with a scrimmage looming on Saturday. It was just helmets and shoulder pads, but here are a few notes from the day...
- First, some good news on the running back front as Qadree Ollison appears close to returning to full strength. Pat Narduzzi said this morning that the stitches are out of his pinkie, and he's close to getting back into the rotation. Narduzzi was optimistic that he would be able to scrimmage tomorrow. Chris James is still a bit banged up, but he should be getting closer to returning, too.
- Narduzzi was a little less optimistic about Artie Rowell, who has missed all week with an undisclosed injury. Narduzzi said the most important thing with Rowell is making sure he's ready to go for the opener Sept. 5. Even though he is coming off an ACL injury, Rowell is a fifth-year senior who knows the offenses better than just about any other player. You never want to have a guy out, but he's one who probably won't lose too much by sitting out a few training camp sessions.
- Back over at running backs, freshman Darrin Hall has taken advantage of the reps with guys like Ollison and James out. He looks like a pretty strong candidate to play this year for Pitt.
- On that topic, freshman WR Quadree Henderson said today that the coaches have told him he's going to have a role in the offense against Youngstown State. He brings a unique skill set to Pitt's wide receiver position with his speed and quickness. Wide receivers coach Kevin Sherman said it helps that Henderson played the slot position in high school, so he knows it a little bit better than some of the other freshmen.
- There was some more shuffling along the offensive line as Alex Bookser worked his way back into the rotation from injury. He was at right guard, though, as Brian O'Neill stayed at right tackle. I'd still expect Bookser to start at right tackle in the opener, but it looks like the coaches are looking at all their options in terms of the offensive line depth.
- A few videos from the day...