Another day, another practice for the Panthers. Pitt was once again outdoors on this beautiful August day. They practiced this morning and have another evening practice tonight. If you missed it today, here are links to my stories on redshirt senior Tom Savage winning the starting quarterback job and redshirt junior linebacker Todd Thomas returning to the team. With that, let's get to the practice notes...
- Once again, running back Isaac Bennett missed practice with a right leg injury. He was still in shoulder pads with a big leg brace. Without him, the same rotation at running back continued with freshman James Conner leading the way. Chryst still wasn't clear on when Bennett would be back, but didn't seem concerned about the long-term severity of the injury.
"Certainly, you worry about all your players; you want them back and all that," Chryst said. "But we're not in control of that one. He's doing everything he can."
- Thomas was in shoulder pads today, and got in some work with the second team in 11-on-11 drills. I'm sure he's got a long, long way to go to reclaim his starting spot, but it looks like he'll at least get opportunities as camp moves on. He'll be able to put on full pads and start going through all the live drills this weekend.
- In another interesting development at the linebacker position, redshirt freshman Bam Bradley once again spent pretty much the whole day with the first team. He certainly has a high ceiling, and it looks like he's at least starting to realize it. Given his athleticism, I wouldn't be surprised to see him on the field against Florida State.
Bradley missed some time earlier in camp to attend a relative's funeral, but has gotten right back into the swing of things.
"I thought he was doing some good stuff early, and he's got to get back in the swing of things," Chryst said. "I liked the way he started camp and I feel like he's kind of getting back into it now."
- The battle for the starting center spot might be closer than people think. Redshirt freshman Gabe Roberts is still getting most of the first-team snaps, but I've heard that the coaches really like what Artie Rowell has given them and he's been rewarded with some first team reps. I think Roberts will ultimately still win the job, but don't sleep on Rowell.
- Linebacker Shane Gordon had the lone interception of the day when he made a nice jumping grab on a pass from Savage intended for Ed Tinker. The quarterbacks haven't been pinpoint on their accuracy so far in camp, but they have done a pretty good job of avoiding too many turnovers. There's usually only one interception or so a day.
- We spoke to defensive ends coach John Palermo after practice, and he had some interesting thoughts on how his position stacked up so far, as well as the importance of tomorrow's scrimmage.
"I would tell you this right now, based on what they have done the last couple days, [Bryan Murphy and David Durham] are clearly the two starters with one exception. That exception is Ejuan [Price]," he said. "Ejuan could very well be a starter against Florida State if he scrimmages well. I'll be honest with you. If any of them don't scrimmage well, they will wake up the next day as part of the second team."
- Pitt has its first scrimmage of training camp tomorrow, so check back in the afternoon for updates.