Pitt put on some pads for the first time this training camp today — granted, it was only shoulder shells — and the media got its first look at some 11-on-11 drills early on in practice. Here are some notes, plus a couple of videos from the session...
- The first team looked pretty much as you would expect. Chad Voytik at quarterback, James Conner at running back and Tyler Boyd and Dontez Ford at receiver. The offensive line, as it's been all camp was (left to right) Bisnowaty-Johnson-Rowell-Officer-Bookser.
On defense, Ejuan Price and Shakir Soto were the first-team DEs, with Rori Blair being held out from this team session. The DTs with the first team were Tyrique Jarrett and KK Mosley-Smith, as Darryl Render was a bit limited as he battles back from an illness (he was with the second team).
Having Jarrett and Mosley-Smith both running with the ones is interesting because it at least shows that the two big men (combined weight 620 pounds) can play next to each other.
First team linebacker was what you would expect with Bam Bradley, Matt Galambos and Nicholas Grigsby. Reggie Mitchell and Jevonte Pitts were the two safeties, with Pitts still apparently holding a slight edge over Pat Amara, who is back in practice. Avonte Maddox and Lafayette Pitts were the two corners.
- Tennessee transfer Nate Peterman appears to already be the second-team quarterback, and he was out with that unit today. Chris James was at running back, and Zach Challingsworth and Elijah Zeise were the two receivers with the second team. One of the big questions Pitt is facing this season is who can step up at receiver beyond Boyd and Ford (especially in the opener), and it looks like Challingsworth and Zeise might be the next two up.
The second offensive line unit remained the same as it has been, Reese-Guy-Roberts-Herndon-O'Neill.
On defense, Render and Michigan State transfer Mark Scarpinato held down the middle of the defensive line, with Zach Poker and converted linebacker James Folston at defensive end. The linebackers were Mike Caprara, Quintin Wirginis and Jameel Poteat. It looked like Dennis Briggs and Ryan Lewis at corner, with Amara and Terrish Webb holding down the two safety spots.
- After the second teamers, we got a look at the freshmen/young guys group. That had Ben DiNucci and Adam Bertke each getting snaps at quarterback, with an offensive line of Baker-Grimm-Galiyas-Paulina-Pilato. Darrin Hall was at running back, with Gentry Ivery and Tre Tipton at WR.
The defensive tackles were Justin Moody and Connor Dintino, with Shane Roy and Hez Trahan at end. Reggie Green and Allen Edwards also got a snap or two and DE.
Wirginis stayed at MLB, but guys like Saleem Brightwell, Anthony McKee and Jamal Davis rotated through at the outside spots. In the secondary, Malik Henderson worked at CB with Dane Jackson, and Jordan Whitehead and Jay Stocker played safety.
- Overall, the staff is still probably a few days away from making any major decisions on the depth chart. The players only got in pads today, so it'll take a few practices and film sessions before we see any real movement. The same goes for freshmen cracking the two-deep. Obviously, Whitehead is a guy who will almost certainly play this year, but Pitt will probably need contributions from another freshmen or two this season, and we'll have to wait and see who those guys are.
- We also got a look at the kicking game today. Chris Blewitt was good from 22, 26 (on the right hash, the same one he missed against Duke last year), 31 and 36. He appeared to be wide right from 40 (although it was tough to tell) and had his 44-yard attempt blocked by Bradley.
- Finally, here are some videos for your Wednesday afternoon...
Here's Pitt going through some tackling drills with its special teams guys:
Here the defensive backs work on getting off their blocks:
And, finally, here's an interesting little goal-line look from the first-team offense: