March 26, 2007

Line Watching

Filed under: Football,Players,Practice — Chas @ 8:46 am

What to expect from the O-line? Damned if I know. I keep reading how it’s going to be a good thing to have a number of the starters from last year back. I guess it is for the writers who don’t have to learn new names. Probably a good thing from a continuity stand point, but I remain doubtful as to how good a thing it is to have a porous O-line returning in-tact. But, there are the positive feelings.

Pitt’s starting left guard for the third straight season will be 6-foot-2, 300-pound junior C.J. Davis from West Allegheny. His backup is 6-3, 290-pound redshirt sophomore Craig Bokor from Hopewell, while the backup center is 6-4, 280-pound redshirt sophomore John Bachman from Moon Area.

The other starters are 6-2, 295-pound fifth-year senior Chris Vangas at center, while 6-5, 285-pound sophomore Joe Thomas is the right guard. The tackles are 6-6, 340-pound senior Jeff Otah on the left and 6-5, 315-pound fifth-year senior Mike McGlynn on the right side.

“We really only lost (center Joe) Villani and Simo (guard John Simonitis), but Joe stepped in when he was injured,” Davis said. “So, we’re not too bad off. We’ve got a lot of leadership in place right now. We have to keep working at it.

“With (strength coach) Buddy (Morris) here now, we all feel stronger already. It’s not going to fall together in a day, but the more we work together the more we’ll develop the cohesiveness that’s needed.”

Davis and McGlynn are approaching their third and fourth seasons, respectively, as starters, while Otah and Thomas will be in their second. Vangas is a first-year starter, but he was the backup the past three. His patience and work ethic gives hope to players like Bachman and Bokor, who have hung in through several position changes in their careers.

Mike McGlynn might be questionable for a while. He had an MRI on his injured shoulder and it suggests that even if there is no major damage, he probably won’t be doing much in the spring scrimmages just as a precaution.

The third string center is redshirt freshman Shane Corson, who is still in the transition to learning the position.

Pitt offensive line coach Paul Dunn noted that there are still a couple factors that are holding Corson back a bit.

“Scott’s a ways away, but he’s our third-team center,” Dunn said. “He’s still young. Don’t forget, he’s still a true freshman and will be a redshirt freshman in the fall. So, he’s very young and has a lot to learn. So, just that inexperience is a factor, and he also needs to get in the weight room.

“His strength and agility improvement needs to increase. He’s worked hard to this point, so hopefully he’ll continue to get better physically as we go along here. Right now, though, he’s not anywhere close to where he needs to be. So, it’s a slow process for him, but he’s moving along.”

Some might believe that progress is at a snail’s pace, but Corson isn’t deterred about his situation with the Panthers.

“It gets frustrating, at times, but I’m happy with the way that I’ve progressed so far,” Corson said. “It’s just hard to learn the playbook, but in the long run I’m happy about everything. Coach says whoever sticks around is going to play, so I just have to stick with it.”

The other good news, is that he’s slimmed down a lot with the conditioning over the last two years. He came to Pitt around 315 and is now down to 285 to 280.

Clever headline. I’m psyched up for football.

Comment by Chris 03.26.07 @ 11:22 am

anyone have a clue about any recruits for the 2008 year?

Comment by Marco 03.26.07 @ 7:23 pm

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