As a follow up for the last piece I wrote about the current camp, here is an anthology of media clips which can give you some background, with sights and sounds, to the 2012 PITT spring practice experience.
Because there is so much info about PITT football floating around I thought it might be helpful to use PITT’s ‘one stop shop’ to see and hear the latest on how the spring practice is progressing.
As they did last season, the PITT SID department has produced some professional quality shows and video clips as advertising for the program and the upcoming season. They offer them under the umbrella of their spring practice website – Spring Camp Insider. It is a compendium of new releases, local media articles, radio interviews, video clips and the Pitt Spring Football Insider Shows.
These shows are between 19 minutes and 28 minutes long and provide a mixture of players and coaches interviews, practice film clips and commentary by Jon Burton and Pat Bostick. Content is added to this site every day and I suggest you bookmark it to check for new stuff. The shows and films are shot in HD with great audio and, as stated above, are expertly done.
In additions to the excerpts below the Spring Camp Insider site list many staff interviews which I think helps to give us fans an idea of who the coaches are and what they are like.
So, here is a list of what I found most beneficial to a PITT fan to get up to speed about how the camp is going so far. I’ve included hyperlinks and some personal notes on things I think can enlighten us fans in our discussions. I’ll list them from latest to oldest…
PITT Spring Football Insider Show #3 (25:06 long, after the March 29th practice # 9.) A few key segments are Mark Myers at the 16:56 mark, where he shows how accurate he is with the deep pass and at the 19:00 mark which is a good example of his wind up and delivery. The budding star of the defense in the future, Ray Vinopal, has an interview at the 17:40 mark.
There is an in-depth interview with Dan Mason starting at the 19:08 mark and in it he talks about the faith he has that kept him going after his dramatic injury two years ago (DM injury here). Bostick interviews T. J. Clemmings at the 22:55 mark.
I have to add a personal note here. I truly believe that faith in God is an important and wonderful thing and I understand Dan Mason’s gratitude. But his story, from the injury, his hard work and pain to get ready when others said he couldn’t to getting back out on the playing field, is going to be used as an example of strength and fortitude to others. I hope that someone sits this young man down, gives him a playful slap on the head and tells him he truly needs to take some credit for this himself also. Humility is one thing but people also need to hear what his life was like during this battle. God can do mysterious things but Dan Mason himself did the hard work on his road to recovery.
Huxtable mic’d up – Good slice of life piece on how DC Dave Huxtable interacts with the players during live practice sessions. Take a look at the closing moments of practice (3:10 mark) when Huxtable gathers the defensive players around him. See those smiles on the player’s faces? Think they are having fun out there again?
PITT Spring Football Insider Show #2 (24:26 long, after the March 24th practice #6) – Starts off with Pat Bostick talking about the new approach Paul Chryst brings to the Panthers this season. At the 3:00 mark there is another good example of Myers’ throwing motion. QB Coach Brooks Bollinger (7:40 mark) talks about what the staff requires from their QBs; must be a football junkie, study films, etc. Following that is an interview with Mark Myers with another look at his motion at 12:33
Chryst Mic’d up (3:19) – I really liked this piece as it shows Paul Chryst’s approach to teaching and coaching the players. Note emphasis on teaching here. It is pretty much a direct opposite of what life was like under Todd Graham where the coaches would be screaming at the players every other play. He gives good advice to Tino Sunseri at the 1:20 mark – and no, it isn’t that Sunseri should start packing his own parachute when he goes skydiving. He talks about hitting the receivers in stride (please!!) At 2:17 he talks with Sunseri about deeper rollouts to gain time.
PITT Spring Football Insider Show #1 (19:30 long, after the March 18th practice #3) – OC Joe Rudolph talks about his return to WPA and being on the PITT staff at the 5:35 mark. He is shown conducting an interesting RB Fumble drill at 7:40. At 9:43 DC Dave Huxtable is interviewed by Bostick. During that interview there is a quick clip of #95 K.K. Smith in a drill (10:51 mark). Take a look at it and you’ll see why the coaches demoted him to 2nd string under he loses weigh. Paul Chryst talks about the advice a 14 year NFL veteran gave him regarding pre-season camps (17:40 mark).
Paul Chryst Interviewed on The Fan with Bostick and Paul Zeise of the Post-Gazette – a 15: 17 long piece, one of the first interviews given by the new HC this spring.