I won’t kid you. Chryst didn’t exactly reveal much. If you watched his public appearances, he is still maintaining that the QB position is still wide open and that both Savage and Voytik will get equal opportunities. He said that in the spring as well, but it was readily apparent who was getting most of the first team snaps. During smaller interviews there was still nothing. He was quoted as saying: “I’m pretty comfortable with anyone between 5’9″ and 6’6″”
On the ESPNU interview he was asked about the Rushel Shell departure and then the attempt to return to the program late. To no one’s surprise Chryst completely avoided answering that question. About the most he said is that people make decisions and everyone needs to move on.
During his ACC presser, as Chryst drained the energy from the reporters the moderator tried to keep it going for the allotted 15 minutes by asking him to talk about the running back depth chart. His exact words were, “talk about what’s left.” There’s your motivation, Isaac Bennett. You are what’s left.
But when he left the cameras behind and went and talked to the media in small groups, Chryst picked it up a bit.
Just got done with a surprisingly pleasant sit-down with Pitt coach Paul Chryst. For some reason I thought he’d be boring.
Now the day before Devin Street was a lot more forthcoming about things. To the degree that it seemed that Chryst was cleaning up after him to get things back to nondescript and bland.
Street promises “different formations and different schemes” will be mixed into the Pitt offense in the second season under Chryst.
“You are gong to see some things you didn’t see last year,” he said. “The second year in the offense is not going to be simplistic.”
When asked about that, Chryst response was:
“I’ve got to ask Devin what the hell he’s talking about.”
“It’ll be fun to talk to (Street) and find out what we’re going to do.”
Nice, but of course no information.
Which also goes with Chryst trying to say the QB decision isn’t made when Street was talking about Tom Savage as the QB.
But he said working with Savage in the offseason gives him hope for the Pitt passing game this season.
“Everybody is going to be surprised by him,” Street said Sunday at the ACC media gathering. “Tom has been working his tail off this summer. I can’t say enough about Tom. I genuinely mean that. Tom has been great to work with in the offseason.
“At the same time,” Street said, “he knows when to put some heat on it and take some off and throw a nice catchable ball. He puts it out there. I don’t think he is going to underthrow me at all.”
Gee. Who could he be talking about?
Tangent moment: During the Aaron Donald and Devin Street interview on Sunday, someone asked about losing a 3-year starter at QB. There simply wasn’t much of an acknowledgement by Street that Pitt was losing anything.That has been a hilarious theme in preview guides this year. Noting the concern on offense because Pitt is losing a 3-year starter at QB. There are plenty of reasons for concern on the Pitt offense: running back, the WR spot after Street, the O-line (as always). But the change at QB is just not one of those reasons.
I remain amazed that while the defense is expected (and should be) the strength of this team, there are less questions about putting it in the hands of a first time DC. Chryst being more of an offensive mind went nearly Wannstedtian in talking football regarding the defense.
“None of us are splitting the atom. you’re going to line up with 11 guys.”
Which he came back to when talking about the shift in defense.
“You got different guys running it, but none of us are splitting the atom,” Chryst said. “A defense is going to be a 3-4, or a 4-3.”
I know Chryst doesn’t want to reveal anything in the media. He’s very guarded when talking specifically about how Pitt will play. Yes, it is not an uncommon trait in coaches. Afraid they will give something away to future opponents.
And part of it may be Chryst’s own way of trying to minimize the potential risk with Mark House now in charge of the defense. Still, it kind of bothers me to see him be so dismissive of what the defense will be expected to do. I don’t think he’s doing House any favors with this approach.
Chryst has confirmed is that some defensive players will have more freedom out there to make decisions.
“Not everybody is being given a green light, but Aaron has earned that,” Chryst said. “It’ll certainly be different schematically in some ways. I still think players define who you are. They’re the ones that give identity to a team. Certainly there will be some differences. Aaron Donald is going to be Aaron Donald; then we have other guys on defense, too, like K’Waun Williams, Lafayette Pitts.”