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August 16, 2013

Quick Practice Notes

Filed under: Football,Players — Justin @ 2:32 pm

I can’t get a full post up since I have to hit the road at 3:30 (20 minutes from typing this sentence) but I wanted to go over a few quick observations from practice and I’ll throw up a more in depth one tonight.

Position Battles: TJ Clemmings has pulled ahead at RT and Coach Hueber admitted it’s possible Dorian Johnson gets a redshirt after practice, especially given how pleased the coaches are with Juantez Hollins. This has nothing to do with Johnson disappointing, it’s Clemmings and  At Center, it’s heating up. Artie Rowell took the majority of the reps over Gabe Roberts today and and he did well. This battle won’t be decided until the end of next week.

At WR, there isn’t a battle anymore. It’s Boyd. There were 3 “wow” plays that caused the crowd to make some noise. 2 of them were from Boyd. In the red zone, Tom Savage threw a rocket just over the DB’s hand and Boyd snatched it. The coverage was damn near perfect but the throw was better and Boyd caught it with his outstretched hands. He’s a natural hands catcher and an incredible athlete. When you watch a lot of guys catching, you see them focusing on the catch and sometimes it isn’t smooth. Boyd just catches it in stride like nothing. His second “wow moment” was a diving catch that was just out of bounds in the back of the end zone. Any other player on this team, Street included, doesn’t even make the catch.

James Conner got most of the rushes with Bennett still out (more on him tonight) but it was Rachid Ibrahim with the “wow” moment of the day. Ibrahim went off left tackle, cut inside and got into the secondary. I missed who the DB was, but Ibrahim gave him a wicked spin move to break the tackle then turned on the jets for 6. I think it was a 51 yard touchdown run. I’d place Ibrahim and Conner over Crockett at this point.

No major injuries, Street didn’t practice but he was in pads on the sideline talking the whole time. Savage was pulled early with what appeared to be a thumb injury, but he was just fine after practice, purely a precaution. Savage looked REALLY good today, especially with pressure in his face.

That’s all for now, but they looked a lot better, especially on offense, than they did last week.

off topic:

Remember the young Pitt BB assistant with the glasses .. he’s now head coach at Sto Rox

link to

Comment by wbb 08.16.13 @ 3:06 pm

IF you really think Dorian is not going to stay for 5 years, you may as well get him some PT this year.

You can never have too many playmakers, and since it appears we may not have one at RB, we may have 3 receivers who may qualify (Boyd, Street and Garner) .. especially Boyd

Comment by wbb 08.16.13 @ 3:10 pm

I’ve been watching all the interviews and reading all the notes after each practice – like every other year. Seems like the whole attitude is changing. The coaches seem a little more positive this year and seem a little more confident. I know we aren’t going to be a powerhouse, but I do expect a better product than last year. We’ll probably lose one we shouldn’t this year due to mistakes, but I bet we win one or two we shouldn’t as well.

Comment by JJ 08.16.13 @ 3:25 pm

With coach Chryst showing he is willing to let true freshman play and the opportunity to, given the lack of depth, I really hope this staff can finish 2014 recruiting class strong. Still some studs out there locally that have not committed. With this being a good year for local talent, it would be a shame not to land some of these kids. Kickoff 17 days away! Hail TO PITT!!

Comment by Pap76 08.16.13 @ 3:29 pm

It may mean more than we think to have the same offensive and defensive systems in place for 2 years in a row — certainly hope so.

I know Street emphasized that in his interview

Comment by wbb 08.16.13 @ 3:34 pm

Thanks for the report, Justin. Good vibes!

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.16.13 @ 3:53 pm

I like what I’m reading from the scrimmage. How are Connor, Ibrahim and Crockett doing with blocking assignments?

Comment by Rockymtnhigh 08.16.13 @ 3:54 pm

Excited about offensive…looking forward to those later post. Hope you have some info on special teams. I understand they got some work today as well. That could be the difference this season (especially against fsu).

Comment by Michael 08.16.13 @ 4:18 pm

Like the vibe. I’ll have my Koolaid with a shot of bourbon please.

Comment by TX Panther 08.16.13 @ 4:39 pm

Very encouraging…not only the news from practice, but anytime something positive does happen, the cyanide kool-aid drinkers tend to pipe down a bit.

Comment by Joe Lawrence 08.16.13 @ 4:51 pm

Sounds like we might have a very dynamic Wide Receiver duo, better than last year and a Quarterback who throw long longer than 5 yards.

I don’t know what I’m going to do when I see a 30 or 40 yard pass completed. Maybe scream for a while after 4 long years of the Saskatchewan kid.

If we can protect the QB, he should have plenty of options to throw to, Street, Boyd, Holtz, Garner, Bennett, Orndorf, Witherspoon, Tinker.
I’m sure I missed someone.

The key is how long will it take this line to gel for pass blocking ?

Also I’d like to know from Justin, does Savage have a quick release ? Does he show he might have some escapability attributes to buy a few secs to get off a pass ?

Comment by EMel 08.16.13 @ 5:26 pm

Street, Boyd and Gardner sound like a great Top Three receivers.

I’ll admit that I thought it would take a while for Boyd to get acclimated at WR enough to get in on a starting basis but either he’s a quick study or I was mistaken on how much PT he got in HS.

Pap76 – I get your post and welcome aboard but it may be more like Chryst is forced to play true FR for the lack of depth in the two-deeps. The FR it looks like we’ll see appear pretty exciting though, don’t they.

Think about this for a second. With Savage, Conner, Bennett, Boyd, and Gardner we have five new starters out of six “skill positions” this season. Scary and exciting at the same time.

Comment by Reed 08.16.13 @ 6:09 pm

I’ll take three parts exciting to one part scary. But it’s scary good.

Comment by TX Panther 08.16.13 @ 6:23 pm

PG blog has a after scrimmage report posted.

link to

Boyd caught a 18 yard TD pass on Savage’s only series of plays. Voytik played well with 2 TD passes and even Trey threw a 80 yard TD bomb to ZAck Challingsworth (sp).

On the non-Koolaid side, don’t really understand why Ronald Jones (who caught like 5 passes) was involved in the 80 live play scrimmage. Nothing against the kid, but he’s suspended for the entire season. Wouldn’t have those plays called for him be better put to use with WR’s that ARE playing this season. That’s a real head scratcher !

VeV !

Have a good Friday nite brothers !

Comment by EMel 08.16.13 @ 6:28 pm

And of course Sam Werner picked up on that (Jones catching 5 passes) and turned it around into a ‘negative’.

Gotta love these pricks ! haha

Comment by EMel 08.16.13 @ 6:32 pm

In the interest of full coverage, someone should have postulated what would have happened last year with Tino the Magnificent throwing to Boyd: Starting with (alternating) his patented passes that resemble pooch punts, then hit a guy in the shoes, then throw it 20 yards too far (overhead)(in front off)(behind) another guy, then take a bonehead sack to preserve his misleading pristine interception stat…. I miss him like a prostate exam.

Obvious joking aside, I’m REALLY looking forward to seeing what a Chryst-designed offense looks like with a real D1 college-worthy QB under center.



Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 08.16.13 @ 6:37 pm

I’m guilty of sipping on the koolaid recently but let’s wait until we see what Boyd does against FSU. I’m excited as the next guy but let’s let him prove it first. Practice is practice. As a side note, a source of mine say’s Foster may elect to take a redshirt. Bama is sickening deep at WR. Who knows but I’d like to have that problem.

Comment by Upittbaseball 08.16.13 @ 6:40 pm

+1 EMel

Comment by alcofan 08.16.13 @ 6:40 pm

It is ABT time, bashing of our previous starting QB time has expired. RIP. Next!

Comment by Dr. Tom 08.16.13 @ 6:41 pm

Des Brown 5 carries for 62 yds. I think he’ gonna help us this yr.

Comment by alcofan 08.16.13 @ 6:56 pm

Good to hear that Savage looked sharp in his short bit of action today, anyway.

Comment by Jeff 08.16.13 @ 6:59 pm

Great to be reading about actual football stuff.

Two potential weaknesses may turn out to be strengths, wide out, and linebacker. Nice!

Thanks Justin.

Comment by gc 08.16.13 @ 7:24 pm

It’s training camp… so don’t be ashamed and think you have to go to koolaid-aholics.. yet…. 🙂

It’s OK to dream big now so nice to read all the positivity… if we can at least play FSU tough (let alone and upset)… then we know we may be on a nice upswing finally.

for those who not have it here is the link to the video interviews. nice vibe…

link to


Comment by Pittscript 08.16.13 @ 7:58 pm

Not one “you know.” Chryst could you some coaching from Hueber:

link to

Comment by steve1 08.16.13 @ 8:07 pm

Even money that Foster transfes to Pitt some time in his future.

Comment by PittStadiumShuffle 08.16.13 @ 8:15 pm

Good stuff justin!

Comment by Pitt Fan in Atlanta 08.16.13 @ 9:16 pm

Glad to hear about Boyd doing so well. Also find it somewhat amusing that Foster may be taking a redshirt at Alabama. I wonder if he’ll end up regretting his decision, if that ends up being the case.

Comment by Mailman 08.16.13 @ 9:33 pm

Full practice notes are up.

Quick note, Desmond Brown only saw time against the third team defense, so his stats are very misleading.

Comment by Justin 08.16.13 @ 10:01 pm

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