New game notes are out with the depth chart (PDF, p. 3). The only change is flipping Kevin Weatherspoon to primary kick returner over K’Wuan Willians. Nothing else has changed. Ray Vinopal is still the starting free safety. Cullen Christian is the back-up.
Could someone tell me what happened to Ryan Lewis? In presesaon, he was listed as the first back-up at both safety positions. Now he’s no where to be found on the depth chart. Haven’t heard about an injury. Was he that bad when he did get a chance (did he get a chance)?Is Vinopal really the best available? The man leading for the 2013 Pitt Fan’s Scapegoat Award — awarded to the starter who isn’t good, but gets ascribed for everything that goes wrong — breaking the 3-year reign of Tino Sunseri.
Isaac Bennett is still listed as the starter at running back.
I suppose it shouldn’t be a shock that Pitt has no plans to change a very questionable approach to coaching special teams.
Pitt doesn’t have a full-time special teams coach, instead using a committee approach with linebackers coach Chris Haering running many of the drills in practice. Coach Paul Chryst said he won’t adjust after the poor showing against Duke. “I’m not saying that the way we have it set up is the best,” he said. “We have to be better. So, as coaches, you say, you know what, we have to do better coaching. But I don’t question that part of it right now. There are lot of people with vested interest there, but we have to go do it. We have to improve there.”
Chryst doesn’t “question that part of it right now.”???? He’s not questioning what the coaches are doing in preparing the players on special teams? He’s about the only one. Well, then again, maybe at some point he is at least going to question the approach he has taken to special teams coaching at some point. In special teams we’ve seen returns for TDs. Lots of gashing runs to give the opposing offense good field position. Less than decent spacing and blocking when Pitt is on a return. Not to mention letting a ball hit another Pitt player from behind because no one else was paying attention. Yes, absolutely, the players need to do better work. They need to have more focus. But, um, who exactly do they answer to for those mistakes?
Next question: Is there a coach with more on the line than Chris Haering on this staff right now? He already lost some of his position coaching duties to veteran coach John Palmero this offseason — and the linebackers still are a struggle. He’s the guy running the drills on special teams that have been laughable. His boss — Defensive Coordinator Matt House — is struggling in his first year on the job, and was not exactly warmly received by the fans when promoted to the position. Haering better be doing everything he can to nab Alex Bookser or he becomes the most likely coach sacrificed to cover for Matt House’s first year.
In a more positive vein. All the offense led to domination in ACC weekly offensive honors:
Three players garnered Atlantic Coast Conference honors Monday for their performances against the Blue Devils.
Quarterback Tom Savage, who completed 23 of 33 passes for 424 yards and tied an ACC record with six touchdowns, was named the league’s offensive back of the week. He also was the Walter Camp national offensive player of the week and the Davey O’Brien quarterback of the week.
“I thought he made good decisions,” Pitt coach Paul Chryst said. “I thought he had some poise. I like the way he played.”
Savage’s two favorite targets Saturday also were honored. Senior receiver Devin Street was named the ACC receiver of the week after catching six passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns. Freshman receiver Tyler Boyd was the league’s rookie of the week. Boyd tallied eight catches for 154 yards and three touchdowns.