Just a bit bland.
Did not expect this when the schedule for spring practice would be announced.
Pitt has canceled its annual spring football game.
Coach Paul Chryst said Thursday that he believes finishing spring drills with a regular practice will be better for his team.
“The thinking behind that is to get one more good work day out of (the players),” he said. “Most if not every spring game you end up really sacrificing a lot.
“These days are really valuable for us. I’m not in a hurry to get through spring ball, and I want to maximize every day with it.”
Spring practice will include the NCAA-limit of 15 practice sessions, beginning March 16. The final session is scheduled for April 13. All practices will be held at UPMC Sports Performance Complex on the South Side on the outdoor fields or at the indoor facility.
Is there a large element of truth to this? Absolutely. Coach Chryst has, at best, shown antipathy for the Blue-Gold Scrimmage. It has been clear that as a coach he sees it as a waste of valuable practice time. Decrying at the end of the scrimmage how they need more practice and wishes for more time.
The attendance at the scrimmages have not been fantastic — to be kind. There’s been the mostly lousy weather. Putting the event on a Friday evening in a suburban high school — making it much harder from anyone not in that area to attend. The overall mediocrity of the team and everything else hurting enthusiasm.
I’ve made no secret of being less than thrilled about the scrimmages being on a Friday (in no small part, because selfishly there was no way I could make it out for the event). To say nothing of the crappy weather that inevitably makes its appearance.
That said, I am not a fan of giving up the public scrimmage. I have serious trouble believing that giving up that one sanctioned practice for a public display is truly going to be a big negative for the program and the season that begins in September.
I realize coaches are control freaks, and if they had their way nearly all of them would be thrilled to sacrifice the scrimmage for another closed-door practice. To not have to make any extra media appearances. Feeling they have to only run mostly vanilla basic stuff because god forbid they reveal some play or tendency that an opponent in October watching the film of that scrimmage will see and be able to exploit.
But they recognize the value (figuratively and literally) of tossing the fans a bone. The publicity, attention, chance for the fans to see their team for the first time in months — and the last time until August.