Scott McKillop is done with professional football. Now it is time to give coaching a go.
After he was released this year by the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League, he decided to pursue a career in coaching. He said his familiarity with the Pitt program led him there.
“It’s definitely something I am looking forward to doing,” said McKillop, a graduate of Kiski Area. “I have to get my feet wet and prove I can do it and work my way up.”
McKillop was an All-America linebacker and Big East Defensive Player of the Year in 2008.
Due to NCAA restrictions, he won’t be permitted to instruct players on the field, but he will help in other areas.
“He can be a life coach,” Chryst said. “Here’s a guy who walked it and did a good job doing it.”
McKillop is taking a volunteer coaching position. He can help with breaking down film and work off-the-field with players. As McKillop says, it is the starting point.
For Pitt and Coach Chryst, this is very good. Having one of Pitt’s best players from the last decade around the players and program is the sort of thing they should want. Between the coaching chaos that had happened and trying to change a lot of things around the program, bringing in a former player it arguably should have been a priority sooner.
McKillop was part of the 2004 recruiting class under Walt Harris. A class known as much for who didn’t sign that year, as for having McKillop and Darrelle Revis among those who did.
The same story also gives an update on injured players
Chryst said senior running back Isaac Bennett is recovering so well from shoulder surgery that trainers must ensure against his premature return to practice.
“Isaac has been pretty good,” Chryst said. “I think (head athletic trainer) Rob (Blanc) was getting nervous because he’s ahead (of the rehabilitation schedule). You don’t want a guy to do too much too soon.”
Bennett, who rushed for 1,175 yards in his first three seasons, sprained his left shoulder during spring drills and had surgery in April.
“He shouldn’t be (ready for the start of training camp), but I think he will be,” Chryst said. “So that means don’t do anything stupid with him. He shouldn’t really be doing much in camp. We’ll see.”
I’ve parsed that last quote a few times. I alternate between annoyance and open laughter at what he did and didn’t say.
James Connor seems to be fine at this point. Adam Bisnowaty may actually be ready for camp. It was a back injury, though, so predicting what will happens right now is not a great idea.
Speaking of James Conner. As the off-season has everyone trying to make or find some content. Even NFL.com needs something. So, a list of the “14 toughest players in college.” Conner is number 9.
Conner was a star running back and defensive end in high school in Erie, Pa., and most schools recruited him as a defensive end. Pitt liked him as a running back, though, and while sharing time at tailback as a true freshman last season, he rushed for a team-high 799 yards and eight TDs. He doesn’t have much burst, but he is a punishing inside runner (five of his TD runs covered three or fewer yards), a throwback of sorts to the 1970s-style back. But Conner didn’t abandon his defensive roots. He saw some time as a pass-rushing defensive end and drew a holding call late in the game to help Pitt subdue Bowling Green in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.
To which, Conner found motivation.
No burst? Gotta prove em wrong I guess
— James Conner (@JamesConner_) June 3, 2014