Pitt Spring Practice #8 March 31, 2015
One of the more interesting developments of Spring Camp is the continuing battle for a starting LB spot between Bradley and Mike Caprara. Not too many of us fans would have thought that would be a main issue for discussion during these practices. Again, legit depth chart movement of motivational tool? It may well be the this staff sees what the other staff didn’t, at least as far as the defense goes, Let’s hope this is the case and we truly get the best 11′ on the field.
Also, there is a lot of hair pulling regarding 3* Safety Tony Butler who committed to PITT last week then promptly went on recruiting trips to OSU and Michigan. From the link: Pittsburgh commit visiting: Michigan will host Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward safety Tony Butler on Thursday. He committed to Pittsburgh recently, but has planned to visit Michigan for several weeks. His former high school coach, Rick Finotti, was recently hired by the Wolverines as director of football operations
Onto the actual practice stuff…
Coach Pat Narduzzi impressions on practice No. 8:
Video: Coach Pat Narduzzi
“Day eight was pretty good. We talked about adversity today, just fighting through adversity. The defense won the scrimmage the other day but it didn’t look like the offense punched back. If I punch you, you get punched back on the field. Today we talked about fighting for what you want. If you lose a period, there’s another period to come back and do it.
I thought our guys did a heck of a job. One of the best practices we’ve had so far where the guys are punching back and not taking it. Sometimes you think they’re beat today and they don’t think they can finish the practice. I’m really excited about what we did today.”
On the linebacker competition between Mike Caprara and Bam Bradley:
“Mike [Caprara] has been consistent and so has Bam [Bradley]. It’s a battle. They’re both playing good football, which is good. That’s good when you can get two guys that can go in there. We’re going to find out which one wants it more, who’s fighting a scratching to be the guy.”
On Mike Caprara being more of an outside or middle linebacker:
“He can do both. He’s playing a little more outside because we’re trying to find out who they are. I think he could do both for sure.”
On roles of the running backs other than James Conner:
“The role is who’s hot. Rachid [Ibrahim] has had a great spring practice so far. I guess in the past, they had two guys that were runners. Two tailbacks that were the running tailbacks and two were the pass guys, is how it was set up. James [Conner] is in for most of the runs, Rachid was in for most of the passes and they kind of sorted it that way.
It’s hard to play in the NFL when you’re not in for any passes or runs. So we’re going to mix that up and let those guys do everything. James has great hands out of the backfield. It’s not like he can’t be in on third down because you can’t chuck it down to him.
He has great hands and had a great catch today. It was a one-hander where he snagged it and it was like, ‘Wow.’ He’s a big guy that can protect, so why would you not want him out on the field on third down.”