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March 28, 2014

Pitt Spring Practice #7

Pitt Live Wire: Football Spring Camp Coverage Day 7

Video Link: Paul Chryst Post-Practice Briefing

Video Link: Defensive Line Coach Inoke Breckterfield Post-Practice Interview

Video Link: Defensive End Shakir Soto Post-Practice Interview

Video Link: Defensive Tackle Darryl Render Post-Practice Interview


Coach Paul Chryst Quote Sheet

On today’s practice:

“I thought we got some work done today. It was good to be able to tackle and we could focus on getting more of the younger guys more reps. It’s never as pretty as you want it to be and we have a ways to go but I thought the guys finished yesterday and today with two pretty good practices and I thought as a team we got better. We have to just keep going. We’re in the middle of it (spring drills) and have to keep taking strides forward.”

On getting the younger players a lot of reps at the end of practice:

“I think the one’s were in there for a pretty good drive — somewhere around eight, nine or 10 plays — but a bulk of the work was the younger guys. It was good to see.”

On if the players get excited when they’re allowed to go and play full-contact:

“I think there’s probably some truth to that. You’d like to say they’re always excited to come out every chance but it’s another element and the more you can get the guys to enjoy the competition part of it, it’s good. In football there’s a true start and finish point when you scrimmage and you never quite know where that is, but guys were excited and I thought yesterday was good and then they answered the bell pretty good today so that was good to see.”

On the motivation it brings the current players to see the alumni on the sideline:

“We told them (the football alumni would visit today) so they knew it was going to happen and yet I think, probably more so at the end, you get a chance to meet them. One of the things I think is great about Pitt is the tradition…the program is the people. The number of people Pitt has who were great on the field and great in their (post-playing) careers, I want our guys to feel that. When they come, you appreciate that because the players know they’re here to support them and also feel a responsibility. We just have to keep that going and this is their home. As coaches and players, we’re kind of caretakers of a program that’s a lot bigger than us and it’s a pretty neat responsibility.”

On the alumni introducing themselves to the players at the end of practice:

“They did and it was a nice cross-section of years. We have to keep making them feel more and more welcome because it’s one of the great things here.

“Everyone is busy, so it means a lot when they do take time to come back.”

On an assessment of spring at the midpoint:

“Spring is really two-fold. Individually, it’s the development of a player and it’s also the start of your (team) foundation for the year. Have we accomplished (those two things)? Probably not. We’re not fully developed and we have a lot more to do. I’m pleased with the work but we have a lot more to do and we’re going to keep practicing.”

On center Artie Rowell’s progress:

“Yeah, he certainly got a lot of meaningful snaps last year. I think one thing about the spring after you play a season, he’s got to draw on what happened because not a lot of those coaching points were real. But now he’s got a frame of reference. What’s neat about spring ball, it doesn’t matter what stage you’re at in your development. There’s a lot you can do. He’s working but needs all the work and we all do.”

On quarterback Chad Voytik’s mechanical development during the spring:

“Now is the time you have to teach them what to do with plays, but also the ‘how to’ and that’s how you gain an edge. You have to allow time for it and I think spring is a really good time. He’s been able to do that along with all of the players — take that coaching and can’t be afraid. You might feel like you’re taking a step backwards, but if you’re doing it the right way, that’s where as a coach you have to be real specific. You don’t want them thinking when they’re competing and playing. But you have to take advantage of those opportunities to clean things up, and they have to do a great job in the summer of working on it — maybe not fixing it, but addressing it. Chad knows and having guys around that know what to look for, we’ve got time but we have to take advantage of every bit of that time.”


Football Holds Full-Contact Practice on Friday

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