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Pitt Football Training Camp: What They're Saying




Aug. 6, 2013

Pitt Live Wire: Video and Photos

Pitt Football Training Camp

Media Quote Sheet

August 6, 2013

 

Head Coach Paul Chryst

On beginning training camp:

"Obviously it's great to get back out here and we appreciate the work the guys put in. Like any first day, it was good but with a lot of stuff to clean up and we're looking forward to doing that. I thought overall it was a good first day, but we've got a long way to go."

On comfort level entering second year as head coach:

"We're certainly more comfortable, but there's always that excitement for the season."

On how the freshmen looked:

"They looked like new guys. A couple guys did a good job, but there's a lot being thrown at them - not just what to do, but how we do it, where to go from one drill to the next. For all of us, we tweaked the schedule hopefully for the better, so once guys get in the routine of camp, that'll help as well. For the young guys, you can't `blanket statement' them. As a group we have a long way to go, but that's to be expected."

On which running backs will play:

"I don't know. We have to find out. There is no depth chart right now. Everyone has to prove they can provide a role we can rely on and play with, and we'll find out how many of those guys we can use. Until we know what guys are ready to play and contribute, then we'll see how to best use that group of guys."

On linebacker Todd Thomas:

"I like Todd Thomas. He's obviously played for us. With all the linebackers, we'll start with six and then find the best three, and he'll certainly be in the mix. And you guys know Todd -- you love the energy and the competitiveness he brings. A lot of players respond to Todd, and that's all good stuff."

On linebacker Mike Caprara:

"I thought Mike did some good things in the spring, but he's obviously got to get better. But I liked some of the things he did, and he's in the discussion for the top six linebackers."

On freshman running back James Conner:

"I'm glad he's here and he's working. After day one, he's earned the right to stay at running back for day two."

On freshman receiver Tyler Boyd:

"I thought Tyler did some good stuff as far as managing the volume of learning. That was encouraging."

On receiver Devin Street heading into his senior year:

"It's great to have him back. Obviously Devin is a very good player. He did a lot of really good things, but I'm excited because I still believe he can continue to get better. He realizes what he's got in the value of Coach (Bobby) Engram coaching him day in and day out. Certainly Devin is going to be one of those guys we need to play at a high level and lead at a high level. It's a tremendous feeling having Devin here."

On the health of the team:

"Everyone practiced, which I thought was good. I think (receiver) Brandon Ifill is still maybe not 100 percent."

On what he wants to see from the quarterbacks:

"Especially in the first week as we're reinstalling, we want to see command of the offense. While you're doing that, you've got to feel comfortable with the offense and transition that to consistent play."

On quarterbacks competing against each other:

"As an athlete, you know when you're playing your best. And that's the ultimate challenge: being the best you can be. It's a competition with yourself, it's a competition with another guy at your position, it's a competition with someone across the ball, it's a competition with the teams that'll you'll be playing."

On offensive line depth:

"We've got to stay healthy there, but right now we do have more. A lot of them are young. We're hoping to create positions with competition, so we'll see if that holds true."

On preparation for ACC:

"Last year we focused on the teams we were playing. This year we'll focus on the teams we'll be playing. The teams are different, there are new opponents that guys aren't used to facing. But for myself, I don't think it'll be much different than last year."

 

Running Back Isaac Bennett

On working out minus pads this first week and what he is hoping to get accomplished:

"I guess getting back into the groove. It has been a few months since we played a football game and everyone is trying to get out here and get back into the groove."

"It is fun. I look across at (redshirt freshman linebacker) Mike Caprara and smile at him, and it's just fun out here."

On freshman running back James Conner:

"He's a good kid, on and off the field. Big, strong, and fast guy, so it is fun having him behind me."

On being in the second year of the same offensive system:

"You can see it around, everyone is happier, everyone is more excited. It is just a good vibe around here."

On Coach Chryst and his second season:

"He feels more comfortable here. He's making changes around the locker room and everyone has accepted it and no one is complaining. We're all happy to be here."

 

Wide Receiver Kevin Weatherspoon

Thoughts on his first day at practice:

"I think I did good, but there is always, always room for improvement. I have to keep working hard and as a team we have to keep coming together, and that will make us all better. "

On the opportunities for receivers to step up:

"I have been thinking about it the whole summer. As far as the training, not only with myself, but the team, all of us playing together is making me a better person. I just want to help the team out in any way I can."

On whether the Clairton High freshmen have been asking for advice:

"Yeah, all of them have. We all stick together. We have been like that since day one. All of us here together, we're just going to help each other out. They're my boys, I'm here for them."

 

Quarterback Tom Savage

On coming into camp this year with more comfort:

"We've obviously repped these (plays) out in the spring and right now we're just trying to go out there and cement everything we've got going."

On Pitt's receivers this season:

"They're good. I'm excited to throw to them. We have a lot of young, explosive guys and it's going to be a lot of fun to play with them."

On his relationship with the other quarterbacks:

"Real good. We're all friends. We're really just going out there competing, and whatever Coach (Chryst) says goes."

On Coach Chryst telling him how things will play out:

"He hasn't told me anything and I don't think he has to. We go out there and play football and he decides what goes."

 

Wide receiver Devin Street

On if it is strange suddenly being the veteran player on offense:

"Yes, it is. It's weird seeing guys go, but it's part of it. It's part of the process and I'm just trying to be here for guys. Whatever they have, they can come to me. I'm just trying to help everyone.

 "I think that comes with leadership. You have to be a mature guy and you have to always be positive. You have to lead by example, but I think it really takes an extra effort to be there for guys, vocally as well."

On freshman wide receiver Tyler Boyd:

"He's just smooth. Just seeing him out there, everything's natural for him. I think he's definitely going to be able to contribute for us. He's a smart kid too."

On catching passes from quarterback Tom Savage today:

"Tommy's great, just seeing the ball come out. We have to get that syncopation, but I think he's the real deal. Going into the season, once he gets comfortable, he's going to be good."

On whether or not he is looking to justify staying at Pitt for his senior season:

"I was talking to Coach (Chryst) about that. It's a blessing for me to come back and it was the right decision, for sure. Just with how everything's going and falling in place right now, and bonding with the guys, it's a different culture around here. Guys are ready to go and I'm happy where I'm at right now."

 

Quarterback Chad Voytik

On how Tyler Boyd has adjusted to the collegiate game:

"Good, he was impressive today. He made some good plays and he's an athlete. We all knew that, so it was nice to see him come out and perform."

On the team being stacked at the tight end position on offense:

"Definitely, and they're young, so that's exciting as well. We'll be hitting them a lot this year."

On the importance of redshirting last season:

"It was real important for me. This offense is tough and that year has helped me. In the spring, I came in with confidence and I thought it showed. Hopefully it'll carry over."

On the advice Coach Chryst has given him for the upcoming season:

"He's been sitting in on our meetings a lot. He's just saying to take it slow and gradually learn. I'll get there for sure."

 

Freshman wide receiver Tyler Boyd

On the transition from high school to collegiate football:

"You have to learn a bunch. Depending on where you line up on the field, technique, route running, everything has to be done to perfection."

On competing to be on the field for the first play of the season:

"I know it won't be handed to me. I'm going to keep coming to work every day trying to earn the spot."

On what the praises of Devin Street have meant to him:

"It feels good. I know that he respects me as a teammate, on the field and off the field. I've been waiting since I got here to get all of my tips off him. He's a role model and a leader to me right now, so I'm thankful for it."

On if he worried about his skills not translating over to the collegiate game:

"I felt like, skills-wise, that I had it. I had to come in here and learn the concepts and all the different things like route running, all the schemes and everything. I was kind of nervous about all of that, but once I got rolling it just started clicking."

 

--PITT--