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Aug. 9, 2013

Pitt Football Training Camp

Media Quote Sheet




Head Coach Paul Chryst

Opening statement:

“Our emphasis today was on the red zone. I thought practice had some good energy. We’ve got to keep grinding away at it. But it was fun.”

On running back Isaac Bennett:

“I thought he did some good stuff. He missed a couple cuts. He’s working and I like his approach; that part I do like.”

On the running backs rotation:

“We’re working on getting guys reps to see what they can do. We’ll have practice tomorrow and work on it some more. This is only the second day of pads, so we’ve still got a lot of work to do.”

On tight end Manasseh Garner helping in the red zone:

“Whoever is playing for us will hopefully be a threat, but Manasseh is one of those guys that could hopefully become that. We want every guy out there to be a threat and get production out of them. We’ll see. At the end of year, we’ll be able to say whose story is written.”

On the offensive line’s cohesion:

“There’s times when it looks like it. I really do think, especially with the line in the second day of pads, that they’ve made some strides. I like the way they’re working, but there’s a long way to go.”

On the quarterbacks:

“They’re getting there; the quarterbacks are getting there. They’ve just got to keep grinding.”

On practicing Saturday with full pads:

“We won’t do anything different. We’ve just got to keep going on and playing.”

On whether he’s looking forward to Saturday’s practice:

“I love every practice. I really do.”


Defensive End David Durham

On his strained hamstring:

“Tomorrow after full practice we’ll see how it goes. I should be 100 percent by next week for sure if not tomorrow.”

On whether he went to Ohio State as a defensive player:

“I did. I came in playing more of a standup spot. Obviously we’re in a 4-3 so I play more of a down guy here. But yes, I came in as a defense and outside linebacker type of guy.”

On whether his desire to play defense altered his decision to transfer:

“I was playing fullback my second year. I had done both in high school and they (new Ohio State staff) said that they weren’t going to use a fullback, H-back type of guy anymore. I wanted to be with coaches that had recruited me and I felt more comfortable going with a coaching staff that had recruited me.”

On whether he wanted to play offense or defense at Pitt:

“I was open to everything. Obviously I had been playing offense. In my mind, I didn’t want to keep going back and forth (between offense and defense) so I came in, learned the tight end and fullback stuff, but also played defense. I think that I kept showing up a lot on defense last year. We did a lot of scrimmaging and obviously the bowl practice and spring ball, so I just kept moving up on the defensive side of the ball.”

On which positions he feels more comfortable at:

“I feel that I play a little bit better on defense. I play with a little bit more emotion. I’m instinctive. I feel like I’m an aggressive player and it lets me be a little more creative.”


Wide Receiver Ed Tinker

On his excitement for the ACC:

“We’re really excited. Coming from the Big East and going to the ACC is a big transition and starting our practices we have a lot of learning to do.”

On quarterback Tom Savage’s play in practice:

“He’s doing pretty well. He hasn’t been playing for a while. Like I said, we still have 23, 24 days of practice left and we have a lot of learning to do.”

On whether the team is prepared for the grind of the ACC:

“Yes, definitely. All we have to do is continue what we’ve been doing. We work together and we push each other to get better. We play fast. We just have to be more conditioned than anything.”


Cornerback Trenton Coles


On his performance so far:

“My performance is going well. Last year I was unhealthy. I messed up my hamstring coming into camp, so I almost missed half of it. Now I’m healthy, I’m learning the system and I’m just competing.”

On his role:

“In our nickel and dime package, I’ll come in that corner, and the corner will go to the nickel. That’s my role. I just come in the corner and compete.”

On his weight gain:

“When I came in, I was only 158 (pounds). I’m 175 now. So I’m getting up there. I’m still eating and getting four meals a day, so that’s a plus. My ultimate goal is to be 187. That’s a good weight for me, I believe, at my position and height.”

On his comfort level:

“I’m comfortable now because last year I was thinking too much. I didn’t really know the plays. Now I’m studying more and just learning the system. I’m just playing. I’m not thinking now. That’s why I’m doing better.”

On his training camp goals:

“I just want to get on everything I can get on: special teams, everything. I eventually want to become the starter at corner. That’s my goal right now. I have to compete.”

On his confidence:

“As long as I’m making plays, I’m confident. Whenever I’m giving up a lot of stuff, I kind of get down on myself. As a corner, you have to have a short memory; get back and do it again.”

On the coaches:

“They want us to compete. If you make a mistake, make it full speed. We just have to compete and learn the plays.”


Placekicker Chris Blewitt

On being a freshman:

“I’ve been doing this a bit. I’ve been practicing. I know I have the support of the guys, so even if I miss it they will have my back.”

On how he has approached camp and if he’s trying to take the starting job:

“I’m just going to try to do the best I can and if that’s what the coaches think, then that’s what the coaches think. I’m going to come in, practice and do my work, and whatever happens, happens.”

On if he can do kickoffs:

“The coaches mentioned it, but I feel comfortable with my kickoffs now. I’ve been working on them, but they can get better, placement and everything.”

On when he started football:

“Going into my freshman year, I played soccer so I just said I was going to be a kicker, and go out and play football with my friends.”

On if he played both soccer and football in high school:

“I just played soccer for one year and then I switched to football because I just liked crushing the ball more.”

On if he played any position other than kicker in high school:

“I did play receiver, returner and defensive back and that was about it until our varsity kicker broke his leg, and they were like, ‘you’re done (playing other positions).’”

On his few carries and catches as a senior:

“We did have a fake punt run. It was my first time so there really wasn’t much that I did. I feel like it’s that one play.”

On fake field goal tries:

“That’s my dream. That’s what I’m waiting for.”

On how he treats game-winning situations:

“Once it starts getting to that point in the game I can really see where it’s coming down to. I really just start to dial in, focus on what I’m doing, really just drown out crowd noise and just focus on my holder and snapper and just go.”

On his most pressured kick in high school:

“It was our home opener game against the defending region champs, which is a pretty big deal in high school. It was going to be my longest attempt, 51 yards, and it would break the school record. I knew what it meant to me. After three years of kicking, it was all I wanted — that record — and sure enough, I made it, and it was really what decided the game. It was actually the first quarter, but we won by six.”

On if he has superstitions:

“Not really, I just warm up, kick a few in the net, and do some run-throughs on the sideline. That’s mainly what I do.”




What They're Saying: Pitt Camp Day 4

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