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Aug. 10, 2013

Pitt Football Training Camp – Day 5

Pitt Training Camp Media Quote Sheet 

Quoting Head Coach Paul Chryst

Opening statement:

“It was fun again to be on the field. I felt we got some work done. We had some peaks and valleys with energy, but we accomplished what we wanted. It’s at the point where a bulk of the installation is in, so we have to focus on cleaning up the details. We’ll enjoy that part of the process. K’Waun [Williams], Jason [Hendricks] and Isaac [Bennett] have a couple of little injuries – hopefully nothing serious. We’ll be alright, and we’ll have a good day tomorrow with a two-a-day practice, which is even better. If one is good, two is great.”

On the secondary players getting reps:

“I think that’s one good thing about camp: there’s going to be reps for everyone. Guys have got to make the most of it. But obviously we’re best off if everyone is practicing with guys that have experience and have played.”

On James Conner:

“I love the way he’s approaching everything. I thought he did some good things. The more he understands what’s going on in front of him, the more that will help. He’s certainly earned the right to get more reps.”

On Jahmahl Pardner coming back from injury:

“You have to be careful with that. A lot of these guys are just getting back in to playing shape. We’ve got to be careful with over-assessing and overthinking that. We’ll go out and practice and get better. Everyone has different circumstances. We appreciate everyone that’s out there and going and working each day to get better. It’s as simple as that.”

On the defensive ends:

“They’ve got to keep going. They’re definitely working.”

On the young defensive backs breaking up passes:

“A big part of doing your job is knowing if you’re lined up right, putting yourself in position to make a play and trusting your eyes. That’s what experience gives you; that’s what comfort in a system gives you. Early in your career, the game really goes fast. Then as you gain experience, the game slows down a little bit. If the younger guys can have those moments and remember what that feels like and what led up to that, that’s how you build and get the growth you want to accomplish.”

Offensive line Cory King

On Florida State as the first opponent: 

“It’s super exciting. I’m glad we’re going to be playing some big teams. I feel like we raise the level when we play good teams like that.”

On the different opponents this season:

“I’m really looking forward to some new faces this year and seeing how we hold up with them.”

On his return to guard:

“The second half of last year with tackle, I really started to feel comfortable. Then it was a little bit of a learning curve coming into spring ball with it, but I feel like guard is my more natural position.”

Offensive line Gabe Roberts

On the relationship with offensive lineman Artie Rowell:

“We’re giving each other great competition. We’re both really going after each other. When Coach [Jim] Hueber sees me mess up, he pulls me out. When he sees Artie mess up, he’s pulling him out and putting me in. We’re both really competing for the spot, so we’re really putting pressure on each other which is nice.”

On learning from Rowell:

“He’s always working hard. He’s always finishing plays, so I really try to keep doing that, too. If I have a question about something, I go to him because he knows the offenses a little bit better than I do because he’s been here longer.”

On Cory King and Matt Rotheram playing next to him:

“It’s really helpful. Matt knows everything. So does Cory. We kind of know what’s going on. They know what they’re doing. It’s nice that they, being seniors, are older and stronger. Everything’s going well.”

Offensive line Adam Bisnowaty

On the progression of the offensive line’s chemistry:

“It’s definitely getting better. We have five new guys in the room, so just getting to know them has really helped. For me, I got to know them during the summer, but the older guys haven’t seen them. We’re getting tighter as a group and starting to be a union.”

On summer allowing the players to begin to know each other:

“For me, I think it’s helped a lot. There’s going to be a lot of guys coming in. If you don’t know those guys, you don’t know half the team. For me, knowing those guys is good.”

On his advice to freshman Dorian Johnson:

“Learn it quick, and then once you learn it, just keep pushing at it. Coach Hueber is going to be on you like he is on all of us. It doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman or not; he’s going to be tough on you.”

Defensive Coordinator Matt House

On a coach’s trust that a player can execute a play:

“I think it comes down to playmaking versus giving up big plays. There’s a fine line. Obviously, you don’t want to make them robots, but from the same standpoint they have to know what they’re doing.”

On finding a pass rusher:

“I know Coach [John] Palermo and Coach Nokes [Inoke Breckterfield] are trying to identify a pass rusher and hopefully more than one. In certain situations, hopefully we can get them on the field so that they can do their best. It’s like Paul [Chryst] says to our team: Whether it’s offense, special teams or defense, we want to find guys who have a positive trait and really expose that trait while still developing them and all their other traits.”

On redshirt freshman Jahmahl Pardner’s progress:

“Jahmahl’s just getting used to playing again. He missed spring, and obviously he didn’t play much his freshman year. He started out really hot and unfortunately got hurt. He’s really getting his legs back under him and just getting the feel for playing again.”

Defensive back Jahmahl Pardner 

Thoughts on how the day went:

“I think today went good. I had a couple of pass break-ups; I blew a couple of coverage’s, so I have a lot to work on. “

On what goals he is working on:

“My goals are to get a full recovery from my ACL and to help my team out as much as possible.”

On playing any special teams this season:

“Yes. I plan on playing kickoff coverage and trying out for kick returner.”

On being able to break up the pass and how he was able to read the play:

“Yeah, that is our coaches, Coach [Matt] House and Coach Hank [Poteat], they told me to cover the play and told me my reads. I read exactly how they told me to and I broke up the pass.”

On putting a percentage on the ACL recovery:

“I believe mentally I am 100%. Realistically I am about 80-85%. It is just little things getting the vertical back up and the speed back up.”

On the mental comeback of feeling comfortable:

“Definitely, that is the biggest part to overcome. I just wake up every morning and tell myself that it never happened.”

Running back James Conner 

On the toughest part about being a freshman running back:

“Experience, it is a totally different game in college.  Getting to be patient, in high school we didn’t pay attention to details; we would just run. But now we’re in the film room every day. It’s the experience.”

On being a bigger guy and getting over people:

“We have good linebackers. I’m a big running back, but we have big linebackers. I try to get in there sometimes. I’m still young; I have to get my grown man strength, so I’m trying.”

On the physicality of the game and how he holds up:

“I’m holding up with it – it works really well with me. Aaron Donald is one of the best in the country and I get to run against him every day. With him and Shane Gordon at linebacker, it will be easier come game time. I believe our defense is one of the best in the country. Physicality is tough, but I’m trying to make it easier come game time.”

Confidence on playing running back out of high school:

“During the skills camp I came here as a defensive end. During my senior year I played running back and Coach Desmond [Robinson], wanted me to run the ball. After that I’ve been playing running back.”

Pitt Football Training Camp Day Five: What They're Saying

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