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Aug 20, 2013

Pitt Football Training Camp – August 20

Pitt Training Camp Media Quote Sheet 

Quoting Head Coach Paul Chryst

Opening statement:

“I thought we got some things accomplished. We still have to keep sharpening up some things. I thought it was a good day and we get to practice again tonight, so all in all it’ll be a really good day.”

On preparing quarterback Tom Savage to start while not overworking him:

“At this point we wanted to emphasize a little bit more on the run game, so we took a couple throws off of him for a couple days. With different guys, we’ll take a couple hits off of them. It also gives us a chance for other guys to catch up with some reps. We are still evaluating and looking at guys. We need to see who feels comfortable, knows it and executes. We’re trying to find a balance with Tom. Our job is to make sure everyone is prepared and ready to go for the season. Obviously that starts with our first game. Part of the preparation is getting enough reps and work; part of it is making sure physically they feel the best they can. It’s with Tom, and it’s with every other guy on the team.”

On James Conner:

“We’ve been happy with the way he’s progressing. There’s still a lot of learning that needs to be done. You hope for his whole career that he’s always learning. I’m glad he’s feeling good, but he’s got to keep going.”

On how Tyler Boyd compares to other freshmen:

“I think every individual is different; therefore, each class is different. Tyler brings great maturity to us. He has a great work ethic. I think we’ve got a lot of young guys that I’ve been impressed with the way they’ve approached it. I like this class, but everyone is really different.”

On whether he’s thought about which freshmen will play this season:

“Yeah, we’ve started looking at that.”


Wide receiver Devin Street

On Pitt’s preparation during training camp for Labor Day against Florida State:

“[The team] is coming out here working every day, just seeing how guys are preparing, getting ready and really understanding what we’re about to embark on going against Florida State. Just seeing guys prepare, the energy, how they watch film, how they work out—everything has been tremendous.”

On Florida State defensive back Lamarcus Joyner:

“I’ve seen he’s a physical player. Sometimes he gets a little overaggressive, but he’s just an athlete. He’s got speed, he doesn’t have the size but he makes up for it with how he plays the game. He plays at a high level.  I heard he was a preseason All-American and all that stuff, so he’s definitely going to be a great challenge and I’m ready for it. He seems very confident, and that’s good. Football players should have confidence. I think he’s a great competitor and I’m ready to get after it September 2.”

On improvements in timing of the passing game during training camp:

“That’s all part of the passing game. The timing is what has to come. It takes a lot of reps and a lot of practice, and we’re definitely getting it. But still, I think it can definitely be refined. We’re still working towards that and I’m pretty happy with where we’re at right now, but it’s always about progression and moving forward.”

On his numbers of reps with quarterback Tom Savage:

“We’re getting a lot of reps. Tommy’s throwing a lot of balls out there. The quarterback can’t throw all the time. They have to preserve their arm, that’s their money-maker. We’re working after practice all the time, whether it just be throwing and catching. It’s about the relationship. He has to be able to trust me and I definitely trust him, and I think we’re getting a good amount of reps.”

On whether or not freshman wide receiver Tyler Boyd is ready for the “big stage”:

“He’s definitely ready. Just seeing how he comes out every day is amazing. How he stepped up, how he learned the offense—he’s a smart kid. He’s hungry, too. He definitely has a lot of confidence and that’s what I like. For a freshman to have that much confidence, I think that’s what ups his level of game play. He can go out there and play fast and I think he’s going to be a big asset in our offense.”


Running back James Conner

On preparing to be the starting running back in the season opener: 

“That’s what I plan on doing. I plan on being the first running back on the field. With me getting the reps with Isaac [Bennett] (injured) has helped my development. The more reps I get, the more confident I get hitting the holes and reading, so I plan on being the first running back out there. That’s my mentality. (The coaches) really haven’t given anyone starting roles yet, except for [Tom] Savage, but I’ve been taking all the first-team reps and as of right now, that what I plan on doing.”

On if the running back corps could work well as a committee in the absence of Isaac Bennett:

“Rachid [Ibrahim] and I call ourselves ‘thunder and lightning.’ Rachid is real shifty, he’s a speedster. I like to run down hill, and Malcolm [Crockett]’s actually real good at the plays on the dive at the goal line. All three of us, we could be dangerous.”

On his relationship with quarterback Tom Savage:

“Tom [Savage] is a cool guy -- in the locker room and on the field. I work first team so all of our reps and timing are getting down. You have to see him out there. He’s a beast. Tom and I have a good relationship and I hope it will be us two doing some things this year.”

On his weight loss allowing him to become a quicker player during training camp:

“Watching film for the first couple days of practice, I was like, ‘I look slow out there,’ but after I lost 10, 15 pounds, I was like, ‘Now I feel it.’ I read something on the Internet, and I shouldn’t be paying attention to that, but it said I couldn’t hit the long home runs, so I want to be able to break the 60-yard run and go the distance instead of getting tripped up.”


Running back Rachid Ibrahim

On getting first team reps with fellow freshman James Conner:

“It’s been a lot of fun. We have to just keep working hard. We have to step in because Isaac [Bennett] and Malcolm [Crockett] are both down so me, James and Des [Brown] are the only guys left; so we’re trying to step in until everyone who is hurt gets back.”

On if learning the offense has been difficult:

“I was moved to running back a week after I got here so I was able to pick up the offensive stuff really quick. I think I have a good grasp on the playbook but I still have a lot of things to work on and clean up. As far as the playbook as a whole, I feel like I have a good grasp on it in terms of what we’ve done so far.”

On what his thoughts are about camp up to this point:

“It’s a grind and you have to just keep going. Your mind is going to want to give up, your body will too, but you just have to keep going and come out with the right mindset to stay focused. All your teammates are here too so you have to just keep fighting for your teammates.”

On if seeing fellow freshman getting first team reps is motivation to push himself: 

“It definitely is. I look over and see my teammates and think I have to do it for them because they’re doing it for me. It’s just a grind and we have to keep going but it’s going to pay off.”

On what he needs to improve on to see the field regularly during the season:

“One of my main downfalls is picking up pass protection. I have to definitely get better at that or I won’t see the field at all, period. The coaches have to be able to trust you to pick up pass protection; you can’t just run the ball. It’s not high school anymore, you have some big guys coming at you, so you have to be able to pick up pass protection and hopefully some good things will happen.”

Running back Malcolm Crockett

On how camp has been so far up to this point:

“Camp’s gone well. Everybody is starting to get to know everything and learn everything. We still have to tighten up details but so far it’s looking good. We’re looking forward to our first game, it’s a big game.”

On how camp has gone under Paul Chryst this year compared to his first:

“The first year, with new coaches, they were still trying to get the feel on how to run camp. From last year’s camp to this year’s camp though, Coach Chryst has tried to take care of our bodies a little bit more. We had more scrimmages last camp and we’ve only had one this camp, we’ll have one this upcoming Thursday, our last day. We’ve just been trying to take care of our bodies but at the same time have the right mindset, go full speed and execute the small details."


Football Training Camp: What They're Saying: August 20

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