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Aug. 22, 2010

Training Camp Insider


Opening Statement:

"We got a little Utah work in today, a little bit of work against ourselves and a little bit of conditioning. We're starting to break up practice a little bit from what our camp routine was. We're starting to zero in a little bit, and I thought the guys worked pretty well.

"There's nothing really new to report on Ray Graham and Greg Romeus except to say that they're making great improvement, and day-to-day, they're getting closer and closer. I expect Greg to be fine for opening day. Ray is running straight ahead right now, tomorrow will be the first day that he'll start making cuts so we'll see where he's at there. He's coming along, we just don't want to do anything faster than what we need to."

On classifying this year's training camp:

"It's been a good camp; I thought it was a very physical camp. I think that every coach likes to stand there and say that this is the most physical camp that we've had, and players like to say that too. I don't know, I just know that the faster that you get, and the stronger that you get, for some reason practices become more physical. We banged it around pretty good. I thought that we really got a good feel for our younger players. We did some things to really look at our incoming freshmen.

"I thought that we had enough live scrimmage work that I saw Dion Lewis do what he needs to do, I've seen Jon Baldwin do what he needs to do, I've seen what Jabaal Sheard needs to do, I've seen Jason Pinkston do what he needs to do. So, I think from the standpoint of the majority of our older players that we're counting on, they've performed at a higher level. I'm pleased with some of the young kids. Then, there's the Ricky Gary's, the Ty Tkach's and the Justin Hargrove's of the world. We probably have four, five or six guys that are fourth or fifth year players that had very good camps and will help us this year."

On surprise players throughout this camp:

"(Justin) Hargrove was a guy that was third team and was a name that we really weren't talking about much. He and Ty Tkach are kind of in the same category. Now, I'll expect both of them to play some capacity in the first game."

On the offensive line being prepared for Utah:

"We're going to have to be ready. Are we going to be where we want to be? No, but when you're replacing three guys it takes time, particularly there. I think that's something that we want to make sure of, is that we're making progress every week. As long as that group is getting better and coming together week-after-week, it's going to take a little bit of time."

On judging the strength of both the defensive and offensive line:

"I don't know. I guess we'll find out at Utah. We'll find out where we are on both the defensive line and offensive line once we get up against another, obviously quality team."

On having the next few weeks to prepare for Utah:

"It's very nice to have that time. That's why I was all for moving this game to the opener. I think it made more sense with the travel, and obviously when going up against a top 25 team in the country. The extra time that we have, the few extra days that we have will be used wisely."

On the physicality of camp:

"If you walked in the room right now and asked our kids to call a play, man-for-man, "16-power", that's just a way of life. You live with things and you die with things, but if you have confidence in them and if you do them well enough, the kids believe in it. There's no easy finesse way to run 16-power, it's the combination of players and mentality that we want to have here at Pitt, plus the type of plays that we run. There are not many teams that use a fullback, and we do. I think that all adds up to having physical practices."

Training Camp Transcript: Day 16

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