Well you have to hand it to EJ Borghetti. His team put out so much great content on media day that Pitt was able to sneak in three more practices before we had even gotten through it all.
That’s right, Pitt has four practices in the books already, two in helmets and two in shoulder pads only. “Shells” as Pat Narduzzi calls it. They should be putting on full pads this week by my estimate.
Here are the interviews from today, starting with Pat Narduzzi. He was interviewed in the morning before practice.
DiPaola asked him point blank about transfer TE Nakia Griffin-Stewart. “Is a he a blocking guy, or can he go down the seam?” DiPaola asked. Without batting an eye, Narduzzi says, “he can do both”. Now you’ve got to take this all with a grain of salt (cough closed practices), but… fall camp is a time for optimism.
Speaking of Griffin-Stewart, he is a mature young man. It’s also pretty cool that he is Kenny Pickett’s roommate. Sounds like they’ve been putting in a lot of work, and you have to respect his serious demeanor and his approach to this season. Again…fall camp is a time for optimism, and I am optimistic about Griff-Stew’s pass catching opportunities.
Since we are on the subject of the passing game, EJ chose to trot out two of Pitt’s backup QB’s for interviews. They give some good insight into what Whipple is doing. George Jr. also gives some great insight into how Kenny Pickett has developed.
New linebacker Kylan Johnson was also interviewed. Sounds like he might be a pass-rushing specialist this year, given that he’s talking about shooting gaps. FWIW, I read an article recently that Florida for the most part has gone to two linebackers and five DB’s for their base defense. Add that with the well-documented team issues with Florida (players getting arrested, etc) and it’s pretty easy to see why Johnson wanted to transfer to Pitt. Talk to any insider and you’ll hear that players love playing for Pat Narduzzi. Johnson is no exception.
Finally, the media interviewed Offensive Tackle transfer Nolan Ulizio. It’s clear that he’s an experienced hand, and it seems like he’s integrating well with group of Pitt’s O-linemen.
On that note, Chris Peak also published his podcast, and he included an interview with Dave Borbley. Most of the content is additional to Borbley’s PSN interview and there are so many gems in here. “Your second center usually stinks, because if he was good enough he’d be starting at guard”. “Coming out of spring 2018 we really stunk.” “Central Florida we stunk, I thought we had a bad game plan”. “You want to talk about leaving it all on the field, [against Syracuse] Alex Bookser left it all on the field.”
Hail to Pitt