Q&A: Andrew Taglianetti

Andrew Taglianetti has six blocked punts for his career--the exact number of head coaches (including interim tags) that he has seen in his Pitt career. He shares his thoughts on why he feels the Paul Chryst hire is for the good.

Your thoughts in general, on how everyone is holding up so far?
I think everyone's legs are pretty worn out after the second day. That's just nature. That always happens in camp. Give it a couple more days, and our legs will be under us a little bit more. It's kind of like an attitude, like with effort. You kind of just have to kind of say screw it, ‘I'm going to run to this ball even though I'm dog tired.' I think everyone on our team has taken a liking to it.

The thing about this team is we have four really good safeties; four kids that can play. We're splitting the reps each day with the ones and the twos. Coaches will really determine who's going to play after the scrimmages. It's definitely good. Me and Ray (Vinopal) went a lot together in the spring. We have a little cohesion with each other. Even with Ray and Jarred (Holley), I could go out there and we'd be fine. Those two are good together, too. It's definitely good, and the competition breeds success. I think that's what we're going to get. Whatever two safeties are out there, we're going to have two of the best safeties. It should be good.

Are you looking forward to getting in to full pads?
I'm excited. I don't necessarily like to get beat up that much, but I don't mind the pads. It gets fun. It gets a little exciting.

What do you think of the linebackers in front of you?
Not as athletic as the DBs, of course (laughs). Those kids can move. These first couple of days, they're still getting their feet wet with some of these coverages and adjustments, and stuff. They're going to be fine. I think it's going to add a little element to our defense. We can cover a lot of ground and do a lot of things. It should definitely be exciting, and I think Coach Huxtable and the rest of the defensive staff have a good plan for us, and we're all good athletes.

How demanding is this coaching staff?
That's good. That's the only way to bring out the best in people. You can't, ‘do this, do this,' because you become complacent. Whenever Coach Hux is yelling at you, dropping some good words, it really gets you going and it really keeps you focused. I think it's one of the best ways to learn, and that really does bring out the best in people. That's the way I'd want to be coached, and I'd want my kids to be coached like that.

How comfortable do you feel leaving this position in good hands for the future?
We got a lot of kids that can play back there. Obviously, this is my last go-around. They're set for the future. Next year, Jason Hendricks and Vinopal will be back. Cullen Christian, K'Waun Williams, Lafayette Pitts, Lloyd Carrington, and a lot of these freshmen are going to be good players too. As a future alum, I think it's going to be great for this school. I think we're going to be hitting the ACC pretty strong, and I think Coach (Chryst) is pretty confident with that.

On doing up-downs, and other disciplinary measures, how does that help?
What that does, is it kind of creates habit. You're not ready for the ball, you're getting up-downed. After awhile, you get used to it because you don't want to run up-downs, and it becomes a habit. You become used to it, and it's not really a big deal after awhile. That's what they're trying to do. They're trying to establish some base rules for our defense. You might not have talent, or you might not have the best play called. But, if you have effort, you can still make plays and you can still win, and I think that's what they're getting across. I think it should be good.

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