Tinker, Weatherspoon Working For Bigger Roles

Pitt returns leading receiver Devin Street. The competition is wide open to fill spots vacated by Mike Shanahan and Cameron Saddler. Ed Tinker and Kevin Weatherspoon are just two of the players this spring, looking to make a good impression.

No position on the Pitt roster has more players who have waited their turn, behind veteran players, than wide receiver.

The group is led by Devin Street, who had a career year, leading the team with 73 catches for 975 yards and five touchdowns. Street went on to earn second-team All-Big East honors.

Ronald Jones is in line to compete, as are a couple of local players in Ed Tinker and Kevin Weatherspoon.

Tinker, who will be a redshirt senior in 2013, saw the most action of his career in 2012. He played in five games, including the final three games. He made the biggest turn, finishing with two catches for 17 yards in a 24-6 win over Rutgers. That came also marked the first touchdown of Tinker's career.

It also laid the seeds for Tinker to be a big part of the rotation this spring, which in turn could lay the seeds in competing for a spot in August.

"It was pretty tough last season," Tinker said. "We had a lot of injuries. What I learned from last year, is you take an opportunity, and make the best of it. Now, you learn from each practice in the spring. You just have to take the best opportunities you can."

Having a new quarterback might be tough for any team, but Tinker pointed out that quarterbacks Tom Savage and Chad Voytik are learning along with them, and being helpful to this point.

"It starts with them," Tinker said. "It starts on the field, then carries over to the film, then back to the field. We learn a lot from them."

One other thing Tinker likes this spring, in addition to building off the most playing time he saw in his career, is coming in to spring with the same system in place, and building off that. Though it is going to be his fifth season, this is the first spring in his Pitt career that he's been able to come in and build off the same system that was in place in the previous system.

"Coach Chryst knows what to do, to get you the ball," Tinker said. "It helps a lot, having the same offense. I already know what I have to do, and it's pretty easy."

Weatherspoon didn't have any catches last year, but he too saw his playing time go up, especially towards the end of the season. He played in four games, including the final three games of 2012, including the bowl game.

Like Tinker, Weatherspoon has waited his turn, and sees an opportunity to get on the field this year. However, he knows it won't just be handed to him.

"I always looked at it that way, ever since coming here," Weatherspoon said. "I always feel like they'll put me in, but I always have to be ready."

Weatherspoon said another thing that helps him is the leadership of Street, and the number of other receivers competing.

"Devin, he came back for another year, so it's going to be something special for him," Weatherspoon said. "He can get the ball, or we can get the ball, we're always going to be ready. We always had a lot of wideouts. There's competition, and that's a good thing."

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