ACC Football Kickoff Primer

What to expect from Pitt's first trip to the ACC Football Kickoff, this year held at The Grandover Resort in Greensboro, N.C.

Roughly 425 media members will be in attendance for this year's ACC Football Kickoff.

For Pitt and Syracuse, who enter their first year in their new home, both schools were provided a warm Southern welcome. The revolving door entrance of The Grandover Resort was plastered with the respective logos of each school, welcoming them to their new conference.

Saturday, ACC Commissioner John Swofford addressed the 28 student-athletes in attendance, followed by some guest speakers, which included Leonard Wheeler.

Wheeler had a strong, positive message for the athletes in attendance.

"This is your chance to create a value that no one can take away from you, no one," Wheeler said.

Steve Shenbaum also addressed the group, even getting the group to stand and get involved in some activities---a bit of a break from listening to speakers for most of the program.

Sunday, it's on to the first of two days full of interviews for players and coaches. The players step to the podium on Sunday. Pitt's Devin Street and Aaron Donald will address the media.

Commissioner Swofford will open things at 12:30 pm on Sunday. Following Swofford, Clemson players Tajh Boyd and Spencer Shuey will be up first.

Street and Donald are expected to speak in front of the media, at approximately 5:01 pm.

Also announced at the event, the preseason ACC poll. Many are anxious to see where Pitt is expected to finish in its first season. This would be the first official mentioning of Pitt in the standings of the conference, even though it's a projected set of standings and not based on results.

After the Skeeter Francis Media Golf Tournament--which includes the invited players, head coaches and media members--coach interviews will follow, on Monday.

Coach interviews will take place from 2 pm to approximately 6:15 pm. Pitt head coach Paul Chryst is expected to take the podium at 4:10 on Monday.

And that leads us to what questions, aside from the fanfare of being the new kid in town in the conference.

A few questions we expect to hear at Street:
- What made you stay for your senior year?
- What do you hope to prove this year by staying?
- What, if anything, will you change about your approach to the game knowing you'll be the target of opposing defensive schemes every week?

And for Donald:
- How do you handle all the preseason do you handle it all?
- What do you expect (i.e. double-teams) from the ACC as opposed to what you've faced in the past

And for Chryst:
- who is going to win the quarterback battle between Tom Savage and Chad Voytik?
As a disclaimer to this question, I have a feeling I know how he's going to answer it...which will be something along the lines of 'we'll find out September 2.' However, I expect this to be the first question.

And if not, how will the team replace Rushel Shell, and Ray Graham?
- and I think I know how that question will be answered--as far as Shell goes (repeating he has no comment, or referring to the April statement saying they wish him well

- Can Isaac Bennett handle the workload and become a feature back?

- Will this year's offensive line allow you to do what you want to do, running the football...and if they can't, can they protect a new starting quarterback?
- to me, this is the bigger issue...I like what the line is capable...the question, is will they do it in games? Because if they can't, what sense is it to worry about a quarterback battle or a new starter at running back

Dan Mason and Arthur Doakes were not on the roster last Monday when everyone's names and numbers were updated...are there anymore players leaving the program?

Players are commenting on a lot of these team-bonding activities over the summer...have you done that in the past, and more specifically (besides players commenting on it), what are the benefits?

With off the field troubles, arrests...what's the state of the program in that sense, and do you feel you and your staff are getting it under control?

So that's just a sampling. There's no question, that Pitt and Syracuse will be the top overall story for this year's event. However, when you take a look closer to the football side of things, there are a lot of things that need asked, and a lot of things that need answered.

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