Wannstedt Talks About Monday's Double

Coach Dave Wannstedt comments on Monday's double session

Opening remarks:

It was good to see the players out there on the field, and not just from a physical scrimmage standpoint. I think that the encouraging thing today was to have the guys out there with the coaches off the field and them in game situations with the officials and seeing how they respond, not just physically but also mentally. There were some good things out there today. I was encouraged by how we ran the football. I thought that the offense really looked pretty well, until we got on the goal line twice. That one time (on the goal line) we fumbled the exchange and the other time we forced the ball and threw a pick. We'll watch the film and we'll look at the personnel end of it and see if we can juggle some guys around.

On Pitt's running defense and passing defense:

If we can get people in passing situations we'll have a chance. We have to find a way to stop the run. I was not happy at all with our run defense today. It wasn't nearly good enough. There were too many third down and fours and fives. We've got to find a way to generate more third and longs. We will.

On the tight ends in the scrimmage:

Right now, Greg Lee is out, (Terrell) Allen didn't practice today, Cedric McGee's got an ankle so he wasn't full speed today. So, we were really forced to use the tight ends today. Pelusi, Buches, Gill, Strong and all of the tight ends came up. We've got a heck of a group of tight ends. I'm real encouraged there. We can use those guys a lot of different ways if we have to so that was a real bright spot.

You sit back as a coach and you look at your football team and say, "Okay what players give us the best chance to make plays and win games." And that tight end group is pretty solid from top to bottom, so that was encouraging to see that they handled it the way they did today.

On the injuries:

Hopefully we'll get Greg (Lee) and some of these (injured) guys back. (John) Simonitis scrimmaged today and Dale Williams is real close. Greg Lee is close - he ran today.

On whether the run defense struggled due to the absence of some regulars:

Well it shouldn't have been. We're going to be rotating guys in all year. We've got to just find the right group and we've got to get better. We've had run drills everyday and the defense has been good. Today is the first time that I felt we took a step backwards

On freshman player impressions:

Oderick Turner made a couple of plays, the wide receiver. And because of the injury situation we stick him in with the second group. We've got to take a look at him. He could be a guy who that all of the sudden you move up and start to get some more work. Irvan Brown made that play in the end zone and that was great. A kid comes in as a freshman and you say, "Okay you're going to be a defensive back." And then he gets in the scrimmage situation with the whole team cheering and he makes the play (in the end zone). That was great for him.

On the freshman running backs:

(Conredge Collins) did some nice things. Shane Brooks had a couple of nice runs. I think that today we were just trying to give all of them an equal opportunity. We'll watch the film and if somebody did some really good things, up and above, we'll start juggling some depth charts now. I don't think it was fair to start juggling depth charts until you have a scrimmage.

On the next scrimmage:

We'll probably scrimmage Friday and then maybe next Wednesday. We'll have two more. We ended up with about 65 plays today.

On the team's emotional level:

I told them this morning when you get into two-a-day practices, every practice is not going to be an emotional frenzy. You have to be able to come out and find a way to practice at a winning level and concentrate and not make mistakes. I thought our guys did pretty good today. This morning it was a little quiet which you kind of expected, but the enthusiasm today for the scrimmage was real good.

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