But that's just not the case. University of Pittsburgh coach Dave Wannstedt and his staff have devised a practice plan to best utilize the entire roster and could help shape the depth chart more easily. There are two practices each day, beginning Tuesday and running through Friday, where the Panthers will be split into two teams.
The veterans will work out in the morning session (8:30-10:45 a.m.), while the younger guys will be in the afternoon (3-5 p.m.). That's how freshmen like quarterback Pat Bostick and running back LeSean McCoy are expected to compete for starting spots by getting a representative amount of repetitions in the early going. The Panthers will reunite for a practice in full gear Saturday from 2:15-4:45 p.m.
"So, it's going to be busy for the coaches and players,'' Wannstedt said. "And the young players will have to learn on the move, but it will give us a fair way to evaluate players. That's how we're going to start camp. We'll make judgments on players from these four days, and we'll go from there.''
While Bostick has only been in the system since the early summer session, he is expected to push junior Bill Stull and redshirt freshman Kevan Smith for Pitt's starting quarterback job. Bostick and all the other first-year players were not made available for comment with the other players after Wannstedt's Monday press conference due to an NCAA and Big East rule that holds them back until the first official practice.
"We came out of spring practice with Bill being the starter, but these next four days will do a lot to help that situation,'' Wannstedt said. "Pat Bostick will get an equal amount of reps compared to Kevan Smith and Billy Stull. So, we'll be able to divide the workload at quarterback. It is open right now, but Billy's the guy that they're trying to unseat.''
While both Stull and Smith were confident that they could handle the starting job, Wannstedt and offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh do not want to put any additional pressure on whomever gets the starting nod.
"Eventually, there are going to be games where our quarterback is going to have to take us down the field and score to win the game,'' Wannstedt said. "But we're going to try to be ready for anything by doing more situations this year in training camp. Like, it's fourth-and-five, and we have to make a play. We have the football, and we have the lead.
"And we have to try to find a way to move the football. ... And we're not always going to throw it. And we're not going to turn the ball over. But we have to be physical enough to run the ball and make a first down so the game's over. I think, as a head coach, I have to create situations for our players before it happens in a ball game.''
"We have to be able to run the football and stop the run,'' Wannstedt added. "And we have to be able to run the football when (the opponent) knows that we're going to run the football. ... And we've got to be able to stop the run when everybody in the stadium and watching on TV knows that they're going to run. That's what separates the men from the boys.''
The only two players who will be limited during camp due to surgery in the spring are fifth-year senior Mike McGlynn (left shoulder) and redshirt sophomore defensive end Doug Fulmer (right knee). Wannstedt said that both are progressing well, but Fulmer is the furthest away from practicing.
"Doug probably is the furthest away, yes, but he's doing fantastic,'' Wannstedt said. "And Mike is on track. He's doing great. Mike will be out there practicing, but he won't have any contact yet. So, those two guys are on track, but are not where they need to be.''
Every scholarship player qualified, including all the incoming players, but Cleveland wideout Kyle Hubbard didn't report. So, offensive lineman Wayne Jones took his scholarship and won't take a grayshirt as expected.
Redshirt freshmen linebacker Greg Webster (Crohn's disease) and quarterback Dexter Davidson (surgery on both knees) have not been medically cleared to play. Due to the chronic nature of their conditions, their playing futures are in doubt.
And one final note, Wannstedt said that fifth-year senior Chris Vangas, a two-year backup, will compete with redshirt sophomore John Bachman for the starting center job. Any plans to move McGlynn have been tabled until after he returns to full-time duty and if the other two can't get the job done.
Stull Starts With Lead
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