After Further Review

After watching video on his team's first scrimmage, Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt and his staff instituted some changes to the depth chart for Wednesday afternoon's workout at the UPMC Sports Complex.

No, freshman quarterback Pat Bostick didn't step into a starter's role, but several moves were made. On defense, junior Rashaad Duncan apparently has regained his starting spot alongside classmate Gus Mustakas.

Also, redshirt junior Adam Gunn moved to middle linebacker to backup classmate Scott McKillop. Redshirt sophomore Shane Murray was held out as a precaution, but should be back Thursday. So, sophomore Dorin Dickerson and fifth-year senior Jemeel Brady were the starting linebackers. Redshirt freshman Nate Nix split first-team reps with Brady.

"I think what we really want to have when camp ends is six guys that we can count on, so we're trying to figure out what the best combinations are (at linebacker,'' Wannstedt said. He then named Gunn, Dickerson, Nix, Murray and Scott McKillop as players who "are all performing very well.

"I'd like to cross-train those guys as much as possible. Jemeel Brady is playing linebacker and nickel back, and he's doing well and is surprisingly comfortable out there. (And) Rashaad Duncan has had a very good camp.''

The best news for Pitt might be that fifth-year senior Mike McGlynn is getting closer to returning to full-time duty. However, Wannstedt believed that would not be until next week.

"McGlynn has taken a step forward this week, and he's been doing the snapping for kicking, punts and field goals. He's been taking some snaps with the quarterbacks, and he's coming out early. So, he's getting close and is moving in the right direction.''

"We're going to address (McGlynn) this weekend, and as his strength increases the intention is to get him in pads to do drill work. And then the team stuff, but he's been doing great. He won't scrimmage Saturday, but next week he'll be a lot closer to doing that.''

Redshirt sophomore Irvan Brown was added to the mix at safety, playing behind sophomore Jovani Chappel and freshman Dom DeCicco for the moment. Freshman Aaron Smith moved from cornerback to wideout to shore up the depth there after the Panthers lost senior Derek Kinder and redshirt freshman walk-on Francis Johns for the season with injuries. Also, Craig Bokor is on the move again. The redshirt sophomore is back at offensive guard after moving to defensive tackle this past spring.

"Right now, Marcel (Pestano) and Oderick (Turner) are the most consistent guys,'' Wannstedt said about his wideouts. "But (Cedric) McGee and T.J. Porter and the young guys ... are right there, too. (And) Bokor, I think he can go over there and be a second-team player relatively quick.''

Wannstedt also noted that since senior Lowell Robinson and redshirt freshman Ricky Gary are playing so well at cornerback, that made Smith expendable. And this way, he can get some reps at wideout and maybe get on the field a lot sooner. Bokor's move was precipitated by high-level play from defensive tackles Duncan, Mustakas, redshirt sophomore Mick Williams and sophomores John Malecki and Tommy Duhart.

At Wednesday's practice, Wannstedt noted that he and the staff had a plan.

"We tried to create some situations where we really put them on the field the last 45 minutes by themselves and just called plays from the sideline,'' Wannstedt said. "That's how you find out who your leaders were. I think right now is when you start forming the chemistry on your team.''

The biggest hit Wednesday occurred when Brady popped fullback Conredge Collins to knock the ball loose. The best play was Mustakas' interception and return for a touchdown. Otherwise, it was relatively uneventful on the field.

As far as the scrimmage goes, Wannstedt reviewed the video and had the following assessment.

I like our depth on the defensive line for the first time since I've been here, if we can stay healthy,'' Wannstedt said. "Other than that, I like our secondary play. And we have some depth there with good backups. On offense, LaRod showed up like we knew he would, but that's about it.''

Pitt has two more practices Thursday and one Friday to prepare for Saturday morning's second intrasquad scrimmage.

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