Sunday Afternoon Light

One area Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt wanted to get solidified was the offensive line, and it appeared as though that group came closer to reaching that goal when fifth-year senior Mike McGlynn called for the second-team offense to huddle around him to prepare for the dime defense drill late at Sunday afternoon's training camp practice.

Mike McGlynn centered the second group during that session, but he gave way to redshirt freshman Alex Karabin and frosh Greg Gaskins when the action picked up for the two-minute drill that closed practice. McGlynn is still not ready for full contact, but he's getting much closer. He also is not available for comment until that time, either.

"McGlynn's getting closer,'' Wannstedt said. "We'll see if he can go for our final scrimmage (Wednesday), and then we'll see how he fits in.''

One player that definitely fit into the Pittsburgh offense during the two-minute drill Sunday was senior tight end Darrell Strong. He ran with the first team and was utilized extensively from a tight formation as well as being split out or stacked with redshirt sophomore wideout Cedric McGee, another addition to the first unit as a possession receiver.

"Darrell Strong is still a big part of what we do on offense,'' Pitt tight ends coach Brian Angelichio said. "We just have to get him the ball.''

In one sequence, Strong threw a nice block to spring tailback LaRod Stephens-Howling for a big gain. Stephens-Howling also was used later in the passing game with short, sideline connections. But Strong was able to get open downfield for a big 30-yard pickup to get inside the 10.

Once the chains were set, quarterback Bill Stull called for a draw to Stephens-Howling that netted a couple yards, and he had to spike the ball to stop the clock on second down. The third-down play for Stull had 6-foot-3 redshirt sophomore wideout Oderick Turner matched with fifth-year senior cornerback Kennard Cox on the left side. So, he called for the fade.

Stull got a clean snap and lobbed the ball into the end zone. Cox and Turner both went up for it, but Turner came down with two hands on the ball for the touchdown to cap the session's best drive.

In Pitt's dime defense, the three down linemen were fifth-year seniors Chris McKillop and Joe Clermond on the ends and junior Gus Mustakas on the nose.

Ty Tkach got a lot of work with fellow redshirt freshman Greg Romeus as second-team defensive ends. Redshirt junior Adam Gunn still appears to be starting ahead of sophomore Dorin Dickerson at strong-side linebacker, while fifth-year senior is ahead of redshirt frosh Nate Nix at weak-side linebacker with the second group. Shane Murray is the starter there.

The only players out for Sunday's practice were senior left offensive tackle Jeff Otah, who was given the day off, and freshman offensive guard Chris Jacobson. Wannstedt said that he "banged up his knee a little bit.'' Jacobson's status is day-to-day, but he isn't expected to be out for long.

Freshman quarterback Pat Bostick ran the second-team offense in the two-minute drill, and he threw an out pattern that was picked off by freshman safety Dom DeCicco with a nice read.

Pitt has two practices Monday and one Tuesday. The Panthers will have a morning walkthrough Wednesday and then the final intrasquad scrimmage of camp later that afternoon.

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