"Today we installed our short-yardage goal line, offense and defense," Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt said after practice. "That will be an area we incorporate sometime [during tomorrow's scrimmage], maybe at the end, get a little live work."
"When we got down in the short yardage, we know what LaRod and Shady can do, so we highlighted Shariff Harris and Henry Hynoski," Wannstedt said. "I though both of them did a good job."
The Panthers threw from short range, too. Quarterback Pat Bostick, who split equal reps with the second team today with Kevan Smith, hit fullback Shane Brooks for a touchdown with a lob to the right flat. Then, Bostick found rapidly improving tight end Dorin Dickerson in the back of the left end zone.
"A guy that made plays again today, I got to give him credit, I'm excited, is Dorin Dickerson," Wannstedt said. "He is catching the football, so I'm very encouraged there."
Stephens-Howling also made a big play, catching a 10-yard seam in the middle of the field and matriculating it 20 more yards to the end zone with the second-team offense.
Also working with the second team at receiver is redshirt freshman Aundre Wright, who made a nice play to slide and catch of a Smith pass that was thrown low and behind him. Wright got time in three wide receiver sets with the second team offense and even saw minimal action in four-wide sets with the first team. Even so, Wannstedt said he wanted to make it a priority to get Wright more involved.
"We got to get him the ball," Wannstedt said. "We got to get him the ball and let him make plays."
A lot of that, Wannstedt said, will come in the scrimmage tomorrow at Pitt's South Side facility, its second of the spring and the last before the Blue-Gold game at Heinz Field April 19. Wannstedt said the format will follow basically the same the first did last week.
"For the most part it will be pretty similar to last week, with what players and how much each guy works," Wannstedt said. "We'll get McCoy tomorrow and get Scott McKillop [more plays] than last week."
Wannstedt also said he isn't concerned with getting the injured players back in any hurry.
"We could push it with a couple guys, but we're not going to," he said. "Derek Kinder, Jason Pinkston, [Chris] Jacobson, they've all taken big steps with regards to where they were two weeks ago, but we'll probably hold all those guys."
**More notes from practice**
Wannstedt said he's excited that Pitt's Blue-Gold scrimmage at 6 p.m. on April 19 will be televised nationally by the NFL Network. "I think it's going to be great for our program," he said. "It's a national broadcast, so you can call that recruit in Florida or in New Jersey and he gets to watch us" Wannstedt will also serve as color analyst for the broadcast. "And he gets to hear some expert commentary from the boss."
Wannstedt also talked about the progress of Ronald Hobby, an early-enrollee freshman defensive back who left high school in December to enroll at Pitt in January to practice with the team. Hobby saw some time late in last week's scrimmage.
"I'm very pleased with Ronny," Wannstedt said. "Where being here early will benefit him is in August. Right now he's lost, he's trying to feel his way. But in August, when the other freshman arrive and don't know where to line up, he's going to know the drills, know the defense and that's when coming in early will pay dividends. He's doing good in school. He's working really hard. I'm very pleased with him."