Pitt Practice Report 15

During the last day of spring practice leading up to the Blue and Gold game, Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt said he and the coaching staff had a good idea of what players will fit in what spots. But no matter what, he said, they could still use some more time.

"We need 15 more of these," Wannstedt said. "[But] I'm sure that every coach around the country would say that."

Pittsburgh's last practice moved along much like they have the past four weeks. The defense held the upper hand throughout, with spurts of offensive success in-between.

As he has been all spring, tight end Dorin Dickerson was one of the main targets on the field. In early 11-on-11 drills, Dickerson found himself matched up with safety Eric Thatcher one-on-one. Dickerson made a move, cut right and pulled in lobbed pass in the corner of the endzone for a touchdown.

Mo Williams also got into the mix, catching several balls for solid gains. In red-zone drills, Pat Bostick connected with Williams for a touchdown on the right side. Kevan Smith entered next, and completed two passes in a row to Williams.

The coaching staff then mixed things up a bit, keeping the first-team defensive line and corners but subbing in freshman linebackers Greg Williams and Max Gruder alongside Shane Murray. Facing this set was Bostick and running back Shariff Harris with the first-team offense. Harris tore through the line on one play then broke outside and down the left sideline for about 15 yards.

Wannstedt said tailback LeSean McCoy will be limited during Saturday's scrimmage, this means more runs for Harris and Kevin Collier, who both are battling for the third spot. Wannstedt also said he would be careful with Bill Stull.

"We'll use McCoy. He'll be limited but we will get him a little bit of work early. And we'll probably put a red jersey on Billy Stull. The rest of the quarterbacks will be live. [But] today, if we were playing, Billy would start."

Although Stull again took most of the snaps during Thursday's practice, Greg Cross saw some more time and had success both running and throwing.

After a play-fake, Cross darted to the left and scrambled for about 15 yards on his first play from scrimmage. He then dropped back and hit Dickerson across the middle, he then broke up the right sideline and weaved between three defenders back towards the middle.

After that came the two-minute drill. Stull completed his first pass to Cedric McGee, who turned his head and fell forward for nine yards.

Wannstedt said out of all the players in the spring, McGee has been one of the best.

"In my mind he's had an excellent spring," Wannstedt said of McGee. "He's kind of an unsung player around here from a performance standpoint because he hasn't had many opportunities. [But] every time we've called his number he's responded."

But after connecting with McGee, Stull struggled to find a rhythm. He ran for the first down then threw a short pass to Shane Brooks before being intercepted by Jovani Chappel on the left side. During the next series, Stull floated a pass towards Oderick Turner which was intercepted by Aaron Berry.

But it wasn't just Stull. No quarterback could find success running the two-minute offense, and went scoreless throughout the entire drill. The defense line had constant pressure on the quarterbacks again, which had something to do with it.

Wannstedt said before practice that even after all this time, he's still not satisfied with where the offensive line stands.

"We've got a ways to go there," Wannstedt said. "I wish I could stand here and tell you that we're close."

Something making life tough for the offensive line has been the defensive line. Wannstedt said tackle Mick Williams has impressed him as much as anyone on the team.

"He's been as dominant a player on either side of the ball as what we've had around here any spring I've been here," he said. "That was real good to see."

Wannstedt said the first half of Saturday's Blue and Gold game will consist of two 12 minute quarters. There will be a running clock in the second half, and the quarter lengths will be decided then.

He added that he expects it to be a big recruiting weekend and hopes the coverage from the NFL Network will help. Wannstedt will be in the booth providing analysis.

"We'll have some fun with it," he said. "Hopefully it will be informative to the listeners. [And] we're going to have a bunch of NFL guys that'll be coming through. "


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