Pitt WR Corps Displays Depth

Pitt practiced Wednesday morning without its top two wideouts, fifth-year senior Derek Kinder and junior T.J. Porter, who were injured during Tuesday's practice and were not available for Wednesday morning's camp practice when the Panthers went outside on the far turf field despite mostly overcast skies.

Derek Kinder, attempting to come back from reconstructive knee surgery after tearing the ACL in his right knee during the first week at last year's camp, tweaked the knee in a non-contact passing drill. T.J. Porter, who had five starts and 35 catches last fall, had a slight left ankle turn.

"Those guys are a little banged up,'' Pittsburgh wideouts coach Bryan Bossard said. "T.J. got it rolled up on, and it's a little sore today. But I think he's going to be fine. It's not a break or tear, just a bruise right now.

"Derek, he felt pretty decent (Tuesday), but I told him ... it's been about a year since he played and had a two-hour practice. So, it's a little bit sore today. He looked fine, a little rusty, but with a little WD-40 he'll be all right.''

With the increase in reps in the morning, redshirt juniors Oderick Turner and Cedric McGee took advantage with several nice catches. Turner went up on cornerback Aaron Berry to pull down a toss from quarterback Bill Stull. Berry probably would have lit him up if it was a contact drill, but Turner made a nice grab. McGee also ran sharp routes, and Stull found him in the open field.

Redshirt freshman Aaron Smith, who practiced in the afternoon Tuesday, was called up for the morning workout Wednesday to add some depth.

"We brought up Aaron, and he did a good job,'' Bossard said. "Ced has been very stead, and I'm very excited about that. Oderick, his game has increased during the first two practices, because he sees there's a lot of competition. And we haven't even talked about the young guys. I'm very happy with (Jonathan) Baldwin, (Michael) Shanahan and (Cameron) Saddler. They've got some ability.''

McGee had a big catch where he turned around sophomore safety Dom DeCicco, much to the chagrin of defensive coordinator Phil Bennett. DeCicco had a rough sequence. Tight end Nate Byham also hauled in a Stull pass in front of him. DeCicco still has his left hand and wrist wrapped to protect it after an offseason procedure, but he said it's no problem. The injury won't force him to miss any practice time, but it remains to be seen how well he can tackle.

While the Pitt secondary and linebacking corps had problems covering the receivers, the front line was dominant. Mick Williams and Rashaad Duncan, in particular, penetrated the backfield on nearly every play. This caused running problems for tailback LeSean McCoy, who was bottled up most of the practice.

Note Sophomore Jabaal Sheard started at left defensive end, opposite redshirt sophomore Greg Romeus, as Doug Fulmer was not available. There was no reason given for his absence.

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