No Redshirt, No Problem

Even though all he did was hand off three times and take a knee to end Pitt's big win at Navy, sophomore quarterback Pat Bostick's status was the main topic of discussion immediately afterward.

Coach Dave Wannstedt previously left the Pittsburgh backup quarterback situation up in the air, listing Pat Bostick even with redshirt sophomore Kevan Smith and junior Greg Cross. It was widely believed that Bostick would best be served by a redshirt this season unless starter Bill Stull was seriously injured.

Wannstedt burned that redshirt, at least for this season, by putting Bostick in for mop-up duty. But that certainly appeared to be OK for the quarterback, even though others might feel differently.

"I can understand it, but whatever the circumstances are I've got to be ready to play,'' Bostick said. "At the end of the game or after the first play in the game ... I'm totally supportive of what the coaching staff says, and they say that I need to get reps for whatever reason.

"The important thing is that I'm not worried about the future right now, and this team's not worried about the future. We're worried about right now. And I think it's natural for people to think about the future, and questions could arise as a result of what happened. But it's also important to know my mindset.

"I'm preparing to help this team every week,'' Bostick added, "and whatever the circumstances are for me to go on the field that's what I'm prepared to do. And that's what I'm here to do. That's what I want to do. I want to play, and whatever the other circumstances are, then, that's what they are.''

There's still some speculation about Pitt's quarterback situation for the future, be it immediate or down the road, and that certainly is up for debate. Stull has one more season of eligibility and so does Cross, but he also has a redshirt available.

Bostick and Smith will have junior eligibility next season, but Bostick still has a redshirt available. Freshman Tino Sunseri definitely is redshirting this year, and he could be a factor in Pitt's future quarterback situation.

"It's way too early to think about that,'' Wannstedt said. "The discussion was, and is, that we're trying to do everything we can to give our team the best chance to win this year. I think if Pat's going to be the backup quarterback, if Bill got hurt on the first snap, then we'd expect Pat to go in.

"He's got to have some playing time, and he hasn't taken a snap since last year. So, that was the thinking behind it. It wasn't the redshirt or anything else. It was what gives our team the best chance to win. And that being the case, how do we prepare to do that?''

Even though Bostick played in 10 games as a freshman last fall with eight starts, he pointed out that his last game was Dec. 1, 2007. Bostick completed 61.5 percent of his passes for 1,500 yards with eight touchdowns and 13 interceptions, but his last game was more than 10 months ago. So, any playing time this season is a good thing.

"You get the experience of getting out there and being able to look around to see everybody,'' Stull said. "It's a lot different than practice. You can simulate the noise, but you can't simulate seeing all the people out there and hearing them screaming and yelling. Just getting out there on the field is different than being on the practice field, so in that aspect you get to experience that.''

For Bostick's part, he certainly said all the right things during his media session Tuesday. And he's been nothing but a team player since he returned from a brief training-camp absence last year, noting that whatever the coaches ask him to do he'll do that for the betterment of the team.

"I don't like to ask a lot of questions or turn it into being about a me-type thing,'' Bostick said. "But I've taken the bulk of the second-team work, and I'm preparing every week like I prepared last year and like I always prepare. (A redshirt) was mentioned, but whenever you've got a redshirt option and you're not the starter, there's always a possibility that you might be redshirting.

"But every game might be 14-13. So, it was mentioned that it might be a possibility, but the focus of myself, this coaching staff and this team has always been to win a championship and put a good product out on Saturdays. It's hard to think about (redshirting) when you're going into a game and you're one play away (from playing).''

So, Bostick basically has not been thinking about redshirting this season.

"That takes the focus off what you want to be focusing on,'' Bostick said. "And my focus has always been to help this team win football games and to win a championship. I almost think that a redshirt is almost an afterthought, not really, but it's something that happens after the season.

"It really shouldn't be discussed during the season, in my opinion, unless someone is clearly in a position for it like being hurt. But after the season, once you've been in every game and everything has unfolded, it's appropriate to discuss then. Whether they tell you that you're going to redshirt or not, you've still got to prepare to fulfill your role.

"And my role is as the backup quarterback on this team,'' Bostick added. "And that's to prepare to help Bill, be positive in practice and help this team win football games. So, that's the primary focus for every football player, and if it's not someone's focus then they don't belong here.''

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