Pitt Training Camp Reports Day 1: Tuesday Practice By Dale Grdnic PITTSBURGH — There were two changes to Pitt’s depth chart during the Wednesday morning practice, as Tino Sunseri switched sessions with Pat Bostick at quarterback, while Chris Jacobson started at left offensive guard for Joe Thomas. Fifth-year senior Bill Stull remained the starting quarterback for Pittsburgh, but junior Pat Bostick moved to the afternoon session. And redshirt freshman Tino Sunseri worked out in the morning with mostly second-team reps, but he had some with the first group as well. Chris Jacobson, a redshirt sophomore, basically switched spots with senior Joe Thomas at left offensive guard. Thomas was the first-team guard the first day, but Jacobson took that spot Wednesday morning. “We just flip-flopped them,” Pitt offensive line coach Tony Wise said. “Those two are pretty close, and we wanted to get them both a good look with the onesRead More »
By Dale Grdnic PITTSBURGH — Pitt football coach Dave Wannstedt believed Tuesday’s split-team practice sessions were a good indication about the disparity between the Panthers’ veteran players Tuesday morning and the underclassmen in the afternoon. The Pitt starters and second-team players competed in the morning session, while all but two freshmen were in the afternoon. Tailback Dion Lewis and wideout Devin Street from the 2009 frosh class were in the morning. “I would summarize Day 1 by saying that I was very encouraged this morning from an execution standpoint,” Wannstedt said. “It was very obvious this morning that we weren’t playing with a bunch of first-year players. The guys came out and were focused in all areas. “And the execution, the only balls to hit the ground were by two freshmen. … The afternoon was not quite as sharp, but we had the freshmen and most of the first-year players.Read More »
By Dale Grdnic PITTSBURGH — Even though media members covering the Big East voted the Pitt football team as the one to beat for the Conference title this season, Panthers coach Dave Wannstedt admitted that there were as many as five teams which could receive the league’s BCS berth with his group certainly in the mix. Wannstedt, addressing a large crowd during Pittsburgh’s football media day Monday morning, added that he was as confident as ever in the Panthers going into his fifth season at the helm of his alma mater. “I think we’ve got a good feel for things,” Wannstedt said. “The quarterback position a year ago, Billy (fifth-year senior Bill Stull) was coming in as a first-time starter. Now, Billy has started. We know what were dealing with, and we have a better feel for him.” Stull, the incumbent starter, joins junior Pat Bostick as the only twoRead More »
By Dale Grdnic LATROBE, Pa. — Mike Tomlin has preached about position flexibility since he was hired as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ head coach more than two years ago, and second-year defensive back Roy Lewis appears to epitomize that player. Lewis is listed as a second-year cornerback on the Steelers’ roster, but he noted that repetitions on both outside spots, as well as free and strong safety, should make him more valuable when the final 53-man group is developed. “Coach Tomlin puts a lot of emphasis and pressure on second-year players like myself to take that next step in their development and really show what we can do,” Lewis said. “There’s no question that it’s tough to learn everything about all four positions in the secondary, but I’m coming along pretty well. “The thing is, it takes time, but I’m getting a better understanding about what this defense is about justRead More »
By Dale Grdnic LATROBE, Pa. — Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin made sure his younger players knew that it was unacceptable to coast through a practice session where the focus was on them, so it was no surprise that the veterans followed the Saturday morning training camp practice with a solid workout that afternoon at Saint Vincent College. There were several 11-on-11 sessions during the afternoon, as well as a spirited linemen versus linemen drill that added a new wrinkle. Instead of the defensive linemen and outside linebackers going against the offensive front in one-on-one situations, two pass-rushers and two blockers were utilized. “That was just a little different wrinkle we put in there, and I thought it went pretty well,” Steelers veteran defensive line coach John Mitchell said. “We have a lot of young guys on both sides of the line, and it’s a real good drill for themRead More »
By Dale Grdnic Photo: David Hague – Inside Pittsburgh Sports LATROBE, Pa. — Wideout Shaun McDonald was quick to correct, noting that he has dropped a pass during the first training camp week at Saint Vincent College, as two reporters believed it appeared that the veteran free agent caught everything thrown his way by the Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterbacks.
By Dale Grdnic LATROBE, Pa. — At 6-foot-1 and 245 pounds, Lawrence Timmons now looks the part, but it remains to be seen if he can play a starring role. Timmons, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ No. 1 pick in 2007, has bulked up a bit and worked hard since then and is poised to replace Larry Foote as a starting inside linebacker for the NFL’s No. 1-ranked defense. And it’s not a role that the third-year player takes lightly. “I know it looks like the job was handed to me, but it’s really not,” Timmons said. “I have to go out there and perform every day on the field, in practice and in the games, but that’s nothing I haven’t been doing for years. Playing football hasn’t changed that much for me.” After several minor injuries and limited production as a rookie, the 23-year-old Timmons played in every game last seasonRead More »
By Dale Grdnic Photo: David Hague – Inside Pittsburgh Sports LATROBE, Pa. — While there was no goal-line drill, the estimated record crowd of 15,000 to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers Friday night at Latrobe High School’s Memorial Stadium were still thrilled with every pass in the 11-on-11 drills and the hard-hitting backs on backers competition. Steelers coach Mile Tomlin, however, was a little more critical.