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Narduzzi Post Practice Notes

The Pitt football team finished its third practice of the fall and today will be the final day they’ll practice without pads. Tomorrow morning, business and practice will really begin.

As he does daily, head coach Pat Narduzzi spoke with the media and here are some of the highlights from todays gathering:

During the first 3 practices, Narduzzi and offensive line coach John Peterson have switched up line combinations. Will that continue or will Pitt and stick with 5 guys for at least a few practices?

“As coaches, that’s what we do. You have to have competition in camp. In different spots there is better competition than others, but we’re going to tinker- offensive line especially. Jaryd Jones-Smith looked really good yesterday. It’s kind of like – wow- where’s he going to be? We’re going to continue to find those spots on the offensive line and see who’s where,” said Narduzzi.

Offensive lineman running snap drills during the first practice of the season (Photo Credit: David Hague)

Offensive lineman running snap drills during the first practice of the season (Photo by: David Hague)

How much competition is there in the secondary?

“I think those battles will continue. I think it’s too early. You’re not changing too much on the depth chart on day done or day two. I tired to look for some changes yesterday, and I didn’t get much  out of the staff when we had our meeting. It’s hard for me to say in your shorts if you can make the tackle,  or if you would have made that play. It comes down to you either do it or you don’t. Until you go live it’s hard to move too many guys around the depth chart, but you’re seeing good things and bad things and guys are pointed out,” said Narduzzi.

Could a freshman emerge as a starter at cornerback?

“Yeah, it is. There’s a lot of competition out there. Damar, Henry Miller, and Therran Coleman are some of the young guys, but some of the other guys like Malik Henderson, who has shown some improvement from a year ago, are physical. We aren’t tackling, but you can see that he is snapping on people. The weight room has really helped him this offseason, and Dane Jackson has really done a nice job. Those are two guys who are redshirt freshmen that are not only going to help us on special this year, but are fighting to get a role in the defense,” said Narduzzi.

#9 Jordan Whitehead (Photo by: Alan Saunders)

#9 Jordan Whitehead (Photo by: Alan Saunders)

How’s Jordan Whitehead’s knee after off-season surgery?

“He looks like a million dollars out there. He really looks good. We’ve got to keep him healthy. It was a very minor surgery. I saw minor because I’ve had some major ones. I’ve had some major issues, but it was a minor thing that we were able to catch and just clean it up. He could have probably gone without it, but he looks really good,” said Narduzzi.

Jordan Whitehead & Malik Henderson during the first day of practice (Photo by: David Hague)

Jordan Whitehead & Malik Henderson during the first day of practice (Photo by: David Hague)

On how Rachid Ibrahim’s doing after missing last season due to injury.

“He looks good. I was him about him limping a little bit, but he was like, ‘Coach, you limp too.’ He looks good. He has not been slowed down at all by it.”

When will the game-planning start for the Villanova game?

“We’ve already game planned for Villanova, as well as a few other teams. We’ve watched tape on every opponent. We’ve got a lot of our game plan already in. A lot of the things that we are doing in our game plan we have already installed, so we don’t have a problem. We don’t want to install it the week before the game. A lot of the first things we’ll install are based on who you are playing the first two games. That way, nothing is changing. Unless you guys go to their scrimmage, we’re not going to see what they do.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker

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