PITTSBURGH — The Pitt Panthers have completed Day 1 of spring practice and we were there to bring you all the highlights. Here are the sights and sounds from Thursday’s session.
Pitt secondary coach Renaldo Hill (that’s a change from years past, when he was simply the cornerbacks coach) works on jamming redshirt freshman wide receiver Ruben Flowers. In the background, you’ll notice that former Pitt linebacker Mike Caprara is sticking around with the team. I’m not sure what his official title is, but he’ll be doing some kind of work with the team, at least through the spring.
Here’s are first look at new defensive line coach Charlie Partridge. Partridge was the head coach at FAU for the last three seasons, but he’s returned to Pittsburgh, where he was the defensive line coach from 2003 to 2007.
Australian punter Kirk Christodoulou was heaving kicks alongside returning senior Ryan Winslow, with Quadree Henderson, Avonte Maddox and Rafael Araujo-Lopes returning them. Senior tight end Nate Bossory was long-snapping for the punters, while walk-on redshirt freshman Conrad Brake was snapping for kicker Alex Kessman. Ben DiNucci was working as the holder.
This is a defensive drill I haven’t seen Pitt do before. They focus is on pursuit of the play to the sideline and then hurrying back into the set position for the next snap of the ball.
The team seemed to be holding center tryouts, as five offensive lineman were practicing snapping the ball under the eyes of offensive coordinator Shawn Watson and offensive line coach John Peterman.
It’s worth noting that returning starting center Alex Officer was not one of the players involved. It appears he has moved to left guard. Conor Dintino, the most likely starter at center, was joined by starting right guard Alex Bookser and walk-ons Kyle Benbrook, Alex Galiyas and Jimmy Morrissey.
This is also a first look at quarterbacks Max Browne, Kenny Pickett and Jake Zilinskas.
Finally, here’s a new drill for the offensive line, as graduate assistant James Patton and senior Jaryd Jones-Smith work with true freshman Jerry Drake and redshirt freshman Bryce Hargrove on staying low by using a medicine ball.