PITTSBURGH — As Pitt’s training camp rolls into its third full week, the Panthers’ two-deep depth chart is coming into focus.
On Wednesday, I took a look at the newcomers on the offensive side of the ball. Here’s some of the new additions that are getting looks on the defensive side of the ball:
DT Jaylen Twyman The big redshirt freshman from Washington, D.C. is going to be a force in the middle some day, and while Pitt has a solid returning crew that includes Keyshon Camp, Shane Roy and Amir Watts, but the youngster is going to be a big part of that rotation in more ways that one.
DE John Morgan It’s a crowded house at defensive end for Pitt right now, with three returning co-starters joined by Patrick Jones. But last year, Pitt played five ends, and Morgan and recently converted linebacker Chase Pine are the best bets to be No. 5.
CB Paris Ford Ford is going to play all over the place, but he’ll most likely be listed on the depth chart at cornerback.
CB Marquis Williams The Florida native told me he wanted to make an early impact, and it seems that he has done just that so far. Ford will make four corners on the two-deep, with CB/FS Therran Coleman floating around, too, but Williams has probably done enough to get himself in the conversation.
SIGHTS AND SOUNDS
Photographer David Hague joined the action on Thursday, so here’s a quick look at his work, along with post-practice interviews with defensive backs coach Archie Collins, running backs coach and special teams coordinator Andre Powell and wide receiver Maurice Ffrench.
PARIS IN THE FALL?
Where else might Ford turn up? Would you believe long snapper? Ford said he’s played there before, and Pitt has a history of long snapper trick plays, with Nate Bossory catching a touchdown pass against Virginia Tech last season.
So does that mean Ford is in line to replace Bossory, who has since graduated? Powell is playing it close to the vest.
Paris Ford said he has experience as a long snapper. #Pitt scored a TD on a trick long snapper play last season.
— Alan Saunders (@ASaunders_PGH) August 16, 2018
Collins said he has ongoing battles at every position right now in Pitt’s secondary. It seems like as many as 11 defensive backs could see the field for the Panthers, with several positions rotating three deep.
That also means he’s a bit more comfortable playing more than four defensive backs. Dennis Briggs has been the Delta safety for two seasons, and last year Therran Coleman played a good bit of nickel. With even more depth and experienced depth, there could be more five-DB sets in the mix for Pitt this season.