PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Pirates made headlines for their use of biometric data in order to determine that their starting pitchers needed a rest after pitching in the altitude in Colorado earlier this month.
Closer to sea level, the same type of data is being used by Pitt to determine which football players are getting overworked during the team’s month-long training camp.
“Every day, we have GPS’s out there trying to manage how our guys physically are doing and who’s worked too much,” head coach Pat Narduzzi said before practice Wednesday. “Today, we need to slow back on some other guys just so we don’t overwork them.”
The program, implemented by strength and conditioning coach Dave Andrews and his assistants Austin Addington-Strapp and Freddie Walker, isn’t new to the Panthers, but with the news of the death of Maryland player Jordan McNair this summer, those types of protocols have come into increased focus.
“I think the GPS’s are a big-time tool,” Narduzzi said. “Our strength staff, Austin Addington-Strapp works with Coach Andrews and Freddie. They really get a good analysis of where we are there.”
SIGHTS AND SOUNDS
Here are the rest of Narduzzi’s pre-practice comments along with the rest of the sights and sounds of Wednesday’s practice.
ONE EXTRA YARD
Running backs coach Andre Powell had his charges focused on gaining one extra yard during practice on Wednesday, lining up his backs against a pair of defenders and having them dip low and drive through the wall.
Last season, Pitt needed one more yard on offense to beat Virginia Tech, but came up short on three tries and failed to get bowl eligible as a result.
It seems that’s a big part of the teaching leading into 2018. Here’s Powell and the backs working on Wednesday, including my first up-close look at walk-on freshman fullback Jason “Truck” Edwards, who looks every bit the part so far.