PITTSBURGH — Pitt broke out its new practice jerseys on Tuesday, which brought a new form of energy and excitement to the Panthers’ South Side facility.
Over the weekend, Pitt officially made the switch to royal blue and gold for their uniforms throughout every sport. At practice, the football team was wearing their new practice uniforms with bright colors that stood out during a warm, sunny April morning.
Throughout the 2018 season, Pitt’s practice jerseys looked as if they had been worn since the days of Larry Fitzgerald. In addition to being old and beat up, they had plain block lettering and didn’t match their game jerseys.
Tuesday, the new practice jerseys and colors seemed to bring jolts of energy and excitement. The new blue and gold colors, with contrasting trim — blue trim on the white jerseys and yellow trim on the blue jerseys — the new panther logo and the new Cathedral based font made for a better-looking practice scene.
THE GRASS IS GREENER
With the wonderful weather, Pitt once again practice outdoors on Tuesday after also being outside on Thursday.
There aren’t a lot of differences in Pitt’s practice routine when they move from inside to outside, but one of the big ones is the playing surface.
The indoor facility Pitt shares with the Steelers is, of course, turf, as is one of Pitt’s two outdoor fields. But the final field is seeded with grass, as is Pitt’s home turf on Saturdays at Heinz Field.
That makes the ability to work outside an important thing for those positions that make footwork a priority. On Tuesday, Pitt’s wide receivers and offensive linemen were both working on drill to keep their footwork clean as they prepare for to play at Heinz Field in the Blue-Gold game on Saturday.
Pitt rotated running backs extensively in 2018, with Darrin Hall and Qadree Ollison each finishing with over 1,000 yards. Over their four-year careers together, they also appeared one the field at the same time a good bit, particularly in 2017, when fullback George Aston missed almost the entire season with an injury.
Pitt seemingly has ready-made replacements for the departed running backs in A.J. Davis and Todd Sibley, but they don’t seem to have a George Aston type on the roster.
So it follows that Pitt might use more twin-back sets in 2019. The backs and quarterbacks were practicing routes out of that alignment on Tuesday.
SIGHTS AND SOUNDS
Here are the rest of the sights and sounds from Pitt’s spring practice No. 12.