Youth and inexperience is something that’s prevalent throughout the various positions on Pitt’s 2019 offense.
The running backs are all talented and highly rated but no one has made a college start. On the offensive line, aside from center Jimmy Morrissey no one is long in the tough and the same can be said at the tight end position.
Wide receiver is the one position that Pat Narduzzi has seniors as well as players that have started and also have been productive inside the stadium on Saturday afternoon’s.
Pitt returns starters Taysir Mack and Maurice Ffrench, has veterans in Tre Tipton and Aaron Mathews and has a roster full of young talent in Dontavius Butler-Jenkins, Shocky Jacques-Louis, Michael Smith, V’Lique Carter and Cameron O’Neil.
Unlike with last year’s offensive system, many believe that the new approach and play-calling of Mark Whipple will showcase this group of players skill set and no one is more excited than Pitt’s new wide receivers coach Chris Beatty.
On Wednesday afternoon, Beatty met with the local media and talked in depth about various members on his depth chart and what might lie ahead in 2019.
Starting Duo of Mack and Ffrench: “I think those guys have had a great camp. I think those two have unlimited potential and can be as good as any group in the conference. We just have to get them to get better at the small details, the route running and the things of that nature. They’ve really listened well in what we’re trying to get done. I’m really happy with where they are and think they have a chance to be really good.”
Veteran Helping Out The Young Receivers: “They’ve been outstanding. Aaron Mathews as well, Tre Tipton, all those guys have been great. They’ve accepted me, have accepted the way I coach, the way we’re trying to do things with the changes in Coach Whipple’s offense. They’ve been really receptive to that and just want to get better every day and want to be a part of helping us win instead of feeling like they’re just watching us win. I’ve been really happy with them.”
Role For Aaron Mathews in 2019: “He’s a big guy that we can use in a variety of ways: inside, outside, tighter alignments. He’s really smart and receptive and anything you teach him in the classroom, it goes over to the field. I think he’s one of those guys that we can use in multiple spots because of his size and length and his knowledge puts him in a position to know what to do.”
Tre Tipton: “He’s been awesome. He’s really been detailed in his work. He’s had a really great attitude. He plays like a vet and he’s smart. He’s been coached. Coach Sherman did a nice job with those guys before I got here. It’s about trying to take them up to another level. He’s been outstanding as a leader for the younger guys and has been outstanding all the way around.”
The Younger Group of Receivers: “A lot of potential. I really like Dontavius. He does a lot of things. He’s a big, strong, physical guy with strong hands. He’s a gym rat. He’s always around, watching film and doing those things. I’m really happy with him. I think Shocky has great speed, Michael has great size and they’re all trying to learn and getter better at their craft. All those guys have had their moments, now we just have to get them consistent so that they’re doing it on a consistent basis as opposed to every other day or every third day.”
Good Mix Of Players: “You don’t want to be a bunch of one thing. I’ve had that in the past. You want to different ranges. You want to have guys with size that can go after the jump ball and have a variety to be able to have a change of pace and have different personel groupings in order to put people on their heals. I like the way we are and think we have a nice blend of big guys and quicker guys. We really don’t have any small guys. I’ve always been taught big guys beat little guys and we have our share of those. I’ve really been happy with the way the roster has been constructed.”
See More Of Mack and Ffrench Stretching The Defense? “Without a doubt. Our offense plays into what we’re trying to do. Down the field you want to be able to stretch the defense both horizontally and vertically and those guys will give us a chance to do that.”