PITTSBURGH — Pitt training camp continues to roll on from the South Side, and the passing game seems to be rounding into form under first-year offensive coordinator Mark Whipple.
Junior quarterback Kenny Pickett has had a fine camp thus far and Friday was no different, as he looked poised and precise when throwing to wide receivers. Pickett continues to look the best of the quarterbacks in camp, consistently throwing catchable and accurate passes. Pickett is looking to improve on a 2019 campaign that saw him complete 58% of his passes and throw 12 touchdowns.
The wide receivers also seem to be more comfortable with the intricacies of Whipple’s offense. Senior wideout Tre Tipton especially stood out on Friday, running crisp routes and making clean catches. Tipton has dealt with injuries throughout his career at Pitt, but is looking to make his mark in his final season. Tipton caught two touchdown passes from Pickett in the spring game back in April, and has built off that performance throughout camp.
Pitt defensive backs worked on their hands with defensive coordinator Randy Bates, secondary coach Archie Collins and safeties coach Cory Sanders on Friday. The unit practiced breaking on the ball and jumping routes, as the Panthers inch closer to the start of the 2019 season.
Senior safety Damar Hamlin and senior cornerback Dane Jackson have looked good throughout camp, and Friday was no different. Hamlin and Jackson looked smooth during position drills. Sophomore Paris Ford has also had a stellar camp overall, but the usually sure-handed safety was unable to hang on to two passes during the drill on Friday.
The Pitt defensive line practiced avoiding cut blocks on Friday with defensive line coach Charlie Partridge. While the defensive line unit looked to be one of the better position groups for the Panthers heading into 2019, the season-ending injury suffered by junior Rashad Weaver will force some younger players into expanded roles this year. Pitt has talent across the defensive line, but the majority of that potential is untested. The team’s second scrimmage on Saturday will provide another opportunity for the coaching staff to see who rises to the top.
SIGHTS AND SOUNDS
Here are the rest of the sights and sounds from the 13th day of Pitt training camp.