PITTSBURGH — You may have noticed Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett running over to the sideline after each play this season.
If Pickett and coordinator Mark Whipple have their way, that will continue.
It’s not that the Panthers don’t have a system to signal plays in from the sideline. It’s just the preferred method of communication for coach and player.
Whipple, who has years of offensive coaching under his belt, says that he’s always done it this way.
“Kenny likes it better,” Whipple said Tuesday. “Some guys like wristbands … Some guys don’t. They are comfortable with it. You can get a couple little comments in and I think that helps him with things.”
Pickett is coming off a career game at Penn State and looked to be in command of the offense, throwing for 372 yards on 35-51 passing. Pickett was two completions off of the Pitt record (37) set by Alex Van Pelt in 1990.
“We don’t have a full-blown conversation, but I can tell him something I just saw or vice versa,” Pickett said. “It’s like the NFL, how you get the play in your helmet, you hear the play before anyone else. So, as I’m going back to the huddle, I’m kind of going through my mind with my progressions of what I have to do for the play.”
Pickett doesn’t like the idea of having to wear a wristband, or anything of that nature. The junior quarterback feels like this gives him the most comfort while going about dissecting a defense.
“I like it a lot better than having to do the whole number system with the wristband,” said Pickett. “Last year was tough, coming to the line of scrimmage with ten seconds left, with trying to read the defense. Now we are coming to the line with 20 seconds left and I have more time to dissect what we are getting.”
Pickett did reference that a fatigue issue could come into play, but for the most part, has felt fine in going about it this way.
“Coach Andrews [Pitt’s strength and conditioning coach] does a good job getting me ready for it,” said Pickett. “The one time I was out of breath was when I scrambled to the other sideline on like the 13-play drive and I had to come the whole way back and that was probably the only time.”