PITTSBURGH — Pitt’s receivers and tight ends had some momentum stopping dropped passes in their 16-12 loss on Saturday against Miami.
This has been a mild issue all season, but with the struggles of making it into the end zone against the Hurricanes, the drops became more magnified.
Tight ends coach Tim Salem thinks that talking about the drops, just makes the situation that much more negative. He is aware of where his group (the tight ends) need to improve, but says that it only becomes a real issue for the team if his players make it one.
“It’s just practice,” Salem said of getting better at catching. “I never want to make an issue of it. The bottom line is — I don’t want negative talk (about the players dropping passes).”
Pitt found more production out of the running game against Miami as it was the first time that they had rushed for more yards than they threw for (176 and 146 yards).
“Obviously, we’ve dropped some balls — whether it’s one pass or one hundred, it’s still a drop,” Salem said.
Even though the drops have become more prevalent in the last few weeks, the message is still the same.
“I would say probably, from a couple weeks ago — from our head coach, right on down, (the message) has been very positive,” Salem said on guys making mistakes on the field. “‘Let’s stay focused on the moment. If something screws up — Keep moving and don’t slow down.'”
Salem says that it’s not a mental thing, “until I start talking about it”.
“We caught a lot of balls out there today and didn’t have one problem,” Salem said. “If I start making it a problem — Then it is a problem. I’m going to make them feel good.”
This is the same stance that head coach Pat Narduzzi took on Monday.
“You talk to them, I don’t think you yell at them,” Narduzzi said. “It’s no different than a field goal kicker — You put your arm around them and (try) to get the best out of them.”
Pitt will look to take this positive mindset and move on and look to improve. This Saturday in Atlanta will be a perfect place to put the struggles in the rear view mirror as they remain in the hunt for the ACC Coastal title.