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Sights and Sounds: Interesting Guests and Defensive Wins At Spring Practice



PITTSBURGH — Pat Narduzzi wasn’t the only head coach at Pitt’s practice Tuesday morning.

As Pitt took the field for the first time since Saturday’s scrimmage, with the defense still wearing the winner’s blue jerseys (that’s back-to-back wins), Narduzzi was joined by a current and former head coach — and a program legend.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin watched a bit of practice with Narduzzi while former Georgia Tech head coach Geoff Collins made his way around the sideline, interacting with coaches and players.

Aaron Donald, who is back training in Pittsburgh once again, was watching practice, too. You know, it’s not a bad way to market the program.

But of course, there was also football being played on the South Side. The sessions available to the media don’t showcase a whole lot, mostly punt work, but we got to see some throwing, some running and some catching.

There were two blocked punts during Tuesday’s punting session. That’s less than ideal when there were three (four if you count a self-blocked punt) last season.

We know for sure now that Jeff Yurk and Caleb Junko are competing for that starting spot right now, and while each have shown some progress this spring, it was certainly a mixed bag Tuesday. It’s coming along, as Andre Powell says.

And it was yet another day of Phil Jurkovec and Christian Veilleux trading reps with the 1s. Nate Yarnell, as I’ve continued to mention, looks good. He’s a good quarterback. Ty Dieffenbach has shown some improvement, too.

Narduzzi said earlier this spring that it’s a loaded quarterback room, and while I wouldn’t go that far, there is some legitimate talent in the room.

There’s not much change with the wide receivers either. It’s Konata Mumpfield, Bub Means, Daejon Reynolds and Myles Alston right now. Means, especially though, is very noticeable throughout practice. If it’s not making a nice catch, it’s the way he flits around the group as a leader.

He does look much more comfortable in Year 2 than he did in Year 1.

The running backs worked a bit with the quarterbacks, too, but it was also inconsistent in the passing game. There were a few drops here and there. It will be interesting to see which running back emerges as a true receiving threat.

Rodney Hammond is the guy, but we’ll see if C’Bo Flemister or Derrick Davis can earn some passing reps.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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