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Sights & Sounds: Light Morning Ahead of Pitt’s Evening Scrimmage



Pitt offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti Jr. on Backyard Brawl.

PITTSBURGH — It remains to be seen if Pitt will actually shuttle down to Acrisure Stadium tonight for its first scrimmage of the summer, but wherever it takes place, the pads will pop tonight.

There were just shells this morning as Pitt took the field at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, running a lighter, 90-minute session to get the juices flowing.

I haven’t mentioned Phil Jurkovec a whole lot in these Sights & Sounds posts, but he’s been Pitt’s most consistent quarterback that I’ve seen — and that’s just in the drills available to the media, of course.

Jurkovec and Christian Veilleux are often mentioned together, with Narduzzi sometimes bringing up Nate Yarnell’s name, but it’s clear that Jurkovec is the guy. If it wasn’t already.

Veilleux, to his credit, is doing well in camp. He said earlier this week that he’s way ahead of where was in the spring when it comes to comfortability in the offense, and that will continue to show as he grows even more familiar. Jurkovec does have the edge in experience there.

Konata Mumpfield, Bub Means and Daejon Reynolds have established the new starting trio. All three have looked good this summer, too. It’s just camp, but we are seeing encouraging signs from a wide receiving corps that was legitimately a question marking entering camp. Part of the progression is because of the continued growth from the kids.

It was Zion Fowler-El and Kenny Johnson who were taking reps right behind the Mumpfield, Means and Reynolds Friday. Izzy Polk has been a bit banged up, Narduzzi said, but he got back into the action on Friday, and I’ve loved what I’ve continued to see from Lamar Seymore.

Che Nwabuko’s speed is something that teams will have to account for if he’s able to crack the receiving rotation, too.

I like what I’m seeing from the tight ends as well. Gavin Bartholomew and Karter Johnson are large human beings, but Malcolm Epps is a giant out there. That doesn’t mean he’ll make an instant impact, but he’s a pretty smooth runner for his size. I can see all three guys playing in 2023.

I’m looking forward to Tuesday’s practice next week to hear how the scrimmage goes.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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