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Sights & Sounds: Pitt Has Lighter Day in Spider Pads



PITTSBURGH — With Pitt in the spider pads for Wednesday’s light practice, there wasn’t a whole lot to write home about. You can only do so much without the pads on.

But you know the worst part? After the six scheduled media periods on Wednesday, the period announced over the loudspeaker — which I don’t think that I’m able to name — is one that I really would’ve liked to stay for.

Such is life on the college football beat.

It looks as if just about every Pitt defensive back has a ‘takeaway’ sticker at this point. Stephon Hall and P.J. O’Brien Jr. have quite a few takeaway stickers slapped across their helmets. M.J. Devonshire’s helmet is one more takeaway sticker away from looking the helmet of a four-year starting quarterback at Ohio State. There are that many stickers slapped on there.

It makes sense when you think about Devonshire making an ESPN-worthy interception just about every live session or scrimmage. Narduzzi said he’s playing cornerback like a wide receiver right now.

Takeaways are good. They’re a big part of the reason why Pitt’s defense won Saturday’s scrimmage.

Tiquan Underwood talked last week about how he’s still finding the right balance between coaching his wide receivers in a competitive, positive manner (which is just who Underwood is as a person) and knowing when he has to drop the hammer and use some tough love. He’s a young wide receivers coach still learning the ropes himself at times.

But it’s very easy to see the love and trust that he’s built with the freshmen wideouts. He talked about how he’s seen the young guys become more and more comfortable in the meeting room, growing into more than just observers in the room, and you can see that growing on the field, too.

Kenny Johnson, Zion Fowler-El, Lamar Seymore and Izzy Polk are all actively involved in drills, often taking reps right up there with the starting unit and not looking out of place.

It’s been said before and it will be said again, but it really was one helluva job to find and recruit all four wideouts but also development in a way that could lead to legitimate results as early as this season.

It wasn’t the most eventful practice today, but with just a shells practice Thursday and a scrimmage at Acrisure Stadium Friday (before the Kickoff Luncheon), the summer session is about over. And Pitt football is almost back.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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