New Pitt football coach Chryst looks to capitalize on team's talent
College Football Videos
In a dramatic reversal from how his predecessor conducted business, Pitt football coach Paul Chryst said Tuesday he will design his offensive system to suit the talents of his players.
"You never want the system to be the thing that prevents you from playing well," he said.
Under former coach Todd Graham, who insisted on adherence to his no-huddle, speed-based offense, quarterback Tino Sunseri and teammates stumbled to a 6-7 record last season.
Chryst said he plans to open competition at all positions.
"But if you are a starter and if you are getting better, you probably still should be a starter," he said.
The quarterback position will be crowded in the spring. Anthony Gonzalez and Montour graduate E.J. Banks will move from H-back and defensive back, respectively, to their high school positions, at least temporarily, and join Sunseri, Mark Myers and Trey Anderson.
"It will be hard (to get everyone enough reps)," he said. "It's going to have to sort itself out."
Chryst said he has watched video from last season, but he prefers to evaluate players based on what he sees when spring practice begins March 15.
"I watched enough of Tino to get a feel for him a little bit, but I didn't want to spend too much time," he said. "I don't want to form too many opinions. That's what we have spring ball for."
Chryst said he has met with most of the players, including Sunseri, but he refused to divulge details of those talks.
"I think he likes the game," Chryst said. "We will get into greater detail (later). But there is nothing I see, 'Oh, there's a red flag.' I am looking forward to actually working with him."
He added that his pro-style offense is not unlike what the players learned under former coach Dave Wannstedt.
In other news, Chryst said he was prepared for the departure of former offensive coordinator Bob Bostad, who aspired to join the NFL before he resigned last week to take a job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Chryst had a contingency plan to promote Joe Rudolph to coordinator and Jim Hueber to offensive line coach.
"I feel really good about not missing a beat," said Chryst, who plans to name quarterbacks and running backs coaches before the end of the week.
He added that everyone will be involved in play-calling.
"As we grow as a staff, it will continue to evolve," he said. "I still plan on being involved there but also hiring people to do their job and (letting) them to their jobs."
Asked if he will call the plays, he said, "Only the good ones."
Notes: Chryst said a few players will be limited or unavailable in the spring after undergoing surgical procedures. Running back Ray Graham (knee) and linebacker Todd Thomas (knee) will be out, and receiver Mike Shanahan (back), safety Jarred Holley (knee) and guard Chris Jacobson (knee) will be limited. ... The spring game will be April 14 at Heinz Field.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins finally break through, defeat Devils at Prudential Center
- UPMC researcher who died of cyanide poisoning committed suicide
- Sting highlights demand for Pappy Van Winkle bourbon
- Rooney says Pittsburgh is ‘good place’ for next northern Super Bowl
- HOF finalist Bettis ‘behind everything’ in 2005 Super Bowl run
- LaBar: WWE not backing down from controversy
- Penguins notebook: Bennett a healthy scratch
- New CEO eager to revitalize Pittsburgh International Airport
- Roundup: Alpha Natural Resources to idle coal mines; Alcoa targets growing demand for aluminium wheels; more
- Trib 30 stocks drop to four-month low
- Dungy, Greene represent more Steelers ties in hall of fame voting