Freshmen get on the field for Pitt in Opener
By Jerry DiPaola
Published: Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011,
Four Pitt freshmen played against Buffalo, immediately burning their redshirt season.
They were outside linebacker Ejuan Price, running back Corey Davis, wide receiver/punt returner Ronald Jones and nose tackle K.K. Mosley-Smith. Only Jones made an impact, returning four punts for 52 yards.
Freshmen Lafayette Pitts, LaQuentin Smith and Nicholas Grigsby did not play, but they may get on the field later in the season. Grigsby and Smith could help at inside linebacker.
"You don't want someone on the field until you know they are comfortable in their own skin," defensive coordinator Keith Patterson said. "You have to be able to know when that time is."
Pitts moved from cornerback to safety late in camp, and coaches want to give him more time to learn the position.
» Coach Todd Graham said he wants to see more speed at inside linebacker.
"We want to be faster, play faster," he said, explaining that senior inside linebackers Max Gruder and Tristan Roberts are adjusting to a new way to read keys. "They were trained to key a different way than how we play, and that's really hard. It's really hard for guys who have been playing the same way, trying to break them of that."
There is a chance Price, who played 30 snaps Saturday, could move inside.
"We want him to play a lot more than 30 snaps," Graham said.
» Todd Graham likes Ray Graham's desire to remain on the field, but he said he needs to recognize when he's tired.
"The only thing he has to do, when he is tired, he needs to come out," he said. "Sometimes, he waves (the substitute) off and he needs to quit doing that because he's tired and he could put the ball in jeopardy."
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