Pitt's Street getting handle of new offense, coach Paul Chryst
The football flew out of the quarterback's hands Thursday morning and bounced off the grass, out of bounds, and Devin Street knew why.
“I cut (the route) short,” said Street, Pitt's junior wide receiver. “That was on me.”
Street told the story after practice without frustration, something that might not have been possible last year. His ears might have been ringing from criticism that often came his way from the Todd Graham coaching staff.
This season, Street continues to work on his shortcomings, but messages from wide receivers coach and 14-year NFL pass catcher Bobby Engram hit the target with better regularity.
“They know how to go about it the right way,” said Street, who has turned his potentially game-breaking speed into just four touchdowns the past two seasons. “They are teachers first. Of course, they will get on me, too, but they will bring out the best in me.
“They are definitely more laid-back, more understanding.”
The past eight months have been a turbulent time in the life of the 21-year-old Street, who felt betrayed by Graham after the coach told him he was staying at Pitt a week before he resigned.
Coach Paul Chryst's presence in Graham's former office has been a comforting sight.
“I can go to Chryst and talk to him about everything,” Street said. “He has a great mind. He's a genius out there.
“He talks to us about being responsible, doing the little things right and just being a complete man.”
Graham gave the same speech, but the difference is that Chryst does it only when necessary. Graham tried to shove off-the-field wisdom at players who were having problems with matters on the field.
Finally, in the second half of last season, Street started to understand the concepts of Graham's offense and caught 33 passes for 471 yards in the final six games. Pitt needed him, with running back Ray Graham out with a knee injury.
“I went to the coaches and I told them Ray is our big playmaker and I told them I wanted to be that go-to guy,” he said.
Pitt will need Street to become that player this season, along with senior wide receivers Mike Shanahan and Cam Saddler. Young pass catchers such as redshirt junior Ed Tinker, redshirt sophomore Brendon Felder and sophomore Ronald Jones also will be in the mix before coaches settle on a rotation at the end of camp.
Street said the new offense under Chryst allows him to diversify his role, line up in the slot or split to the sideline, with several different routes in his playbook.
“Last year, I ran 10-15 routes,” he said, “but this year I can run anywhere.”
His standing as a redshirt junior all but demands more productivity.
“It's crunch time,” he said “It's time to turn it up.”
Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-320-7997.
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.
- Pitt, McConnell-Serio agree to new contract through 2020-21 season
- Preseason honors piling up for former Pitt tackle Bisnowaty
- Pitt’s Blair faces court date on DUI charge
- New football coach Narduzzi is learning, along with Pitt players
- Pitt’s Young welcomes return to power forward
- Panthers freshmen give back, visit Mel Blount Youth Home