Pitt cornerback likes Panthers' change to press coverage
Pitt junior cornerback Lafayette Pitts has much to prove after an unremarkable sophomore season, but he appears well eqiupped for the job.
So far, he is sporting:
• A bigger upper body on a 5-foot-11, 196-pound frame after a winter of conditioning.
• A new work ethic that he said regularly sends him into the film room.
• A style of play that Pitt secondary coach Troy Douglas approvingly calls “swagger.”
Mixing it all together is Douglas, who doesn't care if you broke up with your girlfriend or you have term paper due next week.
“You still have to cover. You still have to stay on top of the routes,” he said.
Douglas is preaching press coverage, a new concept for Pitt this season that suits the talents of the team's tall, athletic defensive backs and meshes nicely with Pitts' personality.
Pitts likes nothing more than abruptly throwing receivers off their designed paths. Subtle is not his style.
The new scheme involves cornerbacks getting into the face of the wide receivers as soon as they jump off the line of scrimmage.
“I like press,” Pitts said, “because the receiver knows he has to deal with you at the beginning of the play.”
There's more to good secondary play, however, than trying to intimidate receivers. Pitts admits he's more focused this year, watching more film and playing “with a chip on my shoulder because I didn't have the season I wanted to last year, individually.”
Specifically, he played 13 games without an interception.
Pitts, a Woodland Hills graduate, also said he is “taking coaching better.” Douglas, hired this year as the first full-time coach on Paul Chryst's staff to focus solely on defensive backs, emphasizes attacking the football to create turnovers. The Panthers intercepted only eight of 386 opponent pass attempts last season.
“I've got to get him to play with his eyes better,” Douglas said of Pitts. “He has so much talent. The young man can run.”
And don't forget that attitude.
“He's got some swagger to him, no doubt,” Douglas said. “You have to have that, and a short memory, too.”
Reminded of Douglas' remarks, Pitts smiled and said, “If you're not having fun, you'll be out there bored a little bit.”
Yet, Pitts has a serious side, and he'll show it every day in his new jersey number (6).
Pitts changed from 23, but not because he shared it with freshman wide receiver Tyler Boyd. In fact, 6 is the number Pitts wore in Little League when he played with his cousin Charles Davis, who died in a shooting in Duquesne in 2012.
“I changed my number to dedicate it to my cousin,” he said.
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 plays best game of the season; routs Kansas State
- Miami coach Golden shrugs off recent losses as Pitt visits
- Pitt’s Dixon searching for answers in Maui
- No. 15 San Diego State hammers Pitt, 74-57
- For Pitt men’s basketball team, trouble in paradise
- Pitt prepares for speedy Miami with bowl eligibility on the line
- Senior running back Bennett quietly filled role during Pitt career
- Pitt center Randall rebounds from injury
- Young Pitt secondary has no fear; will be tested against Duke
- Penn State wrestling gets best of Pitt again
- Inching closer to return, Pitt’s Wright could boost defense