Pitt notebook: Tempers flare during passing drill
Most defensive backs lining up during Pitt training camp are young and in need of experience.
But it became clear Saturday that if they follow starting cornerback Trenton Coles' lead, they won't back down from a challenge.
As temperatures climbed into the 80s during a late-morning practice, tempers flared when Coles and wide receiver Dontez Ford exchanged shoves. The skirmish started after Coles held Ford during a passing drill.
Graduate assistant Hank Poteat and others quickly broke up the confrontation but not before Coles squatted into a boxer's stance, ready to fight.
Later, defensive backs coach Troy Douglas said he spoke to Coles, who ignited the atmosphere during practice with repeated trash talk.
Douglas said he likes the edge Coles brings to the game.
“I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing,” he said. “I try to coach with a little bit of an edge.
“You don't want it to get negative as far as creating penalties, but you have to let him be who he is. (I) get on him, but even that isn't going to help. He's going to be who he is.
“He's playing hard. I like his passion. Just as long as he doesn't cross the line.”
Coach Paul Chryst recognizes the line between toughness and actions that draw penalties.
“I love it that he's into it,” Chryst said “You still have to play the game. You have rules, and (Coles) knows that, and we are coaching it.”
Players and coaches were scheduled to return to the practice field Saturday night for the first scheduled two-a-day of the summer.
Keep an eye on Maddox
Douglas said last week he was eager to see how freshman cornerback Avonte Maddox, who is having a good camp, reacts when the team dons full gear.
“He's a competitor,” Douglas said after the second full-gear practice. “Probably, out and out, he might be our best (man-to-man) guy, but you have to do more than play man. He's got a chance.”
No worries about Boyd
Special teams coach Chris Haering said he doesn't have any worries about risking wide receiver Tyler Boyd — the team's best offensive weapon — on punt returns.
“We don't look at it that way, that he's going to get killed,” Haering said. “We look at it just like you would on offense. We've got good guys that are out there blocking the returns. So our hope is you don't get free runners and guys that are going to get blown up.
“Tyler is a special kid. He is excited to do it, too — 100 percent bought in.”
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.
- Despite being suspended, Boyd still making contributions for Pitt
- Pitt’s Narduzzi names 4 captains
- Pitt freshman O’Neill eats up switch to tackle
- Pitt junior RB Ibrahim out for season with Achilles injury
- Reports: Pitt’s Newkirk transferring to Indiana
- Woodland Hills pipeline a great fit for Pitt defense this season
- Pitt’s run-stuffing defensive line all ready to make a stand
- For freshman safety Whitehead, a role reversal at Pitt
- Pitt notebook: Offense starts slowly in final live training camp scrimmage
- Pitt notebook: Narduzzi says NFL scouts like winners