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Pitt notebook: More changes for offensive line

Jerry DiPaola
| Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016, 1:57 p.m.

Pitt's offensive line assumed a new look Wednesday at practice.

Line coach John Peterson said Alex Officer, who had been a backup right guard for the past week and a half, is starting to get more snaps at center. Peterson also said Alex Bookser “took more snaps at guard (Wednesday) than he had in the past.”

Those changes were reflected during morning walk-through drills.

That may be how the line eventually looks at the start of the season, but Peterson said the competition will continue.

Officer, a junior, was the starting center through most of 2014, but he shifted to guard last year to make room for Artie Rowell, who has graduated. Peterson was easing Officer through the early days of camp after he suffered a serious ankle injury in the bowl game last year.

Bookser was the first-team center in the spring and through the first several days of training camp this month, but he can play all three line positions.

“When you get to game week (Aug. 29), you try to have more specific rotation ideas,” Peterson said. “Until then, every day and every practice is a new identity.”

• Wide receivers Dontez Ford, Quadree Henderson and Jester Weah were labeled “solid starters” by Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi. But he said the competition is far from finished. “Those other guys are making plays, too,” he said. “I think they are solid starters right now, but I don't think there is a whole lot of separation (from the rest of the group). “It's fall camp. It's hard to separate.” Henderson, whose contributions were mainly limited to kickoff returns last season, looks to be a different player, Narduzzi said. “I think you'll see a much improved Quadree Henderson this season,” he said. “He's fast. He's got good wheels.”

• Defensive end Allen Edwards and nose tackle Tyrique Jarrett, who left practice on golf carts Monday, were limited in practice Tuesday and Wednesday. Narduzzi said their injuries are not serious. “They're fine,” he said.

• Senior Bam Bradley is backing up Mike Caprara at outside linebacker (money) while also competing for the starting job on the other side (star).

Pitt receiver Quadree Henderson scores a touchdown past the gold defense during the team's spring game Saturday, April 16, 2016, at Heinz Field.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pitt receiver Quadree Henderson scores a touchdown past the gold defense during the team's spring game Saturday, April 16, 2016, at Heinz Field.
Pitt offensive lineman Alex Bookser goes through drills during practice Monday, Aug. 15 2016 at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Pitt offensive lineman Alex Bookser goes through drills during practice Monday, Aug. 15 2016 at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.
Pitt offensive lineman Alex Bookser
Pitt offensive lineman Alex Bookser
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