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Pitt football notebook: New secondary coach Archie Collins out for 'effort, juice, enthusiasm'

Chris Adamski
| Monday, March 12, 2018, 7:18 p.m.

As the newest member of the coaching staff, Collins is direct in what he wants the Panthers' secondary to embody.

"Going to get the ball," Collins said. "I like getting the ball, competing, playing with toughness, tackling, playing with a lot effort, playing with a lot of juice and enthusiasm. These things are core values to me. So that's what I expect them to play by."

Collins spent the past five seasons at Central Michigan.

Are his defensive backs buying in?

"It's in them right now," Collins said, "and my job is to continue to bring it more out of them."

Collins is one of four new coaches for the Panthers. Narduzzi said the first day went "smoother than you would think."

"I think we did a great job of prepping them and, really, the entire staff," Narduzzi said. "I think you coach your coaches just like you coach your players. It's from Day 1. Don't assume anything. Don't assume that 'Oh, I thought you knew that' or 'Oh, I forgot to tell you that.' We were pretty detailed in that way. Even after some time away last week, our guys were on top of it."

Familiar faces

Recent NFL combine participants from Pitt such as Avonte Maddox, Jordan Whitehead and Jaryd Jones-Smith were on hand to watch the first day of 2018 spring practice. This was welcome by coach Pat Narduzzi – even if it did make him yearn to still have the future pros on his roster.

"They left but they still come back, which is a good thing," Narduzzi said. "I wish we could get them out on the field."

After practice at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, redshirt freshman defensive back Paris Ford remarked how much he'd learned from, in particular, former secondary teammates Maddox and Whitehead.

"Just what it is gonna take to get to the next level," Ford said, "watching their practice habits and things of that nature.

"I was getting some words of wisdom (Monday) from (Maddox), someone in his position."

New faces, new numbers

The uniform numbers were revealed for backup quarterbacks Ricky Town (No. 10) and Tyler Zelinski (No. 14), with newcomers at receiver Tatsir Mack given No. 11 and Shocky Jacques-Louis No. 18. New offensive linemen Devon Davis (No. 52), Jake Kradel (No. 53) and Chase Brown (No. 55) also had new numbers unveiled with the release of the spring roster.

Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.

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