Frigid temperatures chase Pitt inside for start of spring drills
Temperatures were in the teens and the last game of 2018 was only about two months ago, but football season began Wednesday morning on the South Side with the first day of Pitt’s spring drills.
The 88-man team moved inside, of course, where players went through basic drills, many without a football. There was blocking, but no tackling, with an emphasis on attacking the football.
At one point in a defensive back drill, defensive coordinator Randy Bates shouted at his players, “Way too casual. We had only nine interceptions last year. That sucks.”
Coach Pat Narduzzi made a significant position change, flipping former defensive tackle Rashad Wheeler, a junior from Central Catholic, to guard where he might be able to help fill a void. Pitt lost four offensive linemen from last year’s team, including guard Connor Dintino, who was actually in attendance, casually watching from the sideline.
Junior center Jimmy Morrissey, who is recovering from a foot injury, participated in drills with his fellow linemates during the 45-minute open window for reporters.
Redshirt freshman running back Mychale Salahuddin, who was on crutches at the Sun Bowl on New Year’s Eve, looks like he might be limited this spring. That leaves plenty of opportunity for junior A.J. Davis and sophomores Todd Sibley Jr. and V’Lique Carter. Plus, freshman running backs Vincent Davis and Daniel Carter arrive this summer.
Carter is lining up at running back, which was most of his on-field role last season even though he was listed as a wide receiver.
Pitt will practice Friday and take off next week for spring break. Overall, there will be 15 sessions, including the spring game at Heinz Field on April 13.
One other note/salute: Pitt director of player development Bob Junko said this is his 51st spring in college football, 25 of them at Pitt.
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .