Smith To Get More Reps

Smith To Get More Reps

Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt elaborated a bit on his team's quarterback situation in his post-practice press conference Tuesday afternoon.

"We have shown our support with Pat, and we will continue to show our support with Pat,'' Wannstedt said. "It's a personal thing, and we're optimistic, as we would be, that we will get it resolved. He will get it resolved, and he will hopefully be back with us.''

With Bostick absent in the afternoon, the only quarterbacks working in the session for the University of Pittsburgh were redshirt freshman Kevan Smith, redshirt freshman Steve Malinchak and frosh Spencer Whipple from Pine-Richland High School.

Malinchak and Whipple are walk-ons. Whipple is the son of former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterbacks coach Mark Whipple, who was let go after last season. Malinchak didn't get much work as a quarterback, though, as he mostly was used as a wideout in several drills.

"We were going to split the thing up with Pat in more of a three-way cut, but now Kevan will get some more work,'' Wannstedt said. "Once we get the pads on, he'll scrimmage some with the first (team), and we'll rotate those guys around a little bit when we get into this further.

"At this point, I'm not concerned (about Bostick), because it's the first day. So, we've got to coach Billy up. Billy has excellent ability, and he came out of the spring as our starter. ... And Kevan's been around here for a year, and I would expect him to really make progress this season.''

Wannstedt noted that since he was just a freshman, Bostick had to prove himself anyway. And he'll still have to do that to the coaching staff and veterans on the team, who "really don't know him that well, yet.''

Elijah Fields intercepted Smith and went for a "pick six.'' Incoming frosh cornerback Buddy Jackson also had an interception. With Jackson at one corner spot and fellow recruits LeSean McCoy, Greg Williams and Shariff Harris at tailback, as well as Henry Hynoski at fullback, it provided a glimpse into the near future for the Panthers.

"I think we'd be a little bit premature to make any real strong statements, until we start hitting (Thursday), but I was real encouraged by what I saw out of (McCoy),'' Wannstedt said. "He's in good shape. He did a nice job the last six weeks studying the offense, and his athletic ability showed up today.

"But all this changes in two days when we put on the pads, because we'll just go with two groups. So, the thirds get some (work), but not much. And some of these guys are fourth and fifth on the depth chart, so this will give them a chance to compete in scrimmages and to coach them a little bit and get to know them a lot better since we got them on signing day.''

The University of Pittsburgh got to work on its new synthetic outdoor surface in the rain during the last half of the afternoon practice, and Wannstedt believed the turf held up pretty well.

"I'm gload we had it, because we were inside for media day (Monday), and it was humid,'' Wannstedt said. "And it was close. ... You wouldn't be on the grass in the rain, because you can tear it up, but things worked out today.''

Afternoon Injury Update Redshirt sophomore offensive guard John Brown wore a left knee support, as he left practice at the midpoint to join strength and conditioning coach Buddy Morris for additional workouts. ... Junior offensive lineman Ryan Fullerton, a transfer from Valley Forge, Pa. Military Academy, did not practice due to a right shoulder problem. ... Incoming recruit Aundre Wright, a wideout and return specialist, was absent for the first day due to a stomach virus. ... And redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Mick Williams left practice with five minutes left due to breathing problems stemming from an asthma condition.

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