Cavanaugh Talks About Bostick

Cavanaugh Talks About Bostick

Matt Cavanaugh recalled that fateful day in 1974, when he and his parents left Youngstown, Ohio for Pittsburgh and his first day as a freshman recruit with the Panthers football team.

Matt Cavanaugh Cavanaugh, now the program's offensive coordinator, attempted to empathize with Pat Bostick now that the freshman quarterback has finally returned from a one-week hiatus from training camp. Bostick left Pitt Aug. 6 after media day and before the first practice. He returned Monday.

"Every freshman that comes in here deals with something,'' Cavanaugh said. "I tried to relate to him that when I got dropped off here in 1974, I cried like a baby when my mom and dad pulled away. It was devastating, but I walked into a meeting with a hundred other guys in the same situation that I was.

"It took me a little while, but I finally realized that this is what it was supposed to be like, being away from home and being away from your loved ones and out of an environment where they were very comfortable. For me, it took a little while, but I adjusted very quickly. And I know he'll adjust, too.

"That's part of it,'' Cavanaugh added. "He had some other family issues that he had to deal with that we won't expound on, but I feel like he came back. He got himself rested mentally, and I expect him to do some good things here. Football is a comfort level for him. I think when he's talking ball and has a ball in his hands and has somebody to throw to, he's at his most comfortable.''

Pitt said that Bostick was dealing with "personal issues,'' at his home in Lancaster, Pa., but the bottom line is that a week away from camp set him back a bit. He appeared to be a little rusty during the drills, competing more short-range passes than medium- to long-range tosses. But he also had two balls dropped that were right on target.

Bostick still can't practice in full gear, due to NCAA regulations, but he is on track to be ready for Saturday morning's intrasquad scrimmage. And quite frankly, Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt was just glad to have him back in town.

"Pat had a nice day today,''Wannstedt said. "(Tuesday), he just did individual work, but today he did some team work and 7-on-7s. He can't be in full pads, but we're not scrimmaging. So, he was able to go out and throw and make some decisions. And he did well. I was pleased with his start, but it's just Day No. 1, and we'll just take it one day at a time.''

Initially, Bostick is taking third-team snaps behind junior Bill Stull and redshirt sophomore Kevan Smith. But he also took a few away from Smith Wednesday and is expected to get more as the week rolls on.

"He's obviously behind, so we need to continue to get him reps,'' Cavanaugh said. "But mentally, he's pretty close to being close. If that makes sense. He knows what he's doing. He knows the answers to questions. He knows the verbiage, and he has no problems going into the huddle and calling plays.

"I think his skill level is going to develop shortly here. He'll get more comfortable, because it's a little different now than throwing the ball around during the summer without the coaches there and all of a sudden there's 11 guys rushing on the other side. For the most part, it was what I expected. He knew what to do, but I wasn't concerned about whether he got it done.''

Cavanaugh rationalized Pitt's situation at quarterback, which he wouldn't term a three-player race now. He begged off answering that question and preferred to note that seven players were in the quarterback drills now.

"They know it's a competition, and I don't think they're going to get hung up on Pat getting some reps mixed in,'' Cavanaugh said. "He would've been getting them anyway. ... So, they all know they're competing, and they all trust us as a staff that we'll do the right thing. And we'll play the guy that we believe is the best one. So, they'll let it play out.''

Bostick has been off-limits to the media from the outset. He couldn't talk at media day because NCAA regulations prohibit incoming recruits to do interviews until they've had a practice. Bostick left before practice began, and now Pitt is shielding him for a few days. Wannstedt believed that Bostick would be ready to talk after Saturday's scrimmage.

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