It's been three years since his arrival on campus – an arrival anticipated by many. But injuries…
Fulmer Still Out; Wanny Says Not Serious
"We rested Doug a little bit (Thursday), but he'll be back (Friday), hopefully,'' Wannstedt said. "We've got a few guys ... Gus (Mustakas) worked this morning, and I expect Derek Kinder to be back (Friday). So, he's fine. There's nothing there, but he was just overworked a bit. There were no injuries to speak of. Just some bumps and bruises.''
Freshman tight end Mike Cruz actually was taken from the field on a cart midway through the afternoon practice after a shot by freshman linebacker Tristan Roberts. The hit didn't appear to be that hard, but Cruz went down in a heap and made some noises as though he was in pain.
"He got banged on that one play,'' Wannstedt said. "It wasn't a tackle, but he did get knocked to the ground. I'm hoping that he just got shook up a bit, but I have not heard (his status).''
The most disheartening part about Thursday's practices were the performances by returning quarterbacks Bill Stull, Pat Bostick and Kevan Smith. While the latter two were sharper than the previous day, they were not up to par, according to Wannstedt.
"I'm not happy with our quarterbacks all coming back from a year ago,'' Wannstedt said. "I would like to think that we'd be a little bit further ahead than what we've shown.
"(And) we have not shown the execution that I would like to see, even though it's day three. Our expectations on what these guys should be able to do is a little bit higher than where we're at right now.''
It was noted that the defense clearly is ahead of the offense in both practice groups, and that might be the reason for the quarterbacks' problems. Wannstedt quickly dismissed that and added: "I have not been on a good team anywhere where ... if the defense isn't ahead of your offense at this point, you've got no chance.
"(But) I felt that way about the quarterbacks in the spring, too, but they completed a high percentage in the spring game. So, we've just got to get them back in the groove a little bit.''
There were several players that Wannstedt singled out for solid performances during Thursday's sessions.
"Two of the young kids did some really good things in the morning,'' Wannstedt said. "Chris Burns made some plays, so it was good to see him get in the mix, particularly after we put the shoulder pads on today.
"And Jarred Holley continues to make progress. He is a guy who will have a chance, I think ... to help us on some special teams. And he's competing right now for a backup spot at corner.''
"In the afternoon,'' Wannstedt added, "Mike Shanahan, Jonathan Baldwin and Cameron Saddler, all three of those guys made some plays and are going to be really good players for us.''
Wannstedt noted that getting either in the lineup this fall will be a challenge, but a nice one to have. "It's all a matter of whether we want to keep an extra receiver or tight end or running back,'' he said. "That's the decision that needs to be made, but we have some good young players.''
Pitt practices twice Friday, but just once Saturday (2-5 p.m.) when the two groups come together in full pads. The first of three scrimmages is Tuesday.
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