Wannstedt On QB Situation

Pitt's future starting QB Tino Sunseri?

While it's clearly Tino Sunseri's job to lose this spring since the redshirt sophomore has taken every rep at quarterback with Pitt's first-team offense, Panthers coach Dave Wannstedt would not admit that's the case.

Redshirt junior Pat Bostick might have more experience than Tino Sunseri in games played and starts, but when Wannstedt discussed the Pittsburgh quarterback situation Tuesday he had a different take.

"The quarterback competition is good,'' Wannstedt said. "We have three guys working extremely hard (adding former walk-on Andrew Janocko to the mix), and it's a healthy competition. Pat and Tino are constantly helping each other and coaching each other.''

Some believe that Bostick's future is in coaching, so that isn't surprising. He has sacrificed a great deal for the Panthers so far. He played immediately as a freshman, being thrown into the first after Bill Stull's injury in the opener and Kevin Smith didn't get the job done, and he had a redshirt burned in 2008 for just a couple games. But one was a start and win at Notre Dame.

Sunseri, however, appears to provide things to the position that Bostick cannot. While Bostick has had a high completion rate, knows the offense intimately and appears to make better decisions, he is not as mobile as Sunseri and does not have as strong an arm.

"Tino has a lot of up-side ability,'' Wannstedt said. "You see him make throws, and you see what he can do on his feet. So, there's a lot of growth potential that you can see happening daily with Tino. Pat is Pat.

"He could take the ball right now and call a play at the line of scrimmage, and you feel confident that he can put the ball in the end zone. So, I feel that we have a good, solid situation with two players who understand what it takes to win and what we're trying to do here.''

When asked if he would name a starter anytime soon, Wannstedt noted that the quarterback situation should clear itself up as the Panthers go through spring drills. And this Saturday's scrimmage, the first of three this spring, is going to be critical.

However, when questioned about why Sunseri has exclusively taken first-team reps with Bostick only getting second-team action, Wannstedt was non-committal.

"Tino has performed well, and it was very close with he and Billy coming out of the spring last year and coming out of training camp,'' Wannstedt said. "Billy had more experience and played a little better.

"(But) this is not just a gut feeling. We record every practice and every throw, and Tino performed well last year. And that competition has helped him, and it is helping him right now.''

And there never was a plan to split the reps between the two?

"No, they're getting the same number of reps,'' Wannstedt said. "It's just a matter of who they're throwing the ball to. And I'll tell you what, the star of spring practice so far, Pat's not complaining handing the ball off to Ray Graham. He's probably made as many exciting plays as anyone out there.''

Note: Redshirt sophomore Mike Shanahan, who has not practiced full-contact since the spring began after battling through mononucleosis, finally was cleared to practice Tuesday.

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