Saturday, March 28, 2009

A redshirt for Bostick and Lucas Nix?

In case you haven't heard, Tino Sunseri has recently been getting more reps with the 2nd team offense. To be fair, everyone who has been attending camp has said that Tino has been playing very well and has earned the extra reps.

This just might be a best case scenario as Bostick could get the year to redshirt. This situation reminds me of when Pitt played Luke Getsy over Tyler Palko when Rod Rutherford was suspended for a half for kicking out a girls car window at Philthy McNasty's. It wasn't that Luke was playing better than Tyler, we just wanted to preserve Tyler's redshirt. This year, Tino is playing well enough to give him a chance to be the back up to Bill if needed whiel Pat gets a redshirt.

While Cignetti says "it is an open competition", I'm not buying that because of Wannstedt's comments that "Stull is the guy". I have told friends from the moment the season ended and I'll stick with it now that if I had to place a bet of Stull vs the field, I'd put all of my money on Stull.

Another thing that should be apparent to Pitt fans is that with Pinkston out until August, Jordan Gibbs has been getting almost all of the reps at 1st team left tackle. Over the last couple of days, Joe Thomas has been out with an ankle injury. Most Pitt fans would think this would give Pitt the opportunity to let Nix get his shot with the first team. This has not been the case though as Greg Gaskins has gotten all of the first team reps making the OLine look like: Gibbs, Jacobsen, Houser, Malecki, and Gaskins.

Unless you're getting Gibbs and Gaskins ready for the season so that Nix can redshirt, this just doesn't make sense to me. Nix played for Thomas last year in a couple of series when Thomas went out with injury. While Clowser started at LT during the Sun Bowl, Wannstedt said if the injury would have been sustained earlier that week, Nix would have started. I don't understand the change of heart here.

I believe the starting 5 will be Pinkston, Jacobsen, Houser, Malecki, and Thomas. What I would like to know is what has Gaskins and Gibbs done since January 1 that has put them ahead of Nix this spring? Wannstedt has talked about the importance of Lucas Nix, yet he's not getting the chance this spring to go out and prove himself with the first team.

I'm sure people will say that this is only spring and we can't look too much into it, but a lot of what happens here will be a big factor of what happens this season. When you see Dion Lewis as our second string running back come August, don't be surprised because it was what he did during the spring to move him up ahead of Shariff Harris.

1 comment:

rkohberger said...

DPJ - my gut tells me that we won't see Bostick red shirting regardless of how the QB battle shakes out. I don't have anything to base that on other than it's pretty obvious the DW wants all his upper-class kids to play their careers out. His red shirts happen early or don't happen at all.

PITT fans may be looking at this situation with Lucas Nix in the wrong way. Instead of asking why the other offensive lineman are being inserted ahead of him - perhaps we should put the onus where it belongs and ask why Nix isn't doing well enough to make a case for increased playing time.

We do know that DW throws out the HS rankings of these kids when they make the PITT roster, and I think we can assume that he doesn't hold any untoward biases against kids throughout their careers, so I've got to assume that most probably something is lacking in Nix's play (or preparation for play) that is holding him back. If I had to bet on what it is I'd bet on the latter - for the sole reason that there is a bit of info coming out of the camps that Nix isn't readying himself to be a starter. When the beat writers start alluding to problems in print there usually is more to the story than us PITT fans know about. PITT beat writers are the most conservative writers in America sometimes.

I'm not surprised that we are reading about Gibbs making a case for being a starter - the staff has been talking up Jordan Gibbs since his first year, and I think he'll be a good one.

That said - I'm heartened that it is only the Spring and things can change drastically between now and the opening game. If memory serves we were even more wary of how well our OL would play at this point last season - and we ended up doing just fine - save the last game of the season. get all the returning players able to play by the summer camp, and give our top 8 kids some real work with Wise and I think we'll be ready.

How cool is it that this Lewis kid is opening eyes this spring? I love it when a player comes out of nowhere and impresses - as that is the bread and butter of a good football team. It's not always the "star' recruits that contribute in big ways, but the unexpected and the grinders who sometimes make the most lasting impacts.

As to the 'QB Competition' I have a tendency to agree with you. Then, we read that Cignetti may be feeling something other than the party line on this. Who knows? It's probably easiest to assume that Stull will hold onto his 'starting' spot until the season opens. Personally, what has started to bother me - in my interior PITT mind - is this small thought that Stull could actually get out there and play some decent QB. That way lies madness, I know - but that thought is there at the most inopportune times.