Spring camp is finally here and what does that mean? It's time for another fake quarterback competition. Sure the coaches will say the right things and the two competitors will share reps, but we all know where this is going. I'd like to just settle the rumors right now and state that Tino will be your starting qb this fall. Sure we know that Wanny loves experience, but this time it comes down to a kid from Pittsburgh vs a kid from Eastern PA, a kid who has a father with ties to Wannstedt vs a kid who has a dad who simply roots for Pitt, but never played or coached here or with Wanny.
Sure that's not the best way to start off a spring camp article, but we all know where this battle is going. I just don't see the need to really worry about it too much as we can read Wanny like a book here. If you don't believe me, well just think about this. Today is the 1st day and even though they were in helmets and shorts, Tino took every single first team rep.
Anyway, on to some real news from spring camp.
I know Jones and I were concerned about the 1vacancies in the offensive line created by the graduation of Robb Houser, Joe Thomas and John Malecki. Well today your offensive line consisted of Pinkston, Jacobsen, Karabin, Gaskins, and Lucas Nix. The guy who should be most happy about this is Greg Gaskins. Starting off as the starting left guard plus having the ability to serve as center will pretty much assure him a nice amount of playing time this year. It is concerning though that after spending some time at center, he wasn't able to secure up the spot. Instead we now have a battle for the center spot.
If you missed the news, Jack Lippert was moved from defensive line to center. I wasn't thrilled about this at first as I felt that Lippert had plenty to offer on the defensive side of the ball. After thinking about it for a while it started to make a little more sense. Throughout his coaching days in the college ranks, Jimmie Johnson and Dave Wannstedt have had a history of moving Dlinemen to the offensive side of the ball, this move is no different. The one area we can afford to move talent is on the D-Line since we have plenty of talent and depth to go around. This is one race where I have no idea where it is heading. With Gaskins in the mix for center I could see him winning the job in part because the staff really likes Turnley at guard. This race, in my opinion, will be the biggest and most interesting race throughout camp.
My next question this camp is what did Buddy Jackson do to Wannstedt that is preventing him from playing? Even as a freshman he had plenty of chances to prove himself, but never found his way into the games. He was a victim of injuries and other bad luck (broken jaw). This year with the departure of Berry and Chappel, Jackson had a chance to make some noise. Today though Reed and junior college transfer Saheed Imoru were your two starting corners. Maybe it's just me, but I just don't see how a guy with 3 months at Pitt is playing over a guy with 3 years in the system. Even if he beats him out eventually, let Jackson earn his keep.
With today a pad-free day we weren't able to get all of the answers were were looking for, but for now part of the picture was revealed.
As practices continue and information becomes available, we'll be sure to get it out to you.