Should Bostick redshirt?

Pitt football Q&A with Paul Zeise

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Thanks for participating in the Q&A. Keep the questions going as I will answer them every day during the season and through whatever bowl game Pitt goes to. You can follow the Panthers here as well as the daily updates from practice in our college football blog the Redshirt Diaries.

Q: Will Shayne Hale be a starter at linebacker this year? If not, what is his playing status?

Ed. J., Overland Park, Kansas

ZEISE: Shayne Hale is not going to start at linebacker -- because he moved to defensive end in midseason last year and along with Brandon Lindsey were among the surprises of spring football. Hale is currently second team behind Jabaal Sheard and will play extensively as he is clearly in the rotation at that spot.

Q: Assuming Bill Stull or Tino Sunseri wins the starting job and one of the two are the top backup, do you think the coaches will look to give Pat Bostick a redshirt? He seems to be working awfully hard, and he has come a long way. I think a redshirt would do wonders for him. Your thoughts?

Mo Alsahlani, Boston

ZEISE: I suppose it is an option, but I think he is being set up to be the back-up quarterback regardless of who is the starter. It is early in camp so I could be wrong, but he is the one guy who has consistently taken most of his snaps with the second team and I think that he has proven in the past he is the perfect back-up quarterback because (a) unlike Tino, he has a lot of experience playing and thus he could come in on a moment's notice and be ready to play and (b) he has a better grasp of the offense than the others so he is always ready to play. I could be wrong, but I would say based on what I've seen, he'll be the backup which means he is going to get some opportunities to play this year.

Q: I only know what I read, and if I am correct it sounds like our offense, especially the line, is really struggling against a talented and deep defensive front. Isn't this what D.W. really wanted when he came here?

Blaise Novotny, Ebensburg, Pa.

ZEISE: Yes, and he has said several times since the start of camp -- he has never been on a good team that didn't have the defense dominate the offense early in camp. I know we talk about him as a recruiter a lot but I don't think you can fully appreciate how well he's recruited athletes until you see this team up close like I do every day. I've said it before, top to bottom, this is the best-looking team, in terms of overall depth, athleticism, size, speed, that I've covered and I've been on the beat since 2002. That 2002 team had some stars -- like Rod Rutherford, Larry Fitzgerald, Kris Wilson -- but it wasn't deep and the lines didn't look anything like these lines. This team looks like a Division I team is supposed to -- of course, soon we will find out if they can play.


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