Pitt Football Notebook: Sunseri, other QBs feel pressure of rush
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Monday was the first day in pads -- well, at least shoulder pads -- at Pitt camp which meant it was the first day that the quarterbacks got a chance to play against a live rush.
And not surprisingly, it was the first day the quarterbacks, and in particular starter Tino Sunseri, struggled a bit as he threw two interceptions and was not nearly as accurate as he had been the first two days of camp when the players were in T-shirts and shorts.
Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt said he wasn't concerned about the development because he knew it would be a tough day for the quarterbacks given that the speed of the game changed so dramatically from the first two days.
He said he expects the quarterbacks to improve each day as they catch up with the pass rush and the speed of things now that the team is going to be in pads. Pitt has one more day in shoulder pads only -- today -- then goes to full pads Wednesday.
"It was a decent practice but not one of our better ones," Wannstedt said.
"[Tino] did struggle a bit. We threw a couple of interceptions that we can't throw and we won't throw. I think there was some good plays by the defensive guys, you have to give them credit.
"But we have to eliminate the turnovers -- that is a priority."
One of the more interesting position battles heading into camp was at cornerback, but it appears as if that one could be over before it even gets started as senior Ricky Gary has clearly outplayed junior Saheed Imoru all three days.
Gary, who has been taking most of the first-team snaps, had a fairly strong day Monday as he made several nice plays to knock down passes and also had one of the interceptions Sunseri threw.
"That's experience and knowing the defense," Wannstedt said. "We threw a lot at them and that is where a guy like Ricky Gary who has been here five years is going to be moving ahead."
Defensive end Greg Romeus and safety Andrew Taglianetti were both out for the second consecutive day. Wannstedt said both needed a couple of days of rest to heal some minor bumps and bruises.
"Greg is just sore, he is stiff a little bit, him and [Taglianetti]," Wannstedt said.
"[Romeus] worked out a little bit this afternoon and he was out here. Tags just strained his groin a little bit but he is fine."
Wide receiver Todd Thomas (elbow) is expected to get his stitches out today. If he does, he will be cleared for full contact. So far he has been limited in the drills in which he can participate. ... Wide receiver Greg Cross has been slowed by an ankle injury but Wannstedt said he should return to full speed over the next days. ... Wannstedt again raved about the four freshman defensive linemen and said he wouldn't be opposed to playing any of them this season. And while all four have shined, Penn Hills' Aaron Donald has really caught Wannstedt's eye. "Aaron Donald has been in the backfield more than any player on our defensive line all camp, and I'd be real curious to see if he can keep that up," Wannstedt said. "He is off to a fast start."
First Published August 10, 2010 12:00 am