Sunseri keeps reins as the starting QB
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While there are plenty of starting positions still to be settled for the Pitt Panthers, quarterback isn't one of them. Incumbent starter Tino Sunseri has left little doubt in spring drills that he will be under center in the fall.
Sunseri, a senior, has been the most consistent of the four quarterback hopefuls and laid to rest any drawn-out quarterback competition before the start of the 2012 season.
Sunseri said Tuesday after the 13th practice of the spring that he was never concerned about losing his job. Instead, he was focused on learning first-year coach Paul Chryst's offense.
- What: Blue-Gold Game, the traditional end to spring practice.
- When: 1 p.m. Saturday.
- Where: North Hills High School.
"I'm worried about being the best player I can possibly be," Sunseri said. "Whatever happens, happens, and I'll let the tape show for that. All I can do is get better each day and whatever coach Chryst and coach [Brooks] Bollinger decides is what goes.
"I feel like from the beginning of spring ball until now, I am a totally different player, just from the standpoint of knowing what the coaches expect out of me. I've been able to be a football junkie per se and going up and looking at the tape and understanding what I need to do."
Bollinger, the quarterbacks coach, deferred any specific depth-chart related questions to Chryst but said that he has seen enough good things from all of the quarterbacks to know that they are improving, but he is not satisfied with where they are as spring practice draws to a close with the Blue-Gold scrimmage Saturday.
"There are times when it looks good and there are some concepts that we as a coaching staff feel really good with, and then there are some others where it is clear we still need reps," Bollinger said. "It is a process, and I told them the thing I want to know is what I can expect from them every day, because as a group we have too much of these peaks and valleys going on right now.
"It has gotten better, there has been progress, absolutely, but it is hard for me to get too excited because I see how much further we have to go."
Chryst's assessment of the quarterback position was similar in that he said the group has a long way to go and needs to become consistent, but he was more forthcoming about the fact that Sunseri has established himself as the starter for now.
"I think from the other quarterbacks, [Sunseri] has [separated himself]," Chryst said. "I still think there are areas where he can continue to get better and that is a good thing. But, yeah, I think he has separated himself from the others."
Mark Myers was expected to challenge Sunseri for the starting job, but he is now in competition with sophomore Trey Anderson for the backup job.
Myers still has a slight edge on Anderson, but the two have split reps in most practices and Anderson has forced his way into the discussion.
"Trey carries himself like a quarterback. You can tell he understands it, but he is still young and mentally he has a lot of football to learn, but he has the mentality and the attitude and he has done a good job," Bollinger said. "And with Mark, it just needs to happen every day. He has had some days where he has been very focused and then it will drop off for a day or two.
"I think the thing with him is he has to expect to be able to do it at a high level every day."
The fourth quarterback in the rotation is Anthony Gonzalez, who spent last season at tight end and whose best position may actually be safety or outside linebacker.
Gonzalez hasn't gotten many reps this spring and with heralded freshman Chad Voytik joining the team in the August, it seems only a matter of time before he moves to another position.
First Published April 11, 2012 12:00 am