For one reason or another, 17 Pitt players missed all or part of practice Monday night as the team concluded its first of three two-a-days this week.
Many of the injuries appear minor and many of the players were kept out of practice merely as a precaution. I’m guessing more than half of them would have played if there was a game. Lafayette Pitts and his cousin Javonte were excused because of a death in the family.
Coach Paul Chryst is showing good judgement in keeping his players fresh for a grueling six-hour total grind on the days the team practices twice.
Wide receiver Devin Street took off much of the morning session, and Chryst said he was just trying to keep Street fresh. Street practiced at night, and caught a nice fade pass from quarterback Tino Sunseri while tiptoeing just inside the sideline.
Chryst is also being smart with Graham and guard Chris Jacobson, giving them the night off after they had a productive session in the morning. Pitt has plenty of depth at running back to ease Graham back into the lineup after knee surgery. Isaac Bennett and Malcolm Crockett run hard every time they take a handoff, and would make a nice tandem until Graham is all the way back. But Pitt needs to develop depth on the offensive line so Chryst can have the same luxury with Jacobson.
– With Mike Shanahan out with a hamstring injury, senior wide receiver Cam Saddler has taken advantage of the increased opportunities and catches almost everything within reach.
– Fifth-year senior middle linebacker Joe Trebitz is running ahead of redshirt junior Dan Mason, with starter Shane Gordon out with an injury.
– Freshman tight end J.P. Holtz of Shaler looks to have sure hands. If he’s the No. 1 backup to starter Hubie Graham early in the season, I won’t be surprised.