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Chryst’s experimentation makes sense, but it must end soon


A mystery on the Pitt offensive line surfaced this week when offensive left tackle Adam Bisnowaty started taking snaps at left guard and redshirt freshman Jaryd Jones-Smith was inserted at left tackle.
Offensive line coach Jim Hueber said he was just getting players ready in the event something went wrong in the future. The next day, coach Paul Chryst said change was not out of the question.
I say none of it is a good sign.
Any offensive line coach — Hueber, too — will tell you that continuity among the five starters is important to consistent success. Find five guys and work them every day until they are so familiar with each other’s moves and thoughts that they are operating like one, efficient machine. You can’t do that by shaking up the depth chart.
Pitt still has time to keep its five together and have them build a strong rapport before the opener Aug.  30. There is another full week of training camp remaining before preparations for Delaware need to begin.
But, to me, it’s just another sign that Pitt is nowhere near where it needs to be — at a lot of positions (the secondary comes to  mind).
Is that normal in August? Actually, yes.
But Chryst and Hueber don’t want to be experimenting in October. If you see that happen, then Pitt fans can start to panic.
A similar situation has developed at quarterback where Chryst has yet to name a starter.  Everyone believes Chad Voytik will get the nod over Trey Anderson, but here’s my theory on why Chryst has kept silent:
Chryst comes from the old school of coaches where nothing is handed to a player until he earns it. Hard work throughout training camp — not someone’s perceived notion — is the currency that buys a starting job.
To name Voytik the starter on the first day of camp after he played only one half of football last season would send a wrong message. That would be contrary to how Chryst was raised by his father, a football coach, and what he now expects from the Pitt players.
That being said, no one works harder than Voytik. By all accounts, he all but lives in the video room with his coach. Over the spring and summer, he prepared diligently in daily throwing sessions with his teammates to play the game’s most demanding position.
Let me say this: If Chryst named Voytik the starter Friday or Saturday, I wouldn’t be surprised. It’s been nearly two weeks since the start of camp, and putting matters in place on the eve of the final week would fit perfectly with Chryst’s sense of order.
At some point very soon, it will be time to stop experimenting and begin getting ready for the season.



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