If I was writing in my diary while wearing a red shirt (I prefer blue), I could fill this space by giving you countless top-10 lists involving the same 10 players, just in a different order under different categories.
Instead, you’ll get another practice report.
The Panthers are holding their final two-a-day of training camp, and the morning session involved a scary sight and a spectacular one on back-to-back plays, both involving Jonathan Baldwin.
Bill Stull threw a corner fade to Baldwin, who soared over cornerback Jovani Chappel and appeared to make a one-handed catch for the umpteenth time in camp. This time, Baldwin was showing off – it was a perfect over-the-shoulder throw that he instead contorted to make the catch – and he paid for it. Baldwin dropped the ball on his way down, hit the ground hard and rolled over onto his stomach while clutching his arm.
Suddenly, Pitt was no longer the Big East favorite.
After a few moments of silence, Baldwin bounced back up and jogged to the huddle. Stull threw another fade, to the same spot in the right corner of the end zone. This time, Baldwin played it safe and made a two-handed catch over Chappel and managed to stab one foot down for a touchdown before falling out of bounds.
Big East favorite again!
Highlights from practice:
• In a red-zone drill from the 8-yard line, Pat Bostick rolled right and zipped a pass to Cam Saddler in the upper right corner of the end zone. Saddler caught it, staying in bounds on his tiptoes for a touchdown.
• In 11-on-11 drills, defensive tackle Chas Alecxih sacked Stull and forced a fumble. Stull responded soon after by firing a pass over the middle to Oderick Turner for a nice gain against the dime – or bandit – defense.
• Stull’s screen pass intended for tailback Dion Lewis was disrupted by a hit from middle linebacker Adam Gunn, and the ball popped into the hands of weak-side linebacker Max Gruder for an interception.
• Tino Sunseri also had a screen pass to Lewis intercepted, this time by nose guard Gus Mustakas, who pulled the ball off the tailback and drew cheers from his teammates by returning it for a touchdown.
• Stull escaped pocket pressure on one play, stepping up to find receiver Greg Cross on the right sideline for a gain of 20-plus yards.
• Devin Street continues to develop as a deep threat, outrunning the defensive backs to get wide open on a pass from Stull. But Street misjudged the throw and, instead of running under the ball, turned his head to look for it and watched it fall incomplete.
• Tight end Nate Byham, linebackers Steve Dell and Shane Murray, defensive end Jabaal Sheard and defensive tackle Mick Williams missed practice. In their absence, Dorin Dickerson and Mike Cruz split first-team reps at tight end, Brandon Lindsey ran with the first-team defense at end, Joe Trebitz ran with the second-team defense at strong-side linebacker and walk-ons Jon Taglianetti and Christopher Mike split third-team reps at middle linebacker.
• The Panthers practice again at 3 p.m.