Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Players' Progress Pleases Coaches

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Players' Progress Pleases Coaches

Article excerpt

Pitt spring football has only five practices remaining, and while coach Paul Chryst and his staff would love to have another month to work with the players before the offseason, the coaches are pleased with the team's progress.

That is mostly because this spring has been more about teaching fundamentals and basics, and evaluating team strengths rather than installing a system. As a result, the players are learning and progressing.

"I think the best thing about this spring is the coaches have high expectations for us and are pushing us, but they also are breaking it down so we can understand things and improve our skills," Pitt senior guard Chris Jacobson said.

"There is really an emphasis on getting us better and working on our footwork, on our fundamentals. We are indeed learning the new offense, but it has been in bits and pieces."

Chryst has said throughout the spring that he has seen plenty of evidence the players are learning and improving, but he also has seen some setbacks.

Offensively, the Panthers have been a bit sluggish at times and the quarterbacks have yet to distinguish themselves, but Chryst noted that they are learning a new system and it takes time for an offense to come together. That's why he has been adamant that the focus of his staff remain on teaching, not installing.

Ultimately, however, the players have to put into practice what has been taught.

"It's a broken record, but it's true. There's some good teaching, and some of the teaching is what you're doing during the playing," Chryst said. "I think it's important how you're responding after the plays. If you learn from it, it's a good day. There are some things where we need to keep going and grinding."

Chryst, who was the offensive coordinator at Wisconsin, said the four quarterbacks on the roster are all improving. …

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