PITTSBURGH—The Pitt football program held the fourth practice of its 2019 training camp on Monday morning at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on the South Side of Pittsburgh.

Head coach Pat Narduzzi met with reporters prior to the session, while graduate transfers Nakia Griffin-Stewart, Kylan Johnson and Nolan Ulizio and quarterbacks Jeff George Jr. and Nick Patti all answered questions from the media after the workout.

 

Head Coach Pat Narduzzi Transcript

Opening Statement:

“Monday morning, practice number four and second day in the shells. Yesterday was our first day in shells so it’s always interesting. I don’t think the defense tackled like they needed to, which is usually part of what they’ve done all summer. A lot of things we’re trying to fix right now, which is a product of what I call the summer skelly, you know, them out there coaching themselves. They’re not very good coaches; they’re good players and good athletes. Tackling needed to improve. I was impressed with some of the things the offense did in the run game as well as the passing game. Today will be an interesting day. Today will be a little bit more competitive. They get a day off tomorrow, so they kind of know that ahead of time. We’ll be out for about an hour and 10 minutes and get after it.”

 

On impressions of the first few days of camp:

“Thinking about some of the newer guys, Nakia [Griffin-Stewart] has looked really good as a tight end. Nolan [Ulizio] has done a nice job on the offensive line. Kylan Johnson has done good things. Just thinking of some of the new guys I didn’t see in the spring, so I’m impressed with all three of those guys. Those guys are going to help us immediately, I believe. No other big surprises after that. Those are the ones that you’ve taken a good peek at.”

 

On if Nakia Griffin-Stewart is a blocking or receiving tight end:

“He’s going to be both. I think he’s got the potential to be both. He’s a big, strong, physical guy. He can block and he can also get down the field.”

 

On the running backs:

“It’s really by committee. When you think about the run game and what we’re doing, it’s really more about the blocking that sets all that up. Having a great quarterback is one thing, but having an offensive line that’s opening up holes… So when I say run game impressed me, it’s really the offensive line and what they’ve done space-wise and fundamentally doing some nice things in that respect.”

 

On depth guys on the defensive line:

“John Morgan is a guy that’s competing in there. Habakkuk Baldonado, who’s back, he’ll be out there competing again today.Deslin Alexandre did a nice job, really he’s probably the third guy right now, but Deslin has really had a nice camp; it looks like he’s really made some improvements. There’s some competition going on; there’s some pretty deep positions with some of the freshmen. I think [Chris] Maloney from Philly, who’s a walk-on defensive end, has done a nice job, too. So we’ve got some guys in there that can make plays.”

 

On graduate transfers becoming more common:

“Hopefully not for us. Hopefully we’re on the receiving end and not on the departure end. Yeah, it is kind of going in that direction. Kids are thinking about where they can get their next move, get their next potential. If we continue to have good success like we have in the past like we have with [Matt] Flannigan, who’s with the Redskins now, if we continue to have success like we have, taking guys and making them starters and giving them an opportunity, then I think it is a good thing for us.”

 

On expectations for Rashad Weaver:

“Expectations are for him to continue to get better, just like anyone else. How has he changed? He’s gotten bigger, stronger, more physical. He’s always been smart, but I think he has a better feeling of the defense overall. I think he knows what the linebackers doing, I think he knows how everybody fits. But his expectations are to lead and to become an even better football player.”

 

 

These quotes and story provided by the University of Pittsburgh Athletics

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