Pitt

4-1-Zoo: Anthony Gonzalez Is ‘Slash’, QB Depth Chart Changes

Pitt Head Football Coach Todd Graham

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PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — Pitt coach Todd Graham has decided that a position change for redshirt freshman Anthony Gonzalez is the way to go.

And it has nothing to do with poor play from Gonzalez behind center, Graham says. Rather, Graham believes it would be a disservice to Gonzalez and the team to keep such a good athlete off the field.

In turn, Gonzalez will see time at H-back and tight end, along with fulfilling his quarterback duties.

“We think he’s too good an athlete to be sitting over there as the third-team quarterback,” Graham said. “So we asked him to come in and we’d take a look at him for some receiver stuff, and we were somewhat impressed.

“We’re going to use him in a dual role. He still needs to be our third quarterback, but we’re still going to use him.”

So welcome back “slash” to Pittsburgh, my friends. Surely this brings mixed emotions to some Panthers fans, who struggled through years of ups and downs watching Steelers quarterback/running back/returner/wide receiver/punter Kordell Stewart, or “Slash” as many called him.

All I can say is this bears absolutely no resemblance to Bill Cowher’s toying with Stewart — who, in my opinion, was far too criticized for his play while playing for the Steelers.

But that’s beside the case, and I’m already beginning to tangent. Back to business.

No, this is about a redshirt freshman that’s just a great athlete. He isn’t going to challenge Tino Sunseri for the starting quarterback role, and the emergence of freshman walk-on quarterback Trey Anderson allows this flexibility to occur.

“It’s safe to say he’s exceeded my expectations,” Graham said of Anderson.

Anderson has actually surpassed Mark Myers as the team’s No. 2 quarterback, moving Myers back to either No. 3 or No. 4 with Gonzalez. Myers, though, doesn’t have the mobility that Gonzalez possesses, making him an attractive tool for Graham to implement in the offense.

Think Greg Cross, but he’ll hopefully actually be utilized by the coaching staff.

Gonzalez was No. 2 on the depth chart before off-field issues and surgery forced him down the list and he was suspended for the opening two games of the season. With everything that occurred, it’s nice to see that he’ll likely fit in this season in some form or fashion.

He’s already been practicing at his new spot, catching passes from a number of different looks.

“I was here last night watching film and I watched every single thing that he did throughout the whole practice, and he looks like he’s been doing it,” Graham said. “He doesn’t look like some guy that just moved over and started doing it; he looks like a guy who’s a natural doing it. So he’s pretty natural at that position.

“I think it’s because he’s such an athlete; he actually looks faster running down the field on a seam route than he does as a quarterback.”

Chris Gates | Area 4-1-Zoo Blog
Twitter.com/Chris_Gates
Chris.Gates@cbsradio.com

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