4-1-Zoo: Probable Pitt Starters
PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — Pitt training camp finished up on Saturday with a closed scrimmage in which coach Todd Graham expected the final position battles to be determined.
Since it was closed to the media, neither I nor any other writer knows the exact details of what went down. But barring any injuries or surprise developments, here’s what the Panthers should look like come Week 1.
QB — Tino Sunseri
RB — Ray Graham
WR — Mike Shanahan
WR — Devin Street
WR — Cam Saddler
LT — Jordan Gibbs
LG — Chris Jacobson
C — Ryan Turnley
RG — Cory King
RT — Lucas Nix
I’ve only listed 10 players here because, since none of us have ever seen this team compete in actual game play, it’s hard to predict where the extra player will come from.
Pitt has the experienced Zach Brown that can come out of the backfield. There’s also the possibility of Anthony Gonzalez at H-back, or Salath Williams as your fourth wide receiver.
Regardless, Pitt looks to be pretty deep as far as weapons go offensively. If Sunseri can perform consistently in this new system and if the offensive line can follow suit Pitt could be pretty deadly with the ball.
DL — Aaron Donald
DL — Myles Caragein
DL — Chas Alecxih
PL — Brandon Lindsey
SL — Todd Thomas
ILB — Max Gruder
ILB — Shane Gordon
CB — Buddy Jackson
CB — Antwuan Reed
BS — Jason Hendricks
FS — Jarred Holley
First off, some of these abbreviations may be confusing because of the change in terminology in Pitt’s new defensive system. To help, here’s some descriptions of what may raise questions…
PL stands for Panther Linebacker, which is one of the hybrid positions in this defense. Lindsey will occupy this position, rotating from a stand-up linebacker to a down lineman as a defensive end. He’ll move from side to side to attack weaknesses on the opposition.
SL stands for SAM Linebacker, and it is the other outside linebacker position. The final abbreviation that might not be familiar is BS, which stands for Bandit Safety.
At all these positions it’s important to know that Pitt is incredibly deep on defense. The defensive line alone could feature as many as seven players that see a significant amount of snaps in a given game.
At inside linebacker, Tristan Roberts will likely see a lot of time as well. He’s an experienced fifth-year senior that can be a big help. Accordingly, expect to see a lot of K’Waun Williams at cornerback, as he’s a young player that has a lot of talent and has really impressed this coaching staff.
With all of that said, you could see as many as 17 or 18 guys rotating in and out on defense on any given Saturday.
Chris Gates | Area 4-1-Zoo Blog