PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – As they gear up for camp, Pitt football running back James Conner and center Artie Rowell found themselves in-studio talking with Starkey and Mueller about the upcoming season, who to keep an eye on and the impression Aaron Donald has left on the program.
Things opened up with Conner talking about the rumors that he may be asked to play on both sides of the ball this year, lining up at running back on offense, and putting his hand in the dirt as a defensive lineman.
“Defense is definitely fun, but I’ve been playing running back ever since I first started playing football so that’s what comes the easiest to me, and that’s what I enjoy the most,” Conner said.
When asked about what his role on defense may be, Conner tells us there could be some special packages he’ll play in.
“There’s a certain package. Coach [Chryst] had an interview early down at the ACC meeting and he just said they’re not sure how many snaps it’s going to be, but I’ll get a couple of snaps on defense. He said he thinks I can help them out, so how ever many snaps he wants me to play, that’s what I’ll do.”
(Photo Credit: Streeter Lacka/Getty)
In their second segment, Rowell told us about what it was like going against former Pitt defensive lineman Aaron Donald in practice.
“Aaron is the best football player I’ve ever played against or ever seen on film,” Rowell said. “His speed, strength, and he knows football to the point where he can tell what you’re doing before you do it. As an offensive lineman, you do your best to not give keys away, and he can just tell. He knows what you’re going to do.”
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
As the guys stuck around for a third segment, the conversation turned more towards other players we should keep an eye on in the upcoming season. When asked who the newest freak athlete on the team is that we might now know about, Rowell stuck with his offensive line mates.
“Dorian Johnson, a local guy out of Belle Vernon,” Rowell said. “He’s one of the strongest guys on the team as a second-year guy. He’s fast, he’s in shape, he probably has the most ‘wow’ moments during practice.”
(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
In the final segment, we hear a bit about the locker room culture for the Panthers and the heated ping pong battles that take place.
“Chad [Voytik] is good, Tyler [Boyd] is good, our kicker Chris Blewitt is good,” Conner said.
The guys even tell us about the different styles of play from the different players.