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August 3, 2012
Countdown to camp: The offense
With training camp right around the corner, Panther-Lair.com has been previewing the 2012 Pitt football team position-by-position. So far, the previews have focused on the offense, and before the breakdowns turn to defense, here's a recap of the offensive previews:
"Chryst honed his offensive acumen as the coordinator at Wisconsin, where he earned a reputation as a savvy play-caller who was adept at tailoring his scheme to the players, particularly the quarterback. That should be music to Sunseri's ears, who would do well to play in a system that is designed to maximize his strengths and mask his weaknesses.
The ultimate question is how far Pitt can go with Sunseri, even if he is playing at his best. Pitt will have a strong stable of running backs in senior Ray Graham, sophomore Isaac Bennett, and freshman Rushel Shell, the Panthers' receivers should be good fits for the pro-style offense, and the coaching staff has shown that it wants to involve the tight ends quite a bit. The offensive line will be a question mark, but good play design/play-calling should give Sunseri an opportunity to overcome that."
Click here for the quarterbacks preview
Runing Backs and Wide Receivers
"The coaching staff can't expect to have a fully-healthy Graham when camp opens. However, the coaches will have several good options to keep the seat warm while he completes his rehabilitation."
"While Pitt has done a good job recruiting athletes in recent years, wide receiver isn't exactly overloaded with playmakers. Despite having a number of experienced receivers and a few pockets of speed, the receiving corps overall doesn't stand out for its explosiveness or playmaking ability."
Click here for the preview of the skill players
"Now Pitt has Paul Chryst and the pro-style offense. Chryst and offensive coordinator/tight ends coach Joe Rudolph have made no secret of their desire to use tight ends and use them a lot. In fact, the coaches have commented to tight end recruits that the position's meeting room felt remarkably unfilled with just three players at the position. So they have set a high target number for tight ends in the recruiting class of 2013 (the staff plans to take at least two, if not three), but that's the future; what's relevant is how the staff will proceed in 2012 with the current roster."
Click here for the tight ends preview
"Year after year, the offensive line is one of the primary question marks for the Pitt football team. And in looking back over the last seven seasons, only once - 2009 - could the line be called a strength of the team. Entering 2012, Paul Chryst, offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph, and offensive line coach Jim Hueber once again find themselves dealing with holes on the two-deep, unproven underclassmen, and a big task - finding an effective group of five - in a short time."
Click here for the offensive line preview