Recapping the first week of Pitt football camp plus an exclusive interview with Linebackers Coach Rob Harley on the defense.


From Pitt PR Staff-
Head Coach Pat Narduzzi
Opening Statement:
“Day number four, kids are fired up. Yesterday was a solid practice. Was it a great practice? It never is as a coach. We’ve got to have more attention to details. Little, little, little things—it’s perfect alignments. Sometimes guys think they’re getting lined up on offense or defense in the right spot, but there’s a difference between the top of the numbers and the bottom of the numbers. There’s fine details as coaches that make things perfect and we’re looking for perfection. So we’ve still got a ways to go.”
On how physical practice was:
“I think the intent was there. We’re trying to really practice smart. I think it’s a humungous advantage practicing next to the Steelers because I think our kids learn how to practice like pros. Most people don’t understand how the pros practice. You’ve got a 54-man roster, you can’t get guys hurt and million dollar players. Our guys aren’t million dollar players yet, but we’ve got a lot of them that will be. When they get out there, they get a chance to see it. We’re trying to focus and trying to get them to play fast but also be safe. There’s a fine line there. It’s hard as a defender to try to run through and knock the crap out of somebody if you know you have to stay up off the ground and you don’t want to knock guys into [things] or whatever it may be. We’re going to keep everybody safe. It’s one step above that shorts level. We’re going to keep them off the ground, which we did.”
On the effectiveness of practicing in only shoulder pads:
“You talk about the health of your players. We go out here and throw them all on and go, but you can’t do that. You have to be careful. You’ve got to get good teaching done at the same time as not beating the heck out of your players.”
On his prior experience with strength coach Dave Andrews:
“I knew a lot about Dave Andrews before I hired him. Dave was my first [graduate assistant] at Cincinnati. For two years he was a football G.A. for us. He’s my right hand man. Our G.A.s are so important to us as coaches. As a coordinator, you have your guy who’s right next to you and he was my guy. When I got to Cincinnati, he was there for all three years I was there, but two years he worked with us in the office and then he wanted to get into strength, so one year he was one of the strength coaches down in the weight room. He stayed there for a couple years with Coach [Brian] Kelly then he left to go to Illinois, then he went with Coach Kelly again to Notre Dame. I was fortunate enough to be able to get him at the right time.”
“You could do front page and back page in your newspaper on Dave Andrews. Not only is he a great strength coach, he’s got great knowledge of what he’s doing. At times you say, ‘Golly, he could be an athletic trainer, too.’ He knows his sciences. He’s a great motivator and he’s a disciplinarian. What else could you want? That’s why it’s so critical. Our kids will spend more time with our strength coach in the summer and even the offseason. You think about all the time we’re on the road recruiting in December and January. If Coach Andrews is with them all summer, he’s with them in December and January when we’re recruiting and even February. He’s with them more than we are because we’re out chasing high schoolers around.”
On the hiring process for strength coaches:
“That [Andrews] was my first hire because I knew I wanted him. Now if I didn’t have him or he said no then I would have been in freak mode, I guess, trying to find out who it was. It probably would have been my last hire because I would have made sure I got the right guy. I think [Andrews] is one of the best in the country.”
On using Khaynin Mosley-Smith and Tyrique Jarrett at the same time on the defensive line:
“Oh, yeah, no doubt about it. I mean, those guys will be in there together with [Darryl] Render. Render’s got some beef, too. We’re pretty salty inside.”
On if the team has any injuries:
“Of course we do. Shoot, we’ve got nicks from yesterday. Everybody has a little nick here or there. It wouldn’t be camp if you didn’t.”

Defensive Line Coach Tom Sims
On Tyrique Jarrett and K.K. Mosley-Smith playing next to each other:
“They’re a whole lot to move. They’re working hard and getting better every day. But it’s an open competition and, at the end of the day, the best one will play.”
On Tyrique Jarrett’s progression:
“He worked his butt off during the summer. But let’s make no bones about it—all of us have a long way to go before we’re ready to play.”
On flexibility at the defensive tackle position:
“There are certain things that you look for at the three technique and there are certain things you look for at the nose. You want a quicker, more athletic guy at the three and a bigger, more physical guy at the nose. If you get the best of both worlds where you have a combination of that, then it becomes a little bit more interchangeable. But, in theory, you want your best athlete at the three.”
On the importance of versatility on the interior defensive line:
“They have the ability to go back and forth. They have to have the ability to play both spots. You want to get your four best players on the field at the end of the day, and then you adjust your scheme to fit those four best players. That’s the first part of it. Then the next part of it is we don’t know who’s going to start. This is an open competition. Every day will be about that competition. We’ll put them all out there, and the best four will start. Everyone else who can contribute will contribute to the level that they earn.”
On the defensive ends:
“They’re coming along. But, again, we have a long way to go. We have some guys that have made moves from other positions that are still learning the nuances of it. We have some guys that we expect to step up. Everybody needs to step up and contribute.”
On former linebacker James Folston’s move to end:
“I see athleticism. We have to get that technique and assignment football caught up with the athleticism.”
On Mark Scarpinato:
“‘Scarp’ has hit the ground running. I’m really pleased with his work ethic and I’m pleased with his approach to the game. He’s going to be a welcome addition for us.
“He knows the system extremely well, but he’s helpful because he works hard to get better.”
On Shakir Soto and Ejuan Price:
“Soto is coming along. I like his work ethic. There are things that we all have to do better, starting with me, but I like how he’s approaching it with a good attitude.”
“Ejuan was with us in the spring, and he’s continuing to get better. He works hard. He’s not where we want him and he has to continue to improve, but he’s taken steps forward. He’s definitely taken steps forward.”

Defensive Lineman Khaynin Mosley-Smith
On how the defense is looking:
“We are looking good but still have some improvements to make. We are out there fighting, running to the ball and trying to get better each day with learning this new defense. Coach Narduzzi has a great scheme for us and if we get it down pat we could be a great defense.”
On whether the defense has picked up where it left off from the spring:
“It definitely has. The guys that were here this summer, we all came out on our own and went to work. We learned the defense on our own trying to prepare for our first game so we can come in with a full head of steam.”
On lining up next to Tyrique Jarrett:
“We are rotating around as a defensive line. We are trying new things out and bringing in fresh legs constantly. All we have to do then is go to work.”
On the difference between the two defensive tackle positions and playing both:
“I feel like I am a swing player. Right now I have been playing a lot of ‘three’ but I can also play the nose tackle. You have to be athletic to play the three so you can anchor down on the backside and get ready to hold the offense up. It doesn’t really matter to me which position I play. I can go to work at both spots.”
On playing with graduate transfer Mark Scarpinato:
“He is a great player and has a lot of enthusiasm behind him day in and day out. He gets along with everyone and you can see his passion for football. There is no doubt he will help us out a lot with the defensive scheme especially coming from Michigan State and playing under Coach Narduzzi.”

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