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From Pitt PR- Coach Pat Narduzzi Quote Sheet
“Today was our first day in pads, not a bad day. As I told the kids afterwards, the enthusiasm was good, intensity was really good, but attention to detail not so good. But it was a normal first day in pads. I think there are going to be missed tackles. I think the offense had some big plays that you don’t want to give up on defense, but you’re fired up as a head coach to see those. There were some turnovers and there was some sloppiness, so it was a sloppy first day in pads, but we like to hit and we like a lot of contact, so I think they had a lot of fun today.”
On practicing at Heinz Field:
“I talked to our kids. This is our house and we’ve got to play well at Heinz Field. There’s got to be a different attitude when you walk into this place as opposed to the indoor. And you hope to have that attitude wherever you practice. However, when you come into here, you better be ready to go. And that’s something we’ve got to kick up. Last year we didn’t get to get in here at all. Last fall I think we got in here twice. And when we got in here twice we weren’t allowed to tackle just so we didn’t tear up the grass. So it’s really important to get in here.”
On any perceived difference in attitude practicing at Heinz Field:
“It’s hard to tell the attitude difference because they’re really always just fired up. The first live period after a 10-minute warm-up period just to get it going, there was a ton of enthusiasm there. So I couldn’t tell if it was Heinz or if they were just happy to get out of the shorts and play football.
“It’s hard to tell the difference because I think there was a lot of energy. Was it Heinz or was it contact? I don’t know. We’ll find out the next time for sure. Because then they’ll have hit people already and they’re not so anxious to make contact.
“Twelve [practices are permitted in pads by the NCAA]. You have to have three in shorts but then 12 where you’re allowed to have pads.”
On standout offensive plays in today’s practice:
“Quadree Henderson had a nice big run, kind of like some of the stuff you saw last year from Tyler Boyd, running some sweep plays. Tre Tipton I remember had a big play. You see a big play and you’re getting after somebody or coaching somebody up. I’m sure there were some that I didn’t mention, but those were the two that stood out to me.”
On the quarterbacks:
“I thought, just with the pass ‘skelly,’ I think there’s some pretty good timing with our offense and receivers, and obviously Nathan [Peterman] is our starter. We’re trying to find that next guy and right now I don’t know who that is.
“Nathan looked good, and, like I said, we’re still looking for that next guy.”
On the growing relationship between the offensive players and new coordinator Matt Canada:
“I think they’re having fun. I think they’re having a good time and they’ve bought into the offense, so I think that’s important.”
On what he’s seen from offensive lineman Alex Bookser this spring:
“He’s really playing well at center. Is that going to be his spot? I don’t know. But the move was made because we were trying to get our best five on the field. And at this point, right now, he’s definitely one of those top five. When [Alex] Officer gets back, there’s going to be a battle. I don’t know where things are going to fall but at this point, it’s getting our best five on the field, and he was anxious in trying that spot. So I think it’s good for him that he’s played tackle and he’s played guard and now he’s playing center. So he can play everywhere and he’s done a good job.”