PITTSBURGH -- I'll have plenty of coverage from my two-part visit to Pittsburgh, but here are some early thoughts and tidbits:
As usual, this is what Dick Vitale would call an All-Airport Team. Meaning, the Panthers sure look good in person, like a football team ought to look. I've been to several spring camps now, and there just aren't many physical specimens like Greg Romeus and Jonathan Baldwin to be found anywhere in the Big East -- or many other places, for that matter.
This is a team that has a lot of answers. But the No. 1 pressing concern is the interior of the offensive line, which is all new. Chris Jacobson was a big-time recruit and should be fine at left guard. Questions remain about center Alex Karabin and right guard Greg Gaskins. The tackle spots are in good shape, but you don't want to be weak up the middle, especially a team that likes to run as much as Pitt."It's going to be probably an ongoing process throughout training camp and throughout the season," Dave Wannstedt said. "Those guys will probably be playing their best football in December. It's one of those positions where it will take some time to bring those guys along."
Wannstedt had glowing words for linebacker Tristan Roberts, who missed all of last year with an injury. Roberts is pushing two-year starter Greg Williams for that outside linebacker job and may win it."He looks like a different player than before he got hurt," Wannstedt said. "He's more physical, smart and he's moving around confidently."
I'll have a story later today on the secondary, which is working in a lot of new pieces, especially at safety. That group will look a lot different in the fall when healthy, but the DBs played pretty well against Pitt's talented receiving group on Tuesday.
Tino Sunseri throws a great-looking ball. It's got zip and a tight spiral. I'll be stunned if he's not the starting quarterback, and I think he could have a really good year. Wannstedt praised him for not turning the ball over this spring, which of course is one of Wannstedt's cardinal rules for his quarterbacks.
Mick Williams and Gus Mustakas are gone, but Pitt just plugs in new defensive linemen. Keep an eye on Tyrone Ezell. Dude looks like a beast.
Favorite line of the day: Kicker Dan Hutchins walked by me on the sidelines and said, "Hey, I know you. You used to play here." Yep. Though I've changed a bit since then.
I still need to see West Virginia, and there's a whole summer to deal with. But you'd have to really talk me out of making Pitt the Big East favorite at this point.