New ESPN.com Big East blogger Andrea Adelson took a look at Pitt's new high octane offense and what it will take to run it. Along the way, strength and conditioning coach, Shawn Griswold, admitted that Pitt isn't ready yet to do what he wants to do.
And they probably won't be this season.
So how does a team go about trying to get conditioned for this kind of offense? Well, it's more than simply running:
To that end, new director of strength and conditioning Shawn Griswold has designed a program that is completely different from what players did in the past at Pittsburgh. The tempo has been picked up in the weight room. Instead of one-minute breaks between reps, players have 30 seconds. There is more high-volume running. There is more specialization for each position group. During workouts, players must run and not walk to the water fountain or to their next station.
And according to Griswold, Pitt not only isn't ready right now to do all that he wants them to do - they might not be ready until next year:
Griswold says it usually takes more than a year to get into the proper shape to run this style. There is no way he will be able to do what he did at Tulsa last summer.
"The amount of volume and conditioning and limited rest intervals was outstanding," he said. "I looked back at it today and said, 'Can you believe we ran this kind of stuff? That’s how good a shape they were in."
When you really think about it, that shouldn't be all that surprising. Still, to hear it from one of the staff members makes you wonder just what we're going to get this season? Part of me thinks that we're going to see some kind of halfway version of the high-octane offense we've been promised. Defenses may be kept off-guard a bit, but I wonder just how much the offense will struggle a little bit on their own.
The thing is, though, it's hard to complain about that. Graham isn't a miracle-worker and he can only do so much in eight months time - especially when his workouts/practices are limited. Throw in the fact that he's not working with his own personnel and it makes it even harder.
So just where is Graham's team? He says about halfway:
"We've got to get in shape to run the no-huddle," said Graham, whose 2010 Tulsa team averaged 505.6 yards of total offense and 41.4 points a game. Tulsa was ranked fifth in total offense and eighth in scoring.
"We can run about a half at our tempo right now. So the guys are getting in shape. I think our strength staff is the best in the country and they'll have those guys ready."
The good news? Pitt is at least making headway ... and you've got to start somewhere.