Well, Pitt's training camp is officially coming to a close. Camp actually has officially broken, even though there will be one more practice on Monday. After an off-day Tuesday, Pitt will get back to work on Wednesday and begin preparations for the huge opener vs. Utah.
Here are my top five developments from training camp:
1. Greg Romeus Injury - I'm not sure how big of a concern this should be, but Romeus only managed one full day of practice in pads throughout camp. All during camp, Dave Wannstedt has insisted his injury isn't all that serious. Still, Romeus was virtually absent from on-field action and with camp over, it will be interesting to see how much he actually participates this week. Pitt still has a few days of practice the following week, but Romeus will need more than that. For the record, Wannstedt still expects him to play in the opener:
Pitt cannot afford to get into a shootout with Utah and to avoid that, will need to keep pressure on the QB. Romeus will be a big part of that and will be sorely missed if he's unable to suit up."There’s nothing really new to report on Ray Graham and Greg Romeus except to say that they’re making great improvement, and day-to-day, they’re getting closer and closer. I expect Greg to be fine for opening day.
2. Offensive Line Finalized - Even though this hasn't been officially confirmed, Greg Gaskins has been practicing heavily with the first-team at RG. But the line appears to be set with Alex Karabin (C), Jason Pinkston (OT), Lucas Nix (OT), and Chris Jacobson (LG). No matter how good the line may have looked in camp, it's still going to be a work in progress when it comes to actual game action. Pitt has extraordinary talent on offense with Dion Lewis, Jonathan Baldwin, and Ray Graham, but unless the line can block, it might not matter.
3. QB Progress Relatively Unknown - QB Tino Sunseri appeared to struggle a bit in camp, but really, I didn't get much indication of how he performed one way or the other. We all know he didn't fare well in either scrimmage, but other than that, we might be turning on the Utah game without having much of a clue as to how he'll perform. I expect that first game to include a heavy dose of running and shorter passes, but I'm really at a loss as to what to think he'll look like. I could see him throwing for three TDs or three INTs.
4. Devin Street Steps Up - Street had a good camp and he appears to have secured the spot as the fourth receiver:
"Devin Street has kind of emerged as the fourth guy," Wannstedt said. "He can play [flanker or split end]. He gives us the flexibility of playing with size with Baldwin or Shanahan. After that, it's been Greg Cross and Tinker. We've been very inconsistent. Other than the top four guys I couldn't tell you who is next in line."
On the flip side of that, I guess it's a surprise that Todd Thomas hasn't figured into the rotation. It almost makes you wonder if he'll redshirt if all those guys can stay healthy. After all, how many receivers does Pitt need to play? Wannstedt might be better served to go with Baldwin, Shanahan, Saddler, Street, Cross, and Tinker and hold onto an extra year of eligibility for Thomas.
5. (tie) Bryan Murphy Likely To Redshirt - Murphy was an absolute machine in camp and appeared headed for playing time this season. But his broken foot likely wiped out any hopes of getting on the field and barring any injuries to other key players ahead of him, should be redshirting.
5. (tie) Ray Graham Injured - Graham's injury doesn't appear to be too serious. Still, he hasn't practiced recently and while Wannstedt indicated he expected Greg Romeus to be ready for the opener, he made no such claim about Graham:
Ray is running straight ahead right now, tomorrow will be the first day that he’ll start making cuts so we’ll see where he’s at there. He’s coming along, we just don’t want to do anything faster than what we need to."
If Graham isn't ready for the opener, Jason Douglas will likely be thrown into backup running back duty. And it will become even more important for Dion Lewis to stay healthy.