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Pitt Football: Todd Thomas To Play Defense ... Kolby Gray, Too?


The verdict is in and Todd Thomas is apparently making the move to defense for good. Thomas, if you'll remember, was a four-star recruit last season who has the capability of playing on both sides of the ball.

Last I heard (at least, last I can remember), Thomas was scheduled to play at wide receiver. But alas, that was under the Dave Wannstedt regime. It's not as if Wannstedt didn't give some thought about where to play him, so a move to defense was always a possibility.

Todd Graham seems to have made that a reality:

On Todd Thomas:

"We’re still evaluating where we’re going to put him. It’s hard to do that when we’re not going full pads. He’ll be a strong safety type hybrid for us. But he’s not moving, he’ll stay over there (on the defensive side of the ball). As he comes off that surgery, we just want to stay cautious with it. He won’t do any contact drills or anything like that, but we’ll try some limited agility stuff, but we’re taking it slow."

While Thomas could be an asset on at receiver with the loss of Jon BaldwinI wrote before that I preferred him on defense. That's even more so with the loss of Dom DeCicco this year, so I think Graham is making a wise choice to really try to improve the pass coverage.

I also like how Graham doesn't seem to be leaving any room for flip-flopping. Have coaches said similar things about not moving players around? Sure. But I'll take Graham at his word and it seems like he's making a decision and sticking with it.

Well, actually....speaking of flip-flopping:

"Kolby Gray slid back over to safety. We have had a couple of guys have some minor nagging injuries so Gray will do whatever it takes for the team. He will still represent the role of quarterback but we can only have three in that position right now. He had a great first day and practice went very well."

Okay, so maybe by reading that quote you're thinking that Gray is only temporariiy filling in for practice. Well, it doesn't sound like it here:

"Kolby Gray, Jarred Holley and Andrew Taglianetti are battling it out for the safety position. Gray and Taglianetti have all the reps at safety and right now Holley has had some minor nagging so we decided to be cautious with him at this time. Holley is not hurt but we just want to be careful because I hold a lot of confidence with him and know he has great

potential as a player. "Our free safety will go to the field and our bandit safety will be to the boundary. Our free safety is what people call a strong safety and our bandit safety is what people call a free or weak safety. The bandit safety will be more of the run forcer and the free safety will be more of a quarterback. We do not use the usual terminology because then it signifies you are slow. I want every one of my players on the field to be fast.

"At first I was worried about depth in the safety position and with our cornerback but will Kolby Gray moving over to safety I have a lot more confidence."

Personally, I don't mind all that much about Gray moving back after Graham said he would be a quarterback. But what does he mean by "He will still represent the role of quarterback" - that's as cryptic as it comes.