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Pitt Football: Offensive Offense?

I'll be the first to admit that Pitt's offense is a bit of a question mark heading into next season. I gave the topic even more thought when Andrea Adelson over at ESPN listed her top offenses for the conference in 2012.

Suffice to say, her opinion of the Panthers isn't all that high.

Adelson didn't include Pitt in her top five and while I can understand the rationale a bit, the team still has enough weapons and intrigue to make me think they should do better than that.

The biggest thing is obviously the strength of the running game. Even if incoming freshman Rushel Shell doesn't make an immediate impact, the Panthers will still have perhaps the best back in the league in Ray Graham. Pitt could easily have the best running game in the conference and that's got to count for something.

Then there's the passing game.

I'm not going to pretend as if the aerial attack is going to rival that of the 1980s 49ers, but I do think it will be markedly better this year. The offensive line still has a ton of work to do, but if Graham can stay healthy, that will keep defenses honest. Tino Sunseri is also a year older (and hopefully wiser) and when you mix in Pitt's simplified approach, I honestly think we'll see a Sunseri that is more 2010 than 2011. That doesn't mean he's going to be slinging the ball all over the field, but I think he'll be improved.

The other thing is that the receivers didn't exactly do him a ton of favors last season. There should be more cohesiveness with Tino and the wideouts after playing together for a season and it all adds up to more production. The Post-Gazette's Paul Zeise also said Sunseri is looking more comfortable in spring practices and that's a welcome change from last season.

Pitt's offense still has a lot of questions, but I wouldn't be surprised if they opened some eyes - especially in a weak Big East.

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