ACC Media Days wrapped up on Monday and we were fortunate enough to have some SB Nation folks down there. On Sunday, I brought you a little bit of what Tyler Boyd had to say, but on Monday, it was all about head coach Paul Chryst. Chryst touched on a ton of topics - really too much to cram into one post. So I've split this up a little - the first part covers what he had to say about the team and the second part, which I'll run later today, covered some thoughts on recruiting.
The big question I had that was relayed was about the Ejuan Price injury. Specifically, the impact it would have on the team and if it would have an impact on Conner's time on the defensive side of the ball. I covered this late last night/early this morning, but in a nutshell, Chryst isn't planning to utilize Conner more on defense because of the injury. He spoke at length about it and I won't recopy the quotes here. But the gist of it is that the coaching staff doesn't want to overload Conner. It really sounded as if they are going to be pretty cautious in how they use him and not play him more than he can realistically take on.
Bottom line: They will use him on defense but the priority for James is clearly on offense.
Chryst also spoke about quarterback Chad Voytik and the main point there is that he is making strides ... and needs to continue to do so.
"I think he’s got a lot of growth still to be had, which is alright. It’s where he should be. He’s certainly had some meaningful experience. We’ve got to do a great job of making sure that he understands the offense and we understand what he can do with the offense. Same thing if Trey ends up being that guy - that’s our job as coaches. But I like the way that he’s approached the offseason and I think he’s finding that he feels like he’s accomplishing something with the work he’s put in."
And no, I don't think Trey has a realistic shot here, folks.
Chryst also touched on something I've specifically brought up in the past - teams game-planning more for Tyler Boyd. As I've indicated in the past, that could/should happen for a couple of reasons. First, the book is out on him and he won't be sneaking up on anyone after his big freshman year. The other factor is that Pitt is without Devin Street, who really helped keep defenses honest. Chryst clearly acknowledged that Boyd is going to need some help in the form of someone else stepping up.
"Certainly they’re (other teams) going to know about Tyler and then it’s who’s going to step up to take the pressure off. We’ve got to do a good job of what we do schematically for Tyler, but also guys have to step up and others need to take the pressure and apply it to the defense so that they can’t just focus on Tyler."
The other factor, of course, is what Voytik brings to the table. Tom Savage was able to get the ball to Boyd with his strong arm. I think Boyd is too talented to hold down completely, but a lot of his success is going to be tied into Voytik's ability to make the easy throws and giving him a chance on deeper routes.
A little later today, I'll have more on Chryst as he also hit on recruiting quite a bit during his session at the ACC Media Days.
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