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Pitt Football: Camp Observations 8/7

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Here is a recap from Day 4 of Pitt Football training camp.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

-- The big story of the day was Tyler Boyd - he did not practice. It left everyone outside of the loop guessing for about two hours, but Chryst addressed it as nothing more than getting him some rest. He indicated that is something will do for some players to keep them fresh.

-- With Boyd being out, it opened the door for a lot of other receivers to get some more reps. This was a group I followed closely today, and I think that some guys really showed up with the absence of Boyd. Ronald Jones stepped into the starting role in certain drills, and he did well. Jones is a guy that is built completely different than the other guys, as he is much smaller. He looked comfortable out there, after all it is his fourth training camp.

-- Jester Weah and Dontez Ford also looked good. Ford is a Syracuse transfer, and looks good at running routes. Weah is a big, freak athlete and I asked coach Greg Lewis about him, and he seemed to be very pleased with his progression and said, "he is playing with a lot of confidence."

-- Adonis Jennings returned to full action today, and he was another guy that looked good. He was out with a reoccurring groin problem, but he looked fine today. All indications from Coach Lewis and Coach Chryst point to Jennings seeing the field this year. Lewis described him as "big, tall, fast. and strong" and standing next to him it's hard to argue that. He is well put together for a freshman receiver.

--  I did not attend yesterday's practice, but that was the first day with shoulder pads. Today was noticeably louder than the first two days I was there with the pads cracking. James Conner introduced himself to one of the freshman, Pat Amara, with a bulldozing run on the sideline that got the team buzzing.

-- Speaking of Conner, he continues to get work with the defensive ends during special teams. Conner has yet to see any time in scrimmage situations at End, but don't forget he is the team's starting running back, and that is still his priority on this team.

-- The Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons were here today, as NFL teams must send tons of feelers out there during camp. They seemed to watch the offensive line for some time, indicating they must be intrigued with TJ Clemmings or Matt Rotheram.

-- Freshman corner, Phillipie Motley, was in a walker boot. He had his pads on, so he was not entirely out of practice, but clearly limited in what he could do.

-- It looked like Ronald Jones, Avonte Maddox, and Lafayette Pitts working as kick returners. With Pitts changing to #6, him and Boyd could be out there together this season.

-- The wide receiver and defensive backs did some one on one drills today, and as you can imagine, they become very spirited drills. With Boyd out the marquee matchup to watch was Trenton Coles taking on Manasseh Garner. Coles looked very good in practice today.  He has every opportunity in the world to become a star player for this defense, he seems to be running with it through four days of practice.

-- As far as the quarterback battle goes.....there isn't one. Chryst is taking his time with the official decision, but Voytik's passes are all where they need to be, Anderson's can be all over the place. Not saying Voytik has been perfect, but he's clearly been better.

-- The safety battle is one that we have been keeping an eye on, but it seems like Terrish Webb has been seeing most of the reps there. In Nickel packages, Reggie Mitchell comes in along with Bam Bradley as the second linebacker. Mitchell has looked good, but Webb seems to have a step on him right now.

-- Some of the biggest plays in the scrimmage included Conner running over Amara like I mentioned earlier, Trey Anderson and Jester Weah connected for a 60 yard score, and Trenton Coles came up with an interception off a tipped pass and was able to bring it back for a nice little return. Coles is a vocal guy, he let everyone know he made the play.

That's all I got for today, check back tomorrow for another report as it will be the first day in full pads for the team.

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