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Pat Narduzzi comments after Pitt football closed scrimmage

Photo used with permission of University of Pittsburgh athletics department -

In case you missed it, Pitt held its first scrimmage of fall camp on Saturday. I haven't gotten out to many Pitt football training camp practices over the years and haven't been to one since Paul Chryst was here. But one thing I always enjoyed was catching some of the scrimmages when I could. Those were always very loose games, obviously, but it was interesting to see rookies getting some actual 'game' time on the field, see how the reserves were used, etc.

Pat Narduzzi put an end to that at Pitt and to me, it's just one of those things where a coach is sort of paranoid about reports getting out, etc. I can understand that to a degree because their jobs hinge on results and any edge you feel like you can get as a coach, you almost have to take. The unfortunate side of that, of course, is that it just means there's virtually no good information out there since it's an event closed to the media.

Now, do I personally think that by opening up an (unfilmed) scrimmage to media members that it will hurt the team? Nah. Teams have so little time to prepare for other teams during the season. After all, do you honestly think opponents are going to refer to something like a newspaper article about a fourth-string receiver running a reverse in a scrimmage instead of looking at more tangible things such as game film? Not likely. Plus, without film, reading something like that isn't going to help them anymore than if they read an article talking about Pitt wanting to throw more to the running backs. There's just not much substance to it.

All of that said, I can also understand the level of paranoia on the part of coaches in the age of cell phones, information leaks, etc. I don't think they gain much by closing scrimmages, but it's also up to them to run the program the way they think will ultimately produce the most success.

Other than some photographs, the only news out of this was a quote from Narduzzi, released by the athletics department. Here it is:

“Overall, I thought that our offense did a great job of driving the ball. I thought our defense did a good job of playing bend-but-don’t-break ball when they [the offense] got down in the red zone to force field goals. Overall, it was a very healthy scrimmage. It’s always good to come out healthy. I’m sure we will have some bumps and bruises tomorrow, but it was a physical, great-effort scrimmage. I would probably say that the one negative was penalties since it was the first time that we had officials out here today, which was on purpose. We really have been pretty good for five practices with limiting the unforced errors—as far as jumping offside, committing illegal procedures and lining up offside. I knew that a corner would line up offside today, and it happened. So we’ve got to clean up a lot of those mistakes.”

In summary, the defense held, players were healthy, and there were more penalties than usual.

That second part about guys getting out unscathed from a health standpoint is probably the most important thing. It was the first scrimmage of the year so penalties will happen. That shouldn't bother anyone at this point and it's hard to make that a focal point.

The athletics department also has some photos, if that's your thing. The one I chose for this post was actually of true freshman quarterback Tom MacVittie. One small note related to the photos was that the caption for receiver Quadree Henderson, who is battling for a starting job, had a good day. But really, there's not much out there right now. Perhaps more will leak out from the media that are close to the team and down at practices on a daily basis but as a closed event, information could be sort of scarce outside of things like, "I heard so and so had a good day", etc., which could mean anything, unless we see a box score or something.

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