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Pitt Football Spring Practice: Panthers' First Day Tougher Than Expected

Pitt’s players knew the first practice would be an eye-opener under head coach Todd Graham’s new system. But they probably didn’t truly realize what they were in for:

During the one period open for observation, the offensive and defensive units were asked to run on and off the field in between plays at a brisk pace. According to wide receiver’s coach Jay Norvell, that pace will only get faster as the players catch on to the system

“It was a good first day, a lot of learning, a lot of teaching, but we do things at a very fast pace,” Norvell said. "After the practice, the receivers came up to me and I just started laughing and said, ’Ya’all thought I was lying to you,’ and they said, ‘No, coach, but we thought you embellished it a little.’

“It was good, guys were buying into it and starting to play fast. It was a shock to them, we put in this system and it is tough to be able to execute at the tempo that we want to and I even told them [Tuesday] wasn’t fast enough. It is only our first day but that was nowhere close to being fast enough for our goals and expectations.”

Sure, the players will eventually adjust. The question is, how fast will they do it.

So how did those quarterbacks do? Well, it sounds like Graham was pleased with Tino:

Graham saved his highest praise for Sunseri, who started every game and completed 64.5 percent of his passes last season as a sophomore.

“Tino, you can tell, is experienced,” he said. “He managed. He led. He listens. He is very eager to learn. He was very efficient throwing the football. Tino exceeded my expectations today.”

The QB battle is obviously just beginning, but that sounds like a good start for Tino.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.