Pitt Offense Looks To Fill Holes Left By Conner, Peterman - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

Pitt Offense Looks To Fill Holes Left By Conner, Peterman

Posted: Updated:

The Pitt Panthers Football team held its annual Media Day on Tuesday.

As week two of camp continues, the Panthers enter the 2017 with many holes hoping to be filled by younger players. Pitt returns only 11 starters, the biggest of those position concerns sit at running back with the departure of James Conner to the Pittsburgh Steelers and quarterback, with Nathan Peterman off to the Buffalo Bills. 

The running back opening left by Conner seems as the easier of the two positions to fill with options such as junior Qadree Ollison, junior Darrin Hall and sophomore Chawntez Moss expected to see heavy playing time this season.

"You know they get better everyday," said Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi. "We're not looking for that one tailback, I'm looking like who are the top three. I mean you need three or four of those guys and if you have one horse that's great and James [Conner] was our horse a year ago. You know I hope we have two or three that we can rotate in there, keep them fresh and give people a different guy to tackle."

Ollison is the back with the most experience. He replaced Conner in 2015 as a freshman after the former Pitt star went down in the opening week with a knee injury. He rushed for over 1,100 yards and 11 touchdowns. Even with that experience from two years ago, he feels that the group at tailback will be ready to challenge each other.

"It just creates more competition and competition brings out the best in you," Ollison said. "It makes you a better player and that's what we want to be. In our room we just encourage each other to do just that."

Darren Hall sees this year as a chance for this running back group to begin the next chapter of great Pitt backs.

"I think we are progressing really well," Hall said. "You know we compete everyday, we're working hard and we're ready to make our own legacy."

The leader of the quarterback battle right now looks to be USC graduate transfer Max Browne. He is looking to replace the production as the signal caller left by Peterman. Browne saw action in nine games for the Trojans last season. He began the season as the USC starter before being replaced by Sam Darnold. Narduzzi still sees the competition as open, with all quarterbacks needing work

"He's been able to go through spring ball Max [Browne] has and go through spring ball and go through the entire summer, which the summer is a major thing," Narduzzi said. "You go through it and for a quarterback to drop back hand it off to the right guy and watch the rats go down the field. Whether he throw's it to the right guy, whether he finishes the right play, he's out there doing it and the words are going through his mouth. It been critical for Max to have been here."

"It's been great. The entire QB room is as talented as I have been around and I've been around some good ones. So its great for our team," said Browne. "Your competing throw for throw. Their charting everything, their keeping the stats, but its fun competing, but I'm also at the stage of my career where I'm competing against myself and kind of looking forward to competing and kind of helping this team to do what ever it takes to take this offense to the next level that's kind of the goal of each practice."

Pitt will see how well those holes left by departures have been filled when the Panthers open up their season Sept. 2 at home against Youngstown St. 

Current Conditions

Upload your own image or video

Powered by Frankly
3514 State St. Erie, PA 16508
Newsroom: (814) 454-8812
Business offices: (814) 454-5201
Share Stories
Submit your stories to our site!
Share Photos
Share your photos in our community galleries
RSS Feeds
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WICU. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.
                   WICU/WSEE - 3514 State Street Erie, PA 16508 - (814) 454-5201 - info@wicu12.com