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Luke Kuechly Color Rush Jersey

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    October 9, 2019 8:02 PM PDT

    PITTSBURGH (AP) — Kenny Pickett knows his numbers in his first year as Pittsburgh’s starting quarterback weren’t great. He doesn’t particularly care.What the numbers failed to show were all the times he would come to the line of scrimmage Brian Burns Jersey , survey the defense and check for the right play, a play that was almost always a handoff for a team that relied heavily on the running back tandem of Darrin Hall and Qadree Ollision.Those heady decisions earned Pickett praise during video review sessions the next morning, even if they didn’t fill up the stat sheet with gaudy passing numbers or do much to build on the “Kenny Perfect” moniker bestowed upon him following his electric debut as a freshman at the end of 2017.“I’m not here to please fans,” said Pickett, who threw for 1,969 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2018 Luke Kuechly Color Rush Jersey , both totals that failed to crack the top 10 in the 14-team ACC. “I’m here to please the guys in our locker room, on our coaching staff. So as long as I’m doing right by my teammates first and then the coaches, it’s OK with me. I just want to win.”Something the Panthers did enough last season to earn the program its first ACC Coastal Division title . Yet momentum in the Coastal is fickle. No team has repeated as Coastal champions since Virginia Tech in 2011.For Pitt to get back to Charlotte to face the Atlantic Division winner on the first Saturday in December, the Panthers need the passing game to be more of a threat. Being one-dimensional caught up to Pitt late in the year, when it ended the season with a three-game losing streak that included a lopsided loss to Clemson in which the Panthers managed just eight yards through the air.New offensive coordinator Mark Whipple was brought in to provide a jolt . He and Pickett holed up during much of the spring and portions of the summer, with Whipple — whose coaching career includes three stops in the NFL — often using tape of NFL stars Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers to make a point.The underlying message isn’t to expect Pickett to play as they do Ryan Kalil Color Rush Jersey , but to give him tangible proof that the points Whipple is attempting to make have merit. Consider Pickett a believer. Their meetings didn’t focus so much on what play Whipple called but why he called it, a process that Pickett says has allowed him to become a coach on the field. The trickle down has generated a greater buy-in by the offensive players as a whole.“He’s way more confident and way more stronger to where he can handle what he has to do,” senior wide receiver Maurice Ffrench said. “He’s more mature now. Me and him sit down and watch film with one another and read everything and I understand and pick his brain to: ‘Where do you want me to be? How do you want me to run this route?’ That’s how our whole receivers’ room is. Just to be on the same page.”Other things to watch for as Pitt looks to prove its unlikely rise from a 2-3 start to a spot in the ACC title game last year was no fluke.REBOOT AT RBUHall and Ollison — both of whom topped 1,000 yards in 2018 — are now in the NFL. Enter A.J. Davis and Todd Sibley Jr., who have 72 career touches combined.“I think for the most part they understand what we’re trying to get done, but there’s so many little nuances that it just takes time to learn Graham Gano Jersey ,” running backs coach Andrew Powell said. “It’s going to take some time. We’re going to be patient and we’ll figure out who can play winning football and we’ll try to get them in a position to help us win.”DEPTH ON DPitt coach Pat Narduzzi built his resume by constructing intimidating defenses at Michigan State. Now in his fifth season with the Panthers, he might be doing the same at Pitt. However, there are serious questions at linebacker — which is trying to replace three starters — and at defensive end after Rashad Weaver was lost for the year because of a knee injury. There is plenty of experience in the secondary and along the defensive line even with Weaver out.KEY STRETCHThe schedule is heavy on home games early, putting the onus on Pitt to deliver on the road last. Visits to Georgia Tech on Nov. 2 and Virginia Tech on Nov. 23 will go a long way toward determining whether the Panthers are legitimate contenders in the Coastal.FOR OPENERSThe Panthers open the season by hosting Virginia on Aug. 30. Pitt is 5-1 against the Cavaliers since joining the ACC. Beating Virginia, the preseason pick to win the Coastal, would be an important first step to a repeat. The Carolina Panthers have added safety Dezmen Southward to their practice squad to replace Josh Hawkins Julius Peppers Jersey , who was activated to the 53-man roster last week when Da’Norris Searcy was placed on injured reserve.Southward has been with the Panthers on and off again since 2016. He was active for one game in 2017 and spent the rest of his time on the practice squad.The Panthers only have three active safeties on the 53-man roster (Mike Adams, Colin Jones, Rashaan Gaulden), so there’s a chance that Southward will be activated after the bye week just to give the Panthers more depth at the position. While I know that bringing in Southward is a good idea to add bodies to the room, there’s another way the Panthers could add not only depth, but quality at the safety position—sign Eric Reid. He’s available DJ Moore Color Rush Jersey , he’s talented, he’s young and he fills a need. There’s no good reason to let a perfectly good solution to one of the defense’s biggest problems go to waste. Bring him in Marty, even if it’s only a one-year deal, and fix the lack of safety depth before it becomes a real issue.