Pitt WR Street likes what he sees in new coach
PITTSBURGH (AP) Well into the first week of training camp under a new coach, Pitt wide receiver Devin Street likes what he sees.
Street, a junior who will be counted on heavily this season as the Panthers develop a chemistry under coach Paul Chryst, had 53 catches for 754 yards and two touchdowns last season. But he wants more this season, as Pitt closes out its run in the Big East.
"Football is back to being fun now. These guys make it fun, but at the same time we know what the goal is and know what we have to do," Street said. "We're all here because we love the game. They understand that and their job is to teach us and that's what they are doing."
Chryst, who replaced Todd Graham as Pitt's coach, opened camp on Monday and has drawn rave reviews from the players. And anyone who has been around the game knows that's a rare feeling in the first week of any training camp.
"He's so personable. I can talk to him about anything. He has a great mind. He's a genius," Street said. "He knows everything. I try to soak it all up. Whether it's on the football field or in life, he's full of wisdom. He talks about everything, about being responsible, about being a complete man and doing everything right."
Street also has a new positional coach. Bobby Engram played in the NFL with Seattle, Kansas City and Cleveland after a career at Penn State, and is a bit of a historian. In fact, Engram is making his receivers study the history of the position at Pitt. Of course that's a tradition that includes two Biletnikoff Award winners: Larry Fitzgerald and Antonio Bryant.
"It's only the fourth day, so I'm just going hard every day," Street said on Thursday. "I'm a junior now and trying to be a leader. Coach Engram brings the best out in me every day. It's crunch time. Time to turn it up. Last year, I finally felt comfortable at the end of the year, and wanted to carry it over to this year. I've matured. I want to be one of the playmakers on this team. I want to be the go-to guy.
"I feel like I can be more of a leader now."
The Panthers can definitely use that. Pitt, after all, is coming off a 6-7 season in which it went just 4-3 in the Big East.
Pitt will play in the ACC next season.
"These coaches know how to go about it the right way," Street said. "They are teachers first and that's definitely what they're doing. Now I'm learning how important the minor details are. It makes a big difference."
The Panthers open the season Sept. 1 against Youngstown State at home.
Updated August 9, 2012