home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


April 25, 2013

Paul Chryst

THE MODERATOR:  We're now joined for the first time by Pittsburgh head coach Paul Chryst.
We'll ask for a brief opening statement about spring practice, then go to questions.
COACH CHRYST:  Thank you.  Appreciate being here.  We're obviously excited to be joining the ACC.  I thought our spring, what we tried to get done, what we wanted to get done, we were able to accomplish it.  I really do believe that you've got kind of four phases to get ready for the fall season.  That's winter conditioning and spring football, then summer workouts and fall camp.
I like the way the guys approached the spring.  We had a few players that we moved positions.  I think we got a little bit more to do, but I think we've got more guys slotted in the right positions.  We have a feel coming out of spring who are guys that we can look to grab couple roles for this team.
Kind of what Larry was saying earlier, I'm sure every other guy, we've got to have a great summer and we've got a lot of work to do.  But with that being said, was appreciative, and I think we did get better in the spring.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions for Coach Chyrst.

Q.  Paul, you made a real emphasis at the end of spring drills about how important December was going to be.  This is an opportunity for your seniors to step up and develop some leadership with the team.  Have you seen that from your seniors so far?
COACH CHRYST:  Not really.  That's not a negative.  We had a week after our spring game.  We had a team meeting.  Guys were lifting.  Shoot, I bet half of them had finals that week, they're finishing up finals this week.  We get back May 13th is when our first summer class starts, kind of guys get back.
We've had discussions, talking to guys.  I think they're ready to take ownership of it.  But as far as putting it into action, it's a little bit early.

Q.  What about the attitude they've shown so far that might develop into something like that?
COACH CHRYST:  I feel good about that.  I think I like the way the guys are starting to think, kind of wanting to have those roles that you talked about.  I think understanding the value of that work.
I'm excited about their approach, looking forward.  You said it in the question, and we've talked about it before, but summer as a coach you're a little bit nervous not being able to be around the players.  But really if you're talking about the health of your team, for players, it does give them a great opportunity to take ownership.  You're going to be as good as your seniors are.  You need your seniors to play their best football.
We have some seniors, a good number of them, that will be in key roles.  If we can live that mantra, then we'll be in pretty good shape.  We'll be better, I believe.
I'm excited for the work these guys will do or anticipate them doing this summer.

Q.  In anticipation of playing this year for the first time in the ACC, what are you looking forward to the most?
COACH CHRYST:  I mean, I think program‑wise you're just appreciative of some stability, kind of proud to be a part of a great conference.  I think team‑wise we're just looking forward to obviously when the schedule came out, looking at some not just good teams but programs, programs that have won for a long period of time.
I think they're certainly is excitement.  Guys understand, we better be getting to work.  We've got to be better if we want to have a chance to compete.

Q.  As you change from the Big East to the ACC, does the approach change at all?  Does that affect your style of play or anything like that?
COACH CHRYST:  No, I think, to be honest with you, we're still trying to evolve in our style of play.  I think a coach's job is to adjust and fit to the people we have.  I think it's kind of a continual evolution.
We've got a group of players, and our job as coaches is to help them be the best players they can be.  Obviously, you want to be able to fit against your opponents, to be able to compete at a high level.  But right now I think we certainly respect and appreciate the opponents.  But so much of what we're doing right now I think is focusing on how can we be better as individuals, which will make us better as a team.

Q.  How does the runningback situation look to you coming out of spring ball?
COACH CHRYST:  I think it's a little bit unsettled right now.  I think Isaac Bennett, Malcolm Crockett did some good things.  We've got a chance if they can keep working and growing.  Then James will be coming in and joining us in the summer.  Really for the first time we'll be with him as coaches on the field will be fall camp.
But I like some of the things we're doing, but we certainly aren't where we want to be right now.

Q.  What is the difference heading into summer where you are now as opposed to where you were a year ago with only 15 spring practices under your belt at the time?
COACH CHRYST:  Yeah, I think certainly schematically what we're asking players to do in the schemes, they've got a better understanding.  So I think they'll be able to gear some of their individual work towards that a little bit better.
For instance, when quarterbacks are throwing to receivers, I think they've got a better idea how to run some of the routes, kind of the timing of it.  I think that helps in the summer.
I think we're working better as a team.  So I think that alone, leading into a period of time where you have a lot of opportunity and you need to take advantage of that opportunity to work, I think guys have a better I don't know if the word is 'mindset,' but they're better prepared to approach this summer.
I think just the continuity of everything, they know what to expect for fall camp, so they can prepare themselves for that.  I think there are certainly some advantages this summer that guys have that probably weren't there last summer.

Q.  You have a lot of starters coming back on the defense, new guys on the field this spring.  How do you feel about that unit, not only the guys coming back, but guys that might see the field for the first time this season?
COACH CHRYST:  Yeah, I like the way they worked.  You're right, Jason Hendricks missed spring football on the field, but it gave Eric Williams a chance to get a lot of reps.  Ryan Lewis got a lot of reps.
Whether you're talking about building depth or getting enough work to where you truly can compete and be a starter, I think the defensive end spot we had that a little bit.  I thought Shakir Soto got a lot of work.  Whether he starts or not, I don't know, but I think he may have put himself in a position, he's coming to fall camp thinking, I've got to keep growing, but he's got a chance to play.
You go across the board, Shane Gordon missed all of spring, which gave Mike Caprara a ton of reps.  Shane is feeling better now.  He's cleared to go for summer.  So I think you got to be on the field to get better.  Guys I think were able to take advantage of that.  If we can build some depth or create competition, I think it makes players better.  If we're better individually, we can be better as a team.
THE MODERATOR:  Coach, thanks for being with us.  Enjoy the rest of the spring and we'll see you July the 21st and 22nd here in Greensboro.
COACH CHRYST:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297