Even if the Panthers are not expected to be as dominant this year as they were last campaign, most are still excited about the season. Thanks to new head coach Todd Graham, fans are anxious waiting for the start of NCAA football. Do not expect Pitt to sink to the Big East basement just because of the coaching change though.
Most interesting this season will be the role of Ray Graham. Many believe he was the more talented back when he and Dion Lewis were freshmen together. A late start into the Pitt playbook may have cost him his starting role that season. Now, with Lewis gone, Graham has Doak Walker watch list for the nations top running back. He is a better pass catcher out of the back field than Lewis and he features more speed–something important in a higher paced offense. While Graham does not display the superior vision Lewis possessed, he has worked on his patience behind the line. Big things are expected out of the junior this year.
Two other areas to keep an eye on will be at the linebacker and safety positions. Brandon Lindsay and Jarred Holley will both play a hybrid type role. With the Panthers switching into a 3-4 defense, more quarterback pressure will derive from the linebacker position. Lindsay, who was second in the Big East in sacks last season, will have an opportunity to add to his 2010 figures.