Posted: 8:00 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013
Also today we’ve told the players that Tom [Savage] is going to be our starting quarterback. We like what he has done to this point. It’s a reflection of where Tom is at. We still think that Chad [Voytik] has made really good progress, but we feel really good and confident with Tom.”
This is really the direction Pitt's been going all along. Savage was rumored as the starter, took the first-team snaps in the spring, and has been the first-team quarterback in training camp.
My original point still stands in that Savage was had to feel pretty good about getting the job. With one year left to play, he could surely have gone to a lower profile school and been guaranteed the starting job. It's hard to imagine him sitting on the bench in his final season of eligibility.
I've also said before that that's not an insinuation of Paul Chryst saying he's handing him the job. But I don't think Savage would have come to Pitt if he thought being the backup was a strong possibility.
Pitt's uncertainty at quarterback is surely present this season. I get that fans are excited about Tino Sunseri no longer being the starter, but there's no guarantee that Savage will be even a modest upgrade ... or even very good. What he will provide is some experience. Despite not playing since 2010, Savage has been in practices, getting reps, and on college rosters for over four years. That has to count for something and is a reason to be optimistic about his ability to play well this year.
Still, he's really a stopgap for Pitt in what is expected to be a very mediocre (or even bad) season and Pitt's eggs for the future are, for the time being, in the hands of Chad Voytik.
Because of that, if Savage struggles, I don't expect Chryst to have a difficult time in replacing the transfer with the younger Voytik. Getting Voytik reps this year isn't mandatory, but it would be helpful in building for the future. No matter how good Savage is this season, don't forget - it's only for this season. Pitt will be starting over again next year when they bring in Voytik. And even though he'll have been with the team for two years after the season, getting him some playing time would help before he's presumably thrust into the starting spot next year.
Also keep in mind, there's still lots to happen. Pitt still must navigate the Tra'Von Chapman mess and figure out what they're doing there. There's also the possibility of another transfer being brought in if Chapman is eventually cut from the team. Still lots to figure out.