Pitt's Weaver Benefitting from Film Study

Panthers Sophomore Leads Talented Group

Josh Rowntree
August 06, 2018 - 3:45 pm
Pittsburgh Panthers defensive lineman Rashad Weaver (17) sacks Virginia Cavaliers quarterback Kurt Benkert (6) during the third quarter at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh won 31-14.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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Pitt redshirt sophomore Rashad Weaver is coming off a freshman season in which he made 28 tackles and racked up three sacks. 

He has the size at 6-foot-5, 265 pounds. He has speed and a motor. But a lot of players have those things. Weaver brings a unique intangible. 

“Knowledge,” said Panthers coach Pat Narduzzi. “His knowledge is good. He could be sitting as head coach at Pitt some day. He’s got great football knowledge.

“He’s one of those guys, mentally, that knows what to do, which allows him to play at a high level.”

Weaver is open to coaching one day, as he has coached young kids at Panther camps in the offseason. But first things first for a player dedicated to his craft.

“I know the plays almost like the back of my hand,” Weaver said. “I watch the film before we go upstairs for a couple hours and watch it together as a defensive unit. So, that way, I’m watching it within a couple hours after practice.”

It’s the type of commitment that makes him easy to coach. 

“That’s one of his attributes that is his strength, his intelligence,” defensive line and assistant head coach Charlie Partridge said. 

“He’s able to process a lot out there in a short period of time. Players like that are able to take calculated risks, instead of just trying to make a play, regardless of what it may do to the defense.”

While smarts stand out to coaches, often times teammates see other characteristics. 

“A lot of guys in there are willing to learn as much as they can,” senior linebacker Sean Idowu said. “He’s a real good player, real long guy. He has the ability to make a lot of good plays.

“It’s nice having him there. He brings some juice at times, which I love. Love celebrating with him, love playing with him. Real good player.”

Weaver leads a Pitt defensive front that appears to be the best unit on the team.

“I expect big strides from Weaver,” Narduzzi added. “We expect big strides from everyone out there on the field today. So, he’s no exception.”

Hear all of what Narduzzi had to say, including his thoughts on his redshirt senior offensive linemen, replacing defensive backs Jordan Whitehead and Avante Maddox, Damar Hamlin’s improved health and Paris Ford’s adjustments at cornerback, below.