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  Before Jason Pinnock started answering questions from reporters Wednesday afternoon, he glanced at his phone. The news of the day from the NFL struck him like a bolt of lightning. "Oooh, Jalen Ramsey," Pinnock said, raising both eyebrows at Ramsey's new five-year, $105 million contract from the Los Angeles Rams, the largest package in history for an NFL cornerback. Later, Pinnock, who plays the position for Pitt, agreed with a reporter who said it's good to be an NFL cornerback. That's a story for another day. Pinnock is approaching an 11-game test, beginning Saturday against Austin Peay, to determine just how good the heralded Pitt defense can be. Also in question: Can Pinnock and several of his teammates raise some other eyebrows, the ones belonging to NFL scouts?

But the biggest question of all: How much will Pitt's defense feel the effects of cornerback Damarri Mathis' season-ending injury and defensive tackle Jaylen Twyman's opt-out? Former Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel, now an analyst for the ACC Network, said there's more to Pitt's defense than two starters. "Losing Jaylen Twyman does take a little firepower from that defensive line," Manuel said Wednesday on a Zoom conference call with reporters. "But I can guarantee it's not just about Jaylen. He's an amazing talent. He's going to be a first-rounder. "It's moreso the scheme and blitz packages that coach (Pat) Narduzzi implements for his defense to where they can get really scary and cause defensive touchdowns that their offense may not get." - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


(DS#56 CB) Sr/2021 CB Jason PinnockPittsburgh
News Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


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