Chichester adjusting to new position

Chichester adjusting to new position

Josh Chichester, who played wide receiver his first two seasons at Louisville, is using fall camp to learn the ropes at his new tight end position. Though hesitant about changing positions at first, Chichester has embraced his new role and spoke with InsideTheVille.com about the challenges of learning a new position.

Josh Chichester, who played wide receiver his first two seasons at Louisville, is using fall camp to learn the ropes at his new tight end position.

After watching his production slip at wide receiver last season as a sophomore (Chichester caught 30 passes for 341 yards as a freshman; 17 for 202 yards as a sophomore), Louisville offensive coordinator Mike Sanford approached the 6'9, 245-pound junior over the summer about moving to tight end.

"At first I wasn't all about it, but I'm all about the team right now," Chichester said. "Whatever helps the team win I'm down for it."

Though he admitted some hesitancy about moving to a new position when first approached by Sanford, Chichester quickly embraced the change.

"Coach Sanford came and talked to me [about moving to a new position] during a weight-lifting session and I had previously been thinking about it and I was going to talk to them about it," Chichester said. "But [Sanford] beat me to the punch. It was a very exciting conversation."

Why was Chichester thinking about switching positions?

"I felt like I was getting a little too big outside," Chichester said. "It's great to have somebody out there for the jump balls all the time but I can use my body and strength for something else and I think tight end will be a great spot for me."

What was Sanford's reasoning for moving Chichester from wide out to tight end?

"I think it's a good move," Sanford said. "He has a great attitude, he's very willing and he's definitely not afraid. He's a tough guy. I think what he gives us is he's a big guy who is almost like a hybrid between a tight end and a wide receiver. When we lost Stephon Ball to an injury during spring practice we lost that kind of guy."

Now playing tight end, Chichester must learn a different set of responsibilities, primarily new blocking schemes.

"The blocking schemes are definitely challenging because as a receiver I only had to worry about [blocking] two or three people," Chichester said. "Now I have to worry about linemen, linebackers, safety's dropping down and corners blitzing. There‘s definitely a lot more blocking than last year."

Chichester said he's doing extra work in the film room and paying close attention during practice even when he's not involved in the play to learn the nuances of his new position.

"I'm tough and I can pick it up," Chichester said. "I'm ready to go."

With Pete Nochta injured earlier this week, Chichester's move to tight end has taken on greater significance. Senior Cameron Graham appears the frontrunner for the starting job at the position, while Chichester and Nate Nord, a sophomore who didn't play last season, are the primary backups.

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