College Sports in the Carolinas
from the East
Friday, January 30, 2004
By Al Myatt
ECU Beat Writer for The News &
Brindise banks on ground game
CyberEast of New Bern
"Service While You
Need a quick
repair on your computer?
How about a
bigger or an additional hard drive or a DVD/RW-CD/RW?
Could a new
SoundBlaster™ Audigy card and speaker system
improve your experience listening to
Bonesville.net's Windows Media features?
of New Bern for an in-store appointment to get
your computer geared up to meet your needs while
If you don't have
time to watch and wait, drop your PC off at the
CyberEast service department and pick it up when
your repairs or upgrades have been completed.
417-C Broad St., New
There’s something about twos and Noahs, something perhaps that will add up
to improved offense for East Carolina in football in 2004.
The Bible, of course, relates the story of Noah loading two of every animal
aboard the ark as he was directed by God before the flood.
ECU’s new offensive coordinator, is
thinking in twos, too, as he formulates an offensive system for the Pirates.
“The big thing for us is that we’ve got two 1,000-yard rushers coming back —
Art Brown and Marvin Townes,” Brindise said. “I’m not stubborn enough to
throw it 50 times if we’re capable of moving it on the ground.
I’m big on playing to the strengths of the team.
“I’m going in thinking that we’ll be wide open but the foundation of the
team is going to be those two running backs right now.”
Brindise was a quarterback in coach Steve Spurrier’s “Fun ’N Gun” system at
the University of Florida and followed Spurrier to the NFL. Brindise has
been quarterbacks coach of the Washington Redskins under Spurrier for the
last two years.
“Obviously, we have to try to play to our strengths,” Brindise said as he
took a break from recruiting this week. “The offense I’ve been around for
nine years is Coach Spurrier’s. That’s basic to my thinking and the
foundation of what we’ll do, but I’ve got my own ideas, too. I’ve gotten
some stuff from Hugh Jackson, who was our offensive coordinator with the
Redskins and he ran the West Coast offense.”
Brindise is actually in tenure number two as ECU’s offensive coordinator,
the first lasting about 24 hours last January when he accepted an offer from
ECU coach John Thompson, but then decided to remain with the Redskins when
they significantly boosted his salary.
Thompson settled for Rick Stockstill, a longtime assistant at Clemson, to
direct the Pirates offense.
The offensive coordinator at ECU now has roughly the same importance as the
defensive coordinator did in the era when Steve Logan was the Pirates coach.
Logan was offense-oriented so an effective defensive coordinator was
essential to manage that aspect of the game. Thompson’s resume, of course,
includes extensive tenure on the other side of the ball as defensive
coordinator at stops such as Florida, Arkansas and Southern Miss. That fact
makes Brindise’s role one of balancing the head coach’s background.
A good quarterback is vital to an effective offense. Brindise has met with
the quarterback candidates who are already in the ECU program — Desmond
Robinson, James Pinkney and Patrick Dosh.
“Going into spring, it’s wide open,” Brindise said of the quarterback
situation. “Desmond Robinson will take the first snap because he played the
most last season, but after that it’s up to them. It’s possible that the
competition will carry over into fall practice but I’d love to see someone
step up and take the job in spring.”
Three freshman quarterbacks are due to arrive in August — Davon Drew of New
Bern, Antonio Miller of Charlotte Olympic and Patrick Pinkney of
Fayetteville Pine Forest. All three are athletic to the degree that position
changes are not out of the question.
ECU lost its top receiver, Terrance Copper, but Brindise is optimistic about
the group that will be back.
“I think we have a lot of talented guys who haven’t played or produced that
much,” Brindise said. “We’ve got to do a good job of finding kids who can
make plays. We’ve got 10 receivers on scholarship. We’ll evaluate all of
them in the spring. It’s tough to pitch and catch with unproven quarterbacks
and receivers but that’s our job as coaches.
“The talent is a bit untapped but with Lonnie Galloway, the receivers coach,
we’ll try to get it out of them.”
ECU lost much of the offensive line that has helped pave the way for Brown
and Townes the last two years. New Pirates offensive line coach Robert
McFarland should have some junior college help as he works to develop a
functional unit there.
Virtual Bowl tally
The latest figure for Pirate Club receipts from Virtual Bowl ticket sales is
$20,505 as the Jan. 31 date for concluding the unique effort approaches. The
project conceived by ECU grad Doug Groome of Charlotte to raise money to
help support an increase in out-of-state football scholarships has been an
unanticipated boon for the fund-raising arm of the school's
department of athletics, pushing the club over its annual goal of $3.45
Hopefully, the Virtual Bowl is not an annual event. Although some Pirate
fans have stepped up after a down year, they would surely prefer spending
their dollars to support ECU in a real bowl.
Rimpf at the Senior Bowl
Brian Rimpf returned to New Orleans on Thursday after
playing in the Senior Bowl at
Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. on Saturday.
Overall, he felt good about the experience as he went back to “the Big Easy”
to continue conditioning and
preparing for the NFL combine in
Indianapolis next month.
Rimpf was an All Conference USA offensive lineman for three seasons at East
“Some of the pro scouts told me they thought I helped myself out this week,”
said Rimpf, who will leave for the combine on Feb. 18.
Rimpf stayed at the same Adams Mark Hotel that was ECU’s headquarters on
bowl trips in 1999 and 2001. He rode on an elevator with Miami Dolphins
coach Dave Wanstedt. He bumped into Baltimore Ravens executive Earnest Byner
one day. Byner was wearing an ECU shirt.
“He said ‘You’re an ECU man, right?’ ” Rimpf said.
There were a lot of NFL scouts and coaches watching the Senior Bowl
practices. Dick Vermeil of Kansas City was there. So was Mike Tice of the
Minnesota Vikings. So was Dan Marino, who recently joined the Dolphins’
“They were liked ringing our one on one drills three deep,” Rimpf said.
Rimpf said he didn’t look to see who was there until he got back on the bus
“There were head coaches, GMs, big people in their organizations,” Rimpf
said. “It would have been pressure if you thought about it. We had scouts
sometimes at our practices (at ECU) but not that many. It was one of those
things where you have to go out and play like you always do.”
Rimpf wound up playing for the North team because there were more offensive
linemen from the South available to the South team. Marvin Lewis of the
Cincinnati Bengals coached the North, which
fell victim to an air attack by N.C.
State’s Philip Rivers, 28-10.
“I think it would be great playing for him,” Rimpf said of Lewis. “He’s very
intelligent and polished. They say he’s a players’ coach and I believe it.
It seems like it would be fun to play for him.”
Rimpf played right and left tackle at the Senior Bowl because the North team
wound up with three left tackles and one right tackle. So the tackles
rotated. Rimpf said he was exposed to some new techniques although he
admitted that at times he was confused about who was doing the coaching.
“All the coaches refer to each other by their first names,” Rimpf said. “I
didn’t know who they were talking about sometimes.”
There were some long days at the Senior Bowl with activities scheduled
throughout the day, including interviews with NFL personnel. Rimpf said he
understands the upcoming combine will be even more severe.
“All the owners and all the GMs go to the combine,” Rimpf said. “Pretty much
every coach goes. It’s a bigger audience. There’s more drills, more lifting
and a few drills specifically for offensive linemen.”
Rimpf, who maxed out at 400 pounds in the bench press at ECU, is now working
to see how many repetitions he can do with 225 pounds — one of the tests at
“I’m working on maintaining my weight and trying to shape up a little bit,”
Send an e-mail message to Al Myatt.
Click here to dig into Al Myatt's Bonesville
02/23/2007 12:44:54 AM