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View from the East
Friday, January 30, 2004

By Al Myatt
ECU Beat Writer for The News & Observer

Brindise banks on ground game

CyberEast of New Bern

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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.

Noah Brindise, 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 million.

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 Carolina.

“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’ front office.

“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 after practices.

“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.

Greg Vacek: Daily Web Headlines Roundup - 01.30
Denny O'Brien: Pirate Notebook No. 173 - 01.30
ECU not short on options
Al Myatt: View from the East - 01.30
Brindise banks on ground game
Nuggets: Notes from ECU and beyond - 01.30
Pirate Radio 1250 Audio: Bill Herrion Call-In Show - 01.30
Pirate Radio 1250 Audio: Miller Lite Sports Bar - 01.30
Jon Ellerbe, George Koonce, Allen Thomas & Jack Brubaker

Henry Hinton: Henry's Highlights - 01.29
Pirates down but not out

Bonesville: Cincy pulls away from 'outmanned' Pirates - 01.29
Nuggets: Notes from ECU and beyond - 01.29
Bonesville: Updated Recruiting Thumbnails - 01.29
Cable 7 Audio: Midweek Tip-Off with Henry Hinton - 01.29
With Mike Steele & Steve Logan

Brian Bailey: From the Anchor Desk - 01.28
First Super Bowl trip had ECU ties
Bonesville: Testy Bearcats ready to pounce - 01.28
Bonesville: Another Florida prep star picks ECU - 01.28
Bonesville: Updated Recruiting Thumbnails - 01.28
Nuggets: Notes from ECU and beyond - 01.28
Pirate Radio 1250 Audio: Sportsline with Patrick Johnson - 01.28
Segment featuring Denny O'Brien & Jim Gentry

Denny O'Brien: Pirate Notebook No. 172 - 01.27
C-USA, ECU adrift in stormy seas
Al Myatt: View from the East - 01.27
Doll still plugged in to Pirate roots
Nuggets: Notes from ECU and beyond - 01.27

Bonesville: Updated AP Basketball Poll - 01.27
Cable 7 Audio: Brian Bailey Show - 01.27
Guests Jimmy Grimsley & Eddie Fulford

Sammy Batten: Football Recruiting Report - 01.26
Pirates figure winners breed winning
Thad Mumau: Hoops Recruiting Report - 01.26
ECU in the mix for Simon Gratz star
Nuggets: Notes from ECU and beyond - 01.26
Bonesville: Updated C-USA Standings & Scoreboard - 01.26
Ron Cherubini - Pirate Time Machine No. 26 - 01.25

Danny Kepley: One of the wildest of the Wild Dogs
Bonesville: Pirates buckle after solid start - 01.25
Nuggets: Notes from ECU and beyond - 01.25
Keith LeClair: From The Dugout - 01.24

It’s cap time for MLB
Bonesville: Updated Recruiting Thumbnails - 01.24

Nuggets: Notes from ECU and beyond - 01.24

“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 the combine.

“I’m working on maintaining my weight and trying to shape up a little bit,” Rimpf said.

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02/23/2007 12:44:54 AM

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