INSIDE SLANTS ON THE PROGRAM
The Pirate Experience
Thursday, January 7, 2010
By Kevin Monroe
for the Pirate ISP Sports
Network, Kevin Monroe was a standout
for East Carolina from 1995-99.
Quarterback key for 2010
All Rights Reserved.
East Carolina concluded another very
successful season with a
disappointing Liberty Bowl loss.
Looking back on the game, I was particularly impressed at the play of the
That defensive unit shut down one of the
nation’s top offenses and future NFL quarterback Ryan Mallett.
It will take a while to get over that loss,
but the thing I will remember about this season is that it marked East
Carolina's second straight Conference USA championship. After all, wining a
conference title is your number one goal unless you are playing in a BCS
The Pirates were fun to watch this season,
especially during the second half of the schedule. It makes you wonder what
their record could have been if they had played their first six games the
way they played the last six.
Now it's time to turn to the future. With
spring football on the horizon, let's take a look at what we can expect to
see from the Pirates in 2010.
Breaking down the entire team is too much for
one article, so lets take a look at the outlook for the East Carolina
QUARTERBACK: The Quarterback position will be
the focal point of one of the most spirited battles for a starting job.
There will be at least three players vying for the position in 2009.
Redshirt freshman Josh Jordan, Patrick
Pinkney's backup in 2009, is a pocket passer with good height (6-4), a quick
release and a good feel for the game. He also has good feet and the
potential to run when necessary.
Dominique Davis, a transfer, started three
games in 2008 for Boston College, including starts in the ACC championship
game against Virginia Tech and in the Music City Bowl against Vanderbilt. He
runs well and has a strong, durable arm as evidenced by his 43 pass attempts
against the Holies.
Freshman Rio Johnson wowed coaches with his
ability in practice this season. He ran the scout team offense and showed
his talents in much the same way that Dwayne Harris did as the scout team QB
during his redshirt year.
RUNNING BACK: The Pirates will lose seniors
Dominique Lindsay and J.R. Rogers, but will return a stable of good backs.
There is no telling what will happen with the
careers of Jonathan Williams and Brandon Jackson. Both backs are very
talented but continue to have off the field issues.
Giavanni Ruffin. who shared time with Lindsay
over the last few games, will return as the leader in the clubhouse for the
starting job and will most likely be competing with 2008 starter Norman
Whitley, among others.
RECEIVER: The Pirates have nothing to worry
about at the wide receiver positions where they will return their most
experienced position group.
Starters Dwayne Harris and Darryl Freeney will
be back and the backups have all gotten valuable snaps over the last couple
Players like Joe Womack, Michael Bowman, and
Andrew Bodenheimer will all play significant roles in 2010.
With the right quarterback, Harris and Freeney
have a chance to be one of the top receiving tandem in college football.
OFFENSIVE LINE: The offensive line will lose
veterans Terence Campbell and Sean Allen, but will be returning a great core
of young lineman, including Will Towery, Cory Dowless and D.J. Scott.
Coach Steve Shankweiler will have to put in
some extra work to mold these guys, but the talent is there.
IN A NUTSHELL: The Pirates have a chance to be
very good on the offensive side of the ball in 2010, but they will have to
fill in some gaps.
After getting healthy, running back Dominique
Lindsay averaged over 100 yards per game during the second half of 2009.
That level of production provides a key measuring stick for his successors.
Patrick Pinkney started the season slowly but
really played well during the conference season and down the stretch. It
will be hard replacing his skill set and experience.
Offensive linemen Terrance Campbell and Sean
Allen, the leaders of the Pirates offensive front for a couple years, set a
high bar that the younger players will need to reach.
Coach Skip Holtz and co-offensive coordinators
Todd Fitch and Steve Shankweiler have plenty of experience getting young
guys ready to play.
We will have to see who steps up in the spring
and earns a chance to play next fall.
Kevin Monroe Archives
01/07/2010 04:58:36 AM