TAKE ON PIRATE SPORTS
April 19, 2010
Good and not-so-good
on display in spring game
Coach Ruffin McNeill
(ECU SID image)
A golf tournament
honoring the memory
of the late former East
football coach Rock
Roggeman (above) will
held in May to benefit
(ECU SID file image)
All rights reserved.
Dominique Davis threw just
four passes and his day was done.
His fourth was a short
toss over the middle to Joe Womack for one of two touchdowns on the
afternoon for the offense.
This year’s East Carolina
spring game was all about a new defensive scheme and looking at all of
the other quarterbacks in the program.
The quarterbacks were
33-60 through the air for 257 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Pirate offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley had said we might see about
30 percent of the offense in the spring game. I’m betting that we didn’t
see half of that.
On the positive side, the
Pirates displayed an effective ground game at times.
“We ran the ball well,”
said Riley. “I was happy with that. The offensive line played well. We
had some nice holes and we missed a few too. We are more physical on the
O-line right now then we were all of last year.”
On the negative side,
Riley says his young quarterbacking corps could have performed better.
“The quarterbacks didn’t
play well,” said Riley. “I don’t know what it was. We’ll look at the
film. We missed some throws. And our body language wasn’t good when we
did make a bad play. They held their heads low. I do think they learned
some things today.”
There was one glaring
weakness on the offensive side of the football. The Pirates had three
injuries at the center position, so several snaps got by the
quarterback. Still, the team didn’t have a turnover, which was a big
area of emphasis going into spring football.
On defense, the Pirates
unveiled their new 3-4 scheme. The defense is in its infancy stage, and
what we saw on Saturday is only the tip of the iceberg.
East Carolina defensive
coordinator Brian Mitchell says the players really like the change.
“Now they can see where
the breakdown is,” explained Mitchell. “They can fix things before it
gets to us on the sideline. The simplicity is effective because our kids
understand it better.”
Mitchell noted that the
Pirates will add more to the package this summer, and that he was very
pleased with how everyone was picking up the new packages.
Despite the fact that it
looked like torrential rains could hit the stadium at any second all
afternoon, the Pirates got in 100 plays. Sixty came through the air and
40 came via the run.
Head coach Ruffin McNeill
came away generally pleased with the spring game.
"It was a good day
overall,” McNeil said. “We wanted to limit Dominique Davis's action and
really get a good look at the rest of our quarterback corps. We had a
lot of guys out due to nicks and bruises, especially on offense, but I
was pleased with our execution.
"I liked the way the
defense played, especially since it was the first time fans were in the
stands and the tempo was closer to a regular game.”
I had a chance to
eavesdrop on Coach McNeill’s first speech of the spring, and his speech
to the team just before the spring game. From day one to game day,
McNeill told his team that he wanted to stress fundamentals, that he
wanted a smart football team and that he wanted that team to finish
"I thought we did a good
job fundamentally,” McNeil added. “We were focused on being a smart
football team and I think we accomplished that, having just two
penalties and no turnovers. I told the team I really wanted to see them
compete today and finish the spring strong. I think we were able to do
Coach Rock Tournament
Former East Carolina coach
Skip Holtz will return to Greenville in May for the first Coach Rock
Golf Classic to benefit the Leo Jenkins Cancer Center Coach Rock
Roggeman Cancer Research Fund.
Rock Roggeman lost his
battle with cancer at the age of 47 while he was an assistant for the
Pirates under Holtz.
The tournament is
scheduled for May 20th at Ironwood.
Former East Carolina
defensive coordinator Greg Hudson and former ECU star C.J. Wilson will
also be on hand for the event.
Thomas Roggeman, Rock’s
father, joined me on my radio show last night on Pirate Radio 1250 and
930. He said he’s extremely proud that his son’s name will continue on
with the tournament.
The apple certainly
doesn’t fall far from the tree. Mr. Roggeman was very enthusiastic about
coming back to Greenville for the tournament.
“I want to thank all of
those at East Carolina who were so good to my son when he was battling
cancer,” said Roggeman. “We really appreciated everything.”
Later that day on May
20th, Coach Holtz will be a part of the official ground breaking
ceremony for the Drew Steele Center. The Drew Steele-Skip Holtz Golf
Classic was the major fundraiser to build the new center at Elm Street.
May 20th will certainly be
a big day for Greenville, ECU and Eastern North Carolina!
For more information on
the Coach Rock Golf Classic you can contact Renee Safford-White at
252.744.3070 or at
E-mail Brian Bailey.
Brian Bailey Archives
04/19/2011 03:05 AM