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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, April 19, 2010

By Brian Bailey

Good and not-so-good on display in spring game


Replay Monday night's Brian Bailey Show featuring guests SKIP HOLTZ, MIKE STEELE, THOMAS ROGGEMAN and BUCK ROGGEMAN. Eastern North Carolina's longest running sports radio call-in show airs each Monday night at 7 p.m. on Pirate Radio 1250 and 930.
Replay Show
Pirate Radio Home Page

Coach Ruffin McNeill

(ECU SID image)


Good and not-so-good on display in spring game
College Baseball Polls
Box Score: East Carolina 5, Central Florida 3
Box Score: Central Florida 3, East Carolina 2
Box Score: East Carolina 12, Central Florida 6
Pirates on display Saturday with spring game
ECU baseball looks past bumps along the road
Box Score: No. 6 North Carolina 5, ECU 3
College Baseball Polls
Scrimmage leaves room for interpretation

A golf tournament
honoring the memory
of the late former East
Carolina assistant
football coach Rock
Roggeman (above) will
held in May to benefit
cancer research.

(ECU SID file image)

By Brian Bailey
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 strong.

"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 that."

Coach Rock Tournament Coming

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


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