TAKE ON PIRATE SPORTS
August 16, 2011
Competition intensifies at first scrimmage
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Even the coaches say they
have to go to the “tape” before they can truly evaluate a preseason
I had a chance to watch
the first 30 minutes and the last 30 minutes of Saturday’s first
scrimmage of East Carolina's preseason camp. The media is only allowed a
certain amount of time for video purposes and then we are allowed back
afterwards for interviews.
Still, I enjoyed watching
the competition. The effort was certainly there, though sometimes
misguided with the many penalties.
ECU head coach Ruffin
McNeill said afterwards that most of those penalties were fixable.
“I thought it went well
today,” said McNeill. “I thought there (were) a lot of really good,
competitive situations. We saw some really good plays from the group.”
After practice on Sunday,
McNeill had more to say about his team’s first scrimmage. He was most
pleased that his offense had just one turnover, and that his defense had
a couple of big stops on third and fourth down.
“After watching the
scrimmage film, I saw some things I was very pleased with,” McNeill
said. “The effort was there. We’re still not at the point where we want
to be, but I saw great effort.”
The defense continues to
be under a microscope this preseason. The “D” had several stops behind
the line of scrimmage on Saturday, but defensive coordinator Brian
Mitchell said there were also some fundamental miscues.
“I saw some mistakes,”
said Mitchell. “I saw some pad level issues that we need to get better.
I saw some guys on two legs making a lot of plays. The uncertainty that
we create as a defense gives us an edge.”
McNeill and Mitchell are
in agreement that the defense will be a work in progress for a while.
The switch to the 3-4 has been a good one so far, but both coaches know
there will be some growing pains.
Mitchell expects his
defense to improve each and every time out.
“I am thinking simple
successes,” said Mitchell. “Can we leverage the ball? Can we tackle
great? We aren’t there yet. We are running to the ball and minimizing
the yards after the catch and that was good to see.
"You know going into the
first scrimmage that there are going to be some deficiencies. You want
the players to be assignment-sound, running to the football and tackling
well. We still have some work to do.”
Harris shines in NFL
Former Pirate Dwayne
Harris had a great first outing with the Dallas Cowboys last Thursday
Harris had five catches
for 127 yards and two touchdowns. The first touchdown was on a 76-yard
sprint past the Denver Broncos' defense, while the second touchdown came
on a fourth down play in the final minute which proved to be the game
winner after a successful two-point conversion.
Harris was asked about his
long breakaway TD after the Dallas win.
“I just didn’t want to get
caught from behind,” Harris joked.
Cowboys coach Jason
Garrett said afterwards that Harris had shown signs of stardom times in
practice. He also said Harris has a lot to learn as a rookie in the
I think Harris has a good
shot at good playing time this season, especially when the Cowboys find
out just how physical Harris can be with his blocking down field.
No matter what happens,
Dwayne Harris had a night to remember in his Cowboys debut!
NFL.com offers all
preseason games on line for just $19.99. It’s a great way to keep up
with all of the former Pirates and their various teams this preseason.
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