Take on Pirate Sports
From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, October 22, 2002
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9
"Boo-birds" have short memories
The “Boo-Birds” were out at times this past Saturday, as
East Carolina fell to 2-4 on the year with a 46-30 Homecoming loss to South
Personally, I don’t think it’s fair to boo Paul Troth, the
young Pirate quarterback. After all, he wasn’t the one trying to block those
South Florida linemen on the edge.
Coach Steve Logan reminded us all about another Pirate
quarterback who heard his share of boos early in his role as the ECU
At times early in his career, Jeff Blake couldn’t do
anything right. One minute he would show a flash of brilliance, and then he
would follow that up with some boneheaded play.
I remember thinking to myself that perhaps Blake just didn’t
have “it”, whatever “it” was.
Blake had that same look on his face that now sits with Paul
Troth. It’s a look of frustration, but if you look deep into that look you
might catch a glimpse of something great.
“What Paul did against the 17th ranked defense in the
country last weekend was something,” said Pirate Coach Steve Logan.
“Oklahoma couldn’t do it. Arkansas couldn’t do it. The points that those
teams put up against South Florida were on special teams or defense, not
Sure, Troth isn’t the athlete that Jeff Blake was. But
neither was Danny Gonzalez, who put up big numbers when he took over the
Pirate offensive package.
This is a learning process. It’s almost as if the Pirate
quarterback takes one-step forward, and then two backward. The stat sheet
says he played a great game on Saturday.
Troth thinks otherwise. “I would have booed me if I was
watching,” Troth said. “I know that I made some mistakes, but we as a team
have to try and get through all of them.”
Logan explained after the game on Saturday that Troth wasn’t
moving up in the pocket. His passes were designed for him to drop back, and
then step up into the pocket. The lineman were supposed to block to the
outside, forming the pocket around Troth. But several crucial breakdowns
resulted in a couple of sacks and key fumbles.
The situation was corrected for the second half, but by then
the tone was set.
Working with young quarterbacks is like trying to shovel
snow off the sidewalk during a blizzard. Every time you think you have a
path cleared, a fresh batch of snow falls. Eventually, the stormy times stop
and it all comes together, but it does take a while.
For Coach Logan, it’s his fourth trip in what he calls the
First, there was Jeff Blake, and then Marcus Crandell,
followed by David Garrard. Each pattern was similar, though it can be argued
that for all of Garrard’s talent, he never really got the entire package
“It is a journey,” Logan explained. “Anybody that has ever
taught anything at all, you can’t do it all in a day. You just have to be
patient and put it on, layer after layer after layer. About the time you
think you have it all taught, there is something new to teach."
Coach Logan went into great detail about just how much he
enjoys working with young quarterbacks. I was amazed that, with this team at
2-4, Logan can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’ll expand on that
though in this column later this week.
Some may say that it’s “coach-speak”, that Logan is just
trying to stay positive.
But I say Logan has seen it before. He was there for Blake,
for Crandell, for Garrard, and now he’s there for Paul Troth.
Pirate fans need to keep the faith. The coach is three for
three so far.
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