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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports

From the Anchor Desk
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
By Brian Bailey

Scrimmage No. 1 fuels praise aplenty


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East Carolina coach John Thompson’s first words were the highlight of his team's first intra-squad skirmish.

“This was our best day,” said Thompson after the situational scrimmage. “Our offense got down the field, made some big plays on fourth down and did some nice things on the goal line. Our defense made some stops and I felt like early in the game the first team defense dominated. They really did some good things.

"It was back and fourth, but I was really pleased.”

Quarterback James Pinkney had a huge day, completing 21-of-33 passes for 296 yards and four touchdowns. In all, the Pirate signal callers were 39-of-69 for 575 yards and seven touchdowns.

But if the offense was good, was the defense bad?

Not really.

Linebacker Chris Moore led the team with nine tackles, while another linebacker, Durwin Lamb, had eight tackles and blocked a field goal. The defense also had a total of ten sacks.

Moore is the obvious star of this unit, and he was pleased with the day’s events.

“We played real good on defense,” said Moore. “The d-line, secondary, linebackers all played good. We’ve got a lot of work because we’re not where we want to be.”

Moore says this team doesn’t have the size of other defenses, so they have to use their quickness to be effective.

“We’re small. We really have to get to the football. We’re doing well, we just have to take it one day at a time, one practice at a time, one game at a time.”

I had a chance to watch the first part of the scrimmage, and before that, the last part of Monday night’s practice.

I was very encouraged by the way Art Brown was moving around. He may not be at a 100 percent just yet, but he’s certainly getting closer, and I think he’s going to be force to be reckoned with.

“I felt pretty good,” said Brown. “Every step is feeling good. I took it from rehab, to the practice field, to the game field. Now, I just have to keep going, giving it 100 percent at whatever I do.”

Brown is one of the team’s leaders and he has bought into the teachings of Coach Thompson and first year offensive coordinator Noah Brindise.

“We just have to execute,” Brown explained. “We have to take what we learned in the meeting room and put it into the scrimmages. The coaches want to see if we’ll execute what we are taught.”

Brindise plans to spread the ball around and that was evident in the first scrimmage. Fifteen players recorded at least one catch. Nine different receivers had at least 25 yards in receptions and six different players scored touchdowns.

Former Havelock star Will Bland caught five passes for 136 yards and three touchdowns. Bland stayed after practice and worked on a couple of routes with the coaches.

Chris Johnson caught three passes for 90 yards and a score, while Shawn Levesque had six for 74 yards.

Fullback Jemarcus Veal caught three passes out of the backfield and two of those were for touchdowns.

The Pirates will scrimmage again on a busy Saturday at ECU. The squad will host a Charley-delayed media day for lunch, and then conduct a dinner for Pirates fans at “Meet the Pirates” night that evening.

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02/23/2007 01:29:36 AM

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