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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports

From the Anchor Desk
Wednesday, October 6, 2004
By Brian Bailey

Thompson fighting through difficult times

Bonesville Magazine

• PAT DYE: Short on Tenure, Long on Impact

• Recruit Profiles
• Rookie Books
• Tracking the Classes
• Florida Pipeline
• NCHSAA & ECU: Smooth Sailing Again


• STEVE BALLARD: New Leader Takes Charge

• SCOTT COWEN: Busting Down the Door

• KEITH LECLAIR on ECU's Field of Dreams

• BETH GRANT: Actress Still a Pirate



John Thompson is as positive a person as I have ever run across.

But even the coach may be wearing down a bit.

“I’m going to say the same things,” said Thompson on Tuesday. “I know that people want to hear something different, but this is a struggle. This is a test of perseverance.

"But I really believe this. We are in the toughest part of some of the toughest lessons we will learn or are taught in this business.”

The Pirates are desperate for something good to happen. This team, this program, this town — we all need a glimpse of hope.

John Thompson has lost 15 of the 16 games that he has been the head coach of the Pirates. There was a groundswell of support for J.T. with his arrival in Greenville, but the natives are getting restless.

Still, the Pirate coach has more pressing concerns then job security.

“I am concerned with getting this football team better,” said Thompson. “That is my 100 percent focus. All of that is a distraction. You can’t coach scared. I am only concerned about getting better, every day and every game.”

“I want to win every football game," Thompson continued. "I want to teach this team how to win. But more importantly, I want to teach this team to persevere.

"I am not down. I am not going to get down. No one on this team is going to get down. We are going to bust this thing down and we’re going to look back and know how tough it was, and how much fun it is down the road.”

East Carolina is a four-point favorite to beat Tulane this weekend for homecoming.

By the way, is there any better game than a homecoming game? Think back through the years at all of the folks you’ve been able to catch up with at homecoming. It’s always a festive day in Greenville. Here’s hoping the Pirates will give everyone something to cheer about on Saturday.

Happy days for L-Train

Former East Carolina running back Leonard Henry turned some heads in his first ever NFL start on Sunday.

Henry raced 53 yards on one carry on a day when he compiled 85 rushing yards in a 17-9 loss to the New York Jets. Henry’s long run was the longest play from scrimmage for the Dolphins' offense this year.

Last week, Leonard told me that he always keeps an eye on what’s happening at East Carolina. This week couldn’t have been easy, because Dolphins' cornerback Sam Madison is from Louisville.

“The guys are always checking up on their school,” said Leonard. “It’s been rough on me of late, but I know my school will turn it around.”

Henry also had high praise for the new Pirate athletic director, Terry Holland.

“He’s a Clinton guy,” Henry said, referring to the fact that both he and Holland were once Dark Horses at Clinton High School. “He’s the only guy that has his jersey retired, but I hope I can join him someday.”

Leonard was so focused during his senior year at East Carolina that he refused to do interviews until after the season.

Believe it or not, Leonard worked for the media as an intern at WNCT-TV in our sports department. Now, the former Pirate is a media star.

In fact, this week he is fielding questions on the Internet at Leonard’s answers will appear on Friday, October 8th.

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02/23/2007 01:29:46 AM

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