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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports

From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
By Brian Bailey

What a difference a week makes


Brian Bailey Show

Replay the archive of Monday night's Brian Bailey Show, with guest 'Rock' Roggeman:

Select audio clip

Media Luncheon
Replay Skip Holtz's weekly press session (recorded by Brian Bailey):

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Last week the East Carolina coaching staff scratched their collective heads and went to work on how to stop the opposition from running the football.

Mission accomplished.

One week after Wake Forest ran up and down the Groves Stadium turf on the Pirates, West Virginia could muster only a whimper.

It was certainly a welcomed change from the last couple of trips to Morgantown. It wasn’t a win, but for the defense it was truly something special.

“I think the coaches did a great job,” said ECU coach Skip Holtz at his weekly news conference on Monday. “We moved some people around a little bit; we put together some difference schemes, and changed some things. The players, though, were the difference.”

The Wake Forest game was too much like so many other games over the last couple of years for the Pirate defense. To a man, this squad had seen enough.

“The players were really looking for the coaching this past week,” Holtz continued. “They were like what can we do, what can I do? They really want the bad days to end on defense.”

The defensive unit took a big step towards that goal on Saturday.

Still, East Carolina didn’t make enough plays to win. There are no moral victories anymore.

“There aren’t a lot of smiles around the office,” said Holtz. “We are in a win business, that’s what we do, and we’re just 1-2. I’m sure, it’s been rewarding to some to be competitive, but we have to be better then that. We are evaluated with wins and losses, that’s’ just what our society does.”

Roggeman regimen unleashed

I hope you had a chance to see or hear Rock Roggeman, the Pirates' linebackers coach, on my weekly show on Monday night. (If not, you can listen to the archived version.)

Roggeman runs at eight cylinders all the time. His enthusiasm is infectious.

“We really stressed to our guys that they had to stay in their gaps,” Roggeman said on the vast improvement the defense showed against West Virginia. “We all knew that we had to get better quickly.”

The Pirates did indeed get better. It was almost a miraculous transformation. The same team that couldn’t get a handle on the Wake Forest backs had a strong hold on those from West Virginia. The defense gave the offense a chance to win the football game.

The theme to this Pirate defense continues to be simplicity. It’s sort of like the K-I-S-S theory, where you ‘Keep it simple, stupid.”

“Coach Donnie Thompson doesn’t like to say stupid, so he goes with the K-I-L-L deal,” Roggeman said. “It goes “Keep it likable and learnable.”

Hey, anything that works!

Saluting the real champions

There should be a strong military presence with a local flavor on Saturday at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. The school is recognizing the armed forces in our area and offering a special $15 ticket that includes a hot dog and a drink.

“We are honoring the hometown heroes on Saturday,” said Steve Duncan with Military Programs at East Carolina. “They are the National Guard. They go and deploy, to Afghanistan, to Iraq. They are also flying missions for flood relief. They were here during Floyd and many of them are now in Louisiana helping out there.”

The university sent out 5,000 invitations to members of the National Guard within a 100 mile radius of Greenville.

We all should salute those “hometown heroes!”

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02/23/2007 01:32:05 AM

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