ON PIRATE SPORTS
From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
By Brian Bailey
Preparations geared to
I’ll admit that I don’t always
understand the method to the madness when the Pirates conduct a scrimmage.
Coaches know exactly what they
are looking for. Every call, every play in the scrimmage is called for a
particular reason. It’s just not easy for many of us to understand what’s
Still, I certainly enjoy
watching the players go through game-like conditions. It gives us all a
taste of what we’ll get come September 2nd.
I couldn’t believe how nice
the weather was on Saturday night as I took in the last half hour of the
first scrimmage of the preseason. We’ll be lucky to get that kind of weather
on game day before late October.
The East Carolina running
backs took advantage of the great conditions, really running hard. Chris
Johnson ran as hard as I’ve ever seen him run, especially between the
"I thought our running backs
did a great job today," said Pirate Coach Skip Holtz after the scrimmage.
"Chris Johnson broke some big tackles and is looking really good. We were
able to run the ball north and south for about 4-5 yards a carry.
"Brandon Fractious and
Dominique Lindsay also ran extremely well. Right now we have three good
running backs on our two deep and that obviously will make for some good
While the first line starters
got in some work, Saturday’s first scrimmage was actually geared more
towards the younger players.
"We wanted the second and
third teams to get a bunch of work to help us develop our depth chart," said
Holtz. “This (last) scrimmage will allow us to get more reps and focus
specifically on the first and second teams as we head into next week as well
as starting our preparations for Navy."
Coaches say the calendar is
often cruel in August. Teams have months to prepare, but rarely will you
find any coach who says his team is ready to go in week one.
The Pirates had better be
ready to rock early on. This East Carolina team will be better in 2006, but
the schedule features eight bowl teams and seven bowl champions, meaning
success may be measured in other ways besides wins and losses.
West Virginia was featured in
USA Today earlier this week. The Mountaineers could very easily be a Top 5
team when they roll into town in late September.
First things first, of course,
and that means the opening two-game road trip through Annapolis and
Birmingham. The Pirates will be double-digit underdogs in the first game,
and probably a small dog in game two.
From this Pirate’s view, this
ECU team is much further along then last year’s version was at this time
during the preseason.
“That really doesn’t matter,”
said ECU offensive coordinator Steve Shankweiler. “The schedule has changed.
It is much more difficult. so we have to be further along. Every team is
Shank realizes that this
offense can only go as far as the offensive line takes it. Word is that the
front line guys on the line are progressing nicely, but this is a group that
can’t afford an injury. Depth will be a concern at several positions, but
none more visible then on the O-line.
The Pirates will start to put
the game plan in for the Navy game this week. There is another scrimmage
this weekend that should again answer some key questions.
It’s certainly an exciting
time of the year!
One has to wonder, sometimes, if September 2nd will ever get here. Unless,
of course, you are a coach!
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02/23/2007 01:33:58 AM