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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
By Brian Bailey

Scrimmages provide answers with questions

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Skip Holtz says that one group always leaves the practice field happy, while the other leaves a bit agitated.

He’s talking about his coaching staff after a preseason scrimmage. It is the nature of the business. When you are scrimmaging against one another, either the offense or defense will go home disappointed.

We’ve seen it before in past seasons. The offense might cruise in the summertime. Does that mean that the offense is a well oiled machine, or that the defense has more holes then Swiss cheese?

In the two seasons before Coach Holtz’ arrival, it turned out to be a little bit of both.

This staff, though, brings a level of maturity that allows both sides to get in the work needed.

The Pirates have just one scrimmage to go before the start of the regular season. The first two workouts were mainly for the younger players to try and set the depth chart. This final workout will be a dress rehearsal for the opener against the Naval Academy on September 2nd.

“You just never know,” said Holtz after Saturday’s scrimmage. “You usually can tell more after watching the tape. I do know that I really like our team’s effort and enthusiasm. They are working hard.”

These truly are the dog days of August. For the players it is football’s longest month of the season. Those long days, though, will be at least a little shorter now with the completion of the two-a-day sessions.

"I thought the morning practice was very spirited, as if they're finally
seeing the light at the end of tunnel," Holtz said. "In the afternoon,
our attention was on Navy. We've got to get our players comfortable with
Navy's offense and defense. It was more of a teaching day, perhaps a
little robotic at times."

Injuries are always a factor in the preseason. The Pirates got good news on Scotty Robinson on Monday, who showed no significant damage after his injury on Saturday. Robinson is listed as day to day, and should be ready to go for the opener with no problem.

Back on the air with Golden

“The Brian Bailey Show” made its season debut on Monday night. Once again this year, my show will air from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday nights on Cable 7 in Greenville and on Talk 1070 AM in eastern North Carolina.

I’ll also be a regular on “The Press Box” on Pirate Radio 1250 and 930 on Tuesday nights at 6 p.m.

Both shows are a great opportunity to talk East Carolina athletics and I really enjoy the opportunities.

On Monday’s first show, ECU strength coach Mike Golden was my guest. Golden and his wife are the parents of five children. They range in age from 1 month to 7 years of age. The oldest four are girls, with the newborn the first son for Golden.

When asked about the large family, Golden joked, “My wife just can’t keep her hands off me!”

Golden has this Pirate football team in unbelievable shape. Ask anybody on the coaching staff, especially Coach Holtz, and they will all say what a great job Golden has done with this Pirate football team.

Golden seems to have that touch that the great strength coaches all have. He is feared by the players, yet respected.

“It’s a fine line between pushing a player to his limit, and pushing a player too far,” said Golden. “That’s the toughest part of my job. We want our players to go the limit.”

That “limit” should pay dividends on the field this fall.

Send an e-mail message to Brian Bailey.

Click here to dig into Brian Bailey's Bonesville archives.

04/21/2008 07:01:46 PM


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