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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
By Brian Bailey

Pirates prep for Middies with invisible ball

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East Carolina has found it almost impossible to duplicate the Navy option in practice.

Sure, the Pirates can copy the schemes that they have seen so many times on tape. Duplicating those schemes with Navy-like speed has proven impossible.

“We ran Navy’s plays in the third scrimmage,” said Pirate coach Skip Holtz. “But as soon as the scrimmage was over we showed the team some of last year’s Navy films, and there was a huge difference in the speed of the game."

Stopping the option requires great discipline. It’s the opposite of most defensive philosophies, which usually have guys flying to the football.

That’s why the Pirates took the football out of the game at times last week in practice.

“We went up against Navy’s offense without a football in play,” explained ECU defensive coordinator Greg Hudson. “We used a nerf ball for the snap, and then our defense worked on their assignments. We took the ball out to emphasize each individual assignment.”

Imagine that, an imaginary football may be the key to success on defense for the Pirates against Navy.

One of the other keys to Saturday’s game will be the health of linebacker Pierre Bell. Bell injured his shoulder in Friday’s third scrimmage of the summer. Bell has told the coaches that he is a go for this weekend, but I know that no one wants to take any kind of risk with a linebacker that many feel has star potential.

"Right now I don't know if he is questionable, probable or doubtful.
He is not out and he is not in,” said Coach Holtz at his weekly news conference. [Click here for a link to the audio archive of Holtz' weekly media luncheon.]

Holtz continued about Bell: “He is somewhere in between that. It is just going to be matter of how fast he can recover off of it. Right now there is still a lot of soreness and pain in his movement. He is about 50-50 whether he can play. We are planning on going with out him so if we have him that would be a bonus."

It’s hard to believe that game week is finally here. It’s a great time of the year, and everyone is looking forward to the opener on Saturday.

'Cow Pie Touchdown' looms

Ed and Lindy Daughtry are two of the best Pirate fans that I know.

Ed has asked to get the word out about a great fundraiser, benefiting children’s programs in Pitt and Beaufort counties.

The first ever (to my knowledge) “Cow Pie Touchdown" is set for this Saturday at the Karadon Farm just past the Ayden Golf and Country Club.

Organizers will carve out a huge “grid-iron” and then you can purchase a “chance” for $20. If a cow “pies” your part of the grid, then you win $1,500.

Never have the sanitary habits of a cow been so closely scrutinized!

It’s a great “football” themed benefit organized by Kiwanis Clubs in Pitt and Beaufort counties. It should also be a fun day for kids with lots of rides and games all over the farm.

For more information, contact Ed Daughtry at

Send an e-mail message to Brian Bailey.

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

04/21/2008 07:06:20 PM


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