ON PIRATE SPORTS
From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
By Brian Bailey
Pirates put on good spring show
By Brian Bailey
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I was really expecting an
afternoon of “three yards and a cloud of dust” at this year’s spring
football game for East Carolina.
I really expected a very
vanilla offense to have trouble moving the football against a talented
The defense certainly did have
its moments, but Robb Kass stole the show. Kass is big step closer to being
named the Pirate opening day starter against Virginia Tech after throwing
for 231 yards and two touchdowns in the spring game. The starting
quarterback job is his to lose.
Kass doesn’t have the
athleticism of a Patrick Pinkney or even a Brett Clay. But Kass does have a
cannon, and he showed off that strong arm when he was given time to throw.
That may have been the biggest
negative of the game. The offensive line looked overmatched at times. Pirate
coach Skip Holtz says it is a work in progress. The good news is that ten to
twelve players will battle for five spots this fall. The bad news is that
there certainly aren’t ten offensive linemen ready to go, just yet.
Back to the quarterback
situation, where Holtz wasn’t quite ready to name Kass the opening day
starter, just yet.
"As for the quarterback
situation, I thought Rob Kass really, really played pretty well today,"
Holtz said. "I don't think any of the three did any really foolish things.
“I thought the quarterbacks
really played well today, but I think Rob really separated himself. He
really played well today and it's good to see him get in front of a crowd
like that and play as well as he did. He made a couple of really nice throws
and I believe he was the quarterback on all three touchdown drives."
After his performance, I asked
Kass if he thought he had won the quarterback job.
“That’s something that the
coaches will determine after they look at the film,” said Kass. "I know that
I gave it my best today. I just want the offense to continue to get better
On defense, linebacker Jarrett
Wiggins led all tacklers with 12. Wendell Chavis had ten tackles, but the
star of the show was C.J. Wilson.
Wilson had two big sacks and
forced to fumbles. He blasted the quarterback early in the scrimmage in one
of the day’s biggest plays.
Holtz knows there is plenty of
work to do before Labor Day weekend. He also knows that the September
schedule leaves little time to adjust to game week.
“I'm encouraged,” Holtz said.
“I think we are better in so many positions, but I'm still not satisfied.
We're not ready to play; in fact, we're a long ways away from being ready to
"I'm encouraged because we are
making some plays, we're throwing, we're making some strides, but still a
long way away from being where we need to be in order to be competitive
against the schedule we have, especially early in the season."
The only bad thing about the
spring game is that we now have to wait over four months for another game.
Still, just hearing the pads pop will help us all make it to September!
Gridiron Classic a classic
For the fifth straight year
former Pirate Kevin Monroe organized a "Gridiron Classic" basketball game
featuring former ECU football players.
Monroe is as good as they get
as far as former Pirate football players are concerned. Monroe’s White team
slipped by the Gold 58-54 in the game.
Vonta Leach played for the
White squad. Leach had a big smile all weekend long, courtesy of that big
contract he signed with the Texans during the off season.
Troy Smith was named the
Former tight end J.J. McQueen
kept things light. He saw me using the camera behind the basket as he lined
up a free throw. We usually don’t show a free throw as a part of the
highlights, so I was just casually watching.
“Where’s the love for me, B.”
McQueen asked, looking to make the highlight package.
“We don’t shoot (with the
camera) free throws,” I yelled back.
He then clanged one off the
“From the looks of things, you
don’t either,” I joked back.
Everyone on the free throw
line cracked up. McQueen later buried a three-pointer that I made sure made
the highlights package.
It was great to see many of
the former Pirate football players, even though they were playing a
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