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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, August 12, 2008

By Brian Bailey

Pirates look solid in first scrimmage

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.

East Carolina’s Skip Holtz continues to walk around practice with a little swagger. That’s what a depth chart filled with juniors and seniors will do for a coach.

Holtz insists, though, that each team has its own identity. Every team is judged on what happens between those white lines each and every week during the fall.

The Pirates held their first scrimmage on Saturday. This one was more about personnel decisions, especially decisions concerning the second- and third-team squads.

Several of the starters had a short day.

"We gave our returners, our `ones' so to speak, only about 15-20 plays," Holtz said. "It's kind of like the first preseason game. You want to give them a little work, get them some contact and knock a little bit of the rust off.

"We'll come back next week and it'll be much more of an offense-defense oriented practice."

The quarterbacks saw plenty of action, and I thought both put in very solid efforts.

Senior Patrick Pinkney completed 12 of 21 passes for 182 yards. Pinkney hooked up with transfer T.J. Terrell on a long gainer late in the scrimmage that set up a touchdown.

Junior Rob Kass completed 10 of 17 passes for 92 yards with an interception.

Other quarterbacks who saw action included Josh Jordan, who was 3-3 for 26 yards, and Taylor Mazzone, who completed his only pass for 8 yards.

Scrimmages are always hard to evaluate, especially for those of us not on the coaching staff. I did come away from this first scrimmage thinking that the guys on offense really feel comfortable with the plays, especially Pinkney.

“I thought it was a good first scrimmage,” said Pinkney. “We still have a lot of work to do, but I thought we made progress today.”

The defense did hold the offense to just three yards per rush. Still, at one point, defensive coordinator Greg Hudson joked, “Can I blitz or something?” after a nice play by the offense.

This first scrimmage was to help produce a depth chart. The second scrimmage will give the starters plenty of work. The third scrimmage, set for a Friday, will be a dress rehearsal for the trip to Charlotte and the game against Virginia Tech.

Congrats To Robin

Congratulations to ECU assistant men’s golf coach and former Pirate Robin Smith who qualified for his first PGA tour event on Monday.

Robin shot a six-under-par 66 to qualify for the Wyndham Championship. The qualifier was held at the Greensboro Country Club.

There were exactly four spots up for grabs, and that 66 earned Robin one of them.

Robin will play in a field that consists of the likes of Vijay Singh, Rocco Mediate, Davis Love, III, Angel Cabrera and Zach Johnson.

I had a chance to play with Robin last year at the Drew Steele-Skip Holtz golf tournament. To show you how bad the rest of us played, we failed to place in the tournament, despite Robin’s great play.

More then a great golfer, Robin was a joy to play with. His even demeanor will certainly come in handy as he embarks on his professional career.

I saw Robin a couple of weeks ago and asked for a pointer. I was having problems keeping my head down, and staying down and through on my swing. He laughed and gave me a great way to think about keeping my head down. It was most comical, and I promise I’ll share the tip with you if I see you at a Pirate game this season.

Good luck Robin! The Pirate Nation will be rooting for you this week.


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08/12/2008 12:44:06 AM


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