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Insights and Observations

Read Henry Hinton's feature story on veteran Hollywood actress and ECU alum Beth Grant in Bonesville Magazine.

Henry's Highlights
Thursday, September 16, 2004

By Henry Hinton

Not all bleak in 0-2 start


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Bonesville Magazine

• PAT DYE: Short on Tenure, Long on Impact

• Recruit Profiles
• Rookie Books
• Tracking the Classes
• Florida Pipeline
• NCHSAA & ECU: Smooth Sailing Again


• STEVE BALLARD: New Leader Takes Charge

• SCOTT COWEN: Busting Down the Door

• KEITH LECLAIR on ECU's Field of Dreams

• BETH GRANT: Actress Still a Pirate

Looking for the silver lining in East Carolina’s football start is not all that difficult. First and foremost it appears the Pirates have developed an offensive philosophy that can be successful.

What’s more, it is obvious the quarterback situation has taken a giant leap forward. James Pinkney is the proto-typical field general in today’s college game. He has great feet, is hard to sack and has enough passing accuracy to lead ECU to some wins.

The hiring of Noah Brindise may well be the ‘turnaround’ event of the program under John Thompson. The 2003 Pirates ran a high school type offense that was easy to read, easy to stop and easy to defeat. Brindise’s affect on the program is being immediately felt.

The ’04 Pirates are not nearly as predictable, and recognizing Pinkney as the guy is huge. As Denny O'Brien noted in his column earlier this week, we predict Pinkney will be a star under Brindise’s tutelage. His growth should be dramatic as he becomes more comfortable on the field.

A few offensive linemen need to grow up fast and Pinkney’s receivers need to hold onto the ball. When that happens, the Pirates will have a chance to move ahead and win some games.

Defensively, ECU still has work to do. The first two games have yielded embarrassing numbers against a couple of pretty good offenses. Stacking the line of scrimmage against Wake Forest proved somewhat successful in keeping a potent running game bottled up but the Pirate secondary still needs help.

More pressure up front would certainly help the defensive backs. The loss of the best pass rusher, Ike Imodi, to academics this summer was a crushing blow. It is somewhat scary to realize the Pirates have not yet faced a strong passing attack. Upcoming names like Guidugli, Lefors and Kolb could mean huge problems unless this unit grows up fast.

Great crowd, but who's counting?

Since Saturday’s home opener with Wake Forest, there has been an interesting discussion around town about the announced crowd of 38,141. Without the end zone seats the stadium looked nearly full with the exception of the corners of the upper deck and the press box side of Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

If that crowd was less than 40,000, then one has to wonder about some of the announced crowds of games past when the stadium looked less full. Looks can be deceiving but it appeared to many, this writer included, that the crowd was larger than announced.

Due to the controversy of the 2002 season, when some in the media felt the ECU-Texas Christian crowd was under-estimated, one has to wonder if the ticket counters have become a bit more sophisticated and careful.

Holland acceptance seemingly universal

Chancellor Steve Ballard’s appointment of Terry Holland to the Director of Athletics position has gained wide support. There are few names in college sports that could have been as widely accepted.

Ballard was apparently hot on the heels of Iowa State AD Bruce Van De Velde when Holland’s name was thrown into the mix. Van De Velde has been under some criticism since his firing last year of basketball coach Larry Eustachy.

Van De Velde would also have been seen as a terrific hire for Ballard but as the saying goes, ‘why settle for the cream when you can have the cake’.

Ballard’s hiring of Holland seems to have ‘taken the cake’ in a positive way in Pirate-land!


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02/23/2007 10:14:00 AM

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