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Insights and Observations

Henry's Highlights
Wednesday, August 16, 2006

By Henry Hinton

Players jockey for positions as kickoff approaches


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The release of the first East Carolina depth chart of the year had few surprises on it Tuesday night.

Coach Skip Holtz is no doubt using the release of the chart to motivate and challenge a few guys who still might have hopes of starting on Sept. 2 at Navy.

The first look at where the coaches see things should give Pirate fans a peak at what is hoped to be a more confident and potent offense in 2006.

At quarterback, redshirt freshman Brett Clay is now officially James Pinkney’s backup. Clay has been impressive in the first two weeks of workouts and has shown a particular knack for throwing the long ball. Word is that Pinkney has looked “Garrard-like” in the last few days. A healthy J.P. can take this team a long way.

At running back, Chris Johnson would get the nod if ECU lined up at Annapolis tomorrow, but there is still time for Dominque Lindsay and Brandon Fractious to make up some ground.

Holtz’s comments have sounded as if he believes Johnson and Lindsay have been very close in practice. There's has been no mention of true freshman Norman Whitley on the depth chart, which is no surprise. But do not count him out as the season progresses. Early reports are that he is impressing the coaches, as expected.

At wide receiver, newcomer Jamar Bryant is listed as the back-up to All Conference USA player Aundrae Allison. Lindy’s preseason magazine calls Allison, who hauled in 83 catches last season, the conference’s most dangerous deep threat.

Allison had East Carolina’s only 1,000-plus yard year in 2005 in spite of the fact his season was cut short due to a knee injury.

Allison has no illusions about how other teams will view him this season.

“I know there will be times this year when I get double teamed”, he says. “Those guys (teammates) just need to step up and make the plays like I know they can and hopefully I can make more catches with two defenders or whatever I need to do.”

Allison also feels the chemistry between players and coaches in year two of the Holtz regime will pay dividends.

“We’re real comfortable right now as far as knowing what to do on the field and being in the right place at the right time and playing disciplined” said Allison. “The coaching staff has us playing good right now. We’re confident about this season.”

Bobby Good is listed as the other starting wide receiver and Devon Drew, the former quarterback, is listed as number one at tight end.

Speaking of former quarterbacks, one interesting and perhaps surprising spot on the new depth chart is at fullback, where journeyman Patrick Dosh seems to finally have found a home. After switching positions all over the field and on both sides of the ball, Dosh is finally listed as number one on the depth chart in his new position.

Dosh transferred in from Florida as a quarterback and has since played at tight end, linebacker and now fullback at ECU.

“If I ever get to coach one day, I can do a bunch of different things,” laughs Dosh. "I’ve learned a lot. I went over to the defensive side of the ball and did that a little while but I’ve always been an offensive guy.

"I really feel like I’ve found a home now at fullback.”

Dosh, a member of both the ECU and C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll says that manning different positions has enhanced his capabilities.

“It helps having played a little tight end last year as far as learning the basic fundamentals of blocking,” said Dosh.

Listed starters on the offensive line include Tom Wingenbach at center and Josh Coffman and Matt Butler at guard, while Eric Graham joins the only freshman listed as a starter, Terrance Campbell, as the tackles.

The depth chart is sure to change, but looking at the experience and skill of the first one of the year on the offensive side of the ball makes one begin to think the Pirates will be capable of scoring some points this season.

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This page updated 04/21/08 07:03 PM.

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