Pirates Lose Two Players To Injuries

GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina Head Football Coach Ruffin
McNeill announced Monday that junior transfer defensive end John Lattimore will miss the entire 2011 season because of a right lower leg injury suffered during practice last Friday. He will have two years of eligibility remaining when he is expected to be cleared to return next spring or summer. In addition, sophomore inside receiver Justin Jones will be out indefinitely after injuring his left knee during Saturday's scrimmage at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

McNeill officially completed his second fall camp Monday as the Pirates wrapped up the NCAA-recognized preseason period with an hour-plus morning practice in helmets and shorts at Hight Field inside the Cliff Moore Practice Facility.

"This is the start of a mock game week," McNeill said. "We treated today like a regular Sunday practice with Sunday practice gear and Sunday practice preparations. Tomorrow will be treated like a Monday off day with the players going through their first day of classes. We’re trying to duplicate a game week to get them acclimated for next week."

McNeill and his staff guided the Pirates through individual and position-specific work before 30 minutes of special teams and a session-closing 25-minute team period that featured both units going against early-designated scouts.

After having Sunday to review Saturday’s scrimmage film, McNeill expressed he was pleased with the team’s performance.

"Watching film I saw fundamental improvement, which I’m always looking for," he said. "The schematic execution was very good from all sides of the football. The offense did a great job with some long plays and the defense was able to turn the ball over on fourth down and make tackles for lost yards."

McNeill also indicated the program's initial depth chart of the season is still being formulated and will be released prior to his first press conference of the season next Monday.

"As far as the goals I had going in, I wanted to improve our fundamentals and execution on offense, defense and special teams while developing depth," McNeill said of the preseason. "I feel good about those three areas. We’re also in top physical condition leaving camp with the help of Coach [Jeff] Connors."

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