GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina prepared for its first off day of camp with a team-oriented two-and-a-half hour practice conducted in shells Monday morning at the Cliff Moore Practice Complex.
“It went well out there today,” head coach Ruffin McNeill said. “The kids were focused. The calmness I’ve been talking about the past few days is now turning into confidence. You can see it by the tempo being picked up on both sides of the ball, and on special teams.”
McNeill said after Saturday’s scrimmage that more team-on-team work would occur this week, allowing for game-like repetitions and a better evaluation of the players. The Pirates spent the final 47 minutes on Hight Field going against each other with an emphasis on third-down plays.
The offense also focused on inside releases and screen plays during skeleton drills while the unit’s line dedicated time to blitz pickup. Against early-designated offensive scouts, the defense centered on running downhill and communicating.
“I’ve been very impressed with how the guys are listening and trying to do what we’re telling them,” McNeill added. “That’s so important. Every kid has been willing to do exactly what we’ve asked of him. For a coach, that’s an awesome position to be in.”
ECU will have its first off day of camp Tuesday before returning to practice Wednesday with a two-a-day schedule, holding a morning and mid-afternoon session.
Notes: Antonio Allison, Derek Blacknall, Michael Dobson, Robert Jones, Gray Mazzone, Steve Spence, and Justin Venable all missed Monday’s practice … Due to schedule changes throughout camp, Wednesday will be the Pirates’ second, and final, two-a-day.
Wednesday’s Practice Times: 9:00-10:00 a.m. and 3:15-5:55 p.m.
Season Opener: Sept. 5 vs. Tulsa in Greenville (2:00 p.m.)