GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina finalized preparations for its first intra-squad scrimmage of preseason camp with a 100-minute workout in shells Friday morning on Hight Field at the Cliff Moore Practice Complex.
The contest, which will be held at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium Saturday morning, will primarily serve as a personnel and organizational scrimmage designed to start formulating the program's first depth chart of the season, emphasize new officiating rules and work on substitution patterns.
As a precautionary measure to ensure freshness for the game, head coach Ruffin McNeill kept the Pirates out of full pads to minimize contact during Friday's session, which mostly stressed individual drills and third-and-long situational work.
"I want to watch reaction and interaction with our (Conference USA) officials on the field," McNeill explained. "I want to see our substitution pattern and engagement from the offensive and defensive packages. Also, I'm looking forward to making sure we have proper communication from the pressbox from up top. We'll see how it goes."
Saturday’s intra-squad scrimmage, which McNeill indicated would span 50 to 60 plays, is closed to the public.
NOTES: OLB Gabriel Woullard, a signee from Pierce (Calif.) College, arrived on campus Thursday and was present at practice Friday after completing a physical and required administrative responsibilities ... The Pirates will open Saturday's activities by participating in an orientation session with a C-USA officiating crew to discuss and review new rule changes in place for the 2012 season before heading out for a stretch/flex segment at 9 a.m. ... A total of seven players will be sidelined Saturday with various injuries - CB Leonard Paulk (right knee), OL Taylor Hudson (left hand), OLB Jacob Geary (left leg), RB/IWR Zico Pasut (concussion), OLB Montese Overton (concussion), IWR Donte Sumpter (right ankle), DE Matt Milner (left foot) ... All-America ILB Jeremy Grove (left leg) is questionable for the matchup ... On the other hand, OLB Maurice Falls returned to full-speed status Friday for the first time since camp opened after being slowed by a left leg injury ... Saturday's Scrimmage Time: 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.; Season Opener: Sept. 1 vs. Appalachian State in Greenville (12 noon).