Calling it a "good" start, East Carolina Head Football Coach Skip Holtz wrapped up the second week of spring workouts by guiding the Pirates through a 130-minute practice late Thursday afternoon on Hight Field inside the Cliff Moore Practice Complex.
The session was ECU's fifth of the spring and third conducted in pads.
The Pirates completed their first phase of the spring with detailed
fundamental individual and team drill work, and will begin in-depth
offensive and defensive schematic emphasis after returning from the
Spring Break holidays. ECU will have nine more days remaining that will
feature contact work, including two intra-squad scrimmages and the
Purple-Gold Game scheduled for April 14.
"In all, I feel like we've gotten off to a pretty good start," Holtz said. "We've been able to get a lot of things done from a fundamental
and drill standpoint. We will go more into a scrimmage mode when we get back and have an opportunity to formulate our depth chart. We've put in some good work over here but the personnel decisions will come from over there (pointing toward Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium) when we start the scrimmage phase."
Offensively, similar to the Pirates' Papajohns.com Bowl matchup against
USF last December, ECU is trying to work through the spring practice
period with a shortage of tight ends under the watchful eye of new
position coach Phil Petty. However, the news is a little better this
March with junior transfer J.R. Kraemer and junior walk-on Stanley
Bryant joining returning starter Davon Drew in the unit.
Drew, a 6-foot-4, 247-pound former quarterback who dressed out as East Carolina's only tight end against the Bulls after season-ending injuries to Jay Sonnhalter and Martin Tanski, stood seventh on the team in catches with 16, sixth in reception yardage with 187 and second in
scoring grabs with three as a sophomore in 2006.
Sonnhalter (ankle) and Tanski (knee) are still rehabilitating their
respective injuries and will miss the majority of spring workouts, thus
enabling increased repetition opportunities for Kraemer and Bryant.
Kraemer (6-5, 237) transferred into the Pirate program from Illinois
last summer but sat out the season in compliance with NCAA transfer
rules. As a sophomore for coach Ron Zook, he participated in 28 plays at tight end but did not record any statistics.
Thursday's practice preceded a 10-day layoff for the Pirates, who will
return to open their third week of workouts Monday, March 19 and start
preparations for ECU's first full intra-squad scrimmage scheduled for
Friday, March 23 at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.