Pirates Practice Under The Lights Again

GREENVILLE, N.C. - For the third-straight night, East Carolina conducted its workout under the lights on Hight Field inside the Cliff Moore Practice Complex Thursday. The Pirates also returned to a single practice schedule a day after completing their initial two-a-day session Wednesday, working for two hours on all facets of the program's special teams, offensive and defensive units.

Head coach Skip Holtz and staff also devoted a significant amount of time guiding ECU through redzone efficiency work. The Pirates spent periods on third-and-6, third-and-12 and first-and-10 situations inside the 20-yard line both from an offensive and defensive standpoint and closed the practice with goal-line drills.

"I hate to sound like a broken record, but I can't say enough about their attitude, effort and enthusiasm," Holtz said. "I was also happy we were in a position today to give them a chance to get their legs back a little bit by scheduling another night practice. We were, for the most part, able give them nearly a full afternoon off after what seemed like three straight practices in a row Tuesday and Wednesday."

East Carolina will return to the Cliff Moore Practice Complex for another single workout Friday to finish preparations for Saturday's intra-squad contest at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. The scrimmage, closed to the public, will precede the team's first off day of preseason camp scheduled for Sunday.

NOTES: Defensive linemen Khalif Mitchell and Scotty Robinson sat out their fifth-straight practice (knee injury), while linebacker Quentin Cotton (shoulder) missed his third workout .. However, Cotton is expected to participate in Saturday's intra-squad scrimmage ... Defensive end Marcus Hands was held out of action Thursday as a precautionary measure (concussion symptoms) ... As is common practice at the start of a new season, certain returning players make uniform number changes ... So far in 2007, DB Van Eskridge has moved from No. 37 to No. 4, WR Alex Taylor switched from No. 81 to No. 80 and CB Leon Best will now wear No. 1 instead of No. 33 .. In addition to the 105-man preseason camp roster, there are four players who also reported early but are on campus rehabilitating injuries - RB Darnell Ballard (shoulder), LB Orlando Farrow (lower leg), DL Nweike Osemene (back) and TE Martin Tanski (knee) ... Friday's Practice Time: to be announced (either 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.; Season Opener: Sept. 1 at Virginia Tech (12 noon)