GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina completed preparations for its annual spring game with an upbeat one-hour practice in shorts and helmets Friday afternoon on Hight Field inside the Cliff Moore Complex.
Fifth-year head coach Ruffin McNeill and his staff's polish session addressed special teams work, scramble and skeleton drills before wrapping up with a 12-minute team period that featured competition between two-deep personnel and members of the scout squad.
"This team believes in unity and it has showed each day we've been out this spring," McNeill said. "While we've attacked things in a very organized manner as a whole, we've also had individuals step up at the right time in the right places too. Again, I can't say enough about their competitive spirit and commitment to handle things the right way."
Similar to his first four spring contests in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, McNeill said Saturday's Purple-Gold Game will again resemble offense-versus-defense scrimmages like those conducted the last two weeks and will primarily feature the top three levels of ECU's current depth chart. Live hitting will be permitted for all positions, except quarterback and during kickoff, punting and return situations. In addition, the Pirates will attempt all extra-point and field goal tries.
"I think we're ready to go," McNeill added. "The opportunity to play at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in front of the Pirate Nation is always special. We're also excited about continuing the process and moving from Phase 2 to Phase 3, which is with Coach (Jeff) Connors' summer workout program."
As a courtesy to fans, complimentary roster flipcards containing a listing of players by uniform color (offense, defense and special teams), will be available at the entrance gate(s).
NOTES: McNeill is hopeful to get in approximately 50-to-60 snaps during Saturday's action ... The Pirates will officially finish its 2014 spring season in earnest with a light workout Monday afternoon that will involve mostly younger players in the program ... Most upperclassmen, especially established returning members of the two-deep, will close their spring schedule during the Purple-Gold Game ... Other than the handful of players who have sat out the entire or latter portions (OLB Kirk Donaldson/left knee, TE Darren Dowdell/left leg, S Lamar Ivey/right knee, NT Terry Williams/right ankle) of the spring season with injuries, McNeill expects a full roster to be available Saturday.
EAST CAROLINA'S 2014 SPRING PRACTICE SCHEDULE
Next Workout: Saturday, April 12 (Purple-Gold Game, 2:30 p.m.)
Remaining Workout: April 14 (3:30-5:00 p.m.)