GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina successfully closed the book on its first full week of the spring practice period with another two-hour workout in shells Friday afternoon at Hight Field inside the Cliff Moore Practice Complex.
Although the session also served as a polish day for the Pirates' first scrimmage scheduled for Saturday morning, ECU still spent considerable time keying on screens, goal line routes, rush execution and reaction, one-on-one receiver-defensive back matchups, pass skeleton, team-on-team and special teams work.
Because of the forecast of inclement weather, fifth-year head coach Ruffin McNeill indicated ECU will use the team's FieldTurf facility instead of Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium for its initial full-pad contest and that the action would likely be limited to 50 plays or less.
"We're getting better and I like the direction in which we are headed," McNeill said when summing up the first handful of practices. "We are always competing out there and that creates the quality depth we need. I thought both our offense and defense did some good things today, but our special teams really stood out."
During the Pirates' 11-on-11 team session Friday, a surging ECU defense limited the offensive passing game to only 56 yards on 11 completions in 20 attempts. Shane Carden connected with running back Breon Allen on a 12-yard shovel pass for the longest gainer of the period before the former finished with a six-of-12, 34-yard effort. Defensively, nose tackle Terry Williams and end Fred Presley each tallied a pair of tackles for lost yardage to help account for the unit’s eight total hits behind the line of scrimmage.
After the abbreviated scrimmage and an off day Sunday, the Pirates will return to work Monday afternoon.
NOTES: Outside receiver DaQuan Barnes was back in action for "full-go" status Friday after being limited by a left leg injury since last Saturday ... Defensive back DaShaun Amos (right ankle) and tight end Darren Dowdell (left leg) both missed reps during the latter half of Friday's practice after suffering injuries.
EAST CAROLINA'S 2014 SPRING PRACTICE SCHEDULE
Next Workout: Saturday, March 29 (9:15-10:30 a.m.)
Remaining Workouts: March 31, April 2, April 4, April 5 (scrimmage), April 7, April 9, April 11 and April 12 (Purple-Gold Game, 2:30 p.m.)