GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina continued its preseason camp progress Saturday by completing its first two-a-day schedule on Hight Field inside the Cliff Moore Practice Complex. The Pirates spent nearly two-and-half hours wearing shells during the morning workout before returning for a two-hour afternoon session, also in shells.
ECU, which has two more double practice days remaining, used the morning for special teams work and continued its emphasis on fifth-year head coach Ruffin McNeill’s offensive and defensive packages focusing on third-down conversions.
“It was our first two-a-day and I thought it went very smooth,” McNeill said. “We used the morning as a competition practice where the first groups went against each other, then the second team and third team, which was just like a normal in-season practice. We got a chance to see some of the things special teams has been working on with Coach (Kirk) Doll, and I’ve been very pleased with that part of our game.”
McNeill was also able to get some valuable evaluation tape during a combined 40-minute team-on-team segment that included competition between the squad’s No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 offenses and defenses in the day’s initial practice.
“It got a little wet out there today and I told the players to ‘put their frogman on’, a Navy Seal term,” McNeill added. “But the rain didn’t stop us from coming out and getting some good work in. We geared the practice more towards the run because of the conditions, which allowed the defense to work against various offensive schemes they will see this year, and vice-versa with the offense.”
The afternoon session, which was conducted in a steady rain, opened with wide receivers focusing on timing routs and the linebackers working on run coverage. The quarterbacks then went through a series of scramble drills with the receivers before another 10 minutes of screen work. During the skeleton phase of the session, the offensive and defensive lines worked on pass rush, which led to the final 25 minutes of team vs. scouts.