GREENVILLE, N.C. – Following a pair of physical practices on Saturday and team walk-through on Sunday, East Carolina returned to Hight Field inside the Cliff Moore Practice Complex for a near three-hour single morning session in full pads.
Fifth-year head coach Ruffin McNeill and his staff devoted 35 minutes to team-on-team work after the offensive and defensive units spent 25 minutes in skeleton or one-on-one drills. The team sessions used all four levels of the early preseason depth chart with emphasis on third-and-long and third-and-medium situations.
“I thought we had a great practice on Monday in full gear,” McNeill said. “It was very lively with the emphasis on third downs. I’m proud of the guys and the way they have been attacking the process day in and day out.
“We have been extremely competitive in the 11-on-11 sessions, but that’s been the norm since I got here. I like the way we have been playing together with the older players helping and teaching the younger guys. We have been able to use these competitive periods to develop depth across the board, rolling some of the second team guys with the first, and it doesn’t seem that we have missed a beat, which is encouraging.”
Once again the Pirates spent nearly 20 minutes on special teams work, while the offensive and defensive line units used their time focusing on blitz and pass rush packages. Following its customary ball security session, the returnees went through a conditioning segment with Coach (Jeff) Connors, while the new members got additional group work with each taking between 15-20 snaps with their respective groups.
East Carolina will hold another single workout Tuesday morning before turning in its second of three two-a-days on Wednesday, Aug. 13. The Pirates will hold their first intra-squad scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 16 before participating in the 20th Annual Meet The Pirates event inside Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium from 5-8 p.m.
In addition to three players who entered preseason camp on the disabled list and in full rehabilitation mode (TE Darren Dowdell/left leg, OL Christian Matau/left knee and QB Cody Keith/right elbow), the Pirates also lost two players to injuries during the first week of action ... OWR Daquan Barnes (back) and IWR Jonathan Stanley (left lower leg) will miss the remainder of camp after suffering their respective injuries last Friday ... McNeill announced Monday that three newcomers have been added to the 105-man roster to replace the departures - RB Devin Anderson (5-9, 204, Fr., Henderson, N.C), OWR David Kelcy (6-2, 180, Fr., Waxhaw, N.C) and OWR Anthony Russo (5-8, 163, Fr., Goldsboro, N.C.) … Single-game, three-game mini packs and season tickets for all ECU homes games are still available to the Pirate Nation and can be purchased by calling the ECU Athletic Ticket Office at 252-737-4500, through the Online Ticket Center, or by visiting the ECU Athletics Ticket Office.
Tuesday's Practice Time: 8:45 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Season Opener: Aug. 30 vs. North Carolina Central (8 p.m. EST)