Spring Football Notebook No. 5

Hunter Furr

March 26, 2012

 Practice Highlights and Interviews

GREENVILLE, N.C. -With only five days remaining before the program's first full intra-squad scrimmage, East Carolina began its preparation efforts in earnest Monday with a two-hour workout on Hight Field inside the Cliff Moore Practice Complex.

Head coach Ruffin McNeil put the Pirates in shells for the second-straight session after introducing pads for the first time last Friday. ECU has nine days remaining that will feature some resemblance of contact work, including another intra-squad contest April 7 and the Purple-Gold Game on April 14.

"I think all of us were glad to be back out on the field today," McNeill said. "We're making progress and that's going to happen whenever you have competition at every position like we do. I've also liked the intensity out there. We've had three days in pads and all three have been very physical."

After the completion of individual work, the Pirate offense dedicated periods to its hurry-up tempo, receiver routes, screens and inside running game, while the defense continued to emphasize various blitz packages, one-on-one secondary coverage and rush prevent. As has been the case in the two previous pad practices, ECU followed unit-specific work by devoting nearly 30 minutes to an 11-on-11 team segment that featured redzone and goal line situations.

Quarterbacks Rio Johnson (4-of-6, 62 yards), Brad Wornick (4-5-24) and Shane Carden (5-5-26) took the snaps during the team session and combined on 13-of-16 passing for 112 yards. Johnson turned in the longest play of the drill with a 44-yard toss to Reese Wiggins, while Carden tallied the offense's only score with a five-yard pass to Justin Hardyin the back of the endzone during the closing moments of the period.

Among the Pirate defense's highlights were four fourth down stops, three inside the redzone and two inside the five-yard line. Outside linebacker Demetrius McKelvie, nose tackle Michael Brooks and end Justin Dixon each penetrated the backfield to halt drives while free safety Damon Magazupicked off a pass at the one-yard line to thwart another scoring attempt.

East Carolina will return to the practice facility Wednesday afternoon for its sixth workout.

NOTES: Sophomore DE Chrishon Rosemissed Monday's practice with an ankle injury and is listed as day-to-day.

Next Workout: Wednesday, March 28 (3:30-5:50 p.m.)
Remaining Workouts: March 30, March 31 (scrimmage), April 2, April 4, April 6, April 7 (scrimmage), April 9, April 11 and April 14 (Purple-Gold Game, 2:30 p.m.)