Spring Football Notebook No. 4

UABSPORTS.COM The Pirates wrapped up their first week of spring workouts Saturday.
The Pirates wrapped up their first week of spring workouts Saturday.

March 30, 2013

Spring Practice Highlights and Interviews

GREENVILLE, N.C. - In what East Carolina Head Football Coach Ruffin McNeill termed as an "encouraging" start, the Pirates completed their first week of spring work with two-hour session at the Cliff Moore Practice Complex Saturday morning.

The outing was ECU's fourth of the practice period and second conducted in pads.

East Carolina continued its focus and emphasis on the execution and repetition of fundamentals, working through different assignments such as individual development, positional situation drills, special teams and a "live" 26-minute 11-on-11 team segment that included personnel from the program's current two-deep. In what has been a traditional staple at the end of each practice during McNeill's tenure, the Pirates concluded the action with ball security reinforcement on offense and strip drills on defense.

"I thought we did a much better job, actually a great job, understanding and controlling the tempo today," McNeill said. "It was still a teaching day, but we played faster. I'm encouraged by how we attacked things all week and a lot of that is a credit to the great physical shape we are in."

The Pirate defense upped the pressure during Saturday's scrimmage-like team period with a handful of penetrations into the backfield that helped produce fumble recoveries by Derrell Johnson and Johnathon White, and an interception by Zeek Bigger off a tipped pass. White set the tone with a batted throw on the first play and outside Maurice Falls, Lee Pegues, Tristan Mumford and Montese Overton added tackles for lost yardage.

Offensively, quarterback Shane Carden completed eight-of-13 passes for 90 yards, which included a 20-yard scoring strike to outside receiver Bryce Williams, while Cody Keith was three-of-eight for 23 yards.

East Carolina will open its second week of work Monday, beginning at 3:30 p.m.

Next Workout: Monday, April 1 (3:30-5:50 p.m.)
Remaining Workouts: April 3, April 5, April 6 (scrimmage), April 8, April 10, April 12, April 13 (scrimmage), April 15, April 17 and April 20 (Purple-Gold Game, 2:30 p.m.)