Pirates Kick Off 2013 With First Practice
Aug. 2, 2013
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Fourth-year East Carolina Head Football Coach Ruffin McNeill opened the 2013 campaign Friday with a morning walk-through before guiding the Pirates through their first official workout of the season on Hight Field inside the Cliff Moore Practice Complex.
ECU will follow Friday's practice, conducted in shorts and helmets, with single sessions through Tuesday, before turning in the first of three scheduled two-a-day periods next Wednesday.
"It was a normal first day with excitement and I liked the way guys attacked today with our visions and goals," McNeill said. "The offensive line unit looked really good, even though we were in shorts and helmets. Typically, the skill guys are slow to start, but they came out and performed at a high level fighting through the first practice.
"Defensively, I like the way that group picked right up from the spring with Coach (Rick) Smith's philosophy and schemes. I was encouraged with what I saw and we just have to keep building momentum with every rep each day."
The Pirates are scheduled to progress to shoulder pads for the first time Sunday before following with full gear Tuesday per NCAA rules. ECU will close camp on Monday, Aug. 19 - a day prior to the first day of classes on campus - before wrapping up its overall preseason practice schedule Aug. 29, two days before the Pirates host Old Dominion at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
Similar to the past two seasons, East Carolina officially kicked off the new season with 6:30 a.m. conditioning test conducted by Assistant Athletics Director for Strength and Conditioning Jeff Connors.
"We got started early today with conditioning and we attacked that well. Coach Connors has worked very hard all summer getting our guys ready to go and it set the tempo of the afternoon session."
After Saturday morning's practice, the Pirates will conduct their annual media day activities inside the Murphy Center. McNeill will provide his annual season-opening address that will outline the latest roster additions and deletions, personnel status and possible position changes.
ECU'S OFFENSE ... AT-A-GLANCE
ECU'S DEFENSE ... AT-A-GLANCE
ECU'S SPECIAL TEAMS ... AT-A-GLANCE