Pirates Put On Shells For First Time

UABSPORTS.COM Outside Receivers Coach Dave Nichol
Outside Receivers Coach Dave Nichol

Aug. 4, 2013

GREENVILLE, N.C. - Following a pair of introductory sessions, East Carolina moved to the next phase of practice putting on shoulder pads during its two-and-half hour workout on Hight Field inside the Cliff Moore Practice Complex Sunday morning.

Fundamentals and execution continued to be the theme of fall camp with emphasis today on controlling emotions and what head coach Ruffin McNeill referred to as "football IQ".

"We were in pads for the first time today and it was a physical practice," McNeill said. "We have a physical group and the it can get a little heated on the field, but that's to be expected. I like the progress of the group for being just our third day. We ask the guys to play fast, smart and confident and they seem to be doing just that.

"Last night the subject of football IQ was stressed to the team. We need to work on limiting the penalties and mistakes, while also and emphasizing turnover ratio - ball security on offense and takeaways on defense - and that's what we worked on today."

The Pirates spent nearly 50 minutes total in seven-on-seven or team-on-team drills where intensity levels were visible on both sides of the ball. During breakout group sessions, the offense spent additional time with screen packages while the defensive secondary worked against potential scout team wide receivers.

"My job is to corral the emotion and physicality during the early part of camp," McNeill continued. "When on the field it's a fine line between pulling the guys back with too much emotion and having to push them to be physical. This group is not one that you have to push to be aggressive or assertive. They can get to that point pretty quickly, so I have to find ways to contain that and help push their focus on what we are working on for that day."

ECU will return to the field Monday morning for another session in shoulder pads leading up to its first practice in full gear Tuesday.



Camp Notes:
Junior RB Breon Allen (hamstring) was held out of the contact drills portion of camp ... McNeill is hopeful to have him back early this week.

Monday's Practice Time: 8:45 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Season Opener: Aug. 31 vs. Old Dominion in Greenville (7 p.m.)