Pirates feel offseason regimen could lead to a 10-win season

Published 9:26 am Thursday, July 10, 2008

By By Steve Franklin, Sports Writer
GREENVILLE — Spring drills are in the rear view mirror and the 2008 football season opener is still more than seven weeks away.
You’d think this would be a time of rest and relaxation around the East Carolina campus.
Think again.
Defensive end Zack Slate calls the months of May, June and July the most important three-month stretch of the season.
Since the Pirates left the field on April 12 following the annual Purple and Gold spring football contest, the players have turned their focus to summer workouts. The players spend about an hour-and-a-half each afternoon pumping iron, running wind sprints, and working on individual skills.
Fresh off an 8-5 season (6-2 in Conference USA) and a thrilling Hawaii Bowl victory over Boise State, the Pirates have high expectations for the upcoming season. Especially after a productive summer period.
Many players have publicly stated that anything less than 10 wins would be a disappointment.
The Pirates return 15 starters (nine on defense, six on offense) in 2008. They also have several red-shirt freshman with great expectations who are ready to come in and contribute. With a large core of returners and several rising stars, the Pirates feel they should be in contention for a Conference-USA title.
The players aren’t the only ones who believe the ‘08 season could be special. After months of great workouts, Golden is high on the Pirates chances this season as well.