ECU wraps up first week of practice|O-line line adjusts to new scheme

Published 7:44 am Sunday, March 28, 2010

By Staff
 ECU Sports Information 
GREENVILLE — Calling it an “improving” start, East Carolina Head Football Coach Ruffin McNeill wrapped up the first week of spring workouts by guiding the Pirates through a two-and-a-half-hour practice late Saturday morning inside the Cliff Moore Practice Complex.
 The session was ECU’s fourth of the spring and second conducted in pads.
 The Pirates completed their first week of the spring in identical fashion to Friday’s first full-pad workout with detailed fundamental individual and team drill work that continued to emphasize offensive and defensive schematic implementation. ECU will have 10 more days remaining that will feature contact work, including two intra-squad scrimmages and the Purple-Gold Game scheduled for April 17.
 “I think we improved as went through each of the four days,” McNeill said. “I liked that the tempo picked up in all three groups, especially on offense and defense. The improvement alone in pads, from Friday to Saturday, was pretty evident as I thought we had a good day today in all areas.”
 In addition to the quarterbacks and receivers, the more visible elements of East Carolina’s new offensive package, Pirate linemen are also trying to grasp their assignments in the system that incorporates new techniques in a wide-split look. An early development in the installation process was the move of senior and long-time tackle D.J. Scott to the guard position.
 “Getting reps is obviously a priority at this stage, not only because of the amount young players we have in our program, but because of the new offense, defense and special teams systems we need to have in place,” McNeill explained. “I’m satisfied we’re making progress, but we have a long way to go.”
 East Carolina will open the second week of work Monday, beginning at 3:15 p.m.
Joining Scott on the early rendition of ECU’s top line were senior tackle Willie Smith, junior tackle Steven Baker, senior guard Cory Dowless and junior center Will Towery … For the second-straight day, redshirt freshman tight end/receiver Justin Jones was on the scoring end of passes during the team-on-team segment – catching a 17-yarder from Brad Wornick and a six-yarder from Josh Jordan, respectively … Senior defensive linemen Josh Smith missed Saturday’s practice with an upper leg injury and is listed as day-to-day.