Pirates return to practice|ECU opens final week of drills

Published 10:31 am Tuesday, April 13, 2010

By Staff
 ECU Sports Information 
GREENVILLE — East Carolina began its fourth and final week of spring workouts under the guidance of first-year head coach Ruffin McNeill and staff with a brisk 105-minute session Monday afternoon inside the Cliff Moore Practice Complex.
 The Pirates returned to action in shorts, shoulder pads and helmets after conducting their second intra-squad scrimmage of the spring Saturday morning. After turning in its 13th practice, ECU has just one more workout scheduled before closing camp with the Purple-Gold Game Saturday.
 McNeill delayed the start of practice 45 minutes to allow for an extended video session to review Saturday’s contest in position groups. He appeared pleased with the progress of his squad, but wanted to fine-tune corrective work prior to Monday’s outing.
 “After seeing it on tape, I thought it went a little better than I originally thought,” McNeill said. “Defensively, we flew around well and created some turnovers, and on offense, we battled back and made some very good things happen after a tough start.
 “I think we’re still ahead of schedule and we have a chance to really end on a great week, which can carry us over into the summer and then fall.”
 After Wednesday’s shorts-only practice, East Carolina’s coaching staff will select roster positions for the Purple-Gold Game, which is scheduled for a 2:00 p.m. kickoff at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
 Tickets, which are priced at $5.00 for the contest or $10.00 with the addition of a plate of barbecue from the Pigskin Pig-Out Party, can be purchased online at www.ECUPirates.com or by calling (252) 328-2300 locally or (800) DIAL-ECU outside the Greenville area.
 McNeill announced that junior linebacker Matt Thompson and sophomore cornerback Rahkeem Morgan will face internal disciplinary action and will not play in Saturday’s spring game because of unprofessional conduct that resulted in citations for both players by the Greenville Police Department late Saturday.
 “Until last weekend, Matt and Rahkeem met, even exceeded every obligation we have asked of them since I’ve been here,” McNeill explained. “However, with that said, I expect those to be followed unconditionally. We are handling this situation internally, and as long as they carry out their responsibilities and conduct themselves in a professional manner, they will have the opportunity to remain in our program and work their way back.
 “We have so many players on our team that I’m really proud of and have achieved great things on and off the field, and in the classroom in my short time here, and this only takes away from those accomplishments.”
Sophomore OL Dalton Faulds was sidelined Monday, still being evaluated after suffering a knee injury during Saturday’s scrimmage … Faulds was experiencing additional action at the center position, splitting time with senior Doug Polochak filling in for Will Towery (knee) before going down himself … Senior Cory Dowless, who has been a mainstay at guard for the past few seasons, handled snaps at center Monday … Redshirt freshman Jordan Davis moved into Dowless’ guard spot with the No. 1 offensive line … Redshirt freshman WR Mike Price returned to action Monday, albeit in a non-contact role, after a shoulder injury Friday forced him out of Saturday’s scrimmage.