03/21/06 — ECU back in pads after spring break

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ECU back in pads after spring break

Published in Sports on March 21, 2006 1:47 PM

GREENVILLE -- Head coach Skip Holtz and his East Carolina football program resumed its spring practice schedule Monday afternoon after enjoying an 11-day spring break layoff. The two-hour workout, conducted at the Cliff Moore Practice Complex, was the Pirates' seventh overall and fifth in full pads.

Monday's session also officially opened preparation efforts in earnest for ECU's first intra-squad scrimmage of the spring which is scheduled for Friday at 8 p.m. at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

"I remain encouraged," Holtz said. "We had a little bit of rust showing today after the layoff which is to be expected but I was pleased with our approach, enthusiasm and intensity. While we can't realistically be at the top of our game every day, I do expect the effort to be there. From that standpoint, we do have guys who fight and push through it pretty well."

Holtz and staff also continued work Monday toward the establishment of the program's initial depth chart of the season after spending the first two weeks of camp emphasizing fundamental drill work. The two-deep, which will be released after Friday's scrimmage, will allow the Pirates to fine-tune efforts in their respective offensive and defensive packages with the first and second units experiencing the majority of the action during the last two weeks of workouts.

"We're improving, but at this stage, we need to start putting the pieces of the puzzle together," Holtz added. "We are heading into the second half of camp which is a critical part of the development of this football team."

Prior to Monday's practice, the East Carolina program welcomed scouts and several position coaches from 22 different National Football League organizations to its annual outgoing senior pro-timing day which included different weight and agility sessions in the strength and conditioning center and traditional speed drills such as the 40-yard dash and various shuttle runs on the FieldTurf surface of the Moore Complex.

Former Pirate starters such as linebackers Richard Koonce, Chris Moore, Josh Chilsom and Dashaun Stephens, safety Zach Baker and center Gary Freeman joined approximately a dozen other hopefuls during the tryout. Offensive lineman Guy Whimper, projected as a possible first-day pick by many draft publication and television experts, participated in an individual session with the NFL personnel but did not take part in the timing phase of the event.

After an off day today, the Pirates will return to work Wednesday beginning at 4 p.m. before closing the week with Friday night's scrimmage.

ECU Sports Information