03/06/07 — Pirates have first full-pad workout

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Pirates have first full-pad workout

Published in Sports on March 6, 2007 2:35 PM

GREENVILLE -- After two non-contact orientation sessions in shorts and helmets, third-year head coach Skip Holtz and the East Carolina Pirates began their spring practice schedule in earnest Monday afternoon by working two-plus hours in full pads on Hight Field inside the Cliff Moore Practice Complex.

Holtz guided ECU's first full-pad practice after pair of introductory workouts last week. The contact session was the first of 12 which will be conducted in full gear, including a pair of scrimmages and the Purple-Gold Spring Game on April 14.

"We are continuing to work hard but we're still a long ways away," Holtz said. "I had hoped for a little more intensity today considering it was our first day in pads but instead we looked tentative as things began moving at a much faster pace."

Despite the addition of equipment, Holtz and his staff spent the majority of the session stressing fundamentals while continuing the review process of the Pirates' offensive and defensive playbooks.

ECU also worked through various team sessions towards the end of the practice period which included a traditional three-on-three drill which featured matchups between the Pirates' tight ends, offensive and defensive lines, wide receivers and defensive backs, running backs and linebackers at point-blank range on a shortened field.

"Offensively, we're still in the individual development stage on the line," Holtz added. "It's been difficult to put it together with any sort of consistency. As is typically the case this time of year, the defense is a little ahead of the game. They've done some good things and are running around the football pretty well."

Monday's practice opened the second week of workouts for the Pirates, who will return to the practice facility Wednesday and Thursday afternoons before taking a week off to enjoy Spring Break, which begins Friday afternoon. Upon its return to campus Monday, March 19, ECU will have just two sessions to prepare for the first scrimmage of camp scheduled for Friday, March 23 at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.