It was the East Carolina offense that got all of the accolades on Wednesday, as Mike Houston’s Pirates pushed through their ‘hump day’ workout. The offense shined on a hot, humid morning of practice.
“This was the second of four consecutive practices in full pads and it was a competitive one,” said Houston after the Wednesday workout. “I’m really excited about the way our offense practiced today. It was the best one they’ve had during fall camp so far, so of course, I’m a little ticked off at the defense.”
That’s how it goes in camp. It’s a ‘catch-22’ deal for sure. If one side of the ball shines, the other then pays the price. It’s all part of the process as we move closer to the start of the football season.
“The offense set the tone during the first drill with a lot of energy, came off the ball and got downhill,” Houston added. “They continued throughout the entire practice, so it was great to see.”
I had a chance to talk with ECU offensive line coach Steve Shankweiler before Wednesday’s practice. He told me the guys were working extremely hard, and that he thought they were getting better every day. They had better be getting better, because their head coach is counting on them.
For Houston, it’s all about attitude.
“I want a bunch with a lunch pail attitude, come to work every day with a chip on their shoulder ready to stick their hand in the dirt and get after it,” Houston explained. “I saw a much-improved unit today and it’s a matter of bringing that consistent work ethic every day.”
How important is the offensive line on a Mike Houston coached team?
“The offensive line is the heart and soul of your team,” Houston emphasized. “As they go, so we will go, because they set the tone for practice. They did a great job today.”
The Pirates will go full-tilt on Thursday for practice and then perhaps dial it down a couple of notches on Friday to get set for Saturday’s second scrimmage of fall camp.
“Thursday will be a heavy day with a lot of situational work,” Houston said. “We’ll have every game situation installed by Saturday. It will be a big evaluation for a lot of guys. We’ll establish our depth chart and start to focus on N.C. State after Saturday, so we want to put them in a lot of situations and see how they respond.”
Wednesday’s practice also was the debut for post graduate transfer Audie Omotosho from UCLA. Omotosho was injured throughout his career as a Bruin, and comes to Greenville with two years of eligibility remaining.
The rest of the week is a busy one for Pirate football. ECU will practice Thursday and Friday, and then scrimmage on Saturday.
Saturday also features ‘Media Day’ and then the annual “Meet the Pirates” night at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
We are just over two weeks away.
It’s so close, but yet so far away.