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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports

From the Anchor Desk
Friday, August 22, 2003
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

For casual observers, scrimmages don't tell full story


Scrimmages are tough to evaluate. Maybe this is why many coaches close their scrimmage games. From the outside looking in, it’s really difficult to understand just what is taking place.

I had a chance to see most of the first two scrimmages, and I really enjoyed getting a chance to see the team play in the preseason. I think it’s especially nice for the avid fans to get a chance to see their team play in the early going.

I got a kick out of Coach John Thompson’s hustle during the scrimmages. Every single play in the workouts had meaning. When fourth down ended one set, Coach Thompson would bark out another set of orders.

“1’s, 1’s,” Thompson would scream. “Third and seven from the minus 40 yard line. Let’s make it work.”

Perhaps that’s part of the problem in watching the scrimmages. You come away thinking that the offense had a bad day. But sometimes you don’t realize that the arbitrarily created scenarios dictate which side excels.

“We put our squad in some tough situations during our scrimmages,” Thompson said. “We need to see how both sides of the ball react to third and seven, or third and one. We are seeing and evaluating a lot from these scrimmage games.”

While it’s very difficult to judge the offense, it looks like the defense at East Carolina will be much improved. Obviously, there was only one way to go with the defense after last season’s problems.

It looks like the defensive backs will play much closer to the wide receivers. Thompson’s staff really worked on the mechanics of playing the corners during this preseason.

The ECU defense gave up way to much cushion in past years. This year’s squad may give up a big play or two, but you have to think the aggressive style will pay dividends later on.

On offense, the loss of Art Brown will surely hurt this team. The thinking on the staff seems to be that the running back stable is deep, and that someone will step up.

I, too, like what I see with some of these guys. The truth is, though, that they are all untested. Marvin Townes has yet to show that he can play a full game and contribute the entire way. Kevin Fain has to prove he can play on this level, after coming to East Carolina from a junior college.

Robert Tillman was all all-state defensive back last season at South Robeson. Tillman has been clocked at 4.3 in the forty, so you know that if he gets through the line of scrimmage, there won’t be many in the country that can catch him.

R.V. recognized

East Carolina graduate Ronald Vincent was honored on Thursday morning. 'R.V.' was given the Long Leaf Pine Award, the highest honor the governor can give to a citizen in our state.

Vincent is the winningest baseball coach in our state’s history. He is a class act, and has sent many players on to East Carolina from his Rampant baseball program.

Congratulations Coach Vincent, and keep on winning with that Rose baseball program.

'Touchdown Friday' kicks off tonight

Many of the “Pirates of Tomorrow” will be on display around the area as the high school football season officially kicks off.

A number of teams opened last week with Endowment games, but tonight’s play is listed as the official start of the season.

We begin another year of 'Touchdown Friday' on TV-9 tonight at 11:15. Our crews will be out to get the very best highlights of high school football in Eastern North Carolina.

Check out our show, and see some of those future Pirates in action!

Send an e-mail message to Brian Bailey.

Click here to dig into Brian Bailey's Bonesville archives.

02/23/2007 01:25:20 AM

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