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Bailey's Take on Pirate Sports



From the Anchor Desk
Wednesday, October 15, 2003
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

Berry misses out on Misery Bowl No. 2


I remember asking former East Carolina coach Steve Logan if  Todd Berry, his one-time offensive coordinator at ECU (1992-95), would have success when Berry first took the Army job.

Logan was confident that Berry would be fine, but he warned that it would take time.

The U.S. Military Academy evidently didn’t have any more time. After a 5-35 record, the Academy decided to look elsewhere for a coach.

Berry was a class act when he was at East Carolina. He was always quick to take a phone call, to do an interview, to be as helpful as he could be.

However, he had his detractors at Army. Several different columnists through the years had taken their individual shots at Berry and criticized the Black Knights' lack of progress.

On Berry’s last trip to Greenville as the Army coach last year, I got the feeling that he thought his team was turning the corner.

“We’re very young, but we’re going to get it done,” said Berry last fall. “These guys are getting great experience, but it’s going to take some time.”

Time that, once again, the U.S. Military Academy apparently didn’t have.

Team player Townes flexible about future

Marvin Townes is certainly not looking over his shoulder.

Art Brown ranked sixth in the nation in scoring last season. This year, Brown’s season never started because of an injury. If all goes as planned, he will return in 2004 to what should be a crowded but talented ECU backfield.

“I’m not worried about that,” said Townes. “I just want to play and I just want to win, so I’ll do anything. I’ll share time, or I’ll play receiver. I like catching the football, so that would be fine.”

Moving Townes to receiver next year may be a great way to keep he and Brown in the game at the same time.

True freshman running back Robert Tillman has already shown signs of brilliance, so this may present a pleasant problem at the position for the Pirate coaches next year.

Misery Bowl No. 2

When is the last time that a team you followed played in a game pitting 0-5 teams against each other, and then followed up that with a match up of 0-6 squads? Hopefully, this is a once in a lifetime deal, sort of like some of those rare comets that come through every 100 years or so.

The biggest difference this week in my mind is that Army, like East Carolina, has a tough time scoring points.

I thought the Pirates played relatively well on defense last week. North Carolina has scored more points against teams that are at least perceived to be better then East Carolina.

This week, the team that comes out and has success early will win. The Pirates will try and continue to improve on the running game. They were very good rushing the football in the first half of the loss to the Tar Heels, but the nation’s worst defense came up big against ECU in the second half.

If the Pirates don’t give up the big play to Army’s offense and don’t turn the football over, I think good things will happen.

I surely hope the “Voice of the Pirates,” Jeff Charles, has his brush ready to paint one purple this week.

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02/23/2007 01:26:49 AM

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