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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
By Brian Bailey

Kass a natural in high-profile position

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.

At 6-4, 247, quarterback Rob Kass, a sophomore from Longwood, FL, has the stature to stand tall in the pocket. At ECU's Media Day on Saturday, he also demonstrated the poise to stand on his own in dealing with a flock of reporters. Kass is the designated successor to James Pinkney as the Pirates' starting QB. (ECU SID photo)


Bailey: Kass a natural in high-profile position
Audio: Skip Holtz at the ECU Pirates' Media Day
O'Brien: Coffman thriving in leadership role
Bradsher: Winning 'em over in back country not easy
O'Brien: Coaches sound off on 'Mid-Major' label
O'Brien: Expansion not on C-USA radar
Cherubini: Ex-Pirate coach applauds state of program
Gold: ECU pays price for Florida's success

Media Day

One of my favorite days of the football season is media day. It’s always exciting to see the veteran players and meet the new ones who will be out there on game day at East Carolina.

The Pirates practiced for the first time on Friday, and then faced the cameras and microphones. I was especially impressed with the confidence and poise shown by the new ECU quarterback, Rob Kass.

Kass is a big boy. But he’s dropped a few pounds and hopes to drop a few more before the season starts. He knows he’s not an option quarterback, but he hopes that he can improve on his mobility.

“That’s probably what I work on the most,” Kass said. “I know I have to be able to move sometimes, so I work on it everyday.”

Kass has the height to stand tall in the pocket. He also has the poise and quiet confidence to stand tall when answering questions. Kass had a large group of writers around him for the better part of an hour.

To my knowledge, Kass never dodged a question. He seemed at ease with his answers. He never blinked, answering questions on a variety of topics.

Kass knows that his will be a baptism by fire. The entire nation will watch his debut in the opener at Virginia Tech. Kass hopes to be up for the challenge.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “I know we’ve all been working really hard, and I know we’ll all be ready. It will be a tremendous challenge, but I can’t wait.”

Pirate Coach Skip Holtz agrees that Kass has the personality to lead at quarterback.

“Obviously Rob is very big and physical but
the thing that impresses me most about him is the kind of young man he
is,” said Holtz. “He looks you in the eye and is polite, respectful and hard-working."

"Rob is probably his biggest critic and that leads him to push himself really hard," added Holtz. "When you build a program, you want to bring in guys that not only have the physical talents but also the intangibles as well."

Holtz also knows that the next three weeks will go a long way in determining how much early success Kass has this season.

"We need to get Rob as many live reps as possible. We can sit there and talk about different receiving routes and what not in practice," said Holtz, "but it becomes so much different when you have to make the decision to throw the ball away.

"Rob is not as mobile as some of the other quarterbacks we have had and that will show because in the past we have had to rely on just a few players.”

Holtz says Kass will also have an advantage, throwing to a much deeper receiving corps this year.

“When Aundrae Allison was on the field, he was our primary target because we did not feel that we had the depth to spread the ball around,” Holtz explained. “Rob will have more throwing options than guys that played before him."

The Pirates will really get to work this week. Holtz calls practices with pads a form of “basketball on grass.” This week, though, the hitting will carry the workouts to a different level.

Holtz had scheduled practice for the heat of the day, to prepare for that noon start on Sept. 1. But this week’s extreme heat, with temperatures expected to reach the century mark, may force Holtz to move the workouts to later in the evening.

Stokes watch over

Last Thursday, carried a column by Al Myatt and we ran a story on WNCT-TV 9 on possible changes in the Pirate basketball program.

The speculation and waiting game ended Monday with ECU athletic director Terry Holland's announcement that Ricky Stokes would leave his coaching position to become the Pirates' associate athletic director for basketball.

Holland named associate head coach Mack McCarthy acting head coach for 2007-08 and elevated assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Chris Ferguson to associate head coach.


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08/07/2007 03:17:57 AM


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