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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, April 21, 2008

By Brian Bailey

Ol' man Pinkney shines in spring game

By Brian Bailey
All rights reserved.


Replay Monday night's Brian Bailey Show with guest RICK SMITH. Eastern North Carolina's longest running sports radio call-in show airs each Monday night at 7 p.m. on Pirate Radio 1250-AM and 930-AM.
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Bailey: Ol' man Pinkney shines in spring game
BVL: Pirates hang on in Writers, Coaches polls
O'Brien: ECU offensive revival in the cards?
BVL Box Score: Tulane 4, East Carolina 3
BVL Box Score: East Carolina 12, Tulane 5
BVL Box Score: Tulane 7, East Carolina 4
Cherubini Pirate Time Machine: Standout QB stands tall after football
BVL Box Score: East Carolina 7, N.C. State 0
BVL Box Score: Campbell 12, ECU 7
Bailey: Coaches, players prep for spring climax
BVL: Pirates ranked as high as No. 17
O'Brien: Stage set for parity in C-USA hoops

There are redshirts and greyshirts in college football. With a sixth year of eligibility, does that make you a greybeard?

East Carolina quarterback Patrick Pinkney laughs at the thought. Pinkney threw for 229 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday’s spring football game. His "East Carolina" team beat the "Pirates" team 31-10.

“I thought it was the best spring game since I’ve been here,” said Pinkney. “We never put up 31 points on any team. When you see that you get a lot of confidence.”

“Patrick is playing really well and its nice to have a guy out there that can do the things Patrick can do with the experience he has,” said head coach Skip Holtz. “It was nice to see him run the ball a little bit today. I want to see Patrick scramble out of the pocket and turn and do a better job running than he did last year. I thought he did a nice job of that today (Saturday).”

Pinkney hit Michael Bowman on a couple of touchdown passes, including a 59-yarder in the second half. Pinkney also scored on a bootleg, a play on which he took a lick and fumbled just after breaking the plane of the goal.

“I got hit after I scored and I’m going to talk to someone about that this week,” joked Pinkney.

Backup quarterback Rob Kass missed the spring game after a death in his family. Freshman Josh Jordan stepped in and threw for 202 yards in the game.

“I thought Josh Jordan went out there and did some really good things,” said Holtz. "At times he looked really good and at times he looked like a freshman. You see flashes of his talent, but you also see times where he may be swimming a little bit.”

Certainly nothing is written in stone after a spring football game, but Coach Holtz seemed to send a message about his running back situation.

Kentucky transfer Brandon Jackson will be part of the mix when August comes. Jackson led all rushers in the spring game with 55 yards.

“Brandon Jackson has shown that he is capable of being an every-down player in this offense," said Holtz. "He’s physical, runs hard and did a nice football of hanging on to the football today.

"J.R. Rogers showed some flashes today and is trying to run more physical and doing some good things. We know what Dominique Lindsay can do coming back. When you look at those guys, we have some talent there. I feel very comfortable with their development.

"Brandon Jackson has definitely solidified himself as a guy who is going to be competing for the starting job and is definitely going to play in the opening game.”

Rogers also had a good day in the Pirate backfield with a 50-yard touchdown run.
Holtz also hopes to have Jonathan Williams and Norman Whitley back for 2009. However, the ball is apparently in the players' court.

“There are a lot of question marks surrounding them both,” said Holtz. “I know they have both expressed an interest and they both have some things they still need to do to make that happen. They are good young players and they are very talented but they’ve got to continue to develop in their actions both on and off the football field.

"Right now, if I have to play with the two we played with today and Dominique Lindsay, I feel very comfortable where we are.”

Bowman was one of the other stars on Saturday. Bowman caught the pair of touchdown passes and has quickly emerged as another weapon in the East Carolina arsenal. In fact, Bowman may emerge as a favorite target of Pinkney this fall.

“We’ve got some weapons,” said Pinkney. “Michael Bowman, what can I say, he has really come on.”

The Pirates have a number of injured players that missed the spring, but that gave many of the younger players more reps and that much more experience. Those that did play stayed relatively healthy.

“I’m encouraged with our skill players and I think we have some playmakers," said Holtz. "One of the things that we’ve lacked, especially the second half of last year, was a big play threat. Some guys are starting to step up and show that they have the ability to do that. I’m encouraged to turn and put the puzzle together now that spring is over.

"We had about 15 guys standing on the sideline for this game that either started or played a prominent role for us at some point in time. When you add those 15 guys to this football team and merge them together, I think they have a chance. We’re just not going to be able to see that finished product until we come back for August.”

That finished product opens the year hosting Appalachian State on September 5th.

The arrival of August and the start of summer practice just can’t get here soon enough.


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04/21/2009 02:04:14 AM


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