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August 12, 2011

Day Eight

GREENVILLE, N.C. - Week two began for East Carolina's fall football camp with about a two-hour workout from the Cliff Moore Practice Complex.

ECU worked on tackling a little on Friday along with group drills and offensive team stuff near the end.

Pirate head football coach Ruffin McNeill insists tomorrow will be just another day, but our practice schedule says scrimmage on Saturday, so Friday leads into a pretty important day.

Everyone looked sharp but you can tell the team is getting a little leg weary after eight solid workouts, meetings, lifting and getting ready for school to begin.

The defense was swarming in drills against the offense late in Friday's practice. Jeff Connors let them off for a day without sprints and that got everyone excited on this day.

"You've got to throw um' a little bone every now and then," Connors said.

"There are some individuals emerging and crossing that line of performance and some groups emerging. I see some progress every day," McNeill reiterated after the team's ninth practice of the season.

It is just over three weeks from the kickoff of the 2011 season. There has never been a more important time for East Carolina and McNeill recapped the day.

"It was good, we shortened it up a little because we have some scrimmage situations tomorrow. We still have some work that we want to do. There are some freshman who have to learn that it's different than high school. There are some JUCO's who have never played division one football. Then there are some guys who didn't play as much last year who are called on give more effort and intensity over a longer period of time."

McNeill talked about getting through camp in general.

"Camp is hard. I know you can't expect a rah-rah group every day. There is a wall in camp that you hit, everyone goes though it. Every team in the country is fighting over it right now. That wall we're asking them to crawl over is a process if it doesn't knock us down," said McNeill, "We try to get them to relish and enjoy the process. The execution of our offense and defensive team is right on par in termms of installation. We just want each group to get better and each individual to get better."

2011 represents an opportunity to validate everything that has been accomplished in the past. A chance to become more of a staple in college football. There is always the possibility of winning a third C-USA title in four years too. Returning to a sixth bowl in a row is another goal this season.

This team is looking more and more like a football team every day though McNeill is cautious and has eased his ballclub in slowly.

The Pirates were in shells for Friday Saturday and concluded before 11 am as ECU has settled into mostly a morning camp schedule.

McNeill updates PirateIllustrated.com on the latest from fall camp over on PI Premium with video coverage along with practice photos and video from day eight of the ECU fall football camp.

-Notes from ECU

Saturday's intra-squad scrimmage will be closed to the public … McNeill announced the addition of offensive lineman Kenneth Freeman to the 105-man roster … Freeman replaces redshirt freshman offensive lineman Drew Gentry, who suffered a left knee injury Thursday and will be sidelined indefinitely … Redshirt freshman defensive back Desi Brown (right shoulder) and senior offensive lineman Doug Polochak (left shoulder) missed their third day of practice due to injury.


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