Scottie Montgomery along with his staff and players met with the press on Saturday for the Pirates' annual media day at Murphy Center on the campus of ECU.
East Carolina comes into this season with an optimistic attitude despite a tough 3-9 season last year.
Montgomery enters his second year at the helm with high hopes. The Pirates face a tough schedule that includes West Virginia, Virginia Tech, BYU, nationally ranked South Florida and FCS National Champion James Madison in the season opener in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on September 3.
The ECU head coach outlined his objectives for fall camp as well as for the season ahead.
"Our camp objectives were number one to develop team chemistry. We talked about that not happening on the field but that team chemistry will happen away from the football field," Montgomery said, "Our number two objective is to develop fundamental techniques to compete at the highest level and compete for an AAC championship."
"Our season objectives are to win the turnover battle. If you do your research, a team who turns the ball over as much as we did last year and has as few takeaways as we did always has a huge bounce back."
"Offensively our area that we want to really focus on is we want better redzone efficiency. The way we do that is three things. No penalties, no mental errors and no turnovers," said Montgomery, "We know they're going to occur but we're going to shoot for those."
"On defense, our area of improvement is to stop the explosive plays and on special team we've got to be a we, not me team on special teams and identify the playmakers."
There were a few surprises when Montgomery addressed current injuries and players who will be out for the season academically.
"Pre-camp, the guys we've had out, Damage Bailey has a lower leg injury. Lee Gray has a lower leg injury. Colby Gore with a back injury. Chandon Henderson - lower leg injury, Trey Hicks - lower leg injury. All of those guys we expect to be back," said Montgomery,
"Trevon Brown, right now we don't know his status. He has not been cleared medically. He is eligible to play this year and we'll find out more and more in the weeks to come. Hopefully we'll have him on the team this year and hopefully we'll get him back really, really quickly, but I can't speak for the medical doctors because I don't have the level of expertise that they do."
"Also during camp we had an injury to Blake Proehl. He has done a really good job for us to this point but unfortunately yesterday or the day before Blake tore his ACL. We'll miss him on the field. He'll be a guy we will end up redshirting him now. That happened in a non contact drill."
A pair of returning lettermen will miss the season for either academic or administrative reasons.
"Both Anthony Scott and Yiannis Bowden are not in camp right now. They are both ineligible for fall 2017. They will be on the field working when school starts."
PirateIllustrated.com was there to bring you Montgomery's address to the press in it's entirety along with comments from both assistant coaches and players.