After just a few days of practice, optimism is running high at the Cliff Moore Practice Complex where second year East Carolina head coach Scottie Montgomery delivered the latest on his team's progress.
“I really liked our intensity on the field today, especially in full pads. Sometimes in camp when you get three weeks in, guys start to get testy and they are ready to play somebody else. Well, we are five or six days in and we’re already at that point so that's a really good deal," said Montgomery.
Coach Mo didn't need much prodding to bring up what former Auburn safety Tim Irvin is bringing to the table defensively for a Pirate team that is hoping to be much improved this fall.
“Tim is bringing just a different level of competive and discipline in and nature to our defense and some of the other guys that we have. You know, Bobby (Fulp) brings a huge level of competitiveness and it’s been good to watch."
"The offense has done a great job of trying to maintain and manage the fight that goes on between the offense and the defense," Montomery said.
"We are practicing pretty good right now and just have to find a way to continue that and keep the energy where it is. I think our coaches’ biggest challenge right now is to make sure that we don’t plateau and keep just keep going up and up and up.”
One area of concern is at offensive tackle coming into the season with some youth there.
"We've got to do a little better job at tackle. They're putting a lot of pressure on us with their ends. They're throwing multiple styles of ends at us. One of our tackles is doing a pretty good job in the run game and another one is doing a pretty good job in the passing game. We just have to make sure that we all get on the same page there."
"At quarterback with Thomas and Gardner we're seeing some really good down the field plays. I'm really interested in seeing drives now. I'm getting to the point where I want to see a guy manage a whole drive verses just four plays so we'll start that pretty soon," said Montgomery.
Defensively have been some bright spots as well after five days of fall camp including a couple of junior college transfers. Brandon Henderson out of Georgia Military via Greenwood, South Carolina along with Tyree Owens out of Copiah Lincoln Community College have looked solid. Overall, Montgomery is pleased with the depth defensively all the way to the third string unit.
"Brandon Henderson is such a big, big body and Tyree (Owens), they're such big long bodies. You know we haven't had a lot of 6-5, 6-6 guys that are 275-plus pounds who move the way that they move," Montgomery said.
Catch Coach Mo's Complete Post Practice Interview in the latest from the PI Sports Desk as coverage of the 2017 ECU fall football camp continues here on PirateIllustrated.com.