Shankweiler Signals Progress On ECU's Offensive Front
The return of veteran offensive line coach Steve Shankweiler typically spells trouble for ECU opponents defensively. Over the course of time, Coach Shank has been a part of great Pirate football teams dating back to 1987.
This is his fourth stint in Greenville at a place that as been home to the legendary offensive line guru. He was part of the 11-1 Peach Bowl season under Bill Lewis. He also worked with Steve Logan from 1998 to 2002. Logan was also the offensive coordinator under Lewis in 1991.
Shankweiler made his return for a third time in 2005 for four years working both as an offensive coordinator and offensive line coach under Skip Holtz during some of ECU’s most successful times, winning a pair of conference titles and making it to a pair of Liberty Bowls. ECU was ranked as high as 14th in the nation in 2008.
Now he returns for a unprecedented fourth time and for Steve Shankweiler, that makes for exciting times. He says the improvement of his unit from the spring to now is like night and day but cautions that it’s still a work in progress and this unit is going through their third offensive line coach in three years.
Coach Shank talked about some of the guys along the offensive line he hopes to depend on this season when the Pirates open in Raleigh on August 31 against N.C. State.
“You’ve got to say that realistically, D’Ante Smith has got to be a starter and Cortez Herrin is going to be a starter because they have played,” said Shankweiler.
“Probably not many people are going to challenge those two, but the rest of it has been really competitive which is a good thing because there may be one or two guys that played last year that haven’t been at the competitive level that they need to.”
At center, both Brandon Pena who has had great camps in both the spring and fall along with John Spellacy who returns after being out with concussions during the latter part of last season should both see action according to Shankweiler.
“When you look at them, they’re both two peas in a pod. They’re both football junkies, they’re both good leaders. They’re smart, they don’t make many mistakes. I love it. It’s been competitive. They’re pretty much split the one and two reps. They’ve gotten an equal amount of both.”
PirateIllustrated.com was at Murphy Center to bring you this audio interview with ECU offensive line coach Steve Shankweiler.