PirateIllustrated - Solid Day One In The Books For ECU Fall Football Practice
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Solid Day One In The Books For ECU Fall Football Practice

East Carolina opened fall practice on Wednesday at the Cliff Moore Practice Complex under drizzly skies and cool conditions in preparation for the season opener in Charlotte against Appalachian State on September 2 in Bank of America Stadium.

The Pirates worked out in helmets for day one and put in a brisk two hour practice of mostly fundamentals. Afterward head coach Mike Houston said it was good to be able to get some work in with a wet ball but he also said they were working hard not to rip up their grass fields on day one in wet conditions. You can only do so much on the artificial turf field with 85 players but they managed to get a lot of quality work in on Wednesday.

“It’s great to be out there for day one of fall practice. It’s an exciting day. It’s just good to be back together. It’s a little bit more normal. It may not be completely normal just yet in this country or in this region but it’s good to be a little bit closer to doing what we’re accustomed to doing this time of year,” Houston said, “Good enthusiasm, good effort from the kids.”

Houston says his team comes in mostly healthy minus a few small issues that will clear themselves up over the course of the next week.

“You had a lot of the first day stuff. I told the kids you have a lot of those guys from last year who got a lot of experience and now they look it. They’re not as bright eyed out there,” Houston stated, “Then you have those new, young guys who are just coming in and they’re like a deer in headlights out there. It’s refreshing to have the experience coming back that we do have from the guys who played so much last year. Day one is in the books, we have some meetings this afternoon, a walk through to night and we’ll get ready to go tomorrow morning.”

The Pirates have made good use of the new transfer rules to bring in a solid additional crop of talent, but Houston cautions that it’s too early to tell who might provide immediate help. He did talk about the depth of his quarterback group as a whole and he addressed how they are working to try to get them all involved because you never know when they might have to step up and play.

“QB 1 had a good day, but he’s almost as old as I am now told him, you’re like the savvy vet out there. Then the young pups. Then I told Mason that this time last year you were inside having some kind of nervous breakdown or something. You had eyes ‘that big’ kind of deal. He was one of those guys last year. Stubblefield was too,” said Houston.

“Now all of the sudden you’ve got Flinn, you’ve got Stubby, you’ve got Mason and they’ve all got that experience so at least they don’t look like that nervous freshman in their first college practice. You look at Walter and he’s a kid with a ton of ability and he’s still learning how to function out there. I think it was fine for day one but until we have live bullets I wouldn’t put too much into it though.”

“A lot of the stuff we did today, we were doing on practices on two different ends of the field with two inside runs going, two pass skills going, two team units going. So you have four offenses going against four defenses with the one’s and two’s on each end of the field so every quarterback gets plenty of reps. Every safety gets plenty of reps. Every lineman gets plenty of reps. Some of the guys maybe got more reps than they wanted today” Houston told PirateIllustrated.com, “We just feel like with the depth we have we have to practice that way during preseason camp. Otherwise, that kid that may be four on your depth chart right now who may be the best one in the room because he’s a young, new guys. But until you get him reps, there’s no way to evaluate him.”

“Those quarterbacks, you’d never get some of those good young quarterbacks reps if you didn’t do that, so we’re going to try to practice that way as much as we can during preseason camp.”

Catch Coach Houston’s comments in their entirety as coverage of the 2021 fall football practice begins and stay tuned for the very latest here on PirateIllustrated.com.