Pirates continue working toward first spring scrimmage - WNCN: News, Weather

Pirates continue working toward first spring scrimmage

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GREENVILLE, N.C. - GREENVILLE, N.C. - Head coach Ruffin McNeill and his East Carolina football program continued its spring practice schedule Wednesday afternoon with another two-hour workout. The session, conducted inside the Cliff Moore Practice Complex, was the Pirates' fourth overall and second in shells.

Wednesday's outing also opened preparation efforts in earnest for ECU's first full intra-squad scrimmage of the spring, which is scheduled for Saturday morning at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

East Carolina maintained its emphasis on defensive, offensive and special team principles and fundamentals by working through different positional and unit periods. Similar to Monday's practice, a 25-minute live team-on-team segment that included personnel from the program's current three-deep provided spirited competition, most notably on the line of scrimmage. The Pirates concluded the day's action with ball security reinforcement on offense and strip drills on defense, which has been a traditional wrap-up staple during McNeill's tenure at ECU.

"I really like the way the young guys are coming along, especially up front on the defensive side of the ball,' McNeill said. "We're still in the installation mode and I'm encouraged by the way this team is forming."

The Pirate defense turned up the heat on a chilly and windy afternoon during the team period with more than a handful of penetrations into the backfield. Linemen Johnathon White, Terry Williams, Randall Anderson and K'Hadree Hooker, along with linebackers Reece Speight and Brandon Williams, each recorded tackles for lost yardage.

Offensively, quarterback Shane Carden completed seven-of-10 passes for 54 yards, while Kurt Benkert was four-of-five for 30 yards - 11 coming on a touchdown toss to inside receiver Cedric Thompson.

ECU will return to work Friday afternoon for an extended polish session in anticipation of Saturday's contest.

NOTES: East Carolina will conduct its annual Senior Pro Timing Day Thursday morning ... A total of 18 players who wrapped up their eligibility after last December's 37-20 win over Ohio in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl will participate in testing inside the Murphy Center and on Hight Field in front of a collection of over 20 scouts representing National Football League (NFL) and Canadian Football League (CFL) franchises ... After physical (height, weight, hand, arm) measurements are taken, the former Pirates will be tested in the vertical jump, box jump and bench press before moving outside for 40-yard dash and short shuttle course times, along with various positional workouts ... Participants include CB Adonis Armstrong, FB Jimmy Booth, RB Vintavious Cooper, OG Jordan Davis, SS Michael Dobson, OT Adhem Elsawi, ILB Ty Holmes, OLB Derrell Johnson, FS Damon Magazu, FB/TE Zico Pasut, DE Lee Pegues, WR Lance Ray, OG Will Simmons, SS Chip Thompson, P Trent Tignor, ILB Kyle Tudor, WR Reese Wiggins and OLB Gabe Woullard

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