GREENVILLE, N.C. – Second-year East Carolina Head Football Coach Scottie Montgomery opened the 2017 campaign Thursday with a mid-morning walk-through before guiding the Pirates through their first official workout of the season on Hight Field inside the Cliff Moore Practice Complex.
ECU officially kicked off fall camp with a 7 a.m. conditioning test conducted by assistant athletics director of strength and conditioning Jeff Connors.
“I thought it was a good day,” Montgomery said of the Pirates’ first practice. “One thing that we’ve noticed as a staff is the tremendous amount of depth that was added to the team, but also a lot of talent. It’s day one, but the type of day one that you need to have if you’re talking about being a good team.
“We have two objectives in camp this year. I told the team and coaches that the first thing you have to do is build team chemistry. A lot of people think that happens on the field, but when we leave the field that’s where it really happens – at the dinner table, at home and in the company of your teammates. The second is we need to be better fundamentally, not just technique wise. When you go back and look at the film from last year, we didn’t block or tackle well. We have to get better at that and not keep giving it lip service. Our talent and competitive nature will help with that, no question about it, but we need to get back to the basics.”
Following treatments, positional meetings and a 90-minute walk-through, Montgomery and his staff conducted a two-hour and 15-minute afternoon practice in shorts and helmets. During the first hour, the Pirates went through individual group sessions working on a variety of drills before moving to 15 minutes of routes vs. air, 1-on-1 receivers against defensive backs and a 7-on-7 skeleton period. After 16 minutes of teamwork and the final installment of special teams, the Pirates continued with nearly 30 minutes of more positional work before a final 12-minute team period and conditioning segment.
ECU will follow Thursday’s practice with single sessions through Sunday before its first scheduled off day of camp on Monday.
The Pirates are scheduled to progress to shells/shoulder pads for the first time Saturday before a full gear workout on Tuesday per NCAA rules. ECU will close camp on Sunday, Aug. 20 – a day prior to the start of classes on campus – before wrapping up its overall preseason practice schedule on Aug. 31, two days before the Pirates host James Madison at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.
ECU will hold its annual Media Day on Saturday, inside the Murphy Center where Montgomery will provide his annual season-opening address that will outline the latest roster additions and deletions, personnel status and possible position changes.
Montgomery announced the formal addition of two graduate transfer players to the Pirates’ 105-man camp roster Thursday: P Austin Barnes (5-11, 217, Gr., Fairview Heights, Ill., Eastern Michigan) and DB Korrin Wiggins (6-0, 200, Gr., Durham, N.C., Clemson) … Montgomery indicated that WR Trevon Brown is still sidelined rehabilitating from an injury that also kept him out of the spring … Single-game, three-game mini packs and season tickets for all ECU homes games are still available to Pirate Nation and can be purchased by calling the ECU Athletic Ticket Office at 252-737-4500, through the Online Ticket Center (http://bit.ly/1Qad0dc), or by visiting the ECU Athletics Ticket Office. For all the latest ticket information, follow the ECU Ticket Office on Twitter (@ecuathletictix).
Friday’s Practice Time: 10:10 a.m. – 12 noon (ET)
Meet The Pirates: Aug. 12 inside Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium (6-9 p.m.)
Season Opener: Sept. 2 vs. James Madison in Greenville (6 p.m.)