there are two sports people care about; football and spring football.
Pirate fans don't have that much tunnel vision, they get out and
support other sports, especially baseball. But make no mistake about
it, ECU is identified as a "football school" and with the start of
spring football set for March 2nd, purple and gold fanatics will have
pigskin on the brain.
Last year at this time, everyone was curious to see what kind of
product Skip Holtz would put on the field. But after a 5-6 season that
exceeded most preseason predictions, the 2006 season can't get here
soon enough for fans or players. Add to that a schedule that features
games against eight schools that went to bowl games last year, and you
can see why spring football will get plenty of attention this year.
More pieces are in place for Skip Holtz' second spring season.
James Pinkney will actually participate in spring drills this year
after missing out year because of academics. That will only accelerate
his learning curve going into his senior year. In fact all the
returning players will have a much better grasp of an offense that
averaged 24 points per game. And coaches will be able to start adding
newer wrinkles that will make it even more potent.
The same goes for a much improved defensive unit. The Pirates will have
to replace linebackers Chris Moore and Richard Koonce, but a full year
of recruiting by a well paid coaching staff should start showing some
impressive results. Expect an even faster defense that ball hawks and
produces even more turnovers that last year (15 interceptions, 5 fumble
The 2006 season looms as a big one with a tough schedule, and spring
practice will set the tone. Last year there was guarded hope of a new
era with a limited roster, this year the Pirates hope to turn it up a
notch. Sometimes teams take a step back after taking two steps
forward, but don't expect Skip Holtz and his coaching staff to allow
any back pedaling, and that should make this year's spring practice and
game a can't miss event.