In most sports
teams, franchises or programs, when the coach says the following
statement it is called cliché or coach-speak.
"We know the chances of getting the best players in the country aren't
very high. So, what we do is recruit athletes and try to find the
spot that fits best for everyone involved."
Skip Holtz said just that on National Signing Day on Pirate Radio back
in February. As a matter of fact, one signee, Rodney Cox, was
listed on the signing day roster as playing the position of
"athlete." Cox is a 6-6, 230-pounder from Harnett Central High
School in Angier, NC, and played quarterback his entire high school
career. But Skip and his staff told him we'll get you into the
purple and gold and find out where you can excel and that's where
This is not cliché or coach-speak from ECU's third year
coach. This is a philosophy that is producing success all over
the field every Saturday.
Rob Kass had his off-field problem, plug in Patrick Pinkney. 406
yards later, Pinkney leads ECU to a win against state rival North
The defensive front seven have seen more shuffling than the World
Series of Poker. Khalif Mitchell, Linval Joseph, Fred Wilson,
Jeremy Chambliss, Scotty Robinson, and, well you get the point. Again,
These guys show up at practice and don't know which position coach to
follow when the team breaks up for individual drills.
Don't get me wrong, I don't think this is a problem. Quite the
contrary, it's a major asset to this team that so many kids can adapt
to multiple positions, assignments and responsibilities. Coach
Holtz brought in the best athletes he and his coaches could find and
are molding them to fit the needs of the program.
If you listen to Coach Holtz in a Monday press conference, he discusses
who is injured or banged up and then says we'll plug in Fred or Scotty
or Khalif. And the Pirates don't miss a beat.
Juwon Crowell has been waiting his entire college career for a chance
to make a difference. Most kids would have gotten frustrated by
their senior season and quit trying. He's an athlete that worked
with his ability and took advantage of the pivotal time when his coach
tapped him on the shoulder said it's time to play. Crowell's
game-tying touchdown as time expired at UTEP was the CPR the Pirates
needed to get off the mat and leave El Paso as victors.
It's a team of athletes that can adapt to their environment and find
success. They are not the cardiac kids, they are
chameleons. The only problem is the fans are popping heart pills
like every Saturday was Halloween.