Pirates Singing
the Training Camp Bruise

by Josh Spence

It’s hard to believe, but we’re less than two weeks away from opening day against Navy.  It’s the day East Carolina has worked so hard to prepare for, and now they’re starting to show it. 

The injuries are starting to add up for the Pirate program.  The question now is will the Pirates be healthy enough on September 2nd?

Following the team’s second intra-squad scrimmage of fall camp, redshirt freshman defensive end Scotty Robinson became the latest to reluctantly add his name to a growing list of team casualties.  Robinson suffered an apparent knee injury, with tests to determine the severity coming soon. Right now he is listed as day to day. 

If it was just Robinson, that would be one thing.  However, as camp progresses the list continues to grow.  Some injuries are to be expected, but if Robinson’s injury proves to be serious he would become the third projected starter to be scratched from that list before the start of the season. 

The Pirates are officially beaten up at the defensive end and linebacker positions.  Marcus Hands is back following a shoulder injury last year, but that’s about the only good news.  ECU has lost starting defensive end Shauntae Hunt, likely for at least the first half of the season, and now we await the word on Robinson. 

The injury troubles at linebacker are well documented.  Four guys with starts in 2005 graduated, leaving gaping holes for linebacker coach Rock Roggeman to fill.  Then recently we heard the news that Orlando Farrow was injured, likely for the season, leaving Roggeman with even less spackle with which to fill those holes.  That loss prompted the coaching staff to move redshirt freshman Van Eskridge from safety to linebacker. 

On a more positive note, Roggeman has been impressed with how some young players have stepped up.  “The progress of the group has been good.  We’re force feeding them, throwing a lot at them and making them learn fast because that’s what they will have to do during the season.”  Coach Roggeman also mentioned that the loss of Farrow only presents an opportunity for someone else. “Losing Farrow is a big loss, but we’ve got to move on, hey it opens up the door for someone else and we’ve got to step up.”

Eric Graham, Bobby Good, and Jamar Flournoy, are some of the other more high-profile names to miss days of practice this fall.  All have since returned to practice and are expected to be ready to go come September 2nd.  With the injuries piling up East Carolina is just hoping to keep its latest version of the depth chart intact before opening day.

Josh Spence