GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina opened its fourth week of spring workouts under the guidance of second-year head coach Scottie Montgomery and staff with an ardent two-hour session in seasonable conditions Monday afternoon on Hight Field inside the Cliff Moore Practice Complex.
The Pirates returned to action in pads after conducting their second intrasquad scrimmage of the season Friday afternoon. Following its 11th practice Monday, ECU has just three more weekday workouts scheduled – one being a non-contact outing – before closing camp with the Purple-Gold Game on April 22.
Montgomery completed his review of the scrimmage over the weekend and reiterated his earlier thoughts after seeing the tape, citing improved communication and a defensive bounce-back mindset as a few of the biggest positives of the contest. While the Pirates were a little thin from a depth standpoint because of injuries, Montgomery felt progress was evident on both sides of the ball.
“I thought we tackled and communicated at a much higher level on defense than we did throughout last year, or even, all spring,” Montgomery said. “Offensively, we continued to show an ability to make plays in the passing game. There weren’t many balls on the ground.”
The Pirates emphasized both kickoff return and coverage drills, while gaining additional punt repetitions during Monday’s special teams segment. Offensive keys during ECU’s customary 28-minute team-on-team session centered around blitz pickups, first-and-10, third-down and redzone efficiency.
“It feels like we’ve been out here a long time and it shows,” Montgomery added. “We know how to practice and our guys are getting some confidence. We’ve also had a lot more live reps this spring so we know a lot more than we did at this point a year ago.”
After Wednesday’s full-pad practice, East Carolina will take a week off in observance of the Easter Holidays.
NOTES: The Pirates returned to the Cliff Moore Practice Complex for the first time in a week after spending last Wednesday and Friday on Bagwell Field inside Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium … Junior Michael Swift, who earned a roster spot as a walk-on inside linebacker last fall, was moved to the tight end position late last week (and made two catches for 10 yards during Friday’s scrimmage) … DE Kendall Futrell, DT Jalen Price and WR Davon Grayson all returned to action after missing Friday’s scrimmage because of injury … DE Yiannis Bowden and WR Deondre Farrier did not practice Monday because of nicks suffered during Friday’s tilt … Offensive highlights of the team segment included a pair of long pass completions from Gardner Minshew (45-yarder to Jimmy Williams) and Reid Herring (55-yarder to Anthony Watley) … Defensively, Aaron Ramseur recorded a tackle for lost yardage, while Futrell logged the period’s only sack.
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