Pirates Practice in Pads

GREENVILLE, N.C. — ECU completed its third practice of fall camp Wednesday, but it was its first in full pads and shells.

The East Carolina football team was outfitted in full pads and shells during Wednesday afternoon’s practice at the Cliff Moore Practice Facility.

It was the Pirates’ third practice of fall camp, but the first opportunity for the coaching staff to get a look at what some of the newcomers will look like when they are fully-equipped.

“You see a different side,” said ECU coach Ruffin McNeill. “It’s a good chance to see the guys develop against the speed of the game. The biggest speed of the game adjustment comes from high school to college, not college to the pros. So for a lot of those guys, they are seeing that adjustment and they are handling it well.”

Overall, McNeill did not seem pleased with Wednesday's practice after he unusually made all of the players and other coaches unavailable for interviews at the last minute.

“We still need to work towards reaching that team concept and making the team better, individually, towards our vision and we have a lot of work to do. It’s not (done) by magic. Today’s the first start, I’m anxious to watch the film and we’ll go from today to work on those two elements,” he told reporters.

The introduction of full pads also added to the intensity of several position battles.

A pre-season depth chart was released at media day Tuesday — listing both Chris Hairston and Breon Allen as first-team running backs, C.J. Struyk and Taylor Hudson as first-team centers and revealed just how fluid every starting position in the secondary really is. It even tabbed Fred Presley as the starting defensive end over Chrishon Rose.

“They way we recruited and the way our depth is set up … competition is always going on. Today was no different,” said McNeill. “Offensive line, defensive line competition, outside linebacker, defensive back, wide receiver competition and running backs. All positions are competing.

“When the pads get on, you get a little bit more of the physical part of it, a little bit more of the fundamental teaching part by coaches and the acceptance of teaching by the players go on.”

ECU will continue to practice everyday until Sunday following the team’s first two-a-day Saturday.

Inside ECU Sports will continue to provide daily practice updates. Be sure to continue following us on the message boards and on our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook sites.

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