ECU's John Thompson press conference quotes

Selected quotes from East Carolina head coach John Thompson, who will bring his 0-3 Pirates to Louisville this Saturday.

GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina University head coach John Thompson addressed members of the media prior to this weeks game against Louisville at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. The following are selected comments:

Opening Comments:
"Talking to our football team after the game Saturday night, I have never felt that we had as many things to build upon as we had Saturday night. So many good things came out of that game that we are going to be able to put some more bricks on this foundation."

"The first thing that stands out more than anything else is the effort that our team gave. If they keep giving that kind of effort, we are going to be in good, good shape."

"Our offensive players flew around, blocked downfield better, and gave better effort than we have given. I think that is something that we will always continue to strive for. I was very, very impressed with both sides, especially defensively."

"In the kicking game we gave better effort. We made some things happen there. We didn't have the best night punting the football but we did cover and do some things there. That is one major thing to build on."

On James Pinkney:
"Another thing I was very, very proud of was James Pinkney. I think that anybody that watched that football game saw James Pinkney compete and exhibit the toughness and the courage. He was a true warrior in that football game. We have a quarterback for this football team. There is so much that goes into being a quarterback, not just toughness, but leading his team in an unbelievable fashion. I am very, very proud of that young man. I am proud of how he is handling his business off the field and I am proud of what he is doing in the classroom. I have never been where a quarterback kept having to get up time and time again. We were on the sidelines wondering if he was going to get up and he kept getting up, picking grass out of his teeth. He was beat up. We can't allow that to happen, we have got to protect our quarterback."

On receivers:
"We have got to catch passes. We had way too many drops. James was 10-of-25 and we had six or seven drops so his percentage would go way up. We have got to catch them. It is a situation where we have got to get confidence that our guys can do that. Bobby Good does not drop passes. We have got to get the thing corrected and we will."

"Our running game is frustrating to everybody. I think it is frustrating not only to the coaches, but I think it is tremendously frustrating to Marvin (Townes) and to Art (Brown) and to all of us. We are going to keep working that. Chris Johnson will get a lot more carries. Chris may start the football game. We are trying to establish him because he is healthy right now. We have got to get healthy and do some things in the running game and we just haven't done that. The games have dictated that in some sense but in other ways we haven't made some people miss. We have got to make some people miss."

"This team, as I say it every week, is on the right track. I am proud of this team."

On Louisville:
"We play a very good team this week. They are number 22 in the country with two shutouts. They are very talented on both sides of the football. Stefan LeFors, when you say he is a very efficient quarterback, it almost takes away from some of the things he does. He is smart with handling the offense. He is very accurate."

"I am looking forward to taking our football team up there to Papa John's Stadium and competing against a top 25 team. They are very good; they are very talented. It is going to be a very tough environment. After we came back from West Virginia I think we are seasoned a lot more for this encounter. I am looking forward to taking them up there."

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