GREENVILLE, N.C. – Second-year East Carolina Head Football Coach Mike Houston opened the 2020 campaign in earnest Friday by guiding the Pirates through a spirited mid-morning practice on Hight Field inside the Cliff Moore Practice Complex.
“Practice one is in the books,” Houston said. “It’s the first time we have been on the field together since last December in a football setting, and it looked like it. I told the players that I knew we would not be near the physical shape that we had been in preseason camps in the pasts, but it is who we are – it’s our starting point.”
Following daily COVID-19 screening protocol, team and positional meetings, Houston and his staff conducted the one-hour and 25-minute workout in shorts and helmets. The Pirates spent the majority of the session in individual position groups working on a variety of drills before closing out the morning with a 20-minute spaced team-on-team period. East Carolina engaged in additional meetings during the afternoon that was followed by a one-hour walk-through, a schedule which will remain consistent throughout the preseason.
“I think day one is important for us to get back out there and be doing what we train to do, what the players came here to do,” Houston added. “It’s important for us to establish where we are and get some film so we can evaluate, we correct and we can push to improve. The players are very in-tune with that being what needs to happen.”
ECU will return to its practice complex for a similar single practice Saturday before taking Sunday off. The Pirates are scheduled to progress to shells/shoulder pads for the first time Monday before a full gear workout on Wednesday per NCAA rules.