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Summer schedule rooted in balance

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East Carolina's head coach Scottie Montgomery, left, talks on the sideline during a home game against Temple last season.

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By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Monday, July 16, 2018

Speaking engagements and vacation time for college football coaches will turn into full preseason practices in less than a month, but for now there is still some balancing of obligations.

First-year East Carolina defensive coordinator David Blackwell has worked on specific details with his players and answered media interview requests recently before he is set to take some vacation, and Pirate third-year head coach Scottie Montgomery is ready to hit the forefront.

Montgomery will be in Cary today for the annual Bill Dooley Pigskin Preview event and early next week he will be in Newport, R.I., and joined by Pirate players Bruce Bivens, Trevon Brown, Garrett McGhin and Alex Turner for American Athletic Conference media days.

“With players and coaches, everyone has to have some time to recharge,” Blackwell said of the summer. “There at least needs to be a little bit of balance. … We do so much throughout June of working ahead and getting prepared for fall camp that once we start back full-bore here (soon) it will be fall install schedule and we won’t spend a lot of time on opponents at that point, but it will be all about us.”

ECU’s players will be on campus full-time and preseason camp will begin during the first few days of August. The season opener is Sept. 1 at home against North Carolina A&T and Sept. 8 is when the Pirates face North Carolina for a much-anticipated contest in Greenville.

Players have been spending a lot of their summer in the weight room with strength and conditioning coordinator Jeff Connors. They also have been conducting workouts on their own and with coaches on a limited basis.

“We’re actually allowed to be with our players, but whatever we use takes away from what the strength coach can use,” Blackwell said. “There has to be a blend. There are some teams in the country that don’t do anything (with traditional coaches) and they give the strength coach all the hours for the week.

“Coach (Montgomery) gives us some time here where we can get on the field with our kids. We’re on the field a little bit every Friday morning, defensively, and we’ve kept installing all summer in meeting with the players and then go out on the field and install.”

Montgomery and N.C. Central head man Granville Eastman will be joined at the Bill Dooley preview by Duke’s David Cutcliffe, UNC’s Larry Fedora and N.C. State’s Dave Doeren from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The Daily Reflector will be represented in Cary and Rhode Island for coverage of those events on Montgomery and the Pirates.

Contact Ronnie Woodward at rwoodward@reflector.com, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.

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