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Change in defense part of Pirates' spring cleaning

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(By Brian Haines, Special Correspondent) After he fielded one of the worst defenses in college football last season, there was no doubt what East Carolina coach Ruffin McNeill had placed on the top of his to-do list as the Pirates launched spring practice this week.

Accompanied by defensive coordinator Brian Mitchell, McNeill announced plans for his second season with the Pirates to abandon his 4-3 defensive alignment and switch to a 3-4.


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This is welcome news! We don't have the beefy guys in the middle to run a 4-3. But we've brought in some of the top JUCO talent in the nation to give us essentially a brand new front 7 from last year. We focused on SPEED and SIZE. We have some OLB's and DE's that are going to maul people this year.

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    • And I'm sure everyone in new york though Pryor was going to be great when he was picked. Coleman and Adams have both been to Pro Bowls in the last 2 years. We both know that may not be the best measure of their quality as players, but it would certainly suggest they are more than "duct tape and bubble gum".
    • Can't say we have the best defense, Falcons are one piece away from taking that spot, and if mckinnley pans out, then look out. Bucs are solid on paper and seem to put it together at the end of the season. Saints are the saints but did add lattimore and get rankins healthy to start the season. Our front 7 is still the best in the NFC south, but we saw last year teams will just target our secondary rather then test luke or td. We are really putting our faith in a bunch of unknowns, and we've seen before how that can turn out

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