It’s August and football is definitely in the air. Particularly in July, I was really ready for the summer to get to August and see the Pirates hit the field again. It is an awesome time – pre-season camp – because it is totally appropriate to live off of the paper…all the “what ifs” and all of the “best case scenarios.”
Daily practice reports are great. The access to the coaches and players is always uber easy and the W-L slate is as clean as a brand new white board. There is much to discuss…season tickets, planning road trips, wondering what the unis will look like.
But, for me, this truly is a time that Chuck Dickens described so well when he penned, …It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
Preseason camp is so exciting as we witness almost daily the evolution of the team, the individual battles, the depth chart, the progress of the Defense and Offense relative to one another. The best of times.
But, also, it is when you hold your breath waiting for the other shoe to drop. I know I cringe each day when our good friend Tom McClellan at ECU distributes the daily practice reports. I can’t help myself as my eyes instantly drop down to the notes section. I am looking for one thing…INJURIES. Two years ago, the Notes section of the daily practice reports took up more space than the actual practice report itself. Last year, we saw it again.
This season, it has been pretty calm so far. A nick here, a day out there. But one came in today’s report that shook me a little. Not because if it is worst case, or that it will ruin the season, but it was one that is concerning given the context of the last two years.
Listed starting center Taylor Hudson sat today with an injury. Now, that happens to guys, but he was also listed as “Questionable.” Let’s face it, if this staff has a curse, it is at the center position. My God…I have never seen attrition like ECU has had to deal with the last two going on three seasons at this offensively-pivotal position. So this note today, truly, is concerning a bit. Is this the start of another season of doubt at Center? Hopefully not. And, in fairness, it is a left hand injury and unless he is a southpaw, a cast can probably be slapped on and he is back in the line-up. And, yes, we have a starter-quality Center in Josh Clark, but history has told us that we need at least two starter quality, healthy Centers to make it through the season at the level we want to achieve here.
So…today was a little bit of the worst of times for me.
Crossing my fingers that these practice reports have less of this than more on the way to the opener.