ECU Pirates excited to explore New Orleans

But players say they're still focused on the big game

POSTED: 11:59 PM Dec 19 2012   UPDATED: 12:11 AM Dec 20 2012
New Orleans

The ECU Pirates were eager to see the Big Easy first-hand, and Coach Ruffin McNeill encouraged them to explore the Cresent City, but with caution.

"I want them to embrace the city. This is a great city, great people," said McNeill. "I've had the chance to recruit this area. I want the kids to be smart, don't do anything to hurt the team, or embarrass the team, and be professional and they will. But also embrace this. This is a reward for them what they've accomplished this year."

"Try to find out what New Orleans is for a city. I hear a lot of good things for it and I just want to figure it out for myself," said sophomore wide receiver and Vanceboro native Justin Hardy. "All I've been hearing about is Bourbon Street. That's the big place down here so I'm going to see what that's all about."

Coach McNeill warned his players that any slip-up could get them a bus ride home before the game. But sophomore quarterback Shane Carden said the team was focused to achieve their goal.

"I don't think that's a big concern for us  We know what's at stake on Saturday and we want this win," Carden said. "I think everyone wants this win as bad as everyone else on this team.  Just come out, have fun, respect the city, but just be smart."