Some highlights from Navy's coach's luncheon
Coach Ken Niumatalolo hosted his final coach's luncheon on Tuesday. Here are some of his comments to the group that gathered inside the N-Room inside Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
On how Army-Navy will be the only game on television on Saturday:
"We think it'll be great, obviously, for all our Navy football fans and people around the world that are watching this game and pulling for us. We've also looked at it from a recruiting standpoint. Right now is a recruiting period, so we're behind from that standpoint. We should be in homes throughout the country, recruiting, but I made a decision that I didn't want our [coaches] to do that.
"I didn't want us to be distracted in any way, shape or form. I want us to be dialed in for this game. So we're not recruiting this week or doing home visits. I don't care how many homes or how hard you work, nine guys on the road trying to visit people can't get to the amount of homes that you can get to this Saturday on television. It'll be great exposure and hopefully the product we put on the field, hopefully our kids will play well, and recruits will see it and say, 'Hey, this is a great place,' and they'll want to come."
On Army's freshman quarterback, Trent Steelman:
"I think he's their best football player on offense. Heady football player, you can tell he's played a ton of football growing up. Makes good decisions, hard to bring down, so he's the primary focus for us."
On going back to Hawaii, his home state:
"It still kills me that we lost [to Hawaii]. I'll never get a shot back at them, so for the rest of my life they'll have bragging rights. I hate losing. But that one's over with."
On whether it's easier to prepare for Army, since it's now running the triple-option:
"I think the one thing that helps us from an option standpoint is Coach [Buddy] Green has an idea of what he wants to do. We have a package to deal with option football, so it's not something we're trying to draw in the dirt…. They do it all spring, they do it all fall camp against ourselves. I feel good from that standpoint, that our guys know what to do against option football."
On whether or not Navy is ready for gimmick plays from Army:
"You've got to be careful because you can start seeing ghosts. With modern technology, the things you can come up with, things that you can come up with, different tendencies, you can start knowing everything about everybody. Then you start preparing for everything. … We want to be at a point where there's not too much analysis, where you're not getting paralysis by analysis.… They might have a few gimmicks for us, we'll try to be sound so we don't give up big plays, but we want to make sure that it always come down to the same thing: getting them on the ground."
On how to defend Army's 6-foot-10 wide receiver, Ali Villanueva:
"We've never faced a wide receiver that tall. He presents some challenges, and we've challenged our DBs to go out there and make a play.… I feel like we've got two good corners in Kevin Edwards and Blake Carter. We challenged them. They played two great receivers in [Notre Dame's] Golden Tate and Michael Floyd, as good a tandem as you're going to get. They challenged them both well."
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