Air Force starts their spring practice today, and the usual media reports are coming in. Jake Schaller of the Colorado Springs Gazette writes about the challenges that Troy Calhoun will face next year in an article that reads like a more succint, less rambling version of my “State of Air Force Football” post from back in January. Schaller also says that the biggest hole to patch up on the team might be in the offensive backfield, thanks to the departure of the team’s two biggest stars, quarterback Shaun Carney and WR/RB hybrid Chad Hall. Speaking of which, there are rumors on teh internets as to how Hall could be replaced:
2. How will the Falcons replace Chad Hall?
The simple answer, according to Calhoun: “I don’t think you can, completely.” Ty Paffett, who will be a senior next year, will begin spring as the starter at the Falcons’ Z receiver spot. Paffett played there last season when Hall lined up at tailback, and he got better as the season went on. In the Falcons’ regular-season finale against San Diego State, he went for 105 yards and three touchdowns, including a 73-yarder. Also, look for cornerback Reggie Rembert to get some snaps on offense.
3. Did you say Rembert on offense?
Yup. Rembert, a backup cornerback and returner last season, will begin spring as a starting corner. But Calhoun said he plans to use Rembert on offense as well. And he might not be the only player to pull some double duty.
“I’m going to give a guy a chance to play both ways here at the academy,” Calhoun said. “I won’t do it during the fall of his freshman year. I want to give him a chance to clearly learn one side of the ball and then bring him over to the other side of the ball.”
Two-way players, huh? And Rembert might not be the only guy to do it? Okey dokey. Now, career Naval officer and noted Navy fan “BBGame” might say that this shows just how good some of Air Force’s athletes are, and that the coaches have to find a way to get them on the field as much as possible. The rest of us realize that there is probably no Charles Woodson in Colorado Springs, let alone more than one. I doubt that Troy Calhoun would be talking about players going ironman if it wasn’t necessary. Schaller’s assessment that the backfield is thin appears to be right on the money. Things might be worse than we thought for the Falcons, especially if:
The 2008 Falcons “probably will be the youngest football team the Air Force Academy has had maybe since 1957 when there weren’t any seniors,” Calhoun said.
Elsewhere in the service academy world, we have this bit regarding the mythical Army coaches’ retreat:
The Retreat is on
My colleague Kevin Gleason tells me there was no sign of Army head coach Stan Brock at Pro Day at West Point Monday.Brock and his coaches have gone on their “retreat” to brainstorm on what offense Army will run in 2008. The whereabouts of the meetings are unknown.
Spring practice is slated for March 25. Let’s see 21 days and counting to implement an offense.
I’ve heard everything from spread option to triple option to last year’s pro-style offense with a few wrinkles for the 2008 offense.
Also heard Brock and offensive coordinator Tim Walsh paid a visit to former Army coach Jim Young before the retreat.
If Brock and his boys decide the triple option, could junior running back Carlo Sandiego be an option at quarterback. Sandiego did run the option at prep school.
If not, freshman Chip Bowden might be called upon.
Apparently the retreat has moved from myth into reality. Information regarding this meeting of the minds is more tightly guarded than the whereabouts of English royalty in Afghanistan, but the note about Tim Walsh’s meeting with Jim Young is an interesting one. As Army’s head coach, Young tried to run a more conventional offense in his first year with very little success. He then switched to the wishbone, and used it to lead Army to the best years they’ve had since World War II. Does this meeting indicate a move to the wishbone? Or was Walsh seeking more general advice about how to approach any offensive change?
Strange things are afoot at the Circle K.