(Colorado) Spring(s) Practice

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.

Wow.

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.

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7 Responses

  1. Big difference in running the wishbone (or flexbone, or spread) and running it WELL. Certainly it’s the right move for a SA, but do Brock or Walsh have any actual experience working in the TO?

  2. Bird Dog –

    Enjoy:

    “We can be proud of serving to protect freedom and American ideals in this century and beyond. We are “one team” and we will commit ourselves to “one fight.” I look forward to the opportunity to work with you as your secretary. Semper Fi and SAIL SAFE.”
    Gordon England. Secretary of the Navy
    Secretary England’s Message to the Fleet

    “The Fightin “C” was my first command, and definitely the best. Still have the cruise book from “QuessPAC and FieldPAC 86″ and many fond memories of the command and crew. To all Conserver Salvage Sailors, SAIL SAFE. Steve ”

    “This is an all-hands responsibility, and I will count on everyone, from master, down to the newest junior shipmate, to support. It’s that important.”
    SAIL SAFE and keep the faith,
    Robert D. Reilly Jr.
    Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy
    Commander, Military Sealift Command

    “I feel that programs like Leaders To Sea are valuable in forging ties with our communities and I value the opportunity to meet you and educate you further about your Navy. Always ready and SAIL SAFE.”
    Terry Etnyre, VADM USN
    Commander, Naval Surface Forces

    “They may not have had a Sailor’s Creed then, but by god, because of their blood, sweat and tears, we are able to have one now. And, if each of us –you and I — is able and committed to the nation and our future, we’ll have the Sailor’s Creed for our children’s children and those who relieve us as we “go ashore” when the time comes. This creed is for them; this creed is for us. Until next time, shipmates, SAIL SAFE and sail together! I urge you to never stop believing in what it is we stand for.”
    FLTCM(SW/AW) Tom Howard, U.S. Pacific Fleet Master Chief

  3. At least the Candyman waits until someone says his name three times.

    I’m still trying to imagine a JO saying “sail safe” in a wardroom without getting his ass kicked.

  4. BBGame,
    I must admit that in my 29 years of active duty Naval Service (33 if one includes the 4 years @ the Boat School), which finally came to a close in 2006, … I never once heard the term “Sail Safe” spoken. The vast majority of these years were with the Submarine Force, … but did spend 2 1/2 years on a CRUDESGRU staff (deploying twice to the Med on CVBG’s) + two joint tours (USCINCLANT & SOUTHCOM) where I got to mingle with lots of non-bubbleheads.
    “Fair Winds & Following Seas” was always the closing salutation I seem to remember hearing. I don’t doubt you … just never personally experianced it to my best recollection.
    GO NAVY … BEAT ARMY!!!

  5. Birddog, … Did you happen to see SI.com’s Stewart Mandel’s column today about his “top 10 issues” of spring football practice? #10 was about GA Tech & the TO offense that PJ will be installing :
    10) Is the triple-option back in vogue?

    When Georgia Tech takes to its Rose Bowl practice field March 24, it will be the beginning of a whole new era — that looks a whole lot like a previous era. After riding his modernized version of the triple option to raging success at Georgia Southern and Navy, new coach Paul Johnson arrives on the Plains looking to prove the once-dismissed relic of an offense can still thrive in the 21st century.

    Johnson’s offense is not a pure wishbone — he’s said in the past it incorporates elements of the run-and-shoot — but it’s a radical enough transformation that incumbent quarterback Taylor Bennett, a drop-back passer, transferred. In steps run/pass sophomore Josh Nesbitt, who, along with his teammates, will use these 15 practices to get acclimated to an offense that may well take the ACC by storm — but might also be quite the work in progress.

  6. I hadn’t seen it.

    Seeing people call that offense a “relic” always makes me chuckle.

  7. Kinda odd that it took Paul Johnson becoming coach @ a BCS conference school to finally have this offense “recognized” as potentially having an “impact” in the college game —> Navy has led the nation in rushing yards an unprecedented three years in a row (against Div 1 opponents) for crying out loud!!!
    I hope that he finds a QB who can run it effectively … and turns the ACC on it’s ear this fall.

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