Presser Bits

The latest post-practice presser transcript can be found here. Some thoughts:

Snyder: Can you talk about some of the guys that have really stepped up?

Niumatalolo: One guy in particular is Craig Schaefer at outside linebacker. That is a spot where we are looking for someone to step up and he has had a great spring practice so far. We are also excited about Nate Frazier. He has done some good things. Defensively we have some guys that have played and the guys that played last year have really showed up so far in the spring. You can see the difference between them and the guys that haven’t played. On offense, Jarod Bryant has been solid. We moved Ricky Moore to center and he has had some growing pains, but he is coming along.

Schaefer is a big hitter. It’s nice to see a little buzz about him and Nate. My only real disappointment here is that Ricky Moore is getting a mention, but not Andy Lark or one of the other centers who made the move from the D-line. It would be a huge boost if one of those guys could catch on so we could use Moore at his natural tackle position. Depth could be a big concern at center.

Snyder: Can you talk about Jarod Bryant and Emmett Merchant switching positions?

Niumatalolo: I thought Emmett had a good practice on Saturday. With Jarod playing slot back, that is all dependent on Kaipo. Right now he is still nursing he knee so Jarod is mostly playing quarterback. When Kaipo is able to go full speed then Jarod will get some time at slot back.

I really hope Jarod gets some snaps at slot before the spring is over. Spring is the time for tinkering, after all.

Snyder: What is the status of Deliz and Sovie?

Niumatalolo: Deliz is still out, but Clint is practicing and is doing a good job. It doesn’t look like he’s missed a beat. We are excited to have him back. He had a good first week of practice.

Woot!

Fratto: Last year at fullback Ballard and Kettani kind of rotated possessions. Would you like to do that again or will Kettani get the bulk of the carries?

Niumatalolo: Eric is the main fullback, but we need somebody to spell him. The ratio of plays probably won’t be the same this year as it was for Adam and Eric, but we need a back-up fullback to give Eric some rest and we are trying to figure out who that is going to be.

Despite the preseason buzz about Devan Clark, he hasn’t quite risen to #2 yet. Then again, it’s only been a week.

Snyder: Can you talk about the slot backs? Other than Shun White you have a lot of new faces over there.

Niumatalolo: Andre Byrd had a good week of practice, Greg Shinego is an experienced guy, we have some younger guys like Greg Jones, Cory Finnerty, Wes Holland and J.J. Cosh that are getting an opportunity to show us what they can do. We are excited about the guys we have there.

I’m surprised to see Bobby Doyle third on the depth chart, only because it seemed like he got some decent playing time last year. Overall, despite the lack of established players I’m pretty confident about the A-backs. Shun White is a proven player with big-play ability. Greg Shinego might not have extensive game experience, but it isn’t as if he’s a rookie with a lot to learn. He’s a senior that has been practicing for three years and waiting for his shot. He’ll be ready. And although it remains to be seen how well Jarod Bryant can adjust to the new position, we know what he can do with the ball in his hands. I’m pretty comfortable with this group, plus our usual bunch of athletic underclassmen waiting for their chance to impress.

But is Andre Byrd really 5-7?

The latest depth chart is here. Lots of movement, especially in the secondary.

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13 Responses

  1. thebirddog … I think that “expanding” Byrds height to 5′ 7″ might fall under the catagory of “wishful thinking” —> If we make him the same height as Reggie Campbell … then he’ll turn into another Reggie Campbell! (o; (o;
    From what I remember during last year’s August scrimmages, … he certainly is an exciting runner.

    GO NAVY!

  2. I’m 5’5 and I’ve stood next to Byrd. He is exactly the same height as me.

    I don’t know about Devan Clark. Everyone seems real excited but it was just last year we were all praising KC the same war. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to get back up to Naptown this weekend and check things out for myself.

    I fully expected Schaefer to get to the top. Nothing against Travis Sudderth, but seeing him atop the pre spring depth chart at OLB was weird, to say the least.

  3. Adam, … Good to hear from you again. Hope allgoezwell w/ you & w/ the studies. Will you be able to make the B&G game on the 18th?

  4. FDD,
    Would love to, but our ROTC battalion down here in G-town is having our Mil Ball that night, so I’ll be tied up with that.

    I’m going to try to hit the scrimmages this Saturday and the one on the 12th. I’m also planning on visiting practice on either the 15th or 16th. I’m really looking forward to seeing some of these personnel experiments in person, especially on the O-line.

  5. Sudderth is the real deal. Schaefer is a good player too. Devan Clark will be #2 before the spring is over. Lark is stll hurt. I think the jury is still out on him as it seems like he is always hurt.

  6. Adam,
    Hopefully the bad weax will hold off for tomorrow’s scrimmage. Hasn’t gotten a tremendous amount of press/blog coverage yet, … but I agree that rebuilding the O-Line into a well-meshed machine will be the key part of this spring.

    GO NAVY!!!!

  7. Just got back from the scrimmage. Some random observations…

    Our first team “O” clearly got the better of the first team “D,’ even with Kaipo and Gaskins sitting out. Jarod had about a 60 yard touchdown run (I think off a midline option) on the second play of the scrimmage in which he split the safties and outran everyone in the secondary. He is clearly ahead of RD at this point, even though Dobbs looked decent with the first team later on. RD reminds me of a younger JB. Great athleticism and a good arm and touch but gets in trouble with exchanges, pitches, and fumbles at time. Dobbs fumbled it once or twice on his own and had a couple of snaps botched with the second team line, although I’m not sure if they were his fault. Like I said he looked better with the first team O and actually had some time to throw, but I think you said it best Bird Dog when you made mention to the “nate frazierization” of Dobbs. He still has a way to go, which is exactly why Jarod is #2. Whenever Jarod does get some practice time at slotback, I can defiantly see him moving his way into the fourth spot of the rotation with White, Shinego, and Byrd.

    Offensive line was up and down depending on which unit was on the feild. Our first team O-line held its own on the interior, and I thought all things considered RM did a good job with NF. The problem, at least from my perspective, is a lack of depth. Second team line was getting killed on the interior, which was kind of expected considering the depth defensively. Patrick Snow was having some problems at center. Third team offensive line was dreadful.

    FDD, not sure if you were there or heard but I thought Greg had a very good scrimmage. He ran hard and with good speed and caught the ball well out of the backfield. On the occasions I followed his blocks he seemed to get the job done. He clearly has the best hands out of the slotbacks. Had two very nice catches in traffic during the shotgun plays at the end.

    Didn’t see much out of Devan Clark today. Would not be surprised to see an OR next to his name with Vince Murry, who broke some tackles and ran hard today. Fullbacks, as a whole, were kinda quiet. A lot of the big gains came from quarterback keepers up the middle and stuff on the outside. The backup fullbacks lack the lateral quickness and vision of Kettani, who was only in for a few plays.

    Couple of “young” guys to watch out for on defense. John Angelo at cornerback impressed me with ability to tackle in the open field. Billy Yarborough got into the backfield a couple of times and made some plays. I also saw some good things out of backup DE Maurice Cumberland.

    KN was very vocal and full of energy. Really seemed to get steamed at Barnes for dropping a pass near the endzone and let the whole stadium know it, but was also quick to step in and tell guys what they were doing right. Interesting setup for the scrimmage, especially at the end, when the offense went to some shogun looks (presumably for the benefit of the defense.)

    Just as a point of reference, I sit 10 rows off the field so I don’t see the blocking develop all that well, so I could be wrong on some of my O-line observations.

  8. Did the first team ever play out of the shoutgun?

  9. TBD,
    I believe so, but I’m pretty sure it was more geared towards getting the defense practice against a spread passing look. Case in point, I don’t remember seeing JB out there, but do remember seeing RD and Joe Taylor get most of the snaps. Guys playing WR didn’t seem to correspond to depth. I’m interested o see what the presser and/or Wags has to say about it.

  10. I should have mentioned…QBs were not taking snaps during the shotgun portion. They started with the ball and a seperate nerf ball was snapped by the center. It was pure passing too, no read option stuff.

  11. Adam/tbd,
    That passing drill that they were running at the tail-end of the practice was essentially running “scout team” conventional Shot Gun passing attack at the defense since Navy doesn’t run that type of “O” look.

    As far as I remember, … We didn’t run anything out of the shotgun at all???

    Adam, … concur overall with your “snap-shot” analysis. 1st team “O” did seem to be running pretty crisply, and JB had some nice long passes –> WR’s didn’t impress me going after the ball though. Should have been a few more completions for sure. 2nd & 3rd team “O” were pretty much man-handled by the Dee.
    JB looked very good running the ball. I’m a tad “biased” but I think that Greg did an excellent job the few times he got the ball in his hands, … and he threw a couple of outstanding blocks, … one to spring AB on that TD counter-option run. SW definietly got the lion’s share of the carries @ SB in this scrimmage, … and looked solid.

  12. FDD, No we did not run anything out of the shotgun outside the scout team look. But we did run a rocket sweep (or whatever it’s called in the TO) with an empty backfield on the first play and went five wide for a hail mary attempt on the last.

    Concur about the wideouts. Tyree Barnes is a good player but he didn’t show much of a burst when closing on the ball. KN was noticably pissed. Interesting to see Thiel out there a bunch with the first teamers. ) Not sure why GS was in street clothes…

  13. Adam,
    I heard one of the coach’s call out “Last play of the half!” … right before they ran that 5-deep Hail Mary play, … so obviously a drill.

    My son tells me that Sudderth not yet officially cleared to play by the NCAA next season, … so that’s why he wasn’t dressed out.

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