Buddy Green: “I don’t think 50 wind sprints and 100 up-downs is too much, Wagner. Maybe you do.”
We all know that the margin of error for Navy Football is pretty slim. If all three phases of the game (offense, defense, and special teams) aren’t clicking, there’s a better than average chance that we’ll lose a given game. Last season was evidence of that as Navy lost five games by 3 points or less enroute to a 5-7 season. The team struggled at key times and couldn’t seem to win the close games which had been a hallmark of the past 8 seasons. Specifically, the defense and special teams had a difficult time making big plays when we needed them. One reason why the defense struggled last season was that Buddy Green (praise be upon him) spent last spring recovering from gall bladder surgery. To the casual fan, that might not sound significant but it was a major factor.
“He’s a major, major part of our program. Not to have him was a huge loss.” -Ken Niumatalolo
Coach Green is a lot like Rocky Balboa’s trainer Mick, just a lot younger. He’s out there preparing, coaching, training, kicking guys in the ass, patting them on the back, and pushing them to their limits. Anyone that’s ever been around 18-21 year olds, knows that they need guidance and focus…constantly. Even Midshipmen, contrary to what the cliché-slinging announcers on TV would have you believe, need adult leadership. Also, Green has one tough job. I think some Navy fans don’t appreciate how difficult it is to coach football at Navy, especially defensive football. Offensively, we can run the spread option and make life VERY difficult for teams that rarely if ever practice against it. But as Mike (CEO and Chairman of this glorious blog) has noted, the defense has no such equalizer. Add in all the height/weight and academic restrictions that come with coaching at USNA and the D Coordinator has his work cut out for him. Green is such a talented Defensive Coordinator that the Tennessee Volunteers wanted him. He politely declined which was an enormous victory (and relief) for Navy. There’s a reason why Tennessee wanted Buddy Green and it’s not because he was voted Mr. Congeniality by the Annapolis Rotary Club. He’s a great coach and he gets results. Having him back for the Spring should pay dividends next season.