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.
13 thoughts on “Buddy Green: Thank God he’s back”
Well, said, Salty. My thoughts exactly.
Just so long as he doesn’t kick them in the back and pat them on the ass, we’re okay.
with the loss of talent on defense from last year and our undersized defense this will be a watershed year. If we get by with a 7 win season he deservses a raise and praise.
Buddy is the man….period.
I don’t know why everyone thinks we are so aoutmanned in size. Go look at the roster. These Navy players aren’t small. Last year, we had 3 middle guards who were 300 or better. Our linebackers are as big as linebackers on most other division 1 schools. This is used as an excuse. Used to be true.
Its not the size, its the lack of steroid use at Navy that puts us at a disadvantage!!!
There’s no doubt that Buddy’s absence in the spring of 2011 hurt us.
He knows how to prepare NAVY’s defensive team, i.e., he plays the hand that’s dealt him (Players who’re not a large, not as fast, but are much smarter) better than any other DC in the business.
Dave, I don’t know what roster you’re looking at but all our LBs aside from Matt Brewer are under 230lbs. Most are in the 210-220lbs range. Top D-1 schools have LBs who average 230-240lbs, and who can also run like our safeties and wideouts. Just because we’ve had a few 300lb offensive linemen doesn’t mean they can play….there’s a big difference between a 300 pounder who can move and a 300 pounder who would be better off weighing 280. The 300 pounders who can move and play typically end up on Alabama’s defensive line, not Navy’s.
The offer from Tennessee made me worried we might have trouble keeping BG around after this season. He was smart enough to turn down a job where the HC is on a (very) hot seat — what if the next offer is for a more stable position?
I’m glad Buddy stayed. He really needs to get the passing defense to at least put up a fight. Navy allowed over 74% of their opponents passes to be completed last year. It was over 70% the year before. That has to change.
This is meant not to excuse our pass defense’s poor performance, but to explain it. Pass defense starts up front. A weak pass rush means passers have more time to find their receivers. Conversely, receivers have more time to complete their patterns and get open. I know it may seem pedantic and cliched to put it like this, but that’s the bottom line.
Buddy Green does not sleep more than 4 hours a night during the season. Our coaches (at least under PJ when I played 6 years ago) were encouraged, and almost all complied, with a go home after practice is done unofficial policy. That is kind of unusual for a lot of programs. BUT Buddy watches film like an obsessed tween watches MTV. He would be into Rickets at 3:30 AM just to watch film and scheme. He lives off Diet Coke and dip during the season. I trust that he has to be up there with the top DCs in the country. That being said, he has to scheme with what he is given. I agree that pass defense begins with pass rush. Pass rush obviously isn’t a strong point for us which is why he puts more DBs and cover LBs on the field to employ our “bend don’t break” defense.
DBs and smaller LBs are where we excel in recruiting. Undersized but phenomenal football players thrive in our defense and especially in those positions but obviously leaves us vulnerable in some areas. BG does the most with what he is given.
(This is all from experience, not from analysis on any particular recent season so feel free to let me know if I am way off)
07number95 — Thanks for your insider’s insights. It adds to the respect I think almost everybody who’s watched Buddy’s Navy defenses play — or has had to play against them — has for him.