1. Emotion: Nothing tells the watcher in spring practices more about the future outlook than the emotion or lack of it from the team as it goes thru its spring practice routine. Dead, sullen teams play like that in the fall. Lively, spirited teams play like they practice and that type of team learns, achieves, and upgrades talent through competition. I anticipate that we will see a lively, spirited type of team.
Tim Dunn runs through the opposition.
2. Coaching: Coach Berry goes into his forth spring practice and clearly he should be more comfortable with himself and his coaching staff versus spring #1. The staff has seen changes both in assignments and personnel and all should be "on the same page". The expectation and need for improvement could not be any higher than it presently is for the Army coaching staff.
3. Talent: I believe that talent base continues to grow for the Black Knights of Army and quality recruiting is vital. Hence, Berry will no longer be able to refer to in any capacity to the talent he inherited in spring #1 -- these are now "his recruits". Both the offensive and defensive linemen must be big and strong now, anything less is unacceptable. You look for linemen who are bigger, faster, and even lean. The college game is about power, speed and movement, and if you can't move your body mass, you can't play Division I football competitively. That would also apply to running backs, wide receivers, linebackers & corners; even they must possess the physical package.
Tielor Robinson may contribute as freshman.
4. Most Critical: NOTHING is more critical that the improvement of the offensive and defensive lines for the future of Army Football. Although youthful, there is talent on both sides. The upperclassmen must show leadership and help the freshmen and sophomores develop and the Black Knights must get production from the starters beyond expectation. It will be very interesting to see what the team "looks" like in pads relative to size, as spring practice begins.
5. Quarterback Play: Some fans would call this most critical area, but without the big guys up front doing their jobs nothing happens behind the center. I think Army has the players at QB with skills, even with the departure of Reggie Nevels. Although Dahman appears to be the frontrunner, there will be plenty of competition during spring practice and I anticipate a starter being named afterwards.
6. Overall: I see a faster and solid talent base of players, especially at RB, WR, CB (skilled positions) and even at the LB positions. Although many are youthful in experience (freshmen and sophomore level), some will be called upon to contribute early. The addition of the Speed, Acceleration & Power facility (Kimsey Athletic Center) will add value and begin to pay dividends in the very near future.
7. Injuries: We are hoping for a healthy spring, with no serious injuries and NO academic casualties.
For detail by position, checkout GeorgeH's "Position Previews" on the ArmySports.com site.
Go Army, Beat Navy!
Nathan Collier dwarfs the opposition.