Navy Triple Option Quotables

ECU’s has struggled in recent history with Navy’s triple option offensive attack. Take a look at what Pirate coaches and players are saying about it.

Head coach Ruffin McNeill

ON GAP RESPONSIBILITY: “You always have to account and know what blocks will take you to your responsibilities. Sometimes, you have to change up against an experienced staff that runs it for a living like they do because they watch you. They see what you’re doing and they have an answer for it. You have to make sure you take care of all three options, and really, it’s four options when you include Keenan (Reynolds). With Keenan, you have to account for play-action off of it. You have to be excellent on defense. You have to have to some changeups on all the areas, such as who has dive, who has the quarterback and who has the pitch.”

ON ADJUSTING TO Navy’S OFFENSE: “Throughout the game. Every game I’m holding my breath. That’s what’s draining. The guys have done a good job with retention from fall camp. Tuesday and Wednesday were big days for us. Thursday we have to make sure we’re assignment sound, but keep them fresh because it’s going to be another physical game on the road. I think the kids will be ready to handle it.”

Defensive coordinator Rick Smith

ON A FAST START: “It’s going to take a drive or two for us to get used to the speed of the game. I know that. We’ve got to figure out what they’re doing. Are they going to go with the closed formation where everyone is tight or are they going to go with the wide stuff? Each week they’re going to major in something different. The kids have done a great job identifying what they do and hopefully they will make the right checks on Saturday.”

ON EXPERIENCE WITH THE TRIPLE OPTION: “The last time I played them was nine years ago. They used to be a closed slot or an open slot. Now they use more one-back stuff. If you’ve got an option call (on defense) and they don’t lineup in an option formation, we’ve got to adjust.”

ON NAVY’S OFFENSIVE LINE: “They’re very good athletes. They’re smashmout type guys too. They’re military guys so they’re tough. They take great pride in being tough and they take great pride in running through the football. Their offensive line is good at knocking you off the ball. If they knock you off the ball they’re going to win and they know that.”

ON KEEPING RUNNERS OUT OF THE SECONDARY: “Always that’s very important. Open field tackling is very difficult. Their backs aren’t real big kids but once they turn up the field they aren’t going to make you miss. They’re either going to outrun you to the sideline or run slap over you. They’re tough kids, they’re good athletes but they’re not going to make you miss. They’re going to try to run over you.”

Senior linebacker Zeek Bigger

CHALLENGES OF THE TRIPLE OPTION: “It’s challenging. It’s always challenging just because they do different things than you usually see, especially in our conference because you don’t use the spread. It’s about low blocking, low cutting and a lot of motion and downhill powerful running. It’s a little different.”

ON KEYS TO SUCCESS: “Being able to read and pay attention to more than one person. They take care of the ball; they have a great quarterback that can read things pretty well. Being mentally focused on doing the right things is all we to worry about.”

Senior defensive lineman Johnathan White

ON EXPERIENCE AGAINS THE TRIPLE OPTION: “Personally I don’t have any experience. But we’ve been watching a lot of film, doing a lot of mental stuff to prepare for this game. I feel like we’re ready.”

ON THE CONFUSION THE TRIPLE OPTION CAN CREATE: “We’ve got 11 guys and they’ve got 11 guys. If we put all 11 of our guys in the right spot then we will be fine.”

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