Ken Niumatalolo Tuesday Comments

Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo spoke to the media on Tuesday. Niumatalolo spoke about the kicking situation, new practice drills, Chris Johnson, preparations for the trip to Ireland and more.

How are you going to make a decision on a kicker?

Ken Niumatalolo: It's getting to a point where we are just going to throw out all our stats and all the things we have and I'm just going to make a judgment on who that guy going to be. We've been charting it all camp and looking at some stats and stuff but we are just going to make a decision and move forward because every day it changes.

Are you worried?

Ken Niumatalolo: Big time worried, especially after what I saw today. We come out some days and kick well, kicked horrible today. We got two more weeks; hopefully we'll be ready by then, right now we are not.

One sending players to stations after practice, something he hasn't done in past years.

Ken Niumatalolo: Sometimes you just condition and you just run sprints, you run 10 yards or 20 yards, and they are mindless sprints. Just been thinking about at the end of the game what are the skills [needed], because we are having a nose guard run 30-yards sprints, that's not what it's going to for him to win at the end. So what we had the coaches do is come up with a drill that's going to insinuate a skill that they got to accomplish at the end of the game. The D-linemen are trying to get a sack or get pass rush stuff, the linebackers are trying to tackle somebody; the DBs are trying to high point the ball. Could be the last play of the game, the wide receivers are trying to catch the ball, the quarterback might need to make a throw on 3rd-and-7 and so I wanted to not just put your hand on the line and run through the line. Yeah you might be in physical shape but could your mind still think; could you think at the end. Just trying to have some carry over, not just conditioning, but football mental reps and things that you can do actually in the game.

On the status of Chris Johnson.

Ken Niumatalolo: Yeah, right now it doesn't look good. We are going to get a second opinion but right now it looks like he's going to be out indefinitely... I'm going to wait till we get the second opinion before we make it official.

Is it frustrating to lose him?

Ken Niumatalolo: I guess more so frustrated for him wise because he worked hard this summer. He's a great kid, smart kid, great in the hall and was having a great camp. We were really, really excited about all the things he was doing and unfortunately the kid got hurt; definitely frustrated and sorry for him. On number of fullbacks that will travel.

Ken Niumatalolo: We've always traveled four fullbacks. Because the fullbacks are normally pretty good special teams players and so we normally travel with four.

On players who will travel because of special teams ability.

Ken Niumatalolo: We got some DBs from that standpoint, Jerad Fehr, Wave Ryder has been a guy that has traveled because of that, Jimmy Britton in the past but now Jimmy has moved up the ladder. Geoffrey Whiteside.

On motivation of players to make travel squad via special teams.

Ken Niumatalolo: Some lower tier guys, [Jude] Akpunku, he's a guy that we are hoping on that if he doesn't get in the defensive rotation he'll be on special teams. There's quite a few, I can't think of them all off the top of my head. It's definitely a way to contribute.

Are there any special types of training or consideration for the long flight travel.

Ken Niumatalolo: No, we will just try to get on the plane and sleep and get up and try to get ready... We are definitely going to hydrate. The one thing, we are going overnight so we are going to lose that night of sleep so we are going to do the best we can to get some sleep and just try to go from there... They [Notre Dame] got to do it too so we just have to deal with it and move on.

What time are you practicing the day you arrive, Thursday.

Ken Niumatalolo: I think it's 2 o'clock or something... it's in shells. Friday is a walk-thru.

Anything you are doing to prepare[for trip to Ireland]?

Ken Niumatalolo: Just the normal football stuff.

Are you guys be able to do any site seeing?

Ken Niumatalolo: We are going for a business trip.

So are you going to keep a close eye on them?

Ken Niumatalolo: Most definitely.

You are taking 70-75 players, about half the team?

Ken Niumatalolo: Yes. We are close to refining it.


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